Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today

  • The number of new cases reported each day across the United States is on the rise.

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo won’t allow New York City to close businesses in nine hot spot neighborhoods, but will close several hundred schools beginning on Tuesday.

President Trump will leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center this evening, where he has been receiving treatment for Covid-19 since Friday.

He continued to downplay the seriousness of a virus that has killed more than 209,000 people in the United States, tweeting on Monday from the hospital: “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”

Dr. Sean P. Conley, the president’s physician, said that Mr. Trump’s health had improved and that he would be transferred to the White House, where he will continue to receive treatment.

“Over the past 24 hours, the president has continued to improve,” Dr. Conley said. “He’s met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria.” Still, he cautioned that the president “may not be entirely out of the woods yet.”

Based on the accounts of his medical team, the president had a rough weekend. Mr. Trump’s blood oxygen levels dropped twice, and he received supplemental oxygen, which would indicate that his lungs were not functioning properly. He has been taking the steroid dexamethasone, which is reserved for patients with the most serious cases of the coronavirus.

The drug is used to fend off an immune system overreaction, known as a cytokine storm, that kills many Covid-19 patients. But in mild cases, the drug can dampen the body’s ability to fight the virus.

Medical experts have noted that dexamethasone can also cause a sense of euphoria, which may explain Mr. Trump’s seeming energy during a morale boosting car ride near the hospital, and during two videos posted over the weekend. Mr. Trump also said in a tweet that he felt better than he did 20 years ago.

Dr. Conley says the president will continue taking dexamethasone and will receive his fifth round of the antiviral drug remdesivir at the White House tomorrow.

“We’re looking to this weekend,” Dr. Conley said. “If we can get through to Monday, with him remaining the same or improving better yet, then we will all take that final deep sigh of relief.”

The White House cluster: It is not clear what steps will be taken to isolate Mr. Trump in the White House. On Monday, Mr. Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, joined the list of his close contacts who tested positive, along with two of her deputies and two White House residential staff members. At least three White House correspondents have also tested positive for the virus in recent days.

A new study found that nearly one-third of all Covid-19 patients experienced some form of altered mental function, ranging from confusion to delirium to unresponsiveness. Patients who experienced these symptoms were also nearly seven time as likely to die as those without those symptoms.

The study looked at the records of more than 500 patients around Chicago. Those who experienced encephalopathy, the medical term for altered mental function, stayed in the hospital three times as long as patients without altered mental function. After they were discharged, only about one-third of those patients were able to handle everyday activities like cooking and paying bills.

The study also found that patients who experienced altered mental function were more likely to be older and male, and were also more likely to have an underlying condition like cancer, chronic kidney disease or smoking.

Some experts noted that President Trump was of the age and gender of patients who were more likely to develop encephalopathy. He also has a history of high cholesterol, which is thought to put patients at increased risk.

But one of the study’s co-authors urged caution in drawing inferences from the study to Mr. Trump’s condition. “I think we should be careful trying to ascribe a risk to an individual, based on this retrospective study,” said Dr. Igor Koralnik, the senior author of the study and chief of neuro-infectious disease and global neurology at Northwestern Medicine. “We need to know more about that individual’s health records, which are not public.”

  • In Israel, curbs on protests under a new lockdown have backfired, prompting hundreds of demonstrations calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

  • In England, nearly 16,000 positive test results went unrecorded because of a technical glitch.

  • Nearly 180 European Commission staff members have tested positive, and its president is in quarantine.

Here’s a roundup of restrictions in all 50 states.

I challenged our family to write out four things they wanted to do on the weekend, and all the ideas went into a bowl. By Thursday evening, we have to pick our weekend activity. The first was a movie which was great as we were one of three families in the theater. This week, we got to puzzle, much to the moans of the kids. But hey, I watched “SpongeBob SquarePants” so they can puzzle for an hour.

— Elizabeth Goncalves, Innisfil, Canada

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