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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

  • There were 64,534 new cases and 1,082 reported deaths reported in the United States.
  • The number of confirmed coronavirus cases reported worldwide reached 15,000,424, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The global Covid-19 death toll rose to 617,832. 

The United States leads the world in total confirmed cases, nearing 4 million.

  • The first reported COVID-19 case in the U.S. came on January 21. After 99 days, on April 28, 1 million Americans became infected. It took just 43 days after that to reach 2 million cases on June 11. 28 days later, on July 8, the US reached 3 million cases. The 4 millionth case could come just two weeks after that.

NOTE: Testing volume has increased, but not to a level that would justify the large increase in positive results.

  • During a live-streamed event, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he doesn’t think COVID-19 will ever be fully eradicated, but noted it can be controlled. “I don’t see this disappearing the way SARS 1 did,” contradicting President Trump, who reiterated his claim Tuesday evening that the virus would disappear.
  • Dr. Deborah Birx said the statistic she watches closest is the test positivity rate because it is “the most sensitive indicator” of how the coronavirus situation is unfolding at any particular time and place.

The recommended test positivity rate is 5% or below. Wednesday’s test positivity rate for the U.S. was 8.8%, an increase of 0.215 over 7 days and 0.426 over 13 days. (The numbers were misreported for July 8)  

  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic saying, “I don’t think it’s been a great example for the world to see America.”
  • A federal judge denied a motion to release families in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Members of a national nurses’ union laid pairs of shoes on the lawn of the US Capitol to honor 164 colleagues who have died while treating coronavirus patients.

“We are calling on the Senate to pass the HEROES Act, which will fully invoke the Defense Production Act to mass produce personal protective equipment, and will also create an emergency temporary standard to protect essential workers on the frontlines of this deadly pandemic.”

  • Dr. Robert Redfield said Americans should embrace “personal responsibility” and wear masks. “We’re not defenseless. We have powerful tools. Probably the most powerful tool that we have is a simple face mask,” Redfield said.
  • FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor acknowledged testing capacity is “stressed” in some places during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing.

He said there is no shortage of swabs or media for coronavirus testing, the items his agency is responsible for overseeing, but added that testing is “stressed in locations that have increased cases, increased hospitalizations.”

  • Despite shortages in coronavirus testing supplies and lags in results, the Trump administration is still sitting on billions of dollars in unused funding that Congress allocated months ago. 

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have questions about why the money has not been used as testing continues to fall well short of the national need. 

“It’s probably a logistical problem as much as anything else, but yeah, it’s a concern,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

  • The White House and a key group of Senate GOP negotiators struck a deal on Wednesday for new coronavirus testing funds.
  • The forthcoming proposal, text of which is expected to be released Thursday, will provide $16 billion in new funding for coronavirus testing
  • U.S. labs won’t be able to cope with a surge in demand for Covid-19 tests in the fall during flu season, and time lags to process the tests will likely worsen, James Davis, an executive vice president at Quest Diagnostics, told the Financial Times.
  • The U.S. government has ordered 100 million doses of Pfizer and partner BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for $1.95 billion with the option for 500 million more orders.
  • President Trump said that he would be comfortable sending his school-age son and grandchildren to school in person this fall amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The president suggested children do not transmit the coronavirus, though early evidence suggests children between 10 and 19 years old may transmit coronavirus just as much as adults. He attributed the recent rise in cases in part to racial justice protests, though early evidence suggests the protests did not cause a spike, and in part to migration from Mexico, though there is no evidence for this either.

  • The surge in coronavirus cases seen across the South and Southwest can be linked back to the traveling people did around Memorial Day, White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said.
  • Citing safety concerns for their staff, Lowe’s will not require employees to enforce customer mask mandate.
  • United Airlines is expanding its mask requirements for passengers, requiring that its fliers wear a face covering in all 360 airports United serves, at every step from check-in to baggage claim.
  • Southwest Airlines says its planes will carry only masked passengers. 
  • The president of the Olympic organizing committee says the 2021 Games may not be possible if current coronavirus conditions continue: “Whether the Olympics can be done or not is about whether humanity can beat the coronavirus.”
  • Fans attending NFL games will be required to wear masks in stadiums this season. On June 23, the league said it would let individual teams set their own capacity limits based on orders from state and local officials.
  • Two cafeterias used by White House staff members were closed and contact tracing was conducted after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said his state’s positivity rate is lower than it was prior to reopening.

Baker reported 143 new cases of coronavirus.The seven-day average for positive tests remains at about 1.7%, he added. 

Baker praised “the work that’s continued to be done by the people of Massachusetts to do the things that we know are most successful in containing the virus and reducing the spread.”

  • Connecticut reported 127 new Covid-19 cases today and no new deaths.
  • New Jersey reported 390 new cases.
  • Baltimore City Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young (D) signed an Executive Order suspending indoor dining at restaurants and bars effective Friday. 
  • Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia, one of the largest public schools systems in the nation, has announced it will begin the school year virtually on Sept. 8.
  • Georgia’s largest school district, Gwinnett County Public Schools, announced that it will start the school year next month with full virtual instruction. 
  • Florida reported 9,785 new cases and 139 additional deaths

Included among the deaths is a  9-year-old girl from Putnam County, FL — the youngest patient to die in the state related to the coronavirus.

  • 47% of all Covid-19 deaths in Florida are linked to long-term care facilities.
  • In Florida, 53 hospitals have reached intensive care unit capacity and show zero ICU beds available.

Another 45 hospitals in the state have 10% or less ICU capacity available.

15% of all ICU beds are available across the state.

  • Broward County, FL, Mayor Dale Holness (D) said during a news conference today that ICU beds in the county are 90% filled.
  • Louisiana recorded 2,802 new cases and 60 deaths. Its highest daily death total since May 1.
  • Tulane University in New Orleans is planning for a full-campus reopening. But at least one official at Tulane — which is often ranked as one of the country’s top party schools — warned that partiers will be punished.
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) extended his mask order to include all counties in the state.

All Ohio residents will be required to wear masks while in public.

  • DeWine issued a travel advisory for all individuals who come into Ohio from states with a Covid-19 positivity rate of 15% or higher. The state is recommending that those individuals self-quarantine at a hotel or at home for 14 days.
  • Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) announced a statewide mask mandate to go into effect on Monday. 
  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said that the state reported 1,598 new cases, its highest one-day total in the month of July.
  • Missouri reported a record single-day increase of 1,301 new cases.
  • Texas reported 9,879 new cases and a single day record 197 fatalities and a new record number of hospitalizations in the state, with 10,893.
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced that he signed an executive order that requires residents to wear face coverings in indoor businesses and indoor public settings.
  • The Kansas State Board of Education has rejected Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) executive order to delay the start of schools across the state. 
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced a new mandate for the next 30 days that “last call” for alcohol in bars will be at 10 p.m. He encouraged people, instead, to get drunk at home with a small group of friends.

    “If you want to get drunk…Have three or four people over in your home, and a small event with them, not 40 people in your home.”
  • The superintendent of Seattle Public Schools is recommending that the district start the 2020-21 school year remotely.
  • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) said she will be rolling back a number of the state’s reopening measures in response to a growing number of coronavirus cases.
  • California has surpassed New York as the state with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States.
  • California added 12,807 coronavirus cases over the past day, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced.

The positivity rate remains steady at 7.4% over the past two weeks, but the one week rate is climbing and currently holds at 7.6%.

“Every decimal point causes some concern,” Newsom said.

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

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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

  • The U.S. recorded 1,042 deaths Tuesday, the first time deaths exceeded 1,000 since June 2.
  • A study published in the journal, PLoS Medicine, determined that if people washed their hands regularly, wore masks, and kept their social distance from each other, these three simple behaviors could stop most all of the Covid-19 pandemic, even without a vaccine or additional treatments.
  • According to Kate Bingham, chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, a vaccine may not become widely available before 2021.

“I would not assume there are any vaccines before next year. There will be some vaccines, if everything goes right, potentially at the end of this year, but that is not something I’d be going to the bank on in terms of everyone can get vaccinated by Christmas,” Bingham said.

  • President Trump receives multiple coronavirus tests every day, the White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.
  • President Trump said he doesn’t know of a time he’s taken more than one coronavirus test in a day, directly contradicting his press secretary in the first question of his press briefing Tuesday. 
  • Trump appeared by himself in the first White House coronavirus update in three months.

Trump struck a more concerned tone about the virus. His remarks represented a notable shift in tone. Until Tuesday, he had largely downplayed the rise in cases in states like Florida, Arizona, Texas and California, and for weeks he had declined to urge the use of face masks. “It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better,” he said.

He urged Americans to wear masks, practice physical distancing and wash their hands, and he instructed young Americans to avoid bars.

“We’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask,” Trump said. “Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact. They’ll have an effect, and we need everything we can get.”

He also called the virus “the China virus” and repeated his false claim that the United States has one of the lowest mortality rates in the world. He said again that the virus “will disappear,” which there is no scientific evidence for, even if there is a vaccine.

He refused to acknowledge widespread problems with testing in the United States, like test shortages and slow turnaround times for results.

“We’ll be doing these quite often,” Trump said on his way out the door. 

  • Researchers at the MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have designed a face mask they say is as effective as the N95 respirator. 

A typical N95 mask can be worn no more than five times in hospital settings. But the researchers announced earlier this month that the newly-designed mask could be “easily sterilized and used many times.”

  • Representatives from various pharmaceutical and biotech companies were asked during a congressional hearing whether their companies plan to sell their vaccines at cost.

– Stephen Hoge, president of Moderna, “We will not sell it at cost.” 

NOTE: Moderna received $483 million in federal funding to produce a coronavirus vaccine.

– Mene Pangalos, executive vice president for AstraZeneca, said that “under the agreement we have with BARDA for the 300 million doses, we are selling that to the government at no profit.” 

NOTE: AstraZeneca Received $1 billion from the U.S. government to produce a coronavirus vaccine.

– Julie Gerberding, executive vice president at Merck, “No, we will not be selling vaccine at cost”

NOTE: Merck received $38 million from the U.S. government to produce a coronavirus vaccine.

– Macaya Douoguih, head of clinical development for Johnson & Johnson, “We will be providing vaccine at a not-for-profit price during the emergency pandemic phase.”

NOTE: Johnson & Johnson received $456 million from the U.S. government to produce a coronavirus vaccine.

  • Only a tiny fraction of the population in the United States have antibodies to the coronavirus, indicating most people remain highly susceptible to the pathogen, according to new data from the CDC.

The agency also said the number of actual coronavirus infections is probably 10 times higher than reported cases. There are about 3.8 million reported cases. CDC data suggests the actual number of infections could be 38 million.

  • The CDC had previously recommended people who test positive isolate until they had two negative swabs for the coronavirus — but that turned out to be impractical given the shortage of tests. It now advises most people with active cases of covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, to isolate for 10 days after symptoms begin and 24 hours after their fever has broken. After that, they are free to leave isolation.
  • NYC public health official, Jennifer Rakeman, said that the lack of a national coronavirus testing strategy amid supply shortages and increasing demand for testing has contributed to the delay in test results across the nation.

“[A] test that takes two weeks to get a result back was a test that shouldn’t have been done,” said Rakeman. “Really anything much longer than outwards of 48 hours is not a useful test.”

  • Anthony Fauci responded to President Trump’s characterization of him as “a little bit of an alarmist” on the coronavirus pandemic, saying, “I consider myself a realist, as opposed to an alarmist.”
  • Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan and Chip Roy clashed with House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney at a closed-door GOP meeting described by one source in the room as “a war zone” over her public support of Anthony Fauci and for previously backing a primary challenger to Republican Rep. Thomas Massie.
  • Lawmakers discussed the next stimulus bill with many Republicans raising concerns about the debt and deficit, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said.

Specifically, some Republicans pushed back on including direct stimulus checks in the next bill.

According to Cramer, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also made it clear it’s still his goal to keep this GOP proposal under $1 trillion.

  • US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said that the country needs to lower the transmission rate of Covid-19 in order to reopen schools.
  • Vice President Mike Pence said he “wouldn’t hesitate” to send his kids back to school if they were younger. 

“Children without a serious underlying condition have a very low risk of serious outcome of the coronavirus,” Pence said.

  • Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) wants schools open, but said that his grandchildren will be distance learning. 

“My daughters are going to be more focused on distance learning right now to make sure their children are safe,” Scott said. He said “some parents are going to do it because it’s a way for their children to get a subsidized meal, things like that.”

  • Marriott Hotels will require guests to use facial coverings in its 7,300 hotels worldwide, chief executive Arne Sorenson announced.
  • Maine reported the first death in the state of someone in his 20s.
  • New Jersey state health officials reported 22 new confirmed deaths and 424 new cases.
  • New Jersey and New York added 10 states and removed Minnesota from their coronavirus quarantine travel advisory, bringing the list to 31 states that qualify as COVID-19 hotspots.

People traveling from those states — including New Jersey and New York residents returning home — are being asked to voluntarily self-quarantine for two weeks and to seek a coronavirus test in an effort to prevent a resurgence.

  • The daily Covid-19 indicators are all under desired thresholds, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The daily number of people admitted to hospitals is at 52, under the 200 threshold. 

The daily number of people in ICUs is at 297, under the 375 threshold. 

The percent of people who tested positive is at 2% under the 15% threshold.

  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said a surge of coronavirus infections in the central part of the state does not justify rolling back his reopening plan, despite mounting pressure from local officials to do so.
  • Georgia reported 3,413 new cases and 78 new deaths.
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) reiterated a recommendation that residents “commit to wearing a mask,” even as he sues Atlanta officials for mandating them.
  • Florida reported 9,440 new cases of Covid-19 and 134 additional deaths.
  • Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) said that the city would assign 39 police officers to a new unit that enforces mask violations.
  • City of Miami summer camps will close this week after at least three children contracted Covid-19.
  • Less than 16% of Florida’s ICU beds are available. 54 hospitals in 27 different counties are now at 0% capacity — meaning they have no ICU beds available.
  • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) blasted the state’s Republican attorney general for his attempts to block the governor’s coronavirus emergency orders, including a mask mandate. 

“Our entire business community supports this facial covering requirement, and sadly, our attorney general isn’t just opposing that — he recently went to court to try to overturn every single rule and restriction that we have, and to prevent me from putting any into place in the future,” Beshear said.

  • A Missouri high school has reported that 19 students and two guests have tested positive after attending a recent outdoor graduation and off-site prom.
  • Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) reported Tuesday a new high of 488 total patients hospitalized because of coronavirus. The state reported 728 new cases.
  • Mississippi reported 1,635 new cases, a record number for the second day in a row. 
  • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said, because of the resurgence of coronavirus, the state will remain in its phase two plan for another two weeks.
  • All public schools in New Orleans will begin the school year with virtual learning.
  • Texas reported 9,305 new Covid-19 cases and 131 new Covid-19-related fatalities.
  • 509 inmates and 3 staff members at a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, have tested positive for Covid-19, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
  • A Clay County nine-month-old has died from the novel coronavirus, the first death of anyone under 20 due to COVID-19 in Minnesota and among the youngest people dead due to the virus in the U.S.
  • California reported at least 9,231 new coronavirus cases. The hospitalization rate of 1.9% and 0.7% of patients in the ICU are reaching concerning highs.
  • The University of California, Berkeley will begin fall semester with “fully remote instruction.

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

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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

  • The United States saw a record number of new cases Tuesday with 67,417. Wednesday registered 60,971 new diagnoses and 773 U.S. deaths.
  • A Gallup survey found mask wearing remains a political issue, with 94 percent of Democrats stating that they “always” or “very often” wear masks when outside their homes, compared to 46 percent of Republicans who said the same. 

36 percent of Republicans said they “rarely” or “never” wear a mask when going out, a position shared by only 2 percent of Democrats.

  • Young people throwing “Covid parties” in the United States has been making Dr. Anthony Fauci’s “head spin,” he said.

“When I hear about these Covid parties, it just makes my head spin. Because when you get infected, what you’re doing is you’re not in a vacuum. You are part of the propagation of the outbreak.”

  • Moderna’s chief medical officer said Wednesday that he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the biotechnology company’s Covid-19 vaccine developed in partnership with the National Institutes of Health.
  • President Trump said his trade adviser Peter Navarro made a misstep by publishing an op-ed critical of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“He made a statement representing himself,” Trump said when questioned about the article while departing the White House. “He shouldn’t be doing that. I have a very good relationship with Anthony.”

  • The Los Angeles Times reported that President Donald Trump personally “authorized” and “encouraged” an op-ed by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci.
  • Fauci said the government’s attempt to discredit him “is a bit bizarre. I don’t really fully understand it.”
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he has “total” confidence in Dr. Fauci.
  • White House trade adviser Peter Navarro’s battle with Anthony Fauci is intensifying, putting the White House in a difficult position as it struggles to downplay evidence of a rift between President Trump and one of the nation’s most trusted health experts during the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is the sort of thing that would get you fired in any other White House,” a former official said.

  • Infectious disease expert Dr. Colleen Kraft said the United States doesn’t have a handle on coronavirus, largely due to people’s behavior. 

“I’m not really sure at this point…what to say differently, except that we may be more at a toddler status, where we have to sort of learn ourselves by putting our hand over a fire to actually learn that there’s a problem.”

  • Coronavirus cases are surging in the South because states reopened too soon, not because northerners traveled to Southern destinations over Memorial Day, the Harvard Global Health Institute asserted in a statement.

“Northerners are not the cause of big outbreaks in the south,” the Institute said in a statement. “What the states that are seeing large outbreaks have in common is that they relaxed COVID-19 regulations around the same time in May.”

  • The reported death rates of patients being treated for coronavirus in intensive care units has improved since the beginning of the pandemic from 60% of patients dying to 42% at the end of May. 
  • A majority of voters oppose the Trump administration’s demand that K-12 schools and day care centers be fully opened for in-person instruction during the coming academic year.
  • Walmart will require customers to wear face coverings at all of its namesake and Sam’s Club stores, making it the largest retailer to introduce such a policy that has otherwise proven difficult to enforce without state and federal requirements.
  • Kroger, the largest U.S. supermarket chain, will require customers to wear a mask or face covering to shop in their stores.
  • Thirty-eight states reported an increase in the number of new cases from the week before.
  • Twenty-seven states have paused or rolled back plans to reopen their economies.
  • Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) warned of “an unsettling climb” in new cases and moved to reduce seating capacity in restaurants and limit the size of gatherings.
  • Philadelphia plans to reopen schools in September with a hybrid of in-person and online learning, with most students physically attending school two days per week.
  • Gov. Mike DeWine (R) called for Ohioans to show unity and take action against the rapid spread of Covid-19 in the state.

At the beginning of the pandemic, it took Ohio 20 days to reach its first 1,500 total Covid-19 cases, DeWine said during a briefing. Last week, Ohio saw over 1,500 cases in a single day.

DeWine emphasized that the number of new cases is not just the result of increased testing.

“I know some say that our case numbers are increasing because we are simply doing more testing. Yes, our testing has gone up by 87%. But our number of positive cases has skyrocketed by almost 200%,” the governor said.

He encouraged Ohioans to wear masks.

  • Officials in Prince George’s County, Md., announced that students would be distance-learning through at least February.
  • Richmond, Virginia will make K-12 classes fully virtual in the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic. The school board cited research showing the illness is airborne and “highly contagious, especially indoors” for the decision.
  • Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said the district’s state of emergency will be extended — likely through October.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) is calling on all public school districts in the state to submit plans for reopening that give parents the option to either send their children back to school, or keep them home for distance learning.
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is extending the state’s emergency coronavirus restrictions, but is not requiring citizens to wear a mask.

The order also explicitly bans Georgia’s cities and counties from ordering people to wear masks in public places. He voided orders that at least 15 local governments across the state had adopted even though Kemp had earlier said cities and counties had no power to order masks.

  • Florida reported another 10,181 cases of coronavirus.
  • Florida has hit another troubling milestone in its fight against the coronavirus: a record number of daily hospitalizations related to coronavirus infections.

WFLA 8 Florida reports that the state has recorded 453 patients as new hospital admittances on July 15.

  • Florida’s largest public health system has seen a 226% increase in coronavirus patients since June 14. 

“The biggest issue is we have a lot of aggressive noncompliant people, people that just do not believe that masking is the right thing to do,”Jackson Health System President and CEO Carlos Migoya said. 

  • Fifty-four Florida hospital ICUs have reached capacity as Miami-Dade county reports Covid-19 ventilator use is up 92%
  • Florida health officials have identified a troubling trend: approximately 33 percent, or one third, of children in Florida tested for COVID-19 yield positive results.
  • Alabama reported a record 47 COVID deaths, more per capita than Florida. 
  • Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) announced a mandatory statewide mask order, citing a 50 percent increase in new coronavirus cases over the past two weeks.
  • The International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo, the oldest fishing tournament in the United States, has been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • More than 30 students from Lake Zurich High School, Illinois have tested positive for coronavirus. 
  • Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) announced that she would delay the opening of schools until after Labor Day, saying that schools needed time to get masks, thermometers, hand sanitizer and other supplies. “I can’t in good conscience open schools when Kansas has numerous hot spots where cases are at an all-time high & continuing to rapidly rise,” she wrote on Twitter.
  • Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) has tested positive for coronavirus as cases in his state hit record levels just a month after he hosted Trump’s first campaign rally amid the pandemic.
  • Oklahoma has reported a record-high number of new cases. The State Department of Health said that there are at least 22,813 total cases, up at least 1,075 new cases from Tuesday.
  • Texas has set grim records for single-day deaths and new COVID-19 cases as the Lone Star State continues to get rocked by the pandemic.

The state reported 110 deaths and 10,791 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, bringing its total number of cases during the pandemic to 282,365. It was the second consecutive day that Texas broke its record for daily number of new cases.

  • TexasGov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an order mandating that most people wear face masks in public.
  • The Houston Independent School District, the seventh-largest in the country, said it would start the year virtually on Sept. 8. Students will have at least six weeks of online instruction, with a tentative plan to start in-person classes on Oct. 19.
  • Idaho experienced its deadliest day since the coronavirus pandemic began and hit a new record for cases. Eight Idohans succumbed to the disease and 550 were newly diagnosed. 
  • Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) issued a statewide order requiring the use of a face covering in many indoor and outdoor settings.
  • New Mexico reported its second-largest single-day Covid-19 case increase with 330 new cases.
  • Arizona has led the nation for over a month with the highest 7-day average of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.
  • Hospitalizations and ICU admissions for Covid-19 patients in California continue to rise in the state, setting a new record with a total of 6,745 hospitalizations and 1,886 ICU admissions.
  • Sacramento County students will not return to public school campuses in the fall, joining several other California counties that will start the academic year with online distance learning only.
  • Public school students in San Francisco will start the fall semester with classes completely online.
  • The iconic Tournament of Roses Parade, scheduled for New Year’s Day 2021  has been canceled. 

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

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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

  • More than 5,000 people died from COVID-19 from July 6 to July 12, up 46% from the prior week.
  • Adm. Brett Giroir, the Trump administration’s coronavirus testing czar, rejected President Donald Trump’s suggestion that his own public health officials are liars.

“Look, we may occasionally make mistakes based on the information we have, but none of us lie. We are completely transparent with the American people,” Giroir told NBC’s “Today” show.

  • U.S. school districts hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, under pressure from President Donald Trump to resume classes, should decide for themselves whether to reopen based on their circumstances, leading infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said.
  • White House trade adviser Peter Navarro sharply criticized Anthony Fauci, in an op-ed published in USA Today. Navarro asserted that Fauci was “wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.”

The economic adviser pointed to Fauci’s past remarks on using the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, comments about the falling mortality rate in the country and other remarks.

“So when you ask me whether I listen to Dr. Fauci’s advice, my answer is: only with skepticism and caution,”

  • First lady Melania Trump urged Americans to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, tweeting a photo of herself in a mask.
  • CDC Director Robert Redfield said that if everyone in the U.S. wore a mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, the pandemic could be under control within weeks. 

“If we could get everybody to wear a mask right now, I really do think over the next four, six, eight weeks we could bring this epidemic under control.”

  • Redfield also urged the president and vice president to wear masks to set an example for the public. Trump has previously argued he doesn’t need to wear a face-covering because he is routinely tested for COVID-19.
  • President Trump has instructed hospitals to begin sending coronavirus-related information directly to the Department of Health and Human Services, not the CDC, in a move that could manipulate or change the information the CDC had been tracking, including how many beds are available, the number of ventilators available and how many COVID-19 patients the hospitals have.
  • Emerging evidence that the body’s immune defense against COVID-19 may be short-lived makes it even harder for vaccine developers to come up with shots fully able to protect people in future waves of infection.
  • An experimental vaccine to treat COVID-19 manufactured by Moderna was able to induce an immune response in all of the volunteers in an early-stage trial, according to data published online in a medical journal. It showed the vaccine was generally safe and well-tolerated in 45 volunteers, with no serious adverse events.
  • The U.S. economy will recover more slowly than expected amid a surge in coronavirus cases across the country, and a broad second wave of the disease could cause economic pain to deepen again, Federal Reserve officials warned.
  • Three of the largest U.S. banks said they had set aside a whopping $28 billion for loan losses, in a stark reminder that much of the economic pain from the coronavirus pandemic is still to come.
  • Iowa-based seed companies owned by billionaire Harry Stine won approval for at least six loans – totaling $2.55 million to $6.35 million – in the first round of the federal government’s pandemic aid program aimed to assist small businesses.
  • The federal government may not have the capacity to supply medical professionals with personal protective equipment amid the latest surge in coronavirus cases, according to internal administration documents obtained by NBC News.
  • “[Trump] hasn’t mentioned one thing — not one thing — about the risks he’s putting on the good people that walk into that school building,” the president of the National Education Association, Lily Eskelsen García, told The Hill.
  • Hillary Clinton joined in on criticism of President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as they pressure schools to reopen for in-person learning in the fall despite outbreaks in coronavirus. 

“Teachers shouldn’t be forced to choose between their lives and their jobs.” Clinton Tweeted.

  • “Hospitalizations and deaths, two of the most concerning indicators of Trump’s failed response, are already unacceptably high and they are rising,” Joe Biden said during a speech unveiling his coronavirus response plan. “It’s gotten bad enough that even Donald Trump finally decided to wear a mask in public. I’m glad he made the shift.”
  • Facing eight federal lawsuits and opposition from hundreds of universities, the Trump administration rescinded a rule that would have required international students to transfer or leave the country if their schools held classes entirely online because of the pandemic.
  • U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA) has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said, making him at least the 10th member of Congress with a COVID-19 infection either confirmed or presumed by doctors.
  • The border between the United States and Canada will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least August 21 due to the ongoing rise of COVID-19 cases stateside.
  • U.S. coronavirus cases rose in 46 of 50 states last week and the number of deaths rose nationally last week for the first time since mid-April and about six weeks after cases began to increase, according to a Reuters analysis.
  • New Jersey announced 28 new deaths attributed to COVID-19 and 423 additional positive tests.

Along with Vermont and New Hampshire, the Garden State is one of only three states on track to control the virus.

  • New York state plans to reopen its schools in areas where the daily infection rate is below 5% of all COVID tests. The state has averaged an infection rate of about 1% for several weeks.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo added Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin to the state’s quarantine list. Travelers arriving in New York from a total of 22 U.S. states are now required to quarantine for 14 days.
  • If the Philadelphia Phillies and Philadelphia Eagles play their seasons in 2020, they will do so without fans in the stands because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The city of Philadelphia announced Tuesday a ban on large events for six months.

  • A coalition including the Maryland State Education Association, the Baltimore Teachers Union and the Maryland PTA called on state officials Tuesday to start the academic year in an online-only setting as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
  • Teachers in Loudoun County, Virginia, protested outside school headquarters with one woman fully enclosed in a white lab suit and face shield holding a sign that read, “Our new school uniform.” To keep physically distant, the teachers honked their car horns in unison.
  • Florida reported a record increase on Tuesday of 133 COVID-19 deaths, raising the state’s death toll to more than 4,500.
  • Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said, “There’ll be articles saying, ‘Oh, my gosh. They’re at 90 percent.’ Well, that’s how hospitals normally run.”

Characterizing the surge of COVID-19 new cases as a “blip,” DeSantis also noted that Florida has had “a lot of different blips.” 

“We’re now at a higher blip than where we were in May and the beginning of June,” he added.

Physicians and nurses in Florida’s besieged health-care system paint a much darker picture as they struggle to keep up with a tidal wave of new cases. 

“The past two weeks [have] been crazier than at the beginning of the pandemic,” a nurse at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines outside Miami, told The Daily Beast. “Everybody is exhausted. I have never seen it like that before.”

  • Alabama reported a record increase of 40 deaths, bringing that state’s total to over 1,100.
  • Louisiana’s Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) announced Tuesday morning that he had tested positive for the coronavirus and would as a result not meet Vice President Mike Pence. 
  • Hazelwood School District in Missouri is requiring parents to sign a waiver in case children who participate in sports or other activities become infected with COVID-19 and die.

The school district said, “Like all districts, we have a sports waiver that we issue to parents who want their kids to play sports.”

  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended Michigan’s state of emergency through Aug. 11.
  • A Michigan man who stabbed a fellow customer at an area store following an argument over face masks was shot and killed by police after threatening a sheriff’s deputy with a knife, according to Michigan State Police (MSP).

The MSP’s First District said that a 77-year-old man, who was wearing a mask, and 43-year-old Sean Ruis, who was not, got into an altercation over the face coverings Tuesday morning at the Quality Dairy Store in Eaton County. 

Ruis was refused service by the store because he was not wearing a face mask, and he allegedly stabbed the 77-year-old man outside before fleeing the establishment in a car.

  • Schools from Milwaukee, WI, and Fort Bend County, Texas, joined California’s two largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, in announcing plans to keep teachers and students from the close contact that classrooms demand.
  • The county Board of Education in Orange County, CA voted to approve school reopening recommendations that do not require masks for students or social distancing in schools.

The board’s recommendations reads. “Requiring children to wear masks during school is not only difficult —if not impossible to implement — but not based on science. It may even be harmful and is therefore not recommended.”

  • France held a scaled-down Bastille Day celebration, with none of the usual tanks and troops parading down Paris’s Champs Elysees avenue, in a concession to the COVID-19 epidemic still affecting Europe.
  • France will make it compulsory for people to wear masks in shops and other enclosed public spaces from next month to stop a resurgence of the COVID-19 outbreak, President Emmanuel Macron said.
  • Belgium, which has reined in the coronavirus after becoming the worst-hit mid-sized country in the world, reported zero new coronavirus-related deaths in 24 hours for the first time since March 10.

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

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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

  • The Maryland-based company, Novavax, received $1.6 billion from ‘Operation Warp Speed’ the federal government’s official COVID-19 vaccine program, making it the largest government COVID-19 vaccine contract to date. The program also awarded a $450 million contract to Regeneron to manufacture and supply its antibody-drug.
  • New model predicts more than 208,000 will die in the US from Covid-19 by November, according to the University of Washington. 

But if 95% of the population wears a mask in public, that number would drop to 162,808.

  • “It’s a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death. There’s so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus. Don’t get yourself into false complacency.” – Dr. Fauci
  • President Trump publicly broke with Anthony Fauci after the nation’s top infectious disease expert and a key member of the White House coronavirus task force warned that the U.S. was “still knee-deep in the first wave” of the coronavirus outbreak. Trump claimed that the U.S. was in a “good place” despite the growing virus cases in the country.
  • Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said cases are spiking in some parts of the country, specifically in the south, because states “stepped on the gas” while reopening.

“A lot of individuals and a lot of businesses, instead of driving 25 in a 25 mile an hour zone, stepped on the gas and started going 65, and it’s really evident now in the spread of cases across most age groups.”

  • Birx touted U.S. investment in global public health and praised international efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic just as the Trump administration officially withdrew from the WHO.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency announced that it has approved two Lysol disinfectant sprays – Lysol Disinfectant Spray (EPA Reg No. 777-99) and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist (EPA Reg No. 777-127) – as effective tools for killing the novel coronavirus on surfaces.
  • There’s “emerging evidence” around airborne transmission, according to the World Health Organization.
  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday told the country’s governors in a conference call that she expects schools to be “fully operational” come the fall, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Ultimately, it’s not a matter of if schools need to open, it’s a matter of how,” DeVos told governors, The Associated Press reports. “School[s] must reopen, they must be fully operational. And how that happens is best left to education and community leaders.”

  • President Trump said the White House would put pressure on governors to get schools opened in the fall amid rising coronavirus cases in the United States.

“We don’t want people to make political statements or do it for political reasons. They think it’s going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed. No way,” Trump said during a White House event with government officials and school administrators.

“We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everyone else to open the schools,” Trump added, after again claiming that the increase in cases is a result of increased testing.

  • The U.S. government delivered far less food aid than it had pledged by the end of June, according to food bank managers and data from the agriculture department sent to Reuters, after it hired inexperienced companies to box food during the pandemic.
  • Mitt Romney (R-UT), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are also skipping the Republican National Convention. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) previously announced they are not attending.
  • Using a racially charged tone, the president Tweeted: “BREAKING NEWS: The Mortality Rate for the China Virus in the U.S. is just about the LOWEST IN THE WORLD! Also, Deaths in the U.S. are way down, a tenfold decrease since the Pandemic height (and, our Economy is coming back strong!).”

NOTE: The Case Mortality Rate for the U.S. 4.4%, which ranks 39th best in the world. The U.S. Deaths/100,000 is 39.82 and ranks as 7th worst out of major nations and 9th worst overall.

  • The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States pushed past 3 million on Tuesday.
  • California, Hawaii, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas on Tuesday shattered their previous daily record highs for new cases. The biggest jumps occurred in Texas and California with more than 10,000 each. About 24 states have reported disturbingly high infection rates as a percentage of diagnostic tests conducted over the past week.
  • The U.S. government is creating short-term “surge” testing sites for the novel coronavirus in three metropolitan areas in Florida, Louisiana and Texas to meet demand from rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. The program adds testing for 5,000 people per day for a five- to 12-day period.
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy Tweeted: “UPDATE: If you’re traveling to New Jersey from the following states, you should self-quarantine for 14 days: AL, AR, AZ, CA, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, KS, LA, MS, NC, OK, NV, SC, TN, TX, UT”

Governor Cuomo of NY and Governor Lamont of CT made similar Tweets. 

  • For the first time since March, Connecticut had no COVID-19 deaths to report on Tuesday, said Gov. Ned Lamont.
  • Officials in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are reporting coronavirus cases in their states linked to trips to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

The “small spike” in New Jersey is linked to people who went to a wedding in Myrtle Beach, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.

  • With Ohio’s spike of coronavirus cases showing no signs of easing, Gov. Mike DeWine required residents of the seven worst-hit counties, including Franklin County, to begin wearing face coverings.

“We continue to have a great concern about Franklin County as well as the other red counties,” DeWine said, calling the limited mask order a “surgical, precise approach…we hope is going to have a big impact.”

He called following mask and health orders a “matter of life and death.”

  • The University System of Georgia said Monday it will require everyone to wear face coverings while inside campus facilities and buildings at all 26 of its public institutions where 6 feet of social distancing may not always be possible.

The new policy will take effect July 15 and will be in addition to — not a substitute for — social distancing.

  • The Florida  Department of Health confirmed 7,347 new cases in the state, for a total of 213,794, and set a new record for the percentage of tests coming back positive, at 16.3 percent, on Monday.

Miami-Dade County, which includes Miami, has a positivity rate of 21%. In Lee County, which includes Fort Myers, the positivity rate stands at 24.6%.

  • In Florida, fifty-six hospital ICU’s in twenty-five counties have hit capacity and show zero ICU beds available, including eight in Miami-Dade, three in Broward, three in Hillsborough and four in Orange counties, according to data released by the Agency for Health Care Administration.
  • One day after announcing gym closures, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez reversed course on Tuesday and said fitness centers can remain open.
  • Walt Disney Co will stick to its plans to reopen its Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando, Florida, to a limited number of guests on Saturday
  • Texas reported another record high with 10,028 new cases and a positivity rate of 17% .
  • Texas officials are reportedly ordering schools to offer in-person classes in order to receive state funding. The state laid out a plan that would allow parents to choose to continue remote learning or in-person learning for their students, but the schools must offer in-person classes as an option.
  • Organizers canceled the State Fair of Texas because of the coronavirus. This marks the first time the 24-day affair honoring the area’s largest pigs and best fried food won’t be held since World War II.
  • As coronavirus cases in Arizona surge, the state is dealing with major gaps in testing. 

“Unfortunately, what’s happening in Arizona is a microcosm … of the direction that President Trump has led us in,” Tucson Mayor Regina Romero says. “We’re in crisis,”

  • A woman in her 60s has lost her job at a California school district after police said she deliberately coughed on a mother and her 1-year-old baby during a dispute about social distancing at a local Yogurtland, an interaction that was caught on camera and went viral.
  • Fourteen flight attendants who recently attended a Hawaiian Airlines training in Honolulu tested positive for COVID-19, the airline said Tuesday.
  • Mexico’s health ministry on Tuesday reported 6,258 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 895 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 268,008 cases and 32,014 deaths.
  • Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro announced Tuesday that he had tested positive for coronavirus after being hospitalized.
  • Britain’s daily death toll from confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen by 155 to 44,391, the government said on Tuesday.
  • The number of people who have died from coronavirus infection in France rose by 13 to 29,933 on Tuesday while the increase in new confirmed cases was below the daily average of the last seven days.
  • Iran has recorded its highest number of deaths from COVID-19 within a 24-hour period.

The 200 deaths reported on Tuesday exceed the previous record from Sunday, when the health ministry reported 163 deaths in a day.

  • Hundreds of police officers and soldiers are being deployed to enforce the closure of the busy and highly porous border between Australia’s two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, as officials grapple to contain a new coronavirus outbreak.
  • China on Wednesday reported seven new coronavirus cases in the mainland for July 7.
  • India’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surpassed 20,000 on Tuesday and case numbers surged as the south Asian nation pushed ahead with relaxations to its almost two-month lockdown.

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

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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • Over the first five days of July, the United States reported its three largest daily case totals. Fourteen states recorded single-day highs. In all, more than 250,000 new cases were announced nationwide.
  • Forty lobbyists who either worked on President Trump’s campaign, inaugural committee, transition team or in the administration reportedly secured over $10 billion in coronavirus relief aid from the Trump administration.
  • Fifty-seven former government scientists and public health officials of both parties called for a science-based approach to the coronavirus pandemic and criticized the Trump administration for marginalizing science and expertise in its response.
  • U.S. health official Anthony Fauci said on Monday that the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States “is really not good” and a “serious situation that we have to address immediately.”
  • Dr. Fauci compared the United States unfavorably with Europe, which he said was now merely handling “blips” as countries move to reopen. “We went up, never came down to baseline, and now it’s surging back up.”

“If you’re going to have a social function, maybe a single couple or two — do it outside if you’re going to do it. Those are fundamental, and everybody can do that right now.”

  • White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows shot down the possibility of a national mandate requiring Americans to wear masks as coronavirus cases surge across the country, saying such a plan is not among the executive orders President Trump is preparing to sign.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled he is supportive of some additional, direct stimulus payments but would want to change the salary threshold of those who get aid.
  • Three leading health organizations urged Americans to wear masks when they leave their homes in an open letter published Monday.

“Covid-19 is not behind us and we must resist confusing reopening with returning to normalcy.”

  • The drug manufacturer Regeneron said that it would begin late-stage clinical trials of its experimental treatment for Covid-19 after an initial safety study showed good results.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization to Becton Dickinson and Co for a COVID-19 antigen test that can be administered at the point of care and produce results within 15 minutes.
  • Rutgers University will remain mostly remote for the fall semester, citing ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. A limited number of on-campus classes will be offered.

The majority of classes will continue to be remote, while classes that “benefit from direct access to campus facilities” will take place in-person, including lab work, clinical, and some arts instruction.

  • Princeton University will bring back about half of its undergraduates for each semester and most teaching will take place online, school officials said on Monday.

The university will discount the full-year undergraduate tuition by ten percent for this academic year.

  • Harvard University announced Monday that only up to 40 percent of its undergraduates would be allowed on campus at a time during the next academic year, but that tuition and fees would remain the same.

The university said that all first-year students would be invited to campus for the fall semester, but would be sent home in the spring to allow seniors to return before they graduate.

  • ICE says international students whose universities move to online-only this fall must transfer or leave the US. 

As colleges debate how to safely reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, Immigration and Customs Enforcement gave foreign students an ultimatum on Monday: transfer to a school with in-person classes or depart the country.

  • President Trump said that schools “must” reopen in the fall and asserted without proof that Democrats, including his presidential rival Joseph R. Biden Jr., wanted them to stay shuttered “for political reasons.”  
  • The 7-day averages for coronavirus cases in 12 states hit new highs, with the biggest increases in West Virginia, Tennessee and Montana.
  • Gov. Phil Murphy said he’s pumping the brakes on New Jersey’s gradual reopening as the state’s rate of transmission has risen above the key mark 1 for the first time in 10 weeks.

Murphy did not say he is rolling back any steps the Garden State has already taken, but he said “we’re not gonna be jumping the gun on a whole lot more opening-up steps right now.”

  • New York City has entered Phase 3 of its reopening. Nail salons, tattoo parlors and some outdoor recreation opportunities are back, but there is still no indoor dining.
  • Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia issued an order Monday requiring people nine years of age and over to wear masks in indoor public places where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • After Governor Bill Lee announced counties in Tennessee can enforce the mandatory wearing of masks or face coverings in public, Williamson County has opted to require residents to wear them when social distancing is not possible.

The order will go into effect in Williamson County Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. It is expected to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 3, unless sooner cancelled or unless extended.

  • In one of the largest public efforts from medical professionals to shape Tennessee’s response to the coronavirus, 39 doctors called on Gov. Bill Lee to enact a statewide requirement that all residents wear masks when outside their homes.

The doctors also urged the governor to require businesses to begin using masks and distancing customers to slow the spread of the virus.

  • Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that she has tested positive for COVID-19. She said she has had no symptoms.
  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem flew with President Trump on Air Force One on Friday after having close interactions with Kimberly Guilfoyle, a senior adviser for the president’s campaign and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he will not attend the Republican National Convention next month in Florida due to coronavirus concerns.

“I’m not going to go. And I’m not going to go because of the virus situation,” Grassley, 86, said on a conference call with Iowa reporters

  • Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced he will be signing an emergency order issuing more closures across the county.

The order closes restaurant dining rooms, ballrooms, banquet facilities, party venues, gyms and fitness centers, and short-term rentals.

Restaurants will still be allowed to operate for takeout and delivery services.

  • Even as Miami’s nightclubs closed in March, the party scene in some residential neighborhoods has raged on. Local health officials have said these mostly maskless all-nighters have contributed to the increase of cases in Florida, one of the most troubling infection spots in the country.
  • Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has issued an executive order requiring all of Florida’s public K-12 schools to reopen in August.

As part of the executive order issued Monday, school districts and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students in August.

  • In Mississippi, where nearly every county has reported an uptick in cases, the speaker of the State House of Representatives was among several lawmakers to test positive.
  • Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said he is isolating as he waits on the results of a coronavirus test.

Governor Reeves posted on Twitter he took the test after being exposed to a member of the legislature who tested positive for the virus.

  • In Missouri, a summer camp shut down after more than 40 people, including campers and employees, tested positive.
  • More than 8,800 new cases were announced across Texas, the largest single-day total of the pandemic.
  • At least two Texas sheriffs say that they won’t enforce the order that Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas issued last week requiring Texans to wear face masks in public.

The sheriffs of Gillespie County, west of Austin, and suburban Montgomery County, north of Houston, announced that their departments did not intend to comply.

  • “The situation is that we are experiencing rampant community spread,” said Clay Jenkins, the top elected official in Dallas County, Texas, where more than 2,000 new cases were announced over the weekend. Mr. Jenkins pleaded with residents to “move from selfishness to sacrifice” and wear a mask in public.
  • In Starr County, Texas, along the Mexican border, cases were being identified by the hundreds and hospitals were running out of room.

“The local and valley hospitals are at full capacity and have no more beds available,” Eloy Vera, the top official in Starr County, said in a Facebook post. “I urge all of our residents to please shelter-in-place, wear face coverings, practice social distancing and AVOID GATHERINGS.”

  • Arizona has become the eighth state to top 100,000 total coronavirus cases as hospitalizations in the state continue to rise and the number of new cases in the U.S. continues to surge.
  • The Louvre, the world’s most-visited museum, reopened on Monday, ending a 16-week coronavirus shutdown that resulted in a loss of about $45 million in ticket sales. On Monday, about 7,000 visitors had booked tickets, compared with the 30,000 daily visitors who toured the Louvre before the pandemic.
  • About 270,000 people in Spain have re-entered lockdown, after the country officially ended its state of emergency on June 21. Emergency measures went into effect over the weekend.
  • Officials in India postponed the reopening of the Taj Mahal this week. The number of cases in the country started to rapidly rise several weeks ago after the government began lifting a lockdown imposed in March, and some cities have already reinstated tough rules to keep their caseloads down.
  • With the virus roaring back and positive test results reaching new heights, the Israeli government on Monday ratcheted up its restrictions, closing bars, gyms and public swimming pools, curtailing gatherings in restaurants, synagogues and buses and canceling summer camps for all but the youngest children.

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