Daily coronavirus briefing: COVID cases eclipse 3 million mark in US
In one of the country’s initially hit hard by the coronavirus, the strict lockdown measures have been good for the sea surrounding it.
The coronavirus pandemic altered life as humans knew it in 2020, and as much of the world starts to examine how and when to resume daily activities, it's clear that there are many challenges to overcome before normal daily life can resume in full.
The outbreak, which originated in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, officially became a pandemic in March. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19, has infected millions worldwide and killed hundreds of thousands, but more than 6 million have recovered from the ferocious disease. Health experts are conducting a frantic race to develop a vaccine while also performing vital research into the behavior of the virus, what factors may inhibit its spread and other possible symptoms it may cause.
The contagion triggered much of the world to shelter indoors and practice social distancing. Severe damage has been done to the global economy, which has caused experts to issue bleak economic predictions that harken back to the days of the Great Depression. With much of life on pause over the past several months, government officials around the world are facing the difficult choice of reopening economies while the threat of a second wave lingers for later in 2020.
Here are the latest updates, listed in eastern time, and the most important; things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic.
July 8, 9:12 p.m.
A Florida lawyer decided to protect himself by wearing a full hazmat suit to federal court. Two police officers pulled up, rolled down their car window and said, “Is there something we should be worrying about?” when Miami criminal defense attorney Samuel J. Rabin Jr. got out of his car and began walking down the street in a full hazmat suit, gloves, respirator mask and face shield, Above The Law reported. Rabin replied telling the officers “I’ve got to go to court.” Once inside,Rabin says security officers and marshals shouted, “I don’t blame you, man!” A tie 'would have been a nice touch,' said one judge. “It would have been a nice touch if he had worn a tie on the outside of the hazmat suit,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Miguel M. de la O tweeted. According to Rabin, “The judge had no issue with me wearing it. She understood, quite frankly, and wasn’t upset about it in any way.”
July 8, 8:02 p.m.
With the lack of fans at stadiums due to the coronavirus pandemic, many athletes might feel discouraged by the lack of support at matches. However, Japanese baseball team Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have come up with a creative alternative – dancing robots. Before Tuesday’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) game, over 20 robots were placed on the stands of the stadium and were programmed to dance to the team’s fight song. This dance is traditionally performed by 40,000 eager fans before every match. Some robots even wore Hawks caps and waved flags as a gesture of support for the team. The fans’ reactions were mixed. Although one fan called it an act of “dystopia,” another said it was “insanely beautiful.” While it appeared that the team benefitted from this support, as they won 4-3, it seems like the robots won’t have to attend the games for much longer. Starting Friday, up to 5,000 fans will be allowed to attend professional baseball and soccer matches in Japan as restrictions begin to be eased in the country.
July 8, 6:59 p.m.
The average age of people who test positive for COVID-19 has dropped dramatically as more and more younger people are becoming infected. According to CNBC, many coronavirus patients inMarch and April were in their 50s and 60s, but the median age has since dropped into the 30s. “The average age of people getting infected now is a decade and a half younger than it was a few months ago particularly when New York and New Orleans and Chicago were getting hit very badly,” Anthony Fauci said in a Q&A session with NIH Director Francis Collins. “Now why is that important? Well, because this is a virus that does not affect all age groups equally. It’s much more lethal for people who are in their 80s and 90s than it is in your 20s and 30s,” he added. However, this does not mean that younger people are immune to serious symptoms, especially those with underlying health conditions. “We know that those are risk factors, so risk factors go with your comorbidity, not necessarily with your age.” Watch the full conversation below:
July 8, 5:47 p.m.
A dog in Georgia has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 confirmed case is the second dog in the U.S. to test positive, officials said. The 6-year-old mixed-breed dog had a sudden onset of neurological illness that progressed quickly over a couple of days, which was said to be caused by another condition. Officials said the dog was humanely euthanized, according to Fox News. “The owners of the dog recently tested positive for COVID-19, but the dog did not have any evidence of respiratory disease,” per the news release. The dog was tested “out of an abundance of caution,” officials wrote.
July 8, 4:39 p.m.
Pandemic expert Eric Toner has been studying pandemics and planning for a pandemic for a very long time -- and he thinks "we’ll be living with masks for years". In October 2019, Toner and the team at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security ran a pandemic simulation in New York, months before the virus started spreading across the globe, according to CNET. "I think that mask-wearing and some degree of social distancing, we will be living with -- hopefully living with happily -- for several years," he said in an interview with CNET. As part of the half-day, tabletop exercise, Toner met with other health professionals to walk through a theoretical outbreak and examine how governments and private businesses would respond. "When you're underwater, it's really hard to tell how many waves are passing over you," Toner said. "I don't know whether it's a first wave or a second wave. I don't think it makes any difference. There is a resurgence of cases that, in some states, looks like just a continuation of their outbreaks. In other states, it'll look more like a second wave."
July 8, 3:34 p.m.
United Airlines sent layoff warnings to 36,000 employees, nearly half its U.S. staff. The furloughs could come in October, as the recovery in the air travel industry has been delayed as infection rates rise and some states impose new quarantine orders on travelers. United officials said they hope to limit the number of layoffs by offering early retirement benefits, and that 36,000 is a worst-case scenario, according to The Associated Press. The notices going to employees are to meant to comply with a 60-day warning ahead of mass job cuts. The furloughs could include up to 15,000 flight attendants, 11,000 customer service and gate agents, 5,500 maintenance workers and 2,250 pilots. “The United Airlines projected furlough numbers are a gut punch, but they are also the most honest assessment we’ve seen on the state of the industry,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, according to The Associated Press. “This crisis dwarfs all others in aviation history, and there’s no end in sight.”
July 8, 2:40 p.m.
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson has been cleared to race again. Johnson was the first NASCAR driver to test positive for COVID-19 when the results came back last week, which caused him to miss a race in Indianapolis over the weekend. According to Hendrick Motorsports, that was the first Cup Series race the seven-time NASCAR champion has missed in his career. Johnson was given two tests this week, both of which came back negative. The 44-year-old driver said he experienced no symptoms and his doctor cleared him to race this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. “My family is so grateful for the incredible love and support we’ve received over the last several days,” Johnson said, adding, "I’m excited about getting back to business with my team this weekend.”
July 8, 1:47 p.m.
The virus that has taken the lives of more than half a million people worldwide is also responsible for saving the lives hundreds of animals, according to a recent report. As states across the country issued stay-at-home orders from early March to mid-April, road traffic decreased by 70% in California, Idaho and Maine, according to data collected by The Washington Post from the state’s departments of transportation.. The number of car crashes involving deer, bears and other large mammals also dropped across these three states. Roadkill victims in Maine decreased by 44%, while California’s decreased by 21%. “That’s a huge, huge benefit to wildlife populations across the country,” Fraser Shilling, co-director of the Road Ecology Center at UC Davis, told The Washington Post. “From a humanity point of view, it sucks,” Shilling said. “But from a science point of view, it’s all interesting.” According to Shilling, even if done accidentally, this is “probably the biggest conservation action that we’ve ever taken as a country.”
July 8, 12:38 p.m.
New York City schools will not fully re-open in the fall. The city’s school district, the largest in the country, was forced to introduce online learning four months ago, sending 1.1 million children home for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. However, this will not be the case for the upcoming school year, The New York Times reported. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that, starting in September, public school will be limited to one to three days a week of in-person classes. This new plan comes after President Trump put pressure on officials to reopen school systems in the fall. The three new possible schedules laid out by de Blasio are aimed at reducing the spread of the virus when the school year restarts. One of the schedules proposed consists of having one group of students attend school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while a second group will attend classes on Wednesdays and Fridays, with Monday being alternated weekly between the two groups.
July 8, 12:02 p.m.
🚨 The United States reached the 3 million confirmed case mark on Wednesday, just 125 days after the country’s first infections were recorded by researchers from Johns Hopkins University. The new case threshold was reached less than a month after the country hit the 2 million case mark on June 10, just over six weeks after the country saw its 1 millionth case on April 28. In recent days the surge of cases has been fueled by sharp rises in the outbreaks in California and Texas, according to Reuters.
The country with the next most confirmed cases in the world, Brazil, has seen its case total rise from 526,000 on June 1 to its present tally of 1,669,00 cases. No other country in the world has seen even half the individual total cases of the U.S. or Brazil.
CPR is preformed on a patient inside the Coronavirus Unit at United Memorial Medical Center, Monday, July 6, 2020, in Houston. Despite their efforts, the patient died. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
July 8, 11:55 a.m.
Conservationists warn that the coronavirus pandemic could lead to a surge in ocean pollution. As the virus continues to spread, people from all over the world continue to wear gloves and masks to protect themselves. However, this comes at a very high cost to the environment, as most of the personal protective equipment (PPE) is going to the world’s oceans, killing marine life. “The glove or mask that you take off and casually disregard… could easily be the glove or the mask that kills a whale,” Ocean Conservationist Doug Cress told BBC News. Although marine pollution already existed before the pandemic, Cress said it has gotten worse in the last few months, as people wear more masks and gloves and throw them away after a single use. “It’s important to understand we had a tremendously grave crisis before the pandemic even started in terms of plastic waste in the ocean. And now you take the global pandemic. At the current rate, we’re putting a 129 billion face masks into the environment every single month. And 65 billion plastic gloves every single month. A significant portion of those would be disposed improperly and wound up in the ocean.” To help stop this from happening, Cress said that people need to change their mindset and start caring more about how their actions affect the environment. Hear from Cress and other experts in the video embedded in the tweet below.
July 8, 11:22 a.m.
President Donald Trump is pushing for schools to reopen in the fall. The reopening of the country’s elementary and secondary schools is the next phase in his effort to restore the economy, The New York Times reported. “We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open he schools, to get them open,” Trump said at a forum at the White House. “It’s very important. It’s very important for our country. It’s very important for the well-being of the student and the parents. So we’re going to be putting a lot of pressure on: Open your schools in the fall.” According to Trump, the social, psychological and educational costs of keeping children at home any longer could be worse than the virus itself. Despite his claims, no concrete back-to-school plans were offered for the reopening of schools in the fall. So far, Texas and Florida have announced that in-person instruction will be mandatory in the fall. However, other states are still weighing their options, which include the introduction of a hybrid model, combining both online and in-person instruction. Trump announced on Twitter that he will be meeting with the CDC to discuss possible guidelines for reopening schools.
July 8, 10:31 a.m.
Texas sheriffs are refusing to enforce the governor’s mask requirement. Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent executive order to make mask-wearing mandatory was implemented to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, as the state surpassed 200,000 cases on Tuesday. However, police officials in at least nine counties said they will not fine or write citations for those who fail to comply with the new mandate. “The order is not a law, there is no requirement that any police officer enforce it, and it’s unenforceable,” Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree wrote on Facebook, CBS News reported. “We can’t spend our time running from place to place for calls about masks we can really do nothing about.” According to several counties, the language in the order made it unenforceable by officers. Although officers will continue to encourage the use of masks, they will not be issuing warnings or citations, as they believe Abbot’s order to be unconstitutional. “This language strips law enforcement of the necessary tools to enforce compliance with the law,” the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office shared in a statement.
July 8, 10:04 a.m.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy orders mask-wearing outdoors. Murphy appeared on MSNBC Wednesday morning to announce he's issuing an executive order that will require people to wear a mask outdoors when social distancing isn't possible. "There's no question that face coverings are game-changers," Murphy said, adding that the Garden State was one of the first states to call for mask-wearing indoors. "We're going to turn that up a notch today and say we're going to ask you if you can't socially distance then we're gonna, it's gonna be required," he said. The governor said the new mandate comes with places like the Jersey Shore in mind, which drew thousands of visitors over the Fourth of July weekend.
July 8, 9:51 a.m.
The Ryder Cup, a biennial golf competition which pits the best American golfers against the top Europeans, has been pushed back until 2021, according to ESPN. This year's event was slated for Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, but organizers decided to move it back a year in part so fans can attend. A decision is expected to be officially announced Wednesday by the PGA of America and the European Tour, ESPN said.
In a Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018 file photo, Tiger Woods plays a shot from the 4th tee during a singles match on the final day of the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, outside Paris, France.. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)
July 8, 9:34 a.m.
The State Fair of Texas was canceled for the first time since World War II, as the coronavirus continues to spread in the state. On Tuesday, the board chair for the State Fair of Texas, Gina Norris, announced the cancellation of the event, which was scheduled to take place in the fall. “One of the greatest aspects of the Fair is welcoming each and every person who passes through our gates with smiles and open arms,” Norris said in a statement, The Texas Tribune reported. “In the current climate of COVID-19, there is no feasible way for the Fair to put proper precautions in place while maintaining the Fair environment you know and love.” According to the Tribune, 2.5 million people attended the fair last year. According to the official announcement, the State Fair of Texas, which has a 134-year history, has previously been canceled because of World War I (1918), planning for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition and 1937 Pan American Exposition at Fair Park (1935 – 1937), and World War II (1942 – 1945). Although there won’t be an event this year, organizers say that next year’s fair is still scheduled to go from Sept. 24 through Oct. 17 in Dallas’ Fair Park.
July 8, 6:54 a.m.
Here are the latest global COVID-19 numbers, provided by Johns Hopkins University researchers:
Total confirmed cases: 11,850,886
Total deaths: 544,536
Total recoveries: 6,467,428
On Tuesday, the United States shattered its daily record high new cases by tallying new 60,000 cases. Prior to the recent second spike, the country had never seen a day with more than 36,000 new cases. Since June 25, that total has been increasingly surpassed each day.
July 7, 10 p.m.
Health officials are continuing to urge people to wear face masks even as the summer heat sky rockets. Chicago has been one of the hardest-hit cities for both coronavirus cases and a recent surge of summer warmth. On Tuesday, Chicago recorded a high temperature of 96 F and an AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature of 100 F. Despite the stifling conditions outdoors, officials say people should still be wearing masks, even if the heat makes it more uncomfortable. "At 90-degree temperature, it does get a little bit more difficult to breathe with a mask, so we try to limit it and change up the events for the day," said Alonzo Williams of the Chicago Park District. Health experts advise using a more breathable cotton mask in a lighter color if you plan to be outside for long periods of time and to carry extra in case of sweat. The problem, officials say, especially with the start of summer, is the lack of compliance to mask-wearing in outdoor spaces. Some people argue that it is not necessary, as there is more space and large crowds are less likely to form. "Now we're getting a little more non-crowded, so we'll probably put them on," an unidentified woman, who was not wearing a mask, told Jordan in an interview. "But if it's fresh air and you're not close, I'd rather have the fresh air."
July 7, 8:58 p.m.
The spread of the coronavirus is showing no signs of slowing down in Brazil. On Tuesday, the country reported over 45,000 new cases and over 1,200 new fatalities. Brazil has the second-highest number of cases in the world after the U.S., and accounts for 14% of all cases globally. This comes just hours after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was confirmed to have COVID-19. According to The Associated Press, Bolsonaro said that he is feeling okay despite his diagnosis, and that he is taking hydroxychloroquine. “I thought I had it before, given my very dynamic activity.,” Bolsonaro said. “I’m president and on the combat lines. I like to be in the middle of the people.”
July 7, 7:53 p.m.
Florida planning to push ahead with school reopenings next month. Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an emergency order on Monday calling for all public schools in Florida to fully open on time and for five days a week when classes are set to resume in August. Corcoran's order said "education is critical to the success of the state and to an individual, and extended school closures can impede educational success of students, impact families' well-being and limit many parents and guardians from returning to work." The order also called for schools to reopen in compliance with coronavirus health safety guidelines set forth by the state, and it also said private schools could be subject to "actual school instruction days."
The order has the support of some government officials, but it drew criticism from some educators, according to NBC News. "I can think of no other industry forcing an entire workforce into such an unsafe environment," Amy Spies, a fourth-grade teacher in Daytona Beach, told NBC News. Spies worried that her small classroom wouldn't be able to accommodate social distancing. "It is physically impossible to meet social distancing requirements if schools are at full capacity," she said, adding that other teachers she'd spoken with are in "utter disbelief" at the order. The order was met with some mixed reviews from parents, according to NBC News, some of whom expressed a desire to see a combination of home remote and in-classroom learning.
July 7, 7:10 p.m.
Getting tested for COVID-19 in North Carolina just became much easier. On Tuesday, Many Cohen, the state’s secretary of Health and Human Services, announced that residents will no longer need a referral from a doctor to be tested for the coronavirus. Cohen also announced that hundreds of free testing sites will be set up throughout July, The Associated Press reported. This news comes after North Carolina reported just 15,900 completed tests on Monday, the lowest count since June 22, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
July 7, 5:57 p.m.
Daily COVID-19 cases surge in Texas, setting new state record. On Tuesday, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHS) said that there were 10,038 new cases of the coronavirus, the first time that the state has seen more than 10,000 cases in a single day, according to CNBC. The positive test percentage also jumped with 13.5% of all people who were tested for the virus being confirmed to have COVID-19. The HHS has now reported over 210,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 2,715 fatalities and 108,485 recoveries.
July 7, 5:19 p.m.
Don't cook the books, library workers urge readers. Some book borrowers are turning up the heat to try to sanitize books that they’ve checked out from local libraries, but librarians are strongly against this dangerous practice. Librarians in a Florida library recently discovered a book that was charred after someone put it in the microwave in an attempt to kill off any traces of the coronavirus that could have lingered from a past reader, the Tampa Bay Times reported. “In light of a few recent news stories, we would like to remind you NOT to put your library books in the microwave in an attempt sanitize them!,” the Largo Public Library in Largo, Florida, said on Facebook. “Our books have security tags in them that contain metal and could catch on fire in the microwave.”
People that are borrowing books from a library and are concerned about the books passing long the coronavirus can put the book in isolation before flipping through the pages. According to research conduced by the REALM Project, the SARS-CoV-2 virus was not detectable on the materials from books after it was in quarantine for three days in a typical indoor environment. However, people may need to spend a little extra money to check out a book just to have it sit on a shelf for a few days before reading the first page.
July 7, 4:09 p.m.
After spending more than three months on specialized life-support, a 50-year-old woman in South Korea is finally recovering from COVID-19. The unidentified woman was admitted to the hospital in late February and spent a majority of her stay on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support (ECMO), which adds oxygen to red blood cells, Reuters said. The damage to her lungs was so extensive that it left her with few options, so she went into surgery for a double lung transplant.
“The probability of success in lung transplants on ECMO patients is 50%, and fortunately, our patient was well prepared before the surgery when we found the donor,” said Dr. Kim Hyoung-soo, the doctor who was in charge of the surgery. This was just the ninth documented double lung transplant in the world, according to Reuters, and the doctors that performed the procedure said that the patient’s lungs were hard like a rock. The woman is still in the hospital recovering from the transplant, but is on her way to being discharged once her test muscles are strong enough to support her breathing. Lee Sun-hee, a head nurse who cared for the patient since February, said, “She told us, ‘I’m grateful for the sunshine, for the moonlight. I’m so grateful that I am breathing’.”
July 7, 3:46 p.m.
People who don't wear masks should be viewed the same as drunk drivers, the head of the prestigious Royal Society science journal said Tuesday. This comment comes as more studies show wearing masks help significantly reduce the spread of virus including the coronavirus. "It used to be quite normal to have quite a few drinks and drive home, and it also used to be normal to drive without seatbelts," Ramakrishnan wrote in a comment article. Ramakrishnan also urged that masks are only effective if worn by most people. As the virus continues to spread around the world, some measures have seem to help flattened the curve such as lockdowns and social distancing. It is thought that 40-60% of coronavirus transmission occur from pre- or asymptomatic people, according to AFP. Cloth face masks help reduce oral particle dispersion anywhere from 50 to 100%, including in pre- and asymptomatic people. In pre-symptomatic people, studies have shown that infected droplets are emitted by sneezing, coughing, talking, and even just breathing. A face covering would help greatly reduce the risk of those infected droplets from going into the air and spreading the virus.
July 7, 2:45 p.m.
Minibuses known as jeepneys, have made a return to streets in the Philippines after three months of being ordered to stop due to the coronavirus. New safety measures have been put in to allow the jeepneys to be back and running. Masks are now required for all passengers, as well as temperature checks for all passengers, according to AFP. Everyone is also given hand sanitizer before boarding the vehicles. While some are still not used to the new rules, most are in favor of adopting them to help prevent the spread of the virus. Fares are also now payed up front so passengers aren't passing money to each other in order to further prevent the spread of the virus.
July 7, 1:59 p.m.
Residents of Delaware, Kansas and Ohio will now need to quarantine for 14 days if they travel into New Jersey and New York. The travel advisory, issued by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, is put into place for states where there is a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a positive test rate of at least 10% over a seven-day rolling average, CNBC said. After Tuesday’s addition, the travel advisory includes 19 states. It also applies to residents of New York and New Jersey who are returning from a trip from one of the 19 states.
“In order to responsibly continue down our road back to restart and recovery, we must remain vigilant in our collective effort to beat the virus and reduce the rate of transmission,” Murphy said in a press release. “I urge those arriving from one of these 19 states to self-quarantine and get a COVID-19 test to prevent additional flareups across the state and ensure the health and safety of their fellow New Jerseyans.” Last month, Cuomo said that people that do not adhere to the mandatory quarantine will be subject to fines.
July 7, 1:08 p.m.
Hawaiian Airlines says that 13 employees have tested positive for COVID-19. The company said that those who tested positive were part of a flight attendant training that took place at the airline's headquarters in Honoluluabout two weeks ago. Another infected employee was working on a flight last week. All employees that were around those infected have self-isolated. The training included 60 employees and masks were optional, according to the company. The flight attendant classes for Hawaiian Airlines resumed last month after being put on pause earlier in the year due to the virus. The Association of Flight Attendants are now asking Hawaiian Airlines to reevaluate the current measures they have in place regarding coronavirus, according to The Associated Press. The safety measures currently include smaller class sizes, social distancing, the use of gloves, and frequent cleaning.
This news comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning people to be extra cautious when they travel as countries across the globe are seeing an uptick in new cases, Reuters reported. “This virus is widespread and people have to take that very, very seriously,” WHO Spokeswoman Margaret Harris said. “If it’s anywhere, it’s everywhere and people traveling have to understand that.” The message was directed toward people planning to travel by air, especially those flying internationally. “If you are flying, there is no way you can social distance in a plane, so you will need to take other precautions including using a face covering,” she said.
July 7, 12:21 p.m.
Protective gear for medical workers is beginning to run low once again, according to The Associated Press. The shortage of vital medical supplies and gear was one of the major early problems in the pandemic's infancy in early hotspots such as New York City. In some cases workers had to use trash bags and ponchos as personal protective equipment (PPE). Now, as cases spike elsewhere around the country, concerns are growing that doctors and nurses are having to reuse medical gear, The AP said. “We’re five months into this and there are still shortages of gowns, hair covers, shoe covers, masks, N95 masks,” Deborah Burger, the president of National Nurses United, told The AP. “They’re being doled out, and we’re still being told to reuse them.” FEMA has distributed more than 74 million N95 masks and 66 million pairs of gloves, along with other gear as of June 10, The AP reported. One doctor told the AP that while she has a good supply of PPE, non-academic and rural health facilities have much less. “I think overall, production, distribution and access has improved,” said Dr. Aisha Terry, an associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University. However, Terry pointed out that complacency could allow supplies to dwindle in some hospitals.
July 7, 11:42 a.m.
Brazil's president is the latest world leader to contract the coronavirus. Jair Bolsonaro, the country's controversial conservative president, tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday. He was tested after exhibiting symptoms, NBC News reported, including a fever of 100.4 degrees. At 65 years old, Bolsonaro is among an age group that is vulnerable to the withering effects of the illness, though he has downplayed the risk of the virus in recent months, dismissing it as just "a little flu" and a media trick, and questioning the importance of social distancing. Brazil has been hit especially hard by the pandemic. More than 1.6 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the South American nation, and more than 65,00 fatalities have been blamed on the illness, second in both categories behind only the U.S., according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University. Other world leaders have made news for becoming infected, including U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who overcame it earlier this year, and Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández, who was discharged from the hospital last week after a 16-day bout with the disease.
July 7, 11:15 a.m.
A recent surge of coronavirus cases across Melbourne has caused stay-at-home order to be reapplied. Starting midnight on Wednesday, Melbourne will be placed on a stay at home order for six weeks. According to The Australian Associated Press, Victorian MP, Greg Hunt, told Sky News that nobody should offer "false guarantees" the outbreak in Melbourne would not spread to other regions or states. "We have to take this as seriously as we take bushfire..It is life and death." said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. New South Wales and Victoria have closed their borders between the two states to further prevent the spread of the virus. Australian airlines Qantas and Jetstar are reducing flights in Melbourne until the end of July due to the border restrictions. The last time New South Wales and Victoria borders were closed to each other was due to the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic. Restrictions were put in place during the polio outbreak in 1937 which barred children from crossing the border without papers, according to 9 News. Schools in Melbourne were closed and more than 100 children died from the outbreak.
July 7, 10:30 a.m.
A nun with the Saint Ann Mission, who declined to give her name, leaves a COVID-19 testing site after being tested at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Clinica Campesina Health Center, during the coronavirus pandemic, Monday, July 6, 2020, in Homestead, Fla. The testing is sponsored by Community Health of South Florida. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
🚨 July got off to an alarming start in the U.S., as 300,000 new coronaviruses cases have been reported over the first six days of the month. According to an NBC News, 10 states have recorded single-day highs in the number of cases since the start of the month, and there is no sign the numbers will decrease. Nationwide, according to figures tabulated by Johns Hopkins University, 299,800 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported this month in the U.S. “The current state is really not good,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a National Institute of Health livestream interview. “Within a period of a week and a half, we have almost doubled the number of cases.” Florida is among the states that have recorded a high increase, with 11,400 new cases reported on the Fourth of July alone. Additionally, half of the total 200,000 coronavirus cases in Florida were recorded in the last two weeks. Along with Florida, 33 states and territories across the country have seen a greater than 25 percent increase in COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, when compared to the previous two weeks, NBC News reported.
Daily new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. (Johns Hopkins University)
July 7, 10:10 a.m.
A large-scale study on the coronavirus published by the medical journal The Lancet indicates that just 5% of the Spanish population has developed antibodies, adding to growing evidence that heard immunity to COVID-19 may not be possible. Herd immunity is a large-scale resistance to the spread of a contagious disease within a population, and is achieved when a majority of that population become immune to it through enough of the population becoming either infected or vaccinated. The findings of the study show that 95% of the Spanish population remains susceptible to the coronavirus, despite once being a hotspot.With a nationwide representative sample of more than 61,000 participants, Spain’s research appears to be the largest study yet among serological studies on the virus by the European nations, the European Center for Disease Control told CNN. Similar studies in both China and the U.S., which a Lancet commentary published along with Spain’s findings noted the key findings in general were most of the population appeared to have been unexposed to COVID-19, even in areas with widespread virus circulation. “In light of these findings, any proposed approach to achieve herd immunity through natural infection is not only highly unethical, but also unachievable,” said the Lancet’s commentary authors, Isabella Eckerle, head of the Geneva Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases, and Benjamin Meyer, virologist at the University of Geneva. Doctors are still uncertain as to if having antibodies to the coronavirus could mean someone could become infected again.
July 7, 9:40 a.m.
New hospitals open in Mumbai as India surpasses 20,000 coronavirus-related deaths. As the virus keeps spreading at a fast pace and hospitals in large cities, such as Mumbai and Delhi, struggle to cope with the pandemic, four new field hospitals were opened on Tuesday to help treat more patients. The Mumbai region alone accounts for about a quarter of the country’s 20,000 deaths, and the virus continues to spread in the area, forcing officials to create new facilities as most hospitals in the region are at full capacity. The new facilities will provide an extra 3,500 beds. “Required medical help will be available at these four new treatment centers,” a spokesman for the government of Maharashtra state told AFP.
July 7, 9:21 a.m.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tests positive for COVID-19. "COVID-19 has literally hit home. I have had NO symptoms and have tested positive," Bottoms told followers in a Twitter post on Monday. The next morning she appeared on Good Morning America and revealed that her husband has also tested positive along with one of her children. Bottoms said on GMA that she's been largely asymptomatic, apart from a persistent headache, which she said is not unlike an ailment she routinely experiences this time of year due to seasonal allergies. She said doctors have told her symptoms may not get any worse than what she's already experienced. "What they've told me is that I have a low positive test, so it either means I'm on the way up or the way down. They don't know which one, but they told me to treat it as if I'm positive, just in terms of quarantining and doing all the things that are recommended" for people to do. Watch her full interview below.
July 7, 6:32 a.m.
Here are the latest global COVID-19 numbers, provided by Johns Hopkins University researchers:
Total confirmed cases: 11,641,640
Total deaths: 538,539
Total recoveries: 6,320,890
July 6, 9:52 p.m.
A drug that could prevent and treat coronavirus infection is heading into late-stage clinical trials. Regeneron will start Phase 3 trial to evaluate how well the drug works. The biotechnology company Regeneron announced that a Phase 3 trial of the drug will assess its ability to prevent coronavirus infection among uninfected people who have had close contact to an infected person, such as a patient's housemate. The Phase 3 prevention trial is taking place at around 100 sites and expected to include 2,000 patients across the United States, according to Regeneron. They are also testing its ability to treat hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients with the virus, according to CNN Health. These trials will involve 1,850 hospitalized patients and 1,050 non-hospitalized patients, and they are expected to be conducted at 150 sites in the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Chile. "We are running simultaneous adaptive trials in order to move as quickly as possible to provide a potential solution to prevent and treat COVID-19 infections, even in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic," Dr. George D. Yancopoulos, co-founder, president and chief scientific officer of Regeneron, said in the company's news release.
July 6, 8:48 p.m.
Will Americans receive a second stimulus check? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hinted on Monday that one may be on its way; however, it could be slightly different than the first round of checks, NBC news said. Earlier this year, Americans who earned less than $75,000 a year received a one-time payment of $1,200 (married couples who earned less than $150,000 received a one-time payment of $2,400), plus an additional $500 for each dependent they claimed on their taxes. According to McConnell, the next round could be aimed at helping low-income Americans. "I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less,” he said on Monday. “Many of them work in the hospitality industry. The hospitality industry, as all of you know, just got rim-racked — hotels, restaurants — and so that could well be a part of it.” This comes one week after President Donald Trump said that he supports a larger second stimulus check, but did not give any specific amounts, Forbes reported. It is still unclear if or when a second stimulus check could be in the mail as the Senate still needs to pass a bill before it would land on the President's desk to be signed.
July 6, 7:41 p.m.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers about five additional toxic hand sanitizers that tested positive for methanol. The substance can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested, the FDA said. Last month, the agency cautioned against nine other brands of possibly toxic hand sanitizer, bringing the total to 14 potentially toxic hand sanitizers. Methanol, or wood alcohol, "is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects,” the FDA cautioned. CBS News reported the agency said it is aware of cases of adults and children who have ingested hand sanitizer made with methanol, which has led to blindness, hospitalizations and death. Officials recommend using sanitizers that contain at least 60% ethanol alcohol, as well as frequently washing hands, according to CBS News.
The FDA is warning consumers to avoid products from the brands listed below:
Grupo Insoma's Hand Sanitizer Gel
Transliquid Technologies' Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer
Soluciones Cosmeticas SA de CV's Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel
Soluciones Cosmeticas SA de CV's Antiseptic
Tropicosmeticos SA de CV's Britz Hand Sanitizer
July 6, 6:51 p.m.
Restaurants in San Diego will be closing down indoor operations once again as COVID-19 continues to spread “at alarming rates.” On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that due to the virus, restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, museums and cardamoms must stop indoor operations in Colusa, Madera, Marin, Merced, Monterey and San Diego counties. Additionally, bars must close all operations until further notice. This announcement comes one day after California reported nearly 12,000 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily total to date, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University.
July 6, 5:42 p.m.
The average age of people who test positive for COVID-19 has dropped dramatically as more and more younger people are becoming infected. According to CNBC, many coronavirus patients in March and April were in their 50s and 60s, but the median age has since dropped into the 30s. “The average age of people getting infected now is a decade and a half younger than it was a few months ago particularly when New York and New Orleans and Chicago were getting hit very badly,” Anthony Fauci said in a Q&A session with NIH Director Francis Collins. “Now why is that important?Well, because this is a virus that does not affect all age groups equally. It’s much more lethal for people who are in their 80s and 90s than it is in your 20s and 30s,” he added. However, this does not mean that younger people are immune to serious symptoms, especially those with underlying health conditions. “We know that those are risk factors, so risk factors go with your comorbidity, not necessarily with your age.” Watch the full conversation below:
July 6, 4:39 p.m.
North Carolina health officials are on edge as coronavirus cases are rising among young people. Not only are cases among younger people on the rise, according to Greensboro News and Record cases for individuals between 18 to 49 years old are the reason for a growth in cases as they are returning to work and pitting themselves in environments where spread is more likely. “When you’re younger, you feel more invincible,” Mandy Cohen, Secretary of North Carolina Health and Human Services, said during a press conference on Friday. “You don’t think, ‘Well, if I get it, I get it and it’s not going to harm anyone.’ But that’s actually the wrong way of looking at this. When we see more spread in our younger folks, who may not get quite as sick, they are still risks to those that would get more sick.”
July 6, 3:25 p.m.
The capital of Spain remained quiet on Monday after the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona was cancelled due to coronavirus. Despite the cancellation, residents of the city still dressed in white clothes and traditional red scarves to mark the occasion, according to The Associated Press. The San Fermín festival is known for bull racing along the streets and became popular from the 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises." The event hasn't been cancelled since the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. About 400 gathered at the central square where usually 12,000 gather at the start of the festival to celebrate. Police officers were deployed to help prevent any parties at bars or in streets from erupting.
Residents, wearing white clothes and traditional red scarves, take a selfie in front of the City Hall, on the day the ''txupinazo'' would usually take place to start the famous San Fermin festival, which was due canceled this year by the conoravirus, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Monday, July 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
July 6, 2:31 p.m.
Restaurant, dinning rooms in restaurants and gyms have been ordered to shut down again in Miami amid a new surge of coronavirus cases. Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced the emergency order on Monday as the city continues to rollback reopening, according to the Miami Herald. Restaurants will still be allowed to deliver or takeout. Last week, movie theaters and casinos were ordered closed by Gimenez ahead of the holiday weekend. These new closures expected to take effect starting Wednesday. Gimenez said that the major reasons behind the reclosures are that residents are not following social distancing guidelines and are not wearing masks or face coverings. Miami-Dade County will remain under a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew until further notice.
July 6, 1:50 p.m.
The Independence Day weekend led to a huge surge in air travel, according to TSA Public Affairs spokesperson Lisa Farbstein. On July 2, 764,761 people were screened by TSA across the U.S. On July 3, 718,988 were screened, on Independence Day 466,669 were screened and on July 5, 732,123 were screened. The holiday weekend marks the first time the TSA screened more than 700,000 people since the pandemic started.
July 6, 1:22 p.m.
Australian states New South Wales and Victoria are set to close Tuesday amid a new surge of infections. Melbourne, Victoria, recorded 127 new cases of COVID-19, the highest-ever daily increase in new coronavirus cases on Monday, according to The Associated Press. Most of the new infections in Melbourne came from community transmission in recent weeks; meanwhile, the rest of Australia was mostly infected by overseas travel. New fears have escalated that this could be a new part of the pandemic. Over 35 suburbs of Melbourne were shut down to prevent further spread of the virus, four more were added in the last few days. Police are expected to enforce the state border closure, while flights and trains will continue for those who are given permits or exemptions.
July 6, 12:41 p.m.
A majority of the undergraduate students at Harvard will be attending classes virtually from home in the upcoming academic year. In a press release issued on Monday, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) announced that up to 40% of students will return to campus in the fall, but even those who are living on campus will still attend classes virtually. “Without a vaccine or effective clinical treatments for the virus, we know that no choice that reopens the campus is without risk,” University President Larry Bacow, FAS Edgerley Family Dean Claudine Gay, and Danoff Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana said in a press release. Students who do live on campus will undergo daily symptom attestation, participate in contact tracing and be tested for COVID-19 every three days. “The Faculty of Arts and Sciences promotes shared responsibility for the health and well-being of our campus community. We are truly in this together,” the three said.
July 6, 12:17 p.m.
The coronavirus could be spread easily than previously thought, according to scientists. The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention says that the virus has two types of transmission, which include inhaling respiratory droplets from infected people nearby and touching contaminated surfaces and the touching your eyes, nose or mouth. However, 239 scientists in 32 countries have outlined evidence that shows that the virus can linger in the air of poorly-ventilated indoor spaces for long periods of time, the New York Times reported. This new evidence could explain the rapid spread of the virus at bars, restaurants and public transports. “We are 100% sure about this,” Lidia Morawska, a professor of atmospheric sciences and environmental engineering at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, told Yahoo! News. Despite this, the WHO believes that this new evidence is not convincing. “Especially in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider airborne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence,” Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi told The New York Times. As of right now, the WHO is still trying to evaluate the new scientific evidence as soon as possible to determine its validity, according to Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the WHO’s chief scientist.
July 6, 11:18 a.m.
A 9/11 survivor has died from the coronavirus. Stephen Cooper, a man whose face was made famous in a photograph that showed him running away from the smoke as the south tower of the World Trade Center crumbled down, died at the age of 78 on March 28 in Florida. However, he will not be forgotten. His photo, taken by Suzanne Plunkett, a photographer for The Associated Press, is featured at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York. “He didn’t even know the photograph was taken,” Janet Rashes, Cooper’s partner for 33 years, told the AP. “All of a sudden, he’s looking in Time magazine one day and he sees himself and says, ‘Oh my God. That’s me.’ He was amazed. Couldn’t believe it.” That morning, Cooper, who was 60 at the time, was delivering some documents when he was told by the police to run away from the scene. According to friends and family, Cooper was always proud of the photograph and brought it “to family barbecues, parties, anywhere he could show it off.” His friends and family remember him as a very special man. “He was a character,” said Susan Gould, a longtime friend of Cooper’s.
FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2001, file photo, people run from the collapse of one of the twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York. Stephen Cooper, far left, fleeing smoke and debris as the south tower crumbled just a block away on Sept. 11, has died from coronavirus, his family said, according to The Palm Beach Post. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett, File)
July 6, 10:36 a.m.
Visitors returned to the world famous Louvre Museum in Paris for the first time in over three months on Monday following the museum's longest closure since World War II. The Louvre, which was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, is requiring all visitors to wear a mask when inside the building. It is also directing guests to book time slots to visit, in order to maintain properly safety protocols and social distancing guidelines. AFP reported that several dozen visitors lined up outside the venue on Monday ahead of the 9 a.m. local time opening. The lockdown has cost the museum over $45 million (40 million euros), AFP said. Jean-Luc Martinez, president and director of the museum, was on hand to greet guests on Monday. He told AFP that about "7,000 people" reserved tickets, but under normal circumstances the museum would host about 30,000 people on a daily basis.
July 6, 9:45 a.m.
COVID-19 cases zoom past 200,000 in Florida over Fourth of July weekend. Coronavirus cases continued to surge over the holiday weekend with the Sunshine State reporting 11,458 new positive COVID-19 cases on the Fourth of July alone -- a figure that eclipsed New York state's worst single-day increases of 11,434, which was recorded back in mid-April, according to CNN. By the end of the weekend, the state tallied more than 200,000 cases
"It's clear that the growth is exponential at this point," Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said during a Sunday appearance on ABC's This Week. "We've been breaking record after record after record the last couple of weeks," he said, adding that he was hopeful beach closures over the holiday weekend will help to slow the spread. Below, watch Suarez's remarks on This Week.
July 6, 9:38 a.m.
India has become the third-highest COVID-19-infected country, surpassing Russia. According to data released by the country’s health ministry on Monday, there have been more than 23,000 new cases in the previous 24 hours, bringing the country’s total to nearly 700,000. This puts India behind the United States and Brazil in terms of the number of infections. Additionally, as reported by Reuters, there have been almost 20,000 deaths in India since the virus arrived in the country back in January. The Taj Mahal, India’s most famous landmark, was set to reopen on Monday, but this decision has since been reversed, according to officials.
July 6, 6:50 a.m.
Here are the latest global COVID-19 numbers, provided by Johns Hopkins University researchers:
Total confirmed cases: 11,465,636
Total deaths: 534,588
Total recoveries: 6,189,108
A healthcare worker prepares to take a swab to test at a drive-through coronavirus testing site, Sunday, July 5, 2020, outside Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Florida health officials say the state has reached a grim milestone: more than 200,000 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the start of the outbreak. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Reporting by Lauren Fox, John Murphy, Brian Lada, Mark Puleo, Maria Antonieta Valery Gil, Kevin Byrne, Chaffin Mitchell, Adriana Navarro, John Roach, Dexter Henry, Bill Wadell, Jonathan Petramala, and Monica Danielle
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