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Coronavirus

California Governor: Wear Masks, Avoid July 4th Gatherings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom urged Californians to turn to their “better angels” and use common sense by wearing masks and skipping traditional gatherings with family and friends during the holiday weekend.

California had been on a good trajectory with its virus efforts until mid-June, but infections and hospitalizations are now rising rapidly in many parts of the state.

Los Angeles and 18 other counties with the most troubling virus increases have been forced to shutter bars, forbid inside restaurant dining and close movie theaters.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s top health official, called the Fourth of July holiday weekend a “big deal” for efforts to contain the virus. He urged people to behave differently than they did on Memorial Day weekend, when many gathered socially. Authorities say that behavior helped spur the latest surge of cases.

“This is another time for Californians to pay attention to what happened over the last month and make a different set of decisions now,” he said.

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NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden promised to distribute hundreds of millions of free COVID-19 tests and to open more testing sites to fight surging infections, but the stepped-up efforts will not come in time for people who want to find out if they are infected before the holidays.

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Video

1 Killed, 8 Hurt as Suspected Gas Explosion Hits Bronx Home

NEW YORK — A suspected gas explosion partially collapsed a home in the Bronx, setting the structure ablaze and killing a woman and injuring eight other people, including five police officers, officials said.