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

Read Time: 6 Minutes

  • New data from the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests 1.47 million education professionals could face serious cases of coronavirus if schools resume. In response, some teachers are choosing early retirement, or leaving the field altogether.
  • People who have recovered from COVID-19 may lose their immunity to the virus within months, according to research released this month that found levels of antibodies that destroy the virus quickly declined and sometimes disappeared completely after peaking several weeks after patients exhibited symptoms.
  • Many people who suffered supposed “mild” cases of coronavirus and the health experts who treated them are warning people not to assume “mild” means an easy case of the virus, as many find themselves suffering long-term consequences such as lung problems among other painful issues.
  • A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control analyzed the impact a single traveller with no symptoms can have. A woman in China carrying coronavirus but not showing a single symptom took a 60-second trip in an elevator on her own which led to the infection of 71 people.
  • Drugmakers partnered with the U.S. government are on track to begin actively manufacturing a vaccine for COVID-19 by the end of the summer, an unidentified  senior administration official said on Monday.
  • Anthony Fauci blamed the surge in U.S. coronavirus cases to the country’s failure to shut down completely, then a rush to reopen too soon, and urged a commitment to guidelines to snuff out the disease.

He stressed basic protections including physical distancing, wearing masks, avoiding crowds and washing hands. “Those things, as simple as they are, can turn it around. I think we can do that and that’s what we’ve got to do,” he said.

  • Top White House aide Dan Scavino publicly attacked Anthony Fauci, sharing a cartoon of the nation’s top infectious disease expert depicted as a faucet spewing statements like “indefinite lockdown,” and “no NFL season” and also accusing him of “cowardly” voicing disagreement through leaks in the media.
  • President Trump retweeted a message from game show host Chuck Woolery that attacks the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and claims the agency and others are lying about the coronavirus pandemic, the latest example of Trump undercutting the guidance of his administration’s own public health organizations.
  • The White House is insisting that it is not sidelining Anthony Fauci after it was revealed that the nation’s top infectious disease expert has not briefed President Trump about the coronavirus pandemic in two months, even as cases surge in many parts of the country.
  • Nearly 60 public and private universities have filed a legal brief supporting a lawsuit seeking to block the Trump administration rule announced by ICE last week that would strip foreign students of visas and threaten to deport them if their colleges choose to hold virtual over in-person classes this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The World Health Organization announced it would launch a massive investigation analyzing the global response into the coronavirus pandemic: “The magnitude of this pandemic, which has touched virtually everyone in the world, clearly deserves a commensurate evaluation.”
  • The coronavirus pandemic is raging out of control in the U.S. and will continue unless “proven measures” are taken against it, according to the World Health Organization: “If the basics aren’t followed, there is only one way this pandemic is going to go: It is going to get worse, and worse, and worse.”
  • The coronavirus pandemic stripped an estimated 5.4 million Americans of their health insurance between February and May, a stretch in which more adults became uninsured because of job losses than have ever lost coverage in a single year.
  • More than 930 employees of private contractors running U.S. immigration detention centers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus
  • Case numbers are rising in all but a handful of states. Hospitals are running out of beds. And some of the country’s biggest urban centers — Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Fla. — have seen out-of-control growth with few concrete signs of progress.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’s issuing an emergency health order that requires out-of-state travelers from states with rising coronavirus cases to give local authorities their contact information when they arrive.
  • Monday, Florida added more than 12,600 additional cases, its second-highest total recorded for a single day in the pandemic.
  • Florida has 47 hospitals with no open ICU beds. Each of 25 other hospitals have just one available ICU bed. 
  • In Miami-Dade County, six hospitals have reached capacity as virus cases spike. The increase in cases caused the mayor there to roll back reopening plans by imposing a curfew and closing restaurants for indoor dining.
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) admitted there are serious risks in reopening schools as coronavirus cases in the state breaks records. Rubio looked at the situation from a “cost-benefit analysis” perspective, and said while students eventually need to go back to in-person classes, right now: “The risks in reopening schools are not insignificant, but the costs of not doing so are extraordinary.”
  • As new cases continue to mount in the Southeast and West, troublesome signs are emerging elsewhere in the country. The county that includes Oklahoma City has been averaging twice as many cases as it was just two weeks ago.
  • Texas reported a small drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations on Monday, the first decline in two weeks as health officials scramble to slow the spread of the disease.

The state reported 10,405 people hospitalized with confirmed infections, down from a high of 10,410 on Sunday. While the dip itself may seem insignificant, the growth of hospitalizations has been slowing for several days now, a possible sign that it is nearing a peak.

Confirmed deaths and total cases were also down Monday; the state reported 43 deaths and 5,655 new cases.

  • “Providers in our region have urgently requested additional staffing and a myriad of medical supplies including oxygen, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and dialysis machines” Texas lawmakers wrote in a dire plea for federal help as the state battles climbing coronavirus cases. “The rapid deployment of federal resources would go a long way to alleviate and augment the local response as we continue to experience increases in COVID-19 cases.”
  • Hard-hit Houston has hit a 25.2% positivity rate, according to city health director Dr. David Persse.
  • Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced 1,544 new cases on Monday, bringing the city’s total to 30,965.
  • In Arizona, ICUs are 90% full, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
  • Arizona reported 1,357 new cases on Monday, bringing the state’s total cases to 123,824. Arizona’s positivity rate stands at 21.7%.
  • With cases surging in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced one of the most sweeping rollbacks of any state’s reopening plans, saying Monday that he would move to close indoor operations statewide for restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos and card rooms, and bars.
  • Los Angeles and San Diego school districts will start the school year next month offering only virtual classes, a decision that comes as President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos push for classes to be in-person and have threatened to withhold funds.
  • Ontario will ease coronavirus restrictions further in most regions excluding Toronto on July 17, moving to stage three of reopening in Canada’s most populous province, Premier Doug Ford said. 
  • Hong Kong Disneyland will reclose on Wednesday to comply with a government-directed rollback of public activities in the region following an increase in coronavirus infections

The city that seemed like one of the most successful places in controlling the virus, announced Monday evening that it would close gyms and cinemas and ban public gatherings of more than four people in response to a new wave of locally transmitted infections.

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

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