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Virus in brief: Projections for US death toll trending downward. Get caught up on the latest developments.
AP

Virus in brief: Projections for US death toll trending downward. Get caught up on the latest developments.

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The main model used by the White House and pretty much everyone else to predict coronavirus trends was updated Wednesday to show far fewer projected US deaths from Covid-19 — down to 60,415 people by August, from the 82,000 the model showed on Tuesday (which was already lower than previous projections). 

New data on the pandemic's trajectory — from the United States and around the world — has been fed into the model almost every day, driving the changes. And the downward adjustment suggests that social distancing may be working better than expected in some places.

The updated model assumes social distancing measures, including the closure of schools and businesses, will remain in place until August. But other measures could replace those, including mass screening, contact tracing and selective quarantines.

Here's an update on all developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.

  • With a startling 6.6 million people seeking jobless benefits last week, the United States has reached a grim landmark: Roughly one in 10 workers have lost their jobs in just the past three weeks.
  • The Federal Reserve is taking additional steps to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy. The money will target American households and businesses, as well as local governments besieged by the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The U.S. has by far the most confirmed infections with over 430,000, three times the number of the next three countries combined. New York state on Wednesday recorded its highest one-day increase in deaths, 779, for an overall death toll of almost 6,300.
  • The U.S. Strategic National Stockpile’s supply of N95 respirators, surgical masks, face shields, gowns and other essential items desperately needed to protect front-line medical workers treating coronavirus patients are nearly depleted.
  • Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johonson spent a third night in intensive care with COVID-19 infection. His spokesman said Thursday he was continuing to improve. Britain posted its highest death toll in a single day Wednesday, with 938 virus-related deaths.
  • The Trump administration has quietly shut down the nation’s asylum system for the first time in decades, using an obscure public health law. People seeking refuge in the U.S. are whisked to the nearest border crossing and returned to Mexico without a chance to seek asylum.
  • Lockdowns imposed to curb the coronavirus’ spread have put millions of women in Africa, Asia and elsewhere out of reach of birth control and other sexual and reproductive health needs.
  • Worldwide, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has climbed to nearly 1.5 million, with nearly 90,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The true numbers are much higher, because of limited testing, different rules for counting the dead and the efforts of some governments to conceal the extent of their outbreaks.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, says don’t assume the coronavirus will fade during warm weather. Fauci said “One should not assume that we are going to be rescued by a change in the weather. You must assume that the virus will continue to do its thing. If we get some help from the weather, so be it, fine. But I don’t think we need to assume that.”

For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for tips to avoid misinformation and scams, interactive maps and unemployment charts.

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The coronavirus pandemic is leading to information overload for many people, often making it difficult to separate fact from fiction and rumor from deliberate efforts to mislead.

Also, con artists are finding lots of marks amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Watchdog groups and authorities report a surge of complaints about scams targeting people who fear catching the virus or need money due to lost income.

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