Florida hits new one-day high in coronavirus cases
Florida on Sunday reported the largest singleday increase in positive coronavirus cases in any one state since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to state Department of Health statistics, 15,299 people tested positive, for a total of 269,811 cases.
California had the previous record of daily positive cases – 11,694, four days ago. New York had 11,571 on April 15.
The numbers come at the end of a grim, recordbreaking week in Florida, with 514 fatalities. On Sunday, 45 more deaths were reported.
Throughout May and into June, the state reopened much of its economy with some restrictions.
Testing has increased, but the percentage of people testing positive has risen even more dramatically. A month ago, fewer than 5% of tests came up positive on a daily average. Over the past week, the daily average exceeded 19%.
Despite the number of cases surging around the country, a member of the White House coronavirus task force said Sunday that the situation “is not out of control.”
Brett Giroir said it’s going to take “a lot of effort and everybody’s going to have to do their part” to combat the pandemic.
And the assistant secretary at the Health and Human Services Department said “we have to have people wearing a mask in public. It’s absolutely essential.”
Giroir told ABC’s “This Week” that officials would like to see something like 90% of people wearing a mask in public in areas that are hot spots.
He said that “if we don’t have that, we will not get control of the virus.”
When Giroir was asked about whether states that are seeing a spike in cases should consider more stringent lockdowns, he said, “Everything should be on the table.”
And looking ahead, Giroir said it’s possible the situation “could be worse in the fall,” when he thinks “we’re going to need tens of millions of more tests a month.” He also said there’s some data that people can get both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time and “that’s not really good.”
Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Sunday the Trump administration is “trying to correct” its guidance from earlier in the coronavirus epidemic that wearing face coverings was not necessary.
With virus cases surging and many states and cities now issuing orders to wear masks in public, Adams said he and other administration officials were wrong back in March. But he insists they were going with the scientific knowledge at the time, which suggested that people with COVID-19 who showed no symptoms were not likely to spread the virus.
Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University, told “Fox News Sunday” that he would have liked to have seen administration officials wear masks sooner. He says it should not be viewed as a “personal choice” but a public health imperative.
Trump was seen wearing a mask in public Saturday during a visit to a military hospital and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday his doing so has “crossed a bridge.”
Pelosi told CNN’s “State of the Union” that she hopes it means the president “will change his attitude, which will be helpful in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.”
Trump wore a mask during a visit Saturday to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in suburban Maryland, where he met wounded service members and health care providers.
It was the first time the president was seen in public with the type of facial covering recommended by health officials as a precaution against spreading or becoming infected by the virus.
The World Health Organization has reported another record in the increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide over a 24-hour period, at over 230,000.
The U.N. health agency said Sunday the United States again topped the list among countries, with more than 66,000 cases recorded.
The figures don’t necessarily account for delays in reporting of cases, and are believed to far underestimate actual case totals.
Still, the trend line of confirmed cases continues to increase – with three largest counts coming over the past three days.
Overall, the WHO has counted more than 12.5 million confirmed cases and more than 561,000 deaths from COVID-19.
In the United States, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is downplaying the risk of sending kids back to school despite the increase in coronavirus cases.
Speaking in Sunday TV interviews, DeVos stressed that kids attending school in the fall should be the rule, not the exception.
She asserted that “there’s nothing in the data that suggests that kids being in school is in any way dangerous.”
But she was contradicted by public health experts who said the virus can still be dangerous to kids, even if the risk is lower.
Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University, said on “Fox News Sunday” that science is also unclear on how much kids can spread the disease to more vulnerable adults.
DeVos said the Trump administration is looking at “all the options” for pulling funding from schools if they don’t provide full-time in person learning, calling American investment in education “a promise to students and their families.”
She described Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for keeping schools safe, such as face coverings and social distancing, as “guidelines” meant to be flexible.
● With surging conA firmed cases of COVID-19, South Africa is now ranked as the ninth most affected country by the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. South Africa has 264,184 cases, including 3,971 deaths, accounting for more than 40% of all the reported cases in Africa.
More than 30% of South Africa’s cases are in the economic hub of Gauteng province, which includes the largest city, Johannesburg, and the capital, Pretoria. Johannesburg’s densely populated Soweto township is one of the hot spots. Public hospitals are expressing concerns about shortages of available beds and medical oxygen.
In response, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Sunday the country will return to a ban of the sales of alcohol immediately to reduce the volume of trauma patients so hospitals have more beds to treat COVID-19 patients.
South Africa is also reinstating a night curfew to reduce traffic accidents and has made it mandatory for all residents to wear face masks in public.
Ramaphosa said that top health officials warn of impending shortages of hospital beds and medical oxygen as South Africa reaches a peak of COVID-19 cases, expected between the end of July and September.
Africa’s 54 countries have reported 577,904 cases, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Sunday. The continent’s confirmed cases are concentrated in four countries – South Africa; Egypt, with 81,158 cases; Nigeria, with 31,987 cases; and Algeria, with 18,712 cases – which together make up more than 65% of the continent’s cases.
The number of actual cases in Africa is believed to be much higher, as the testing rate is very low in many countries.
● Local outbreaks of COVID-19 among workers at a courier service in northern Italy and among migrants rescued in the Mediterranean Sea have helped swell an increase in the nation’s daily new cases.
Calabria, which in recent days had been registering a couple or even no new daily coronavirus infections, had 28 new cases on Sunday, stemming from as many infections among nearly
800 migrants rescued from human traffickers’ boats and brought to that region.
Calabria Gov. Jole Santelli called on the national government to safeguard the local population by requisitioning navy boats going forward and keeping rescued migrants offshore until they can be tested for coronavirus infection.
In the Emilia-Romagna region, 71 cases were registered on Sunday, according to the Health Ministry, a sizable jump from recent days, reflecting a hot spot of infections at a major courier service in Bologna.
Italy now has 243,061 known cases, with an overall confirmed death toll of 34,954.
● India’s coronavirus caseload is nearing 850,000 with a record surge of 28,637 in the past 24 hours, prompting authorities to announce a weeklong lockdown in the key southern technology hub of Bangalore.
The new confirmed cases took the national total to 849,553. The Health Ministry on Sunday also reported another 551 deaths for a total of 22,674.
India has overtaken Russia in the number of cases and is behind the United States and Brazil, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Southern Karnataka state, whose IT hub Bangalore is home to Microsoft, Apple and Amazon offices, extended Sunday lockdowns to one week beginning Tuesday.
New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune are among the key Indian cities witnessing a surge in infections. Several states also have announced stringent lockdowns in high-risk areas.
● Lebanon has reported its highest daily count of coronavirus cases, including dozens of foreign workers who work at a cleaning company, the health ministry said Sunday.
The 166 cases came after three days in which the number was a record every day in Lebanon. The increase comes after Lebanon’s only international airport was reopened on July 1, after more than three months of closure.
The country has eased a monthslong lockdown, and people are going out more to restaurants, nightclubs, markets and beaches. A nighttime curfew to limit the spread of the pandemic was abolished last month.
Diners eat al fresco on June 26 in New York City. As coronavirus rages in other parts of the U.S., New York is trying to prepare in case another surge comes in that city.
Yohanna Meshesha enjoys the swings at a playground Saturday in Los Angeles. The number of deaths per day from the coronavirus in the U.S. had been falling, but now a long-expected upturn has begun.