Heading into Memorial Day weekend, California's mood was celebratory. The state had avoided dire predictions of a coronavirus surge, hospitalizations were starting to decline and restaurants and most other businesses had reopened.
SiO2 Materials Science plans to invest $163 million in an expansion at its Auburn facility after securing a major contract to supply the federal government with vials to support the COVID-19 vaccine effort.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. climbed to an all-time high of more than 50,000 per day on Thursday, with the infection curve rising in 40 out of 50 states in a reversal that has largely spared only the Northeast.
U.S. employers added a substantial 4.8 million jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%, as the job market improved for a second straight month yet still remained far short of regaining the colossal losses it suffered this spring.
In areas where COVID-19 is spreading, health experts agree that wearing masks or other face coverings in public helps reduce the risk of spreading the virus when people can't socially distance by staying 6 feet apart.
Authorities are closing honky tonks, bars and other drinking establishments in some parts of the U.S. to stem the surge of COVID-19 infections — a move backed by sound science about risk factors that go beyond wearing or not wearing masks.
The run-up in cases — blamed in part on "knucklehead behavior" by Americans not wearing masks or obeying other social-distancing rules — has raised fears that many states could see the same phenomenon if they reopen too, or that people from the South and West could spread the virus to other regions.