The governors of two more U.S. states said on May 6 they were lifting most restrictions that were put in place to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus after sharp drops in infection rates and deaths.

In New York, like in much of the United States, efforts to get the two vaccines that have so far been authorized into the arms of Americans have moved slower than hoped due to a slew of issues.

The United States recorded more than 15,000 deaths from Covid-19 and over 1.2 million new cases for the week ended Dec. 27, though those numbers may be artificially low due to reporting gaps over the Christmas holiday.

California compelled much of the state to close shop and stay at home on Dec. 7, when some of the harshest coronavirus restrictions in the United States came into effect one day after the state set a record with more than 30,000 new Covid-19 cases.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc. announced a new system that will enable public health authorities to use smartphones to assist in contact tracing without having to build an app.

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.

Virginia launched the first contact tracing app for the novel coronavirus in the United States that uses new technology from Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

University of Washington researchers estimated that 145,728 people could die of COVID-19 in the United States by August 2020.

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.

The U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to more than 40,000 on Sunday, the highest in the world and almost double the number of deaths in the next highest country Italy, according to a Reuters tally.