A Record 5.4 Million Americans Have Lost Health Insurance, Study Finds

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Credit…Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times

The coronavirus pandemic stripped an estimated 5.4 million Americans of their health insurance between February and May, a stretch in which more adults became uninsured because of job losses than have ever lost coverage in a single year, according to a new analysis.

As Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports, the study, to be released Tuesday by the nonpartisan consumer advocacy group Families U.S.A., found that the estimated increase in uninsured laid-off workers over the three-month period was nearly 40 percent higher than the highest previous increase, which occurred during the recession of 2008 and 2009. In that period, 3.9 million adults lost insurance.

“We knew these numbers would be big,’’ said Stan Dorn, who directs the group’s National Center for Coverage Innovation and was the author of the study. “This is the worst economic downturn since World War II. It dwarfs the Great Recession. So it’s not surprising that we would also see the worst increase in the uninsured.”

The findings are certain to fuel the debate in Congress over the next round of virus relief.

The study is a state-by-state examination of the effects of the pandemic on laid-off adults younger than 65, the age at which Americans become eligible for Medicare. It found that nearly half — 46 percent — of the coverage losses from the pandemic came in five states: California, Texas, Florida, New York, and North Carolina.

In Texas alone, the number of uninsured jumped from about 4.2 million to nearly 4.9 million, the research found, leaving three out of every 10 Texans uninsured.

In the 37 states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, 23 percent of laid off workers became uninsured. The percentage was nearly double that — 43 percent — in the 13 states that did not expand Medicaid, which include Texas, Florida and North Carolina.

The study comes in the thick of the campaign season, when health care — and in particular the Affordable Care Act — is expected to be a major issue.

Democrats and their presumptive presidential nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr., are seeking to expand the law, former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. But President Trump and Republicans have pressed to repeal it, and the administration has asked the Supreme Court to overturn it.

Definitive data on loss of coverage will not be available until mid- to late-2021, when the federal government publishes health insurance estimates for 2020.

“But,” Mr. Dorn said, “policymakers need to know now what the approximate magnitude is of insurance losses to decide what they need to do. So this is our best estimate for what the actual coverage losses have been.”

Credit…Zack Wittman for The New York Times

Florida’s governor gave a measured assessment of his state’s battle with the virus on Monday, saying that the case numbers were still high but that there were signs of stabilization.

“We have a long road ahead,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

Deaths in Florida are trending upward and are at their highest seven-day average level of the pandemic. Florida added more cases on Sunday than any state had recorded — 15,300 — and on Monday it reported more than 12,600 additional cases, its second-highest total recorded for a single day.

Even as the governor appeared to be at pains not to sound too upbeat, health experts in the state painted a much more dire picture.

Carlos Migoya, the chief executive of Jackson Health Systems, which runs Jackson Memorial, one of the hardest-hit hospitals from the coronavirus, said 200 people were hospitalized three weeks ago. Now, there are more than 400 patients, 100 of them in intensive care.

The hospital is facing shortages in medical staff, personal protective gear and the reagents used to test for the virus.

Mr. Migoya said that the hospital was now seeing older patients come in. “That means that the younger people have been contaminating the older people,” he said.

Despite the surge in cases, Governor DeSantis remains opposed to a statewide mask mandate. “It’s also important to listen and follow the guidance that is put out by local officials,” he said.

The state has been trying to bring the positivity rate of people who are tested for the virus below 10 percent. The Florida Department of Health said that as of July 11, the rate statewide was 11.25 percent. But the mayor of Miami, Carlos A. Gimenez, said the rate in Miami-Dade now exceeded 25 percent.

“There’s no bogeyman — it’s us,” he said. “Unless we change behavior, we can get all the testing you want, we can get all the contact tracing you want, and it’s not going to make a difference.”

As the virus surges in Florida, more big-name Republicans are taking a wait-and-see approach to the Republican National Convention, or deciding to skip it altogether. The G.O.P., which moved the convention to Jacksonville from Charlotte, N.C., after balking at health precautions there, now finds itself locked into a state with a far bigger virus problem, and planning an event whose attendance is waning as the pandemic escalates.

President Trump, in the meantime, may not get the restriction-free celebration he yearns for after all. The city of Jacksonville is requiring facial coverings in any public space where social distancing is not possible. And in a news release last week, the host committee said every attendee within the convention perimeter “will be tested and temperature checked each day.”

Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Francis Rooney of Florida have no plans to attend. Even Marco Rubio, Florida’s senior senator, has not committed to attending.



Newsom Announces Rollbacks in California’s Reopening Plans

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said he was moving to close indoor operations for restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and zoos. Bars would be forced to close all operations.

This is a new statewide action. Effective today, every county in the state of California impacted by a requirement now to modify indoor operations, and to expand opportunities for outdoor operations in these specific categories you see on the screen. So the sectors that we’re closing statewide, again restaurants, wineries movie theaters, family entertainment, zoos, museums, cardrooms and bars to outdoor activities to the extent possible. Now with counties on the monitoring list, we have this list: fitness centers, places of worship, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services, that includes hair salons, barbershops and indoor malls. Both L.A. Unified School District as well as San Diego announced that they’re going to enter into the fall school season the way they ended last school year. And that is by utilizing distance-learning until we deal with the background rate of infections, contextualizing the schools and where they’re operating, the communities that are being impacted by rates of growth, positivity and spread of the virus.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said he was moving to close indoor operations for restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and zoos. Bars would be forced to close all operations.CreditCredit…Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times

With coronavirus cases surging in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced one of the most sweeping rollbacks of any state’s reopening plans, saying Monday that he would move to close indoor operations statewide for restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos and card rooms. Bars would be forced to close all operations.


And the governor said that in at least 30 of the hardest-hit counties, businesses would be forced to close indoor operations for fitness centers, places of worship, noncritical offices, hair salons and barbershops, and malls. Roughly 80 percent of the state’s population lives in the affected counties, he said.

California was averaging more than 8,000 new cases a day as of Sunday, more than double what it was a month ago. The state has seen 331,626 cases, the second highest tally in the nation, and more than 7,000 deaths, according to a New York Times database.

“We’re going back into modification mode of our original stay at home order,” Mr. Newsom said. “This continues to be a deadly disease.”

Mr. Newsom emphasized that state officials have repeatedly said the state’s reopening process would be more akin to a “dimmer switch” than an on or off switch.

In neighboring Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown said Monday that she would ban indoor gatherings of more than 10 people for things like birthday parties, potlucks, book clubs and dinner gatherings. She said the new ban would not apply to the operations of businesses or churches “at this time.”

Mr. Newsom made the announcement after California’s two largest public school districts said Monday that instruction will be remote-only in the fall, citing concerns that increasing cases in their areas pose too dire a risk for students and teachers.

The Los Angeles and San Diego unified school districts, which together enroll some 825,000 students, are the largest in the country so far to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August.

More than a third of California’s cases are in Los Angeles County and San Diego County has had 18 community outbreaks over the past week, more than double the state’s acceptable threshold.

The joint announcement came as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos continued to press the Trump administration’s case to quickly reopen public schools, not only for students’ social and emotional development, but so that parents can return to work fully.

At the White House, Mr. Trump denounced the decision in Los Angeles, arguing that schools should resume because children wanted to attend.

“Schools should be opened,” Mr. Trump said. “You’re losing a lot of lives by keeping things closed.” It was not clear what he meant, since public health experts say the virus spreads quickly in poorly ventilated, closed areas, the condition of many American schools.

The recommendations from the president and Ms. DeVos have been disputed by many public health officials and teachers. On Friday, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and AASA, the School Superintendents Association, issued a statement saying that reopening recommendations should be “based on evidence, not politics.”

The groups added that “we should leave it to health experts to tell us when the time is best to open up school buildings, and listen to educators and administrators to shape how we do it.”

In the Los Angeles and San Diego districts’ joint statement, they noted that while much has been learned about the virus, many recommendations and findings are vague and contradictory.

But “one fact is clear,” the statement said. “Those countries that have managed to safely reopen schools have done so with declining infection rates and on-demand testing available. California has neither. The skyrocketing infection rates of the past few weeks make it clear the pandemic is not under control.”

United States ›

On July 13

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New cases



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Where cases are rising fastest

Credit…Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard, via Associated Press

The coronavirus struck Oregon early, with cases emerging in February. But unlike two of its neighboring states, Washington and California, Oregon was not quickly overwhelmed by the pandemic.

The state has recorded more than 12,000 infections, far fewer than most of its neighbors. But as the state reopens after an early lockdown, cases are spiking.

The state set a record on Thursday with 389 new infections.

If the spread of the virus continues at its current rate, Oregon Health Authority models predict that Portland hospitals will hit capacity in a month, and hospitals throughout the state will be overwhelmed within 90 days.

Oregon’s governor says geography helps explain the problem.

“We’re sandwiched between California and Washington,” Gov. Kate Brown said. “We’re not an island, and the virus knows absolutely no jurisdictional boundaries.”

In rural parts of the state — where the increase has been most drastic — outbreaks have been spurred by large gatherings at churches, food-processing facilities, funerals and graduation parties.

Recent gatherings to celebrate the Fourth of July have added to challenge, officials said.

“Our biggest concerns are these household and backyard gatherings where people are getting together with a bunch of other households,” said Dr. Paul Cieslak, a state epidemiologist and a senior health adviser for the Oregon Health Authority.

As serious as the recent caseload has been, many fear that the upcoming harvest season could make things even worse, as additional agricultural workers pour in and processing plants kick into high gear.

U.S. Roundup

Credit…Erin Trieb for The New York Times

As Texas faces one of the sharpest increases of new infections in the country, a top medical adviser to Gov. Greg Abbott said the state may need to roll back its reopening and reinstitute an economic lockdown if cases continue to spike.

The statements by Dr. Mark McClellan, a physician and an economist at Duke University who is a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, came as more than three dozen states saw increases in infections after loosening health and safety restrictions in order to restart their economies.

When Texas started reopening on May 1, more than 29,000 Texans had been infected and more than 800 had died. Two months later, on Monday, there have been more than 265,000 infections and more than 3,200 deaths.

Dr. McClellan said in an interview that a lockdown in Texas was a “real possibility” that Governor Abbott may be forced to impose in the next few weeks. “I don’t think we have much time, before having to go to a more extreme step,” Dr. McClellan said.

Sylvester Turner, the mayor of Houston, said on Monday he asked the governor to impose a shutdown for a “minimum of two weeks” to prevent the further spread of the disease. “If we can not have a shut down, then at least step back to state’s Phase I,” Mayor Turner wrote on Twitter.

The rapid spread has already forced the governor to reverse course by temporarily pausing the reopening, closing bars again and issuing a mask order for most Texans. The governor has suggested in recent television interviews that putting the state back under a lockdown was an option.

For most of April, a statewide stay-at-home order slowed the Texas economy, closing many businesses while helping to keep the number of cases relatively low compared to other states. But since the governor decided to reopen restaurants and other businesses in phases in May, Texas has become one of the nation’s coronavirus hot spots.

“The virus is out there in our communities all over Texas,” said Dr. McClellan, one of four public-health experts advising the governor during the pandemic. “Maybe there are a few small exceptions, but not really anymore.”

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

  • Los Angeles Apparel, which was one of the first clothing retailers to help produce much-needed masks when they were in short supply, was ordered closed on July 10 by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health after more than 300 confirmed infections and four deaths among its garment workers.

  • KFC, the fried chicken chain, closed dining rooms in all 40 of its corporate-owned restaurants in Florida on Monday as virus cases in the state continued to skyrocket. The company encouraged franchisees operating stores in Florida and other virus “hot spot states” such as Arizona, California and Texas to follow suit.

  • Tennessee recorded more than 2,500 new cases Monday for a single-day record. In Washington State, more than 1,080 cases were announced, also a record.

  • Kansas officials announced more than 880 new cases on Monday, the highest single-day total in that state. Because Kansas’s health department updates statewide only data three times weekly, the most infrequent reporting schedule in the country, its daily totals vary widely.

  • The United States health departments track the virus’s spread with a distinctly American patchwork: a reporting system in which some test results arrive via smooth data feeds but others come by phone, email, physical mail or even fax machines.

  • Wall Street was turbulent, with stocks reversing an early gain that had briefly lifted the S&P 500 back into positive territory for the year. The index was nearly 1 percent lower by the end of the day, after earlier having climbed more than 1.5 percent. The unsteady trading came as the number of virus cases continued to rise, and California moved to close more businesses.

Credit…Tony Luong for The New York Times

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration on Monday, seeking to block a new rule that would revoke the visas of foreign students who take classes entirely online in the fall.

The rule, issued a week ago, would upend months of careful planning by colleges and universities, the lawsuit says, and could force many students to return to their home countries during the pandemic, where their ability to study would be severely compromised.

“The Trump administration didn’t even attempt to explain the basis for this senseless rule, which forces schools to choose between keeping their international students enrolled and protecting the health and safety of their campuses,” Maura Healey, the Massachusetts attorney general, said in a statement announcing the suit, which accuses the administration of violating the Administrative Procedure Act.

The action, filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, is the latest legal effort to contest the federal edict, which has been described by states and universities in court filings as a politically motivated attempt by the Trump administration to force universities to hold in-person classes this fall, even as many have announced they will remain largely online because of health concerns.

California filed its own lawsuit last week, after Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had already gone to court seeking to block the new rule. Arguments in the Harvard and M.I.T. case are scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, also in the district court in Boston.

The federal guidance issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which says foreign students earning their degrees entirely online cannot stay in the United States, has sent students scrambling to enroll in in-person classes that are difficult to find. Many universities are planning to offer a mix of online and in-person classes to protect the health of faculty, students and their surrounding communities during the pandemic.

The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, defended the administration’s actions at a news conference early last week.

“You don’t get a visa for taking online classes from, let’s say, University of Phoenix. So why would you if you were just taking online classes, generally?” she told reporters, adding, “Perhaps the better lawsuit would be coming from students who have to pay full tuition with no access to in-person classes to attend.”

The area represented by the 17 states and the District of Columbia contains 1,124 colleges and universities that had a combined 373,000 international students enrolled in 2019, who contributed an estimated $14 billion to the economy that year, according to the complaint.

About 40 higher education institutions filed declarations in support of the lawsuit, including Yale, DePaul, the University of Chicago, Tufts, Rutgers and state universities in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin.



McEnany Plays Down Tensions Between White House and Fauci

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany disputed reports that the Trump administration was sending “opposition research” against Dr. Anthony S. Fauci to news organizations.

“Kayleigh, why is the White House trashing Dr. Fauci and setting out opposition research-like memos to reporters?” “So President Trump — I’ll refer you back, there’s no opposition research being dumped to reporters. We were asked a very specific question by the Washington Post. And that question was President Trump, noted that Dr. Fauci had made some mistakes, and we provided a direct answer to what was a direct question. We provided a direct response to a direct question. And that’s about it. And to the notion that there’s opposition research, and that there’s Fauci versus the president, couldn’t be further from the truth. Dr. Fauci and the president have always had a very good working relationship.”

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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany disputed reports that the Trump administration was sending “opposition research” against Dr. Anthony S. Fauci to news organizations.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, was back at the White House on Monday meeting with Mark Meadows, the chief of staff — but not Mr. Trump — after a weekend in which some of the president’s advisers undercut him in the press.

Dr. Fauci — who has not had direct contact with the president in more than five weeks even as the number of Americans with Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has risen sharply in the Southwest — slipped back into the West Wing to meet with Mr. Meadows, while his allies denounced what they called a meanspirited and misguided effort by the White House to smear him.

White House officials declined to comment on what was discussed in the conversation between Mr. Meadows, who has long expressed skepticism about the conclusions of the nation’s public health experts, and Dr. Fauci, though one official called it a good conversation and said they continued to have a positive relationship.

Mr. Trump made no effort to sugarcoat his rift with Dr. Fauci, declining to repudiate the criticism of him from his staff and saying that “I don’t always agree with him.”

But the president also implicitly acknowledged how unlikely he was to get rid of Dr. Fauci, calling him “a very nice person” and saying that “I like him personally.”

Dr. Fauci, for his part, continued to issue warnings about the virus. “We haven’t even begun to see the end of it yet,” he said in an interview Monday with Lloyd B. Minor, the dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine.

He noted that the nation had “plateaued at a level that was really quite high, about 20,000 infections a day” when many states began to ease restrictions. “Then, as we started to reopen, we’re seeing the surges that we’re seeing today, as we speak,” he said.

Dr. Fauci spent the early days of the pandemic as the leading scientific voice in the federal government’s response before falling out of favor with Mr. Trump and his top aides over blunt comments inconsistent with the president’s message of economic resurgence.

In task force meetings, Dr. Fauci has often styled himself as a solitary pessimist in a room where some officials have been eager to wave away the alarming trajectory of the coronavirus.

He has grown increasingly vocal in his concerns about the national surge in cases and offered a far darker perspective on the virus than the one the president routinely gives.

Over the weekend, aides to Mr. Trump released to The Washington Post and other news outlets a list of remarks Dr. Fauci made about the virus when it was in its early stages. It featured several comments White House aides had privately complained about for months.

A poll conducted for The New York Times by Siena College last month showed that 67 percent of Americans trusted Dr. Fauci when it came to the virus; only 26 percent trusted the president.

Credit…Pool photo by Jonathan Newton

He had a coffee cup in one hand, a smart phone in the other, and a pair of glasses resting on his stomach. What wasn’t seen in the picture of Ted Cruz, Senator of Texas, that circulated widely on social media in recent days, was his face mask.

The picture of Senator Cruz sitting in an airplane seat, was posted on Twitter on Sunday night by an employee of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Another photo shows Mr. Cruz, a Republican from Texas, sitting outside the flight’s gate, also without a mask. Another photo shared on a different Twitter account on Monday appears to show Mr. Cruz wearing a red, black and white mask on a flight.

A spokesperson for American Airlines confirmed that Mr. Cruz had flown with one of its domestic regional partners on Sunday and said that the company had reviewed the incident.

“As we do in all instances like these, we reviewed the details of the matter,” the spokesperson wrote in an email on Monday afternoon. “And while our policy does not apply while eating or drinking, we have reached out to Senator Cruz to affirm the importance of this policy as part of our commitment to protecting the health and safety of the traveling public.”

American Airlines announced in mid-June that it would require passengers to wear face coverings while on board its planes and that it would deny boarding to passengers who refused to comply. The policy allows face coverings to be removed while eating or drinking.

A representative from Mr. Cruz’s office said that the senator wore a face covering when traveling and that he had temporarily removed his mask to eat or drink when he was photographed without one.

“Senator Cruz has repeatedly said since the start of the pandemic we need to follow the science, listen to public health experts and take common sense steps to slow the spread of Covid-19 and reopen our economy,” the spokeswoman said in an email. “That includes wearing face masks, washing hands and social distancing where possible.”

Hosseh Enad, who shared the photos of Mr. Cruz without a mask, later wrote that the photos were taken by a mutual friend. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Hong Kong, a city that weeks ago seemed like one of the most successful places in controlling the virus, announced Monday evening that it would close gyms and cinemas and ban public gatherings of more than four people in response to a new wave of locally transmitted infections.

Carrie Lam, the territory’s chief executive, announced a series of measures to take effect on Wednesday. Also included were a prohibition on all dining inside restaurants every evening from 6 p.m., and a requirement that everyone taking public transportation wear a mask.

The Walt Disney Company said on Monday that Hong Kong Disneyland would also close again to comply with the new government order.

Health officials said that the territory’s new spate of cases, including another 52 announced on Monday, was mainly connected to taxi drivers, restaurants and nursing homes.

The prohibition on public gatherings of four or more people could make it even harder for the pro-democracy opposition to organize any protests against a stringent national security law imposed on June 30 by Beijing. The ban could also interfere with an election campaign now underway to choose a new legislature on Sept. 6.

Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory, has a robust contact-tracing system that helped the authorities contain an initial outbreak last winter. The city won praise from international health experts in the pandemic’s early days. In response to a second wave of infections imported in March from Europe and the United States, Hong Kong closed its borders to nonresidents and mandated quarantine for returning residents.

Under the new regulations issued on Monday, travelers to Hong Kong will be required to provide proof that they tested negative before boarding flights to the city.

The 52 new cases on Monday continued a weeklong spike, labeled a third wave by health officials, after months in which few or no new daily infections were detected. The authorities said they were unable to trace the infection pattern in 20 of the new cases disclosed on Monday. That raises the prospect that the virus is circulating silently in the community, after months in which local transmission appeared to have been at a standstill.




Cuomo Issues Emergency Health Order on Quarantine Enforcement

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York would be tightening its restrictions on travelers from designated states with high coronavirus infection rates.

We’re going to have the Department of Health issue an emergency health order today that will mandate that out-of-state travelers from the states that are quarantined must provide a location form before they leave the airport. The airlines will hand it out on the plane. It will also be available on the web. You can fill it out electronically or you have to fill out the piece of paper on the airplane. You must give officials at the airport your form, as to where you came from and where you’re going before you leave the airport. It will be enforced in every airport in the state of New York. Downstate, the Port Authority will enforce it. If you leave the airport without providing the information, you will receive a summons immediately with a $2,000 fine. If you leave the airport without filling out the information, not only can you have a $2,000 fine, you can then be brought to a hearing and ordered to complete mandatory quarantine.

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York would be tightening its restrictions on travelers from designated states with high coronavirus infection rates.CreditCredit…September Dawn Bottoms/The New York Times

New York is tightening its restrictions on travelers from designated states with high infection rates. Those travelers, who were already required to quarantine for 14 days, must now provide contact information and details on their planned whereabouts to local authorities upon their arrival at airports across the state starting Tuesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Monday.

The stepped-up enforcement measures are being done in an attempt to keep the outbreaks raging in other states from seeding new infections in New York. The quarantine requirement in New York applies to travelers arriving from 19 states, including Florida, Texas and California. Almost 40 states are seeing cases rise across the country.

Mr. Cuomo, who announced the new rule at a briefing Monday, said that forms to collect information from travelers would be distributed on airplanes and could also be filled out electronically. If travelers do not fill them out before leaving the airport, they can be given a summons and fined up to $2,000, he said. They can also be taken before a hearing and ordered to complete the quarantine.

At airports run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, teams made up of agency police officers and state employees will meet disembarking passengers at gates to confirm that passengers completed the state Health Department form. Regional airports will handle enforcement at gates at their facilities, too. He added that all travelers from designated states who arrive by other forms of transportation, including cars and trains, must also fill out the form online.

Mr. Cuomo said a recent outbreak in Rensselaer County originated with three residents who traveled to Georgia and back and who did not report their arrival in New York. Two of those people worked in nursing homes, he said.

“We can’t be in a situation where people are coming from other states in the country and bringing the virus again,” he said.

Elsewhere in New York:

  • New York will use a formula to determine whether schools in different regions of the state can open come September, the governor said Monday. Schools will be allowed to reopen if a region of the state has a daily infection rate below 5 percent over a two-week average, and if that region has reached the least restrictive reopening phase. Schools will not reopen, or will be closed, if a region has an infection rate over 9 percent over a one-week average. The state would make a decision about whether schools can reopen during the first week of August.

    New York City’s mayor has already announced that city schools will reopen in September using staggered schedules. If the governor determines in August that is not yet safe to reopen, that plan will not go into effect. On Monday, the state Education Department released broad guidelines for how schools should reopen safely.

  • New York City’s mayor said on Monday that the infection rate was rising for younger adults, especially those between 20 and 29 years of age. Across the country, younger people have been driving surges in new cases in recent weeks, prompting alarmed public officials to call for masks and social distancing. “We see a problem and we need to address it,” the mayor said, adding that the city would ramp up its outreach to young adults.


Credit…Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Mexico surpassed Italy in virus deaths on Sunday, becoming the country with the fourth-highest number of fatalities from the virus after the United States, Brazil and the United Kingdom.

More than 35,000 Mexicans have died in the pandemic, and the country has nearly 300,000 confirmed cases, according to a Times database. And the death toll in Latin America’s second-most-populous nation is probably much worse than official statistics suggest.

The bleak milestone underscored government missteps in containing a pandemic that has overwhelmed hospitals, with basic supplies running low and medical professionals falling ill at alarming rates.

Just a few months ago, Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, was gathering crowds of supporters, kissing babies and urging people to hug each other because “nothing’s going to happen.”

The country was slow to impose social-distancing measures and temporarily close businesses, and the government has repeatedly changed its projection of when the virus might peak. It now says infections will continue at least through the fall.

Despite this, many parts of the country have moved forward with plans to reopen businesses, including factories, restaurants and hotels.

Hugo López-Gatell, the health official who has become the public face of the country’s response to the pandemic, said last week that “the epidemic is decelerating.” He said that new cases have been growing at a slower rate and that the return to public life across the country has not resulted in an uptick in outbreaks.

In other developments around the world:

  • The World Health Organization admonished governments on Monday that it said are sending mixed messages to citizens, and for failing to invest in the hard work necessary to combat the pandemic. “Let me be blunt,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the organization’s director general. “Too many countries are headed in the wrong direction. The virus remains public enemy No. 1, but the actions of many governments and people don’t reflect this.” He added, “Mixed messages from leaders are undermining the most critical ingredient of any response: trust.”

  • Amnesty International has called for an inquiry into the British government after Britain recorded one of the largest numbers of coronavirus-related deaths among health care workers, according to a report published by the organization on Monday. More than 3,000 health workers around the world have died after contracting the virus, Amnesty International said. Of those, 540 have been in Britain, which was second only to Russia, where 545 health workers have died. The figure is 507 in the United States.

  • Australian citizens and residents returning from overseas to New South Wales, which includes the city of Sydney, will be charged for their mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine starting Saturday, the state premier said. Mandatory hotel quarantines at a similar cost are already in effect in Queensland and the Northern Territory, and other parts of the country are likely to begin charging travelers as well amid a new outbreak in Melbourne, Australia’s second-biggest city. The border has been closed to nonresidents since March.

  • The leader of Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia, Quim Torra, said on Monday that his government would proceed with a regional lockdown, a day after a judge ruled that such a measure was only valid if approved by the country’s central government.

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa reinstated a ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol in an effort to alleviate pressure on the health care system. The government also reintroduced an overnight curfew. South Africa has seen a surge in cases as the country enters its coldest month, with more than 264,000 known cases, and nearly 4,000 deaths, according to a New York Times database.

  • Xu Zhangrun, a law professor in Beijing who had criticized the Chinese government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, was released from detention on Sunday, a week after the police took him away.

  • On Monday, an organization in France comprising doctors and virus victims has appealed to the country’s highest administrative court to impose the wearing of masks, adding that it was “urgent to take all possible measures to prevent the second wave” of infections. Prime Minister Jean Castex said that he was considering the compulsory wearing of masks to prevent a resurgence of the epidemic and called on people to stay vigilant.

Reporting was contributed by Sarah Almukhtar, Brooks Barnes, Pam Belluck, Emma Bubola, Keith Bradsher, Chris Buckley, Troy Closson, Kate Conger, Michael Cooper, Jill Cowan, Manny Fernandez, Sheri Fink, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, Vanessa Friedman, Hailey Fuchs, Dana Goldstein, Maggie Haberman, Mohammed Hadi, Anemona Hartocollis, Hikari Hida, Shawn Hubler, Makiko Inoue, Natalie Kitroeff, Sarah Kliff, Tiffany May, Patricia Mazzei, Raphael Minder, Zach Montague, David Montgomery, Aimee Ortiz, Kate Phillips, Motoko Rich, Katie Rogers, Rick Rojas, Dana Rubinstein, Margot Sanger-Katz, Eliza Shapiro, Michael D. Shear, Mitch Smith, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Eileen Sullivan, Mariel Wamsley, Noah Weiland and Mihir Zaveri.

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