Live Coronavirus Updates: New York Reopens

New daily cases hit a record high on Sunday, the W.H.O. said.

The number of new daily cases worldwide hit a new high on Sunday, the World Health Organization reported on Monday, warning that the pandemic appeared to be worsening and urging countries that had seen improvement to remain vigilant.

“More than 100,000 cases have been reported on nine of the past 10 days,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the organization’s director general, said at a briefing on Monday. “Yesterday, more than 136,000 cases were reported — the most in a single day so far.”

He said that three-quarters of the new cases reported on Sunday came from just 10 countries, mostly in the Americas and South Asia. While the situation in Europe has improved, Dr. Tedros issued an appeal to countries that had been seeing positive signs, warning them that “the biggest threat now is complacency.”

He urged people to take care as protests against racism drew crowds around the world, calling for demonstrators to practice social distancing, wear masks, wash their hands, cover their coughs and stay home if they were sick.

“We continue to urge active surveillance to ensure the virus does not rebound, especially as mass gatherings of all kinds are starting to resume in some countries,” Dr. Tedros said. “W.H.O. fully supports equality and the global movement against racism. We reject discrimination of all kinds. We encourage all those protesting around the world to do so safely.”

Here are other developments from around the world:

  • A 14-day quarantine period for all travelers arriving in Britain took effect on Monday, to the anger of the country’s travel industry and doubts over the practicality of the new rules. Under the system, those entering Britain by air, ferry or train will have to provide an address at which they will isolate for 14 days, with a fine of up to £1,000, or about $1,200, for violations.

  • Canada reopened its border on Monday to immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Several couples, including some expecting children, were separated by the border closing in March. Anyone showing symptoms of the virus will remain barred from entry, and everyone will be required to quarantine for 14 days. A border closing agreement between Canada and the United States is set to expire on June 21.

  • The Polish Health Ministry reported 1,151 new cases over the weekend, a record for the country. More than half came from the Silesia region in southwest Poland, an area famous for its coal mines, and many were linked to the Zofiowka mine. Nearly 1,150 workers there were infected out of a crew of 3,470, officials at the mine said. The minister of state assets, Jacek Sasin, said at a news conference on Monday that 12 of 20 Silesian coal mines would close for three weeks.

  • Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan expects the virus to peak in the country by the end of July or August, he said in a televised address on Monday, urging residents to take precautions. Pakistan has seen a sharp rise in cases over the last week, surpassing 100,000 confirmed infections and more than 2,000 deaths. There are signs that the health care system is buckling under increased pressure.

Commuters wearing face masks waited for freshly scrubbed trains on a subway platform in Manhattan. Construction workers lined up to get their temperatures checked so they could get back on the job. The lights were back on in some neighborhood stores, and their doors were unlocked for curbside and in-store pickup — though many others remained shuttered and boarded up.

For the first time in months, New York City was officially back in business on Monday, with as many as 400,000 people returning to work in construction, manufacturing and limited retail operations.

“We’re not out of the woods, but we are on the other side, certainly,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said.

The first coronavirus case was confirmed 100 days ago in the city that became a center of the pandemic, where more than 205,000 people were infected and 22,000 people died. On Sunday, there were an additional 35 deaths statewide, and the city’s health commissioner said on Monday that the city was still in “a moderate transmission phase.”

Major challenges remain. More than 885,000 jobs vanished, and the city budget hemorrhaged tax revenue and now faces a $9 billion shortfall over the next year. Here’s what reopening looks like on Day 1:

  • To allay concerns about a typically crowded subway system, Mr. Cuomo rode the 7 line on Monday morning. “If the subway isn’t safe for me, then I wouldn’t ask anyone else go on the subway,” he said afterward.

  • To provide alternatives, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would add more bus lanes and close some streets to cars to allow buses to move more quickly, though it was not as many miles as the transit agency had requested.

  • Hospitals in the city can now resume elective surgeries, Mr. Cuomo said, as the need for hospital beds has lessened.

  • The reopening has also been complicated by the vast, mostly peaceful protests for racial justice. The governor reiterated that protesters should get tested and to consider themselves exposed. He also urged police officers to wear masks after photographs showed that many were not.

  • Some retailers are waiting for tensions to ease, and many stores in the city remain closed. “I think New York City needs a week or two of healing before a week or two of selling,” said Ken Giddon, a co-owner of Rothmans, a small clothing chain with a flagship near Union Square.

  • Many businesses that rely on commuters and office workers anticipated slow traffic until more people went back to work. At Rainbow Bakery in Jackson Heights in Queens, “normally, we have a lot of people picking up things on the way to work,” said Colleen Lau, a server wearing a plastic face shield over a surgical mask, while standing behind a plexiglass counter barrier.

  • Some New Yorkers were thrilled to be out again. “Like a lot of people in my situation, I’m so fed up being in my apartment, eating my own cooking,” said Michael Gilsenan, a college professor, after finishing his coffee and cake outside a bakery in Greenwich Village. “I don’t even like cheesecake!”

  • While areas surrounding the city will enter the next reopening phase this week, Mr. Cuomo was cautious about the city’s timeline. He also warned in an interview on NY1 that officials could reimpose restrictions if the virus showed signs of returning.

As the virus tore through Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro came under blistering criticism for sabotaging the isolation measures imposed by states, encouraging mass rallies by his supporters and lashing out about the soaring death toll, saying, “What do you want me to do?”

Now that the outbreak in the country has gotten even worse — it has more confirmed infections than any country but the United States, and the highest daily death tolls in the world — Mr. Bolsonaro’s government has decided to stop reporting the cumulative toll of the virus altogether.

Brazil’s health ministry on Friday took down the website where it had been reporting virus statistics. And then, when it came back online on Saturday, the site omitted the historical data, leaving out how many people had already been infected or killed.

Lawmakers and health experts quickly attacked Mr. Bolsonaro, condemning the government’s decision to withhold statistics and criticizing his administration’s practice of downplaying the danger of the virus.

Mr. Bolsonaro, who initially described the virus as a “measly flu,” says the challenge of the outbreak is dwarfed by the economic fallout of stay-at-home measures, and that the real danger is rising unemployment.

He has come under withering criticism for joining crowded protests; ordering the armed forces to produce hydroxychloroquine, an unproven medication for the virus; and fighting with his own health officials as the crisis intensified.

Thirty-nine of the 40 largest known virus clusters in the United States are in food processing or correctional facilities, according to a New York Times database. As the number of new cases in the country has plateaued at about 20,000 each day, major clusters have continued to emerge in prisons, jails and meatpacking plants.

Around Austin, Minn., where cases have grown to 504 from 36 a month ago, at least 186 cases have been tied to a local pork processing facility. In Kings County, Calif., at least 918 people have been infected at three state prisons, accounting for more than half the county’s total cases. And in northern Utah, the site of an outbreak at a meat processing plant, case numbers have exploded over the last week.

“The Health Department staff is making every effort to get ahead of this outbreak and reduce the spread of Covid-19, but resources are strained,” the Bear River Health Department said in a statement about the Utah outbreak. Lloyd Berentzen, the agency’s health director, added that “we plead with you to maintain physical distancing when possible.”

In Dodge County, Wis., where there are 400 total cases, at least 245 people have tested positive at Waupun Correctional Institution. And in the county that includes Storm Lake, Iowa, case numbers have grown to 1,142 from 18 over the course of a month. At least 591 employees of a Tyson plant in that city have tested positive.

Here are other developments from around the United States:

  • There are some hopeful signs in the data. In most of the Northeast, infection numbers continue to fall. Parts of the Midwest, including Illinois and Ohio, have seen new case reports trend steadily downward. And some of the counties with the most cases per capita — including Cass County, Ind., the site of a large meatpacking outbreak, and Trousdale County, Tenn., where more than 1,300 people at a prison became ill — have reported fewer than 10 new cases in June.

  • The United States economy officially entered a recession in February, the association of economists that officially designates downturns said on Monday. This downturn is the first since 2009, when the previous recession ended, and stopped the longest expansion — 128 months — in records dating back to 1854. Most economists expect this recession to be both particularly deep and exceptionally short, perhaps just a few months, as states reopen and economic activity resumes.

  • Casinos along the Las Vegas Strip reopened their doors last week to a flood of visitors, masked and unmasked but equally eager to test their luck after a 78-day hiatus. Gov. Steve Sisolak of Nevada said he was confident that “every precaution possible” had been taken to protect public health. But figuring out when and where people contract the virus and then quickly tracing their contacts poses a particular challenge in Las Vegas, where guests outnumbered residents by 20 to 1 last year.

  • As New Jersey continued to ease restrictions, New Jersey Transit, which operates a vast network of commuter trains and buses in the state, said it would begin to ramp up bus service but continue to require masks and clean vehicles daily, the agency’s president said on Monday.The governor said the state would also allow public and private swimming pools to reopen on June 22.

As some of the wealthiest health care companies in the United States received billions of dollars in taxpayer funds to help them cope with lost revenue from the pandemic, they laid off or cut the pay of tens of thousands of doctors, nurses and lower-paid workers while continuing to pay their top executives millions.

The New York Times analyzed tax and securities filings by 60 of the country’s largest hospital chains, which have received a total of more than $15 billion in emergency funds through the economic stimulus package in the federal CARES Act.

The hospitals — including publicly traded juggernauts like HCA and Tenet Healthcare, elite nonprofits like the Mayo Clinic, and regional chains with thousands of beds and billions in cash — are collectively sitting on tens of billions of dollars of cash reserves that are supposed to help them weather an unanticipated storm. They awarded their five highest-paid officials about $874 million in the most recent year for which they have disclosed their finances.

At least 36 of those hospital chains have laid off, furloughed or reduced the pay of employees as they try to save money during the pandemic.

More than a dozen workers at the wealthy hospitals said in interviews that their employers had put the heaviest financial burdens on front-line staff, including low-paid cafeteria workers, janitors and nursing assistants. They said pay cuts and furloughs made it even harder for members of the medical staff to do their jobs, forcing them to treat more patients in less time.

The bailout money, which hospitals received from the Health and Human Services Department without having to apply for it, came with few strings attached.

Katherine McKeogh, a department spokeswoman, said it “encourages providers to use these funds to maintain delivery capacity by paying and protecting doctors, nurses and other health care workers.” The legislation restricts hospitals’ ability to use the bailout funds to pay top executives, although it doesn’t stop recipients from continuing to award large bonuses.

Disease specialists have their own timelines for returning to normal life.

Many epidemiologists are already comfortable going to the doctor, socializing with small groups outside or bringing in mail, despite the virus. But unless there is an effective vaccine or treatment, many said it would be more than a year before they would be willing to go to concerts, sporting events or religious services. And some may never greet people with hugs or handshakes again.

These are the personal opinions of a group of 511 epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists who were asked by The New York Times when they expected to resume 20 activities of daily life, assuming that the pandemic and the public health response unfolded as they expected.

Their answers are not guidelines for the public and incorporate respondents’ individual life circumstances, risk tolerance and expectations about when there will be widespread testing, contact tracing, treatment and vaccination for Covid-19. They said those factors would determine their actions, because the virus set the timeline.

“The answers have nothing to do with calendar time,” said Kristi McClamroch, a professor at the University at Albany.

Crowds will gather again in New Zealand’s restaurants. Weddings will include as many hugs and guests as the happy couple wants — and even social distancing will not be needed.

New Zealand has no active virus cases and no new cases, officials announced Monday, declaring that life could now return to a form of pre-pandemic normal.

“While the job is not done, there is no denying this is a milestone,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, adding: “Thank you, New Zealand.”

The country of five million people is one of only a few nations that appear to have eradicated the virus, at least for now. Iceland is another.

Ms. Ardern, who led an approach she described as “go hard go early” — with a severe lockdown that began in late March — said the country could now focus on economic recovery and boosting local businesses.

“Retail is back without limitation,” she said. “Hospitality is back without limitation; public transport and travel across the country is fully open.”

The return to freedom of movement, however, is not quite complete. With the pandemic continuing to rage elsewhere, the country’s borders are still locked down. Plans for a travel bubble with Australia are in the works, but moving slowly.

Ms. Ardern also announced that QR codes would be appearing wherever people gather. She asked businesses to remind people to scan the codes into the government’s contact tracing app to make any future outbreak easier to track and isolate.

“This is a key new habit we’re asking all New Zealanders to adopt,” she said.

Now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended sweeping changes to American offices, companies are preparing elaborate new routines intended to keep employees healthy.

In many cases, the changes will transform workaday offices into fortified sites resembling biohazard labs.

At Cisco, for example, employees will have to log into an app every day and answer several questions about their health. Those cleared by the app can head to the office, where they will face a temperature check. Anyone with a fever will be sent home.

Simply complying with the C.D.C. suggestions will present major hurdles for many companies, especially those in skyscrapers and dense urban centers.

For example, the agency recommends limiting elevator use to maintain social distancing. Some companies lease space in crowded office buildings, sharing elevators with many other tenants.

Even for companies that occupy entire buildings, elevators are a vexing problem.

“It can’t be two people per elevator in a high rise. That’s not just feasible,” said Rob Falzon, a vice chairman at Prudential, which occupies several large buildings in Newark. “It would take us two to three hours just to get everyone in.”

One possible solution? Prudential is considering putting ultraviolet lighting in elevators so surfaces are continuously disinfected.

The world’s biggest financial firms are preparing to bring thousands of employees back to their New York offices starting this month, but life on Wall Street will be quite different.

Grab-and-go packaged meals may replace midday buffets and three-figure lunches. Plexiglass could divvy up trading floors the size of football fields. Heat maps, accessible on a mobile app, will help identify restrooms with the smallest crowds. And even with sophisticated face-mask sensors in the lobby, temperature checks and touch-free elevators, it will be well into next year before most workers are back at their desks and the center of global finance begins to feel like its old self again.

Chanel streamed on Monday the first big digital fashion show since in-person unveilings were canceled. And Vanessa Friedman, The Times’s fashion director and chief fashion critic, was not impressed by the brand’s attempt to take its cruise collection online. Here is part of her review.

“The presentation, and the clothes themselves, seemed to entirely ignore the cataclysmic context in which they would be worn,” Ms. Friedman wrote. “It was more like a return to some of high fashion’s escapist failings of the past rather than a meaningful step toward the future.”

She added that “it mostly just seemed irrelevant. The video and pictures could not come close to the experience that even a livestream of a show in a specific geographic location conveys; on their own they felt like an old fragrance commercial.”

“But the brand didn’t have to do it in the first place. It could have skipped the season, like many others. Or simply sent the pictures to its stores and retail partners,” Ms. Friedman wrote. “Instead, it chose to stick with its version of the show as a public statement of intent and aesthetic. Shouldn’t one of the benefits of a digital presentation be its flexibility, and the ability to rethink it (or at least the news release) according to public events, even up to the last minute?”

“Chanel teased the event with videos on its Instagram feed that featured tweeting birds, waving bougainvillea and crashing waves (and appeared incongruously just after a trio of black squares in solidarity with #blacklivesmatter).”

She wrote: “If a statement from a designer can’t even acknowledge the pain and complications of her consumers, even the rich ones — then, pretty as the products may be, it is not doing its job.”

In April, for the second time in a month, top business leaders sat down with Mexico’s president to implore him to do more to save the economy.

People were losing jobs by the tens of thousands, they warned. Small and medium-size companies, which employ more than 70 percent of the Mexican work force, were running out of cash. The government needed to intervene, they argued. The data was irrefutable.

“I have other data,” shrugged the president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, according to two businesspeople with direct knowledge of that conversation. “You do whatever you think you need to do, and I’ll do what I need to do.”

Across the globe, governments have rushed to pump cash into flailing economies, hoping to stave off the pandemic’s worst financial fallout.

In Mexico, no such rescue effort has come. The pandemic could lead to an economic reckoning worse than anything Mexico has seen in perhaps a century. More jobs were lost in April than were created in all of 2019. A recent report by a government agency said as many as 10 million people could fall into poverty this year.

Hostile toward bailouts, loath to take on public debt and deeply mistrustful of most business leaders, Mexico’s president has opted largely to sit tight despite what is expected to be widespread pain up and down the economic ladder.

Even though the number of new deaths from the virus has been decreasing, the legacy of the pandemic in the United States is already bound up in nursing homes. More than 40 percent of the fatalities in the country have been tied to nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Burlington Health & Rehab Center, ranked by regulators last year as one of Vermont’s worst nursing homes, is part of Genesis HealthCare, a for-profit chain with a spotty record and almost 400 nursing homes and long-term care facilities in 25 states.

The New York Times tracked an outbreak at Burlington, following who lived and who died, interviewing family members and listening to their conference calls with the facility’s administrators. What emerged is an intimate account of how the virus moved through a nursing home, how operators struggled to subdue it, and how residents’ families split over their performance and the outcome.

Regulators, game makers and gamblers are all working through questions raised by the shift to betting on e-sports in the general absence of anything happening in stadiums and arenas.

Offerings have gone beyond simple bets on whether one video game player can beat another. Some global sports books now offer betting on completely automated soccer matches within the FIFA 20 game made by Electronic Arts — computer versus computer. In the United States, DraftKings and FanDuel (which offer legal fantasy contests in just over 40 states) have each offered new free contests based on automated games of Madden NFL 20, another Electronic Arts title.

In Europe, where sports betting is ubiquitous, half of all such wagering since early March has been on e-sports. Some bookmakers have seen increases in e-sports betting of more than 40 times.

Regulators in Nevada, which has allowed e-sports betting since 2016, recently approved betting on 13 separate e-sports leagues and tournaments.

The reaction from the game companies has been mixed. Some opposed betting on their products. Others have hired integrity monitors used by conventional sports leagues to guard against match fixing, and have been working with casinos and bookmakers.

“E-sports are here to stay, e-sports betting is here to stay, and now we can just see that more clearly,” said Joe Asher, the chief executive of United States operations for William Hill, the British gambling giant.

A technological lifeline during a pandemic.

The pandemic has caused the way we communicate to evolve, and our relationship with technology is being pushed into new territory. Although states are slowly reopening, much of our professional and personal lives will continue to be lived almost entirely online for the foreseeable future.

Reporting was contributed by Azam Ahmed, Ian Austen, Kim Barker, Jo Becker, Keith Bradsher, Quoctrung Bui, Letícia Casado, Stephen Castle, Damien Cave, Michael Cooper, Jesse Drucker, David Enrich, David Gelles, J. David Goodman, Michael Gold, Winnie Hu, Ernesto Londoño, Anatol Magdziarz, Salman Masood, Jesse McKinley, Claire Cain Miller, Raphael Minder, Derek M. Norman, Elisabetta Povoledo, Monika Pronczuk, Margot Sanger-Katz, Matthew Sedacca, Anna Schaverein, Seth Schiesel, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Mitch Smith, Kaly Soto, Eileen Sullivan, Sameer Yasir and Karen Zraick.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *