U.S. Cases Tick Up Amid Specter of Labor Day Surge: Virus Update
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U.S. Cases Tick Up Amid Specter of Labor Day Surge: Virus Update

U.S. coronavirus cases trended higher heading into the Labor Day weekend, which has triggered concern in President Donald Trump’s administration and among state officials about another potential surge.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris said she wouldn’t rely solely on Trump’s word on the efficacy of a coronavirus vaccine. China said passengers arriving on flights from the U.S. will have to show a negative Covid-19 test starting Sept. 15.

Mexico is ordering an extra 1.1 million death certificates after supplies ran out. Italy reported the most new cases since May 2, though Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte pledged to avoid another nationwide lockdown.

Key Developments:

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U.S. Cases Tick Up Amid Specter of Labor Day Surge: Virus Update

Texas Cases Rise by 0.7% (4:45 p.m. NY)

New cases in Texas climbed 0.7% to 635,315, the Department of State Health Services said on its website. That matches the nationwide average daily increase over the past week based on data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.

The seven-day positive-test rate declined slightly to 9.6% on Friday, which compares with a level of 16.2% two weeks ago, according to Texas state data releated Saturday. Deaths increased by 177 to 13,408.

Mexico Orders More Death Certificates (4:30 p.m. NY)

Mexico’s government had ordered 1.1 million extra death certificates after parts of the country ran out amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez Gatell said.

The regions include Mexico state, which surrounds most of Mexico City, Gatell told reporters late Friday.

Mexico has registered more than 66,000 coronavirus-related fatalities, putting it fourth worldwide behind the U.S., Brazil and India.

Maine Wedding Cited in Outbreak (4:12 p.m. NY)

A wedding in Maine last month has been traced to 147 virus cases and three deaths, CNN reported Saturday, quoting a local spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cases from the wedding branched out to a nursing home and a prison, the CDC was quoted as saying. The wedding was attended by 65 people though state law has capped such indoor events at 50 people, CNN said.

Maine reported 4,197 confirmed cases and 134 virus-related deaths as of Saturday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Harris: Trump’s Word on Vaccine Not Enough (3:30 p.m. NY)

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris said she wouldn’t take President Donald Trump’s word alone on the efficacy of a coronavirus vaccine.

“I would not trust Donald Trump, and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about,” Harris said in a clip released Saturday by CNN. “I will not take his word for it.”

Trump tweeted a campaign ad on Saturday that says “the finish line is approaching” in the race for a Covid-19 vaccine and seeks to portray Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s stance on lockdowns as a threat to the economy.

Wisconsin Record Called ‘Reporting’ Problem (3:25 p.m. NY)

Wisconsin’s state health department blamed “a problem with reporting that has been fixed” for a record 1,498 new coronavirus cases reported on Friday. While the seven-day average daily increase in cases of 767 was high compared with early this summer, it’s less than a peak in late July, the agency said on Twitter.

As cases on U.S. campuses explode, the University of Wisconsin-Madison said Friday it had ordered members of nine fraternities and sororities to quarantine in response to an unspecified number of cases among members.

“Our goal is to stop any further spread of the virus among our students and the broader community,” Jake Baggott, executive director of university health services, said in a statement.

California Positive-Test Rate Declines (2:15 p.m. NY)

California reported 4,956 new virus cases, less than the 14-day average of 5,025. The most populous U.S. state has 727,239 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the health department’s website, the most in the nation.

The rolling 14-day average of Covid-19 test positivity declined for the fourth consecutive day to 4.8%.

California reported 153 new deaths from Covid-19 on Saturday, more than the 14-day average of 118, increasing the toll to 13,643.

Nigeria Asks For Fair Vaccine Distribution (12:24 p.m. NY)

Europe should work with African countries to ensure equitable access to an affordable Covid-19 vaccine once it’s available, Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said.

Speaking at a joint EU-Africa forum, Osinbajo urged the European Union to support the global non-profit group Gavi, the vaccine alliance, to help developing countries obtain vaccines at the same time as the rest of the world.

“This is a matter that should not be taken for granted,” Osinbajo said in a statement Saturday.

Arizona Cases Rise, Deaths Decline (11:51 a.m. NY)

Arizona reported 836 cases, a 0.4% rise to 205,516. The average daily increase over the past week has been 0.3%. Cases spiked on Thursday by 1,091.

Positive-test results remained lower, at 5.3% after three straight days in double digits earlier in the week. The Arizona Department of Health Services recorded 36 new deaths, down from 41 the previous day, bringing the statewide toll to 5,207.

U.K. Cases Remain Above Average (11:28 a.m. NY)

The U.K. reported another 1,813 cases on Saturday, after infections reached the highest level since May on Friday. The previous seven-day average was an increase of 1,529. A total of 344,164 people have tested positive and 41,549 have died.

Portugal Reports Most Cases Since May (11:20 a.m. NY)

Portugal reported on Saturday the largest daily increase in the number of cases since May. There were 486 new cases, above 400 for a third day for a total to 59,943, the government said. The number of patients in intensive care units rose by 1 to 41.

Italy Cases High Before Schools Open (11:15 a.m. NY)

Italy reported 1,695 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, a number close to the four-month high recorded on Friday. Infections have been inching up all week amid vastly expanded testing, as Italians return from holiday where social distancing was lax and less than 10 days before the planned reopening of schools.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said earlier Saturday that coronavirus outbreaks this autumn may prompt local restrictions but not a nationwide lockdown.

Florida Cases Stable (11:10 a.m. NY)

Florida reported 643,867 cases on Saturday, up 0.6% from a day earlier and matching the average increase of the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 11,811, an increase of 61, less than the 102 reported the previous day, according to the state health department report, which includes data through Friday.

Cuomo Cites ‘Super Spreading Weekend’ Risk (10:35 a.m. NY)

New York reported 801 cases, the third day in a row over 800 as infections slowly tick up in what had been the nation’s center for the outbreak. The rise was 0.2%, equal to the average 0.2% daily increase of the previous seven days. Two more fatalities were reported.

The state previously had not recorded more than 800 cases since mid-July, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has sent an emergency response team and rapid testing to Western New York to track a cluster. Students at SUNY Oneonta were sent home for the semester this week after an outbreak there.

“Experts warn Labor Day could be a super spreading weekend,” Cuomo said on Twitter. “But it doesn’t have to be. Wear a mask. Don’t go to crowded parties. Wash your hands often. COVID is still out there.”

UN Warns Famines Are Imminent: NYT (10:15 a.m. NY)

Famines are looming in Yemen, South Sudan, northeast Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the first of the pandemic era, the New York Times reported, citing a letter from the top humanitarian official of the United Nations.

The risk of famines in these areas had been intensified by “natural disasters, economic shocks and public-health crises, all compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the official, Mark Lowcock, wrote in a letter to members of the UN Security Council. Millions of lives are endangered in the areas, the newspaper said.

Conte ‘Confident’ Italy Won’t Need Lockdown (8:24 a.m. NY)

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that outbreaks this autumn may prompt local restrictions but not a nationwide lockdown. Italy reported 1,733 new cases on Friday, the most since May 2, amid record testing.

“I am confident,” Conte said at an event organized by Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper. “We won’t find ourselves in a situation to order a general lockdown; at worst we’ll have to intervene in a targeted way, with restrictive measures for narrowly defined areas.”

U.A.E. Pace of Cases Rises (8:20 a.m. NY)

Kuwait’s daily new Covid-19 cases rose by 720, less than 865 a day earlier, with three more deaths reported, the Health Ministry said. The total number of cases is now 88,963. The United Arab Emirates reported 705 new cases on Saturday, up from 612 on Friday.

More Cases at Greek Refugee Camp (8 a.m. NY)

Two new cases of coronavirus were detected at the Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesvos, Greece’s Asylum and Migration Ministry said Saturday. The newly infected refugees lived near the tent of a 40-year-old Somali man who tested positive on Sept. 2 and who was the first case at the camp. Moria is home to 13,000 people and is the largest refugee camp by numbers in Greece.

U.S. Cases Rise (7:50 a.m. NY)

The U.S. added 50,859 cases, a 0.8% increase compared with the average 0.7% daily rise of the previous seven days, data from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg show. Total cases were 6,200,375.

Another 965 deaths were reported nationally, after three straight days of increases over 1,000. Total fatalities reached 187,750.

Sanofi Vaccine Could Cost $12 (6:30 a.m. NY)

The vaccine being developed by Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline will cost less than 10 euros ($12), Sanofi France Chairman Olivier Bogillot said Saturday on France Inter radio. European and U.S. citizens will get it at the same time, he said.

China Says U.S. Visitors Will Need Negative Test (3:35 p.m. HK)

China will require passengers arriving on direct flights from the U.S. to provide negative Covid-19 nucleic-acid test results taken within 72 hours of the flight.

Passengers traveling from the U.S. to China, and those transiting any country that the Chinese government has listed as requiring the screening results, must have negative Covid-19 results from a test done within three days of boarding at the last layover destination before arriving to China, according to a statement from the Chinese embassy. Both sets of rules will take effect Sept. 15.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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