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Coronavirus Live Updates: Fauci Says U.S. Is Considering ‘Pool Testing’ Ahead of First Task Force Briefing in Months

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ImageFlorida residents wait in their vehicles at a coronavirus testing site in the parking lot of the Raymond James football stadium in Tampa on Friday. 
Credit…Eve Edelheit for The New York Times

Florida reports more than 8,900 new daily cases.

As cases rise around the United States, Florida reported more than 8,900 new coronavirus cases on Friday, after counting more than 10,000 new cases over the previous two days, pushing its total past 120,000.

Florida also reported an unusually high number of tests results — more than 71,000 — according to a daily Department of Health case report. The report was posted online before the department updated its coronavirus dashboard, which usually displays the latest case numbers before the case report is issued. Orange County is now averaging 412 cases a day, compared with 80 two weeks ago.

Florida’s eye-popping number of new cases came as hospitals and local leaders warned about rampant complacency.

“When I go out, I see fewer and fewer people wearing masks and practicing safe, physical distancing,” said Dr. Lawrence Antonucci, chief executive of the Lee Health hospital system in Fort Myers, which is seeing more Covid-19 hospitalizations and a higher positivity test rate than ever before during the pandemic. “The threat of this virus is as real as it’s ever been.”

Carlos Migoya, president and chief executive of the public Jackson Health System in Miami, said Floridians are not doing enough mask wearing and social distancing. The city of Miami issued a new order on Thursday explicitly requiring facial coverings outdoors.

Mr. Migoya said he is especially worried about essential workers, the unemployed and people living in close quarters and unable to stay home. Most of the Covid-19 patients in Jackson’s hospitals have come from some of the city’s poorest ZIP codes, he said. “People are tired of being in a stay-at-home environment, and they’re not going to be compliant,” he said. “You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. We’ve got to deal with it being in the environment.”

The state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation also abruptly announced on Friday morning that on-premises alcohol consumption would be suspended at bars, effective immediately. Bars can still sell food if they are licensed to do so, at 50 percent capacity.

In Key West, a popular tourist attraction, three bars had closed this week after staff members tested positive. A fourth bar closed proactively. Mark Rossi, who owns several of the most popular establishments on the Duval Street tourist strip, did not close his establishment after an employee tested positive, because the person had not been to work in about eight or 10 days, and had always worn a mask and gloves.

“This is going to have a ripple-down effect on the community — I can tell you that,” Mr. Rossi said. “I’m still deciding what to do with my business.”

He said he had been limiting the number of people allowed inside his bars and enforced the county rules: masks required if you were standing, not required if you were seated at a table.

“For the most part most people have been agreeing to it,” he said. “You get a few stubborn customers that don’t want to wear face masks.”

Pete Boland, who co-owns The Galley in St. Petersburg, said that when bars were allowed to resume business in early June, customers immediately began bending and breaking distancing rules.

“People didn’t want to respect the guidelines,” he said. “They wanted to argue with the doorman,” he said. “The guests would want to move the tables around. The guests didn’t want to respect capacity restrictions.”

He said that he understood why people wanted to get out of the house to work or socialize. But he added keeping track of the regulations was taking a toll. “I don’t know if we can continue do this, open, closing, open, closing,” he said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has said that Florida has the capacity to deal with more sick people for now. Across the state, long lines have returned at testing sites that just a few weeks ago were seeing limited demand. On Thursday, Mr. DeSantis said that he did not intend to move to the next phase of reopening. Earlier in the pandemic when Florida’s cases were lower, he eagerly advanced a narrative pushed by Mr. Trump, seeing the economic damage as a greater risk than a virus that had, for months, largely spared his state.

‘This moment is different,’ Pence says at the first coronavirus task force briefing in nearly two months.

Credit…Michael A. McCoy for The New York Times

As infections surged around the United States and warnings have emerged that the pandemic could worsen this fall, Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that “this moment is different” than when he last time he briefed the nation on the pandemic nearly two months ago.

Mr. Pence said and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator, will visit hot spots next week, including Texas and Arizona, to get an “on the ground report.”

“I recognize that this is different than two months ago, both this our ability to respond and in the nature of those that are being infected,” Mr. Pence said. “And that younger Americans have a particular responsibility to make sure that they’re not carrying the coronavirus into settings where they would expose the most vulnerable.”

But even as cases spike around the country, Mr. Pence tried to take a victory lap, asserting, “We slowed the spread, we flattened the curve, we saved lives.”

Mr. Pence was joined by top members of President Trump’s coronavirus task force, including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and Dr. Birx.

The session was a significant re-emergence for the task force, whose health officials, at one point, gathered every day for long hours as death rates peaked around the country, and offered a public briefing that allowed for questions from reporters. But they had been largely sidelined at the White House even as the United States on Thursday reported more than 41,000 new coronavirus cases, a record total for the second straight day.

Dr. Birx said that rising positive test rates in states across the South, including in Texas, Arizona, Florida and Mississippi, were causing significant concern among health officials, and that they had created an “alert system” to track them.

She singled out Texas as a state where higher positive test rates indicated a more complicated kind of spread that could not be explained by higher rates of testing. Texas, she said, was part of a group of states with test positive rates above 10 percent, a threshold the White House has used to identify areas of particular concern.

“Throughout May, after opening, their test positivity continued to decline as their testing increased. It was in the last two and a half weeks that we saw this inflection of rising test positivity along with rising testing,” she said of Texas, displaying slides on television monitors in an auditorium at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence have explained recent spikes in cases as evidence of more testing, without acknowledging higher positive test rates and hospitalizations across the South.

Communities with increasing cases but declining positive test rates, Dr. Birx said on Friday, were examples of greater asymptomatic spread of the virus, typically among people under the age of 40.

Half of new cases are affecting Americans younger than 35, which Mr. Pence described as “good news,” because younger Americans are less likely to fall seriously ill. However, Dr. Fauci has noted that the nation must not be sanguine about infections in young people, because some do suffer serious effects.

People 18 to 44 have represented nearly half of the total cases in the U.S. since the start, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of 2 million people who have tested positive, 1.6 million were under 65.

In testimony early this week, Dr. Fauci flatly contradicted Mr. Trump, stating, “The virus is not going to disappear.”

At the task force briefing, Dr. Fauci also pleaded with Americans to continue practicing social distancing and following other public health guidelines — for their safety and the safety of others.

“You have an individual responsibility to yourself but you have a societal responsibility because if we want to end this outbreak, really end it and then hopefully when a vaccine comes and put as a nail in the coffin, we’ve got to realize that we are part of the process,” he said.

Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, said that the federal government was distributing two treatments across the country: remdesivir, shown to modestly reduce time to recovery, and dexamethasone, a common steroid that has been shown to reduce deaths in some seriously ill patients.

U.S. Roundup

After pausing its reopening, Texas moves to close bars.

Credit…Callaghan O’Hare for The New York Times

The move comes just a day after Mr. Abbott, a Republican, put the state’s reopening on pause, while remaining firm that going “backward” and closing down businesses was “the last thing we want to do.”

By Friday, he said, “it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars. The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health.”

Under the order, bars must close effective 12 p.m. Friday locally, but they can remain open for takeout. Restaurants, which had been operating at 75 percent capacity must reduce capacity to 50 percent.

Younger people are making up a growing percentage of new cases in cities and states where the virus is now surging, a trend that has alarmed public health officials and prompted renewed pleas for masks and social distancing.

The changes come as the percent of positive tests in Texas exceeded 10 percent, a benchmark that Mr. Abbott had previously set as a warning sign of a more urgent crisis.

Texas set several single-day records for new cases this week, including a high of 6,584 on Wednesday. Tarrant County, which includes Fort Worth, ordered businesses to require customers and employees to wear face masks. The order, which goes into effect on Friday, comes days after a similar policy went into effect in neighboring Dallas County.

The Daily Poster

Listen to ‘The Daily’: The Dilemma in Texas

The governor was insistent about reopening. And then the cases soared.

The United States on Thursday reported more than 41,000 new cases, a record total for the second straight day, as a nationwide sense of urgency grew and five states — Alabama, Alaska, Montana, Missouri and Utah — reported their largest daily totals.

In a stark reminder of what officials still don’t know about the scope of the outbreak, Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Thursday that the number of Americans who have been infected with the virus is most likely about 10 times the 2.4 million cases that have been reported.

Elsewhere in the United States:

  • California, where stay-at-home orders were imposed particularly early in the pandemic, surpassed 200,000 total cases on Thursday, as its number of infections doubled over the past month. That is the second highest total for any state, though California’s per capita infection rate remains far lower than New York’s.

    Some states, however, are holding firm to their reopening plans. In Santa Barbara County, Calif., nail salons, tattoo parlors and piercing shops were set to reopen Friday, despite rising case numbers. In Michigan, where the outlook has been improving, the governor said professional sports could return, though without spectators.

  • P.G.A. tour officials sent golfers a health tracking device and expanded testing protocols after eight golfers pulled out of the Traveler’s Championship because of some positive tests that have emerged.

  • In Illinois, where Gov. J.B. Pritzker described a “trajectory of relative success,” museums, zoos and bowling alleys were set to reopen on Friday, along with indoor dining at restaurants.

    “I’m not afraid to protect the people of Illinois by moving a region back to an earlier phase if we see a surge,” Mr. Pritzker said. “Ours will not be one of the states that takes no action in response to a return to a peak.”

  • Most of the 121 cruise ships that entered U.S. waters after March 1 had cases on board, according to newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court late Thursday to overturn the Affordable Care Act — a move that could bring a permanent end to the health insurance program known as Obamacare and wipe out coverage for as many as 23 million Americans.

  • Morehouse, one of the country’s most celebrated historically black colleges, said Friday that it had canceled its fall sports of football and cross country, making it one of the first to publicly abandon its football season outright, though a handful of other schools have canceled games.

New state restrictions send U.S. stocks sliding lower.

Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Stocks slid on Friday, with losses accelerating after Texas said it would reinstate some measures aimed at curbing the coronavirus outbreak there, a move that added to investors’ concerns that a recent surge in Covid-19 cases would put a halt to the economic recovery.

The S&P 500 was down about 2 percent. The selling deepened after the governor of Texas ordered all bars to close, a day after pausing the state’s reopening.

“The Texas response to close bars and restaurants is a the real driver of lower markets today, as it portends to a possible second shutdown across the country if we see Covid spikes,” said Doug Rivelli, president of institutional brokerage firm Abel Noser in New York. “And a second shutdown would be devastating to the overall economy.”

Shares of big banks led the declines, dropping a day after the Federal Reserve said it would put a temporary cap on their dividend payments to keep the banks capitalized. Goldman Sachs and Fifth Third Bancorp fell about 6 percent. JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America were about 3 percent lower.

The decision to limit payouts is an admission by the Fed that large financial institutions, while far better off than they were in the financial crisis, remain vulnerable to an economic downturn unlike any other in modern history. With virus cases still surging and business activity subdued, it remains unclear when and how robustly the economy will recover.

Still, investors are also seeing signs of recovery in the economic data. Consumer spending data released on Friday by the Commerce Department showed a sharp increase of 8.2 percent in May, as businesses started to reopen.

Officials are discussing a possible shift to ‘pool testing,’ Fauci says.

Credit…Alex Wong/Getty Images

Dr. Fauci confirmed in a brief interview on Friday morning that officials are having “intense discussions” about a possible shift to “pool testing,” in which samples from many people are tested all at once in an effort to quickly find the infected and isolate them. Dr. Fauci’s comments were first reported by The Washington Post.

If the pooled sample tests negative for the coronavirus, all the individuals who provided samples are considered to be virus-free. But if a certain pool comes back with a positive result, each patient who provided a sample can be tested individually.

The strategy can be particularly effective when the prevalence of infection in a population is less than 30 percent, according to some reports. The method is being used in Germany, Israel and several other countries, as well as in Nebraska and Tennessee.

“When you are dealing with the kind of resurgences that we’re seeing in certain locations — and there is community spread which is clearly going on in a situation in which a substantial proportion of the infected people might be without symptoms — the standard process of identification, isolation and contact tracing does not seem to be adequate,” Dr. Fauci said in the interview.

Dr. Fauci said the task force is also considering ways to beef up contact tracing, not only by telephone but also in person, to help persuade those at risk of infection to isolate themselves.

“A certain number of people don’t want to stop working and get out of circulation,” he said, adding, “You have to get people that the community trusts to get out there, that are on the ground, in person, not making phone calls but actually making sure that you really can isolate them.”

Global Roundup

Turkey’s outbreak is spreading beyond urban centers.

Credit…Murad Sezer/Reuters

The shape of the pandemic appears to be shifting in Turkey, which has the world’s 13th largest known outbreak. Cases have been rising in the country’s east, southeast and center since national restrictions were eased at the beginning of June.

Turkey’s official figures do not break down national figures by region. It is mostly doctors who are reporting cases in the areas that are raising the alarm about the shift. Hospitals outside of the larger cities have limited capacity to cope with case surges.

Turkey has recorded 193,000 infections and just over 5,000 deaths since the pandemic first erupted in March, though, as in many countries, experts suggest the true counts are higher. The government had claimed success in curbing the virus, and when it relaxed an intercity travel ban several weeks ago, many workers left the cities to return to their home provinces.

Since then, daily national counts have increased from around 900 to 1,500, even as Turkey’s Health Minister, Fahrettin Koca, said that infections are declining in the large cities of western Turkey, including Istanbul, where 60 percent of infections have occurred. He has acknowledged that cases have started to rise in central and eastern Turkey.

In Ankara, the Turkish Parliament has suspended work after an infections among staff members and one legislator. And members of the Turkish Medical Association, an independent professional association, said the number of cases is rising rapidly and hospitals are filling up in several eastern cities.

In the southeast, the president of the Diyarbakir Medical Chamber, Mehmet Serif Demir, said that the city had registered 900 patients with Covid-19 in the first two and a half months from the onset of the outbreak in March but that the number had doubled in the last few weeks, reaching more than 2,000.

His counterpart in the neighboring district of Sirnak, Dr. Serdar Kuni, said in an interview that hospitals there “are almost full.” And the town of Cizre, he said, was a “red alarm,” with patients being quarantined in student dorms for lack of hospital space or being taken by their families to bigger cities to try to find care. In other news from around the world:

  • A Russian ransomware group whose leaders were indicted by the Justice Department in December is retaliating against the U.S. government, many of America’s largest companies and a major news organization, identifying employees working from home during the pandemic and attempting to get inside their networks with malware intended to cripple their operations.

  • Officials in India’s capital, New Delhi, plan to test all of the city’s 29 million residents over about 10 days, as the nationwide caseload surged toward 500,000 infections and pushed many hospitals to their breaking point. On Thursday, the government reported 16,922 new cases, a single-day record.

  • Officials in South Africa — where the national caseload of more than 118,000 is the highest on the continent — published new measures to ease restrictions that had been in effect since late March. Among other things, people will be allowed to leave home to go to work, buy food and attend a place of worship in their neighborhoods.

  • Starting on Saturday in Egypt, restaurants, cafes and mosques will gradually reopen after three months of lockdown that exacted a punishing economic toll on the country’s 100 million citizens. Restaurants will operate at 25 percent capacity and close by 10 p.m., and mosques and churches will stay shut for weekly prayers.

  • The United Nations Mission in South Sudan said that 53 of its personnel had tested positive for the virus since the country recorded its first case in early April. The mission has almost 20,000 peacekeepers from 73 countries who are protecting civilians, assisting humanitarian aid and investigating human rights abuses related to the violence that has engulfed the country since 2013.

  • In Italy, local health authorities are monitoring a surge in Mondragone, a town of nearly 30,000 some 35 miles north of Naples, that has set off unrest. More than 40 people in a cluster of low-income apartment buildings tested positive this week, mostly Bulgarian farm workers, and violent tensions flared with Italian residents, prompting the interior minister to send an army contingent of 50.

  • In South Korea, the city of Daegu has filed a lawsuit seeking at least $83 million in damages from a church that was an epicenter of the country’s outbreak. More than 40 percent of the country’s nearly 13,000 coronavirus patients have been members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus or linked to them.

  • Australia’s largest supermarket chains are reintroducing national limits on toilet paper purchases, after a small surge of virus cases around Melbourne led to panic buying.

W.H.O. seeks billions to accelerate vaccine development.

Credit…Pool photo by Siphiwe Sibeko

The World Health Organization said that it needed $27.9 billion over the next year to speed up the production of a vaccine and to develop other tools in the fight against the virus.

The organization said the investment could lead to a quicker end to the pandemic, which is growing in many parts of the world and causing widespread economic disruption.

“Just think of the trillions of dollars that have had to be spent in order to stimulate our economies,” said Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the special envoy to the ACT Accelerator, a public-private partnership that includes the W.H.O, on Friday. “If we spend billions now, we will avoid having to spend trillions later.”

The partnership was launched in May by the W.H.O., the European Commission and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to coordinate efforts to end the pandemic.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said $13.7 billion is needed urgently. The group’s total budget is $31.3 billion.

It generally takes eight to 10 years to develop a vaccine. An Ebola vaccine came about in five years, which Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the W.H.O.’s chief scientist, said is the shortest timeline to date. (A Zika vaccine was produced in two years, but never widely tested because the epidemic faded.)

The ACT Accelerator hopes to shorten vaccine development to as little as one year, to Dr. Swaminathan said. She said the group will also begin to invest in manufacturing even before a vaccine is developed, in order to ensure prompt production and distribution.

Infections among Latinos have soared during the recent surge in cases.

Credit…Brian L. Frank for The New York Times

When the coronavirus spread to the fields and food processing factories of the Central Valley in California, Graciela Ramirez’s boss announced that line workers afraid of infection could stay home without pay.

A machine operator for a manufacturer of frozen burritos, Ms. Ramirez stayed on the job to keep her $750-a-week wages. Soon her co-workers started to get sick, and then a test for Ms. Ramirez, a 40-year-old mother of four, came back positive.

Ms. Ramirez’s case reflects a grim demographic theme. Coronavirus infections among Latinos in the United States have far outpaced those among the rest of the population during the country’s surge in recent weeks, a testament to the makeup of the nation’s essential work force.

In the past two weeks, counties across the country where at least a quarter of the population is Latino have recorded an increase of 32 percent in new cases, compared with a 15 percent increase for all other counties, a Times analysis shows.

The analysis affirms broad national tallies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which show that Latinos make up 34 percent of cases nationwide, a much higher proportion than the group’s 18 percent share of the population.

Detailed coronavirus data broken down by ethnicity is incomplete in many places, making it difficult to know why Latinos have been infected at higher rates. But counties with a high proportion of Latinos tend to have attributes that reflect a vulnerability during the recent surge: crowded households, younger populations and hotter weather that drives people indoors, said Jed Kolko, a researcher and chief economist at Indeed.com, a job search website.

Biden says he would use presidential power to require masks in public.

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, suggested that he would require mask-wearing in public if he were president.

“The one thing we do know, these masks make a gigantic difference,” he said Thursday in an interview with the CBS Pittsburgh affiliate. “I would insist that everybody out in public be wearing that mask.”

Asked if he could use “federal leverage to mandate that,” Mr. Biden said he could, and “would from an executive standpoint.” He said he would do everything “possible to make it required that people had to wear masks in public.”

Mr. Biden also said he could not envision, under the current circumstances, holding the large-scale indoor rallies Mr. Trump has embraced.

If the virus were under control and there was a vaccine or “we had ways in which to make sure that this was not being transmitted, then yes,” Mr. Biden said.

The interview came on the same day Mr. Biden laced into Mr. Trump in a speech, condemning him for saying he had ordered a slowdown of coronavirus testing and comparing him to a whiny child.

“He admitted telling people, and I quote, ‘You have to slow the testing down — slow it down, please,’” said Mr. Biden. “He thinks that finding out that more Americans are sick will make him look bad. That’s what he’s worried about — he’s worried about looking bad.”

In a tweet on Thursday, Mr. Trump shared a video taken shortly before the speech of Mr. Biden saying that 120 million people had died from Covid. The video ended abruptly after the statement.

On Friday, a pool reporter sent out what the campaign indicated was Mr. Biden’s full quote about deaths and case numbers.

“Now we have over 120 million dead from Covid, I mean, 120,000 dead from Covid,” Mr. Biden said, according to the pool report. “And you have so many — now we’re past two million — I mean, and we’re talking about it like it’s over.”

Online learning in U.S. schools is here to stay for some students this fall.

Credit…Karen Ducey/Getty Images

In New Jersey, the new school year will likely look different in each district, with some expected to resume in-person learning, Gov. Philip D. Murphy said on Friday. School staff will be required to wear masks, and students will be encouraged to do so.

Many of the nation’s largest school districts have yet to announce concrete reopening plans. Some states, like California, Connecticut and Massachusetts, have issued guidelines, but district policymakers will have the final say.

On Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described a list of considerations that would determine how many children can be in a classroom in the fall and said staggered schedules and online learning would be part of any plan.

Many districts are surveying parents to better understand their comfort level with reopening school buildings.

The Marietta City Schools in Georgia, for example, announced Thursday that families could choose between regular in-person schooling, beginning Aug. 4, and full-time online instruction. Temperature checks will be required for those returning to school.

Battered by a heat wave and fed up by lockdowns, many Britons abandon caution.

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A day after tens of thousands flocked to resorts, Britain’s health secretary said on Friday that beaches could close if recent crowds cause a new flood of coronavirus cases.CreditCredit…Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

By Friday, the third sweltering day in a row in a country where many homes lack air conditioning, the message was abundantly clear: Many Britons are done with the lockdown.

“It’s like an avalanche of people everywhere,” said Rachel Cox of western London, who said she had been woken up on Thursday night by the sound of partygoers pelting police officers with various objects. “It’s as if the last three months of fear and caution over the coronavirus vanished overnight.”

Under the government’s new guidance, groups of up to six people are allowed to meet outdoors. But each night, hundreds of people have been gathering on Portobello Road in London’s Notting Hill district for group drinks, block parties, music events and raves.

Police patrols will increase over the weekend and all unauthorized gatherings will be dispersed, London’s police chief, Cressida Dick, said on Friday.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, threatened to close down the country’s beaches if social distancing measures continued to be violated.

On Friday, the weather cooled a bit, but London’s parks were still full of large groups frolicking, sunbathing and exercising.

“Thousands of people should not be sitting on top of each other at the beach, and the parks should not be this full during a pandemic,” said Anton Bregman as he meandered through London’s Hyde Park on roller skates.

Florida smirked at New York’s virus crisis. Now it has its own.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

With infections now rapidly spreading in Florida while they retreat in New York, the two states have come to reflect the rapidly shifting course of the pandemic.

New York still has the country’s highest number of cases and deaths, but the numbers have been steadily falling: At its peak, the virus claimed 1,000 deaths a day in the state; on Friday, the state recorded 14 deaths. Florida, among the states not mandating masks, rushed to reopen and is seeing an explosion of cases.

And in their divergent political responses to the outbreak, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, a Democrat, and Mr. DeSantis of Florida, a Republican, mirror the divide over the virus among states and regions around the country.

The two brash, telegenic governors both embraced the increased visibility that the virus provided. Mr. Cuomo delivered daily sober updates on the virus, the state’s aggressive lockdown strategy and its cautious approach to reopening. Mr. DeSantis eagerly advanced a narrative pushed by Mr. Trump, seeing the economic damage as a greater risk than a virus that had, for months, largely spared his state.

On Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City said the city was on track to enter Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan on July 6, which would allow indoor dining and personal-care services, like manicures, tattooing and waxing, to resume with social-distancing limits.

The mayor announced on Friday that he would close up to 40 streets to all but emergency vehicles and pedestrians on Friday evenings and weekend afternoons in order to create more outdoor seating areas for restaurants. The effort is set to begin by July 4th and continue until Labor Day.

Asked on Friday when the city could expect to transition to Phase 4 of reopening and beyond, the mayor reiterated the need for a careful approach. “It’s going to be about health and safety first, and we’re going to be smart and we’re going to be cautious,” he said.

Rediscover personal ways to communicate.

Writing letters and journal entries has helped people connect meaningfully and find comfort during this period of isolation, grief and unrest. Here are some tips on doing it well.

Reporting was contributed by Brooks Barnes, Ronen Bergman, Julie Bosman, Damien Cave, Choe Sang-Hun, Emily Cochrane, Abdi Latif Dahir, Melissa Eddy, Marie Fazio, Manny Fernandez, Jacey Fortin, Thomas Fuller, Dana Goldstein, J. David Goodman, Ben Hubbard, Shawn Hubler, Mike Ives, Juliette Love, Apoorva Mandavilli, Mike Mason, Patricia Mazzei, Jesse McKinley, Donald G. McNeil Jr, Sarah Mervosh, Zachary Montague, Elian Peltier, Nicole Perlroth, Alan Rappeport, Frances Robles, Amanda Rosa, David E. Sanger, Nelson D. Schwartz, Eliza Shapiro, Anjali Singhvi, Daniel E. Slotnik, Mitch Smith, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Eileen Sullivan, David Waldstein, Declan Walsh, Noah Weiland, David Yaffe-Bellany and Sameer Yasir.

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