Alabama’s governor on March 4 extended for another month an order mandating residents to wear face masks to protect against Covid-19, breaking with Mississippi and Texas as the issue again becomes the focus of political debate.

The United States lost more than 23,000 lives to Covid-19 during the week ended Jan. 17, setting a record for the third week in a row, though the number of new infections and the amount of patients in hospitals both fell from the previous seven days.

U.S. coronavirus cases crossed the 15 million mark on Dec. 8 as regulators moved a step closer to approving a Covid-19 vaccine and Britain started inoculating people, offering hope of slowing a pandemic that killed 15,000 Americans in the previous week.

Adult obesity is rising in the United States – with a greater impact on racial and ethnic minorities – a U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report showed, at a time when the health condition is seen causing heightened risk for severe Covid-19.

North Dakota, Wyoming and Alabama are the latest U.S. states launching apps to warn users about potential exposure to the novel coronavirus by tracking their encounters, representatives for the states told Reuters.

The United States saw a 27 percent increase in new cases of COVID-19 in the week ended July 5 compared to the previous seven days, with 24 states reporting positivity test rates above the level that the World Health Organization flagged as concerning.

Americans sunbathed on beaches, fished from boats and strolled on boardwalks this holiday weekend, but the occasional person wearing a mask was a constant reminder that the world is still battling the coronavirus pandemic.