U.S. Cases Rise 1.1%; Texas Surge ‘Unacceptable’: Virus Update
Customers queue to enter a store at the Gran Jonquea Outlet & Shopping mall in La Junquera, Spain. (Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg)

U.S. Cases Rise 1.1%; Texas Surge ‘Unacceptable’: Virus Update

The number of new cases around the globe reached a record, fueled by a surge in Latin America, the World Health Organization said. Total infections topped 9 million.

In the U.S., Florida’s new infections rose to another high. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the contagion is accelerating at “an unacceptable rate,” while the state’s hospitalizations rose the most in two and a half weeks.

The U.K. reported fewer than 1,000 new cases for the first time since its lockdown was declared March 23, and Delta Air Lines resumed flights to China. Germany’s infection rate rose for a third day, lifted by local outbreaks including many at a slaughterhouse.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases pass 9 million; deaths top 469,000
  • Virus surge threatens developing nations exiting lockdown
  • Texas governor warns state may face new limits if spread worsens
  • China blocks Tyson poultry, stoking angst over global supplies
  • Johnson to set out lockdown easing plans as U.K. cases fall

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U.S. Cases Rise 1.1%; Texas Surge ‘Unacceptable’: Virus Update

Texas Hospitalizations Jump (4:57 p.m. NY)

Texas hospitals admitted 302 new Covid-19 patients in the past 24 hours, the biggest one-day influx since June 4, health department figures showed. The total number of virus hospitalizations stood at 3,711.

The positive-test rate also ticked higher, reaching 9.51%, the highest since April 20 and more than double the rates seen in late May, according to state data. New cases rose by 2.9% to 114,881, lagging the seven-day average growth of 3.5%.

South Africa Cases Breach 100,000 (4:25 p.m. NY)

South Africa’s coronavirus cases topped 100,000 on Monday as the country confirmed 4,288 new infections, bringing the total to 101,590. The government in the continent’s most industrialized economy is preparing to ease lockdown restrictions and open up more businesses including hairdressers and sit-in restaurants.

Cases in the Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria, continue to climb, rising at the fastest pace among nine provinces. Cape Town, the main tourist hub, and the surrounding Western Cape province, remain the nation’s epicenter for the pandemic, with 51.7% of infections. The national death toll is 1,991.

U.S. Cases Rise 1.1% (4 p.m. NY)

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased by 24,774 from the same time Sunday to 2.29 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 1.1% increase was in line with the average daily increase of 1.2% over the past seven days. Deaths rose 0.2% to 120,121.

  • Cases in North Carolina rose 4.3% to 53,614, according to the data from Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg News.
  • New York had 552 new cases, a 0.1% increase, bringing the total to 388,488, with deaths climbing by 10 to 24,739, according Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office
  • Florida reported 101,217 cases, up 3% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 3.7% in the previous seven days. Cumulative hospitalizations of Florida residents rose by 82, or 0.6%, to 13,119.
  • California cases rose 2.4% to 178,054 while deaths increased 0.4% to 5,515, according to the state’s website.

Abbott Calls Texas Surge ‘Unacceptable’ (3:22 p.m. NY)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the contagion is accelerating at “an unacceptable rate and it must be corralled” during a media briefing on Monday. Still, he said, “Closing down Texas again will always be the last option.”

Abbott, who was one of the first U.S. governors to reopen his state’s economy after the initial wave of Covid-19 lockdowns, cited alarming upticks in positive-testing rates, case counts and hospitalizations.

“The positivity rate has gone from about 4.5% in late May to almost 9% today,” Abbott said. State regulators have begun shutting taverns that weren’t enforcing social distancing, the governor said as an example of steps the state is taking to arrest the surge.

Miami-Area Mayors Mandate Masks (2:52 p.m. NY)

The mayors of Miami and neighboring cities in Miami-Dade County announced Monday they were mandating the wearing of masks in public upon the advice of state health officials.

“We’ve seen an increasingly troubling trend of cases that continue to escalate,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said at the news conference in Miami.

The reopening of movie theaters, nightclubs and other large venues in the city of Miami also is being delayed because of the spike in coronavirus cases, Suarez said.

“This is a real spike,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said at the news conference. “Nobody can argue with the fact that more people are being hospitalized.

He added that “it would not be responsible to rely on irrational optimism that all of this is going to go away.”

The announcement follows a public health advisory the state surgeon general issued Saturday recommending that “all individuals in Florida should wear face coverings in any setting where social distancing is not possible.”

San Francisco Speeds Up Some Reopenings (2:52 p.m. NY)

San Francisco will allow hair salons, museums, zoos, tattoo parlors and outdoor bars to open June 29 -- up from an original plan of mid-July. Mayor London Breed said in a statement Monday that the city’s virus indicators “are in a good place” that allow for continued reopenings.

While California has seen its new cases reach records in the past week, San Francisco’s infections have been relatively stable. The county reported only one new case Monday. By contrast, the far larger Los Angeles County had 1,779.

Trump Hasn’t Ordered Slower Testing: Aide (2:45 p.m. NY)

President Donald Trump’s press secretary said he was joking on Saturday when he said at a rally that he had asked his administration to slow down coronavirus testing, and that he had made no such order.

“No, he has not directed that,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday at a briefing for reporters. “Any suggestion that testing has been curtailed is not rooted in fact.”

More Toronto Businesses to Reopen (2:40 p.m. NY)

Canada’s largest city will reopen restaurant patios, shopping malls and swimming pools on Wednesday after officials determined that the coronavirus is under control.

Toronto, the country’s financial center, has also been one of its Covid hotspots. As of June 20, Toronto had reported 13,856 cases and 1,039 fatalities since the start of the outbreak. More than 11,800 people have recovered.

California Case Climb; LAX to Scan for Fevers (2 p.m. NY)

California’s confirmed cases rose 2.4% -- up from the seven-day average of 2.2% -- for a total of 178,054, according to state data. The 4,230 new cases today was the third-biggest daily increase.

The most-populous state, which on Sunday reported a record number of new infections, also has seen increased hospitalizations and intensive-care stays. Its rate of positive tests over the last 14 days was 4.8%; Governor Gavin Newsom had said a week ago that the rate had been stabilizing around 4.5%.

In Los Angeles, the hardest-hit part of California, Mayor Eric Garcetti said that Los Angeles International Airport will begin using thermal cameras in two locations to spot travelers who may be infected with the virus. The cameras will be located in both arrival and departure areas of the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

People showing a temperature of more than 100.4 degrees will be approached by an airport staff member and offered a second screening with a hand-held, touchless thermometer. Those with an elevated temperature will be advised not to travel, Garcetti said. He stressed, however, that the pilot project is voluntary.

U.S. Preps for Flu Hitting as Covid Remains (1:40 p.m. NY)

U.S. health agencies are preparing for a flu season that will be complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, which they don’t expect to be mitigated by a vaccine anytime soon.

Covid activity is expected to “continue for some time” and “could place a tremendous burden” on an already stretched health-care system if coupled with the influenza season that comes each fall, top officials including Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will tell House lawmakers on Tuesday, according to prepared testimony.

The testimony contrasts with recent rhetoric from President Donald Trump, who has pushed to move on from the virus despite almost 120,000 American deaths and large rises in cases in some states as they reopen. According to the testimony, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield and Fauci will tell Congress that the duration of the pandemic is unknown and that a vaccine that can be distributed widely isn’t imminent, despite Trump’s push for one by year-end.

Fauci Says He’s No Obstacle to NFL Season (12:54 p.m. NY)

Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease specialist, said he’s been mistakenly painted as an obstacle to the National Football League’s upcoming season and only gave its officials advice after they requested it.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said he was consulted by the NFL as it searches for a way to preserve the safety of players and the public during the pandemic.

“I haven’t set any strict conditions or other directions for the football league,” Fauci said in an interview. “They have come to me and asked me from a medical standpoint a bunch of questions about risks. They are a very competent group of people, and they will make up their own minds.”

Fauci told CNN last week that the league’s season may not be played if there’s a resurgence in cases, unless players are essentially kept in a “bubble” isolating them from others and tested almost every day. U.S. President Donald Trump said later in a tweet that he told the scientist that he has “nothing to do with football.”

Covid-19 Accelerates in Latin America, WHO Says (12:45 p.m. NY)

The number of new cases reached a record 183,000 in the most recent World Health Organization daily report as the disease spreads in several big countries simultaneously, WHO officials said at a press briefing in Geneva.

Latin America is particularly afflicted. The number of reported cases has increased 25% in Brazil over the past week, while Chile is up 41% and Argentina 38%, according to Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s health emergencies program.

Separately, there’s been a limited number of transmissions of the disease from humans to minks at farms in the Netherlands and Denmark, and back again to people, according to Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s lead technical officer on Covid-19. Still, the predominant way the disease spreads is through human-to-human transmission, she said.

Illinois Expands Reopening (12:30 p.m. NY)

All four regions of Illinois are on track to enter Phase 4 on June 26. It’s the second to last step of the state’s reopening plan. About 400,000 Illinois residents are expected to go back to work as sectors such as health and fitness, movies and theater, museums and zoos, as well as indoor dining at restaurants are allowed to resume, Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office said in a statement.

Gatherings can expand up as many as 50 people, and indoor dining can resume with groups of 10 or less, tables 6-feet (1.8 meters) apart and standing areas at no more than 25% of capacity. Chicago and state officials said that public health metrics such as new Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are moving down, allowing the city to enter Phase 4 after it was delayed in the third stage.

“We’ve continued to see really good progress,” Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a call with reporters. Capacity limits may be expanded or eased during Phase 4 if the numbers continue to decline but the city is taking incremental steps to avoid spikes that other places that re-opened have seen, she added.

Portugal Steps Up Measure in Lisbon Suburbs (11:54 a.m. NY)

The Portuguese government plans to tighten restrictions in some municipalities around Lisbon as it tries to contain new clusters of the outbreak in the city’s outskirts. Gatherings will now be limited to 10 people, down from 20 previously, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Monday.

Portugal reported 259 new coronavirus cases on Monday, and now has 12,310 active cases, Secretary of State for Health Antonio Lacerda Sales said at a press conference in Lisbon. Daily new cases have ranged between 192 and 421 in June, and the additional infections have mostly been recorded in the greater Lisbon region, where authorities have increased testing.

Murphy Expects Some ‘Spiking’ in N.J. (11:10 a.m. NY)

Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey, the second hardest-hit U.S. state, told CNN that if his state had a surge like Florida’s, he would do a turnaround on his gradual and restricted return of retail, dining and other services.

“You’d have to put some sort of break on the reopening,” Murphy said. “You’d have no choice.” He said New Jersey is certain to see “some amount of spiking” as indoor activity increases, but he’s counting on testing and contact tracing to prevent mass flare-ups.

New Jersey starting Monday allowed barber shops and salons to reopen, by appointment only and with masks and other precautions in place. Indoor shopping malls can open on June 29, but Murphy hasn’t set an opening date for movie theaters, indoor dining and gyms.

S.C. Protesters Urged to Get Tested (11:03 a.m. NY)

A leader of an anti-police brutality group in South Carolina is urging demonstrators to get tested after several people involved with the protests recently tested positive, The State newspaper from Columbia reports.

Lawrence Nathaniel, one of the leaders of the I Can’t Breathe South Carolina movement, posted a note on his Facebook page saying several protesters in Columbia marches from late May to mid-June tested positive. A video posted on his site also disclosed that several leaders and photographers from his group tested positive, and he urges protesters who marched in the group’s events in Columbia, Greenville and Charleston to get tested.

South Carolina is among the states in the South and Southwest seeing a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in recent weeks. The state saw a record 1,157 new cases on Saturday, and 907 on Sunday.

Florida Cases Rise 3% (10:44 a.m. NY)

Florida reported 100,217 Covid-19 cases on Monday, up 3% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 3.7% in the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 3,173, an increase of 0.4%.

Seen on a rolling seven-day basis, Florida’s new cases reached 22,891, the highest level ever.

Cumulative hospitalizations of Florida residents rose by 82, or 0.6%, to 13,119. On a rolling seven day-basis, they reached 1,104, the highest level since May 25.

The new rate of people testing positive for the first time fell to 7.7% for Sunday, from 11.9% on Saturday.

U.K. Deaths Lowest Since March (10:30 a.m. NY)

The U.K. reported fewer than 1,000 new cases for the first time since its lockdown was declared on March 23.

There were 15 deaths related to coronavirus, according to the daily update from the Department of Health and Social Care, the lowest since March 15. Reported deaths are usually lower on Mondays due to a lag in recording deaths over the weekend.

The U.K.’s reported figures will be closely watched ahead of an expected easing of lockdown restrictions on July 4, with more details due this week.

A total of 139,659 tests were carried out over the daily period, taking the cumulative total of tests to 8.03 million.

Delta to Resume U.S.-China Flights on June 25 (9:26 a.m.)

Delta Air Lines says it will restart service between Seattle and Shanghai-Pudong via Seoul-Incheon on June 25, operating twice per week.

It will operate once-weekly flights from Seattle and Detroit, also via Incheon, and says it is the first U.S. airline to reconnect U.S. and China since the Covid-19 travel suspension in February.

Gilead CEO Targets Inhaled Remdesivir Study for August (9:16 a.m. NY)

Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day said the company is screening healthy volunteers this week for Phase I trials of an inhaled formulation of its remdesivir drug. The treatment would be administered via a nebulizer, which is potentially easier to use outside of the hospital.

Remdesivir has already been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use with Covid-19 patients. The next wave of clinical development will study remdesivir for treatment earlier in the disease.

Scotland May Take Company Stakes to Prevent Collapse (8:42 a.m. NY)

Scotland’s government would consider taking stakes in companies to save them from going out of business if needed, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said. The semi-autonomous administration would look at the move as an extension of its “interventionist approach” to reviving Scotland’s economy, she told reporters in Edinburgh.

Netherlands Reports First Day With No Deaths Since March (8 a.m. NY)

The Netherlands reported no new Covid-19 fatalities for the first time since March 12. Total confirmed cases rose by 69 to 49,658, the lowest daily increase since March 10.

EU Health Chief Aims for Virus Vaccine Within 18 Months (7:43 a.m. NY)

European Union Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said the bloc aims to see a vaccine against the coronavirus in 12 to 18 months. Kyriakides offered the timetable in remarks to a European Parliament committee in Brussels while outlining EU efforts to negotiate agreements with vaccine developers on the advance purchase of possible doses. She said the usual time for developing vaccines is about a decade.

Israel Weighs Renewal of Controversial Tracking Tool (6:56 a.m. NY)

Israel is considering renewing the controversial use of government spying technology to help fight a surge in coronavirus cases.

“We know this topic is problematic, but on the other hand, we know it contributed greatly to keeping the epidemic in check,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday at a meeting of cabinet ministers.

More than 20,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Israel, with more than 300 fatalities. The number has risen from less than 17,000 a month ago after restrictions were eased and many people ignored guidelines on masks and social distancing.

Hong Kong Cases Increase Most Since April 3 (6:34 a.m. NY)

Hong Kong recorded 30 new imported cases of coronavirus Monday, the city’s Department of Health said. All but one had traveled to Pakistan during the incubation period, and one person had returned from the Philippines.

That was the biggest single-day increase in cases since April 3, bringing the confirmed tally to 1,161.

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