CLOSE

Communities of color are dying at higher rates from the novel coronavirus than white Americans. Here’s how structural inequities play a role.

USA TODAY

While scientists around the world rush to find a vaccine for COVID-19, researchers in San Francisco developed an antiviral nasal spray that could fight the coronavirus. 

Coronavirus infections have spiked in Texas as the state surpassed the 500,000 case marker Tuesday. While state hospitalizations have decreased, Gov. Greg Abbott said gatherings may have contributed to the surge in positive cases.

The federal government, meanwhile, is gambling another $1.5 billion that Moderna’s vaccine candidate will be safe, effective and available soon.

And Churchill Downs racetrack unveiled a plan to host next month’s Kentucky Derby before a live albeit scaled-down audience of 23,000. Last year’s race drew 150,729.

Here are some significant developments:

📈 Today’s numbers: Wisconsin has reported its 1,000th death. New weekly case records were set in Indiana, North Dakota, Guam and Puerto Rico. Weekly record numbers of deaths were reported in Georgia, Tennessee and Puerto Rico. The United States has reported more than 5 million cases and nearly 165,000 deaths. Worldwide, there have been almost 750,000 deaths and more than 20 million cases.

📰 What we’re reading: Outdoor dining may save restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. But are diners at risk from cars plowing into them?

Employees fearing layoff are targets for phony pink slips

Job hunters have long been warned to watch out for fake texts from phony employers and those $30-an-hour job descriptions that sound too good to be true. Now, those who remain on the job must worry about the phony pink slip

Fraudsters have been sending out large volumes of termination notices during the pandemic, according to Jessica Dore, an expert in technology risk management at the financial services firm Rehmann. A target might be asked to click on a link for information about a severance package – and end up downloading malicious code allowing backdoor access to information.

Experts recommend talking to the Human Resources department or your manager before clicking on any link involving a termination notice.

Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press

Outdoor dining may be saving restaurants, but diners may be at risk

As an alternative to indoor dining, many cities have allowed eateries to set up tables in parking lots, on sidewalks or in fenced-in areas directly on streets to ease the coronavirus threat.

But a group that informally tracks incidents of vehicles crashing into buildings or crowds based on media or police reports, the Storefront Safety Council, so far has counted about 20 instances of cars or trucks barging into outdoor dining areas since restaurants reopened after COVID-19-related shutdowns. That compares to about four a year over the past eight years.

“In the best of times, there is some risk associated with…