U.S. Daily Cases Top 60,000; Record Texas Deaths: Virus Update
(Bloomberg) -- New U.S. virus cases topped 60,000 in a day for the first time. Texas, California and Florida all reported a record number of deaths, while Arizona added 4,057 new cases, the most in six days.
Fewer Americans than forecast have applied for unemployment benefits, easing concerns of a renewed downturn as an acceleration in new cases in the U.S. and Mexico pushed the global total past 12 million. Still, Wells Fargo & Co., the largest employer among U.S. banks, is preparing to cut thousands of jobs starting this year.
In New York, there were 95% fewer outdoor diners at the city’s restaurants than a year ago and public transport has stalled at about half pre-pandemic levels. Mayor Bill De Blasio said large public events such as street fairs are canceled through September.
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Texas Has Record Deaths for Third Day (5:08 p.m. NY)
Texas reported a record number of deaths for the third straight day, topping 100 for the first time. Total fatalities rose 3.7%, to 2,918. The sharp increase in deaths this week follows a similar upturn in cases about three weeks ago.
The state has identified about 10,000 new cases for the past three days, bringing the total to 230,346. The 9,782 added Thursday was a 4.4% increase, exceeding the seven-day average of 4%.
New cases are eating up capacity for beds in intensive care units in Houston, which has the state’s worst outbreak. The city’s Texas Medical Center hospitals filled up all the ICU beds generally available last week, and has begun tapping converted beds.
New York Mayor Cancels Big Public Events (4:40 p.m. NY)
Mayor Bill De Blasio ordered large events that typically require a permit to be canceled through Sept. 30. The goal is to ensure room for outdoor restaurant seating and New York’s “Open Streets” program, which expands car-free public spaces for city dwellers. “Permits will also be denied for all events larger than one block, stage/video events that require amplification, street fairs, and events in parks that may unreasonably diminish public use,” the mayor said in a statement. Demonstrations, religious events and news conferences are exempt.
Texas Republicans Sue to Hold Convention (4:08 p.m. NY)
The Texas Republican Party sued the Democratic mayor of Houston for ordering the cancellation of next week’s state GOP convention in the city, which is the epicenter of the state’s outbreak.
Mayor Sylvester Turner on Wednesday barred the in-person gathering that was expected to draw 6,000 people for fear it would contribute to the spread of the virus in the city.
U.S. Cases Rise 2%, Top 60,000 (4 p.m. NY)
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose by 61,791 from a day earlier to 3.08 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News.It was the first time the number of reported new cases exceeded the 60,000-a-day mark. The 2% increase was higher than the average daily increase of 1.9% over the past week. Deaths rose 0.7% to 132,803.
- Arizona reported 4,057 new virus cases, a 3.7% rise to 112,671 that matched the prior seven-day average. It was the highest number of new cases in six days.
- Florida reported 232,718 cases, up 4% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 5% in the previous seven days. The state recorded 120 deaths, a daily record.
- Montana cases rose 6.9% to 1,466, according to the data from Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg News.
Record Daily Deaths in California (3:39 a.m. NY)
California reported 149 virus deaths, its largest one-day total. The data include some delayed reports from counties from prior days, Governor Gavin Newsom said at a press briefing. Still, the daily count was well above the prior record of 115, set in April, as well as the seven-day average of 73.
The state had 7,031 new virus cases, less than the seven-day average of 8,043. The rate of positive tests over the past 14 days is 7.3%, up from 7.1% yesterday.
Dartmouth Cuts Five Sports Programs (2:50 p.m. NY time)
Dartmouth College is eliminating five varsity teams — men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s lightweight rowing — to ease a budget deficit worsened by the virus. The Ivy League school in New Hampshire also will permanently close its Hanover Country Club, located at the college-owned golf course. Stanford University, one of the richest U.S. colleges, is cutting 11 varsity sports teams at the end of the 2020-21 academic year. Brown University trimmed its athletic programs in May.
Miami-Dade Hospital, ICU Cases at Record (12:46 p.m. NY)
Miami-Dade County, Florida’s most populous, again reported the highest numbers of virus patients in intensive care and hospitals generally since at least early April. Miami-Dade has 1,688 people in hospitals, up 32 from a day earlier. The number of patients in intensive-care beds rose to 358 from 343.
Covid-19 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.
Starbucks Requires Masks at U.S. Stores (12:35 p.m. NY)
Starbucks Corp. is requiring customers to wear face coverings when visiting all of its company-owned U.S. locations, whether mandated by local governments or not. At select locations where there’s no official requirement, customers without masks can use options such as drive-through, curbside pickup or ordering for delivery, the Seattle-based company said in a statement.
England Lets Recreational Sports Resume (12 p.m. NY)
Recreational team sports are resuming in England, starting with cricket on Saturday, the same day that outdoor swimming pools can reopen. Beauticians, salons and spas can reopen Monday, followed by gyms and indoor pools on July 25, according to U.K. government announcements. British pubs, bars and restaurants reopened last weekend in the face of an economic collapse that wiped out 18 years of growth in two months.
Arizona Sees Most New Cases in Six Days (11:33 a.m. NY)
Arizona reported 4,057 new virus cases, a 3.7% rise to 112,671 that matched the prior seven-day average. It was the highest number of new cases in six days. The Department of Health Services also reported 75 new Covid-19 deaths, bringing the statewide toll to 2,038.
Hospital Stocks Fall on Spikes (11:20 a.m. NY)
Hospital stocks fell to the lowest in eight weeks as the case surge in Florida and Texas puts pressure on the industry. HCA Healthcare Inc. is suspending some elective surgeries in both states to free up capacity for Covid-19 patients. Bloomberg Intelligence’s North America Hospitals Valuation Peer Group fell as much as 5.4% on Thursday to the lowest since May 14. Tenet Healthcare Corp. declined the most.
Florida Reports Record Deaths, Hospitalizations (10:47 a.m. NY)
The state recorded 120 deaths among residents, a daily record. Cumulatively, deaths among Florida residents climbed by 3.1% to 4,009, according to the report by health officials, which includes data through Wednesday.
Florida reported 232,718 Covid-19 cases, up 4% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 5% in the previous seven days. Cumulative hospitalizations of Florida residents rose by 2.4, or a record 409, to 17,167.
NY Dining, Public Transport Stalled (10:24 a.m. NY)
The number of outdoor diners seated at New York restaurants was 95% lower than a year ago and public transportation in the past week remained at about half the pre-pandemic level. This comes as the state’s infection rates have dropped to about 1% of daily testing, down from a peak of about 50% in late March.
New York City has delayed the return of indoor dining to guard against an increase in virus cases that has plagued states such as Florida, Texas and California.
Moderna in Vaccine Supply Pact (10:04 a.m. NY)
Moderna Inc. joined with Laboratorios Farmaceuticos Rovi SA to help supply its Covid-19 shot, one of the leading vaccine candidates against the disease, as companies prepare to produce any successful inoculation as soon as possible.
The Spanish pharmaceutical company will provide vial filling and packaging capacity to Moderna, according to a statement Thursday, as Moderna prepares to produce hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine for markets outside the U.S. starting in early 2021.
Wells Fargo Readying Job Cuts (9:40 a.m. NY)
Wells Fargo & Co., the largest employer among U.S. banks, is preparing to cut thousands of jobs starting later this year, potentially setting a precedent for an industry that’s been resisting mass layoffs as the pandemic worsens.
Pressure to dramatically reduce costs is coming to a head inside the bank, prompting executives to draft plans that may ultimately eliminate tens of thousands of positions, people with knowledge of the confidential talks said, asking not to be named.
U.K. Job Losses Mount (9:40 a.m. NY)
U.K. job losses due to the coronavirus pandemic accelerated with retailers Walgreen Boots Alliance Inc. and John Lewis joining Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc in detailing plans to cut more than 8,000 workers.
The owner of the Boots pharmacy chain said it plans to eliminate 4,000 positions and trim headcount in its U.K. support office by an additional 20%, citing a “dramatic reduction” in people visiting the company’s stores in the country. The retailer will close 48 Boots Opticians stores and said it had furloughed more than 16,000 U.K. employees at the peak of the health crisis, temporarily shutting some outlets and decreasing store hours.
The John Lewis Partnership Plc -- which also owns the upmarket grocer Waitrose -- said it would permanently shut eight stores with the loss of as many as 1,300 jobs.
Carnival to Cruise Again in August, From Germany (9:08 a.m. NY)
Carnival Corp. plans to restart some cruises next month, ending what will be a nearly five-month pause in operations after a series of Covid-19 outbreaks on ships. So far, the return is limited to voyages with its AIDA Cruises brand, which all leave from Germany.
Big Drugmakers Launch $1 Billion Fund for Antibiotics (9 a.m. NY)
Some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies are launching a $1 billion fund aimed at developing new antibiotics, a field many of them abandoned in recent years. The uncontrolled rise of drug-resistant microbes is a public health crisis that has the potential to dwarf Covid-19 in deaths and economic costs, the companies said in a statement.
U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Fall More Than Forecast (8:30 a.m. NY)
Initial jobless claims in regular state programs fell by 99,000 to 1.31 million in the week ended July 4, Labor Department data showed Thursday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 1.375 million.
WHO Keeps Open Mind on Airborne Transmission (8:25 a.m. NY)
The World Health Organization is “keeping an open mind” on whether airborne transmission plays a major role in spreading the coronavirus, its Covid-19 special envoy, David Nabarro, said on Ireland’s RTE Radio. While the WHO doesn’t have a “bundle of evidence” that it is important right now, he acknowledged there were some outbreaks that weren’t easily explained.
Separately, the WHO named leaders of an independent panel to review its response to the pandemic. Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former president of Liberia, were selected as co-chairs, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a meeting with member-states. The panel will present an interim report in November.
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