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Massachusetts on Tuesday reported zero coronavirus-related deaths and only 114 new cases, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. There were 733 current hospitalizations in the Massachusetts as of Tuesday afternoon, down from around 4,000 at the state’s coronavirus peak in late April.

The U.S. added 44,474 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, its second-highest day since the pandemic began. While six states reached new single-day highs in cases — Texas, Arizona, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Idaho and Alaska — 45 states reported seven-day averages of new cases that were greater than one week ago.

At least 124,000 people have died of covid-19 in the United States. Nearly 10.3 million cases have been detected worldwide, with roughly 2.6 million infections reported in the U.S.

Here are some significant developments:

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June 30, 2020 at 11:35 PM EDT

At the county level, the pandemic’s resurgence is even more concerning

Over the past two weeks, the average number of new coronavirus cases recorded in the United States each day has nearly doubled, rising from a seven-day average of 21,562 on June 15 to an average of 39,753 new cases per day by June 29.

President Trump retweeted a tweet Tuesday suggesting that the rate of positive coronavirus tests was actually decreasing — a claim that’s not true. His administration has repeatedly pointed to the relatively small geographic representation of emerging coronavirus hotspots, identifying no more than 4 percent of U.S. counties as places experiencing new outbreaks.

On Monday, the Associated Press made an important point about that claim: the 4 percent of counties identified by the administration adds up to more than a fifth of the country’s population.

Read more here.

By Philip Bump
June 30, 2020 at 11:19 PM EDT

Fed’s Powell warns lawmakers not to become complacent in dealing with coronavirus

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell said Tuesday that the path ahead for the U.S. economy remains “extraordinarily uncertain” and that the recovery will largely depend on containing the coronavirus pandemic and reassuring Americans that it is safe to resume their former lives.

Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, Powell said the economy may be showing signs of progress as hiring resumes and consumer spending rebounded last month. However, he said that “while this bounce-back in economic activity is welcome, it also presents new challenges — notably, the need to keep the virus in check.”

Powell’s cautious assessment of the U.S. economy comes as senior Trump administration officials enthusiastically tout the rebound. At the same hearing, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pointed to an 18 percent increase in retail sales and cited U.S. Chamber of Commerce data showing close to 80 percent of small businesses are “at least partially” open. On Monday, senior White House economist Larry Kudlow said that the “overwhelming” evidence pointed to a V-shaped recovery.

Read more here.

By Rachel Siegel and Jeff Stein
June 30, 2020 at 10:44 PM EDT

The new corporate swag: Branded masks, sanitizer spray bottles and Zoom vanity light rings

Nasdaq ordered 1,800 masks with its logo and the phrase “NasdaqStrong” for when employees return to the office. A team at the software firm Atlassian ordered gift packages for workers that included a mask with a product logo alongside a chocolate bar, a pen and other goodies. The insurance tech start-up Lemonade ordered masks branded with its new ticker symbol for executives to wear when they ring the bell for their IPO, according to a supplier.

As some businesses reopen and others try to stay in touch with employees working from home, companies are opting for coronavirus-related corporate swag — branded sanitizer bottles, “clean key” tools for pressing elevator buttons and, above all, masks — joining the tote bags, travel mugs and USB flash drives that have long defined company giveaways.

“It feels like 70 percent of our orders has a mask in it,” said Michael Martocci, founder and chief executive of SwagUp, despite not prominently promoting masks on his site. “Everybody wants it.” (Lemonade, citing “quiet period” rules preceding an IPO, declined to comment.)

Read more here.

By Jena McGregor
June 30, 2020 at 10:19 PM EDT

Protests probably didn’t lead to coronavirus spikes, but it’s hard to know for sure

When the killing of George Floyd drew tens of thousands of protesters into the streets of America’s largest cities, many of those streets had been empty for weeks.

Restrictions had left family members unable to attend the funerals of relatives for fear of spreading the novel coronavirus. Shutdowns sent businesses into bankruptcy.

But after Floyd’s death, the streets filled with people shouting and yelling in proximity — sparking concerns among public health experts and local officials who had been urging people during the pandemic to stay at home or to engage in social distancing.

Now, some public health officials and disease trackers say there appears to be scant evidence the protests sparked widespread outbreaks. Others say that because many states reopened about the same time as the protests, and because of the limits of contact tracing, they simply can’t say for sure.

Read more here.

By Chelsea Janes
June 30, 2020 at 9:53 PM EDT

Massachusetts reports zero coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday

While cases and hospitalizations are climbing in states such as Arizona, Texas and Florida, reports of new infections in the Northeast have been low on a per capita basis since mid-June. And on Tuesday, Massachusetts reported zero coronavirus-related deaths, or probable deaths, and 114 new cases, according to data tracked by The Washington Post.

The rate of positive test results is also low in the state, decreasing from 1.9 percent on Sunday to 1.8 percent on Monday. There were 733 current hospitalizations in the state as of Tuesday afternoon, down from about 4,000 at the state’s coronavirus peak in late April.

Gov. Charlie Baker (R) on Tuesday continued to urge people to take precautions and prevent the spread by wearing face masks, washing their hands frequently and social distancing.

“We do not want to take one step forward and two steps back as we keep climbing out of this horrific pandemic,” Baker said at a news conference.

By Angela Fritz
June 30, 2020 at 9:49 PM EDT

Hospitalizations, cases rise as states continue to report record highs

As the United States experienced its second-highest day for new cases since the start of the pandemic, the coronavirus continued its spread to even remote locations.

On Tuesday, there were 44,474 new reported cases across the nation, trailing only June 27, which saw 44,792 cases. Overall, the United States has reached a high count in its seven-day average of new cases for 22 days in a row.

While six states reached new highs in single-day cases, a whopping 45 states reported seven-day averages of new cases that were greater than the numbers from a week ago, according to data collected by The Washington Post.

Of those states, Alaska saw one of its peak days in the pandemic. Since May, Alaska has had few hospitalizations related to covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, mostly hovering in the teens and only eclipsing 20 a few times. However, as June came to a close, the state’s hospitalizations have precipitously spiked. On Tuesday, Alaska set a statewide record with 35 current hospitalizations, an increase of a dozen since Monday.

Still, the epidemic has hit mainland states to higher degrees. With 6,533 current inpatient hospitalizations due to the virus, Texas stands as the only state to report a current average at least 40 percent higher than its average from seven days ago. Over the past 24 hours, Colorado (271) has seen a 16 percent rise in hospitalizations, while those in Virginia (902) and Iowa (133) have increased by 13 and 12 percent, respectively.

Dane County, Wis., with 1,873 current cases, is the only Midwestern jurisdiction among the top 10 counties with the largest percentage increase in case averages since a week ago. Counties in Florida and Texas dominate the list of counties with spiking cases.

By Candace Buckner and Jacqueline Dupree
June 30, 2020 at 9:46 PM EDT

Minor League Baseball cancels 2020 season

With no players to fill rosters, no major television contracts to generate revenue and no way to put fans in seats, Minor League Baseball bowed to the inevitable Tuesday and canceled its 2020 season, which had already been delayed by nearly three months by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The cancellation, first reported by Baseball America on Tuesday, came following a meeting of Minor League Baseball’s board of trustees. The organization released a statement confirming the decision Tuesday evening.

Read more here.

By Dave Sheinin
June 30, 2020 at 9:25 PM EDT

New data reveal how many poor Americans were deprived of $500 stimulus pay

The Cares Act provides economic impact payments up to $1,200 for individuals and up to $2,400 for taxpayers filing a joint tax return. The law also includes an extra $500 for each child under 17.

But the distribution has been plagued by glitches — including missing or incorrect payments for dependent children. And these $500 payments were supposed to go to some of the most economically fragile Americans.

A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the IRS made $1.4 billion in stimulus payments to dead people. The report also revealed that from April 10 to May 17, some stimulus payment calculations did not include additional money for qualifying children, even though the recipients had correctly submitted information about their dependents to the IRS. The incomplete payments went to people who aren’t required to file a federal tax return because of their low income.

As a result, IRS officials said hundreds of thousands of low-income people did not receive the money they were due for dependent children.

Read more here.

By Michelle Singletary
June 30, 2020 at 9:08 PM EDT

‘We just need some more optimism’: Rand Paul’s crusade against Anthony Fauci takes a curious turn

A month and a half ago, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) clashed with infectious-disease agency head Anthony S. Fauci over his expertise on the coronavirus. Paul urged the White House coronavirus task force member to stop pretending to be the “end-all” and to try out a little “humility” when it came to his warnings about the disease.

Today, despite coronavirus cases resurging across the United States after people and states declined to heed Fauci’s and health officials’ advice, Paul had a new plea for Fauci: How about a little optimism?

In perhaps the most animated exchange of Tuesday’s Senate hearing, Paul unleashed an extensive diatribe against keeping kids out of school and day care. Toward the end of it, he told Fauci, “We need to not be so presumptuous that we know everything.” He criticized Fauci for his comments about the potential for not playing Major League Baseball in October, at which point Fauci warned that flu season could collide with a continued coronavirus outbreak.

Read more here.

By Aaron Blake
June 30, 2020 at 8:30 PM EDT

Republican leaders now say everyone should wear a mask — even as Trump refuses

The last Republican vice president, Richard B. Cheney, and his Wyoming congresswoman daughter, Liz, say wearing masks is manly.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says there should be no stigma associated with covering one’s face as public health experts advise, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says doing so is essential to fully reopening the economy.

The GOP-led city of Jacksonville — which President Trump recently selected to host many of the Republican National Convention festivities in part because of its relatively lax public health restrictions — is now mandating people wear masks in indoor public spaces. And even Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy, two of Trump’s most fervent and loyal boosters on Fox News Channel, have joined the chorus of mask advocates.

The president has refused to trumpet his own administration’s recommendation that people cover their faces, nor has he set an example by wearing a mask at public events. In fact, he has used his bully pulpit to mock others who do and to cast doubt on the efficacy of masks.

Read more here.

By Philip Rucker and Seung Min Kim
June 30, 2020 at 8:06 PM EDT

Arizona health and fitness clubs pledge to stay open despite governor’s orders to close

Gyms and fitness centers across Arizona are defying Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s shutdown guidelines and pledging to stay open as the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to rise.

After Arizona set records for current hospitalizations, Ducey ordered all bars, gyms, entertainment theaters and water parks to close for at least the next 30 days. However, on Tuesday, Life Time Athletic, which bills itself as an upscale fitness club, informed members of its decision to reopen its fitness floors for programs and classes on July 1. Members will be able to access the spa, pools, saunas, steam rooms and locker rooms, to name a few of the club’s amenities.

“We believe providing access to these services — with proper social distance, on regularly-cleaned equipment, and in masks as appropriate — is vital to allow individuals to maintain their overall health,” chief executive Jeff Zwiefel wrote in a letter obtained by The Washington Post.

While Life Time plans to open its doors Wednesday, another Arizona gym has taken it a step further. In response to Ducey’s order, Mountainside Fitness chief executive Tom Hatten held a news conference at one of his fully operational sites — as several members walked on treadmills in the background — to announce his intention to sue the governor.

Overall, nine Arizona-based health clubs have remained open. That decision has not pleased all members.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) tweeted Life Time to announce that she will cancel her membership at the Biltmore location.

“Absolutely irresponsible. We are in a health crisis, folks. Don’t go to the sauna,” Sinema wrote on Twitter.

By Candace Buckner and Jacqueline Dupree
June 30, 2020 at 7:45 PM EDT

Caregivers on the front lines in nursing homes risk health, safety during pandemic

In the parking lot of an assisted-living center in southern Illinois, Shalla McBride sat in a Buick stocked with hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes and prayed for her mother to watch over her.

In mid-May, two weeks after her mother died and with an asthmatic toddler at home, McBride pushed open her car door. She had spent 18 months as a resident assistant in the assisted-living center, working, much like her mother, to care for the residents who needed her. McBride said she decided it was no time to quit, despite the risks.

More than four months into the pandemic, nursing home caregivers say they have been largely left to fend for themselves even as coronavirus outbreaks continue to overwhelm facilities across the country.

Read more here.

By Shawn Mulcahy, Areeba Shah and Joel Jacobs
June 30, 2020 at 7:37 PM EDT

Physicians call on Pence, FEMA to address PPE shortage amid reopening

The American Medical Association on Tuesday called on Vice President Pence and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to immediately address “ongoing shortage and access issues related to personal protective equipment (PPE) in ambulatory settings,” namely physician practices.

In its letter to the vice president, the AMA urged Pence to invoke the Defense Production Act to ensure sufficient PPE for physicians as their practices reopen across the country. As physicians get back to work and return to offering non-emergency medical services and procedures, they have told the AMA they face “ongoing shortages of PPE, especially N95 masks and gowns,” which largely have been redirected to coronavirus hot spots.

Physicians in ambulatory environments previously didn’t need the PPE that they require today, the AMA said. And typically, smaller practices get boxed out by larger institutions that have greater demand for the equipment.

“As a result, even when physicians find a vendor with available supply, they end up losing to larger institutions with more bargaining power and placing more substantial orders,” the AMA wrote. “PPE is needed for all types of health care sites, including ambulatory settings. We need to ensure the safety of patients, physicians and their staff.”

In its letter to FEMA, the AMA said it has not been able to find a resolution to address these issues despite growing concerns from physicians about available supplies. It said the administration had not provided data that clarifies whether the PPE shortage comes from the availability of raw material, production backlogs, gaps in distribution systems or a combination.

“It seems like there are no federal or state agencies monitoring or working to resolve this problem,” the AMA wrote to FEMA. “We urge FEMA to work with us to provide additional assistance to these non-hospital physicians in securing PPE, disinfectants and sanitizers.”

By Michael Brice-Saddler
June 30, 2020 at 7:05 PM EDT

Bars in Virginia, Delaware cannot reopen as planned; Colorado bars shut down again

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced Wednesday that bar seating inside restaurants and taverns will not be included in the state’s next phase of reopening, which begins Wednesday. Northam’s decision comes after Delaware’s governor said bars in his state’s beach communities would be shut down again amid a spike in coronavirus infections.

Northam’s office said people will not be allowed to congregate in bar areas in restaurants unless they are eating at high-top tables that are at least six feet apart. Officials have cited bars as sources of coronavirus outbreaks in other states.

Virginia is moving into a third, more expansive phase of reopening Wednesday amid concerns over a resurgence of coronavirus infections and deaths that includes an outbreak among younger Loudoun County residents back from a recent “beach week” gathering in South Carolina.

In Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis (D) closed bars and nightclubs again as cases in the state spike, the Denver Post reported. Bars that serve food may stay open and function as restaurants, the governor said, as long as they keep groups of patrons at least six feet apart.

“Whether you personally go to bars or not, just understand that they are important for many people in our state … but there is not a way that we have found for them to be a reasonably safe part of people’s lives during the month of July in our state,” Polis said.

Bars will have 48 hours to close, the Denver Post reported. They can still sell alcohol on a delivery or to-go basis.

By Antonio Olivo, Patricia Sullivan, Rebecca Tan and Angela Fritz
June 30, 2020 at 6:57 PM EDT

Pence takes slightly stronger stance on mask wearing, says new cases not caused by Americans’ actions

Vice President Pence urged Americans to “wear a mask” — a more direct endorsement of the practice from what he has said previously — but reiterated that the federal government would defer to states, and he said he did not blame too-early reopenings for the uptick in cases.

Taking questions from reporters at the end of an event honoring the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Pence was asked what his message was to Americans ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, even as President Trump continues to hold events where participants are not asked to wear masks.

“The president has worn a mask in public, as have I,” Pence said. “We believe Americans should wear a mask whenever your state and local authorities indicate it’s appropriate or whenever social distancing is not possible, and we’ll continue to convey that message.”

Even as infections climb across the country, Pence said that the nation is “in a much better place,” calling the federal government’s response an “extraordinary success.” And he said he “couldn’t be more proud of what the American people have done … beginning with the president of the United States.”

Asked about the dire prediction from leading infectious-disease doctor Anthony S. Fauci that the country could see up to 100,000 new cases a day, Pence said, “We’re more prepared than ever before.”

“We literally saw cases drop precipitously because of what the American people had done,” Pence said.

He challenged the “discussion” that rising case numbers in states such as Texas and Florida were the result of those places reopening too early. “Through the entire month of May and beginning of early June, their cases were low and steady … but something changed about two weeks ago, and because of the extraordinary capacity for testing. … We are responding,” he said.

Pence, who was wearing a mask when he stepped to the lectern for his prepared remarks, left it behind as he walked away.

Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, who spoke after the vice president, reminded him not to forget his mask.

By Colby Itkowitz
June 30, 2020 at 6:04 PM EDT

Texas sets new daily records

Still surging as one of the nation’s top hot spots, Texas hit statewide records for new single-day cases as well as current hospitalizations related to covid-19.

On Tuesday, Texas added 6,975 cases of the novel coronavirus, sprinting past a previous record of 5,996 set June 25. Also, state hospitals now have 6,533 patients, a total that is 620 more than the former high set Monday, according to data collected by The Washington Post.

Overall, the Lone Star State’s average of covid-19 patients over the past seven days (5,128) has increased 54 percent from the average from a week ago, and the average number of inpatient hospitalizations has risen 61.5 percent from June 23.

Demonstrators from Texas Bars Fight Back rallied in front of the state capitol as well as the governor’s mansion. One protester held a sign that read “Bar Lives Matter,” riffing off the Black Lives Matter slogan used for racial justice. According to Fox 7 in Austin, several bar owners pledged to reopen Wednesday.

By Candace Buckner and Jacqueline Dupree
June 30, 2020 at 5:27 PM EDT

‘We’re not the problem’: Texas bar owners sue over governor’s shutdown order

The first time Texas officials ordered Tee Allen Parker to close up her brand-new bar during the coronavirus pandemic, she begrudgingly waited it out.

Parker scrounged up money to pay her employees, manufactured her own hand sanitizer and started selling masks, she said, even though she doesn’t wear them herself — and has since banned the face coverings from her very own watering hole in the East Texas town of Kilgore.

But when coronavirus infections began soaring again throughout the state and Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered drinking establishments statewide to shut down again Friday, the 45-year-old owner of the Machine Shed Bar & Grill decided to put up a fight.

“You can’t tell me that my tiny little bar is the problem. He’s the problem,” she said of Abbott in an interview with The Washington Post. “He’s targeting us, and it’s discrimination.”

Read more here.

By Teo Armus
June 30, 2020 at 4:35 PM EDT

‘Most tested man in America’: White House press secretary defends Trump on masks

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended President Trump’s continued refusal to wear a mask, calling him “the most tested man in America.”

McEnany was responding to a question at an afternoon news briefing about Republican lawmakers who have said it would be helpful if the president wore a mask to set an example for Americans.

“The president has said he has no problem with masks, that he encourages people to make whatever decision is best for their safety and to follow what their local jurisdictions say,” McEnany said. “CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines are still recommended but not required. And the president is the most tested man in America. It’s his decision whether to wear a mask.”

Her argument that the president wants people to do what is best for their own safety is at odds with recommendations from public health experts that people should wear masks as a way to protect others.

By Colby Itkowitz
June 30, 2020 at 4:07 PM EDT

New York imposes quarantine rules for travelers from eight additional states

On Tuesday, New York added eight more states with high coronavirus infection rates to its travelers quarantine order.

Travelers arriving from California, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee must self-quarantine for 14 days, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) announced on Twitter. The group joins visitors from Alabama, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Texas and Utah who must isolate away from the public for two weeks upon their arrival to the state.

Last week, Cuomo and the governors of Connecticut and New Jersey enacted a measure for travelers coming in from states with an infection rate of more than 10 per 100,000 people over a seven-day rolling average or a 10 percent or higher positive rate among those tested over a seven-day rolling average. Any traveler to New York who violates the order could be subject to fines.

On the day of Cuomo’s latest announcement, Mississippi set a record with 779 hospitalizations in the state due to covid-19 complications, according to data collected by The Washington Post.

By Candace Buckner
June 30, 2020 at 3:44 PM EDT

Airbus is cutting 15,000 jobs to cope with plunge in air travel

Europe’s largest passenger plane manufacturer announced Tuesday it will eliminate 15,000 jobs as the spread of the coronavirus batters the travel industry.

Airbus expects to shrink its commercial aircraft business across the global workforce, eliminating more than 5,000 positions each in France and Germany, the company said in a statement published on its website.

Airbus has reduced the production of commercial aircraft by 40 percent, as the coronavirus has ravaged economies around the world. As the illness spread, governments imposed tight restrictions on air travel, and many international passengers are now forced to self-quarantine when they arrive at their destination, likely discouraging commercial travel. But even as public officials have moved to reopen their borders, Airbus and other industry leaders don’t expect air traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels until as late as 2025.

“Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced,” chief executive Guillaume Faury said. “The measures we have taken so far have enabled us to absorb the initial shock of this global pandemic. Now, we must ensure that we can sustain our enterprise and emerge from the crisis as a healthy, global aerospace leader, adjusting to the overwhelming challenges of our customers.”

The company said it expects the layoffs to begin in the fall, and to end no later than the summer of 2021.

By Hamza Shaban
June 30, 2020 at 3:39 PM EDT

Florida, Oklahoma among states to report record average case numbers

Alabama, Florida, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina and Oklahoma on Tuesday reported seven-day new coronavirus case rolling average highs, continuing a 21-day streak nationally of new highs, according to a data analysis by The Washington Post.

In the South, Florida, which has held the longest spell for record new case rolling averages at 23 days, reported 6,990 cases Tuesday, up from 6,589 on Sunday. Its average, considered a more reliable indicator of an outbreak than daily cases, is 109 percent higher than last week’s. Florida is one of several states that have shut down bars to slow the spread of the virus as it has started to increasingly infect younger people.

New cases also surged in Oklahoma, which reported a record high of 585 infections, up from 228 the day before. The state has counted 13,757 confirmed infections, and nearly 400 people have died from the virus.

In the West, Arizona announced 4,682 new cases of the virus Tuesday. Although the tally was by far Arizona’s most in a single day, it included cases from Monday that were not previously counted due to a delay in reporting by one of the state’s lab partners, according to the Arizona Department of Health. The state also reported a record for current covid-19 hospitalizations, at 2,793.

More than 6,300 coronavirus cases were reported in California on Tuesday, where the infection numbers have continued to steadily rise despite new restrictions. Bars were also ordered to close in California, where people between the ages of 18 and 49 represent a majority of the cases. The state has seen 222,917 cases since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 6,000 covid-19-related deaths have been reported in the state.

By Meryl Kornfield and Jacqueline Dupree
June 30, 2020 at 3:26 PM EDT

Black mayor of Kansas City called racial slur over mask order

Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Quinton Lucas says he was called a racial slur and taunted with a death threat after he issued a citywide mask order last Friday.

Lucas (D) posted screenshots from a person who claimed the mayor had treated white cops with disrespect and threatened to post their conversation online so people could see Lewis didn’t respond to white people.

“You are such a piece of s--- n----r,” the screenshot read. “You walked with RIOTERS not wearing a mask idiot. You should swing from a tree, I’m not threatening it, but would love to see it.”

The Democratic mayor had also been the target of an altered image that showed him holding up a T-shirt that read “F--- the police” with the profanity crossed out as he stood next to a young black man with a T-shirt that read “Black Lives Matter.”

The real picture actually showed Lucas holding up a T-shirt with the name of a radio station, and the young man’s T-shirt read “Buzz Family."

Lucas said he had received numerous texts from people appalled by the distorted image and encouraged the public to use “some judgment” when looking at images floating on social media.

“Odd to have to disprove something so patently ridiculous and nonsensical (who takes a smiling F the police photo at a rock station?), but alas, that’s 2020,” he said.

The racial slur and death threat after the false image controversy prompted Lucas to say, “Y’all … let’s do better.”

By Lateshia Beachum
June 30, 2020 at 3:14 PM EDT

Paycheck Protection Program nears end with $130 billion left unused, and lawmakers eye next steps

The stimulus program that has both infuriated and sustained U.S. small-business owners since its launch in April is now set to close with more than $130 billion left unused, prompting lawmakers to consider how to repurpose the money for the still-ailing economy.

With the deadline to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program coming just before midnight Tuesday, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) are leading a group considering how best to use the remaining funds to help small businesses as they begin to reopen.

Rubio is working on legislation that would create new programs to expand uses for the funds, such as allowing chambers of commerce to apply as well as directing more money to certain businesses that prove they were affected by the pandemic.

According to a draft copy of the bill that was obtained by The Washington Post, the legislation would also set aside $25 billion for businesses with fewer than 10 employees and formally prevent hotel or restaurant chains from receiving more than $2 million total. He would need to reach an agreement with House Democrats before any deal could be signed into law, however, and they have been calling for a range of other economic responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more here.

By Jonathan O'Connell, Erica Werner and Aaron Gregg
June 30, 2020 at 2:39 PM EDT

First coronavirus case identified at largest migrant camp on U.S.-Mexico border

MEXICO CITY — The first coronavirus case has been identified in the largest migrant encampment along the U.S.-Mexico border, setting off concerns that the novel virus could spread through one of North America’s most vulnerable populations.

An asylum seeker in the makeshift encampment, where roughly 2,000 migrants are waiting for their U.S. court dates, tested positive Monday, after showing symptoms late last week. Several other migrants are also showing symptoms and are in isolation.

“The presence of COVID-19 in an already vulnerable population exposed to the elements could potentially be catastrophic,” said a statement from Global Response Management, a nonprofit that is providing medical services in the camp.

The camp formed last year as the United States began sending asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their court dates. The Mexican government did little to support that population, and soon a large agglomeration of camping tents were set up just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Tex., with limited access to food, water or sanitation.

As with many refugee camps around the world, public health experts immediately worried about the potential impact of coronavirus in the camp. Social distancing is nearly impossible. Migrants are crammed into a small area on the side of a main road leading to the international bridge.

“The tragic confirmation of the first positive covid-19 case at the Matamoros encampment should come as no surprise. For months, public health experts have sounded the alarm that people in these under-resourced migrant encampments and shelters along the U.S.-Mexico border — people stuck there for months because of Trump immigration policies — face disproportionate risks from covid-19,” said Michele Heisler, medical director at Physicians for Human Rights.

The migrants in the encampment are awaiting court hearings that have been delayed by coronavirus and the Trump administration’s essential shutdown of the U.S. asylum system. It remains unclear how much longer they will have to wait at the border before their cases are reopened.

By Kevin Sieff
June 30, 2020 at 2:04 PM EDT

Joe Biden says ‘Donald Trump failed us’ in coronavirus response

Former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said President Trump failed Americans in his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It didn’t have to be this way,” he said. “Donald Trump failed us. Month after month many urged him to do his job. He failed us.”

Biden recounted his early attempts to ring the alarm about action against the virus as Trump seemed to assuage concerns about the threat of infection in the country and delayed gaining more information about it from the Chinese government.

Biden took swipes at Trump’s news conference flubs about bleach and criticized the president’s attempt to get rid of the Affordable Care Act.

“He called himself a wartime president. Now its almost July and seems like our wartime president has surrendered,” Biden said.

Biden released a set of steps he thinks the president should adopt, which include beefed-up testing and contacting tracing, implementing the Defense Production Act and organizing a global, coordinated approach for treatment and vaccines. He also called for uniform guidelines for states to follow and measures to protect populations most at risk.

“Mr. President, the crisis is real and it’s surging,” he said. “Mr. President, your promises and predictions and wishful thinking pulled out of thin air are not doing the country any good.”

Biden said his covid-19 response will begin before his first day in office if he’s elected president. One of his first actions will be to ask Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, to serve under his presidency, he added.

By Lateshia Beachum
June 30, 2020 at 1:39 PM EDT

Home prices rose in April, new housing data shows

Despite a drop in home sales at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the price of homes increased slightly in April, according to new data released Tuesday.

Home prices increased by 4.7 percent compared with last year, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home-price index, registering a slight increase from March’s rise of 4.6 percent. The index also showed annual growth of 3.4 percent for existing-home prices based on a composite of 10 cities and 4 percent based on a composite of 10 cities.

“April’s housing price data continue to be remarkably stable,” Craig J. Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a news release. The modest rise of home prices, he said, continues a trend that began last fall.

The latest pricing indicator arrives alongside other positive housing data showing a rebound from the financial damage in March, when the coronavirus first battered the U.S. economy.

Pending home sales leaped by a record 44 percent from April to May, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors, following two months of declines coinciding with national shutdown measures. And the Commerce Department reported last week that new-home sales rose by 16.6 percent in May as many Americans took advantage of record-low interest rates.

By Hamza Shaban
June 30, 2020 at 12:57 PM EDT

Fauci says U.S. may reach 100,000 coronavirus cases per day ‘if this does not turn around’

Anthony S. Fauci issued a dire warning at a Senate hearing Tuesday about the rate of the coronavirus pandemic’s spread amid a spike in new cases, noting that new cases may reach 100,000 per day if the United States continues on its current trajectory.

The nation’s top infectious-disease expert gave the warning in response to questioning from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on what the overall U.S. death toll is likely to be.

“I can't make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing,” Fauci replied. “I will guarantee you that, because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country, even though in other parts of the country they're doing well, they are vulnerable.”

He added: “We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around. And so I am very concerned.”

Pressed by Warren on the likely total death toll, Fauci again declined to say.

“I would really be hesitant to give a number that will come back and either be contradicted and overblown or underblown,” Fauci said. “But I think it’s important to tell you and the American public that I’m very concerned because it could get very bad.”

Read more here.

By Felicia Sonmez
June 30, 2020 at 12:41 PM EDT

Trump’s refusal to wear a mask draws bipartisan criticism from senators

Senators from both parties on Tuesday called on President Trump to wear a face mask in public, arguing that the president’s behavior has given Americans mixed messages on the steps they should take amid the pandemic.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, opened Tuesday’s hearing on the federal response to the pandemic by devoting several minutes to the importance of wearing face coverings, noting that “unfortunately, this simple lifesaving practice has become part of the political debate.”

“That’s why I’ve suggested that the president occasionally wear a mask, even though in most cases it’s not necessary for him to do so,” Alexander said. “The president has plenty of admirers. They would follow his lead. It would help in this political debate.”

Alexander also noted that he himself was exposed to covid-19 by a staffer who was pre-symptomatic. But Alexander did not become infected, in part due to the staffer’s decision to wear a mask, he said, citing what the Senate physician had told him.

Later in the hearing, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) also made note of Trump’s refusal to wear a face mask, as well as the president’s recent decision to hold a campaign rally in Oklahoma and his remarks ridiculing journalists who wear masks.

“And so we have these two parallel messaging operations. … That’s why we’re in the position we’re in today, where you see large numbers of people not complying with recommendations because they’re hearing something very different from the chief executive,” Murphy said.

By Felicia Sonmez
June 30, 2020 at 12:39 PM EDT

Two members of Oklahoma coronavirus response team step down

Two members of the Oklahoma team tasked with the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic resigned, Gov. Kevin Stitt’s office announced Monday.

Secretary of Health and Mental Health Jerome Loughridge and Secretary of Science and Innovation Kayse Shrum, who often appeared next to Stitt (R) at news conferences and coronavirus briefings, stepped down to focus on their full-time jobs, according to a news release. Both were appointed in March.

Loughridge is the president of TMG Service, an Oklahoma City-based capital asset management company, and Shrum is the president of the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.

Loughridge and Shrum will be replaced by Oklahoma Health Care Authority chief executive Kevin Corbett and Elizabeth Pollard, the executive chair of Applied Silver, a health-related company in Silicon Valley.

The change was announced the day before Oklahoma reported its highest number of new cases in a day, 585, on Tuesday — up from 228 the day before. The state has tallied 13,757 confirmed infections and 387 covid-19-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

By Meryl Kornfield
June 30, 2020 at 12:35 PM EDT

FDA to require vaccine to prevent covid-19 or decrease severity in 50 percent of recipients

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that to win regulatory approval, any covid-19 vaccine will have to prevent the disease or decrease its severity in at least 50 percent of the people who receive it.

The agency also said it would require drug companies to monitor the vaccine’s performance after approval for any emerging safety problems.

The agency issued guidance to vaccine developers in conjunction with testimony by FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and other health officials before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on how schools and businesses can safely reopen amid the pandemic.

The standards spelled out apply to full approvals. But many expect a vaccine initially will be made available under a much lower standard, through what is called an emergency-use authorization. The guidance said any decision on an emergency authorization would be made “on a case-by-case basis considering the target population, the characteristics of the product” and the available evidence, including clinical trial data on safety and effectiveness.

By Laurie McGinley
June 30, 2020 at 12:34 PM EDT

CDC director says contact tracing is hobbled by outdated data systems

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday that the nation’s ability to trace the contacts of people infected by the novel coronavirus is hampered by the poor condition of public health data systems.

“They really are in need of aggressive modernization,” Redfield said at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, adding that “there are a number of counties still doing this pen and pencil.”

Contact tracing — finding the people with whom a person known to be infected has been in proximity — is regarded by public health specialists as a central leg in trying to contain an infectious virus that is spreading through communities, along with testing and isolating people who have been exposed.

Redfield was asked about the infrastructure for contact tracing by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who said she had heard that the records of tracing were kept on an Excel spreadsheet rather than a searchable electronic database.

The CDC director replied that while Congress has supplied some funding to improve contact tracing, “a substantial investment” is needed. “It would be one of the great investments in our time to make this happen once and for all,” he said.

Redfield also said that such tracing “doesn’t have any value unless you could do it in real time.”

By Amy Goldstein
June 30, 2020 at 12:28 PM EDT

National mask mandate could save 5 percent of GDP, economists say

After a late-spring lull, daily coronavirus cases in the United States have once again hit record highs, driven by resurgent outbreaks in states such as Florida, Arizona and California. The dire situation has raised the specter of another round of state-level stay-at-home orders to halt the pandemic’s spread and has caused a number of governors to pause or reverse their reopening plans.

Against this backdrop, a team of economists at investment bank Goldman Sachs has published an analysis suggesting that more painful shutdowns could be averted if the United States implements a nationwide mask mandate.

“A face mask mandate could potentially substitute for lockdowns that would otherwise subtract nearly 5% from GDP,” the team, led by the company’s chief economist Jan Hatzius, wrote.

The United States is a global outlier with respect to face mask use, which is widespread in Asia and currently mandated in many European countries. Although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “recommends” the use of masks in public, and 20 states plus the District of Columbia have implemented their own mandates, there is no binding national policy.

Read more here.

By Christopher Ingraham
June 30, 2020 at 12:07 PM EDT

A Florida city council unanimously voted to rescind mask order

Residents in Milton, Fla., will not be required to wear face coverings following the City Council’s decision to rescind an emergency declaration that stipulated face coverings.

The council held a special meeting Monday in which it unanimously voted to rescind Mayor Heather Lindsay’s order issued Friday.

Lindsay told a mostly unmasked crowd that the decision was a disappointment, the Pensacola News Journal reported.

“It is a sad state of affairs today that there is so much passion around personal liberties; if that same passion were applied to preventing the spread of this disease, imagine where we could be,” she said, according to the paper.

Only three of the seven council members wore masks as they heard questionable testimony against the order and the benefits of masks, the News Journal reported.

The seat of Santa Rosa County has the bulk of positive infections in the county, but the growing spread was not enough evidence to persuade most residents at Monday’s meeting to adopt science or science-based decisions about how the virus advances in communities.

The city now recommends residents follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social distancing guidelines. The agency also suggests face coverings in places where physical distancing might be hard to practice.

By Lateshia Beachum
June 30, 2020 at 12:04 PM EDT

New polling suggests surges in cases could undercut Fourth of July holiday

Surges in coronavirus cases could put a damper on the Fourth of July holiday as the level of concern about the pandemic among Americans is on the rise again, according to new Axios-Ipsos polling.

The poll released Tuesday finds that more than three-quarters of Americans are concerned that their community is reopening too soon, the highest level reached in the Axios-Ipsos surveying. Meanwhile, nearly 4 in 5 Americans say they consider attending celebrations a large or moderate risk.

“Risk aversion may also put a damper on the upcoming Fourth of July holiday,” the pollsters say.

In the poll, 60 percent say they are very concerned about the outbreak, while another 24 percent say they are somewhat concerned. That represents a return to levels of concern expressed in May following declines in June.

The poll also finds that 78 percent of Americans are at least somewhat concerned about the possibility of getting sick, up nine points from early June.

By John Wagner
June 30, 2020 at 11:55 AM EDT

‘We shouldn’t presume that a group of experts somehow knows what’s best,’ Sen. Rand Paul says

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a libertarian known for his often-contrarian positions, questioned the notion that Americans should be listening to the guidance of federal experts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s important to realize that if society meekly submits to an expert and that expert is wrong, a great deal of harm may occur,” the senator said, adding: “We shouldn’t presume that a group of experts somehow knows what’s best for everyone.”

Paul, an ophthalmologist who in March became the first member of the Senate to test positive for the novel coronavirus, said government health experts “need to show caution in their prognostications” and called for a system of “decentralized power,” rather than a “herd with a couple of people in Washington telling us what to do, and we like sheep blindly follow.”

Fauci, who has emphasized that the decision on whether to reopen schools depends largely on local conditions, responded that he agrees with Paul.

“I feel very strongly we need to do whatever we can to get the children back to school,” Fauci said.

“Thank you,” Paul replied after Fauci finished his response. “We just need more optimism.”

By Felicia Sonmez
June 30, 2020 at 11:40 AM EDT

Los Angeles taco chain temporarily closes after customers harass employees for enforcing mask policy

A Los Angeles taco chain temporarily closed because people furious over the mask requirement harassed the staff.

Hugo’s Tacos announced Sunday that it shut down its two locations after employees were called names and had “objects and liquids thrown at them” because they asked customers to wear face coverings to be served.

“A mask isn’t symbolic of anything other than our desire to keep our staff healthy,” the restaurant’s website said.

Conflicts over masks have surfaced across the country, especially as states and local governments increasingly have mandated them to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. In some cases, the escalating tension has spurred violence.

In California, face coverings are required “inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space” and when outdoors in public spaces where it’s hard to stay six feet away from people outside of their household, according to the state’s Department of Public Health.

Hugo’s part-owner Bill Kohne told the Los Angeles Times that the attacks on workers, some Latino, also included racial slurs.

“We’ve noticed that over the past four weeks, these incidents have become more frequent, and there’s more vitriol attached to them,” Kohne told the newspaper. “All because of a simple question: ‘Can we ask you to put on a mask? Can we offer you a mask?’ ”

Customers complained about their personal freedoms being infringed upon and demanded exceptions or refunds.

Kohne said the taco shops will remain closed until there is a plan for how to address the vitriol.

After the closure announcement, a GoFundMe, which has raised more than $36,000 as of Tuesday morning, was created to financially assist Hugo’s employees who are now unable to work.

By Meryl Kornfield
June 30, 2020 at 11:34 AM EDT

Federal testing coordinator to remain in that role as infections surge

The federal government’s coordinator of coronavirus testing since mid-March, who was phasing out of that role, said Tuesday that he will remain in the position as covid-19 cases spike in a number of states.

At a hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Brett Giroir, an assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, testified, “I am maintaining my role of coordinating testing.” His statement came after the Trump administration had been trying to restore the workings of government closer to normal after an emergency stance earlier in the pandemic, including by shifting some functions back to the government’s sprawling health department.

Giroir did not say that the about-face, keeping on as testing coordinator, is a reflection of the sharp increase in cases, mainly across the South and the Southwest. Health officials told senators that hospitalizations for covid-19, the illnesses caused by the novel coronavirus, are increasing in a dozen states.

But Giroir said that testing for the virus is “surging” under individual state testing plans that HHS has required, in lieu of a centralized national testing plan.

By Amy Goldstein
June 30, 2020 at 11:22 AM EDT

Imported coronavirus cases rise in Greece as it reopens its borders

Coronavirus cases imported from abroad are ticking up in Greece as the country prepares to resume flights to its islands on Wednesday, two weeks after reopening its two main airports to international travelers.

Nearly one-third of the 110 new coronavirus cases Greece recorded over the past week were among recent travelers from abroad, the Guardian newspaper reported. Adding to the worries of authorities, many of those cases reportedly involved asymptomatic carriers.

The tourism-dependent and cash-strapped country has so far prevented a major coronavirus outbreak. But the government, facing pressure to kick-start the economy, is resuming flights to popular Greek islands in the hopes of attracting tourists, despite the risks of the virus tagging along.

Greece resumed international flights to its airports in Athens and Thessaloniki on June 15, but the government is requiring arrivals from some harder-hit European countries — such as France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain — to take a coronavirus test and wait in isolation until the results come back.

By Miriam Berger
June 30, 2020 at 11:17 AM EDT

North Carolina professor will retire after inflammatory social media posts

A University of North Carolina Wilmington professor will soon retire after his tweets against coronavirus-related restrictions stirred outrage.

Mike Adams has decided to retire Aug. 1, Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli said in a statement, after weeks of demands for the criminology professor’s firing because of the tweets.

Adams kicked a social media hornet’s nest in late May when he tweeted: “This evening I ate pizza and drank beer with six guys at a six seat table top. I almost felt like a free man who was not living in the slave state of North Carolina. Massa Cooper, let my people go!”

The tweet came at a time when the state had moved toward the second phase of its reopening and just days after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a now-fired Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The day before he compared Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s decision to slavery, Adams also tweeted: “Don’t shut down the universities. Shut down the non essential majors. Like Women’s Studies."

The posts prompted petitions calling for Adams’s dismissal, and the university responded by expressing “disgust” at his messages, calling them “reprehensible” and “vile.”

The university insisted, however, that Adams’s social media posts constituted free speech and were protected by the First Amendment.

Adams scoffed at the outrage and wrote another inflammatory message weeks before the announcement of his retirement.

“When you write the university asking them to fire me don’t forget to leave a mailing address so I can send you a box of panty liners.”

Sartarelli said the school will not offer any more comment on Adams. But he added that he plans to share an update later this week about how the university will move forward.

By Lateshia Beachum
June 30, 2020 at 10:56 AM EDT

Azar says U.S. surge can be turned around if people ‘simply do three things’

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar suggested Tuesday that the rise in novel coronavirus cases can be turned around if Americans “simply do three things.”

“We can continue to reopen, to get back to work, get back to school, get back to health care, but we have to act responsibly as individuals,” Azar said during an appearance on the Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria” program.

“If we simply do three things: practice social distancing, wear facial coverings when we can’t social distance and practice proper personal hygiene,” Azar said. “If we do those three things, we can turn around the tide of these new cases and continue to reopen.”

Azar said “behaviors” are “a major driver” of the surge in cases. He said the surge is largely concentrated in the Southeast and Southwest and is hitting younger people the hardest.

By John Wagner
June 30, 2020 at 10:33 AM EDT

Travelers from the United States will continue to be barred from the European Union

Travelers from the United States will continue to be barred from the European Union when the bloc of 27 countries reopens to some foreign travel Wednesday.

The official announcement confirmed reports circulating in recent weeks that travelers from the United States will not be among people from a coveted list of countries allowed in because of the severity of coronavirus outbreak there. The United States is leading the world in both officially confirmed infections and fatalities, as it continues to see new cases, hospitalizations and deaths in some states surge.

Fifteen nations made the list on the basis of their low coronavirus counts and the success of their containment efforts: Canada, Algeria, Tunisia, Australia, New Zealand, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay. In addition, travelers from China will be allowed in if Beijing reciprocates by permitting in people coming from the European Union.

The decision, which will be reconsidered every two weeks, is not binding, though there is extreme pressure on countries to follow it in a united European front against the virus. No countries voted against the measure.

Many European countries closed their external borders in March, as they began to shut down internally amid the virus’s surge. In recent weeks, some European nations have begun allowing in travelers from the European Union and select other countries.

The United States continues to bar travel from the European Union as well as other countries such as China and Brazil, in response to the pandemic.

By Miriam Berger and Michael Birnbaum
June 30, 2020 at 10:25 AM EDT

Pandemic scholar warns of ‘downward spiral’ of outbreaks if governments don’t promote global cooperation

Scientists are racing to determine how to curb the novel coronavirus — while keeping an eye on how to prevent the next outbreak.

One Oxford professor, scholar of pandemics and former president of the World Bank has a prescription: Rein in nationalism.

“If what comes out of this is more nationalism and protectionism, the result is going to be an even bigger pandemic in the future, which could be more deadly, climate change, more financial crises, cyberattacks, more tension, Cold War 2.0, and that is extremely worrying,” said Ian Goldin, professor of Globalization and Development at the University of Oxford, as well as a previous adviser to former South African president Nelson Mandela, CNBC reported.

“So we face a choice,” he told the news channel. “Either the pandemic teaches us to be more globalized in politics, to stop the next pandemic, to cooperate, to restore global growth, or we get more national, in which case we’re in a downward spiral.”

Goldin has been warning the world about a looming pandemic for several years. But now, he told CNBC, “the failure to manage globalization” has created a viral and volatile mix.

“This is a failure to manage the system, particularly by the leading powers, and it’s really the U.S. turning its back on the world, which has exacerbated it,” he said.

Goldin added: “We’re seeing countries try to set up firewalls. Unfortunately, there’s no wall high enough to keep out a pandemic or climate change or any of the great risks. But what the high walls do keep out is the ideas, the people, the technologies, the investments, the markets that we need to thrive.”

By Miriam Berger
June 30, 2020 at 10:20 AM EDT

Stocks open mixed after strong Monday rally

Stocks opened with mixed results during early trading on Tuesday, after the Dow jumped more than 500 points to kick off the shortened week.

On the last trading day of the month and the second quarter, shares were generally flat as the Dow Jones industrial average rose 60 points, or 0.27 percent, during the morning session. The Standard & Poor’s index increased by 4 points, or 0.15 percent, while the Nasdaq composite gained 61 points, or 0.62 percent, during the first hour of trading.

The mixed opening caps off a turbulent month for stocks, when surprising jobs figures showed a falling unemployment rate from April to May — spurring a robust rally earlier in the month. But investors were also sent reeling from an alarming rise in the spread of the coronavirus, which forced several states to delay their reopening plans.

Still, shares over the past three months have rebounded from staggering March lows, when investors fled the market as the pandemic began to take hold of the economy. All three indexes are on track to post double-digit growth for the quarter. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, buoyed by companies such as Apple and Amazon, which investors have rewarded during nationwide shutdown measures, has risen by more than 2,500 points since the start of April, or more than 30 percent.

The gains for the quarter coincided with unprecedented intervention from the Federal Reserve and from emergency relief from Congress. But investors will have to gauge whether further aid from Washington is on the way. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to start negotiation on a new coronavirus aid bill.

By Hamza Shaban
June 30, 2020 at 10:15 AM EDT

South Dakota governor says social distancing won’t be enforced when Trump attends Mount Rushmore fireworks display

South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) said Monday that social distancing will not be enforced July 3 at the Mount Rushmore fireworks display that President Trump will attend.

In an interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham, Noem said that masks will be provided to the 7,500 participants, but they will not be required to wear them or maintain a six-foot distance from others.

“We will have a large event at July 3rd,” she told Ingraham. “We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home, but those who want to come and join us, we’ll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one. But we will not be social distancing.”

A website for the event does not mention covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, but says that attendance is limited “to ensure a safe and successful event.”

The 7,500 tickets holders won a lottery hosted earlier in June after organizers received at least 125,000 requests from people who wanted to attend.

The National Park Service’s website says visitors are encouraged to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which includes social distancing.

This will be the first Independence Day fireworks display at the site in a decade after federal officials canceled the traditional event because of the threat of wildfires spreading across thousands of acres of surrounding forested land.

A controlled burn was conducted in June to reduce the brush that would kindle a fire, Noem’s spokesman Ian Fury previously told The Washington Post.

Fury didn’t immediately respond to The Post regarding Noem’s remarks Monday.

By Meryl Kornfield
June 30, 2020 at 9:40 AM EDT

Top House Republican agrees it would be a ‘powerful symbol’ if Trump wore a mask in public

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that wearing masks is “the best opportunity for us to keep this economy open” and agreed with a Fox News host that it would be a “powerful symbol” if President Trump would don one in public.

McCarthy’s comments on “Fox & Friends” come as a growing number of Republicans are advocating wearing masks in public, something Trump has resisted, as the number of coronavirus cases climbs in many states.

“Wearing the mask is the best opportunity for us to keep this economy open, keep us working, keep us safe and help us as we build toward that vaccine,” McCarthy said.

Pressed by host Steve Doocy if it would be “patriotic” and a “powerful symbol” for Trump to wear one in public, McCarthy said it would.

“It would,” he said. “I mean for the Fourth of July, we could all show our patriotism with a red, white and blue mask going out there.”

Earlier in the broadcast, Doocy argued that if Trump wore a mask, “it would just set a good example.”

“He’d be a good role model,” the host said. “I don’t see any downside to the president wearing a mask in public.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) dedicated part of his floor remarks Monday to advocating for wearing a mask but made no mention of Trump.

“We must have no stigma — none — about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people,” McConnell said. “Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves. It is about protecting everyone we encounter.”

By John Wagner
June 30, 2020 at 9:29 AM EDT

Miami Beach issues mask mandate

The mayor of Miami Beach has issued a penalty-bearing rule that requires residents to wear masks.

The order, which took effect Tuesday, demands that people in public indoor and outdoor spaces wear masks or face a $50 civil fine.

Mayor Dan Gelber (D) said in a statement the rule applies to all shared spaces, even residential ones.

“On the street, waiting outside a restaurant, in your condo lobby or at the park — wear it,” he said. “It’s not a political statement, it’s just trying to do your part to keep loved ones and neighbors healthy.”

The order also requires that alcohol-serving businesses cease serving drinks a minute after midnight.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) announced a similar requirement for his constituents last week.

On Monday, Suarez also detailed penalties for businesses in his city that don’t comply with reopening restrictions.

He told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that hospitals are starting to get stressed with coronavirus patients as his area, and the state continues to see a surge in cases.

Suarez said people in his city acted as if the virus no longer existed when it reopened. “People just forgot and, in some cases, are still forgetting,” he said, adding that some residents are upset with the mask rule.

Beaches are also closed in his county in anticipation of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Suarez said the new measures are a way to avoid reverting to stay-at-home orders, which were in effect in March and April.

The mayor, who contracted the virus in March but has since recovered, said that if asked, he would urge Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to issue a statewide order requiring masks in public.

Such a measure would be no different from rules about wearing seat belts, he said.

“If you get in a car accident, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to make it out alive, but a seat belt increases your chances tremendously of getting out alive. For me, wearing a mask is no different,” he said. “As mayor of a city that’s dealing with this crisis, it’s a no-brainer, and I hope that eventually it becomes a no-brainer in the state.”

By Lateshia Beachum
June 30, 2020 at 8:44 AM EDT

All the ways the coronavirus will make this school year harder than the last, even if campuses reopen

School communities desperate for normalcy are hoping that the new school year will be more stable than the last, when the coronavirus forced schools to close and launch remote learning overnight. But that seems like wishful thinking, as 2020-2021 is shaping up to be even more problematic.

School districts are embarking on novel experiments in learning, unveiling plans to reopen with new procedures for just about everything. But none of them are set in stone because the unknowns about how things will work far outweigh the knowns.

That heralds confusion and potentially repeated learning disruptions that could harm children, especially the most vulnerable, who are already suffering from the loss of learning and special education services.

Read more here.

By Valerie Strauss
June 30, 2020 at 7:55 AM EDT

Modi rebukes Indians for ‘negligence’ as virus cases surge

NEW DELHI — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for strict enforcement of rules on mask-wearing in the world’s second-most populous nation, rebuking citizens for carelessness as novel coronavirus cases surge.

“Today, when we need to be more careful, increasing negligence is a cause of worry,” Modi said in a televised address. “Those not following the rules will need to be stopped and cautioned.”

He referred approvingly to reports that Bulgaria’s prime minister was fined for not wearing a mask. “This is a drive to protect the lives” of 1.3 billion people, Modi said. “No one is above the law.”

India is grappling with one of the world’s largest coronavirus outbreaks, as well as a severe economic slowdown and a geopolitical conflict with its larger neighbor, China.

The country has recorded more than 560,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, behind only the United States, Brazil and Russia. New cases are increasing at a rate of about 20,000 a day. Nearly 17,000 people have died.

Modi said nothing Tuesday about the deadly tensions with China. But he implicitly acknowledged the precarious state of India’s economy, which analysts believe will contract by 5 percent this year.

Modi announced that the government would extend a welfare plan initiated during an earlier phase of the lockdown to distribute free wheat, rice and pulses to 800 million Indians. Families eligible for such food aid will now receive it through the end of November

By Joanna Slater
June 30, 2020 at 7:32 AM EDT

Federal Reserve program could buy corporate debt, raising questions about who should get relief

The Federal Reserve’s disclosure that it could purchase the debt of massive companies such as Apple and Microsoft, as well as U.S. subsidiaries of foreign firms, triggered a fresh debate about the central bank’s norm-shattering response to the economic crisis and whether its efforts are going to the neediest slices of the economy.

The Fed on Sunday disclosed its index of nearly 800 companies, including Verizon, Comcast and U.S. divisions of Toyota, Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW. The index essentially represents a snapshot used to guide the Fed’s corporate debt purchases. The central bank has said it launched the corporate debt program to support the markets and, in turn, companies in need of cash that are also vying to keep workers on their payrolls.

But as with much of the Fed’s recession response, the central bank has never bought corporate debt like this before, and it’s unclear what the implications of its actions will be.

Read more here.

By Rachel Siegel
June 30, 2020 at 6:59 AM EDT

Nationals awaiting D.C. government approval to use ballpark for training camp

Days before training camp is scheduled to begin at their stadium in Southeast Washington, the Washington Nationals continue to await approval from the District government to resume operations at Nationals Park.

The reigning World Series champions submitted their request for a waiver, according to the team, around the time early last week when Major League Baseball and the players’ union finalized an agreement to play the 2020 season, with a modified spring training to resume Wednesday.

“The Nationals can’t just go into their stadium and start training,” a spokesperson for the office of D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said. “They have to get a waiver. They’ve submitted a request for a waiver, but it hasn’t been approved yet.”

Read more here.

By Gene Wang
June 30, 2020 at 6:37 AM EDT

Britain places city of Leicester under lockdown while eyeing next phase of reopening

As Britain prepares to move to the next phase of reopening, soaring coronavirus case numbers are prompting new lockdown restrictions in the city of Leicester.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Tuesday that Leicester accounted for 10 percent of all positive coronavirus tests in the country over the past week. The seven-day infection rate — 135 cases per 100,000 people — was three times as high as in the city with the next highest rate, he said.

While pubs and restaurants will be opening across the rest of the country on Saturday, they will have to stay closed in Leicester. Schools and nonessential stores that reopened will also shut down over the course of the week. People who live outside the city are being urged to stay away unless they are conducting essential business.

Leicester’s mayor, Peter Soulsby, told the BBC on Tuesday that the government’s orders were “stricter than we anticipated” but that local officials understood the need to take action.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday thanked Leicester residents, citing their “forbearance,” according to the PA Media news agency.

Britain has reported more than 310,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 44,000 deaths to date, making it one of the hardest-hit nations in the world. But the number of new infections has recently flattened in many parts of the country.

By Antonia Farzan
June 30, 2020 at 6:28 AM EDT

U.N. agency warns pandemic could reverse progress made to end forced marriages and female genital mutilation

The coronavirus pandemic could reverse progress made to end forced marriages and female genital mutilation, the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) said in a statement Tuesday.

“A recent analysis revealed that if services and programmes remain shuttered for six months, an additional 13 million girls may be forced into marriage and 2 million more girls may be subjected to female genital mutilation between now and 2030,” concluded the organization, which is the United Nations’ sexual and reproductive health agency.

“The pandemic both makes our job harder and more urgent as so many more girls are now at risk,” Executive Director Natalia Kanem was quoted as saying in the statement. “Harmful practices against girls cause profound and lasting trauma, robbing them of their right to reach their full potential."

The organization said that over 4 million girls are estimated to suffer through female genital mutilation in 2020.

It named 19 practices it considers harmful, including “an extreme preference for sons over daughters in some countries.”

The organization said that putting an end to female genital mutilation and child marriage “is possible within 10 years by scaling up efforts to keep girls in school longer and teach them life skills and to engage men and boys in social change.”

By Rick Noack
June 30, 2020 at 6:00 AM EDT

South Korean health official says herd immunity ‘appears to be an elusive hope’ at this point

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said it has carried out antibody tests on thousands of blood samples to determine immunity within its population, but a senior official cautioned that “as the outcomes of foreign studies show, it appears to be an elusive hope to believe that herd immunity has been built in the community.”

South Korea’s results may match the conclusion reached elsewhere, said KCDC Deputy Director Kwon Joon-wook, according to the Yonhap news agency. In Europe, researchers largely found relatively low antibody levels even in regions hit hard by the virus. In some cases, such as the Italian city of Bergamo, however, antibodies were found in more than half of all tested people.

It is still unclear how long immunity gained after infections lasts.

South Korea has seen flare-ups of the virus in recent weeks, with some linked to a holiday weekend in May, religious gatherings or travelers arriving from abroad.

The number of cases that cannot be traced to a specific source has risen to more than 11 percent in recent days, officials said, but they added that the current level of new daily infections does not pose the risk of overburdening the country’s health system at this time.

South Korean officials have said they have conducted almost 1.3 million tests since Jan. 3 and confirmed around 12,800 infections, while 282 patients have died in the country.

By Rick Noack
June 30, 2020 at 5:36 AM EDT

Q&A: The future of travel, according to ‘Amazing Race’ host Phil Keoghan

Phil Keoghan isn’t used to sitting around at home. The host of “The Amazing Race” — a 19-year-old globe-trotting reality show — has averaged about 250,000 miles of travel a year for the past 25 years.

The show was filming its 33rd season in February when the spread of the novel coronavirus prompted producers to send everyone home until production could start again safely. Keoghan thought it was a good decision and figured they’d be back at it in a few months. Instead, he said in an interview in late May, his late February flight home was the last time he was in the air — or anywhere.

(Editor’s note: This Q&A is the second in a weekly series from By The Way, in which we interview prominent voices in the industry on the future of travel. It has been edited for clarity and length.)

Read more here.

By Hannah Sampson
June 30, 2020 at 5:12 AM EDT

Nearly a third of inmates at California’s San Quentin State Prison test positive for coronavirus

Nearly a third of inmates at California’s San Quentin State Prison have contracted the coronavirus, prompting local officials to beg the state to intervene.

At a Monday news briefing, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said that more than 1,000 inmates at San Quentin have tested positive for the coronavirus. Weekly population figures last updated on June 24 show that 3,507 people are incarcerated at the facility.

The alarming new case numbers are also five times as high as the tally reported by prison officials last week, SFist noted. The rapidly worsening outbreak is believed to have started at the beginning of June, after infected inmates from a different prison were transferred to San Quentin. About 90 staffers at the prison, which is California’s oldest, have also tested positive.

In Marin County, where San Quentin is located, health officials are delaying some reopening plans because they worry that hospitals could soon be overwhelmed by the outbreak at the prison. On Monday, county leaders wrote to Newsom, asking him to set up a field hospital at the prison so that the local health-care system isn’t overwhelmed with patients. They also requested that an “incident commander” with expertise in pandemics be placed in charge of the prison’s response.

Activists have called on the governor to release healthy inmates who are nearing the end of their sentences so that they don’t contract the virus, too. But Newsom said Monday that many of those who remain in prison have nowhere to go once they leave.

“Do you make a bad situation worse by releasing someone that’s not ready to be released, because they don’t have a place to stay?” he asked.

By Antonia Farzan
June 30, 2020 at 4:49 AM EDT

All masked up and ready to gamble as Maryland’s casinos reopen

So, are you feeling lucky?

That’s what gamblers around the D.C. region are asking themselves as they decide whether they are comfortable returning to Maryland’s casinos, the two largest of which reopened Monday after a 3½-month shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.

For Mariam Hashimi, of Woodbridge, Va., the answer was a qualified yes. Hashimi said she called MGM National Harbor on Monday morning to check on safety precautions before deciding to visit. She arrived after her shift as an attendant on Amtrak’s Auto Train, wearing the same protective equipment she wears for work, including gloves, two face masks and a face shield.

“I said I would come in and if it didn’t feel safe, I would leave, but it’s been exactly what they told me,” Hashimi, 35, said as she played the Mayan Chief: Empowered Reel of Itzamna video slot machine on the casino’s 125,000-square-foot main floor.

Read more here.

By Joe Heim
June 30, 2020 at 4:02 AM EDT

Nets’ DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie test positive for coronavirus ahead of NBA restart

The Brooklyn Nets could be without as many as five veteran players during the NBA’s upcoming restart after DeAndre Jordan announced Monday that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Jordan, a 31-year-old center, and Spencer Dinwiddie both tested positive after reporting to the Nets last week. Four Brooklyn players, including all-star forward Kevin Durant, tested positive for the coronavirus in March.

Dinwiddie’s positive test, which was first reported by the Athletic, leaves the guard’s status in question for the Nets, who compiled a 30-34 record before the NBA season was indefinitely suspended March 11. Durant and Kyrie Irving have both ruled themselves out as they recover from Achilles’ and shoulder injuries, respectively. Wilson Chandler told ESPN on Sunday that he would stay home to spend more time with his family, while Durant indicated he probably would have skipped out even if he were healthy.

Read more here.

By Ben Golliver
June 30, 2020 at 3:38 AM EDT

Lockdowns return for some Australians amid surge in Melbourne suburbs

The Australian state of Victoria has reimposed lockdown measures in 10 suburbs of Melbourne that appear to be at the center of a new coronavirus outbreak.

The restrictions come a day after Victoria reported 75 new coronavirus cases, giving Australia its highest single-day rise in infections since April 11. The state’s premier, Daniel Andrews, said Tuesday that “extraordinary steps” were needed to prevent the outbreak from worsening. Starting Thursday at midnight, people in areas deemed hot spots will be allowed to leave their homes only for essential activities such as work and exercise or to purchase food and other necessary supplies.

Schools will remain open, since there is “no real evidence” that they have led to a surge in infections, Andrews said.

Victoria has reported over 220 new cases in the past four days, including 64 in the past 24 hours, 7News reported. Andrews on Tuesday said that a “significant” number of cases reported in recent weeks had been linked to breaches of health protocol at a hotel where people arriving in Australia were sent into quarantine. The state will hold a judicial inquiry to determine what went wrong, he said, adding that the cases being reported over the past days are not necessarily connected to the hotel outbreak.

Andrews did not rule out the possibility of a statewide lockdown for Victoria, saying that the targeted restrictions were only a “first step.”

By Antonia Farzan
June 30, 2020 at 3:07 AM EDT

House Democrats push through first bill in a decade expanding Affordable Care Act

The House on Monday passed the first significant expansion of the Affordable Care Act since its birth a decade ago, providing Democrats a high-wattage platform to castigate President Trump for his efforts to overturn the landmark law during a pandemic and an election year.

The 234-179 vote, almost entirely along party lines, was a hollow exercise in terms of any chance the bill would become law and reshape federal health policy. Moments after the debate began, the White House announced the president would veto the legislation if it reached his desk, though a wall of Senate Republican opposition to the measure makes that a moot point.

Still, the vote was laden with political implications.

Read more here.

By Amy Goldstein
June 30, 2020 at 2:44 AM EDT

Nearly 150 students, workers at University of Georgia test positive for coronavirus

The start of the fall semester is over a month away, but 143 students and employees at the University of Georgia have already tested positive for the coronavirus, according to new data released by the university’s health center.

That number includes members of the campus community who have undergone testing at the health center, as well as those who were tested elsewhere and informed the health center of their results, university officials said Monday. They did not provide any additional information about the positive test results, such as the breakdown between students, faculty and staff.

Though classes won’t resume until August, some students have already returned to Athens, the home of UGA’s flagship campus. Voluntary on-campus workouts for football players began earlier this month, and while dozens of athletes at other universities have tested positive for the coronavirus after returning for preseason practice, UGA has not disclosed whether any players have done so.

Since reopening at the start of June, bars in downtown Athens have been “abuzz” with activity, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Meanwhile, the college town has witnessed a record-shattering surge in new coronavirus infections. One UGA student told WSB-TV that she and seven of her friends all tested positive after going out to the bars one night.

“We were being careless because we weren’t wearing masks,” she said. “No one was wearing masks.”

Georgia is witnessing a steep rise in new coronavirus cases, with the fastest growth occurring among people between the ages of 18 and 29, according to the AJC. People under 30 make up the largest share of the state’s cases, and since April, the median age of those testing positive has fallen from the mid-50s to the mid-30s. Those demographic shifts appear to be mirrored in UGA’s tally: As recently as June 3, only 44 students and campus workers had tested positive.

By Antonia Farzan
June 30, 2020 at 2:23 AM EDT

China researchers report new swine flu that’s transmissible to humans

A team of scientists in China warn that a new strain of swine flu should be monitored because of its ability to be transmitted from pigs to humans.

Their new study comes amid heightened international vigilance about potential pandemic-level viruses, as countries continue to suffer from the fallout of covid-19.

The scientists found the virus G4 EA H1N1 in some employees at slaughterhouses where pigs had tested positive for the virus, but so far they have not observed human-to-human transmission, the paper said. The study was published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers wrote that the virus had certain similarities to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu and said it should be monitored to avoid the possibility that it could mutate to spread widely among humans.

By Eva Dou
June 30, 2020 at 1:59 AM EDT

College admissions deans release statement on what they value in applicants during the pandemic

With the coronavirus pandemic upending everything about going to college, more than 165 admissions deans from schools around the United States on Monday released a statement about what they want to see in applicants for fall 2021 — and what they don’t want to see.

The statement, published by the Making Caring Common project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, tells students what deans value in applicants. It is also an effort to relieve stress on families, according to Richard Weissbourd, a senior lecturer at Harvard University and faculty director of Making Caring Common.

The deans offer guidance on self-care and academic work, as well as advice on family contributions, service, and extracurricular and summer activities.

Read more here.

By Valerie Strauss
June 30, 2020 at 1:33 AM EDT

New Zealand cancels plans to hold Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November 2021

New Zealand has abandoned plans to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next year and will move the forum online instead, officials said Tuesday.

The gathering of world leaders from nearly two dozen nations, including the United States, wasn’t slated to take place until November 2021. But New Zealand’s foreign affairs minister, Winston Peters, said that the event’s logistics require a “large volume of high-level visitors” entering the country as soon as late 2020 for planning and security purposes. New Zealand’s borders remain sealed to the outside world, and Peters said in a Tuesday statement that officials “simply couldn’t guarantee these people would be able to enter New Zealand without being quarantined.”

Upward of 20,000 people were expected to attend the trade-oriented summit, which will instead be held as a virtual conference, according to Agence France-Presse.

New Zealand has effectively eliminated community spread of the coronavirus and earlier this month lifted all restrictions aside from a mandatory 14-day quarantine for people traveling from overseas. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that calls to reopen the island nation’s borders were “frankly dangerous” and that the country’s success in containing the outbreak could easily be undone.

By Antonia Farzan
June 30, 2020 at 12:56 AM EDT

Those who built Johns Hopkins’s pandemic dashboard say some are missing the real story

Since launching in January, Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center has exploded in scope and popularity, garnering millions of page views and popping up in news coverage and daily conversation. Through numbers, the tracker has told the story of what the virus is doing while the story is still unfolding, offering a nearly real-time picture of its silent march across the globe.

But even as data has jumped to the forefront of international discussions about the virus, the Johns Hopkins team wrestles with doubts about whether the numbers can truly capture the scope of the pandemic, or whether the public and policymakers are failing to absorb the big picture. They know what they are producing is not a high-resolution snapshot of the pandemic, but a constantly shifting Etch a Sketch of the trail of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

“Numbers in some ways instill this sense of comfort. But then on the other hand, they can be wrong,” said Lauren Gardner, the associate professor at Johns Hopkins’s Whiting School of Engineering who has spearheaded the global tracker since Day 1. “And they can be wrong for lots of different reasons.”

Read more here.

By Kyle Swenson
June 30, 2020 at 12:55 AM EDT

Top CEOs say business fallout will extend through 2021

The chief executives of some of the nation’s largest companies expect the ill economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic to extend through 2021, and nearly a third of them say the harm will last even longer.

Business Roundtable surveyed 136 members about their projected sales, capital spending and hiring for the next six months. The CEO Economic Outlook Survey fell to 34.3 in the second quarter, the lowest reading for the composite index since the same three months of 2009, according to a report released Monday. But it’s well above the all-time low of -5.0, set during the first quarter of 2009 at the height of the Great Recession.

The group’s members include the CEOs of Apple, JPMorgan Chase and Chevron, among others. The poll, taken from June 1 to 22, reflected the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus, which ushered the United States into recession as businesses and factories were forced to shut down or curtail operations to stem its spread. More than 47.3 million Americans have filed jobless claims since March.

Read more here.

By Hannah Denham
June 30, 2020 at 12:55 AM EDT

Reopening comes to a halt as cases surge in South and West

As new coronavirus cases surge across the Sun Belt, ambitious plans for reopening are grinding to a sudden halt.

In Arizona, where caseloads and hospitalizations have been steadily climbing for weeks, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) has pushed back plans to reopen public schools and banned gatherings of more than 50 people. A little over a month after allowing stay-at-home orders to expire, Ducey on Monday shut down bars, nightclubs, movie theaters and water parks for 30 days and warned residents that “we can’t be under any illusion that this virus is going to go away on its own.”

Texas on Friday ordered bars to close for the second time this year, while local officials in parts of Florida and California plan to shut down beaches again over the Fourth of July weekend. Other hard-hit states, such as Tennessee and Georgia, opted on Monday to extend their stay-at-home orders.

In addition to closing beaches and banning Fourth of July fireworks, Los Angeles also plans to put a “hard pause” on reopening businesses like amusement parks and movie theaters, Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) said Monday. Bars were ordered to close down over the weekend. The total number of coronavirus cases reported in the county topped 100,000 on Monday, and public health experts warn that local hospitals could be facing a shortage of beds with two or three weeks.

New Jersey, although not among the states that have emerged as new epicenters of the outbreak, is also pumping the brakes on its reopening plans. Indoor dining was slated to resume this week, but Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said Monday that those plans had been put on hold “indefinitely.”

By Antonia Farzan