Please Note

The Washington Post is providing this important information about the coronavirus for free. For more free coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter where all stories are free to read.

Twenty-one states have seen an increase in their average daily new coronavirus cases this week in comparison to the previous week, according to data compiled by The Washington Post. New infections nationwide also surged.

Alabama, Oregon and South Carolina are among the states with the biggest increases. Alabama saw a 92 percent change in its seven-day average, while Oregon’s seven-day average was up 83.8 percent and South Carolina’s was up 60.3 percent. Hospitalizations have risen as well. For example, Arkansas has seen a 120.7 percent increase in hospitalizations, from 92 cases to 203, since Memorial Day.

Health officials warn that mass gatherings of any type could worsen the spread of the virus, as the 2020 election heats up and nationwide protests against racism and police brutality stretch into their third week.

Here are some significant developments:

Sign up for our coronavirus newsletter | Mapping the spread of the coronavirus: Across the U.S. | Worldwide | Which states are reopening | Has someone close to you died of covid-19? Share your story with The Washington Post.

June 13, 2020 at 10:06 PM EDT

Children around the world are out of school. Millions of girls might not go back.

She was 13 when the Ebola virus struck her country, shuttering schools across Sierra Leone. The closures lasted nine months, but Mari Kalokoh could not return to the classroom for years.

“I felt like nobody,” she recalled of her time on the street, begging for food. Now, a radio has replaced her teacher in the era of the novel coronavirus.

The previous epidemic in West Africa forced more girls than boys to halt their studies in the ensuing years, from 2014 to 2016, researchers say, dimming economic prospects for a generation of young women. Educators fear the coronavirus pandemic could trigger another wave of dropouts.

Read more here.

By Danielle Paquette
June 13, 2020 at 9:41 PM EDT

'Quite creative’: Fauci supports NBA’s plan to resume season in a bubble

While several NBA superstars have shared concerns about resuming the season in Orlando, the league has found an ally in top White House coronavirus task force member Anthony S. Fauci.

On Saturday, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, voiced support for the NBA’s plan to create a bubble environment, sequestering 22 teams at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Disney World.

“I actually have looked at that plan, and it is really quite creative,” Fauci told sports news network Stadium.

The league and its Board of Governors have approved a plan to stage the remainder of the season beginning July 30, then move into the playoffs. All the games will be held without fans. As teams advance through the postseason, players may have to remain on a single campus for more than two and a half months.

The plan, however, has not been universally accepted by the players. Coronavirus cases are rising in Florida, and several players have expressed opposition to restarting the season at a time when they say attention should be focused on social justice and police reform after the death of George Floyd.

Speaking to coronavirus concerns, Fauci, who was a high school point guard, praised the intent behind the season return as “not reckless at all.” Anyone who enters the bubble will be tested, officials say, and there will also be frequent coronavirus testing inside.

“What they are really trying to do, and I think they might be very well quite successful with it, is to create a situation where it is as safe as it possibly could be for the players by creating this bubble,” Fauci said. “It’s not the classic basketball season but certainly for the people who are thirsting for basketball, who love basketball the way I do, it’s something that I think is a sound plan.”

By Candace Buckner
June 13, 2020 at 9:20 PM EDT

Maryland fines two dozen nursing homes for covid-19 reporting failures

Maryland has fined at least two dozen nursing homes for failing to provide information on covid-19 cases and deaths to state health officials, violating an executive order issued by Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in April.

Compliance with reporting, which stood at about 50 percent before the fines began, had jumped to 98 percent by Saturday, said Fran Phillips, Maryland’s deputy secretary for public health.

An inspector who arrived April 28 determined that one Baltimore facility’s lack of compliance with infection control measures warranted a classification of “immediate jeopardy,” meaning that it “placed the health and safety of recipients in its care at risk for serious injury, serious harm, serious impairment or death,” according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Read more here.

By Rebecca Tan and Rachel Chason
June 13, 2020 at 8:47 PM EDT

Average daily new coronavirus infections rise in 21 states

Twenty-one states saw an increase in their seven-day average of daily new coronavirus cases this week in comparison with the previous week, as new infections nationwide also surged.

Alabama recorded the biggest increase, a 92 percent change in its seven-day average, with 645 new cases daily. Oregon’s seven-day average was up 83.8 percent, while South Carolina’s was up 60.3 percent.

A dozen states hit their record-high seven-day-average of new cases: Alabama, Oregon, South Carolina, Florida, Alaska, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nevada, Arkansas, California, North Carolina and Texas. Five states reached new single-day case highs Saturday: Alabama (888), Alaska (29), Florida (2,581), Oklahoma (225) and South Carolina (785).

Saturday is usually one of the days of the week with the most reports of new cases, but the latest nationwide daily tally still stands out as the highest on a Saturday since May. There were 26,222 new cases reported Saturday, up from 23,881 a week ago.

An increase of coronavirus cases in counties with fewer than 60,000 people is part of the trend of infections surging across the rural United States. Health experts worry those areas, already short of resources before the pandemic, will struggle to track new cases.

Hospitalizations have risen as well. In Arkansas there has been a 120.7 percent increase in hospitalizations, from 92 cases to 203, since Memorial Day. Arizona has reported a 69.5 percent increase, from 833 hospitalizations to 1,412, in the same time frame. And Texas recorded a 43.3 percent jump as of Saturday.

In New York, meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Saturday reported the hard-hit state’s lowest number of new coronavirus deaths since the pandemic’s start. “We have tamed the beast,” he declared at a news conference.

The 21 states that saw an increase in their seven-day average of daily new cases this week are Wyoming, Hawaii, Alabama, Oregon, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Nevada, Florida, Arizona, Arkansas, Montana, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Alaska, Texas, Vermont, Georgia, Washington and California.

By Samantha Pell and Jacqueline Dupree
June 13, 2020 at 8:25 PM EDT

Thousands protest around France as top court strikes ban on gatherings of more than 10

PARIS — At least 15,000 people demonstrated against police brutality in Paris on Saturday, with thousands protesting in other French cities, police told French media, as the country’s highest court struck down the coronavirus-driven public health rule that had outlawed protests.

The Conseil d’État on Saturday lifted a ban on gatherings larger than 10 people, after a lawsuit argued the restriction violated people’s basic rights to assemble and protest while many institutions in France, including schools and restaurants, reopen. The court said officials should intervene individually in problematic public gatherings — for example, those that might attract more than 5,000 attendees — rather than halt them near-universally.

Saturday’s protests marked the third major reaction in France since the killing of George Floyd. The Paris demonstration was called by the group “Justice for Adama,” founded by the family of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black French man who died in police custody in 2016. Traoré’s family has sought to raise awareness for the case through that of Floyd.

As in the London demonstrations, the Paris protest drew a small counterprotest, with members of the far-right group Generation Identity displaying a banner high above Place de la République, the major Paris square where the day’s gathering began.

The Paris Police Prefecture reported an instance of demonstrators chanting anti-Semitic slogans during the event, although no details were given as to the number or identity of those responsible, or about which group they were representing.

By James McAuley and Hannah Knowles
June 13, 2020 at 7:53 PM EDT

Tulsa and Oklahoma see rise in cases ahead of Trump’s campaign rally

A week before President Trump’s scheduled rally in Tulsa, the city is seeing a rise in new coronavirus cases, while Oklahoma is experiencing its largest average in daily new infections since early April.

On Saturday, Tulsa announced 82 additional confirmed cases, according to The Washington Post’s tracking of state data. Oklahoma recorded a seven-day average of 145 new cases, its highest since April 7.

Trump plans to host his first rally in months inside the BOK Center, a Tulsa entertainment and events venue that holds more than 19,000 people. On Wednesday, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) tweeted supportively of Trump’s planned visit, saying it “confirms Oklahoma is the national example in responsibly and safely reopening.”

Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, tweeted that 300,000 people have applied to attend the rally.

Local officials have voiced concerns about the president’s first campaign stop since early March. “It took a lot of us by surprise, and I really was hoping we would say ‘no,’ ” Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith told KTUL Tulsa. Health officials continue to say that mass gatherings of any kind are dangerous.

In an interview Friday with ABC News, Anthony S. Fauci, an infectious-disease expert on the White House coronavirus task force, described his “plea” to those in charge who want to open up the country and its economy.

“Don’t throw all caution to the wind,” Fauci said. “That doesn’t mean that you walk around without a mask, that you jump into a crowd and you stop washing your hands.”

By Candace Buckner and Jacqueline Dupree
June 13, 2020 at 6:45 PM EDT

Washington health department warns of increased transmission in eastern part of state

Washington state health officials warned Saturday that coronavirus transmission is increasing in the eastern part of the state, with some counties “in a comparable position” to King County when it emerged in March as an early hot spot for the virus.

Benton, Franklin, Spokane and Yakima counties are of greatest concern and could see “increasingly explosive growth” in cases and deaths if the current rate of transmission continues, the state’s Department of Health said in a new report. Efforts taken in King County to expand hospital capacity and testing, protect those at greatest risk and increase physical distancing may be required in those areas.

“The trends we’re seeing point to the critical importance of actions we can all take, like staying six feet apart and wearing cloth face coverings whenever we’re in public, as well as a need for increased response in these harder-hit areas,” state health official Kathy Lofy said in a news release.

The southern counties of Benton, Franklin and Yakima are in Phase 1 of the state’s reopening, with a number of sectors allowed limited openings; while the eastern county of Spokane is in Phase 2 which allows for more businesses to open, including restaurants at less than 50 percent capacity.

In the western part of the state, cases had been trending flat, but small increases are now being recorded. With transmission likely increasing in both eastern and western Washington, the report said, “additional interventions are needed to prevent exponential growth.”

The report, which includes updated data through June 10, includes possible increases in transmission over Memorial Day weekend but does not include increases that may stem from protests.

Washington has recorded more than 25,100 cases and more than 1,200 deaths, according to Washington Post tracking.

By Brittany Shammas
June 13, 2020 at 5:50 PM EDT

Spate of new research supports wearing masks to control coronavirus spread

Four months of discord about the coronavirus pandemic have transformed the cloth mask into a potent political symbol, touted by Democrats as a key part of communal responsibility, labeled by some GOP leaders as a sign of government overreach and as a scarlet letter pinned on the weak.

But as partisan interests sew symbolism and controversy into masks, scientists are trying to provide answers about how effectively those masks prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus, and what role they should play in efforts to limit its spread.

Several new studies published this month support wearing masks to curb the transmission of the virus. The broadest, a review funded by the World Health Organization and published in the journal Lancet, concluded that data from 172 observational studies indicate wearing face masks reduces the risk of coronavirus infection.

Read more here.

By Ben Guarino, Chelsea Janes and Ariana Eunjung Cha
June 13, 2020 at 5:28 PM EDT

Several St. Petersburg bars temporarily close, as Florida sees record highs in new cases

As Florida enters a third day of record-high new confirmed cases, three bars in downtown St. Petersburg say they have shut back down after staff tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Galley, Park & Rec DTSP and Avenue Eat + Drink all announced Friday night that they were temporarily closing out of “an abundance of caution” as they worked to test all employees for the virus and do deep cleaning. The Galley reported “a few” staff with the virus, while Park & Rec DTSP and Avenue Eat + Drink said they knew of one infected employee.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) allowed many bars to reopen with conditions starting May 4, and the Tampa Bay Times reported a bustling Memorial Day scene in downtown St. Petersburg. This month, DeSantis permitted the half-capacity reopening of all bars along with entertainment venues such as movie theaters in all but three counties: Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.

The Florida Department of Health has been reporting successive new highs in daily coronavirus cases: Officials on Saturday announced a record 2,581 additional confirmed cases, a jump of several hundred from Friday’s peak. A fired data scientist’s allegations that she was pressured to alter Florida’s coronavirus statistics have brought particular scrutiny on the state’s decision to move ahead with reopening last month before meeting federal benchmarks.

The Miami Herald found that recent jumps cases could not be dismissed as the product of increased testing.

Officials nationwide have expressed concern about the impacts of reopening, Memorial Day gatherings and huge protests spurred by the killing of George Floyd.

Multiple states have experienced recent highs in their cases, developments that have prompted some leaders to warn restrictions could return. Nashville’s mayor and Oregon’s governor have paused reopening plans. The mayor of Houston said Friday that the country’s fourth-largest city is “starting to move in the wrong direction.”

By Hannah Knowles
June 13, 2020 at 4:58 PM EDT

British company and European governments sign contract for delivery of vaccine still under development

A British drugmaker and European governments signed a contract Saturday ensuring delivery of a vaccine which, while still under development, scientists hope by the end of 2020 will be ready to repel the novel coronavirus.

AstraZeneca will provide up to 400 million doses of the vaccine, which the University of Oxford is developing, by the year’s end, Reuters reported. The deal is between the British company and Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance, which France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands formed to ensure vaccines for European states through a joint effort.

“This will ensure that hundreds of millions of people in Europe will have access to this vaccine, of course if it works and we will know that by the end of summer,” said AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot, according to Reuters. “[We] will work together with the European Commission and other countries in Europe to ensure everybody across Europe is supplied with the vaccine,” he added.

The company said it is additionally looking to expand production of the potential vaccine, which it will produce at no profit during the duration of the pandemic.

The race to develop a vaccine against the virus causing covid-19 has taken on political dimensions, as countries and regions have sought to be the first to acquire and control a coveted antidote to the global threat.

By Miriam Berger
June 13, 2020 at 4:44 PM EDT

A frantic search for scarce hospital beds as pandemic rages in India

NEW DELHI — Shaukat Ali Shaikh worked as a physician in India’s financial capital, Mumbai, tending to a stream of patients inside a small clinic at a busy train station. But when the pandemic came for him, he couldn’t get admitted to a hospital.

The first hospital he went to told Shaikh, feverish and laboring to breathe, that it couldn’t admit him because he did not have a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus. The next hospital was full. A close friend called five more, searching for a bed in an intensive care unit. All full.

By the time Shaikh was admitted at a hospital through a personal connection late on the night of June 5, his condition had deteriorated, his nephew said. The 44-year-old father of three died less than 48 hours later. His coronavirus test result came back around the same time: positive.

By Joanna Slater and Niha Masih
June 13, 2020 at 4:15 PM EDT

Houston sees increase in hospitalizations, more officers testing positive for the virus

As Texas marched forward in reopening its economy, with restaurants allowed to operate at 75 percent capacity and most other businesses at 50 percent capacity, leaders in Houston warned that the coronavirus remains a significant threat.

Hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions have risen over the past two weeks in Harris County, which encompasses Houston and is the nation’s third largest county. The city’s police force also reported an increase in officers testing positive for the virus — a development police chief Art Acevedo attributed in part to widespread protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, according to the Houston Chronicle. Floyd’s funeral was held in Houston.

“We’re starting to move in the wrong direction,” Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) told CNN’s Don Lemon on Friday night. “What worked for us successfully in March and April are the same things that need to work for us as we move forward.”

He stressed that hospitals still have ample capacity, but argued that the city “could face some danger” if people ease up on wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Turner also cautioned against acting “as though the virus is yesterday’s news.”

Meanwhile, the Chronicle reported, at least 23 Houston police officers have tested positive for the virus since June 6, accounting for about a third of coronavirus cases the agency has recorded since beginning tracking in late March. Acevedo told the newspaper there was a “high probability” that many officers became infected while working at protests on May 29 or 30 or a June 2 march.

Houston Health Department Director David Persse agreed that the virus may have spread among protesters, noting to the Chronicle that they involved “a large number of people in a small space” who were “yelling and talking a lot.”

But he added that it may not be possible to determine whether officers became sick on the job or as part of increases seen since the state began reopening.

By Brittany Shammas
June 13, 2020 at 3:41 PM EDT

‘Don’t make me come down there’: Cuomo warns New York City revelers flouting social distancing

On the first Friday night after the state’s lockdown was lifted, New Yorkers ignored social distancing and partied in the streets — drawing a next-day rebuke from Gov Andrew M. Cuomo (D).

“Don’t make me come down there,” he tweeted Saturday, sharing a video by EV Grieve, an East Village neighborhood blog, of a festival-like scene with live music and crowds on a Manhattan street.

In the video, which garnered more than 2 million views on Twitter, a throng of New Yorkers, most without masks, gathered along the sidewalk and street of St. Mark’s Place, three blocks lined with bars, restaurants and retailers. A band playing in the video attracts an audience that disregards social distancing.

After more than three months in lockdown, New York City entered the first phase of reopening Tuesday, allowing retailers to offer curbside pickup, in-store pickup or drop-off options. Construction, manufacturing and supply chain businesses could also reopen.

New York reported Friday its lowest number of deaths — 32 — since the pandemic began, Cuomo announced at a Saturday news briefing. Hospitalizations from the coronavirus had also dropped to 1,734 on Friday, the lowest since March 20. The state has reported 382,630 cases and 24,527 deaths from the virus. Although the numbers are assuring, Cuomo warned they could rise if New Yorkers aren’t cautious.

“You have to stay smart,” he said, addressing the state’s residents. “Keep doing what we’re doing. Don’t let up. Don’t think, ‘Well, now we’re reopening. Everything is fine. The weather’s better. Everything is fine. I hear New York is doing well.’ It is, but only because of what you are doing.”

By Meryl Kornfield
June 13, 2020 at 3:08 PM EDT

Under pressure, state and local health officials are leaving or being pushed out at alarming rates, report says

State and local health officials across the United States are leaving or being pushed out of their jobs due to increased stress and scrutiny around their work, according to a report Saturday by Kaiser Health News and the Associated Press.

The investigation found that since April at least 27 health leaders across 13 states have resigned, retired or been fired.

“From North Carolina to California, they have left their posts because of a mix of backlash and stressful, nonstop work, all while dealing with chronic staffing and funding shortages,” Kaiser Health News and the AP reported.

Some have needed to hire armed security due to threats from the public. Many have reported increased pressure from politicians and interest groups to cater policies toward political calculations.

Before the pandemic, many of these officials largely worked behind the scenes. Now they’ve become the public faces of a national crisis, eliciting criticism from both constituents and politicians in an increasingly politicized and high-stakes environment.

“It’s just appalling that in this country that spends as much as we do on health care that we’re facing these really difficult ethical dilemmas: Do I stay in my job and risk threats, or do I leave because it’s not worth it?” Theresa Anselmo, the executive director of the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials, told the AP and Kaiser Health.

In a poll of local Colorado health directors last month, Anselmo said around 80 percent reported that they or their personal property had been threatened since the start of the pandemic. The same percent reported being subject to forms of political pressure, such as threats of future cuts to their departments.

“It’s disheartening to see people who disagree with the order go from attacking the order to attacking the officer to questioning their motivation, expertise and patriotism,” said Kat DeBurgh, the executive director of the Health Officers Association of California. “That’s not something that should ever happen.”

By Miriam Berger