Coronavirus Live Updates

LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES ON THE PANDEMIC

Updated Oct. 1 at 11:30 a.m. ET

The Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers will be cooling their cleats a little longer, after the Titans reported more coronavirus cases.

The teams were supposed to square off on Sunday, but the game got postponed earlier this week because of the league's first coronavirus outbreak — the first time a scheduled game has been delayed because of the coronavirus.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that the city will impose fines on people who refuse to wear face coverings, after it saw a positivity rate for coronavirus tests of over 3% for the first time since June.

The fine is up to $1,000, the mayor's office told NPR.

City personnel will hand out free masks to anyone who is not wearing a face covering, the mayor said.

(After a strange, shortened season with no fans at the ballparks, the Major League baseball playoffs are now underway. And this year, there's something else unusual: both Chicago teams are playing in the postseason. It's just the third time that the North Side Cubs and the South Side White Sox reached the playoffs in the same year.

Back in early spring, Khristan Yates worked as a quality assurance analyst at a marketing company and loved her job. "I had one of the best jobs of my career," recalls Yates, 31, a resident of Chicago.

Yates, who's a mother of two children, had moved into a bigger apartment just before the pandemic hit because she wanted to give her kids more space. At the time, she felt like she was "at the top of her world."

But as the economic effects of the pandemic hit the marketing industry among others, she lost her job in May.

Miami-Dade County says it will not fully comply with a decision by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to lift most restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of coronavirus, saying it's too soon to safely reverse the precautions.

County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, speaking Tuesday with local medical advisors, and in a conference call with White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and the nation's leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that the number of COVID-19 cases in the county has declined because it has reopened very slowly.

If baseball played in empty ballparks seems a little too surreal, then you might prefer Blaseball. It's an online baseball game that takes the surreal and combines it with a teaspoon of bizarre, a quarter cup of insanity and a pinch of weird.

Back in April, when social distancing was first becoming a thing in the U.S., Blaseball co-creator Sam Rosenthal was looking for a way for people to stay connected during the pandemic.

For the NHL, the bubble experiment paid off.

On Monday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Dallas Stars 2-0 to win the Stanley Cup.

The NHL carried out more than 33,000 coronavirus tests over the course of nine weeks — and says none of them have come back positive as of Sept. 26. The league is expected to release a final report soon.

The Trump administration has compared Operation Warp Speed's crash program to develop a COVID-19 vaccine to the Manhattan Project. And like the notoriously secretive government project to make the first atomic bomb, the details of Operation Warp Speed's work may take a long time to unravel.

Updated at 10:39 a.m. ET Friday

Youli Lee is proud of the years she worked for the U.S. government, prosecuting cybercrime in some of the world's darkest places. These days, she's the one hiding out — mostly from her three children, ages 8, 11, and 13.

"I just actually locked my door so that nobody could come here," she says, from her bedroom.

Two NFL teams are suspending all in-person club activities after the Tennessee Titans announced three players and five other personnel have tested positive for the coronavirus. Joining the Titans in shutting down in-person activities are the Minnesota Vikings, who played against them Sunday.

The Vikings said that as of Tuesday morning, no one in their organization has gotten a positive result from tests carried out after Sunday's game.

Young adults are driving coronavirus infections in the U.S. and are likely spreading the virus to older, more vulnerable populations, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Stephannia Swain, 52, has had the same job for almost her entire adult life, cooking at the Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia.

"We only have six cooks and we're all lifers," she said. With 30 years of experience, Swain was the most senior, but others in the kitchen had been part of the team for nearly two decades.

In August, Robert Pettigrew was working a series of odd jobs. While washing the windows of a cellphone store he saw a sign, one that he believes the "good Lord" placed there for him.

"Facing eviction?" the sign read. "You could be eligible for up to $3,000 in rent assistance. Apply today."

The coronavirus pandemic has now killed at least 1 million people worldwide. That's according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University. This sobering milestone was reached just nine months after the first reported fatality in China last January. And public health experts believe the actual toll – the recorded deaths plus the unrecorded deaths – is much higher.

In Little Rock, Ark., more than a hundred teachers didn't show up for class on Monday.

Instead, at least 166 instructors represented by Little Rock Education Association say they are concerned about COVID-19 and only willing to teach remotely. Until the district allows for remote-only instruction or increases school safety, they say they will stay home, according to a union statement.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed people's behavior, and what you're comfortable doing now may be different from what you were comfortable doing back in March. The Consider This team wants to know what questions you have about what activities are safe to participate in.

For Major League Baseball, it's on to the postseason.

This year, that's saying a lot.

The sport wrapped up its regular season Sunday and got through it without being in a protective bubble like other leagues. There were COVID-19 outbreaks and postponed games.

There still could be problems in the playoffs.

COVID-19 has caused widespread damage to the economy — so wide that it can be easy to overlook how unevenly households are suffering. But new polling data out this month reveal households that either have had someone with COVID-19 or include someone who has a disability or special needs are much more likely to also be hurting financially.

The executive board of the union representing more than 6,400 of New York City's school leaders passed a unanimous vote of no confidence against Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza on Sunday for what it called officials' "failure to lead New York City through the safe and successful reopening of schools."

The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators is calling on the mayor to cede control of the city's education department for the duration of the public health crisis, and for both officials to seek swift intervention from New York state.

Lexington, Neb., is just one of the many rural communities that has long dealt with food insecurity, but the global pandemic both intensified need in the town of 11,000 residents and presented new challenges in getting people food.

Ja Nelle Pleasure never used to think twice about putting food on the table for her family.

In fact, the Pleasure family revolved around food. One of their favorite activities was to spin a globe, put a finger down and cook a dish from the country where it lands.

"It was a lot of fun because we got to eat all over the place, stuff that none of us would have dared try before, like silkworms," she says. "They really look disgusting and scary. ... But when you eat it, it tastes like popcorn."

With COVID-19 continuing to spread, and millions of Americans still out of work, one of the nation's most urgent problems has only grown worse: hunger.

The number of new daily coronavirus infections in the U.S. continued to rise this past week, driven by upward trends in nearly half the states that have pushed total cases in the country past 7 million. At the same time, a recent study suggests the vast majority of Americans haven't been exposed, far below what's required to quell the virus's spread through "herd immunity."

Daily cases were largely on a downward trend through August and early September from highs in July, but are now going up again.

President Trump promised this week to send cards worth $200 to seniors to help them pay for their prescription drugs, but it's unclear how he will be able to pull it off — or how legal it is.

If he can, that's $6.6 billion to a key voting bloc weeks before Election Day.

Novavax, a vaccine maker in Maryland, is becoming the 10th coronavirus vaccine candidate to enter the final phase of testing, called phase 3.

The trial is taking place in the U.K., where researchers plan to enroll up to 10,000 adults of various ages in the next four to six weeks. Half the participants will get a placebo and half will get the company's vaccine.

At least a quarter of participants will be over the age of 65, the company says, and it will also "prioritize groups that are most affected by COVID-19, including racial and ethnic minorities."

Former leaders at a state-run nursing home for veterans in Holyoke, Mass., are facing criminal neglect charges, after an investigation found their "substantial errors and failures" likely worsened a COVID-19 outbreak that killed at least 76 veterans earlier this year.

Bennett Walsh and David Clinton — who served as the superintendent and medical director, respectively, of the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke when a deadly COVID-19 outbreak struck in the spring – have been indicted on criminal neglect charges, state Attorney General Maura Healey announced on Friday.

Rio de Janeiro's Carnival, known as one of the best spectacles in the world, has been derailed by the coronavirus.

Event organizers announced Thursday evening that the colorful, rhythmic parades of 2021 are postponed indefinitely. It's the first time Carnival has been postponed in more than a century, according to The Associated Press.

Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he is lifting all restrictions on businesses statewide that were imposed to control the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Most significantly, that means restaurants and bars in the state can now operate at full capacity.

Each week we answer some of your pressing questions about the coronavirus and how to stay safe. Email us your questions at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and first lady Pamela Northam have tested positive for the coronavirus, the governor's office announced Friday. The couple underwent PCR tests Thursday, after a staff member of the governor's residence was diagnosed.

The governor does not have symptoms, but Pamela Northam "is currently experiencing mild symptoms," a statement from the governor's office says. The Northams will self-isolate for the next 10 days as their health is monitored. Northam will continue to work from the governor's mansion.

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