Major Retailers Lay Off Tens of Thousands

(AP) — Macy’s, Kohl’s and the Gap all said they will stop paying tens of thousands of employees who were thrown out of work when the chains temporarily closed their stores and sales collapsed as a result of the pandemic. Macy’s said the majority of its 125,000 employees will be furloughed this week and that it is transitioning to an “absolute minimum workforce” needed to maintain basic operations.

Here are some other breaking stories on the pandemic from the United States and around the world.

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The governors of New York and California are moving to rapidly expand the ranks of health care workers, as the death toll from Covid-19 in New York surged past 1,200 while hospitalizations in California doubled in the past four days.

The spike in deaths in New York was another sign of the long fight ahead against the global pandemic, which has infected 750,000 people worldwide, filled Spain’s intensive care beds to capacity and shut millions of Americans indoors.

A lone walker crosses Cable Car tracks on Powell Street in San Francisco on Sunday. (AP photo/Jeff Chiu)

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The city at the center of China’s virus outbreak is reopening for business after authorities lifted more of the controls that locked downs tens of millions of people for two months. “I want to revenge shop,” declared an excited customer at one of Wuhan’s major shopping streets.

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New York’s governor issued an urgent appeal for medical volunteers Monday amid a surging number of deaths, as health officials warned that the crisis unfolding in New York City is just a preview of what other communities across the U.S. could soon face.

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California is enlisting retired doctors and medical and nursing students to help treat an anticipated surge of coronavirus patients, the governor said Monday. The California Health Corps effort comes as the nation’s most populous state anticipates hospitals becoming overwhelmed with patients and while it is preparing stadiums and convention centers to handle a crush of cases.

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Benchmark U.S. crude oil prices fell more than 6% and dropped below $20 per barrel at one point for the first time since early 2002. Oil started the year above $60, and prices have plunged on expectations that a weakened global economy will burn less fuel. The world is awash in oil, meanwhile, as producers continue to pull more of it out of the ground.

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