What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

The United Nations is forecasting that the coronavirus pandemic will shrink the world economy by 3.2% this year, the sharpest contraction since the Great Depression in the 1930s. The U.N.’s mid-year report released Wednesday said COVID-19 is expected to slash global economic output by nearly $8.5 trillion over the next two years, wiping out nearly all gains of the last four years and likely pushing an estimated 34.3 million people below the extreme poverty line in 2020.

Stocks fell for the second day in a row on Wall Street, weighed down by worries about a slow recovery for the economy. Meanwhile, many state governments in the United States are being forced to consider deep budget cuts because of the economic devastation.

Here are some of AP’s top stories Monday 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:

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— President Donald Trump is calling on governors across the nation to work to reopen schools in their states. He’s also taking issue with comments from Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has cautioned against moving too quickly in sending students back to class.

— Access to the southern half of Yellowstone National Park will resume Monday by way of Wyoming, but park officials continue to talk with Montana officials about reopening the rest of the park after a seven-week closure because of the coronavirus. The partial reopening comes as other national parks begin or prepare to raise their gates at Trump’s urging.

— Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested negative three times for the coronavirus in March after he attended a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Florida, according to test results made public by Brazil’s Supreme Court. A Bolsonaro aide who was photographed close to the two leaders turned out to be infected at the time. Twenty-three other people on the trip later tested positive for the virus.

— Public health officials nationwide rely on faxes, email and spreadsheets to gather infectious disease data and share it with federal authorities. This data dysfunction is hamstringing the nation’s coronavirus response by, among other things, slowing the tracing of people potentially exposed to the virus.

— A federal document says outbreaks of the coronavirus could sweep through large camps where crews typically stay as they fight wildfires across the United States. A U.S. Forest Service draft risk assessment obtained by The Associated Press predicts that even in a best-case scenario, nearly two dozen firefighters could be infected at a camp with hundreds of people.

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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.

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ONE NUMBER:

— 54: Southern Africa’s tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho has confirmed its first positive case of COVID-19, making it the last of 54 African countries to report the disease. Lesotho’s health ministry said one person who recently arrived in the country had tested positive but was not showing signs of being ill.

IN OTHER NEWS:

— POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE: After Xavier University canceled his daughter’s commencement, Torrence Burson staged a graduation ceremony for her in the front yard of their Memphis home with a stage for Gabrielle Pierce to walk across. A loudspeaker blared “The Graduation March” and neighbors lined the street to cheer her on.

— NBA WARMING UP: A third NBA teams have gone ahead with voluntary workouts. With Miami re-opening its doors Wednesday, 10 of the league’s 30 teams have gone forward with on-court individual workouts — the first permitted sessions since the league ordered teams to close their training facilities as part of the coronavirus pandemic response about two months ago.

— BACK ON THE COURT: It’s been tough going for French tennis players returning to the court after many weeks of confinement. Nicolas Mahut traded shots of varying speed and accuracy with practice partner Grégoire Barrère. But he could not sit down on a chair during practice and had to wear gloves to disinfect the net cord afterward.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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