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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

  •  Of the 3-million COVID-19 cases recorded in The United States, one million of those cases have been reported in the last 30 days.

The U.S. has 4% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s coronavirus cases.

  • More than 60,000 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the United States on Tuesday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

It’s the first time the U.S. has reached or crossed the 60,000 threshold of newly diagnosed cases in a 24-hour reporting period.

  • Researchers at the University College London are calling attention to a potential link between COVID-19 and brain damage after a study released Wednesday found more evidence to suggest that the virus can cause neurological issues.
  • Gilead Sciences Inc said on Wednesday it has started an early-stage study of its antiviral COVID-19 treatment remdesivir that can be inhaled, for use outside of hospitals.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised his country’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying that its response proved better than many of its allies, including the United States.

“We were able to control the virus better than many of our allies, particularly including our neighbor,” Trudeau said one just days after formally denying an invitation to a summit with Trump over the virus in the US as well as tariff threats.

  • President Trump threatened to cut off federal funding for schools if they do not resume in-person learning this fall and criticized a top government health agency for being too tough with its guidelines to aid that process.

Trump Tweeted: “In Germany, Denmark, Norway,  Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!”

NOTE: New cases on Tuesday: Germany 298, Denmark 10, Norway 11, Sweden 57, United States 55,442

“I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools. While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!” Trump wrote in a Tweet.

  • Vice President Mike Pence, appearing with the White House coronavirus task force, announced the CDC would issue new recommendations next week, saying they don’t want the guidance to be a reason why schools don’t open.
  • The president of the nation’s largest teachers’ union hit back at President Trump over his demand that schools resume in-person classes this fall, saying reopening cannot take place without guaranteeing the safety of students and staff.

“I double dog dare Donald Trump to sit in a class of 39 sixth graders and breathe that air without any preparation for how we’re going to bring our kids back safely.”

  • Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued the Trump administration in federal court on Wednesday, seeking to block a directive that would strip foreign college students of their visas if their coursework was entirely online.
  • Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, as the brand buckled under the pressure of the pandemic.
  • United Airlines said that it could furlough as many as 36,000 workers, or nearly 40 percent of its staff, starting Oct. 1 if travel remained weak and if too few employees accept buyout or early retirement packages.
  • Golf’s 2020 Ryder Cup has been postponed due to coronavirus.
  • The Ivy League has canceled all fall sports and will reevaluate whether to play sports after Jan. 1, 2021. 
  • Stanford University is eliminating 11 of its varsity sports after the 2020-21 season, citing a financial deficit that became significantly more problematic due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • As cases surge across the country, PPE is again in short supply.
  • New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued an executive order requiring face coverings outdoors when social distancing is not possible. When asked if people would receive tickets for disobeying the rules on a Jersey Shore boardwalk, he said it was not likely.
  • New Jersey restaurants with seating areas under fixed roofs can reopen those spaces to diners as long as there are two open sides and there is only 50 percent wall space.
  • New York City public schools will not fully reopen in September, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. In-person classes will be limited to one to three days a week in an effort to continue to curb the coronavirus outbreak.
  • New York will now allow malls to reopen in Phase 4, a stage of reopening that the entire state except for New York City has entered. Malls must put in enhanced air filtration systems and those that meet requirements can reopen as soon as Friday.
  • Nino Vitale, a GOP state lawmaker in Ohio urged constituents to “STOP GETTING TESTED” for COVID-19 in a Facebook post.

“Are you tired of living in a dictatorship yet?” Vitale asked. Testing for COVID-19 gave “the government an excuse to claim something is happening that is not happening at the magnitude they say it is happening,” he claimed.

Ohio is one of several states currently seeing a spike in new coronavirus infections.

  • Officials have identified at least 16 people who tested positive for COVID-19 after attending Marvin Ridge High School’s graduation ceremony on June 24 in Waxhaw, North Carolina. 
  • Officials in Tennessee reported more than 2,100 new cases and 21 new deaths on Wednesday, single-day records in both categories.
  • Florida reported 9,989 more cases since Tuesday, bringing the state to a total of 223,793.
  • At least 56 Florida hospitals in 25 different counties have hit 100% ICU capacity, according to overall hospital data released by the state. Another 35 only have 10% or less capacity remaining. In all, the state has just 962 out of a total of 5,023 ICU beds available

As coronavirus cases surge in Florida, the state had 41 hospitals with no available beds as of Wednesday morning.

  • In Miami-Dade County, which includes the city of Miami, the positivity rate has jumped to 21.9%.
  • Osceola County is reporting a positivity rate of 19.5%, while in Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, the positivity rate stands at 16.4%.
  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said city and county officials do not have the authority to require residents to wear masks in public.
  • Bruce Dart, the Tulsa City-County Health Department director, said in a press conference that the city has seen a spike in coronavirus cases and believes big events like President Trump’s rally are “likely” responsible for the growing cases.
  • The gains the people of Louisiana made against Covid-19 in June have been wiped out over the past three weeks, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Wednesday.

“We have a statewide pandemic. It’s no longer one or two regions,” Edwards told reporters.

  • Texas’ new cases now make up 14% of the U.S. total. Since July 1, the U.S. has reported 358,027 new infections. Of those, 50,599 were in Texas.
  • Houston officials are canceling next week’s in-person Texas Republican convention as coronavirus cases surge across the state, Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) said Wednesday. 
  • More than 680 cases were announced Wednesday in Utah, a single-day record.
  • Arizona reported 354 new cases per 100,000 population in the past week, compared to a national average of 100 per 100,000.
  • In Arizona hospitals, 91% of ICU beds are in use. A record 2,008 suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients visited emergency rooms in the state on Tuesday.
  • 137 out of 300 employees at the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona have tested positive for coronavirus.
  • California reported 11,694 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, but stressed that this number includes a backlog of data from Los Angeles County labs.
  • In California, hospitalization rates and ICU admissions are on the rise.

Gov. Gavin Newsom attributed the growth to a number of factors: not enough people wearing face coverings and social distancing; increased mixing outside of households; outbreaks in prisons and jails; and outbreaks within essential workplaces.

  • Mexico on Wednesday posted a new record for coronavirus cases reported on a single day, with 6,995 infections.
  • Russia confirmed 6,562 new coronavirus infections Wednesday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 700,792.
  • Dozens of demonstrators and police were injured in overnight rioting in Belgrade, triggered when a crowd stormed Serbia’s parliament in protest at plans to reimpose a lockdown following a surge in coronavirus cases.
  • Five million Australians in the country’s second largest city Melbourne woke up under strict stay-at-home rules on Thursday as authorities struggled to contain a coronavirus outbreak in the city.
  • A New Zealand man who tested positive will face criminal charges after he sneaked out of a hotel quarantine site, the public broadcaster RNZ reported. He ventured out into central Auckland on Tuesday night for a little over an hour and visited a supermarket.

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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