Rachel Treisman

Face coverings instead of costume masks. Virtual pumpkin-carving parties. No trick or treating. As fall approaches, health officials in California's most populous county are asking residents to plan for an unusual Halloween.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Wednesday released guidance to help families plan for a pandemic-safe Halloween, discouraging traditional festivities and recommending socially distant alternatives.

Months after it was tabled due to COVID-19, indoor dining is coming back to New York City.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that restaurants can resume indoor service on Sept. 30 at 25% capacity and with other safety precautions in place.

"We want to thank New Yorkers for the increase in compliance," Cuomo said at a press briefing. "And because the compliance has gotten better we can now take the next step."

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

A police officer in Salt Lake City shot a 13-year-old boy with an autism spectrum disorder on Friday after his mother called 911 seeking help for her son, who was experiencing a mental health crisis.

Golda Barton told CBS affiliate KUTV that she called police to request that a crisis intervention team transport her son, Linden Cameron, to a hospital for treatment as he was having a "mental breakdown."

Starting in 2024, would-be Oscar nominees must meet specific representation and inclusion standards in order to be eligible for the Best Picture category.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled the requirements on Tuesday, saying they are intended to "encourage equitable representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience."

Three firefighters battling the growing Dolan Fire in central California on Tuesday were injured and airlifted to a hospital, where one remains in critical condition.

The U.S. Forest Service said 14 firefighters deployed portable fire shelters — a last resort survival tactic — around 8:30 a.m. as fire overtook their station at the Los Padres National Forest.

Updated at 5:58 p.m. ET

La'Ron Singletary is resigning as police chief in Rochester, N.Y., as protests continue over the March death of a Black man, Daniel Prude, by asphyxiation after being restrained by police. Much of the encounter was caught on video.

Other senior police leaders are joining Singletary in leaving the department, Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said.

Anyone grasping for the right word or phrase to describe life in 2020 now has a larger lexicon to work with.

Dictionary.com has updated thousands of entries and added hundreds of words in its largest release to date, a reflection of the ways in which society and language have evolved even in just the past few months.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET Thursday

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked states to prepare to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine as soon as late October, according to a series of planning documents sent to public health officials last week.

A CDC spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the documents in an email to NPR on Wednesday. The documents were first published by The New York Times.

Kenosha County, Wis., lifted its nightly emergency curfew on Wednesday, more than a week after it was first enacted in response to protests over the Aug. 23 police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian said in a statement that he had made the decision after consulting with law enforcement and community leaders.

The Trump administration is considering drastically expanding the government's collection of biometric information from immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed on Tuesday.

The proposal would allow the government to demand more personal data, from more people, more often as part of the immigration application process.

More deaths associated with Hurricane Laura were caused by the improper use of portable generators than the storm itself.

And officials warn that the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning persists, as thousands of households in Louisiana remain without power.

The 2020 U.S. Open kicked off on Monday absent one of its most iconic hallmarks: the crowd.

Instead, the courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, N.Y., were mostly silent as spectators were kept away from the stadium because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The prohibition on in-person fans is part of New York's efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

A man was fatally shot during a night of confrontations between Trump supporters and counterprotesters in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, the latest high-profile incident in a city that has seen nightly demonstrations for three consecutive months. On Sunday, city leaders denounced the violence while President Trump criticized their ability to contain it.

Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager accused of shooting and killing protesters in Kenosha, Wis., has been charged with six criminal counts including felony charges of first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday that while the impact of Hurricane Laura was less catastrophic than initially predicted, the storm significantly damaged many communities and remains a threat to parts of several Southern states still in its path.

FEMA officials said on a call with reporters that it is working to assess the damage and distribute aid to people in need — while taking precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice on Wednesday identified the police officer who shot Jacob Blake over the weekend, providing its first update about the incident that has prompted widespread outrage and ongoing protests.

The body of missing Fort Hood soldier Elder Fernandes was found on Tuesday night, more than one week after the 23-year-old sergeant was last seen.

The news was first announced by the family's attorney Natalie Khawam on Wednesday. It was confirmed by Fort Hood, a military base in Killeen, Texas, later in the afternoon.

Even before fall classes began on Tuesday, The Ohio State University temporarily suspended more than 200 students for violating COVID-19 safety protocols.

Member station WOSU was one of several outlets to report that school officials had issued 228 interim suspensions tied to off-campus parties.

The University of Alabama is reporting more than 560 new cases of COVID-19 across its three campuses and medical center less than a week after starting classes.

According to data from a university dashboard, students, staff and faculty at the university's main campus, Tuscaloosa, account for 531 of the total confirmed cases since Aug. 19.

A Florida judge on Monday ruled against the state's order requiring schools to open for in-person instruction by the end of August, calling parts of it "unconstitutional." He granted a temporary injunction, putting the decision-making power in the hands of individual districts.

At least 13 people were killed in a stampede at a nightclub in Peru when they tried to escape police who showed up to enforce COVID-19 restrictions on such gatherings.

According to Peru's interior ministry, 120 people attended a party at Thomas Restobar Club in Lima's Los Olivos district on Saturday night, despite prohibitions on social gatherings under the country's state of emergency.

President Trump announced on Sunday that the Food and Drug Administration has issued emergency use authorization to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma from people who have recovered from the virus.

Joined by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn for what he called a "truly historic" announcement, Trump described the treatment as safe and effective.

Outrage is building, and Louisiana State Police are investigating, after a 31-year-old Black man was fatally shot by police in the city of Lafayette on Friday.

The Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday announced new rules for fans attending home games at Arrowhead Stadium, banning headdresses and certain types of face paint in an effort to be more sensitive to Native Americans.

Beginning this season, fans will be prohibited from wearing headdresses into the stadium, and will be asked upon arrival to remove "any face paint that is styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions."

Airbnb is banning all parties at its listings worldwide, further cracking down on unauthorized gatherings in the name of public health.

The company on Thursday announced its "Global Party Ban," which includes an occupancy cap of 16 guests. The new policy applies to all future bookings and will remain in effect indefinitely. Airbnb said that "instituting a global ban on parties and events is in the best interest of public health."

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Wednesday that he had authorized the city to disconnect utility service at a Hollywood Hills house after it hosted several large parties in "flagrant violation" of COVID-19 public health orders.

In a back-to-school season unusually fraught with uncertainty, two high school teachers in Albany, Ga., are going viral for their creative approach to raising students' morale.

Callie Evans and Audri Williams, teachers and cheerleading coaches at Monroe Comprehensive High School, rapped about virtual learning and the COVID-19 pandemic in a music video that has garnered thousands of likes and comments in two days.

Two Midwestern universities announced on Tuesday that they will be modifying their fall plans because of the coronavirus pandemic. The University of Notre Dame is moving all undergraduate instruction online for two weeks, and Michigan State University is going fully remote for the semester.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill made it one week into the fall semester before scrapping plans for in-person instruction.

It's an experience that other large campuses should learn from, Mimi Chapman, chair of the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, told NPR's All Things Considered on Tuesday.

Pages