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Drop in new coronavirus cases in U.S. is muddied by reporting and testing snags

As states decide whether to open schools in the fall, teachers across the country worry their lives are being put at risk. (Video: The Washington Post)
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The number of new coronavirus cases recorded nationwide each day is dropping after peaking at more than 75,000 — but the declines are muddied by issues with testing and data-gathering in big states.

Populous California and Florida have the largest decreases in the past month in raw numbers: Florida’s average daily cases have tumbled to about 7,300 from a peak of nearly 12,000, while California surpassed 10,000 before dropping close to 7,000. Those two states also have reported major data snags.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) noted a big drop in daily cases, but officials warned a day later that issues with the reporting system were causing an undercount. Florida’s numbers, meanwhile, were disrupted by Hurricane Isaias, which led officials to suspend coronavirus testing at dozens of sites.

Here are some significant developments:

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Here's what to know:

Facebook on Wednesday said it removed President Trump’s post of a video clip from a Fox News interview in which he said that children are “almost immune” from covid-19 because it violated their policies on harmful coronavirus misinformation. Twitter hid the post on its site and said the Trump campaign will not be able to tweet until it is deleted, although they can appeal the decision.
Speaking with Reuters, Anthony S. Fauci said that tens of millions of vaccine doses will likely be on-hand early next year and that manufacturers say they will probably have a billion doses by the end of 2021.
Hiring slowed dramatically in July, according to an estimate by ADP, as businesses added fewer than 170,000 new jobs compared to some economists’ predictions of more than 1 million.
Democrats on Capitol Hill told negotiators for President Trump that preserving funding for the U.S. Postal Service and removing new rules that have slowed delivery times are essential ingredients of a new coronavirus relief bill.
Students and teachers in Indiana, Mississippi, Georgia and North Carolina have tested positive for covid-19, forcing hundreds into quarantine and complicating an already fraught plan to reopen schools.
It is still too soon to know what impact the two explosions in Central Beirut will have on Lebanon’s coronavirus outbreak, but health and aid agencies are sounding the alarm.

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Coronavirus: What you need to know

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot designed to target both the original virus and the omicron variant. Here’s some guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.

Variants: Instead of a single new Greek letter variant, a group of immune-evading omicron spinoffs are popping up all over the world. Any dominant variant will likely knock out monoclonal antibodies, targeted drugs that can be used as a treatment or to protect immunocompromised people.

Tripledemic: Hospitals are overwhelmed by a combination of respiratory illnesses, staffing shortages and nursing home closures. And experts believe the problem will deteriorate further in coming months. Here’s how to tell the difference between RSV, the flu and covid-19.

Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.

Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people. Nearly nine out of 10 covid deaths are people over the age 65.

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