What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

The Associated Press

Spaniards have filled the streets to exercise outside in gorgeous spring weather for the first time in seven weeks and German children rushed to playgrounds as countries in Western Europe gradually relax coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Russia and Pakistan, however, reported their biggest one-day spikes in new infections, a sign the pandemic is far from over. And in the U.K., the death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 28,000.

In the United States, gun-carrying protesters have become a common sight at some demonstrations calling for public health restrictions to be lifted.

As warmer temperatures tempt New Yorkers to come out of quarantine, police dispatched 1,000 officers this weekend to enforce social distancing and a ban on congregating in public spaces.

Here are some of AP’s top stories Saturday 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:

An Associated Press analysis shows that as more states begin to relax their coronavirus lockdowns, most are falling short of the minimum levels of testing suggested by the federal government.

In the U.S., farmers, growers and operators of open-air markets are heading into one of their busiest times of year while facing the added challenge of the coronavirus.

Texas has topped 1,000 new cases for the third day in a row, numbers that coincide with the expiration of the state's “stay at home” order, and shoppers began to return to stores and restaurants.

The coronavirus is upending life for Morocco's medical workers, who enjoy better medical facilities than in much of Africa but are often short of the equipment available in European hospitals.

For Muslims in the United States, there is no other time more centered around gathering in congregation than the holy month of Ramadan. But the coronavirus pandemic is presenting obstacles - and opportunities.

The top Republican and Democrat in Congress say they are respectfully declining an offer of quick COVID-19 tests offered by President Donald Trump’s administration.

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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 viral spread 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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FACT CHECK:

President Donald Trump, responding to a Harvard University study that 5 million tests per day would be needed to safely reopen the country, said Tuesday that the country was “getting very close” to that benchmark. Dr. Brett Giroir, the federal health official overseeing U.S. testing, said “there is absolutely no way on Earth” to do that many.

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ONE NUMBER:

79: The coronavirus has infected residents in 79 nursing homes and assisted care facilities in the state of Missouri.

IN OTHER NEWS:

—- STRANGERS ASSIST WITH FUNERAL: Strangers in New York responded to a call for contributions to the funeral of elderly woman who died without relatives nearby.

—- BIRD-WATCHING SOARS: With coronavirus restrictions dragging on, interest in bird-watching has risen sharply as bored Americans notice a fascinating world just outside their windows.

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