U.S. Cases Rise to New Record; Disney Opens Parks; Virus Update
The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, U.S. (Photo: Charlotte Kesl/Bloomberg)

U.S. Cases Rise to New Record; Disney Opens Parks; Virus Update

U.S. virus cases rose 2.3%, a record 71,389 new infections. That compared to a 1.9% rise daily in the last seven days. It was the fifth day in a row of rising cases, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Johns Hopkins University.

Florida and Arizona reported increased Covid-19 deaths, while the pace of infections slowed in both states. A proposal by scientists for blood-plasma inoculations against the coronavirus is languishing, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan was hospitalized after contracting the virus. Japan restarted baseball with masked fans, making it one of the first countries to resume major sports with spectators. Walt Disney Co. reopened two of its Florida theme parks.

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U.S. Cases Rise to New Record; Disney Opens Parks; Virus Update

U.S. Cases Rise 2.3% to Record (4:02 p.m. NY)

U.S. cases rose by a record 71,389 from a day earlier to 3,215,861 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 2.3% jump was over the daily average of 1.9% over the past week. Deaths rose 0.1% to 134,430.

  • New York reported 730 new virus cases Satruday, in line with the seven-day average increase of 0.2%. Once the center of the outbreak in the U.S., New York’s infection rate remains significantly below that of most states, even amid a cautious reopening. The state reported six new deaths compared with eight reported the day before.
  • Deaths among Florida residents increased by 95, two more than on Friday and fewer than the record 120 deaths recorded Thursday. The state’s health department corrected an earlier number that showed deaths reaching a record. Cumulative cases reached 254,511, an increase of 10,360 or 4.2%, less than the previous 7-day average of 4.6%.
  • California reported 8,047 new cases, a 2.6% increase, less than the seven-day average of 3%. There have been 312,344 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state. The number of deaths climbed by 94, or 1.4%, to 6,945.
  • Arizona reported 69 new deaths, compared with 44 on Friday. New coronavirus cases rose by 3,038 to 119,930, a 2.6% increase that’s the smallest since July 4 and lower than the 3.5% average for the previous seven days.
  • New Jersey reported 438 new cases, in line with the seven-day average rise of 0.2%. Total cases are now 174,959. The state reported 49 new deaths, for a total of 13,578.

Deadly Outbreak at L.A. Apparel (3:45 p.m. NY)

A virus outbreak at Los Angeles Apparel has infected 300 people and caused four virus-related deaths, the Los Angeles Times reported, quoting county officials.

County officials found “flagrant violations” in public health control, the newspaper reported. The company, started by the ousted founder of American Apparel, Dov Charney, is now making face masks to combat the virus.

Disney Opens Florida Theme Parks (3:26 p.m. NY)

Disney opened its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Saturday, after a four-month shutdown and despite criticism that it did so as virus cases are spiking in Florida.

Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Walt Disney Co.’s theme parks, said he was pleased with booking trends. The park is opening with virus-related safety protocols, including temperature checks at gates and mandatory mask-wearing by guests and employees inside.

“This is the new world that we’re operating in and we feel like we’ve got a way to operate in that new world,” D’Amaro said. Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios parks will return on Wednesday.

U.K. Cases and Deaths Rise (3:20 p.m. NY)

The U.K. reported 820 new virus cases, up from 512 the day before. Deaths rose by 148, up 48 from the day before. The nation now has 289,678 total cases and 44,883 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

California’s Infection Pace Slows (2:20 p.m. NY)

California reported 8,047 new Covid-19 cases, a 2.6% increase, less than the seven-day average of 3%. There have been 312,344 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state, according to the health department’s website. The number of deaths climbed by 94, or 1.4%, to 6,945.

Bollywood Veteran Hospitalized (1:40 p.m. NY)

Veteran Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan has been admitted to Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital after contracting the virus.

Bachchan, 77, shared the information on his social media, prompting a welter of get-well-soon wishes from fans across the world. He requested anyone who has been in his close proximity over the past 10 days to get themselves tested.

New Jersey Cases Steady (1:40 p.m. NY)

New Jersey reported 49 new virus-related deaths, compared with 31 a day earlier, raising the toll to 13,578. The state reported 438 new cases, in line with the seven-day average rise of 0.2%, increasing the total to 174,959.

Arizona New Cases Slowest in a Week (1:15 p.m. NY)

Arizona reported 69 new deaths, compared with 44 on Friday. New coronavirus cases rose by 3,038 to 119,930, a 2.6% increase that’s the smallest since July 4 and lower than the 3.5% average for the previous seven days. The total positive rate for people tested for Covid-19 in Arizona is 11.7%, according to the state health department.

Florida Corrects Death Toll Lower (12:15 p.m. NY)

Deaths among Florida residents increased by 95, two more than on Friday and fewer than the record 120 deaths recorded Thursday. The state’s health department corrected an earlier number that showed deaths reaching a record.

Cumulative cases reached 254,511, an increase of 10,360 or 4.2%, less than the previous 7-day average of 4.6%. The median age in Florida for people who have contracted the virus, which never rose to more than 37 last week, was steady at 40.

New York Cases Remain Steady (11:24 a.m. NY)

New York reported 730 new virus cases, in line with the seven-day average increase of 0.2% Once the center of the outbreak in the U.S., New York’s infection rate remains significantly below that of most states, even amid a cautious reopening.

The state reported six new deaths compared with eight reported the day before. At the height of the outbreak in New York in mid-April, 799 people were reported dead in a single day. The number of patients currently hospitalized for the virus fell to 799, from 826 the day before, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a tweet.

Italy Reports Fewer Deaths, Cases (11:15 a.m. NY)

Italy, which has the European Union’s deadliest Covid-19 outbreak, reported 188 new cases Saturday, down from 276 the previous day and in line with the seven-day average, Health Ministry data showed. New deaths declined to seven from 12 on Friday, raising the total to 34,945. Italy had a one-day peak of 6,557 new infections on March 21.

Plasma Shot Stymied, Scientists Tell LA Times (10 a.m. NY)

Scientists say an upper-arm shot using the antibody-rich blood plasma of Covid-19 survivors could inoculate people against the virus for months, but federal officials and companies aren’t enthusiastic about the proposal, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The dispute is over the timing, rather than the promise of the idea. Plasma-based therapies should focus on treating people who are already sick, not on prevention, federal health officials and industry groups told the newspaper.

Anthony Fauci said the idea is an “attractive concept” but scientists need to first prove it’s effective for current patients. Companies are reluctant to invest in a product that could soon be replaced by a vaccine, advocates for the immunity shots told the LAT.

Croatian Cases Climb 4% (8:30 a.m. NY)

Croatia reported 140 infections on Saturday, the highest daily toll. The number of total infections to date grew to 3,672 and 118 deaths, with one patient dying in the last 24 hours.

Slovenia confirmed 34 cases on Friday, the most since mid-April, bringing the total number of infected to 1,793. Bosnia and Herzegovina had more than 300 new cases for the second day in a row. The total confirmed cases stand at 6,719, with 219 deaths.

Cases in Serbia rose to 18,073. Police in Belgrade detained more than 70 protesters who tried to storm the parliament building late Friday as anti-government demonstrations triggered earlier this week over a planned virus curfew lapsed into violence again.

Qatar Air Makes Virus Test Mandatory (8:19 a.m. NY)

Qatar Airways said all passengers from Pakistan must show they were tested for Covid-19 within 72 hours of their flight departure and present a negative result.

The mandatory pre-flight requirement will take effect Monday, a Qatar Airways spokesperson said in an email on Saturday. Qatar Airways currently operates services to the Pakistani cities of Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. Pakistan has more than 246,000 reported cases, the highest in Asia after India. Cases in Qatar rose by 498 to more than 103,000.

Iran Cases Rise 1%, in Line With 7-Day Average (7:30 a.m. NY)

Iran’s fatalities rose to 12,635 with 188 more deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours, up from 142 the day before. The number of infections surpassed 255,000 as the country recorded 2,397 new cases overnight, up from 2,262 on Friday. Some 217,000 people have recovered and 3,338 patients are in intensive care units.

Oman reported more than 1,000 new infections for a 12th day, bringing the total to 54,697.

U.S. Bases in Okinawa Find Cases: NHK (5:15 p.m. HK)

U.S. military facilities in Okinawa, including Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and Camp Hansen, have found a total of at least 50 coronavirus cases, NHK reported Saturday, citing unidentified people. NHK cited Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki as saying many new virus cases have been confirmed at the bases.

Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki questioned disease prevention measures taken by the U.S. military and renewed his demand for transparency at a news conference, the Associated Press reported.

Virus Spreads Fastest in Cooler Temperatures: Telegraph (5 p.m. HK)

Coronavirus spreads fastest at 4 degrees Celsius (39 Fahrenheit), U.K. government scientists said, adding to concern about a winter resurgence, the Telegraph reported. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies is thought to be focusing on the precise temperature as Melbourne, which is currently in its coldest month, went into a six-week lockdown due to a spike in cases.

Russian Case Increase in Line With Past Week (3:37 p.m. HK)

Russia reported 6,611 new confirmed coronavirus infections in the past day, in line with increases in the past week, raising the total to 720,547, according to data from the Russian government’s virus response center. Almost 27% of new cases were asymptomatic. In the past day 188 people died of the disease, bringing total death toll to 11,205.

Slovenia confirmed 34 new coronavirus infections on Friday, the most since mid-April, bringing the total number of infected to 1,793. The number of fatalities remains at 111.

German Infection Rate Rises Slightly (2:28 p.m. HK)

Germany’s coronavirus cases rose by 331 while the death rate held steady, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Deaths increased by 6 to 9,063, a smaller increase than most days since the beginning of March.

The reproduction factor -- or R value -- rose slightly to 0.80, according to the latest estimate by the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s health body. That’s under the key threshold of 1.0, seen as crucial to preventing a second wave of infections.

Tokyo Finds 206 New Cases: Kyodo (2:02 p.m. HK)

Tokyo confirmed 206 new cases of coronavirus, Kyodo reported Saturday, citing unidentified people. The number of new cases exceeded 200 for the third straight day, but fell short of Friday’s daily record of 243.

Hong Kong Adds at Least 20 Cases: SCMP (1:53 p.m. HK)

Hong Kong confirmed at least 20 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a medical source. It’s not yet known how many of Saturday’s cases were locally transmitted, the SCMP said. On Thursday, the city recorded 34 locally transmitted infections, the most in a single day since the pandemic began.

In response, the government reintroduced social restrictions that cap restaurant capacity at 60% and limit eight people to a table.

Australia Warns of Two-Year Vaccine Wait (1:21 p.m. HK)

Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said a vaccine may not be available for between 18 and 24 months and the country must be able to keep the virus under control at low levels. “We need to prepare for a world without a vaccine,” he said at a media conference Saturday.

Mask-wearing will be critical to reopening Australia’s second-most populous state as it seeks to curb a second wave of infections, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said earlier.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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