U.S. Cases Rise 1.9%; California Deaths Up Again: Virus Update
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. cases rose 1.9%, matching the average daily rise over the past week. Texas hospitalizations topped 10,000 for the first time and California suffered its second-highest day of deaths, while Florida’s biggest county had a record number of patients in its intensive-care units.
Elsewhere in the U.S., New Jersey’s transmission rate dropped to 0.98 from 1.1, the governor said, calling it “a good sign” of progress. And in another positive development, New York has decided to allow limited visitors into nursing homes and long-term facilities for the first time in months.
Gilead Sciences Inc. said its remdesivir virus treatment is associated with a 62% reduction in death risks compared with the standard of care in an initial analysis that the company says needs confirmation in clinical trials.
- Global Tracker: Cases exceed 12.3 million; deaths surpass 557,000
- Hot-spot states’ test plans highlight supply problems
- Debate about airborne transmissions is dividing scientists
- Patients swamp Sun Belt hospitals with virus on rampage
- Murphy hints at N.J. tax increases in virus recovery
- Billionaire’s empire unexpectedly thrives in Brazil
- Bringing students back poses ultimate test for colleges
- Trump school-reopening gambit stokes fresh concern
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Texas Hits a Milestone (5:35 p.m. NY)
More than 10,000 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 in Texas Friday, the first time the state has reached that benchmark. Cases there jumped by 9,765, an increase of 4.2% compared with the seven-day average of 3.9%. The state has added close to 10,000 cases for each of the last four days, and deaths have begun to spike in tandem, with another 98 fatalities exceeding the seven-day average.
Governor Greg Abbott stepped up efforts to encourage people to wear masks, making the rounds of local television stations to warn that deaths are likely to rise in coming days. “The worst is yet,” Abbott told a Lubbock station Friday.
Though Abbott has issued a mask mandate for the state, he allowed counties to opt out if they had fewer than 20 active cases, and almost a third of Texas’ 254 counties have done so.
California to Release Prisoners (4:30 p.m. NY)
California plans to release about 7% of its prison population, roughly 8,000 non-violent offenders, to relieve pressure on a chronically overcrowded correctional system that’s now struggling with a spike in coronavirus cases.
The move will enable prisons to maximize available space to implement physical distancing, isolation and quarantine efforts, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement. It estimated that about 8,000 currently incarcerated people could be eligible for release by the end of August.
“These actions are taken to provide for the health and safety of the incarcerated population and staff,” CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz said in the statement. “We aim to implement these decompression measures in a way that aligns both public health and public safety.”
U.S. Cases Rise 1.9% (3:55 p.m. NY)
U.S. cases rose by 59,782 from a day earlier to 3.14 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 1.9% jump matched the average daily increase over the past week. Deaths rose 0.7% to 133,677.
- Arizona reported 4,221 new cases, a 3.7% gain to 116,892 that matched the average rise of the previous seven days. The state also reported 44 new deaths, bringing the total to 2,082.
- Florida reported 244,151 cases, up 4.9% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 4.7% in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 4,102, a gain of 93, or 2.3%.
- Montana cases rose 8.7% to 1,593, according to the Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg News data.
Miami-Dade ICUs See Renewed Record (2:48 p.m. NY)
Hospitalizations, including ICU patients, rose to another record in Miami-Dade, capping a week of concerning data in Florida’s most populous country.
Patients on ventilators increased to 194, the highest number since April 20, according to the county’s daily report on Friday. The number of people hospitalized for the virus rose by 31 in a day to 1,779 with intensive-care patients rising by increasing to 386 from 363.
Even so, available ICU beds increased by two to 397. The county also has 467 beds that can be converted into ICU beds.
California Has Second-Deadliest Day (2:21 p.m. NY)
California reported 140 new virus deaths, second only to the 149 reported Thursday as the most yet for the pandemic. The 14-day average is 75, according to state health data.
Total confirmed cases rose by 7,798, or 2.6%, pushing California’s total infections to 304,297. While the gain was less than the 3% average over the past seven days, the state’s outbreak has been accelerating: Infections have exceeded 300,000 just two weeks after crossing the 200,000 milestone.
N.Y. Nursing Home Residents Get Visits (2:17 p.m. NY)
With the number of cases in New York remaining relatively low, residents the state’s nursing homes and long-term facilities will be allowed to have visitors, health officials said. They must be virus-free for at least 28 days, and no more than two visitors will be allowed at a time.
Visitors must have their temperature checked, wear face coverings, and socially distance during the visit, according to the guidance. Only 10% of the residents in each facility can be allowed visitors at any one time.
Cases in the state, once the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, remain low with 786 new infections and 8 deaths reported Friday. Of the 73,558 tests conducted in the state 786, or 1.06%, were positive.
N.J. Transmission Drops below 1 (1:27 p.m. NY)
New Jersey’s virus transmission rate dropped to 0.98, Governor Phil Murphy said Friday, “a good sign” that the state is making progress to reverse an uptick in Covid-19 transmission.
Two days ago, the rate had reached 1.1, the highest in 10 weeks. The virus rate of transmission -- a measure of how many people a carrier infects -- was more than 5 at the pandemic’s March height in New Jersey. Any figure over 1 suggests the virus is spreading.
Russia Triples Death Toll in Revised Data (12:33 p.m. NY)
Russia reported 15,277 deaths linked to the virus in April and May, including 9,192 where Covid-19 was reported as the main cause. That compares with the 4,831 deaths reported previously by the government for those months.
The earlier data didn’t include cases where the virus was present but not considered the main cause, but some regions, including the capital Moscow, began reporting those figures, as well. Using the new data, the death rate from the virus stood at 3.7%, three times the previously reported figure.
The Statistics Service didn’t release June data. The government has faced questions about the much lower number of deaths attributed to the pandemic compared with other nations.
WHO Says Kazakh Pneumonia Probably Covid (12 p.m. NY)
Cases of unexplained pneumonia in Kazakhstan are probably Covid-19, though the World Health Organization is keeping an open mind, said Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, at a briefing in Geneva.
Mexico’s easing of its lockdown coincides with some record daily figures for infections, Ryan also said. All countries need to balance their economic needs, and the country should consider subnational measures to control hot spots of infections if any arise, he said.
Michigan Governor Requires Masks (11:57 a.m. NY)
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has responded to a renewed uptick in cases by requiring people to wear masks in public places. Businesses are required to enforce the rule and not serve anyone without a mask on. Willful violation will result in a $500 fine.
Whitmer has imposed some of the nation’s strictest rules to contain the coronavirus, which lowered the daily new-case count from a high of 1,953 on April 3 to as low as just 74 on June 15. But cases are on the rise again since Whitmer lifted restrictions and reopened the state, including restaurants, in June. The virus is spreading more aggressively in rural areas. They reached 610 on July 8.
U.K. Deaths Fall for Third Day (10 a.m. NY)
Virus-related deaths in the U.K. declined for the third day in a row to 48, according to the Department of Health in London. Confirmed new cases slowed to 512 compared with 642 in the previous 24-hour period. Earlier Thursday, data published by the government put the U.K.’s so-called R number at 0.7 to 0.9, suggesting transmission of the virus is still slowing. It was the first update since pubs, restaurants and hotels reopened in England on Saturday.
Gilead’s Remdesivir Linked to Death Reduction (9:36 a.m. NY)
Gilead Sciences Inc. said its remdesivir virus treatment is associated with a 62% reduction in the risk of death compared with the standard of care. The death rate with remdesivir was 7.6% at Day 14 versus 12.5% among those not taking remdesivir.
The finding is based on an analysis that combines results from a Phase 3 trial and a “real-world” retrospective cohort of patients with severe disease, the company said, noting that it requires confirmation in prospective clinical trials.
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