What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

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President Donald Trump appears to be encouraging resistance to stay-at-home orders aimed at containing the coronavirus that has thrown millions of Americans out of work. But some governors say they badly need help from Washington in expanding testing before they can safely lift them.

A day after Trump gave U.S. governors a road map for recovering from the pandemic’s financial pain and told them they could call the shots, he ramped up pressure on three Democratic states in a series of tweets: “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” “LIBERATE VIRGINIA.”

Meanwhile, the accuracy of figures that governments rely on to make crucial decisions — including whether it is safe enough to ease lockdowns — was being openly questioned as many countries, including China, revised up sharply their death tolls.

Here are some of AP’s top stories Friday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.

One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.

TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.


ONE NUMBER:

  • 6.8: China’s economy shrank by 6.8% from a year earlier in the quarter ending in March after factories, offices and shopping malls were closed to contain the outbreak, official data showed Friday.

IN OTHER NEWS:

  •  BICYCLE DELIVERY: No fans were cheering, but Italian professional cyclist Davide Martinelli achieved a victory of a different sort. He is using his bike to help deliver medicine to elderly residents and others in need during the pandemic.
  •  MAIL SAFETY: Is it safe to open your mail during the pandemic?

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