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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has tested positive for the coronavirus, she announced on Twitter on Monday.

“COVID-19 has literally hit home,” she tweeted. “I have had NO symptoms and have tested positive.”

More local and state leaders on Monday embraced new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus as the United States entered its 28th day reporting record-high average infections. Elected officials have called the rush to reopen a mistake.

Here are some significant developments:

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July 6, 2020 at 11:41 PM EDT

States mandate masks, begin to shut down again, as cases soar and hospitalizations rise

The pandemic map of the United States burned bright red Monday, with the number of new coronavirus infections during the first six days of July nearing 300,000 as more states and cities moved to reimpose shutdown orders.

After an Independence Day weekend that attracted large crowds to fireworks displays and produced scenes of Americans drinking and partying without masks, health officials warned of hospitals running out of space and infection spreading rampantly.

Read more here.

By Josh Partlow and Nick Miroff
July 6, 2020 at 11:27 PM EDT

FC Dallas removed from MLS tournament after several positive coronavirus tests

Major League Soccer said Monday it is pulling FC Dallas from a leaguewide tournament near Orlando after several members of the club tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“Given the impact of the number of positive tests on the club’s ability to train and play competitive matches, we have made the decision to withdraw FC Dallas from the MLS Is Back Tournament,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “The health of everyone involved in our return to play has always been our top priority, and we will continue to make decisions consistent with that priority.”

The tournament is set to begin Wednesday with a pair of matches: Orlando City vs. Inter Miami, and Nashville vs. Chicago. The schedule originally included a match Wednesday between FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps, but on Saturday that was pushed back to a later date because, according to the league, Vancouver’s arrival in Florida was delayed following a pair of inconclusive test results by Whitecaps players that were subsequently determined to be negative.

Read more here.

By Des Bieler
July 6, 2020 at 11:19 PM EDT

California Assembly delays return after legislator and staff members test positive

The California Assembly indefinitely suspended its return to the state capitol in Sacramento on Monday after a legislator and several staff members tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D), who represents parts of Los Angeles County, said on Twitter on Monday that she had been informed of possible exposure to the virus on July 3. She was tested on July 4, and the results came back positive.

“Currently, my daughter and I have no symptoms, but will be remaining in quarantine until released by a doctor,” she wrote in a tweet.

Additionally, five people who work with the state assembly have tested positive for the virus, a spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s office told The Washington Post.

Before the positive test results, the state assembly had been scheduled to return to Sacramento after a summer recess on July 13 to resume the legislative session.

In an email obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, Rendon said his staff was looking for alternative schedules that would allow the legislature’s lower house to meet while minimizing exposure to the virus.

“The Assembly will remain in recess until further notice,” Rendon said in a statement to The Post. “We have taken this decision, as we did in March, to protect members, staff and the public from exposure, and it comes in light of recent news of positive coronavirus tests in the Capitol.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tightened restrictions on businesses ranging from restaurants and bars to movie theaters in several counties last week after the number of daily new cases in the state had climbed upward for weeks. The state has recorded at least 271,684 cases and 6,337 deaths through Monday.

By Katie Shepherd
July 6, 2020 at 10:46 PM EDT

Federal government to send military medical staff to help with outbreak in San Antonio

The federal government will deploy dozens of military medical personnel to San Antonio, where city leaders are warning of rising cases and fast-filling hospital beds, officials said Monday.

The United States Northern Command, part of the Defense Department, said it would send “approximately 50 medical and support” staffers to the city at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“The medical personnel include emergency room and critical care nurses, respiratory specialists and support personnel,” Northern Command announced on Twitter.

Defense Department aid, including from the National Guard, was a hallmark of the responses to early outbreaks and is another signal of the worsening outlook in Texas, which on Monday became the fourth state to surpass 200,000 total cases.

The deployment comes during an especially difficult time for San Antonio and surrounding Bexar County, which has seen more than three weeks of steadily climbing case counts, according to data compiled by The Washington Post. The county has reported more than 14,000 cases, the third most of any in Texas.

On Monday, Bexar reported eight virus deaths, its highest single-day total. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg warned the situation could get more dire as hospitals fill up.

“That reality is beyond harrowing,” he said in a short address to residents. “It’s gut-wrenching, it’s morbid and it’s cruel.”

There are more than 1,100 coronavirus patients in area hospitals, according to local government data, with only 12 percent of those facilities’ beds available.

By Reis Thebault
July 6, 2020 at 10:20 PM EDT

Outbreak prompts California inmate camp lockdown, sidelining would-be firefighters amid wildfire season

Coronavirus-related lockdowns at multiple inmate fire camps in California have left hundreds of detainees sidelined just as they were preparing to fight wildfires.

The depletion of the state’s fire response — which typically includes full-time, seasonal and detainee firefighters — comes as California braces for an unusually difficult fire season due to a surge in coronavirus cases and a heightened wildfire risk through July.

After four prisoners in the California Correctional Center in Susanville, Calif., tested positive for the coronavirus in late June, state corrections officials ordered 12 of the state’s 43 inmate fire camps to enter into quarantine mode, ending prisoner transfers in and out, according to Aaron Francis, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The Susanville facility is the primary hub for male detainees who are trained and placed in so-called conservation camps throughout Northern California.

Francis said there are typically 90 fire crews — approximately 17-person teams — assigned to the Northern Region, but the pre-quarantine number had dropped to around 77 because of sentencing reforms and early release. As of the start of the month, 30 crews were immediately available, with more expected as quarantine orders in the prison fire camps end.

The pandemic has affected the state’s full-time firefighters as well. Firefighter base camps will incorporate social distancing, with personnel sleeping in trailers, tents and even hotels, according to Lynnette Round, a spokeswoman with Cal Fire.

“Instead of having to rely on inmate crews, we’re going to have to be really aggressive in our initial attack,” Round said.

Extreme drought conditions in the northern part of the state have already sparked wildfires in Gilroy, Calif., where more than 2,000 had burned as of Monday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

By Kim Bellware
July 6, 2020 at 9:52 PM EDT

NHL, players association reach tentative agreement to resume season

The NHL and NHL Players Association on Monday announced a tentative agreement on protocols for Phase 3 and Phase 4 of the league’s 24-team return-to-play plan, an agreement in principle for a four-year extension to the collective bargaining agreement, transition rules and a critical dates calendar.

Under the agreement — which still must be formally approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors and the NHLPA’s Executive Board, followed by the full NHLPA membership — formal training camps (Phase 3) would begin July 13, teams would travel to one of two hub cities July 26, and Stanley Cup playoff round-robin and qualifying-round games (Phase 4) would start Aug. 1. The results of the vote for formal approval are expected within the next few days.

The NHL and NHLPA agreed to the league’s return-to-play format in late May after the novel coronavirus pandemic abruptly halted the regular season in March.

Read more here.

By Samantha Pell
July 6, 2020 at 9:43 PM EDT

Brazil’s president says he’s awaiting result of coronavirus test

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil — who has repeatedly played down the novel coronavirus pandemic as a “little flu” as his country’s cases skyrocket — took a coronavirus test Monday evening at a hospital and is awaiting the results, according to a government statement issued after news reports that the leader had symptoms.

“The president is, at the present moment, in good health and is at his residence,” the statement reads in Portuguese. It says results are coming Tuesday.

Bolsonaro, 65, was recorded on Monday telling his supporters that he was waiting for coronavirus test results after a lung scan.

“I just arrived from the hospital. I took a lung scan. The lung is clean,” the president told a group of people waiting for him in Brasilia.

While wearing a mask, he asked people to keep their distance. But he also allowed one supporter to remove a mask for a photo with him.

CNN Brasil reports that Bolsonaro has coronavirus symptoms, including a 100-degree fever, and has been taking hydroxychloroquine — a drug he has joined President Trump in promoting as a coronavirus treatment, though it’s unproven. The Food and Drug Administration has warned that the drug carries risks and is “unlikely to be effective” against covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Bolsonaro has canceled official events for the week, according to the Brazilian news media.

He had previously taken three virus tests since the pandemic arrived in Brazil, and all were negative.

Brazil has reported more than 60,000 coronavirus deaths, the second-highest total in the world behind the United States, and more than 1.6 million cases. Public health experts say leaders have allowed the virus to spread and strain the country’s health system virtually unchecked by shutdown measures or coordinated testing efforts.

By Heloisa Traiano and Hannah Knowles
July 6, 2020 at 9:21 PM EDT

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says she and her family have tested positive

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has tested positive for the coronavirus, along with her husband and one of her children, Bottoms said Monday.

“COVID-19 has literally hit home,” she tweeted. “I have had NO symptoms and have tested positive.”

Bottoms, considered a contender to become Joe Biden’s running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket, told MSNBC that her family was tested two weeks ago and then got tested again because her husband had been sleeping an unusual amount for several days.

“It’s a shock,” Bottoms said after the positive test. “It leaves me for a loss of words because it really speaks to how contagious this virus is and we’ve taken all the precautions that you can possibly take. I have no idea when and where we were exposed.”

Both she and her husband had symptoms that matched those of their seasonal allergies, she told CNN’s Chris Cuomo; she has recently had a headache and dry cough, she said, but that’s not out of the ordinary.

Bottoms’s children have asthma, she said, increasing her concern about the test results. One of the children has tested negative and one positive, she said, while two others still have to get tested.

Bottoms’s office did not immediately respond to a message seeking more details.

Georgia reported the fifth-highest total of new coronavirus cases in the country on Monday, according to Washington Post tracking. The state recorded its highest single-day new case counts between July 1 and 4.

Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, reported the most new cases in the state on Monday and has the second-highest infection total in Georgia to date.

Georgia was early to reopen, with Gov. Brian Kemp (R) ending limits on movie theater and restaurant capacity and permitting conventions and live performances to resume.

Some restrictions remain in place. Kemp on June 29 extended an order that requires “social distancing, bans gatherings of more than 50 people unless there is six feet between each person, outlines mandatory criteria for businesses, and requires sheltering in place for those living in long-term care facilities and the medically fragile,” a news release summarizes.

By Kareem Copeland and Hannah Knowles
July 6, 2020 at 8:54 PM EDT

Data show SBA loans went to private-equity backed chains, members of Congress

Data released Monday by the Small Business Administration shows that businesses owned by members of Congress and the law practice that represented President Trump were among the hundreds of thousands of firms that received aid from the agency.

As part of its $660 billion small-business relief program, the SBA also handed out loans to private schools catering to elite clientele, firms owned by foreign companies and large chains backed by well-heeled Wall Street firms. Nearly 90,000 companies in the program took the aid without promising on their applications they would rehire workers or create jobs.

The data, which was released after weeks of pressure from media outlets and lawmakers, paints a picture of a haphazard first-come, first-served program that was not designed to evaluate the relative need of the recipients. While it buttressed a swath of industries and entities, including restaurants, medical offices, car dealerships, law firms and nonprofits, the agency did not filter out companies that have potential conflicts of interest among influential Washington figures.

Read more here.

By Jonathan O'Connell, Aaron Gregg, Steven Rich, Anu Narayanswamy and Peter Whoriskey
July 6, 2020 at 8:28 PM EDT

A tuition break, half-empty campuses and home-testing kits: More top colleges announce fall plans

Princeton University announced Monday it will cut tuition 10 percent in the coming school year and bring no more than half its undergraduates to the campus in New Jersey, an extraordinary acknowledgment of how the coronavirus pandemic has hobbled the operations of a school that aims to provide education through experiences inside and outside the classroom.

Christopher L. Eisgruber, Princeton’s president, said he knew of no similar price cut in the school’s history.

“This is one heck of a crisis,” he said.

Also on Monday, Harvard University said it will deliver all undergraduate classes in the fall remotely, even as it brings about 40 percent of its undergraduates to its campus in Massachusetts. And Georgetown University said it will invite freshmen to its D.C. campus but bar most others from living there in an effort to protect public health.

Read more here.

By Nick Anderson
July 6, 2020 at 7:57 PM EDT

International students must take in-person classes to stay in U.S. legally, ICE announces

University officials scrambled Monday to adapt to new federal guidance that does not allow international students to stay in the country if they are taking classes online only. It also left some students expressing fears on social media that they risked being suddenly deported.

When universities rapidly shut down this spring in response to the coronavirus pandemic — many in response to governors’ orders — federal agencies granted flexibility to existing requirements that international students must take classes in person. The major associations of universities had asked federal officials to extend that flexibility into the fall, as the continued spread of the disease has led many schools to offer classes online only in an effort to prevent further spread of the disease.

On Monday, the federal Student and Exchange Visitor Program announced, “The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States."

Read more here.

By Susan Svrluga
July 6, 2020 at 7:37 PM EDT

Republican National Convention to test attendees daily for coronavirus

The host committee for the Republican National Convention said Monday that novel coronavirus testing will be conducted at the event site next month in Jacksonville, Fla.

The committee has not provided details on the logistics or how the cost will be covered.

“Everyone attending the convention within the perimeter will be tested and temperature checked each day,” Erin Isaac, communications director for the host committee, said in a memo to reporters.

Asked for details on how the testing would be done, Isaac replied, “We’ll provide more information as it is available."

The decision to move the event from Charlotte to Jacksonville came after President Trump tweeted on Memorial Day that he wanted the convention in a city that would allow him to speak in a filled arena. The Republican National Committee also indicated that it did not want to require masks for Trump’s speech.

By Felicia Sonmez
July 6, 2020 at 7:21 PM EDT

Calif. governor plans to release or relocate nearly 1,000 inmates from prison called 'the Chernobyl of covid’

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said Monday that a novel coronavirus outbreak at San Quentin State Prison in the Bay Area is now his “top focus and priority,” promising the release or relocation of nearly 1,000 inmates as infections there soar.

The pledge to “decompress” the prison population comes days after state officials reported that more than 1,300 inmates — roughly a third of all jailed there — have tested positive for the virus. Since June 24, the virus has killed at least five death row inmates, and lawmakers have blasted state corrections officials for “a failure of leadership” that led to the outbreak.

On May 30, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation transferred infected inmates from a Southern California prison that had become a hot spot to San Quentin. Officials say they did not properly test inmates before the move and inadvertently introduced the virus at San Quentin, which until then had no recorded cases.

“They should not have been transferred,” Newsom acknowledged at a news conference Monday.

The prison has become “the Chernobyl of covid … it’s really unsafe to go there,” Peter Chin-Hong, a San Francisco infectious diseases doctor, told the local NBC affiliate.

But the governor has defended his administration’s handling of prison outbreaks and said his staff has been “working on this every single day for the last three weeks.” Newsom said he is personally sorting through inmate files to determine who can be released early or safely transferred. He said he wants all who are released to have social services support, including housing.

“We don’t want to just send people out into park benches and homeless shelters,” Newsom said. “We’ve got to make sure we responsibly move people out, but with a deep sense of urgency.”

He said the outbreak is also straining the hospital system in Marin County, where the prison is located.

The staff of “Ear Hustle,” a podcast about life at San Quentin, wrote of the danger inside: “When you’re trapped in a petri dish with the virus, you can do the best you can, but that might not be enough.”

By Reis Thebault
July 6, 2020 at 6:56 PM EDT

Trump and Biden campaigns shift focus to coronavirus as cases surge

The Trump and Biden presidential campaigns now see the novel coronavirus response as the preeminent force shaping the results of November’s election, prompting both camps to try to refocus their campaigns more heavily on the pandemic, according to officials and advisers of both campaigns.

Advisers to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden see the public health crisis as perhaps the clearest way yet to contrast the former vice president with President Trump, using the stumbling response and renewed surge in cases as ways to paint Trump as uninformed, incapable of empathy and concerned only about his political standing.

Trump’s advisers, by contrast, are seeking ways to reframe his response to the virus — even as the president himself largely seeks to avoid the topic because he views it as a political loser. They are sending health officials to swing states, putting doctors on TV in regional markets where the virus is surging, crafting messages on an economic recovery and writing talking points for allies to deliver to potential voters.

The goal is to convince Americans that they can live with the virus — that schools should reopen, professional sports should return, a vaccine is likely to arrive by the end of the year and the economy will continue to improve.

Read more here.

By Yasmeen Abutaleb and Josh Dawsey