The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

Read Time: 8 Minutes

  • The U.S. saw its largest number of new cases in one day Friday, coming in at 56,566 confirmed cases.
  • An increasing number of U.S. COVID-19 patients are surviving after they are placed on mechanical ventilators, a last-resort measure that was perceived as a signal of impending death during the terrifying early days of the pandemic.

In April and May, Covid-19 led to as many as 3,000 deaths per day, and claimed the lives of roughly 7 to 8 percent of Americans known to have been infected. The number of daily deaths is now closer to 600, and the death rate is less than 5 percent.

Roughly 20 percent of symptomatic COVID-19 patients require hospitalization and about 5 percent end up in the ICU. Most of those in intensive care require ventilators.

  • Trump administration officials say the White House plans to adopt a new message on the coronavirus pandemic in the coming weeks, with the overall tone summing up as “we need to live with it.”

President Trump wants to acknowledge that the virus is not going away in the near future and will likely be a lingering problem through the November election.

Promoting pharmaceuticals and current treatments for the virus will reportedly be emphasized as part of the White House strategy.

  • Surgeon General Jerome Adams offered a Fourth of July message promoting that wearing a mask to Independence Day gatherings means “we will actually have more independence and more freedom” amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Adams told NBC host Craig Melvin on “Today” that the most important thing a person who may be going to a public gathering can do is wear a face mask or covering.

“As we talk about Fourth of July and independence, it’s important to understand that if we all wear these, we will actually have more independence and more freedom because more places will be able to stay open. We’ll have less spread of the disease,” the surgeon general said.

  • “There is a general anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine feeling among some people in this country – an alarmingly large percentage of people, relatively speaking,” Anthony Fauci said warning that such attitudes have led to people ignoring social distancing and mask requirements and a spike on coronavirus cases.
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar appeared to blame a rise in coronavirus cases across several states on a lack of “personal responsibility” by young people, but added that the American economy needed to “get back to work.”

“We’re seeing surges and new cases especially in counties in the southern United States… the majority of these cases are under age 35 and are asymptomatic,” he said. “We all have got to practice social distancing. We’ve got to wear facial coverings… If we don’t act responsibly, we’re going to see governors … pull back on those reopenings.”

  • At least 16 states are heading into the holiday weekend with record high coronavirus statistics and fears that mass gatherings in the coming days could spark further outbreaks.
  • Five states set single-day case records on Friday: Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, North Carolina and South Carolina. 
  • More than 100 students living in 15 different fraternity houses near the University of Washington campus have reported testing positive for coronavirus, with hundreds of tests from other residents still pending.
  • North Carolina reported 951 hospitalizations and 2,099 cases, both record highs.
  • Wilmington, North Carolina, Mayor Bill Saffo asked citizens to wear their masks and practice social distancing this weekend. He said he expects a spike in coronavirus cases in two weeks due to Independence Day celebrations.
  • An Ohio state representative Candice Keller (R) claimed that she was asked to leave the Gettysburg Visitor Center and Museum in Pennsylvania after refusing to wear a mask.

“We were asked to leave the Gettysburg Welcome Center because we refused to wear a face mask,” Keller continued. “This is not the law in Pennsylvania, nor yet in Ohio where I’m from, and it is an unconstitutional idea that our leaders have come up with.”

  • Florida had 9,488 new cases on Friday, according to the state health department. Florida’s 10,109 cases on Thursday set a record for the state and was more than any European country’s daily peak at the height of the outbreak there.
  • The surge is not simply due to expanded testing. The percentage of tests coming back positive in Florida has hit 16%, up from 4% a month ago, according to a Reuters analysis. The World Health Organization says a rate over 5% is concerning.
  • Hospitalizations in Florida went up by 341 — the third-largest increase in a single day since the pandemic’s start. Only April 29 and May 16 had larger jumps, with the highest in May of 400. Thursday’s increase was 329.
  • Miami-Dade County in Florida is imposing a curfew heading into the July 4 weekend to try to curtail the growing coronavirus outbreak in the state. 

The curfew, starting Friday night at 10 p.m. and lasting until 6 a.m., will be implemented “until further notice,” said Carlos Gimenez, the county’s mayor.

“During curfew hours no one shall use streets or sidewalks for any purpose, except first responders, medical personnel & essential workers going to/from work,” he tweeted.

  • Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease specialist, is warning that Florida is “heading a million miles an hours in the wrong direction” on its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. 

She added that people are not properly following the rules and it’s playing a role in rising cases of COVID-19 in the area.

“It’s absolutely the saddest thing, the most unnecessary situation that we’re finding ourselves in,” Marty said. “And it’s behaviorally driven.”

  • Mississippi reported more than 900 new coronavirus cases Friday — the second-highest single day total recorded by the state. Gov. Tate Reeves’s executive orders will allow indoor gatherings of up to 20 people. Bars and restaurants can offer indoor dining as long as they stay below 50 percent capacity. Backyard BBQs can have up to 100 people so long as guests remain socially distanced. And outdoor stadiums will also be allowed to remain open at 25 percent capacity.
  • Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed an executive order allowing local officials to pass mask ordinances on Friday. Mr. Hutchinson, never implemented a statewide stay-at-home order, instead opting to close high-contact businesses like gyms and personal care services. More than 540 new cases were announced in the state on Friday, just a day after a record 878 cases were reported.
  • Sheriff’s deputies in the Southern California city of West Hollywood will issue citations to people who are not wearing masks in public, ramping up enforcement of a rule that previously had been imposed largely without penalties.

The non-criminal citations come with a fine of $250 for a first offense, as well as a $50 fee.

  • The European Commission said on Friday it had given conditional approval for the use of antiviral remdesivir in severe COVID-19 patients following an accelerated review process, making it the region’s first authorised therapy to treat the virus.
  • England will drop its mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors from more than 50 countries, including France, Italy, Spain and dozens of others, but keep the restrictions in place for travelers coming from the United States.
  • The United Kingdom’s death toll from confirmed cases of the coronavirus rose by 137 to 44,131, government figures showed on Friday.
  • North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un claims North Korea’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is “a shining success.”
  • Brazil, which has more coronavirus cases than any country but the United States, topped 1.5 million total infections on Friday, just two weeks after reaching a million cases.
  • Local authorities are digging mass graves at cemeteries across Bolivia to receive a new wave of victims from COVID-19, unnerving Bolivians as the outbreak rips across the Andean nation.
  • Mexico on Friday reported 6,740 new coronavirus infections, taking the country’s total to 245,251 cases, more than Italy and the ninth-highest tally worldwide. 
  • The Northern Mexican state of Sonora — which borders Arizona and a small portion of New Mexico — is toughening border restrictions this weekend as both regions experience a surge in coronavirus cases.  

In anticipation of the Fourth of July weekend, the state government announced plans to place filters at Sonora’s main border cities to turn back tourists and those traveling for nonessential purposes.

  • Australia’s second most-populous state, Victoria, reported its biggest jump in coronavirus cases since late March on Saturday, forcing the expansion of stay-at-home orders to more Melbourne suburbs and the complete lockdown of nine public housing towers.
  • President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras has been discharged from the hospital after receiving more than two weeks of in-patient treatment for Covid-19 and related pneumonia.
  • Results of Major League Baseball’s first round of widespread coronavirus testing were released on Friday, as preseason training resumed in full after being shut down for more than three months. Out of 3,185 tests, 38 were positive (31 players and seven staff members). The league plans to open a 60-game season on July 23, with no fans in the stands.
  • SAG-AFTRA issued a do-not-work notice to its members for a pandemic-themed independent film starring Demi Moore and Craig Robinson, saying producers had “not been transparent about their safety protocols.” 
  • Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top fundraising official for the Trump campaign and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for coronavirus, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to The Hill on Friday.

Less than a week ago, Guilfoyle and Trump Jr. attended a packed party in Bridgehampton that looked “as if COVID had never happened.”

There were about 100 partiers, who a source says were maskless, at the bash at the 51 Sandpiper Lane mansion, hosted by famed Hamptons builder Joe Farrell.

  • A White House pool report from inside the Mount Rushmore amphitheater: We are in place at the amphitheater with an estimated crowd of about 3,700. It is shoulder to shoulder with no attempt at social distancing. The seats here are packed and the vast majority of the audience is unmasked.

Sources:  ABC News, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, NBC News, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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