As COVID-19 mile­stones mount, gov­er­nors con­tinue roll­backs

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­COLE WIN­FIELD AND KEN MORIT­SUGU

ROME — The world sur­passed two sober­ing coro­n­avirus mile­stones Sun­day — 500,000 con­firmed deaths, 10 mil­lion con­firmed cases — and hit an­other high mark for daily new in­fec­tions as gov­ern­ments that at­tempted re­open­ings con­tin­ued to back­track and warn that worse could be com­ing.

“COVID-19 has taken a very swift and very dan­ger­ous turn in Texas over just the past few weeks,” said Gov. Greg Ab­bott, who al­lowed busi­nesses to start re­open­ing in early May but on Fri­day shut down bars and lim­ited res­tau­rant din­ing amid a spike in cases.

Cal­i­for­nia Gov. Gavin New­som rolled back re­open­ings of bars in seven coun­ties, in­clud­ing Los An­ge­les. He or­dered them to close im­me­di­ately and urged eight other coun­ties to is­sue local health or­ders man­dat­ing the same.

More Florida beaches will be clos­ing again to avoid fur­ther spread of the coro­n­avirus as of­fi­cials try to tamp down on large gath­er­ings amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. Florida Gov. Ron De­San­tis said in­ter­ac­tions among young peo­ple are driv­ing the surge.

“Cau­tion was thrown to the wind and so we are where we are,” De­San­tis said.

South Africa’s health min­is­ter, Zwelini Mkhize, warned that the coun­try’s cur­rent surge of cases is ex­pected to rapidly

Over­all, the United States still has far and away the most to­tal coro­n­avirus cases at more than 2.45 mil­lion, roughly twice that of Brazil. The num­ber of ac­tual cases world­wide is much higher.

in­crease in the com­ing weeks and push hos­pi­tals to the limit. Mkhize said the cur­rent rise in in­fec­tions has come from peo­ple who “moved back into the work­place.

New clus­ters of cases at a Swiss night­club and in Le­ices­ter, Eng­land, showed that the virus was still cir­cu­lat­ing widely in Europe, though not with the rapidly grow­ing in­fec­tion rate seen in parts of the U.S., Latin Amer­ica and In­dia.

In Texas, Ab­bott ap­peared with Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence, who cut cam­paign events from up­com­ing vis­its to Florida and Ari­zona be­cause of ris­ing virus cases in those states.

Pence praised Ab­bott for both his de­ci­sion to re­open the state, and to roll back the re­open­ing plans.

“You flat­tened the curve here in Texas ... but about two weeks ago some­thing changed,”

Pence said.

Pence urged peo­ple to wear masks when un­able to prac­tice so­cial dis­tanc­ing. He and Ab­bott wore face masks as they en­tered and left the room, tak­ing them off while speak­ing to re­porters.

Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Sec­re­tary Alex Azar, mean­while, de­fended the fact that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has rarely worn a mask in pub­lic, say­ing he doesn’t have to fol­low his own ad­min­is­tra­tion’s guid­ance be­cause as a leader of the free world he’s tested reg­u­larly and is in “very dif­fer­ent cir­cum­stances than the rest of us.”

Ad­dress­ing spikes in re­ported coro­n­avirus cases in some states, Azar said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that peo­ple “have to take own­er­ship” of their be­hav­ior by so­cial dis­tanc­ing and wear­ing masks if pos­si­ble.

A re­ported tally Sun­day from Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity re­searchers said the death toll from the coro­n­avirus pan­demic had topped 500,000.

Ap­prox­i­mately 1 in 4 of those deaths, or more than 125,000, have been re­ported in the U.S. The coun­try with the next high­est death toll is Brazil, with more than 57,000, or about 1 in 9.

To date, more than 10 mil­lion con­firmed cases have been re­ported glob­ally. About a quar­ter of them have been re­ported in the U.S.

The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion an­nounced an­other daily record in the num­ber of con­firmed coro­n­avirus cases across the world, top­ping 189,000 in a sin­gle 24-hour pe­riod. The tally eclipses the pre­vi­ous record a week ear­lier at over 183,000 cases, show­ing case counts con­tinue to progress world­wide.

Over­all, the U.S. still has far and away the most to­tal cases at more than 2.45 mil­lion, roughly twice that of Brazil. The num­ber of ac­tual cases world­wide is much higher.

New York, once the na­tion’s pan­demic epi­cen­ter, is now “on the ex­act op­po­site end,” Gov. An­drew Cuomo said in an in­ter­view with “Meet the Press.”

The state re­ported five new virus deaths Satur­day, its low­est re­ported daily death toll since March 15. Dur­ing the state’s peak pan­demic in April, nearly 800 peo­ple were dy­ing ev­ery day. New York still leads the na­tion in COVID-19 deaths with nearly 25,000.

In Wash­ing­ton state, Gov. Jay Inslee put a hold on plans to move coun­ties to the fourth phase of his re­open­ing plan as cases con­tinue to in­crease. But in Hawaii, the city of Honolulu an­nounced that camp­grounds will re­open for the first time in three months, with lim­ited per­mits to en­sure so­cial dis­tanc­ing.

Bri­tain, mean­while, is con­sid­er­ing whether a local lock­down is needed for Le­ices­ter amid re­ports about a spike in COVID-19 among its Asian com­mu­nity. It would be Bri­tain’s first local lock­down.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A worker wear­ing a pro­tec­tive suit swabbed a pa­tient’s throat for a coro­n­avirus test at a com­mu­nity clinic in Bei­jing on Sun­day. The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion an­nounced Sun­day an­other daily record in the num­ber of con­firmed coro­n­avirus cases across the world, ex­ceed­ing 189,000 in a sin­gle 24hour pe­riod.

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