Texas Cases Jump 3.4%; NYC Nears More Reopenings: Virus Update
(Bloomberg) -- New York City moved toward more reopenings, allowing outdoor dining and salon services next week, while several U.S. states showed less encouraging trends. Texas reported a record number of hospitalizations, and new cases in Florida rose to the highest level since the pandemic began.
Indonesia surpassed Singapore as having the most cases in Southeast Asia. Iran may bring back lockdowns after a surge of infections.
- Virus Tracker: Global cases reach 8.2 million; deaths exceed 444,000
- Oregon joins Florida, Texas in confronting resurgence
- Doctors fear Arizona overload as hospital cases top N.Y.
- Houston-area leader rebuffs governor with stay-home plea
- Why the world worries about a ‘second wave’: QuickTake
- What pilots do when a pandemic grounds half of all planes
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Texas Cases Accelerate Past Average (5 p.m. NY)
Texas reported a 3.4% jump in new cases Wednesday, exceeding the seven-day average of 2.7%, according to the state health department. The increase pushed the cumulative total to 96,335.
Amid a surge in hospitalizations statewide, Houston health authorities warned that two hospitals in the fourth-largest U.S. city are “saturated” and unable to accept additional Covid-19 patients, David Perrse, the city’s director of emergency medical services, said during a media briefing.
Biden Calls on Trump to ‘Wake Up’ to Crisis (4:49 p.m. NY)
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called on President Donald Trump to “wake up,” accusing him of waving a “white flag and retreating” from the fight against the coronavirus.
“Donald Trump wants to style himself as a wartime president. Unlike any other wartime leader, he takes no responsibility, he exercises no leadership, now he has just flat surrendered the fight,” Biden said during a campaign stop in Darby, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia.
Vice President Mike Pence, the head of the White House’s coronavirus task force, has backed Trump’s efforts to move on from the crisis. There is no “second wave” of the virus, Pence wrote in a Tuesday op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.
Pence argued that efforts to slow the virus’ spread have worked and that “thanks to the leadership of President Trump and the courage and compassion of the American people, our public health system is far stronger than it was four months ago, and we are winning the fight against the invisible enemy.”
U.S. Cases Rise 1.2% (4 p.m. NY)
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased by 25,083 from the same time Tuesday to 2.15 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 1.2% increase was in line with the average daily increase of 1.1% over past seven days. Deaths rose 0.6% to 117,301.
- Arizona -- among states where cases and hospitalizations are surging -- saw cases rise 11% to 40,937, according to the data from Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg News.
- Florida reported 82,719 cases, up 3.3% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 2.8% in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 3,018, an increase of 0.8%.
- New York added 567 cases for a total of 385,142, according to the state’s health department.
- California cases rose 2.2% to 157,015 while deaths increased 1.7% to 5,208, according to the state’s website.
Illinois Governor Tests Negative (2:42 p.m. NY)
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker tested negative for Covid-19 after attending protests and coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, he said in a tweet on Wednesday. Pritzker attended a South Suburban Day of Action on June 6 in in Calumet City, as did Attorney General Kwame Raoul, who said Tuesday that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and was now self-isolating.
Pritzker and other officials are encouraging anyone who’s attended a gathering without social distancing, such as recent demonstrations, to get tested.
Hydroxychloroquine Testing Halted in WHO Trial (12:39 p.m. NY)
Researchers decided to halt the hydroxychloroquine portion of a World Health Organization trial of potential Covid-19 treatments, an official said.
A group of experts advising the WHO’s Solidarity trial concluded that the drug shows no benefit compared with the standard of care in reducing deaths, Ana Maria Henao-Restrepo, a WHO medical officer, said at a briefing in Geneva.
NYC on Track For Phase 2 Monday (12:05 p.m. NY)
New York City is on track to enter the second phase of reopening on Monday, a step that includes outdoor dining, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
Statewide, less than 1% of New Yorkers tested positive for the coronavirus on June 16, the lowest percentage since the start of the pandemic, Cuomo said. There were 17 deaths on June 16, also a low.
The Westchester, Rockland, and Hudson Valley regions are on track to enter phase 3 on Tuesday, and Long Island is on track for Wednesday, he said.
Florida Positivity Rate Highest Since April (12 p.m. NY)
The positivity rate among Florida Covid-19 tests surged to the highest daily level since at least April, undercutting Governor Ron DeSantis’s case that a recent increase in cases is in part the result of elevated testing.
The new rate of people testing positive for the first time surged to 10.3% for Tuesday, from 7.4% on Monday. The last time it was around 10% was April 13.
On a rolling seven-day basis, Florida’s new cases reached 15,348, the highest level ever and about triple what they were for most of May. Cumulative hospitalizations rose by 183, or 1.5%, to 12,389.
Speaking in Tallahassee Tuesday, DeSantis said he had no plans to reverse the reopening of his state, noting that there remains ample hospital space. He said the rising case numbers reflect more testing and isolated outbreaks, including at farms, prisons and at least one industrial factory.
“We’re not shutting down,” he said. “We’re going to go forward.”
Texas Hospitalizations Climb Again (10:24 a.m. NY)
Texas reported an 11% surge in virus hospitalizations, the biggest 24-hour increase since June 4, according to the state health department. The 275 new patients swelled the total to a record 2,793 and left just 1,473 available intensive-care beds.
Since the end of May, Covid-19 hospitalizations in the Lone Star State have climbed 66%, state data showed.
German Meat Plant Ordered Shut After Surge in Cases (9:27 a.m. NY)
A meatpacking plant in Germany was ordered to shut after hundreds of workers became infected by the coronavirus, adding to a string of outbreaks at slaughterhouses across Europe.
After testing 500 workers at a factory near the western German city of Guetersloh, results showed that about 400 had the disease, prompting the shutdown of the facility that employs 6,000 people, city officials said on Wednesday.
Rwanda Reopens Wildlife Parks to Tourists on Charters (8:40 a.m. NY)
Rwanda has reopened all tourism activities to visitors arriving on chartered flights who are confirmed free of the coronavirus 72 hours beforehand. “All guests are required to maintain a distance of at least 10 meters at all times while visiting primates in Nyungwe and Volcanoes National Park,” Rwanda Development Board said in an emailed statement.
UEFA to Hold Champions, Europa Leagues Draw in Athens (8:24 a.m. NY)
UEFA’s Executive Committee decided to hold the draws for the Champions League and the Europa League soccer competitions and the award ceremony for the Golden Ball, or Ballon D’Or, in October in Athens, Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said. The event is the first for UEFA since the lifting of restrictions and reflects Greece’s world image as a safe destination that is able to welcome such events, Petsas said.
Separately, Portugal ’s directorate-general of health is involved in efforts to make that country the possible host for the Champions League final, Secretary of State for Health Antonio Lacerda Sales said at a press conference in Lisbon.
Frankfurt Airport Operator to Cut as Many as 4,000 Jobs (8:06 a.m. NY)
Fraport AG, the operator of Frankfurt airport, plans to eliminate as many as 4,000 jobs as it braces for years of fallout from the pandemic. The company, which employed 22,514 at the end of last year, is downsizing in areas including ground handling and administration, Chief Executive Officer Stefan Schulte said in an interview. Negotiations with unions will begin soon.
Europe’s Big Banks Back to Cutting Jobs (7:35 a.m. NY)
Europe’s largest banks are resuming plans to cut thousands of jobs after putting dismissals on hold to show support for employees after the pandemic spread across the continent.
HSBC Holdings Plc became the latest lender to restart reductions with a plan to eliminate as many as 35,000 jobs. Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn put the plans on hold in April, only two months after announcing the initiative. Europe and the U.S. are expected to face the brunt of the cuts. Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and UniCredit have also restarted job-cut plans.
Indonesia Overtakes Singapore in Cases (6:44 a.m. NY)
Indonesia now has the most coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia, overtaking Singapore as it ramps up testing.
Confirmed new cases in the world’s fourth most-populous nation jumped 1,031 in the past 24 hours, taking Indonesia’s total to 41,431, a health ministry official said. That exceeded Singapore’s tally of 41,216, official data showed. The death toll stood at 2,276, also the highest in Southeast Asia.
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