U.S. Cases Rise 1.6%; ‘Massive Outbreak’ in Texas: Virus Update
(Bloomberg) -- New infections reached daily records in Florida, California and Texas, where the governor said a “massive outbreak” is sweeping the state. Arizona reported a new high in Covid-19 hospitalizations.
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will require visitors from virus hot spots to quarantine for 14 days. The International Monetary Fund projected a deeper recession and slower recovery for the virus-ravaged world economy than it anticipated two months ago.
Germany reported 712 new cases of Covid-19, with the infection rate remaining above a key threshold. Tokyo reported 55 cases, its highest daily tally since May. Health leaders called on the U.K. to prepare for a possible second wave, just as the country relaxes its lockdown measures.
- Global Tracker: Cases near 9.3 million; deaths pass 478,000
- U.S. deaths forecast to hit 180,000 by October
- The pandemic’s worst-case scenario is unfolding in Brazil
- Don’t breathe on me: bringing compliance to the office
- Hospitals are counting beds again with cases rising
- Why the world is worrying about a second wave: QuickTake
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Texas Daily Infections Reach Record (5:10 p.m. NY)
Texas posted its worst day so far for new cases, with a jump of 5,551 to 125,921, according to the state health department. The 4.6% one-day rise exceeded the 3.7% seven-day average.
Hospitalizations climbed by 7.3% to 4,389, the data showed.
“Our infrastructure is overwhelmed,” David Persse, Houston’s director of emergency medical services, said during a media briefing on Wednesday.
U.S. Virus Deaths Seen Hitting 180,000 by October (4:50 p.m. NY)
America is on track to lose 180,000 lives to coronavirus by the start of October, according to new data from experts modeling the pandemic at the University of Washington in Seattle, though an embrace of masks could decrease the damage.
The forecast from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is a reduction from a projection of 201,129 deaths from the middle of June, and is predicated on the expectation that the outbreak will start to pick up in late August and intensify further in September, with 179,106 deaths by Oct. 1.
The drop in projected deaths is tied in part to the fact that more younger patients are being diagnosed with coronavirus infections, and they are more likely to recover from them, said IHME Director Christopher Murray.
Abbott Says Texas Has ‘Massive Outbreak’ (4:45 p.m. NY)
“There is a massive outbreak of Covid-19 across the state of Texas,” Governor Greg Abbott said in an interview with KFDA TV. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner warned separately that numbers are trending in the wrong direction.
Turner said during a media briefing on Wednesday afternoon that the city’s police and fire departments will step up monitoring of taverns and clubs to ensure compliance with occupancy limits and mask requirements.
“We want to really crack down on people who are not adhering to the rules,” Turner said. “We want to create a board of shame for those who are violating the rules.”
Houston-area hospitals could exceed intensive-care unit bed capacity as soon as Thursday as the Covid-19 outbreak expands.
Such an overflow would force hospitals to tap so-called surge capacity as patient numbers grow, according to Texas Medical Center data. At current rates of infection, that surge capacity would be exhausted in another 10 days.
California’s Newsom Urges Greater Precautions (4:40 p.m. NY)
California Governor Gavin Newsom urged residents to recommit themselves to slowing the spread of the coronavirus as cases climb by record numbers.
“We cannot continue to do what we have done over the last number of weeks,” Newsom said Wednesday in a press conference. “Many of us, understandably, developed a little cabin fever. Some, I would argue, developed a little amnesia.”
But he said there was no need to halt the process of reopening the state.
“It’s not a binary choice,” he said. “It’s not about shutting down the world’s fifth-largest economy, or advancing these efforts. We can do both.”
U.S. Cases Rise 1.6% (4 p.m. NY)
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased by 36,312 from the same time Tuesday to 2.36 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 1.6% increase was higher than the average daily increase of 1.3% over the past seven days. Deaths rose 0.6% to 121,662.
- Florida reported 109,014 cases, up 5.3% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 3.7% in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 3,281, an increase of 1.4%.
- California reported 7,149 new cases, by far its largest daily increase, for a total of 190,222. Deaths rose 0.9% to 5,632.
- Arizona reported 1,795 new cases, an increase of 3.1%. Deaths increased by 79, reaching a total of 1,463.
Arizona Hospitalizations Rise as Cases Slow (3 p.m. NY)
Arizona reported its largest increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations on Wednesday, to 2,270. Ventilator usage also reached the highest since the pandemic began.
The 1,795 new cases reported on Wednesday represented a 3.1% increase in the case count overall. The number was still a sharp delcine from the 3,591 new cases announced on Tuesday. Deaths increased to 79, reaching a total of 1,463.
California Has Biggest Daily Increase (1:40 p.m. NY)
California reported 7,149 new virus cases, by far its largest daily increase, for a total of 190,222 confirmed infections. The 3.9% jump from the previous day exceeded the average 2.5% gain over the last seven days. Deaths rose 0.9% to 5,632.
NJ Transit Will Return to Full Service (1:38 p.m. NY)
NJ Transit rail and light rail service will return to its full weekday schedule on July 6, Governor Phil Murphy said on Wednesday.
Murphy also said that the virus transmission rate yesterday was 0.86, up from 0.81 the day before and 0.70 on June 15.
Latin America Cases Still Rising: WHO (1 p.m. NY)
Cases in Latin America haven’t yet peaked even after rising 25% to 50% within the past week in some countries in the region, Mike Ryan, head of the emergencies program at the World Health Organization, said at a briefing.
“The specter of further lockdowns cannot be excluded,” Ryan said.
Countries need to boost their efforts to track the disease and must quarantine every contact of anyone found to be infected, Ryan said.
“We hope dearly that we will get an effective vaccine, but we cannot count on that,” he said.
While the outbreak has come under control in Western Europe, it continues to expand faster in Eastern Europe, Ryan said.
Houston ICU Demand Rises 10% (12:10 p.m. NY)
Demand for intensive-care unit beds in Houston-area hospitals jumped 10% in one day as the number of ICU cases surged to 1,298, the Texas Medical Center said Wednesday on its website. The system’s normal operating capacity is 1,330. Covid-19 accounted for about 27% of those ICU cases.
The Texas Medical Center can muster an additional 887 so-called surge ICU beds if necessary, according to its website.
N.Y., N.J. and Connecticut Order Visitors to Quarantine (11:40 a.m. NY)
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will require visitors from virus hot spots to quarantine for 14 days to avoid a resurgence in cases.
The announcement is a reversal from March, when Texas and Florida ordered quarantines from the Northeast states where cases were surging. Now those states are on the mend, while several others are seeing a surge in Covid-19 patients. Arizona, California and Texas all set records for new cases on Tuesday.
Florida Sets Another Single-Day Record (10:40 a.m. NY)
Florida reported 109,014 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, up 5.3% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 3.7% in the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 3,281, an increase of 1.4%.
The single-day increase of 5,508 is the most ever.
Cumulative hospitalizations of Florida residents rose by 256, or 1.9%, to 13,574, the biggest single-day increase in numbers in a month. On a rolling seven day-basis, they reached 1,185.
The new rate of people testing positive for the first time surged to 15.9% for Tuesday, from 10.8% a day earlier.
NYC Beaches Will Reopen July 1 for Swimming (10:30 a.m. NY)
Lifeguard-staffed swimming will be permitted at New York’s eight public beaches starting July 1, as part of the city’s second phase of reopening, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
Lifeguards will be on duty daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. along the city’s 14 miles (23 kilometers) of beaches, which include Orchard Beach in the Bronx; Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn; Rockaway Beach in Queens; and Midland Beach, South Beach, Cedar Grove Beach and Wolfe’s Pond Park Beach on Staten Island.
City parks workers will patrol the beaches to enforce social distancing, handing out masks and encouraging compliance with rules that include safe distancing between individuals and groups, and the use of face coverings and hand sanitizer, the mayor said. If sections of beach become too crowded, visitors will be asked to move to less crowded areas.
NYC Marathon Canceled (10:10 a.m. NY)
The TCS New York City Marathon, the world’s biggest, has been canceled due to the coronarvirus, its organizers said. The 26.2-mile (42 kilometer) race, which would have celebrated its 50th anniversary in November, attracts more than 50,000 runners and about 1 million spectators. It is one of the city’s biggest events of the year and major boon for business.
U.K. Must Prepare for Second Wave: Doctors (9:32 a.m. NY)
In a letter published in the British Medical Journal, doctors including the presidents of the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians warned that local flare-ups are likely and a second wave is a real risk. Preparing for that possibility is now urgent, as is a review of national preparedness, they said.
“The review should not be about looking back or attributing blame,” the letter said. “It should be a rapid and forward-looking assessment of national preparedness.”
IMF Forecasts Deeper Recession From Virus Threat (9 a.m. NY)
The International Monetary Fund downgraded its outlook for the coronavirus-ravaged world economy, projecting a significantly deeper recession and slower recovery than it anticipated just two months ago.
The fund said Wednesday it now expected global gross domestic product to shrink 4.9% this year, more than the 3% predicted in April. For 2021, the fund forecast growth of 5.4%, down from 5.8%.
Cancer Immune Therapies Linked to Severe Covid in Study (8:32 a.m. NY)
Cancer patients treated with medicines that unleash the immune system to attack tumors are more likely to be hospitalized with respiratory complications from Covid-19, according to a study. The findings suggest that while immune therapies known as checkpoint inhibitors may increase the risk of developing severe coronavirus symptoms, other treatments like chemotherapy may not.
The research published in the journal Nature Medicine seeks to shed more light on the link between Covid-19 and cancer. Little is known about the connection between the two illnesses and the impact of various medicines, the authors wrote.
“Until further evidence is available, it is prudent not to alter treatment decisions but to consider increased vigilance with SARS CoV-2 testing in patients initiating or continuing treatment” with immune therapies, according to the research.
Switzerland to Normalize Travel Within Schengen Area (8:30 a.m. NY)
Switzerland aims to normalize travel within Europe’s Schengen area by July 6, Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter said at a press conference in Bern on Wednesday.
Scotland Joins England in Easing Lockdown Restrictions (7:57 a.m. NY)
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accelerated the easing of lockdown rules amid growing political pressure to get people back to work and restart the critical tourism industry.
“Our pace is slightly slower than England’s, but it is, in my view, right for our circumstances,” Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Wednesday.
Merkel, Macron to Meet for Stimulus Discussion (7 a.m. NY)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron will meet on Monday in Meseberg, north of Berlin, according to a statement from France’s Elysee Palace.
With Germany preparing to take over the rolling EU presidency, the leaders will discuss the Covid-19 crisis and the effort to reach agreement on a vast stimulus plan.
Swedish Expert Says ‘World Went Mad’ With Lockdowns (6:41 a.m. NY)
The man behind Sweden’s controversial Covid-19 strategy has characterized lockdowns imposed across much of the globe as a form of “madness” that flies in the face of what is known about handling viral outbreaks.
Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s state epidemiologist, said he advised against such restrictions on movement because of the detrimental side effects they often entail.
“It was as if the world had gone mad, and everything we had discussed was forgotten,” Tegnell said in a podcast with Swedish Radio on Wednesday. “The cases became too many and the political pressure got too strong. And then Sweden stood there rather alone.”
Indonesia Adds $2.1 Billion to Virus Fight (6:31 a.m. NY)
Indonesia’s government will place more than $2 billion at state-owned banks at a lower interest rate to boost lending to industries ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, expanding the scope of its fiscal stimulus to revive the nation’s economy.
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