Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today

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How risky will in-person education be this fall? Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have new estimates that provide a rough gauge of the risk that students and teachers could encounter in each county in the United States.

Based on infection rates, more than 80 percent of Americans live in a county where at least one infected person would be expected to show up to a school of 500 students and staff members in the first week of classes, if school started today. (One big caveat: The analysis treats adults and children as equally likely to be infected.)

In the highest-risk areas — including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Nashville and Las Vegas — at least five students or staff members would be expected to show up infected with the virus at a school of 500 people. The high numbers reflect the rapid spread of the virus in those areas, where more than 1 in 70 people are estimated to be infected.

Education officials in New York City, one of the few large districts in the country that are still planning to open schools in the fall, laid out a plan on Thursday for what would happen in the seemingly inevitable event that cases of the coronavirus are confirmed in a classroom. The protocol means it is likely that at many of the city’s 1,800 schools, some classrooms or even entire buildings will be closed at points during the school year.

New York City is currently planning to reopen its schools on a hybrid model starting Sept. 10, with students reporting to classrooms one to three days a week to allow for social distancing. Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday that school openings would proceed only if the city’s test positivity rate — currently between 1 percent and 2 percent — stays below a 3 percent threshold.


It’s hard at the best of times to open a high-end restaurant, but during the pandemic, it’s downright punishing.

To open the new restaurant Ever in Chicago this week, the chef Curtis Duffy had to rethink everything, including how to greet guests (handing out an Ever-branded tote bag of P.P.E. was deemed too unsettling) and how to improvise ingredients (because who knows when the supply of fennel, lamb tongue, or tapioca chips will run dry).

During the pandemic, upscale dining venues may actually have advantages over midpriced restaurants: The tasting-menu format removes uncertainties in food ordering, checks are guaranteed to be high and the highly ritualized style of service can help keep safety measures on track.

Other restaurants are taking note. Our food critic in Australia noticed that midpriced restaurants in Melbourne have been serving pricier meals. Some chefs say it’s the most viable way forward, and the trend could be a bellwether for other cities around the world.

Cold comfort. Restaurant owners hit hard by the pandemic in France are facing a new challenge: The government said it would ban outdoor heaters at cafes and restaurants as part of an effort to fight climate change. But the ban won’t go into effect this winter in order to give owners to recover and adapt to the new law.


Here’s a roundup of restrictions in all 50 states.



I used a portion of the stimulus check to become a beekeeper. Caring for and watching the honey bees has been a great escape, and it draws me outside, which has helped me meet my neighbors.

— Christin Marshall, Bourne, Maine

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