Illinois Threatens to Fine Defiant Businesses as Reopening Tensions Rise Nationally

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The owners of restaurants, bars and other establishments in Illinois that open too soon can now be charged with a Class A misdemeanor under a measure enacted by the governor.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, filed an emergency rule on Friday that his office said was intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as a growing number of businesses defy stay-at-home orders across the country.

In Illinois, where a stay-at-home order remains in effect through May, a Class A misdemeanor carries a punishment of up to a year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. The rule also applies to businesses such as barbershops and gyms, according to Mr. Pritzker’s office.

Jordan Abudayyeh, a spokeswoman for Mr. Pritzker, said in an email Sunday that the measure provided an “additional enforcement tool for businesses that refuse to comply with the most critical aspects of the stay-at-home order.”

As of Sunday, 4,177 people had died from Covid-19 in Illinois, according to state health officials, and there have been 94,191 confirmed cases of the virus.

Conservative state lawmakers have criticized the measure. Senator Dan McConchie, a Republican and a member of the Senate’s Public Health Committee, called it “an affront to the separation of powers” in a Twitter post on Sunday.

Ms. Abudayyeh, the governor’s spokeswoman, said that bringing misdemeanor charges against business owners was not a first resort.

“Law enforcement has relied heavily on educating business owners about the order and always first discusses the regulations with business owners to urge compliance,” she said. “Only businesses that pose a serious risk to public health and refuse to comply with health regulations would be issued a citation. The rule gives law enforcement a tool that may be more appropriate and less severe than closing the business altogether.”

In neighboring Wisconsin last week, the state Supreme Court struck down the state’s stay-at-home extension, siding with Republican legislators in a high-profile challenge of the emergency authority of a statewide official during the pandemic.

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The pain of the coronavirus shutdown, in terms of wrecked economies and shattered lives, has been unmistakable. Now, governors across the country are contemplating the risks of reopening, particularly if it produces a surge of new cases and deaths.

“This is really the most crucial time, and the most dangerous time,” Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio, a Republican, said on the CNN program “State of the Union” on Sunday. “All of this is a work in progress. We thought it was a huge risk not to open. But we also know it’s a huge risk in opening.”

The push to reopen has been fueled by swelling frustration, as unemployment soars, businesses declare bankruptcy or announce they cannot survive the shutdowns, and fears intensify about enduring economic devastation. Some businesses have even reopened in defiance of state orders.

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, a Democrat, said on CNN, “I deeply understand the stress and anxiety that people have, that entire dreams have been torn asunder because of the shutdowns, their savings account depleted and their credit ratings destroyed.”

“The question is,” he added, “how do you toggle back and make meaningful modifications to the stay-at-home order?”

But governors also acknowledged concerns about a fresh resurgence of the coronavirus, and they are haunted by images of restaurants and stores packed with patrons with uncovered faces.

“This is a virus we’re still learning a lot about,” Mr. DeWine said.

The response to the virus has been defined by the balance between trying to curb the virus’s spread and trying to minimize the economic harm. In much of the country, the pendulum has swung toward favoring the economy.

The shift has come as the national figures for reported new cases of the virus have declined in recent weeks, and as more states have allowed a wider array of businesses to return to operation. More than two-thirds of states have relaxed restrictions significantly. California, New York and Washington are among those partially reopening on a regional basis. Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey remain fully shut down.

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Jerome H. Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, said that while he expected the U.S. economy to recover from the sharp and painful downturn brought about by the coronavirus, that process would take time — potentially until the end of 2021.

“This economy will recover; it may take a while,” Mr. Powell said in a preview of the CBS program “60 Minutes,” which is scheduled to air Sunday evening. “It may take a period of time, it could stretch through the end of next year, we don’t really know.”

Asked whether the economy could recover without an effective vaccine, Mr. Powell suggested that it could make a start, but not get all the way there.

“Assuming that there’s not a second wave of the coronavirus, I think you’ll see the economy recover steadily through the second half of this year,” he said. “For the economy to fully recover, people will have to be fully confident, and that may have to await the arrival of a vaccine.”

The interview with Mr. Powell, which CBS said was recorded on May 13, follows a blunt speech he gave the same day, warning that the economy may need more financial support to prevent permanent job losses and waves of bankruptcies.



Cuomo Demonstrates Coronavirus Nasal Swab Test

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York received a nasal swab test for the coronavirus during his daily press briefing, in which he urged more New Yorkers to get tested.

“I’m going to show you how fast and easy it is to take the test. And demonstrate why there should be no reluctance. This is Dr. Elizabeth Dufort, who is in the appropriate P.P.E. wear. Nice to see you, doctor. You make that gown look good.” “Head up a little bit.” “Head up.” “Close your eyes.” “Close my eyes.” “Why do I need to close my eyes? You can question the doctor. That’s OK. Why do I need to close my eyes?” “For comfort.” “Comfort.” “It might make you tear a little bit.” “If I fall asleep?” “Then we’ll have you sit down.” “That’s it? That’s it. Nothing else. Told you. Thank you very much, doctor. That is the whole test. I’m not in pain. I’m not in discomfort. Closing my eyes was a moment of relaxation. There is no reason why you should not get the test.”

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York received a nasal swab test for the coronavirus during his daily press briefing, in which he urged more New Yorkers to get tested.CreditCredit…Associated Press

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo provided a lasting image on Sunday for fellow New Yorkers who may be apprehensive about getting tested for the coronavirus — he invited a doctor to stick a swab up his nose during his live news briefing on the pandemic.

“It is so fast and so easy that even a governor can take this test,” Mr. Cuomo said.

Mr. Cuomo then stood up and turned to a doctor, who was holding a cotton swab and was wearing coveralls, a face shield and gloves. Camera shutters clicked furiously as the doctor guided the swab up the Mr. Cuomo’s nostril.

“That’s it?” he said. “That’s it? Nothing else?”

New York has the capability of conducting 40,000 tests per day at 700 sites, said Mr. Cuomo, who noted that testing would be critical to monitoring the spread of the virus as the state begins to reopen.

“There is nothing about this test that should intimidate people from not taking this test,” he said.

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In a telephone appearance during a televised charity golf exhibition Sunday, President Trump said he enthusiastically supported the return of live sporting events during the pandemic.

“We want to get sports back, we miss sports,” Mr. Trump said during NBC’s broadcast of a skins game match involving Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff. “We need sports in terms of the psyche of our country. And that’s what we’re doing.”

While Sunday’s exhibition was contested without spectators, Mr. Trump said he hoped that future events would be teeming with fans.

“We want to get it back to where it was, we want big, big stadiums loaded with people,” he said.

He later added, “We want to get back to normal where you have the big crowds where they’re practically standing on top of each other, not where they’re worried.”

“I would love to be able to have all sports back,” Dr. Fauci said. “But as a health official and a physician and a scientist, I have to say, right now, when you look at the country, we’re not ready for that yet.”

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Thirteen sailors aboard the virus-stricken aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt have retested positive for Covid-19 after seeming to have recovered from the disease, Navy officials said on Sunday.

The infected sailors, who had all tested negative twice before reboarding the Roosevelt in recent days, have been removed from the warship to self-quarantine. The Roosevelt has been docked in Guam since March 27 as Navy officials wrestle with how to deal with sickened sailors, disinfect the vessel and prepare for it to resume operations in the Western Pacific.

Navy officials have said they are aggressively screening and testing as crew members return to the Roosevelt after quarantining at the U.S. military base in Guam, as well as at hotels and in other lodging there. Officials on the ship are requiring masks and repeatedly cleaning and sanitizing to prevent another outbreak of the virus, which has infected about 1,100 crew members since March. One sailor has died.

About 2,900 of the 4,800 crew members are now back on board. They are under strict orders to report to doctors the slightest cough, headache or other flulike symptom. In the past week or so, the new testing even turned up a sailor who tested positive for tuberculosis. That set off a wild contact-tracing scramble that found no other cases on board, Navy officials said.

The results of the Navy’s latest investigation into events surrounding the Roosevelt are due by the end of this month.

Recent research in South Korea suggested that dozens of patients there who had tested positive a second time after recovering from the illness appeared to be “false positives” caused by lingering — but likely not infectious — bits of the virus.

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When a sprinkling of a reddish rash appeared on Jack McMorrow’s hands in mid-April, his father figured the 14-year-old was overusing hand sanitizer — not a bad thing during a global pandemic.

When Jack’s parents noticed that his eyes looked glossy, they attributed it to late nights of video games and TV.

When he developed a stomachache and didn’t want dinner, “they thought it was because I ate too many cookies or whatever,” said Jack, a ninth-grader in Woodside, Queens, who loves Marvel Comics and has ambitions to teach himself “Stairway to Heaven” on the guitar.

But over the next 10 days, Jack felt increasingly unwell. His parents consulted his pediatricians in video appointments and took him to a weekend urgent care clinic. Then, one morning, he awoke unable to move.

He had a tennis ball-size lymph node, raging fever, racing heartbeat and dangerously low blood pressure. Pain deluged his body in “a throbbing, stinging rush,” he said.

“You could feel it going through your veins and it was almost like someone injected you with straight-up fire,” he said.

Jack, who was previously healthy, was hospitalized with heart failure that day, in a stark example of the newly discovered severe inflammatory syndrome linked to the coronavirus that has already been identified in about 200 children in the United States and Europe and killed several.

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What is the difference between “deaths among Covid-19 cases” and “deaths due to Covid-19”? In Colorado, that distinction in wording changes the total by about 30 percent.

Until Friday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had been including anyone who had Covid-19 at the time of death in the official total, a practice consistent with the C.D.C.’s counting criteria. By that reckoning, Colorado had 1,192 deaths as of Friday.

But the state said it would now also report a lower figure — those for whom the disease is considered the sole cause of death, with no other complicating factors. Counting that way knocks the state’s total down to 892.

Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, defended the change on Sunday.

“The C.D.C. criteria include anybody who died with Covid-19,” he said on Fox News. “What the people of Colorado and the people of the country want to know is how many people died of Covid-19.”

Health experts have warned for weeks that inconsistent reporting protocols and insufficient testing have led to an undercounting of coronavirus deaths nationally. North Dakota and Alabama have both experimented with death counts similar to Colorado’s new approach, but have continued to report the C.D.C.’s way.

Mr. Polis acknowledged that the virus, which he called a “bad bug,” can be particularly dangerous for older people and people with underlying medical conditions — those who would be most likely to be excluded from the state’s sole-cause count.

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A second fisheries worker in Alaska has tested positive for the coronavirus, adding to fears that the isolated fishing towns that have so far avoided infections could face challenges as thousands of seasonal workers pour in for the start of Alaska’s summer seafood rush.

State officials said the positive case was identified Friday in the city of Dillingham. The infected worker, an employee of Trident Seafoods, had recently arrived and tested positive at the end of a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Earlier this month, a worker who had arrived in the fishing community of Cordova also tested positive.

Some locals have expressed concern about the fishing season, which began in Cordova with the pursuit of the famed Copper River salmon. In Dillingham, hospital leaders at the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation had requested that the fishing season remain closed, arguing that the arrival of thousands of outsiders put the community at risk.

To prepare for the influx of workers, state and local government officials have put in place strict quarantine procedures, social-distancing requirements and aggressive testing. Some companies are requiring their workers to stay on site, where the seasonal crews often sleep in bunkhouses.

State officials said the worker who tested positive in Dillingham was removed from the area. None of that person’s contacts in the city have so far tested positive.

Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

The passage of a $3 trillion stimulus package by the House on Friday appeared to bring Congress no closer this weekend to a deal on coronavirus aid, as pleas for more assistance collided with a conservative push to wait and see whether staggered state reopenings and previous aid packages arrest the economic free-fall.

The Republican-controlled Senate is not expected to take up the legislation that the Democratic-controlled House approved on Friday. Instead, the Senate will turn to a number of pending nominations before an expected Memorial Day recess. Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Republicans to reconsider.

“Time is of the essence,” she said in an interview aired Sunday on the CBS program “Face the Nation.” “In the past bills, they put forth their proposal, and then we worked in a bipartisan way that we anticipate now.”

“They may think it’s OK to pause, but people are hungry across America,” she added. “Hunger doesn’t take a pause.”

Republican leaders have played down what Democrats say is an immediate need for relief, arguing that it was too early to allocate additional funds after Congress previously passed close to $3 trillion in relief.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, has laid down a “red line,” saying that strengthening liability protections for health workers and businesses moving to reopen must be part of any future package.

Ms. Pelosi said on Sunday that she had “no red lines,” but she singled out a provision in the bill passed on Friday that would strengthen federal protections for essential workers.

“The best protection for our workers and their employers is to follow very good OSHA mandatory guidelines,” she said, referring to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. “That protects the workers, protects their lives, as well as protects the employer if they follow the guidelines. Remember, when people go to work, they go home.”

The legislation the House passed on Friday, which Democratic leaders acknowledged amounted to an opening offer, faces some opposition from within their party, including in the Senate.

“I think what Pelosi did in the House — it is significant,” said Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with the Democrats. “I have some disagreements with it, and I want to see the Senate improve on it.”

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A major question on the minds of many parents is whether their children’s schools will reopen in the fall. So far the plans and guidelines that have emerged are a patchwork, and state leaders are divided about whether it is possible to have the schools ready in time and what it will take to do it safely.

Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado said on Sunday that starting the school year open would not guarantee that they stayed that way. “There might be times, if there’s an outbreak at a school, that it has to convert to online for a period of weeks until it’s reasonably safe to return to school,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Governor Polis said his state was considering measures like staggering start times, class schedules and breaks to minimize crowds in hallways.

California will proceed slowly and methodically in allowing crowds to gather again anywhere, including schools, Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Sunday, and that may mean that some schools in the state reopen while others remain closed.

“It’s all predicated on data, on science, not just observed evidence,” he said on CNN. “Each part of California is unique.”

Both governors noted that while children were not often affected as severely by the virus as adults are, they were potential spreaders.

“This is no question from an epidemiological perspective that this is a less severe, almost infinitesimal fatality rate for kids,” Mr. Polis said. “But the thing is, kids live with parents, they live with grandparents, kids are around teachers, so that’s where it gets a little bit more complicated.”

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Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, suggested in televised remarks on Sunday that the high death toll from Covid-19 in the United States, compared with other nations, was due at least in part to the prevalence of underlying health issues in minority communities.

“Unfortunately, the American population is very diverse, and it is a population with significant unhealthy comorbidities that do make many individuals in our communities, in particular African-American minority communities, particularly at risk,” Mr. Azar said on the CNN program “State of the Union,” adding, “That is an unfortunate legacy of our health care system that we certainly do need to address.”

The host, Jake Tapper, pressed Mr. Azar on whether he was trying to place the blame for the pandemic on its victims. “I want to give you an opportunity to clear it up,” Mr. Tapper said, “because it sounded like you were saying that the reason that there are so many dead Americans is because we’re unhealthier than the rest of the world, and I know that’s not what you meant.”

Mr. Azar responded: “We have a significantly disproportionate burden of comorbidities in the United States — obesity, hypertension, diabetes — these are demonstrated facts that make us at risk for any type of disease burden, of course, but that doesn’t mean it’s the fault of the American people.”

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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the federal agency that administers the country’s lawful immigration system, says it could be insolvent by summer, and has asked Congress for $1.2 billion to stay afloat.

The agency handles applications for green cards, citizenship and other programs, and it relies on fees paid by applicants for 97 percent of its $4.8 billion annual budget. Applications have plummeted because of travel and immigration restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic.

In addition to the money it is requesting from Congress, the agency plans to impose a 10 percent surcharge on its fees, on top of previously proposed increases. The cost of petitioning for naturalization would jump more than 60 percent, to $1,170 from $725, for most applicants.

Critics said the Trump administration’s policies, including new requirements for some green card applicants and more extensive reviews for H-1B visas, hit the agency from two sides — reducing revenue by dissuading people from applying, and increasing the amount of labor involved in handling each case.

“With extreme vetting, they are making every single application take longer to review, and processing fewer,” said Melissa Rodgers, the director of programs at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco, who oversees a program to promote citizenship among legal immigrants. “Word gets out that it’s not worth applying,” she said.



Many in Charge ‘Aren’t Even Pretending to Be,’ Obama Says to Graduates

In two virtual commencement speeches, former President Barack Obama called on the Class of 2020 to lead change in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

You’re being asked to find your way in a world in the middle of a devastating pandemic and a terrible recession. The timing is not ideal. This pandemic is fully finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing. A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge. If the world’s going to get better, it’s going to be up to you. With everything suddenly feeling like it’s up for grabs, this is your time to seize the initiative. You’re going to have to grow up faster than some generations. This pandemic has shaken up the status quo and laid bare a lot of our country’s deep seeded problems, from massive economic inequality to ongoing racial disparities, to a lack of basic health care for people who need it. It’s woken a lot of young people up to the fact that the old ways of doing things just don’t work. That it doesn’t matter how much money you make if everyone around you is hungry and sick. And that our society, and our democracy only work when we think, not just about ourselves, but about each other. With all the challenges this country faces right now, nobody can tell you, no, you’re too young to understand or this is how it’s always been done. Because with so much uncertainty, with everything suddenly up for grabs, this is your generation’s world to shape. Don’t be afraid. America’s gone through tough times before: slavery, civil war, famine, disease, the Great Depression, and 9/11. And each time we came out stronger. Usually because a new generation — young people like you — learned from past mistakes and figured out how to make things better.

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In two virtual commencement speeches, former President Barack Obama called on the Class of 2020 to lead change in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.CreditCredit…Bing Guan/Reuters

Former President Barack Obama delivered two virtual commencement addresses this weekend, mixing advice to graduates with criticism of the United States’ response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing,” he said on Saturday in the first address streamed online. “A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”

Mr. Obama did not mention anyone by name, but the remarks were largely seen as criticism, albeit mild, of his successor, President Trump. Returning to Washington on Sunday from a weekend at Camp David, Mr. Trump did not address the criticism but attacked Mr. Obama.

“Look, he was an incompetent president, that’s all I can say,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “Grossly incompetent.”

Mr. Obama’s speeches came as more than two-thirds of states have significantly relaxed restrictions, leaving the nation at a delicate moment.

Credit…Emily Rose Bennett for The New York Times

Across the United States, low-income communities of color are exposed to significantly higher levels of pollution, studies have found, and also have higher levels of lung disease and other ailments. Now, scientists are racing to understand whether long-term exposure to air pollution plays a role in the pandemic, particularly since minorities in the country are dying disproportionately.

The science is preliminary, because the coronavirus remains poorly understood. But researchers are finding reason to look closely.

Said Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, an epidemiologist and Detroit’s former health director: “The system has allowed, basically, low-income people and people of color to have to breathe the pollution.”

Credit…Julia Rock-Torcivia

Technical glitches during Advanced Placement online exams are the latest problem that high school students have confronted as they navigate testing, college applications and college visits remotely during the pandemic, adding stress to a process that is anxiety inducing even under the best of circumstances.

The College Board, a nonprofit organization that administers the A.P. exams, said that submission issues had affected under 1 percent of the roughly 2.2 million tests taken last week and that students would be able to retake the tests next month.

“We share the deep disappointment of students who were unable to complete their exam — whether for technical issues or other reasons,” Zach Goldberg, a College Board spokesman, said in a statement. “We’re working to understand these students’ unique circumstances in advance of the June makeup exams.”

The College Board said in March that it would administer digital versions of the A.P. exams, which can allow high school students to receive credit for introductory-level college courses.

The organization — which also oversees the SAT, a standardized test that serves as a gateway to college for millions of applicants each year — also said it would develop digital versions for students to take at home in the fall if social distancing continues to be necessary.

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Medical workers have been celebrated for their commitment to treating coronavirus patients. But even as applause to honor them swells nightly from city windows, and cookies and thank-you notes arrive at hospitals, many doctors, nurses and emergency responders are battling a crushing sense of inadequacy and anxiety.

Every day, they become more susceptible to post-traumatic stress, mental health experts say. And their psychological struggles could impede their ability to continue working with the intensity and focus that their jobs require.

Although the causes for the suicides last month of Dr. Lorna M. Breen, the medical director of the emergency department at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital, and John Mondello, a New York emergency medical technician, are unknown, the deaths served as a wake-up call about the mental health of medical workers. Even before the pandemic, their professions were pockmarked with burnout and even suicide.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization issued a report about the pandemic’s impact on mental health, highlighting health care workers as vulnerable. Recent studies of medical workers in China, Canada and Italy who treated Covid-19 patients found soaring rates of anxiety, depression and insomnia.

“Physicians are often very self-reliant and may not easily ask for help” said Dr. Chantal Brazeau, a psychiatrist at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “In this time of crisis, with high workload and many uncertainties, this trait can add to the load that they carry internally.”

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In summer resort towns across the United States, livelihoods for the year are built in the 15 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It is during that time that tourists arrive to bask on the beach and gather for festivals and weddings. It is also when associated tour operators, hoteliers, innkeepers, restaurant employees and others earn the bulk of their income.

But this year, with Memorial Day — the kickoff for summer — approaching next weekend, there will be fewer guests to welcome and likely no sizable weddings or festivals to host. Business owners in resort areas, from Cape Cod, Mass., to Lake Chelan, Wash., say that as the start of summer approaches, they are facing the difficult reality that little money will be made this year.

Between canceled trips and uncertainty about how willing and able people will be to travel once shelter-in-place rules are lifted, business owners say that even if summer travel starts late, it won’t make up for losses already incurred.

For this weekend and Memorial Day weekend, “everything has been canceled and we have zero income,” said Barb Rishel, the owner of the Wellington Inn, a bed-and-breakfast in Traverse City, Mich. “It’s devastating. It’s bleak.”

Credit…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

Driving is picking up a little. Refineries in China are buying more oil. Saudi Arabia and Russia ended their price war and slashed production, and U.S. oil companies are decommissioning rigs and shutting wells.

All of those developments helped push up oil prices modestly in recent weeks — just enough for some of the best oil wells in the United States to break even, and what may seem like a minor miracle given that the price is more than $60 above where it was about a month ago.

“May, it seems, is a month when traders can finally sit back more comfortably for a moment and take a breath,” said Bjornar Tonhaugen, the head of oil market research at Rystad Energy, a research and consulting firm. “But we warn that the second half of the year will not be met with precrisis oil prices again.”

Even after the rally, oil prices are roughly half of what they were at the start of the year. And the average price for regular gasoline in the United States is 99 cents a gallon less than it was a year ago, according to AAA.

Energy experts say that oil prices may dip again if there is another surge in coronavirus cases and deaths. Prices could also fall when tankers filled with more than 50 million barrels of crude oil from Saudi Arabia reach the United States in the next two months.

But there are signs that demand for petroleum products is beginning to rise again, especially the demand for gasoline.

Credit…Seth Wenig/Associated Press

A day after several New York regions were cleared to begin reopening, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said this weekend that horse racing tracks in the state, as well as the Watkins Glen International auto racing track, would be allowed to open without fans on June 1.

“We can have economic activity without having a crowd — that’s great,” Mr. Cuomo said in his daily briefing on Saturday. “We can do that in this state. But no crowds, no fans.”

With the coronavirus’s grip on the region easing, Mr. Cuomo’s announcement paved the way for events to begin at tracks, including Belmont Park on Long Island, which hosts the Belmont Stakes. Watkins Glen International is an annual stop for NASCAR, which is set to resume its top series in South Carolina on Sunday.

The steps were announced as major indicators, such as new hospitalizations and virus-related deaths, continued to decline.

Across the Hudson River, Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey also announced reopening steps in preparation for the state’s beaches to reopen, with some restrictions, by Memorial Day weekend, along with those in New York, Connecticut and Delaware.

Mr. Murphy said that fishing charters and other boating rental services would be allowed to open on Sunday, but that they must ensure social distancing and track customers in logs to help state officials with contact tracing, if necessary.

Mr. Murphy also announced the approval of $1.4 billion in federal funding for the New Jersey Transit system, which has taken an enormous financial hit during the shutdown. “I cannot overstate how vital this funding is,” Mr. Murphy said.

There were 115 new coronavirus deaths reported on Saturday in the state, bringing the total to 10,249.

As both New York and New Jersey looked ahead to plot ways for residents to enjoy the summer without a surge in virus cases, police officers in New York City continued to work to control crowds during a warm weekend, temporarily closing the entrance to the popular Sheep Meadow in Central Park after the area became crowded.

Think s’mores, stars, the air mattress deflating with a cartoony hiss. Picture children’s faces, fire-lit and, for just another minute, little else. It could happen in farmland, suburbia or the Bronx — and it could be lovely. In lieu of summer vacation, there are also ways to vacation at home.

Reporting was contributed by Mike Baker, Karen Barrow, Pam Belluck, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Emily Cochrane, Melina Delkic, Rebecca Halleck, Jan Hoffman, Julia Jacobs, Sheila Kaplan, Clifford Krauss, Michael Levenson, Tariro Mzezewa, Bill Pennington, Rick Rojas, Katherine Rosman, Andrea Salcedo, Eric Schmitt, Hiroko Tabuchi, Jim Tankersley and Neil Vigdor.

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