Coronavirus update: 21 states see rise in virus cases as lockdowns lifted; vaccine trial on track for July
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Coronavirus update: 21 states see rise in virus cases as lockdowns lifted; vaccine trial on track for July

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States are rolling back lockdowns, but the coronavirus isn't done with the U.S.

Cases are rising in nearly half the states, according to an Associated Press analysis, a worrying trend that could worsen as people return to work and venture out during the summer.

In Arizona, hospitals have been told to prepare for the worst. Texas has more hospitalized COVID-19 patients than at any time before. And the governor of North Carolina said recent jumps caused him to rethink plans to reopen schools or businesses.

There is no single reason to explain all the surges. In some cases, more testing has revealed more cases. In others, local outbreaks are big enough to push statewide tallies higher. But experts think at least some are due to lifting stay-at-home orders, school and business closures, and other restrictions put in place during the spring to stem the virus's spread. Read the full story here:

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

  • The first experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. is on track to begin a huge study next month to prove if it really can fend off the coronavirus, its manufacturer announced Thursday — a long-awaited step in the global vaccine race.
  • About 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that many Americans are still losing their jobs even as the economy appears to be slowly recovering with more businesses partially reopening.
  • Surgeons in Chicago have given a new set of lungs to a young woman with severe lung damage from the coronavirus. Only a few other COVID-19 survivors, in China and Europe, have received lung transplants.
  • The threat of the pandemic to a highly vulnerable population is flying almost completely under the radar: The developmentally and intellectually disabled. While nursing homes have come under the spotlight, little attention has gone toward facilities nationwide that experts have estimated house more than 275,000 people with conditions such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism.
  • The Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals have been canceled this year due to coronavirus concerns.
  • Two more Florida theme parks were opening Thursday after being closed since mid-March to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay are opening their gates with new restrictions.
  • In a city famous for its lack of patience, some businesses have jumped ahead on what's supposed to be a slow and methodical emergence from coronavirus lockdown. Stores in parts of the New York City have already started to allow customers inside to shop, even though the phased reopening that began Monday only allows retailers to sell merchandise via curbside pickup for now.

For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for 7 essentials for a travel kit, interactive maps, a quiz and more.

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A paramedic's 7 essentials for a COVID-19 travel kit

An increasing number of states are easing the pandemic restrictions and travel is beginning to reemerge. Travelers looking to get back on the road are reexamining what precautions and protections they need in the current environment. What does a travel kit look like since the pandemic? I've consulted with experts and compiled suggestions to reduce the risk of coronavirus exposure.

These items are a must-have on any trip in today's coronavirus world:

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