As businesses reopened Friday in more of the U.S., an overwhelming majority of states still fall short of the COVID-19 testing levels that public health experts say are necessary to safely ease lockdowns and avoid another deadly wave of outbreaks, according to an Associated Press analysis.
Rapid, widespread testing is considered essential to tracking and containing the coronavirus. But 41 of the nation's 50 states fail to test widely enough to drive their infections below a key benchmark, according to an AP analysis of metrics developed by Harvard’s Global Health Institute.
Among the states falling short are Texas and Georgia, which moved aggressively last month to reopen stores, malls, barbershops and other businesses.
As health authorities expand testing to more people, the number of positive results should shrink compared with the total number of people tested. The World Health Organization and other health researchers have said a percentage above 10% indicates inadequate testing. South Korea, a country praised for its rapid response, quickly pushed its positive cases to below 3%.
In other developments:
- Democrats began pushing Congress’ biggest coronavirus relief bill yet toward expected House passage Friday, a $3 trillion behemoth they say a beleaguered country badly needs but Republicans call a bloated election-year wish list. The bill was sure to go nowhere in the GOP-led Senate, let alone reach President Donald Trump’s desk, where a promised veto awaited.
- President Donald Trump expressed no concerns Friday about a rapid coronavirus test the White House has been relying on to ensure his safety, despite new data suggesting the test may return an inordinate share of false negatives. A preliminary study by New York University researchers reported problems with the test Trump and his deputies have have promoting as a “game changer.”
- American industry suffered the most severe plunge on record last month with factories, mines and utilities battered by the coronavirus pandemic. The Federal Reserve said Friday its industrial production index tumbled a record 11.2% in April.
- French nurses and doctors faced off with President Emmanuel Macron at a leading Paris hospital. They are demanding better pay and rethinking of a once-renowned public health system that was quickly overwhelmed by tens of thousands of virus patients. A nurse confronted Macron at the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital, saying she’s using a long-expired surgical mask and would like a pay raise, not a bonus. Medics peppered him with grievances.
- Shuttered sectors of New York’s upstate economy will begin inching back to life Friday with more construction, manufacturing and curbside retail pickups allowed in parts of the state miles away from pandemic-stricken New York City. The smaller cities and rural regions of upstate New York have been spared the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is allowing those areas to gradually reopen first, industry by industry.
- Along the California coast and in states known for silky sands and ample sun, the surf is up along with a new set of rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Los Angeles County beaches reopened this week requiring masks on the beach and rules that people be exercising or moving.
- An American cargo pilot who acknowledged “poor judgment” in breaking a quarantine order to buy medical supplies became the first foreigner imprisoned in Singapore for breaching its restrictions meant to curb the coronavirus. FedEx pilot Brian Dugan Yeargan, of Alaska, was sentenced to four weeks Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to leaving his hotel room for three hours to buy masks and a thermometer, says defense lawyer Ronnie Tan.
For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for helpful tips, charts tracking testing and more.
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