Southern officials warn of new clusters linked to bars and frat parties. Health officials feared the Trump campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., could be a “superspreader” event. Workers in Japan have avoided the mass layoffs seen in other countries.
June 20, 2020
Here’s what you need to know:
- Florida and South Carolina break new-cases records for the third straight day.
- Reopenings multiply around the world, as do resurgences in Turkey, the Palestinian territories, Australia and elsewhere.
- Trump’s Tulsa rally, feared as a ‘superspreader,’ is lightly attended.
- Even in an economic crisis, Japan’s workers have escaped mass layoffs.
- In another setback for hydroxychloroquine, the National Institutes of Health halts two clinical trials.
- Latin America’s devastation is compounded by a wave of fraud.
- Several U.S. states and cities will begin allowing indoor dining at restaurants.
ImageIn Delray Beach, Fla., last week.Credit…Saul Martinez for The New York Times
For the third straight day, Florida and South Carolina broke their single-day records for new cases, while infection levels for Missouri and Nevada also reached new highs on Saturday.
And on Friday, the United States reported more than 30,000 new infections, its highest total since May 1, with cases rising in 19 states across the South, West and Midwest.
Florida reported 4,049 new cases on Saturday, breaking Friday’s record (3,822) and Thursday’s record (3,207). The state now has had 93,797 cases and 3,144 deaths.
South Carolina broke its record with 1,155 new cases; Nevada had 452 and Missouri had 375.
The new infections have skewed younger, with more people in their 20s and 30s testing positive, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said.
On Saturday, the Florida Department of Health issued an additional health advisory, recommending that people avoid crowds greater than 50 people, and encouraging social distancing and mask wearing for gatherings with fewer than 50.
President Trump is set to deliver his national convention speech on Aug. 27 in Jacksonville, Fla., inside an arena that holds 15,000 people.
Florida “has all the makings of the next large epicenter,” according to model projections by the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Southern officials in particular are speaking out with increasing alarm about the large number of cases turning up in young adults.
At least 100 cases were linked on Friday to employees and customers of bars in the Tigerland nightlife district near the Louisiana State University campus. In South Carolina, cases among people who are 21 to 30 have grown 413 percent since April 4. And in Mississippi, state officials said several cases had been tied to fraternity rush parties in Oxford, home to the University of Mississippi. More than 80 percent of new cases in Oxford involved people 18 to 24.
“Early information suggests that they’re violating the law in the number of people who are at these parties,” said Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi’s state health officer, who noted that indoor gatherings without social distancing were supposed to be limited to 20 people.
In South Carolina, officials warned that some young people had become seriously ill from the virus and that those without serious symptoms could still infect family members and friends.
“The increases that we’re seeing serve as a warning that young adults and youth are not immune to Covid-19,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. “They also tell us that younger South Carolinians are not taking social distancing seriously.”
The clusters may be especially worrying to colleges and universities that plan to bring students back to campus in the fall, when the coronavirus and the flu virus are expected to be circulating simultaneously.
A public park on Friday in Ankara, Turkey.Credit…Burhan Ozbilici/Associated Press
Gradual reopenings are continuing globally this weekend, including the lifting of a state of emergency that Spain imposed nearly three months ago. But a return to public life has been accompanied by rises in coronavirus cases — and sometimes a return of restrictions to curb the virus’s spread.
The Palestinian prime minister, Muhammad Shtayyeh, announced on Saturday that the city of Hebron in the West Bank and its surrounding villages would be placed under lockdown for at least five days following a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus infections in those areas.
Medical professionals recorded 103 new virus cases in the Hebron region on Saturday, bringing the total number of infections in the area to 356 since the pandemic first emerged in the West Bank in March, according the health ministry of the Palestinian Authority.
Mr. Shtayyeh told a news conference in front of his office in Ramallah that movement into and out of the Hebron region would be barred with the exception of those transporting goods. He also said that people would not be permitted to move inside the city and its surrounding villages unless they are going to places such as supermarkets and pharmacies.
Since early March, there have been only three fatalities in the West Bank and 712 known cases of the virus. The prime minister also announced that movement into and out of the city of Nablus would be restricted for two days following an increase in cases there.
In Turkey, which has the world’s 12th largest known outbreak, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged losing ground against the virus two weeks after the country allowed businesses to reopen and people to travel.
The daily rate of infection has now rebounded from below 1,000 a day to about 1,500. The government announced new lockdown periods for this weekend and next while high school students take specially scheduled exams. Masks were made compulsory in three of the largest cities, Istanbul, Izmir and Bursa, which have been hit badly.
Here are other developments around the world:
Brazil became the second country after the United States to pass a million coronavirus cases, reporting on Friday a staggering 54,771 cases over 24 hours. The country’s health ministry attributed the jump at least in part to a lag in reporting from three states. President Jair Bolsonaro has dismissed the danger posed by the virus, sabotaged state quarantine measures and called on Brazilians to continue working to keep the economy from collapsing.
Serbians are voting on Sunday in Europe’s first national election since the coronavirus took hold there. With most opposition parties boycotting the parliamentary vote, the governing conservative party is expected to win by a landslide.
More than 1,029 workers in one of Germany’s largest meatpacking plants have been infected, according to Sven-Georg Adenauer, a regional commissioner in North Rhine-Westphalia. The plant is closing for 14 days, and all 6,500 workers are in quarantine, while contact tracers try to identify chains of infection. Schools and day care centers in the area have been closed, angering families who had just begun to return to a cautious normalcy after more than two months into Germany’s lockdown.
In Italy, Pope Francis held one of his first audiences for a group since the country lifted its lockdown. In his comments on Saturday at the Vatican, the pope thanked the attendees, who included masked health care workers from the hard-hit Lombardy region, for their work. He also warned against reverting back to individualism once the crisis faded.
In Australia, which has been widely praised for containing the virus, the state of Victoria said on Saturday that it was bringing back tighter restrictions on gatherings. The state, which includes Melbourne, on Wednesday recorded 21 new cases, its largest single-day increase in over a month. Premier Dan Andrews said in a statement that “the numbers are largely being driven by families — families having big get-togethers and not following the advice around social distancing and hygiene.” At least three cases also involved protesters who participated in recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
Beijing is scrambling to track and contain a new outbreak that has raised fears of broader contagion. While some limits are being reimposed in the Chinese capital — which reported 22 new confirmed infections on Sunday for a total of 227 since June 11 — the authorities have not turned to the kind of widespread strict lockdowns introduced in January after the coronavirus emerged late last year in the city of Wuhan. The change is in part a recognition that it is not feasible to shut down societies for the duration of the pandemic, which shows no signs of disappearing.
In Afghanistan, which is grappling with a rapidly growing outbreak and a raging war, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy said on Saturday that infections had spread among diplomats, contract workers and local employees. The spokesman offered no numbers, but The Associated Press reported up to 20 cases.
Spain has ended its state of emergency, meaning visitors from Britain, the Schengen area and almost all E.U. member states can enter the country without undergoing quarantine. (Neighboring Portugal has asked to keep the land border closed until July 1, when Spain is expected to open to most other international visitors.) Travel between Spanish regions has also resumed but other restrictions remain, including the compulsory use of masks in public places nationwide. Spain registered 40 coronavirus deaths and about 1,500 new infections in the past week, a huge drop from early April, when deaths rose by more than 900 a day.
Saudi Arabia is set to lift a nationwide curfew on Sunday morning, allowing “all economic and commercial activities” to restart, the state-run SPA news agency reported on Saturday, despite a resurgence in infections since the kingdom began reopening over the last several weeks. Nearly 4,000 new cases were reported on Saturday, bringing the total to 154,233. Large gatherings, international flights and land entries are banned.
In Tulsa, Trump Plays Down Coronavirus Cases and Demonizes Protesters
President Trump said he wanted to slow coronavirus testing, questioned protesters’ toppling of Confederate monuments across the country and vowed to defeat his presumptive Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, in November.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.” “Thank you. [cheering] So we begin, Oklahoma, we begin. Thank you, Oklahoma, and thank you to Vice President Mike Pence. We begin. We begin our campaign. Five months from now, we’re going to defeat Sleepy Joe Biden. [cheering] Boy, does he get a pass from these people, huh? We’re going to stop the radical left. We’re going to build a future of safety and opportunity for Americans of every race, color, religion and creed. [cheering] Republicans are the party of liberty, equality and justice for all. We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, and we are the party of law and order. Covid — to be specific, Covid-19. That name gets further and further away from China as opposed to calling it ‘the Chinese virus.’ [cheering] We saved hundreds of thousands of lives, and all we do is get hit on like we’re terrible. And what we’ve done with the ventilators and with the medical equipment and with testing — you know, testing is a double-edged sword. We’ve tested now 25 million people. Here’s the bad part: When you test of — when you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down, please. They test and they test. We had tests that people don’t know what’s going on. The unhinged left-wing mob is trying to vandalize our history, desecrate our monuments, our beautiful monuments —” Crowd: “Boo!” “— tear down our statues and punish, cancel and persecute anyone who does not conform to their demands for absolute and total control — we’re not conforming. That’s why we’re here, actually. [cheering] This cruel campaign of censorship and exclusion violates everything we hold dear as Americans. They want to demolish our heritage so they can impose their new oppressive regime in its place.”
President Trump said he wanted to slow coronavirus testing, questioned protesters’ toppling of Confederate monuments across the country and vowed to defeat his presumptive Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, in November.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Trump, ignoring the health guidance of local officials in Tulsa, Okla., held his first campaign-style rally in several months Saturday night. Speaking to a sparse, mostly mask-free crowd in a 19,000-seat indoor arena that he had hoped to pack, Mr. Trump claimed he wanted to slow down testing of the virus that has killed 121,000 Americans.
Mr. Trump tried to blame the news media for the low turnout, because of its reporting on health concerns ahead of the indoor rally, and campaign advisers claimed that their supporters had trouble entering the arena because of protesters. But in reality, there were few protests across the city.
Mr. Trump had originally been scheduled to address an overflow crowd of supporters outside before the rally, but those plans were scrapped at the last minute. The campaign did not make it clear why, although the outdoor area was also lightly populated.
The president falsely claimed that the United States was reporting a high number of coronavirus cases because more people were being tested, saying that “when you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases.” Mr. Trump said that he asked officials to “slow the testing down,” joking that a young man with the “sniffles” would be falsely considered a positive Covid-19 case.
Concerns that the event could spread the coronavirus were amplified hours before Mr. Trump took the stage when his campaign acknowledged that six staff members working on the rally had tested positive.
In Oklahoma, there have been at least 10,037 cases of the coronavirus, according to a New York Times database. As of Saturday night, at least 368 people had died. The state recorded 331 new cases on Saturday, its third-highest daily total, behind totals reached on Thursday and Friday.
Tulsa health officials have expressed concerns that the rally, in a large, indoor arena, has the potential to become a “superspreader” event. But Trump supporters gathered in Tulsa appeared less worried about the virus and more exuberant over the president’s return to the campaign trail.
“If it is God’s will that I get coronavirus, that is the will of the Almighty,” said Robert Montanelli, a resident of a Tulsa suburb. “I will not live in fear.”
The campaign stressed that all rally attendees were receiving temperature checks before going through security, and were then given wristbands, face masks and hand sanitizer. Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, said on Friday that using the masks would be optional.
A supermarket in Tokyo this month.Credit…Noriko Hayashi for The New York Times
The pandemic has devastated economies around the globe, shutting businesses and slowing spending. But unlike in the United States, where the jobless rate has soared, workers in Japan have weathered the pandemic with striking success, staying employed in large numbers.
Pro-labor attitudes in Japan, reinforced by strong legal precedents, make it uniquely difficult for Japanese companies, except under severe strain, to fire workers. And a constellation of social and demographic factors, including Japan’s aging population and shrinking work force, have allowed workers to largely hold on to their jobs and benefits, even as the economy has taken big hits over all.
Output in Japan shrank by 2.2 percent in the first three months of the year, pushing the country into a recession. Data from April suggests that conditions will most likely continue to get worse.
Despite it all, the unemployment rate in Japan has ticked up just two-tenths of a percentage point since February, to 2.6 percent. And the low rate has helped Japan largely avoid the sense of anxiety that workers in other countries experienced as companies shed employees, leaving millions without benefits in the middle of a public health crisis.
According to a New York Times database, Japan has had 18,495 coronavirus cases and 959 deaths.
The National Institutes of Health said this weekend that it had stopped a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine.Credit…George Frey/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
The National Institutes of Health said on Saturday that it had stopped two clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug that President Trump has promoted to treat the virus with scant evidence of its efficacy.
One trial, which had enrolled close to 500 patients, ended because the drug was unlikely to be effective and the other did not have enough patients enrolled. Both are the latest indications scientists are increasingly concluding that the drug’s promise has fallen far short of early expectations.
“In effect, the drug didn’t work,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said of the first trial, which the medical community had been watching closely because it was federally funded, placebo-controlled and run by respected investigators. “I think we can put this drug aside and now devote our attention to other potential treatments.”
The N.I.H. said Saturday that an oversight board that monitors safety met Friday and “determined that while there was no harm, the study drug was very unlikely to be beneficial to hospitalized patients with Covid-19.” Later on Saturday, the N.I.H. said it had closed another trial — of hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin — because only about 20 patients had enrolled in the planned study of 2,000 people.
The initial trial, which was being run by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a division of the N.I.H., was one of several placebo-controlled studies that had been organized to test the drug after a series of small, poorly controlled trials showed early signs of a benefit.
Since then, several other large trials have been halted or have not shown the drug to be effective against the virus.
On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration revoked the emergency authorization it had given hospitals to give hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, to hospitalized patients. The agency said that the drugs were “unlikely to be effective” and could carry potential risks.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization said it was stopping the hydroxychloroquine arm of a large clinical trial that was testing several treatments against the virus because evidence showed it did not reduce mortality rates of hospitalized patients.
Marcelo Navajas, right, Bolivia’s former health minister, examining a ventilator last month. He was arrested the next day on corruption charges linked to the purchase of substandard ventilators.Credit…Diario El Debate, via Reuters
As Latin America has emerged as an epicenter of the pandemic, with deaths and infections soaring, efforts to contain the virus have been undermined by several corruption scandals.
Investigations into fraud have reached the highest levels of government. The former Bolivian health minister is under house arrest awaiting trial on corruption charges after the ministry paid an intermediary millions more than the going rate for 170 ventilators — which did not even work properly.
Dozens of public officials and local entrepreneurs are accused of exploiting the crisis for personal enrichment by peddling influence to price-gouge hospitals and governments for medical supplies including masks, sanitizer and ventilators.
In Brazil, which has the second-highest number of coronavirus deaths after the United States, government officials in at least seven states are under investigation over the misuse of more than $200 million in public funds during the crisis.
Peru’s police chief and interior minister resigned after their subordinates bought diluted sanitizer and flimsy face masks for police officers, who then began dying of infections from the virus at alarming rates.
In Colombia, the attorney general is investigating reports that more than 100 political campaign donors received lucrative contracts to provide emergency supplies during the pandemic.
“People are dying in the streets because the hospital system collapsed,” said Diana Salazar, Ecuador’s attorney general. “To profit from the pain of others, with all these people who are losing their loved ones, it’s immoral.”
People dined outdoors at a restaurant last week in Waltham, Mass. Massachusetts is expected to allow indoor dining to begin on Monday.Credit…Erin Clark/The Boston Globe, via Getty Images
Even as states like Texas and Florida have seen considerable spikes in new coronavirus cases in recent days, other corners of the United States where the virus has so far been mostly contained are planning to let patrons eat in restaurants again.
On Friday, the mayor of Baltimore said the city would join the rest of Maryland in allowing restaurants and bars to open for indoor dining with certain restrictions. Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., are enacting similar plans on Monday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers restaurants that allow indoor dining to be one of the riskier environments among those establishments that have opened so far. As scientists’ understanding of the virus has evolved, crowded indoor spaces with poor airflow have been identified as one of the likeliest situations in which the virus can spread, particularly as people laugh, talk and take off their masks to eat.
Businesses will still have to comply with restrictions. In both Massachusetts and Washington, dining establishments will have to keep tables six feet apart, and parties at any table cannot exceed six people. Washington will also limit restaurants to seating people at 50 percent capacity.
The C.D.C. has warned that even with these restrictions, indoor dining still brings together in tight spaces people who may not live with one another, and has urged individuals to take extra precautions.
Other cities are experimenting with novel ways to allow people to dine together more safely, such as encouraging them to stay in designated areas outside. This weekend, Grand Rapids, Mich., put in place four new “social zones,” where it planned to grant permits allowing people to congregate and eat outside on demarcated streets and sidewalks.
“The idea is simply to let restaurants serve more customers while allowing those who don’t want to go indoors yet to feel safe,” Lou Canfield, the city’s acting assistant director of design, development and community engagement, said in a news release. “It’s a new concept for us and will be experimental in some ways.”
Tiz the Law, ridden by Manuel Franco, won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
The favorite Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes, traditionally the last leg of the Triple Crown, as the race kicked off the series for the first time in history. Saturday’s race signaled the return of big-time sports to New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., but in the most small-scale way allowed.
Instead of 150,000 fans filling the grandstands on Saturday, there was only a skeleton crew of grooms, trainers and assistant starters — fewer than 100 in all, or just enough to get the horses and their jockeys through the day. The staff members wore masks or bandannas and gloves, making the paddock look like a cross between a medical center and a waiting room for desperadoes.
“If you do not have a shank or bucket in your hand, you can’t come in,” said Pat McKenna, a spokesman for the New York Racing Association. “Only essential personnel.”
Essential, included Sam “The Bugler” Grossman, who will sound the call to post before each of the 12 races.
There was no beer or hot dogs being sold; no buffets in the dining room to graze. No betting windows were open, either. But fans could still watch on NBC and bet online.
When the pandemic forced organizers to move both the Preakness Stakes and the Kentucky Derby to the fall, the Belmont Stakes was also delayed. And that was not the sole change it faced. The race was shortened, and the start was placed on the backstretch, which meant the horses and riders had to navigate only one turn.
The Centers for Disease Control’s headquarters in Atlanta.Credit…Audra Melton for The New York Times
Federal health officials on Friday confirmed that the first batch of tests devised to diagnose the coronavirus and sent to 33 state public health offices were likely contaminated in laboratories at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the coronavirus began to spread.
The report by the Department of Health and Human Services echoed the findings of the Food and Drug Administration, which inspected the C.D.C. labs in late February after learning that the tests did not work. The F.D.A. reported in April that C.D.C. laboratories in Atlanta had violated their own manufacturing standards, rendering the test unusable. Researchers entered and left the laboratories without changing their coats, and assembled ingredients for the tests in the same room where researchers handled positive coronavirus samples, the F.D.A. reported.
I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?
The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.
What is pandemic paid leave?
The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.
Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?
So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.
What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?
Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.
How does blood type influence coronavirus?
A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.
How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?
The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.
Will protests set off a second viral wave of coronavirus?
Mass protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people onto the streets in cities across America are raising the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases. While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged the demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further community spread of the virus. Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission.
My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?
States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.
How can I protect myself while flying?
If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)
How do I take my temperature?
Taking one’s temperature to look for signs of fever is not as easy as it sounds, as “normal” temperature numbers can vary, but generally, keep an eye out for a temperature of 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If you don’t have a thermometer (they can be pricey these days), there are other ways to figure out if you have a fever, or are at risk of Covid-19 complications.
Should I wear a mask?
The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.
What should I do if I feel sick?
If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.
How do I get tested?
If you’re sick and you think you’ve been exposed to the new coronavirus, the C.D.C. recommends that you call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms and fears. They will decide if you need to be tested. Keep in mind that there’s a chance — because of a lack of testing kits or because you’re asymptomatic, for instance — you won’t be able to get tested.
The H.H.S. report released Friday confirmed the F.D.A.’s finding that one of the ingredients used in the test was likely contaminated in the Atlanta labs. The department said that because the state labs could not validate the tests, the tests were not used to diagnose patients.
In a statement, Michael Caputo, a department spokesman, acknowledged that the contamination might have delayed the C.D.C.’s ability to supply tests to public health labs, but added, “We never had a backlog of tests in this country.” His assertion is contradicted by the experience of state health officials around the country who complained for months about a shortage of diagnostics tests.
George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., the spring training site for the New York Yankees.Credit…Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
After several Major League Baseball teams reported positive coronavirus tests for players and staff members, the Yankees and Mets decided to move their preseason training from Florida, where cases have been spiking, to their home stadiums in New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Saturday afternoon.
The announcement came soon after M.L.B. temporarily closed all of its spring training facilities, which are in Florida and Arizona, for deep cleanings and asked people to be tested for the virus before returning.
Five teams — the Philadelphia Phillies, the Los Angeles Angels, the San Francisco Giants, the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros — have confirmed that players, other employees or people connected to them had tested positive or exhibited symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
M.L.B. suspended its spring training on March 12 and indefinitely postponed the start of the regular season. But as the league and its players’ union recently appeared to make progress in their protracted talks over returning to the field — with the regular season possibly starting in July — some players returned to the training facilities for limited, voluntary workouts.
The Yankees’ spring training facility is in Tampa, Fla., and the Mets’ is in Port St. Lucie.
While Florida has reported a record number of new cases three days in a row, including 4,049 on Saturday, the number of new cases in New York has tapered off since it peaked in April, with the governor reporting only 716 on Saturday.
Mr. Cuomo said Mets players would begin to train next week at Citi Field in Queens. It was unclear when the Yankees would arrive at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, but the team confirmed that the stadium would become its preseason training site.
Unlike other sports leagues, such as the N.B.A. or M.L.S., which planned to resume play in sequestered bubbles near Orlando, M.L.B. has been aiming to play its regular season at its home stadiums.
Recent reports of new cases of the coronavirus among professional and college athletes have heightened concerns about the resumption of competition.
On Friday, just over a week after the PGA Tour restarted, the golfer Nick Watney withdrew from the RBC Heritage tournament in South Carolina after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Clemson University also confirmed on Friday that 28 people had tested positive across its athletics department, including 23 football players.
Activists staged a protest at France’s Health Ministry in Paris on Saturday in support of medical workers.Credit…Rafael Yaghobzadeh/Associated Press
Demonstrators in France on Saturday doused the entrance to the country’s Health Ministry with bright red paint symbolizing blood, in protest over inadequate resources and poor working conditions in the country’s public hospitals.
The group of about 30 protesters also placed a giant fake “Medal of Contempt” on the steps of the ministry, in central Paris.
“It’s been years, months that health workers have been mobilizing to denounce the lack of resources in terms of staffing, beds and equipment,” said Aurélie Trouvé, a spokeswoman for ATTAC, a left-wing activist group.
“This government, and the previous ones, are responsible for thousands of deaths during this crisis,” she said. “They have blood on their hands.”
Over 29,500 people have died from the coronavirus in France. President Emmanuel Macron has praised French doctors and nurses as heroes during the pandemic, and the government has given bonuses of 1,500 euros (about $1,680) to public health care workers. The government is also in talks with unions over an investment plan for hospitals.
But French health workers say the government has not made concrete promises on issues like pay raises, increased hiring and a moratorium on plans to downsize or close hospitals.
The protesters also expressed anger at the government’s handling of a much larger demonstration of health workers last week in Paris, where violence broke out and the police used tear gas.
Ines Pujol, a spokeswoman for L’Inter-Urgences, a group of emergency health care workers, said at Saturday’s protest that “it took a pandemic, a global health crisis for the government and its institutions to take a look at public hospitals” and “for our suffering to be heard.”
Eating burgers on the terrace of Black Star Burger in Moscow this week.Credit…Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times
When you enter a home in Moscow, it is customary to take off your shoes. When you attend a play, checking your coat is a must. And when you eat a burger, it is often done while wearing gloves.
Across hygiene-conscious Eastern Europe, many people consider it uncouth and unsanitary to eat a burger with bare hands. The answer used to be a knife and fork. But the pandemic has accelerated a years-old trend: Order a burger, and there is a fair chance it will come with a side of disposable gloves.
“Gloves, I think, are an unspoken, required attribute of any burger restaurant,” said Alina Volkolovskaya, the manager of Butterbro, a gastro pub in Minsk, Belarus. “I’m surprised that establishments in every country don’t offer them.”
Several American restaurant safety experts said they doubted that the practice would take off in the United States — the coronavirus, after all, is not even known to spread through food. But some said that gloves used properly could help protect people from a variety of germs.
“They could be potentially beneficial,” said Robert C. Williams, an associate professor of food microbiology at Virginia Tech, “in cases where the customer would not have washed their hands anyway.”
A couple kissing in Paris in May.Credit…Ludovic Marin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Rest assured, France’s culture minister says: The kiss has not been banished from movies.
Franck Riester, the minister, said on Friday that as movie and television shoots in France slowly started up again after months of lockdown, actors were working out ways of safely smooching again.
“Kissing has started again, if I may say so, on movie sets,” Mr. Riester told RTL radio, although he did not refer to any specific films or actors. “Some artists got tested, waited a bit, and then did that kiss that is so important in cinema.”
Last month, the body that oversees health and hygiene conditions on French film sets issued a guide on how to keep the virus at bay, including measures for scenes that require physical intimacy.
Those included adapting or rewriting the action, postponing filming, or asking actors to get tested or regularly take their temperature. Wearing masks was also recommended, camera angles permitting.
The government has created a 50-million-euro guarantee fund to help producers who are forced to cancel a film shoot for coronavirus-related reasons, but some worry that insurers will balk at the slightest deviation from the guidelines.
Marina Foïs, an actress, expressed frustration on French television last week that “insurances are going to have an opinion on how we make a movie” and said she would find it hard to follow social distancing guidelines with her co-stars while filming.
“If I want to act well, I need to abandon something, I need to let happen what will happen,” she told France 5.
Movie theaters are one of the few businesses still closed around France. They are scheduled to open next week, but will only be allowed to fill up half of their seats, with distancing between viewers. Masks will be recommended, but not required, though individual theaters may set their own rules.
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Reporting was contributed by Livia Albeck-Ripka, Aurelien Breeden, Nancy Coleman, Ben Dooley, Joe Drape, Melissa Eddy, Tess Felder, Ben Fenwick, Carlotta Gall, Matthew Haag, Maggie Haberman, Astead Herndon, Sheila Kaplan, Tyler Kepner, Natalie Kitroeff, Iliana Magra, Mujib Mashal, Patricia Mazzei, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Raphael Minder, Zach Montague, Adam Rasgon, Mitch Smith, Mitra Taj, Katie Thomas, Anton Troianovski, Hisako Ueno and Vivian Yee.