What you need to know today about the virus outbreak
Protests across the United States the past six days over the death of George Floyd have eclipsed issues over the coronavirus pandemic that have dominated much of the past three months.
Demonstrations from coast to coast — some peaceful, some violent — have taken place since the death of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
The unrest comes as people around the world gradually try to return to normal. The first day of June saw coronavirus restrictions ease from Asia to Europe and in the United States.
The Colosseum opened its ancient doors in Rome, ferries restarted in Bangladesh, golfers played in Greece, students returned in Britain and Dutch bars and restaurants were free to welcome hungry, thirsty patrons.
The Florida Keys reopened to tourists after being shut down the past two months.
Here are some of AP’s top stories Monday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.
What’s Happening Today:
— Federal health authorities have received reports of nearly 26,000 U.S. nursing home residents dying from COVID-19, according to materials prepared for the nation’s governors. A letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 60,000 cases of coronavirus illness among nursing home residents.
— Countries around the Mediterranean Sea tentatively kicked off a summer season where tourists could bask in their sunny beaches while still being protected by social distancing measures from the coronavirus. Greece lifted lockdown measures for hotels, campsites, open-air cinemas, golf courses and public swimming pools, while beaches and museums reopened in Turkey, and bars, restaurants, cinemas and museums came back to life in the Netherlands. Commuter trains, taxis, ride-sharing cars, special shuttle buses and motorcycles rumbled back on the roads in the Philippine capital, Manila, but were only allowed to carry a fraction of their capacity as a safeguard.
— Protests erupting across the U.S. are threatening to upend efforts by health officials to track and contain the spread of coronavirus just as those efforts were finally getting underway. Health experts need newly infected people to remember and recount everyone they’ve interacted with over several days in order to alert others who may have been exposed and prevent them from spreading the disease further. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday, “We have to take a minute and ask ourselves: ’What are we doing here?’”
— Primaries Tuesday in eight U.S. states are the biggest test to date of campaigning during the coronavirus era, a way for parties to test-drive new ways of getting out the vote during a time when it can be dangerous to leave your home. Voters in Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Dakota will cast ballots in both the Democratic presidential contest and a host of down-ballot primaries for everything from governors to state representatives.
— COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted black Americans, infecting and killing them at higher rates across the nation. Experts say the pandemic has also exacerbated existing economic disparities and raised fresh concerns about the survival of black businesses, many of which have been the backbone of cities like Detroit and Atlanta for years.
— A California biotech company says its experimental drug remdesivir improved symptoms when given for five days to moderately ill, hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Gilead Sciences’ drug is the only treatment that’s been shown in a rigorous experiment to help fight the coronavirus.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.
One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.
You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.
TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.
— 1,600: There were some 1,600 people who reserved tickets in advance to see the Sistine Chapel on the first day the Vatican Museums opened to the public after a three-month coronavirus shutdown.
IN OTHER NEWS:
— DISPATCHES FROM YOSEMITE: Yosemite National Park has been closed to the public for nearly three months and a few dozen lucky kids have had it mostly to themselves. They are student journalists who put out the Yosemite Valley School newspaper. Their parents are Yosemite’s essential staff who live in a residential area of the park and are watching over it while it’s closed.
— IT’S A START: Competitive sports have returned to England with greyhound racing as the first of three sports to resume after a 75-day shutdown because of the coronavirus outbreak. Horse racing and snooker are also taking place — all without spectators and following government-approved coronavirus protocols.
Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak