Coronavirus National

Florida reported 15,299 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, marking the largest single-day increase of any state since the start of the pandemic.

Sunday's number exceeds New York's peak of more than 12,200 new cases in one day back in April, when it was the epicenter of the outbreak.

Cardboard beds. Urban farms. Roving mariachi bands.

These are some of the ways that regular folks are solving problems and spreading happiness during the pandemic.

The solutions aren't perfect — public health experts have some critiques and suggestions. But at the same time, they applaud the ingenuity and positive vibes.

Read the stories of six grassroots change-makers — then nominate your own at the bottom of this story.

Nearly four months after it closed over coronavirus concerns, Disney World is once again inviting guests to experience its Florida theme parks.

The reopening comes as Florida is experiencing a surge of new coronavirus cases, with more than 10,000 being reported on Saturday.

Both Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom opened Saturday to the general public, following limited openings for annual-pass holders and employees. The other two area parks — Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios — are expected to open on Wednesday.

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."

As Zuleika Yusuf Daffala walks across Kibera, one of the big informal settlements in Kenya's capital, she greets dozens of kids on the streets. Some are jumping rope, others chasing each other through the alley and another group is trying to make a tiny cooking pan out of an aluminum can.

As the pandemic continues, children are still mostly at home. Summer activities are canceled or up in the air, and many children are suffering confusion and stress. Parents may be stressed themselves, but there are ways to help kids feel better.

During the first few weeks of staying at home, Maryam Jernigan-Noesi's 4-year-old son Carter was excited. His working parents were around him most of the day, and it seemed like a big extended weekend. But after a few weeks, she says, things changed.

I'm hearing a lot of talk about the coronavirus spreading through aerosols — is wearing a mask in a grocery store enough protection? What else should I do to stay safe?

Quick answer first: Going to the grocery store where you and everyone else is wearing a mask and keeping a distance from each other is still considered a low-risk activity. Go get your summer strawberries!

After months of prohibiting in-person visits to relatives in nursing homes amid COVID-19 fears, New York says it will begin easing those restrictions for facilities that are certified as virus-free.

The change comes after the state — one of those hardest-hit by the virus — has seen thousands of deaths in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

According to the revised rules issued Friday by the New York State Department of Health, visitors will be allowed if a nursing home or adult-care facility hasn't had any coronavirus cases for 28 days.

Georgia's governor and the mayor of the state's capital and largest city are at odds over COVID-19 restrictions, with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announcing a return to tough measures to control a spike in coronavirus infections and Gov. Brian Kemp insisting that her order is "non-binding and legally unenforceable."

Bottoms, a Democrat, announced Friday that she was bringing Atlanta back to Phase 1 reopening — the most restrictive post-lockdown measures that require all residents to stay home except for essential trips.

Mississippi's governor has imposed mandatory use of face masks and limited nonessential gatherings in 13 counties, including those that cover the state's most populous cities, as COVID-19 cases have surged in recent days, causing record hospitalizations.

California will release up to 8,000 prisoners this summer in an effort to create more space and prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in prisons.

News of the plan comes after more than a third of the inmates and staff at the San Quentin State Prison in the San Francisco Bay Area tested positive for the coronavirus.

Around the world, countries are debating what to do about schools during a pandemic.

In many places, they've been shut. In some they've reopened.

Hong Kong offers a cautionary tale of how difficult these decisions can be.

Schoolchildren were sent home at the end of January as the first wave of the outbreak began, originating from visitors from mainland China. Schools stayed closed through a second wave, sparked largely by European and North American travelers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics once again plunged into the growing debate over school reopening with a strong new statement Friday, making clear that while in-person school provides crucial benefits to children, "Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics." The statement also said that "science and community circumstances must guide decision-making."

The U.S. Department of Education moved this week to make it easier for colleges to reconsider and potentially increase financial aid for students who have lost jobs or family income in the economic crisis.

Conspiracy theories need just the right ingredients to take off within a population, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been a breeding ground for them. A Pew Research Center survey recently asked people if they had heard the theory that the COVID-19 outbreak was intentionally planned by people in power. Seventy-one percent of U.S. adults said they had. And a third of those respondents said it was "definitely" or "probably" true.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced on Friday that all bars and restaurants in the state must stop serving alcohol by 11 each night to try to stem a statewide rise in coronavirus cases.

This week, South Carolina is averaging 1,570 new cases of the virus per day. That's more than twice the rate of new cases compared with three weeks ago.

As Major League Baseball prepares to start its season, a massive set of coronavirus test results shows that 28 out of the league's 30 teams have had a player or staff member test positive.

So far, 71 players and 12 staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus, MLB announced Friday.

When teams convened for training camps at the beginning of the month, the league carried out intake screenings. Some 58 players and eight staff members tested positive. That's a rate of 1.8%, with more than 3,700 samples tested.

More than 20 states have now issued orders requiring people to wear face masks in public as the rate of new coronavirus cases surges to record heights in parts of the United States.

The U.S. has recorded more than 1 million coronavirus infections over the past month alone, pushing the number of confirmed cases past the 3 million mark this week.

A Christian camp in Missouri has been forced to shut down after dozens of staff, campers and counselors tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Kanakuk K-2 camp in Lampe, just north of the border with Arkansas, closed after 41 people became infected with the coronavirus, the Stone County Health Department announced last week.

No invitation cards, no shuttles to shows, no cameras clicking, no front row seats, no influencers or street style. In a first among firsts in fashion, the Autumn/Winter 2020 Haute Couture shows — normally held in Paris — were egalitarian, presented online for everyone to see.

Around the country, communities of color continue to be among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. So in many of these communities, local leaders are stepping in to try to help solve a problem they say is years in the making.

In Richmond, Va., crews of local firefighters and volunteers have been fanning out across the city, going door to door with plastic bags filled with masks, hand sanitizer and information about staying healthy.

A dog that tested positive for coronavirus in Georgia last week did not pass the disease to a second dog in the home,  state health officials said Thursday.

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."

Starbucks announced on Thursday that it would require all patrons to wear face masks at its locations across the United States.

The order will take effect on July 15, according to a statement from Starbucks.

Several states have already mandated that residents wear masks in public spaces like coffee shops because of the coronavirus, though many still have no such requirement.

Days after Brazil's president said he had contracted COVID-19, another South American leader, Bolivia's interim president, Jeanine Áñez, said she too had tested positive for the coronavirus.

"I feel good, I feel strong, I will continue to work virtually from my isolation," Áñez said in a video posted to her Twitter account.

The World Health Organization has issued a new scientific brief that summarizes what's known about the different ways the coronavirus can transmit.

The Fuji-Q Highland amusement park near Tokyo has an unorthodox request for its roller coaster riders.

"Please scream inside your heart," and not out loud, the park is asking. The unusual ask is meant to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

While some may be skeptical that it's possible to quietly ride a roller coaster, a promotional video from Fuji-Q proves that it can be done.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the world – and humanity is failing because of a lack of leadership and unity, the head of the World Health Organization declared in a passionate speech Thursday.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Donna Joe says her adult daughters had all kinds of advice to keep her safe. They signed up the 64-year-old retired civil engineer for online grocery delivery, shipped sanitizer to her home in Marietta, Ga., and checked in regularly to make sure she was following the latest protocols.

Joe says she missed being with her six grandchildren, though, and when her son invited her over, she jumped at the chance. But she waited until after the visit to tell her daughters.

Want to social-distance in style this fall? Couturiers at Viktor & Rolf — known for campy, high-concept looks — are introducing a fall collection they're describing as "three wardrobes for three mindsets in extraordinary times of change." Those three mindsets: Anxiety, Confusion and a hopeful ending with Love.

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