Texas Has Record Deaths; Ivy League Cancels Sports: Virus Update
(Bloomberg) -- The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the U.S. surpassed 3 million, representing more than a quarter of all cases globally. California reported its biggest daily jump in cases while Texas deaths reached a new high.
President Donald Trump criticized U.S. guidelines for reopening schools, and threatened to cut funding if they don’t open before November. The Ivy League canceled sports competitions for the upcoming semester, becoming the country’s first Division I conference to scrap football.
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Texas Reports Another Day of Record Deaths (6 a.m. HK)
Texas posted its second record day of virus deaths, at 98, bringing total fatalities in the state to 2,813. Virus cases rose 4.7% to 220,564, exceeding the seven-day average of 4%. The 9,979 new cases were second only to yesterday’s record of 10,028. Hospitalizations jumped by 324, or 3.5%, which was less than the seven-day average of 5.2%.
As cases continued rising in Houston, epicenter of the state’s biggest outbreak, Mayor Sylvester Turner said he was canceling the Republican Party’s state convention that was to be held in the city next week. The mayor also objected to proposals to reopen public schools in August, saying it was premature for such discussions until the outbreak is under control.
Trump Rally Linked to Jump in Cases (5:39 p.m. NY)
The top health official in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said that President Donald Trump’s June 20 campaign rally and accompanying protests likely boosted the number of coronavirus infections in the area.
“We do have the highest number of cases, and we’ve had the significant events in the past few weeks that more than likely contributed to that,” Tulsa Health Department Director Bruce Dart said Wednesday at a news conference.
Trump held the rally despite pleas from local authorities to delay because they were already seeing a rise in Covid-19 cases. An estimated 6,200 people came to the city’s 19,000-seat BOK Center, many without masks. Tulsa County reported 261 and 206 cases for Monday and Tuesday, eclipsing Tuesday’s seven-day rolling average of 146.7.
L.A. County Warns of ‘Critical Juncture’ (5:22 p.m. NY)
Los Angeles County reported 2,496 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total to more than 123,000, along with 65 additional deaths. “We are at a very critical juncture in our pandemic,’ Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public-health director, said at a press briefing.
The county, home to 10 million people, has been the hardest-hit part of California. The rate of positive tests has jumped to 10.4% on a rolling seven-day average, a level not seen since late April. Ferrer warned that thousands more people may require hospitalizations that could overwhelm the health-care system if infections numbers aren’t brought under control.
Pritzker Calls for National Mask Mandate (5:18 p.m. NY)
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker called for a “national mask mandate” to stem the spread of the coronavirus as states attempt to reopen.
“This might be the most important thing we can do to save lives,” he said Wednesday in testimony to the House Homeland Security Committee. Illinois imposed a mask mandate on May 1 and there has been “shifts in our infection rate,” he said.
“A global pandemic requires a national response, but that is not what happened,” he said, and states are looking to federal officials for guidance. “It’s not too late for the federal government to make an impact, in fact, it’s more important than ever.”
Ivy League Scraps Sports in Coming Semester (4:54 p.m. NY)
The Ivy League is canceling sports competition for the upcoming semester because of health concerns about the pandemic, becoming the first Division I conference in the U.S. to scrap football.
The conference, whose eight members include Harvard University, Yale University and Princeton University, made the move Wednesday, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The decision will affect not only fall sports, including soccer, but winter sports also played in the semester, such as basketball. The league is still open to the possibility of spring competition.
U.S. Cases Rise 2% (3:55 p.m. NY)
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose 59,655 from a day earlier to 3.02 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 2% increase was higher than the average daily increase of 1.8% over the past week. Deaths rose 0.8% to 131,857.
- Florida reported 223,783 cases, up 4.7% from a day earlier, less than the verage increase of 5% in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 3,889, a 1.2% rise.
- Arizona had 3,520 new cases, bringing that state’s total to 108,614, a 3.3% increase that was below the prior seven-day average of 4.1%.
- Idaho cases rose 6% to 8,539, according to the data collected by Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg News.
California Cases Hit One-Day Record (3:37 p.m. NY)
California reported 11,694 new virus cases, its largest one-day increase and above the seven-day average of 8,116 daily infections. The data for Wednesday includes some backlog of cases from Los Angeles County, Governor Gavin Newsom said at a press briefing. The state had 111 additional deaths, he said.
The rate of positive tests over the past 14 days has jumped to 7.1%, compared with around 5% two weeks ago. Newsom said the state is monitoring that figure “very closely” and warned it can quickly spike into double digits. He urged people to continue to stay home except for essential needs.
Disney Parks Set to Open (3:10 p.m. NY)
Walt Disney World Resort theme parks are preparing for a phased reopening with reduction in capacity starting July 11. Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park will reopen on July 11, followed by EPCOT and Hollywood Studios on July 15
In addition to limits on attendance and controlled guest density, new procedures will be in place for park entry, attractions, dining, retail, transportation
EU Situation ‘Very Fragile,’ Health Chief Says (2:43 p.m. NY)
Stella Kyriakides, the European Union health commissioner, said the 27-nation bloc must anticipate a second virus wave and prepare steps to control it.
“The situation remains very fragile and we see this in a number of member states,” Kyriakides told the European Parliament in Brussels. “A safe and effective vaccine likely remains the only permanent solution to this pandemic, but this is still some time away.”
The EU is “fully engaged” in talks with pharmaceutical companies to ensure adequate supplies for the bloc of any vaccines, she said.
Miami-Dade Hospitals Hit a High (12:46 p.m. NY)
Miami-Dade County, Florida’s most populous, reported 1,688 people hospitalized with the virus, the highest number since at least early April.
The number of virus patients in intensive-care unit beds rose to 358 from 343. Patients on ventilators jumped to 184 from 175 a day earlier and was at the highest since April 20, according to the county’s daily report on Wednesday, based on self-reporting by hospitals.
U.S. Cases Top 3 Million (12:03 p.m. NY)
The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has surpassed 3 million, representing more than a quarter of all cases globally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. As of noon New York time, the U.S. had 3,009,611 confirmed and 131,594 deaths, the school reported.
No N.Y. Schools Decision Until August (11:50 a.m. NY)
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said a decision on whether schools will reopen for in-person learning in September will be made by the state during the first week of August.
The federal government has no authority on school reopenings, just like it had no authority on states reopening their economies, Cuomo said, in response to President Donald Trump calling for schools to reopen.
Arizona Cases Rise by 3.3% (11:34 a.m. NY)
Arizona reported 3,520 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the state’s total to 108,614, a 3.3% increase that was below the prior seven-day average of 4.1%. The state Department of Health Services also reported 36 new deaths, raising that toll to 1,963.
South Africa ICU Beds Scarce (10:48 a.m. NY)
South Africa is likely to run out of intensive-care unit beds within four weeks, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told parliament. The scarcity of beds will come even as the number of infections, which are expected to hit a high point in August, are expected to be lower than initially projected, he said. So far, 4,831 health workers have been infected.
Florida Cases Climb by 4.7% (10:35 a.m. NY)
Florida reported 223,783 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, up 4.7% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 5% in the previous seven days. Deaths rose by 48 to 3,889, an increase of 1.2%, according to the report, which includes data through Tuesday.
Cumulative hospitalizations of Florida residents rose by 333, a 2% rise to 16,758. Meanwhile, the new rate of people testing positive for the first time fell to 14.2% for Tuesday, from 16.2% a day earlier. The median age of cases among residents fell by a year to 39.
‘Blended’ Learning in NYC Schools (10:28 a.m. NY)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he anticipates a “blended” learning program when schools reopen, with students in class two to three days a week. There will be fewer students in each classroom, and more use of large spaces for classes such as gymnasiums, city officials said Wednesday at a press conference.
Schools will offer different models depending on the space available, and families may choose all-remote learning over in-school programming.
Iran Suffers Deadliest Day (10:08 a.m. NY)
More than one-third of 200 fatalities in Iran’s deadliest day of the outbreak were reported in Tehran alone, authorities said during an emergency meeting of the country’s coronavirus taskforce. The country has recorded 12,000 fatalities from more than 248,000 known cases.
Trump Hits CDC School Regulations (9:52 a.m. NY)
U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet he disagrees with CDC’s “very tough & expensive” guidelines for opening schools. “While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things,” the president said. “I will be meeting with them!!!”
Earlier, Trump said he may cut funding if schools do not open before the November election, saying keeping them closed benefits the Democrats.
Zimbabwe Health Minister Fired Over Equipment Scam (8:54 a.m. NY)
Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa fired his health minister after he was charged with corruption related to the procurement of equipment needed to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
Murphy to Order New Jerseyans to Wear Masks Outdoors (8:47 a.m. NY)
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said he will issue an order Wednesday that the public must wear masks outdoors. The order will apply in cases where crowds are congregating, not if people are outdoors alone or with family members, Murphy said during an interview on MSNBC. He also said he will allow limited indoor dining, with more information on that to come later at a news conference.
Brooks Brothers Goes Bankrupt (8:38 a.m. NY)
Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy, felled by the pandemic’s impact on clothing sales and its own heavy debt load. Neiman Marcus Group Inc., J. Crew Group Inc. and John Varvatos Enterprises Inc. each filed for bankruptcy since the virus took hold.
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