US Cases Hit Single-Day Record, Texas and Florida Close Bars and Restaurants

Society » HEALTH | June 27, 2020, Saturday // 13:24| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: US Cases Hit Single-Day Record, Texas and Florida Close Bars and Restaurants pixabay.com

As the U.S. hits a new record for daily coronavirus cases, the White House Coronavirus Task Force held its first public briefing in nearly two months and the governors of Texas and Florida hit pause on their reopening plans, with both states effectively closing bars to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Coronavirus cases are trending upward in about half of U.S. states, and several have reported record-breaking daily new case counts this week, according to Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. reported 39,972 daily cases of the coronavirus Thursday, a new daily record, according to Johns Hopkins. 

But the actual number of infections is likely 10 times the number of reported cases, said Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Thursday. That would mean officials estimate that 20 million Americans, or 6% of the nation's 331 million people, have actually been infected, leaving the vast majority of the population susceptible. 

America’s death toll also has taken a dramatic spike upward after New Jersey added 1,854 people to its official toll. The deaths occurred throughout the pandemic, but all the previously uncounted fatalities were included in Thursday’s total – creating an artificial one-day spike in national death numbers.

Here are the most significant developments of the day:

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom is urging one county to reinstate its stay-at-home order amid a surge in positive coronavirus tests there.
  • One day after pausing additional efforts to reopen Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday announced another round of restrictions, including closing bars and limiting restaurant occupancy. And in Florida, bars on Friday were prohibited from allowing alcohol consumption.
  • The federal government will continue to fund community testing sites across Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday. The sites were due to stop receiving funding at the end of the month.
  • In their first public briefing since April 27, White House Coronavirus Task Force officials pleaded with adults under 40 to act responsibly to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Vice President Mike Pence did not wear a mask during the news conference.

Today's stats: Worldwide infections have surpassed 9.7 million, with more than 2.4 million in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 4,000 people have died worldwide, with more than 124,000 deaths in the U.S.

New coronavirus infections are surging in some of America’s hottest places. Florida on Friday became the second state, after New York, to report more than 8,900 new cases in a single day. But New York’s high was back in April.

That report came as Florida neared an all-time heat record. Sun-baked Texas and Arizona are also getting hit particularly hard by coronavirus. Outside the U.S., crippling outbreaks are underway in such sweltering places as India and Mexico.

President Donald J. Trump suggested several times starting last winter that coronavirus would dissipate as warm temperatures came in April. “The virus that we’re talking about having to do, a lot of people think that goes away in April, with the heat, as the heat comes in, typically that will go away in April,” Trump told governors in February, The New York Times reported.

Trump said at a February campaign rally in Manchester, "The virus: They're working hard. Looks like by April, you know, in theory when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away. Hope that's true. ... We only have 11 cases and they're all getting better.”

Instead, April was the deadliest month, claiming the lives of 57,723 Americans, Johns Hopkins University data indicate.

California urges one county to re-institute stay-at-home order

Gov. Gavin Newsom is urging Imperial County to "pull back" and reinstate its stay-at-home order amid a surge in positive coronavirus tests there and through much of the state.

About 23% of people tested in the Southern California county, which borders the Mexican state of Baja California, are positive for COVID-19, according to Dr. Sonia Angell, director of the California Department of Public Health and state health officer.

That rate is "particularly concerning," Angell said Friday afternoon. The state places counties on a watch list if more than 10% of people test positive./USA Today

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