Florida hits new one-day high in coro­n­avirus cases

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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.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald

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.

ELSE­WHERE

● 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.

JOHN MINCHILLO AP

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.

MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ AP

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.

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