U.S. Cases Rise 2%, Above Past Week’s 1.8% Average: Virus Update
Social distancing markers sit on the floor at The Moon Under Water pub, operated by J D Wetherspoon Plc, on Leicester Square in London. (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

U.S. Cases Rise 2%, Above Past Week’s 1.8% Average: Virus Update

Covid-19 cases in both Florida and Arizona, states where the outbreak has been exploding, rose by less than their seven-day average on Monday. New Jersey saw the rate at which the virus spreads between people jump to its highest level in 10 weeks.

New Jersey’s governor called the gain there an “early warning sign.” Meanwhile, the Miami-Dade mayor said he plans to re-close restaurants and gyms starting Wednesday. Elsewhere in the U.S., Harvard and Princeton universities announced plans to bring back portions of their undergraduates for the fall semester.

Globally, the pace of new infections in Tokyo, Iran and elsewhere is raising concerns about a fresh virus wave. India’s epidemic grew to the third-biggest in the world, surpassing Russia. In Israel, bars and gyms have been closed, and capacity at restaurants and on buses have been limited.

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U.S. Cases Rise 2%, Above Past Week’s 1.8% Average: Virus Update

Fauci Says Vaccine May Only Offer ‘Finite’ Protection

Any vaccine developed to ward off the novel coronavirus would likely be limited in how long it would shield against infection, said Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious-disease expert.

“You can assume that we’ll get protection at least to take us through this cycle,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an appearance on a live-streamed video conference hosted by the National Institutes of Health. Health officials are assuming a shot would offer a degree of protection, though it’s likely “going to be finite,” he said.

A shot to protect against Covid-19 won’t work like the measles vaccine, which lasts throughout a person’s lifetime, Fauci said. “We may need a boost to continue the protection, but right now we don’t know how long it lasts.”

California Positivity Rate, Cases Jump (4:30 p.m. NY)

California Governor Gavin Newsom said 6.8% percent of people receiving coronavirus tests in his state have the disease, up 39% in the last two weeks. The state recorded 5,699 new infections Sunday and is averaging 7,876 new cases per day.

The most-populous state has experienced a sharp rise in cases as it reopens more of its economy, with numbers climbing quickly enough that Newsom last week halted indoor dining in 19 counties and closed the parking lots at many beaches in advance of the holiday weekend. California currently has 5,790 people hospitalized with Covid-19, a 50% increase over the last two weeks. Still, that represents just 8% of all available hospital beds in the state, Newsom said.

U.S. Cases Rise 2% (4 p.m. NY)

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 2% as compared to the same time yesterday to 2.91 million, as of 3:32 p.m. New York time, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. That topped the average daily increase of 1.8% over the past week. Deaths rose to 130,090.

  • Florida reported 206,447 cases, up 3.2% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 5.1% in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 3,778, an increase of 1.3%.
  • Arizona cases rose by 3,352 to 101,441, a 3.4% jump that was below the seven-day average of 4.1%, the state Department of Health Services reported Monday. There was one new death, bringing the toll to 1,810.
  • Cases in North Carolina rose 4.3% to 74,775 while deaths rose 0.7% to 1,432,

Ireland Extends Travel Guidance (1:15 p.m. NY)

Ireland’s government extended its advice against non-essential international travel until at least July 20, Prime Minister Michael Martin said. The country hasn’t closed its borders but recommends people avoid traveling outside the island. That was expected to change after July 9, but was extended as other countries grapple with rising coronavirus cases. Martin also warned more pubs may not be allowed to reopen as scheduled if problems with social distancing at venues continue.

N.J. Transmission Rate Highest in 10 Weeks (1:11 p.m. NY)

New Jersey’s transmission rate jumped to 1.03 on Monday, the first time since mid-March that the state has seen a situation where each case is causing to least one other new infection. Governor Phil Murphy called the rise “an early warning sign” that the state must redouble its efforts to keep Covid-19 from returning.

Though the transmission rate was up, the state’s hospitalizations over the past 24 hours were at 861. At the peak, more than 8,000 patients were in New Jersey hospitals.

Arizona Infections Slow Gain (12:24 p.m. NY)

Arizona cases increased by 3,352 to a total of 101,441, a 3.4% jump that was below the seven-day average of 4.1%, the state Department of Health Services reported Monday. There was one new death, bringing the toll to 1,810.

According to the state, 61% of total cases involve people under 44 years old, following a national trend of infections hitting a younger demographic. “It’s important for Arizonans to understand that Covid-19 is widespread and circulating in our community, especially in our 20 to 44 year olds,” Cara Christ, director of the health services department, said in a statement.

Miami-Dade to Close Restaurants, Gyms (11:21 a.m. NY)

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez plans to sign an emergency order to close restaurants, gyms and party venues, among other businesses, he said in a statement Monday. The closures will be effective Wednesday. “We want to ensure that our hospitals continue to have the staffing necessary to save lives,” Gimenez said.

Harvard Returning 40% of Students (11 a.m. NY)

Harvard plans to bring 40% of undergraduates to campus starting Sept. 2, including freshmen who will live in single bedrooms and be tested every three days. Students with need-based financial aid who don’t return to campus will get $5,000 per semester for home study. Dining services will transition between touchless pick-up and more traditional operations as the situation warrants, the school said.

Sophomores and juniors would likely not return to campus this year, and if only one group could return in the early 2021 semester, priority will be given to seniors.

Florida Covid Cases Slow Rise (10:29 a.m.)

Florida reported 206,447 Covid-19 cases on Monday, up 3.2% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 5.1% in the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 3,778, a 1.3% rise, according to the report, which includes data through Sunday. Seen on a rolling seven-day basis, Florida’s new cases reached 60,106, the highest ever.

Risk of HIV Drug Shortage (10 a.m. NY)

Some 73 countries have warned they’re at risk of having shortages of antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV because of the pandemic, the World Health Organization said. Twenty-four already have critically low stocks or disruptions, according to a survey.

U.S. Airline Travel Surges Over Holiday Weekend (9:33 a.m. NY)

Airline passenger numbers in the U.S. exceeded 700,000 on July 2 for the first time since the pandemic began, according to the Transportation Security Administration. More than 2.6 million passengers were screened by TSA from July 2-5. There were roughly 730,000 airline passengers on Sunday, down from about 2.8 million the same day a year earlier.

Portugal Reports Smaller Increase in New Cases (9:01 a.m. NY)

Portugal reported 232 new cases on Monday, down from 328 on Sunday, taking the total to 44,129, the government said. Daily new cases in Portugal have ranged between 192 and 457 since the start of June. The additional infections are mostly in the greater Lisbon region, where authorities have tightened restrictions and increased testing.

German Official Points to U.S., U.K. in Urging Mask Rigor (8 a.m. NY)

“If you look at how the pubs are being stormed in England, the numbers are rising slightly everywhere, not worryingly yet, but one must be careful that it doesn’t happen very quickly,” Markus Soeder, the premier of the state of Bavaria, said on Monday, adding that the outlook in the U.S. also isn’t particularly bright.

“There’s absolutely no alternative to being prudent and farsighted,” said Soeder, a potential contender to run as the chancellor candidate for the conservative bloc next year.

About 5% of People in Spain Got Virus, Study Shows (7:56 a.m. NY)

About 5% of the population in Spain, one of the European countries worst hit by the pandemic, was infected, according to a study published online in the medical journal The Lancet. As many as 10% in and around Madrid were infected, while in coastal areas the estimate was closer to 3%, the researchers found. About a third of the people who had antibodies -- indicating their immune systems had fought the virus -- had no symptoms, they found.

U.K. Firms to Cull Jobs When Furloughs End (6:49 a.m. NY)

Almost half of businesses taking part in the U.K. government’s coronavirus jobs program expect let go of furloughed staff when support ends in October.

The problem is more acute for medium-sized businesses, of which two-thirds say they’ll have to cut jobs when the subsidies expire, according to polling by Opinium and the think tank Bright Blue. A quarter of businesses will struggle to increase their share of employee salaries between August and October, the report showed.

U.S. Cases Rise 2%, Above Past Week’s 1.8% Average: Virus Update

More than 9 million people in the U.K. have been furloughed since the lockdown started in March. The government has been paying 80% of salaries, with companies able to top it up to 100%.

Becton Dickinson Wins Approval for Fast Covid Test (6:45 a.m. NY)

Becton Dickinson & Co won a U.S. regulator’s approval for a portable Covid-19 test that delivers results in 15 minutes.

The Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency-use authorization for the BD Veritor Plus System, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey-based Becton Dickinson said Monday.

The hand-held product, about the size of a mobile phone, is part of a new class of antigen testing technology that offers faster, cheaper testing. The first such test, from Quidel Corp., was cleared for U.S. use in May.

Iran Death Toll Continues to Mount (5:57 p.m. HK)

Iran’s coronavirus death toll climbed to 11,731, with 160 more fatalities overnight, down slightly from the record high of 163 the previous 24 hours. The number of infections surpassed 243,000, with 2,613 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours, up from 2,560 the previous day.

Indian City Pioneers Mask Penalty (5:54 p.m. HK)

The city of Gwalior in central India will require people caught in public without a face mask to spend three days volunteering in hospitals treating coronavirus patients, or at police check points monitoring mask compliance and other containment measures, the Press Trust of India reported on Monday, citing a local official.

The city’s efforts come as India’s epidemic surpassed that of Russia on Monday to rank as the third-worst in the world, with a one-day increase of 24,248 cases bringing the total to 697,413. The growing number of cases has already strained health-care systems in Mumbai and New Delhi.

Manila Rail Closed as Employees Test Positive (5:47 p.m. HK)

The Philippines will suspend one of three elevated rail transits in the capital, Manila, after almost 200 of its employees contracted the coronavirus.

The MRT Line 3 suspension will last until July 11 or until swab tests confirm a sufficient number of personnel are negative to allow limited operations. The Philippines reported 2,099 cases on Monday, bringing the total to 46,333, with 1,303 deaths.

EU to Discuss Remdesivir Deal (5:22 p.m. HK)

European Union Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides will have a call with Gilead Sciences Inc. executives on Monday to advance a procurement deal for remdesivir on behalf of 16 EU members, including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Denmark, an EU official familiar with the matter said.

The health chief will also inquire about Gilead’s production capacity and the timeline for delivery, according to the official, who asked not to be named because negotiations are continuing. Remdesivir is one of only two medicines with a proven effect against the coronavirus.

U.S. Data Confirm Virus Racial Disparity: NYT (4:15 p.m. HK)

Black and Latino people are being harmed by the coronavirus at higher rates than whites in the U.S., the New York Times reported, citing new federal data made available after the newspaper sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Latinos and Blacks have been three times as likely to become infected and twice as likely to die from the virus based on the new numbers, which provide detailed characteristics of 640,000 infections detected in almost 1,000 U.S. counties, the paper said. The pattern runs across age groups, it said.

The data, a key component of the CDC’s disease surveillance efforts, confirm reports that have pointed to a greater death risk related to race, without providing an explanation.

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