Christianna Silva | Michigan Radio
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Christianna Silva

Just 10 days after closing New York City's schools because of rising coronavirus cases, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that the nation's largest school district will begin a phased reopening next week.

On Dec. 7, buildings will reopen for elementary school students and on Dec. 10, District 75, which serves students with disabilities, will reopen.

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the nation, Los Angeles County has announced a new stay-at-home order that places new restrictions on businesses and gatherings but does not ban them altogether.

Friday's announcement came on a day when the number of new cases reached 205,000 nationwide — a figure believed to be higher, in part, due to delays in reporting caused by the Thanksgiving holiday. More than 4,500 of those cases were reported in Los Angeles County, along with 24 deaths.

Cases of COVID-19 are rising at an alarming rate in nearly every state as the nation approaches Thanksgiving.

The cumulative case count passed 12 million on Saturday, six days after the previous million mark was crossed, which was six days after the previous million.

Journalist John Yang volunteered to take part in a Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial not for "great altruistic reasons," but because he wanted to get a vaccine sooner rather than later.

"It started off with self-interest — I wanted to get the vaccine sooner," Yang, special correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, tells NPR's All Things Considered. "Then when I found out that it was the Moderna trial, a new technology, one that has never been approved for a human vaccine before, I got sort of excited. It sort of piqued the science nerd in me."

The COVID-19 crisis in the U.S. is getting worse by nearly every metric. On Friday alone, there were more than 184,000 new confirmed cases and 1,400 deaths, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported. Hospitals are reaching capacity.

Hospitals are nearing capacity in North and South Dakota, two states where coronavirus has hit disproportionately hard for their small population size and where cases continue to rise daily.

Dr. Taison Bell, the director of the medical intensive care unit at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, was doing rounds in the COVID-19 ICU, caring for about 20 patients, when he noticed that his unit was full almost entirely of Black and Latinx people, despite the fact that Charlottesville is 70% white.

Bell, who grew up just an hour away from the hospital, says he "just couldn't escape the thought of this virus disproportionately killing people in my community."

Democrats and Republicans are reacting to news that former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris were elected to the White House on Saturday, narrowly defeating President Trump in an election that hinged on several swing states.

As cold weather envelops Illinois, the state is experiencing a massive upsurge in coronavirus cases, part of a trend across Midwest states.

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

Pregnant women had mountains of concern at the beginning of the pandemic, and doctors didn't have many answers. Now, months after COVID-19 began sweeping across the globe, new studies and CDC reports are out.

While there is still much that is unknown, the picture is beginning to be more clear.

Chris Anderson, supervisor of elections in Seminole County, Florida, had a stylus problem.

He says it would have cost more than a quarter of a million dollars to purchase enough pens and styluses needed for the county's 328,000 voters. So, his department got creative.

Across the country, colleges and universities are struggling to decide how to teach students in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some schools have turned to remote learning; some have attempted to reopen campus with various precautions in place. Others are trying a mix of both.

For the municipalities that are host to colleges and universities, these decisions can be costly. Whether it's curtailing the spread of the virus in their communities, or losing the typical influx of student spending that arrives each fall, these cities and towns are bracing for a challenge.

A new show, called "Love in the Time of Corona," is a series of interwoven stories about people in quarantine trying to find love and stay connected. And the cast are actual couples, families or friends, in real life, who have been quarantining together during the pandemic.

Students in Los Angeles went back to school this week online. The Los Angeles Unified School District is planning for in-person classes to resume at some point during the 2020-21 school year, which will mean school nurses and licensed vocational nurses will be key to ensuring COVID-19 doesn't spread.

Much to the dismay of college sports fans, the coronavirus pandemic has caused the Big Ten and Pac-12 athletic conferences to put their fall sports schedules on hold.

Editor's note: NPR will be continuing this conversation about Being Black in America online and on air.

When Imani Brown, a 38-year-old from San Francisco, hit the streets to protest the recent police violence against Black Americans, she felt inspired and energized. Her parents fought for racial justice before her, so her participation felt like a part of her inheritance.

Humans have never been particularly good at eradicating entire viruses, and COVID-19 might not be any different.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, becoming at least the 12th member of Congress to contract the virus.

For the fifth consecutive day, there were more than 1,000 deaths from the coronavirus in the United States and infections haven't shown signs of significantly slowing, according to the COVID Tracking Project. More than 145,000 people in the country have died from the virus and more than 4,000,000 people have been infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Louis Tran, an emergency physician, spend much of May in New York City ICUs treating patients with COVID-19. Now, he's back at home in San Bernardino County in California, fighting the same virus on a different coast.

The employees who work in the poultry plants on the Eastern Shore of Virginia are accustomed to long hours and some of the most grueling work in the country — work that has grown uniquely dangerous amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Many of these workers came to the United States from Guatemala and Mexico, and are not used to having their voices heard. That is, until this past Wednesday, when one of their demands was answered.

Thomas Salts spent two weeks in a hotel in Arizona sleeping, watching TV and, most importantly, fighting COVID-19.

"I mean it was truly one of the worst bouts I'd ever had dealing with any kind of thing, with the flu or anything," Salts told NPR's Weekend Edition. "It was 10 times worse."

The number of coronavirus cases is soaring in Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott recently rolled back some of his reopening plan. It's a move the mayor of League City, Texas, welcomes.

"I realize people have to work and I know we don't want the economy to shut down, but what good is the economy if there's nobody around to spend money?" Mayor Pat Hallisey told Morning Edition host David Greene. "So it's a practical matter."

Nearly 130,000 people in the United States have died from the coronavirus and more than 2,800,000 people have been infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As COVID-19 cases in Texas continue to surge, young people appear to be the driving force.

Texas reported nearly 6,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a single-day record for the state. The Texas Medical Center — a massive cluster of health care facilities based in Houston — warned that intensive care units are near capacity and have the potential to be overwhelmed.

Mark Shaver hadn't seen his 96-year-old mother, Betty, in months when he hit a breaking point and decided he had to see her.

Shaver lived in South Carolina and Betty was in a nursing home in Morgantown, W.Va., when COVID-19 outbreaks began sweeping across the nation. By early March, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice requested that nursing homes in the state restrict visitors, blocking any real chance Shaver would have to see his mom in person.

The National Institutes of Health has halted its study of hydroxychloroquine, a drug President Donald Trump has promoted as a possible treatment for COVID-19 and once claimed to be taking himself.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the agency said that although it did not appear hydroxychloroquine caused harm to patients in the study, it was also "very unlikely to be beneficial."

On Sunday, up to 1,000 South Florida service members, first responders and family members who came to Homestead-Miami Speedway are becoming the first fans to watch a NASCAR race from the stands since March.

The crowd at the rain-delayed Dixie Vodka 400 gathered after weeks of races without any spectators beyond essential staff, a guideline NASCAR followed in mid-May in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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