U.S. Pace of Cases Slows; Princeton Scraps Opening: Virus Update
A lab technician uses a multichannel pipette dropper during the antigen quantification process of the coronavirus vaccine research at the Valneva SA laboratories in Vienna, Austria. (Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg)

U.S. Pace of Cases Slows; Princeton Scraps Opening: Virus Update

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 1%, less than the average daily increase over the past week, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. California became the third U.S. state to surpass 10,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

Princeton University abandoned plans to bring undergraduates back on campus for the next term. In contrast, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state’s schools can reopen in September based on infection rates as they stand now.

Mexico City’s bars and restaurants are set to reopen despite high infection rates. Italy and Spain reported the most cases since late May, though they’re still at a fraction of peaks reached last spring.

Key Developments

  • Global Tracker: Global cases top 19 million; deaths pass 713,000
  • Talks on U.S. virus relief falter, Trump executive action looms
  • New York City families brace for school reopening
  • Track the race for vaccines that might end the coronavirus pandemic
  • St. Louis Cardinals cancel game after more positive tests
  • Vietnam’s record of no deaths ends with hospital outbreak

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

U.S. Pace of Cases Slows; Princeton Scraps Opening: Virus Update

California Trend Stabilizing, Health Official Says (4:57 p.m. NY)

California Health Secretary Mark Ghaly said he’s confident that the state’s virus trend is stabilizing.

A backlog of as many as 300,000 lab test records that has led to problems in reporting the state’s data since late July will be resolved in the next 24 to 48 hours, Ghaly told reporters on Friday.

Child Hospitalization Rates Have Risen, CDC Says (4:25 p.m. NY)

Children with Covid-19 are being hospitalized more frequently, and about a third of those hospitalized in a subset of a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study needed intensive care.

Hospitalization rates of children increased steadily between March and July, with higher rates among Black and Latino kids than others, according to the study.

The CDC analyzed data for 576 pediatric hospitalization cases in 14 states, finding that about eight children are hospitalized for every 100,000 infected, compared with more than 164 adults per 100,000.

Georgia Cases Reach 10-Day High (4:25 p.m. NY)

Georgia reported 4,177 new cases, the most since July 28 and more than the seven-day moving average of 3,277, according to the state Department of Public Health. Deaths increased by 92, the biggest toll since at least July 29.

Fulton County, which includes most of Atlanta, has the most cases and deaths.

Princeton Ditches Reopening Plan (4 p.m. NY)

Princeton University reversed its plan to bring some of its students back on campus for the next term, saying classes won’t be held in person because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In light of the diminished benefits and increased risks currently associated with residential education amid New Jersey’s battle against the pandemic, we have decided that our undergraduate program should be fully remote in the fall semester of 2020,” the Ivy League school said Friday in an emailed statement.

U.S. Cases Rise 1% (4 p.m. NY)

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 1% to 4.9 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was less than the average 1.2% daily gain over the past week. Deaths rose 0.6% to 160,437.

  • Arizona reported 1,406 new cases for a total of 185,053. The state’s seven-day average increase fell to less than 1%, the lowest since late June. Officials counted 78 new deaths, bringing the toll to 3,626.
  • Florida reported 518,075 cases, up 1.5% from a day earlier, in line with the average increase in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 7,927, an increase of 180, or 2.3%.
  • Hawaii experienced a 5.5% increase in cases to 2,914, according to the data.

Diesel Demand Barely Dented as Trucks Roll (3:08 p.m. NY)

Diesel is getting a boost from pandemic-wary U.S. consumers who are having goods shipped straight to their door. Demand for the truck fuel is about 2% lower than this time last year at TravelCenters of America’s 271 locations, compared with a 15% drop for gasoline, Chief Executive Officer Jon Pertchik said.

“Goods still have to get to the front door some way,” he said. “There has been a general shift toward trucking with Covid.”

California Tops 10,000 Deaths (2:03 p.m.)

California became the third U.S. state to lose more than 10,000 people to the coronavirus, and the first since the current surge of infections began in June. The state reported 142 new deaths Friday for a total of 10,011, still well behind New York’s toll of 32,756 and New Jersey’s 15,849 dead, as tracked by John’s Hopkins University.

Other states currently bearing the brunt of the pandemic -- such as Texas, with more than 8,500 coronavirus deaths, and Florida with more than 7,740 -- could reach the same grim milestone within weeks.

California officials are struggling to fix a data-processing problem that has artificially lowered the number of new coronavirus cases reported each day, but they say the glitch doesn’t affect data on hospitalizations or the number of deaths. The state on Friday reported 5,932 hospitalizations from the virus, down from a peak of 7,170 on July 21.

France’s Cases Stay at Highest Since April (1:40 p.m. NY)

France reported 2,288 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the third consecutive day with new infections at the highest levels since April. Deaths increased by 12 to 30,324, the most in four days. Hospitalizations and the number of patients in intensive care fell.

Government efforts to avoid another lockdown have prompted dozens of cities to enforce mask-wearing in busy areas and led to beach closings to prevent nighttime gatherings of young people.

Ireland Sets Restrictions (1:29 p.m. NY)

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin reintroduced restrictions for Kildare, Offaly and Laois counties, saying that the government couldn’t afford to wait in the face of emerging clusters in those areas.

Most bars and cafes will close, sporting events will be canceled and residents have been urged to stay within their county boundaries for the next two weeks. Amid outbreaks in food factories, the three areas accounted for about two-thirds of the 98 new cases announced in Ireland on Friday.

Mexico City to Reopen Restaurants, Bars (1:25 p.m.)

Mexico City, which has the highest number of Covid cases and deaths in the country, plans to reopen restaurants next week and allow other businesses, like bars and party venues for children, to operate exclusively as restaurants, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said.

Mexico’s capital had 77,790 cases and 9,246 deaths, as of Thursday.

U.S. Backsliding on Vaccine Confidence: Surgeon General (12:54 p.m. NY)

The U.S. has been “backsliding” on vaccine confidence for years, to the point where “we almost lost our measles eradication status last year as a country,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams said in a radio interview. It’s a warning sign amid the search for a coronavirus vaccine, he said.

Without a high enough level of compliance, “it doesn’t matter how effective or how safe this vaccine is, it’s still not going to help us stop this outbreak,” Adams told SiriusXM radio on Friday.

The Covid-19 pandemic makes the upcoming flu season in the U.S. “the most important” in decades, he said.

“We don’t want the double whammy of our ICUs being overwhelmed with flu cases, in addition to Covid-19 cases, but we also need to socialize the idea of vaccinations,” Adams said.

U.S. Pace of Cases Slows; Princeton Scraps Opening: Virus Update

Illinois Sets Penalties for Businesses, Schools (12:45 p.m. NY)

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced enforcement rules for businesses, schools and child-care providers on the use of face coverings and the size of gatherings. Penalties range from warnings to fines.

“These rules will help ensure that the minority of people who refuse to act responsibly won’t take our state backward,” Pritzker, a Democrat, said in a statement.

He also signed a bill that penalizes assaults on retail workers who tell customers to wear a mask or socially distance.

Italy Cases at Highest Since Late May (12:30 p.m.)

Italy reported 552 new coronavirus cases on Friday, 150 more than the previous day and the most since May 28, according to the civil protection agency. Three more deaths were blamed on the virus.

The Veneto region accounted for about a third of the day’s cases, driven by an outbreak at a migrant reception center near the city of Treviso, according to the agency.

Spain Reports Most New Cases Since May (12 p.m. NY)

Spain reported 1,895 new cases over the latest 24-hour period, according to the Health Ministry, the biggest increase since the government changed the way it reports data on May 25. Data from the Aragon region wasn’t included due to technical problems.

Cuomo Says All N.Y. Schools to Reopen (11:35 a.m. NY)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said all school districts in the state can reopen in September.

“By our infection rates, all school districts can open,” Cuomo told reporters on Friday. “Everywhere in the state, every region is below the threshold that we established. Which is just great news.”

School openings will be revisited if infection rates spike, he said. New York reported 714 new virus cases on the day, a 0.2% increase that’s in line with the state’s seven-day rolling average.

Arizona Average Lowest Since Late June (11:25 a.m. NY)

Arizona’s infections continued to increase at a slower pace as the state reported 1,406 new cases Friday for a total of 185,053. The state’s seven-day average increase fell to less than 1%, the lowest since late June. Officials counted 78 new deaths, bringing the toll to 3,626.

The state Department of Health Services reported a positive test rate of 15.7%. Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous, had 19.7% of positive tests.

Greece Suspends Church Services, Fairs (11:15 a.m. NY)

Greece extended a ban on people standing in nightclubs, bars and live-music venues until Aug. 31, and newly prohibited church services and street fairs until further notice.

Travelers from Malta, a fellow European Union member, were added to the list of visitors who must present a negative Covid-19 test no older than 72 hours before entering Greece, according to the civil protection ministry.

Florida Cases Stabilize; Positivity Up Slightly (10:35 a.m. NY)

Florida reported 518,075 Covid-19 cases on Friday, up 1.5% from a day earlier, in line with the average increase in the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 7,927, an increase of 180, or 2.3%, according to the state’s report, which includes data through Thursday.

The new rate of people testing positive for the first time rose to 10.1% for Thursday from 8.4% a day earlier. That’s roughly in the middle of the range over the past two weeks.

Africa Infections Breach 1 Million (10:30 a.m. NY)

Africa surpassed 1 million coronavirus infections, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, accounting for about 5% of cases worldwide. The organization has recorded 22,066 deaths and 690,436 recoveries since the virus reached the continent in February.

Confirmed cases reached 1,007,366 on Friday. South Africa is the worst-affected country with 53% of reported cases, including about 24,000 health workers.

U.S. Unemployment Beats Forecast (8:40 a.m. NY)

The U.S. labor market continued to regain ground in July, indicating the economic rebound is still making headway despite a surge in coronavirus infections.

Payrolls increased by 1.76 million in July, beating estimates for a 1.48 million gain and after a 4.79 million advance in June, according to data Friday from the Labor Department. The unemployment rate fell by more than expected, to 10.2%, while a broader gauge of joblessness also declined to 16.5%.

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