Brazil Passes 1 Million Coronavirus Cases, Adding 54,000 in a Day

Brazil on Friday became the second country to pass one million coronavirus cases, recording a staggering 54,771 cases in the past 24 hours — an increase the country’s Health Ministry attributed at least in part to a lag in reporting from three states. The United States has reported more than 2.2 million cases.

More than 48,954 people in Brazil have died of Covid-19, second only to the total in the United States, according to a New York Times database. If the trend lines hold, some epidemiologists project the death toll of the epidemic in Brazil could surpass that in the United States by late July. Latin America has become an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in recent weeks, largely because of Brazil’s ballooning caseload.

About half of Friday’s increase was due to delayed reporting in three states, including São Paulo, health officials said.

The country’s response to the crisis has been widely criticized at home and abroad. President Jair Bolsonaro has dismissed the danger posed by the virus, sabotaged quarantine measures adopted at the state level and called on Brazilians to continue working to keep the economy from collapsing.

In early June, Brazil’s government removed numbers on coronavirus cases and deaths from the Health Ministry’s website, claiming without evidence that state officials had been reporting inflated figures to secure more federal funding. The numbers were later brought back after a Supreme Court justice ordered the government to stop suppressing the data.

As the country reached the one million case mark, the government was distracted by other political crises. An associate of Mr. Bolsonaro’s son, Senator Flávio Bolsonaro, was arrested on Thursday in connection with a corruption investigation. The president was also forced to fire his minister of education on Thursday, who is being investigated for threats and insults against Supreme Court justices.

Hours before the new case numbers were announced on Friday, the Ministry of Health presented a new plan with guidelines on how local officials could safely resume activities in cities and states. The plan, however, wasn’t coordinated with local officials.

As several states repeatedly set record daily highs for new coronavirus cases this week, their officials aimed to subdue alarm while doubling down on calls for greater vigilance, mask-wearing and social distancing.

Florida, among the hardest hit states, reported 3,822 new cases on Friday, beating the single-day record it set the previous day, and bringing its total of cases close to 90,000. A total of 3,104 people have died.

South Carolina also reported on Friday a record of 1,081 new daily cases. It was the seventh time in 11 days that the state broke its single-day case record, and the state epidemiologist on Thursday pleaded with residents to wear masks and practice social distancing.

“We understand that what we’re continuing to ask of everyone is not easy and that many are tired of hearing the same warnings and of taking the same daily precautions,” Dr. Linda Bell, the epidemiologist, said in a statement. “Every day that we don’t all do our part, we are extending the duration of illnesses, missed work, hospitalizations and deaths in our state.”

Arizona also recorded a new single-day high, reporting 3,183 new coronavirus cases, breaking a record set the day before.

The recent spikes come as policymakers across the United States are struggling to find a precarious balance between reopening their battered economies and keeping future outbreaks at bay.

This week, outbreaks have been growing in much of the South and West. Officials in Oklahoma and California also reported their highest daily case numbers on Thursday. And Texas became the sixth state in the nation to surpass 100,000 cases, according to a New York Times database. Cases there have doubled over the past month.

On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a Republican, sought to allay concerns about the spike in cases. He attributed the rise to an increase of infections among people under 40, many of whom, he stressed, were asymptomatic and less likely to put a strain on hospitals. The majority of deaths in the state were among residents 65 and older, and were centered at long-term care facilities, where Mr. DeSantis said the number of cases was declining.

He said an increase in testing across the state had also contributed to the rise, even as he cautioned that there had been an “erosion of social distancing among the younger population.” “As you test more, you find more,” he said.

The Trump administration has made a misleading claim that the recent jumps are a result of more aggressive testing.

But public health officials point to the easing of restrictions at businesses such as bars and restaurants, and a lack of social distancing among many beachgoers, among other factors, to help explain the rise. Some businesses in the state have had to reclose after employees fell ill. Apple on Friday said it was temporarily closing 11 retail stores across four states — Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Arizona — amid the surge in infections.

Eric Rosengren, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and an influential policy maker within the central bank system, cited the rising caseloads in South Carolina and Florida as he warned of the economic impact of states’ reopening before the virus is under control.

Mr. Rosengren said that because of the virus’s continued spread “and the acceleration of new cases in many states, I expect the economic rebound in the second half of the year to be less than was hoped for at the outset of the pandemic.”

The World Health Organization issued a dire warning on Friday that the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, and noted that Thursday was a record day for new cases — more than 150,000 globally.

“The world is in a new and dangerous phase,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the W.H.O. “Many people are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and their economies. But the virus is still spreading fast. It is still deadly, and most people are still susceptible.”

If the outbreak was defined early on by a series of shifting epicenters — including Wuhan, China; Iran; northern Italy; Spain; and New York — it is now defined by its wide and expanding scope. According to a Times database, 81 nations have seen a growth in new cases over the past two weeks, while only 36 have seen declines.

Dr. Tedros said that almost half of the new cases reported on Thursday came from the Americas. Large numbers are also being reported from Africa, South Asia and the Middle East.

Dr. Tedros urged individuals to continue to maintain distance from others, to cover their noses and mouths with masks when appropriate and to wash their hands. He said nations must continue to find, isolate, test and care for every person infected with the virus, and to test and quarantine every contact. “We call on all countries to exercise extreme vigilance,” he said.

But risks are multiplying as nations begin to reopen their economies.

In India, which initially placed all 1.3 billion of its citizens under a lockdown — then moved to reopen even with its public health system near the breaking point — officials reported a record number of new cases Wednesday. And the virus is now spreading rapidly in nearby Pakistan and Bangladesh as well.

It took Africa nearly 100 days to reach 100,000 cases, the W.H.O. has noted, but only 19 days to double that tally. South Africa now averages a thousand more new cases each day than it did two weeks ago.

And some countries where caseloads had appeared to taper — including Israel, Sweden and Costa Rica — are watching them rise again. Costa Rica’s health minister said Friday that the country was halting reopening its economy because of the increase in cases.

Scientists generally agree that wearing face masks can help curb the spread of the virus. For politicians and businesses, however, the decision of whether to require masks is growing increasingly contentious, with some viewing the requirements as an essential safety measure while others call them an infringement on personal liberty.

The chief executive of AMC Entertainment Holdings, Adam Aron, drew a swift backlash on Thursday after he said that moviegoers would not be required to wear masks at the company’s theaters when they reopen next month. He said that AMC “did not want to be drawn into a political controversy.”

“We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary,” Mr. Aron said in an interview published Thursday by Variety magazine.

AMC reversed itself on Friday, saying it had consulted with scientific advisers and would require masks in theaters nationwide when it reopens on July 15.

“This announcement prompted an intense and immediate outcry from our customers, and it is clear from this response that we did not go far enough on the usage of masks,” the company said in a statement.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema also said on Friday that it would require face masks in its theaters.

Similar tensions are playing out nationwide, even as cases surge in several states.

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, where there has been a surge, on Thursday ordered people to wear face masks in most indoor — and some outdoor — public settings.

And Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, a Republican, caving to pressure from rising case counts and local officials, allowed towns and counties to decide for themselves whether to make face masks mandatory. Previously, municipalities there were forbidden to introduce more restrictive rules.

In Texas, a Dallas County executive issued an order saying that all residents over the age of 10 “shall wear” face coverings in public when social distancing is not possible, effective immediately and lasting until at least August 4th. The orders extended to businesses, requiring employees and customers to wear masks or face a fine of up to $500. Residents will not be required to wear masks if they are exercising outdoors or pumping gas.

The order came after Texas reported more than 4,600 new cases Friday, hitting a new single-day high for the second day in a row, according to a New York Times database.

Rest assured, France’s culture minister says: The kiss has not been banished from movies.

Franck Riester, the minister, said on Friday that as movie and television shoots in France slowly started up again after months of lockdown, actors were working out ways of safely smooching again.

“Kissing has started again, if I may say so, on movie sets,” Mr. Riester told RTL radio, although he did not refer to any specific films or actors. “Some artists got tested, waited a bit, and then did that kiss that is so important in cinema.”

Last month, the body that oversees health and hygiene conditions on French film sets issued a guide on how to keep the virus at bay, including measures for scenes that require physical intimacy.

Those included adapting or rewriting the action, postponing filming, or asking actors to get tested or regularly take their temperature. Wearing masks was also recommended, camera angles permitting.

The government has created a 50-million-euro guarantee fund to help producers who are forced to cancel a film shoot for coronavirus-related reasons, but some worry that insurers will balk at the slightest deviation from the guidelines.

Marina Foïs, an actress, expressed frustration on French television last week that “insurances are going to have an opinion on how we make a movie” and said she would find it hard to follow social distancing guidelines with her co-stars while filming.

“If I want to act well, I need to abandon something, I need to let happen what will happen,” she told France 5.

Movie theaters are one of the few businesses still closed around France. They are scheduled to open next week, but will only be allowed to fill up half of their seats, with distancing between viewers. Masks will be recommended, but not required, though individual theaters may set their own rules.

People lined up outside an arena in Tulsa, Okla., in anticipation of President Trump’s campaign rally on Saturday, his first since the pandemic began. But health officials braced for the possibility that the event could further spread the virus in a state that has seen a surge in new cases.

A lawsuit filed by local residents and businesses to stop Mr. Trump from holding the rally because of the risks of spreading the virus was rejected on Friday afternoon by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The lawsuit had demanded that the event be postponed unless the BOK Center, the 19,000-seat arena where the rally is to be held, agreed to enforce certain social distancing guidelines.

The court said that because Oklahoma’s reopening plan, put in place on June 1, allowed businesses to use their discretion when instituting social distancing measures, such restrictions were not mandatory.

At the same time, city officials rescinded a three-night curfew, after Mr. Trump said on Twitter that he had spoken with the mayor, “who informed me there will be no curfew tonight or tomorrow for our many supporters” — a chaotic about-face from the previous plans.

Local health officials have warned that Mr. Trump’s rally has the potential to become a “super spreader” event. Tulsa’s police chief, Wendell Franklin, said this week that his department was planning for “a mass amount of people that probably Tulsa has never seen before.”

The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said this week that attendees would be given face masks, but that using them would be optional. Mr. Trump has eschewed masks in public, and Ms. McEnany said on Friday that she would not wear one at the rally.

The state has recorded more than 9,700 confirmed cases. With about 245 cases per 100,000 people, the state’s per capita total ranks in the bottom 20 percent of the country. But the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 352 additional cases on Friday, its second-highest daily number of new cases.

The only day with more new cases in the state was Thursday, when 450 were reported. The third-highest number, 259, came on Wednesday.

Motoko Rich, the Tokyo bureau chief for The Times, writes:

It is every foreign correspondent’s nightmare: a family emergency when you are half a world away.

For me, the call came last month. My 76-year-old father was sick, not with Covid-19, but with complications from congestive heart failure. There was nothing more his doctors could do, and he was entering hospice care.

I was in Tokyo. He and my mother were in California. Suddenly, I was facing questions unique to the pandemic — whether it would be wise to travel, or whether I could forgive myself if I didn’t. If I did go, I wasn’t sure I could return to Japan because of an entry ban on many foreign nationals, including Americans.

I knew that others in my situation hadn’t been able to make it to the bedside of their dying loved ones, with goodbyes delivered through the cellphones of hospital nurses.

My father told me to stay put, not wanting me to get stuck indefinitely in California when my two children and job as Tokyo bureau chief for The New York Times were in Japan. My mother agreed, but I could hear her stress mounting on the phone. I am an only child, so there was no one else to be with her.

In the end, I resolved to go.

As New York City, once the center of the pandemic in the United States, was preparing to enter its next phase of reopening on Monday, officials urged caution and implored restless residents to use their judgment when deciding whether to participate in more parts of life.

As many as 300,000 employees are expected to return to their jobs next week as office work, in-store retail, outdoor dining and several other sectors of the city’s economy restart with limits. Apple said this week it was going to reopen 10 stores in the city “by appointment” for customers to pick up purchases or for repairs.

The shift in phases will be a major test for a dense city where people have already been gathering in crowds outside bars, in parks and other public places.

Asked at his daily news briefing on Friday exactly how much activity he would deem safe, Mayor Bill de Blasio put the onus on New Yorkers to decide for themselves.

“This is a very personal decision that people need to make, and I’d say to anyone who feels cautious or uncomfortable, listen to that — and less is more, right?” Mr. de Blasio said. “We are going through stages — we’re feeling our way.”

A short time later, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ended his run of more than 100 consecutive daily news conferences, with an address from his office. After confirming that New York City would ease more restrictions on Monday, he presented a montage of New Yorkers during the crisis that featured his own narration.

During his address, Mr. Cuomo warned that “Covid isn’t over” — there were 25 additional deaths reported statewide — and said more work was needed to contain it. But he also struck a reflective and celebratory tone, citing continued low levels of virus-related infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

“I’m so incredibly proud of what we all did together, and as a community,” Mr. Cuomo said. “We reopened the economy and we saved lives.”

Here’s what else is happening in the U.S.:

  • A Navy investigation has concluded that the two top officers aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt made poor decisions in response to the outbreak of the virus on board the warship. As a result of the findings, Capt. Brett E. Crozier, will not be restored to command of the virus-stricken ship, and his boss on board, Rear. Adm. Stuart P. Baker, will have a promotion to two-star admiral put on hold. There will be no other punitive action against Captain Crozier.

  • The virus kills by filling the lungs with fluid and robbing the body of oxygen, yet the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a federal health agency known as BARDA, notified companies and researchers this month that it was halting funding for new treatments for this severe form of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

  • In Washington, the mayor said that some restrictions in the nation’s capital would ease on Monday, allowing gatherings of up to 50 people, limited indoor dining, and reopening playgrounds and fitness centers.

  • In New Jersey, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities can begin seeing visitors on June 21, state officials announced. As of Friday, more than 6,150 deaths had been reported in long-term care facilities, almost half the total number of deaths in the state. The overall death toll grew by 37 statewide.

  • Cruise lines won’t sail from U.S. ports until Sept. 15, the Cruise Lines International Association said, after its members agreed to extend a suspension that was to expire on July 24.

  • Two Major League Baseball clubs, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays, and a professional hockey team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, shut down their training facilities in Florida this week, after several players and staff members tested positive and others showed symptoms consistent with the virus.

Italian scientists on Friday said they found traces of the virus in samples of sewage water collected in December, further suggesting that the virus was already circulating in the country months before the outbreak at the end of February.

Researchers at the Italian National Institute of Health discovered the presence of the RNA of the virus in samples taken in the northern cities of Milan and Turin on Dec. 18, more than two months before the country’s first case was diagnosed on Feb 20. Traces were also found in samples from the city of Bologna, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of Milan, on Jan. 29.

“We showed that the virus was already circulating,” said Lucia Bonadonna, an official at the institute. “Probably in asymptomatic or little-symptomatic forms before we had our first local case.”

While the new findings shift the virus’s timeline earlier in Europe, they do not significantly change the pandemic’s known timeline. Chinese officials reported the outbreak in Wuhan on Dec. 31, but later traced cases that emerged as far back as Dec. 1.

Italian scientists and officials have long suspected that the virus had moved undetected in the northern region of Lombardy, an economic hub where there is frequent trade with China, at least weeks before the contagion came to light.

Similar evidence has recently emerged around the world, indicating that by the time the authorities were aware of an outbreak, the virus was already more widespread than initially believed.

In France, a sample taken from a patient on Dec. 27 tested positive last month. And in California, health officials discovered a virus-linked death on Feb. 6, weeks before the earliest recorded case of U.S. community transmission.

In other news from around the world:

  • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan lifted a virus-related ban on domestic travel. Mr. Abe’s government is also in discussions to ease international travel bans for passengers arriving from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.

  • Britain reduced its Covid-19 alert level to three from four. At Level 3, the virus is considered to remain “in general circulation.” But the change paves the way for a gradual easing of social-distancing measures.

  • Spain updated its death toll from the virus for the first time in almost two week. The country’s health ministry said 28,313 people had died, up from 27,136 on June 7. Officials said the intervening time had been used to ensure that all Covid-19 fatalities were properly recorded. Last month, the ministry abruptly reduced its tally by about 2,000, citing testing uncertainties.

  • South Korea reported 67 more cases, as a second wave of infections continued to spread in the Seoul metropolitan area.

  • In Canada, a doctor who traveled across a provincial border has been accused of igniting a coronavirus outbreak. ​ ​​The backlash against him has spurred debate over how to balance collective responsibility and individual freedom during a pandemic.

England’s top golfer, Tommy Fleetwood, was ranked 10th in the world when the PGA Tour suspended its schedule in March. But when tour play resumed last week, he was on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

In its haste to return, the tour, which has a playing membership that spans the globe, set up things up so that any player not based in the United States was effectively out of bounds. For Fleetwood in northwest England, the hazards were many, including a two-way quarantine, the possibility of catching the virus from a fellow passenger on a trans-Atlantic flight, and a monthslong separation from his wife, Clare; their 2-year-old son, Franklin; and his stepsons, Oscar, 13, and Mo, 12.

“If I was living in America,” Fleetwood said, “I’d be playing right now.”

Golf is not the only sport that has forged ahead without the full support of its competitive membership. This week’s decision by the United States Tennis Association to hold its marquee event, the United States Open, late this summer in New York, drew a sharp rebuke from the Australian player Nick Kyrgios. On Twitter, Kyrgios described the move as “selfish” and wrote, “People that live in the U.S. of course are pushing the Open to go ahead.”

Health experts worry that in the race to find drugs and vaccines, a substantial proportion of studies may be excluding older subjects, purposely or inadvertently, even as 80 percent of American deaths have occurred in people over age 65.

“A year from now, when these trials are published, I don’t want to see that there’s no one in them over 75,” said Dr. Sharon K. Inouye, a geriatrician at Harvard Medical School and Hebrew SeniorLife. “If they create a drug that works really well in healthy 50- and 60-year-olds, they’ve missed the boat.”

She and her team have reviewed 241 interventional Covid-19 studies that have been undertaken in the United States and are listed on, a site maintained by a division of the National Institutes of Health.

They found that 37 of these trials — which test drugs, vaccines and devices — set specific age limits and would not enroll participants older than 75, 80 or 85. A few even excluded those over 65.

Another group of 27 trials set no maximum age but used study designs that could nevertheless disqualify many older adults. Some excluded people with illnesses common among the older population, like hypertension or diabetes, even if participants controlled the disease through medication. “Surrogates for age exclusion,” Dr. Inouye said.

There is a long history of older people being excluded from clinical trials, even when the diseases in question disproportionately affected this group.

“Ideally, the patients enrolled in a randomized clinical trial reflect the demographics of the disease,” said Dr. Mark Sloan, a hematologist leading a Covid-19 drug study at Boston Medical Center, in an email. “Unfortunately, this is seldom the case.”

Genetic analysis of the coronavirus spreading in Beijing indicates that it has recent roots in Europe, Chinese government scientists have told the World Health Organization.

That is a strong suggestion that “the disease was probably imported from outside Beijing at some point,” though not that Europe was the origin of the new outbreak, Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the health emergency services program at the W.H.O., said on Friday.

Chinese researchers have posted the genomic sequence to online databases for further analysis, Dr. Ryan said.

  • Updated June 16, 2020

    • I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?

      The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.

    • What is pandemic paid leave?

      The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • Will protests set off a second viral wave of coronavirus?

      Mass protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people onto the streets in cities across America are raising the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases. While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged the demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further community spread of the virus. Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission.

    • My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?

      States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

Officials have been racing to explain and contain the new outbreak in the Chinese capital, a cluster of more than 180 infections at the vast Xinfadi wholesale market that emerged after 56 days of no new locally-transmitted cases.

There has been no wholesale lockdown, but the city’s schools have been shut and strict limitations imposed in high-risk neighborhoods. On Thursday, thousands of restaurant workers lined up around the city to get tested.

Travelers are being required to show proof of a negative nucleic acid test taken within seven days of boarding planes or trains out of Beijing, and the wait-list at some hospitals stretches into September, according to Caixin, a Chinese investigative news outlet.

The health authorities also released new guidelines urging the public to prevent “splash contamination” by not rinsing raw meat or seafood directly under the tap.

Chinese officials had initially pointed to imported salmon as a possible source of the new cluster, an idea that echoed some Chinese suggestions early in the pandemic that the virus itself may have originated elsewhere. But Dr. Ryan of the W.H.O. said there was no sign that fish had transmitted the virus in Beijing.

However, a top Chinese epidemiologist made another kind of link to seafood.

Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters on Thursday that seafood vendors at the Xinfadi market had suffered the most infections and showed symptoms earlier than those who sold beef and lamb.

He suggested that low temperatures and high humidity in the seafood and meat areas may have contributed to the virus’s spread, and suggested that clues to the virus’s emergence might be found in the proximity of fish and meat stalls — true of both the Xinfadi market and the market in the city of Wuhan, where the initial outbreak was identified.

In the latest edition of The Australia Letter, a weekly newsletter from our Australia bureau, our reporter Livia Albeck-Ripka explains what it’s like to “tiptoe out into the world” after an outbreak.

Earlier this month, I was standing among thousands of people as I reported on a Black Lives Matter protest in Melbourne, wondering if I was too close to them.

One person near me was without a face covering, another kept shuffling closer, and a third — her surgical mask pulled down below her chin — was yelling in my direction. That was 13 days ago, one day short of the standard coronavirus incubation period.

But I’m fine. I think. And maybe that odd and unsettling feeling is just what this phase of the pandemic feels like for all of us — not quite panic-stricken, not quite normal.

We’ve seen upticks in cases of the virus in some places but others escaped relatively unscathed, and no one seems to be able to tell us exactly why. At the same time, countries where the pandemic’s curve had appeared flattened are now seeing rises in case numbers.

Australia’s Victoria State, where at least three protesters have contracted the virus, on Wednesday recorded its largest single-day increase in infections in over a month.

What’s now clear is that there’s a cost in returning to normal, and that in some cases, we might only be a misstep or two away from another surge.

So as we tiptoe out into the world, how much risk should we take?

Some of us operate on the assumption that if they follow regulations, they will be fine. Others feel frustrated by the inconsistencies in official advice, or that rushing back to normal life before a vaccine is available would be dangerous.

“Everything we’re doing is unknown territory,” said Hassan Vally, an epidemiologist and senior lecturer in public health at La Trobe University in Melbourne.

“What we do know,” he added, “is that as a society we can’t survive in complete lockdown until we get a vaccine: We have to get back to normal.”

When I got home after the recent protest, I removed my mask carefully. I scrubbed my hands for 20 seconds. I changed my sweater. I washed my face. That night, I went out to eat with friends for the first time in weeks. There were no masks to remind me of the pandemic.

After a beer, and laughing face-to-face with a group for the first time in weeks, it was even easier to forget. Since then, I’ve begun to feel my hypervigilance fade even further. I don’t wipe down my door handles as often, or my phone, and I’m still fine. For now.

Bowing to political pressure, the Trump administration said on Friday evening that it would disclose information about recipients of millions of small-business loans through the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program.

The administration had closely guarded the information and argued that it should not disclose the names of the private businesses that received the loans or the amount of money that they took from the federal government. The reversal came as Democrats had seized on the secrecy surrounding the program to suggest that the bailout was an example of the Trump administration engaging in corporate cronyism.

The new disclosures will apply to loans of more than $150,000. The information will be broken down into five loan ranges, up to the maximum amount of $10 million. The Small Business Administration will release business names, addresses, demographic data and jobs supported.

The Treasury Department, which jointly administers the loan program with the S.B.A., did not say when the new information would be made public, but some of the demographic data will be included in loan forgiveness applications, which might not be submitted for months.

A Navy investigation has concluded that the two top officers aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt made poor decisions in response to the outbreak of the virus on board the warship.

As a result of the findings, Capt. Brett E. Crozier, will not be restored to command of the virus-stricken ship, and his boss on board, Rear. Adm. Stuart P. Baker, will have a promotion to two-star admiral put on hold. There will be no other punitive action against Captain Crozier.

The conclusions of the investigation were announced by Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite and Adm. Michael M. Gilday, the chief of naval operations, at a Pentagon news conference.

The decisions amounted to a reversal by Admiral Gilday, who had previously recommended to his Pentagon superiors that command of the Roosevelt be returned to Captain Crozier, who was relieved in April after he pleaded for more help fighting the outbreak aboard his ship.

The events surrounding Captain Crozier, who has been viewed as a hero by his crew for putting their lives above his career, seized the nation’s attention.

All week long, two competing narratives faced off on Wall Street.

Investors were encouraged by signs that business reopenings were having an immediate positive effect on the economy. But they were troubled by the growing number of coronavirus infections around the country.

The tug-of-war made for a turbulent week, and Friday was no exception. The S&P 500 fell 0.6 percent, after starting the day with a solid gain.

The reversal came after Apple said it would temporarily close some stores in states where cases are spiking. The number of new cases is increasing in at least 20 states, an analysis by The Times found.

Apple’s decision had an instant impact on the market: Shares of companies that are likely to benefit from a return to normalcy, like airlines and retailers, immediately gave up their gains. Oil prices also gave up their early gains.

The push and pull this week has come amid mixed reports on the economy. A Labor Department report on Thursday showed that another 1.5 million workers had filed for state unemployment benefits. The pace of layoffs has slowed in recent weeks but remains elevated. On Tuesday, the Commerce Department said that retail sales rebounded sharply in May, as stores reopened and governments lifted some restrictions. But there is growing uncertainty about the economic picture going forward.

Yet despite investors’ general unease, the S&P 500 was up nearly 2 percent for the week.

Around the United States, but mostly in small towns in the West, hundreds of professional rodeos have been canceled — hard blows to tradition and economies. In many places, the rodeo is the biggest event on the annual calendar.

Stonyford, Calif., can feel like the middle of nowhere. But it could always count on a few crowded days every year during its annual rodeo, when the town’s population swells into the thousands.

Not this year. There was no 77th Stonyford Rodeo.

Some rodeos, like Stonyford, with $18,000 in prize money, are relatively small affairs. Others are immense undertakings filled with concerts, carnivals and livestock shows — and $1 million or more in payouts.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the governing body of about 700 annual rodeos, estimates that about half will not take place in 2020. Those still on the schedule are working with fingers crossed, some moving dates to buy more time.

“Covid-19 has impacted the entire country, every business you can think of,” said George Taylor, chief executive of the association. “Our business is a representation of that, but also represents a loss of community — something that brings these small towns together.”

Rodeos hold a unique spot in the American sports landscape. They are not a league, but a loose coalition of community events, usually run by nonprofit organizations and volunteers.

In late May, when Gov. Mark Gordon of Wyoming tearfully announced the cancellation of July’s Cheyenne Frontier Days for the first time in the event’s 124-year history, he was surrounded by representatives of other canceled Wyoming rodeos. They were socially distanced, wearing masks and cowboy hats.

The virus kills by filling the lungs with fluid and robbing the body of oxygen, yet the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a federal health agency known as BARDA, notified companies and researchers this month that it was halting funding for new treatments for this severe form of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The new policy highlights the Trump administration’s staunch support for a potential vaccine as the way to return American society and the economy to normal. BARDA has pledged more than $2.2 billion in deals with five vaccine manufacturers for the coronavirus, compared with about $359 million toward potential Covid-19 treatments.

The decision to suspend investment in lung treatments blindsided academic researchers and executives at small biotech companies, who said they spent months pitching their proposals to BARDA. The change in policy was posted without fanfare on a government website on June 3, and was not announced in a statement.

Some clinicians and bioethicists contend that BARDA should continue supporting research into treatments for lung conditions, while other experts contend the new policy is a sensible use of limited federal dollars.

About 95 percent of the patients hospitalized for Covid-19 at Northwell Health in New York, a system of 23 hospitals at the epicenter of the region’s epidemic this spring, have developed severe respiratory distress, said Dr. Mangala Narasimhan, the regional director of critical care medicine at Northwell.

“You’re going to need other forms of treatments for a lot of those people, and I feel like that’s where there’s going to be a gaping hole,” she said.

Two Major League Baseball clubs, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays, and a professional hockey team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, shut down their training facilities in Florida this week, after several players and staff members tested positive and others showed symptoms consistent with the virus.

The Phillies said in a statement Friday that five players and three staff members working at the club’s facility in Clearwater had tested positive for the virus, first reported by NBC. The club said eight staff members tested negative and more than 30 others were awaiting results.

The Blue Jays facility, in nearby Dunedin, was closed Thursday after one of the players appeared to exhibit Covid-19 symptoms, according to ESPN. And ESPN and the Canadian network TSN reported that the Lightning shut down a facility after multiple players and staff tested positive. Both the N.H.L. and M.L.B. are hoping to start up in late July.

Florida has become a hub for sports leagues trying to restart, but the state has seen a sharp rise in cases. The N.B.A., W.N.B.A., Major League Soccer and others are all attempting to hold their upcoming seasons there.

The shutdowns on Friday cast a shadow over the return of professional sports, which this week became a source of friction between Mr. Trump and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.

Mr. Trump rebuked Dr. Fauci after Dr. Fauci said Thursday on CNN that the National Football League would need to replicate the kind of safety “bubble” planned by professional basketball and soccer leagues to safely resume play.

“Unless players are essentially in a bubble — insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day — it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” Dr. Fauci said.

Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday that “Tony Fauci has nothing to do with N.F.L. Football. They are planning a very safe and controlled opening.”

Reporting was contributed by Livia Albeck-Ripka, Manuela Andreoni, Maggie Astor, Brooks Barnes, Dan Bilefsky, Keith Bradsher, John Branch, Gillian R. Brassil, Aurelien Breeden, Emma Bubola, Chris Buckley, Nancy Coleman, Maria Cramer, Karen Crouse, Michael Crowley, Gillian Friedman, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Jenny Gross, Mohammed Hadi, Rebecca Halleck, Annie Karni, Sarah Kliff, Jesse McKinley, Raphael Minder, Elian Peltier, Alan Rappaport, Motoko Rich, Eric Schmitt, Jeanna Smialek, Mitch Smith, Kaly Soto, Paula Span, Matt Stevens, Katie Thomas, Neil Vigdor, Daisuke Wakabayashi, David Waldstein and Mihir Zaveri.

First Published at on 2020-06-19 14:57:23

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