- California has ordered remote classes through the fall
- Researchers in Australia create test that can detect virus in 20 mins
- NYC expands open restaurants initiative, says indoor dining won’t reopen until October
- NYT expects new daily record jump in new cases Friday
- Florida sees 2nd highest daily deaths as 7-day average hits new record
- White House doc recommends ‘red zones’ roll back reopening measures
- Florida ICUs at 107% capacity
- Backlash to Georgia Gov anti-mask mandate lawsuit grows
- NY reports 0.2% jump in cases
- China closes airport in Xinjiang after reporting 1 covid case
- Europe worries it’s on the cusp of another wave of infections as hotspots reemerge
- Tokyo sees another record jump in new cases
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Update (1500ET): After Sacramento, LA and the Bay Area announced plans to close local schools and rely on remote learning when the new semester begins next month, Gov Gavin Newsom announced Friday that California will hold remote-only classes in the fall, running the risk of incurring President Trump’s retribution as he desperately struggles to reopen the economy before election day.
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Update (1100ET): Reuters reports that researchers in Australia have created a test that can detect the presence of the virus within 20 minutes. The test can also determine between whether they are currently infect, or merely have been infected in the past.
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Update (1030ET): NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that indoor dining, movie theaters, bars and schools will remain closed for the foreseeable future, and that the city will expand its open restaurants initiative by cordoning off 40 more blocks of the city to allow restaurants to expand and ease access for people by allowing them more space to walk freely. The open restaurants initiative will continue through October, which is really the natural limit since nobody is going to want to eat sitting outdoors in the New York winter anyhow.
Meanwhile, following reports from Miami-Dade hospitals claiming that ICUs in one of the country’s hardest hit counties were at 107% capacity, Florida’s Department of Health has just released its numbers for Friday. The death toll was 128, which was lower than yesterday’s 156, but is now the second-largest daily increase in deaths seen so far. The state has suffered its worst week of deaths since the start of the pandemic over the last 7 days, during which time the state has record all three of its worst daily totals.
Source: Orlando Sun-Sentinel
Statewide, there have now been 327,241 infected, as the state added another 11,466 to that total on Friday morning, and 4,805 killed. The state’s daily positivity rate was 11.85% (remember, all daily figures are reported with a 24-hour delay).
The NYT just reported that it expects more than 75,600 new cases to be reported Friday in the US, which would be a new daily record.
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Update (1000ET): While President Trump continues to oppose rolling back the states’ economic reopenings in word, his administration continues to develop plans to push the worst hit states to shut down – or agree to a “shut down lite”-type arrangement – to quell the worsening outbreak before deaths really start to rebound.
According to CNN, an unpublished document prepared for the White House coronavirus task force but leaked to media nonprofit the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit newsroom, recommends that 18 states in the coronavirus “red zone” should roll back reopening measures.
The “red zone” is defined in the 359-page report as “those core-based statistical areas (CBSAs) and counties that during the last week reported both new cases above” 100/100k population, and a positivity rate above 10%.
These states were included on the WH’s ‘red zone’ list:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
The following 11 states are also in the “red zone” but only for test positivity rate: “Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Washington.”
The report outlines measures counties in the red zone should take. It encourages residents to “wear a mask at all times outside the home and maintain physical distance.” And it recommends that public officials “close bars and gyms” and “limit social gatherings to 10 people or fewer, which would mean rolling back reopening provisions in these places.
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Georgia Gov Brian Kemp’s decision to sue Atlanta over Mayor Keisha Bottoms’ mandatory mask order is already eliciting a serious blowback in the media. And not entirely without reason.
Although still lagging behind Florida, Texas and Arizona, Georgia’s COVID-19 outbreak is accelerating: Georgia’s seven-day rolling average of newly reported cases was 3,507 as of Thursday, 4x the pre-shutdown peak. It has been added to the list of mandatory quarantine states if they visit the northeast and Chicago.
Kemp issued an order explicitly voiding mandatory mask orders, and followed that up with a lawsuit when Atlanta resisted. Other Republican governors have also resisted mask mandates, even as Kemp and others say they “strongly encourage” all Americans to wear masks when they’re in public, or outside and unable to follow social distancing guidelines. The state reported 3,441 cases, 13 deaths and 244 hospitalizations yesterday.
Colorado Gov Jared Polis issued a mandatory indoor mask mandate yesterday, caving to pressure from fellow Democrats. Polis had long resisted issuing a statewide mask order, but finally has decided that one is necessary as cases and hospitalizations climb in Colorado. Alabama, Kentucky, Montana, Pennsylvania, Oregon and other states (and some major cities) have also adopted mask orders.
In Florida, which reported a record death toll yesterday, and leads the country in cases per 100k with 55, noted that the main floor of the state’s Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee were evacuated after 12 workers tested positive for the virus, in an incident that was slammed as yet another brutal virus-inspired irony.
As we await the state’s latest data, Miami-Dade County has released its new daily dashboard, and today’s report shows that ICUs in Florida’s epicenter are currently at 107% of their bed capacity.
Here are the key slides from the report:
Source: Miami-Dade County
New York reported its daily COVID-19 figures Friday morning, with cases climbing at 0.2%, the same rate we’ve seen for the past 2 months, in line with a 7-day average of 0.2%.
Today’s update on the numbers:
78,239 tests were performed yesterday. 776 tests came back positive (0.99% of total).
Total hospitalizations fell to 765.
Sadly, there were 10 COVID fatalities yesterday. pic.twitter.com/wXvI0muPTC
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 17, 2020
You know what it takes to beat community spread? Community.
We’ll only defeat this virus if we all work together. All of us.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 17, 2020
So far, most of the discouraging news for Friday has come out of Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Spain and Australia reported their steepest daily jumps in new cases in more than two months, despite both countries implementing partial lockdowns (Melbourne and the surrounding state, Victoria, have been sealed off from the rest of Australia, while Spain has imposed local partial lockdowns in select hotspots).
As the number of new cases reported in Europe appears to be on the cusp of a feared comeback, cases continued to soar in India and Brazil, as the latter surpassed 2 million confirmed cases.
China remains on high alert for new outbreaks, and on Friday, an airport in Urumqi, the capital city of China’s Xinjiang, said it would require all outbound travelers to hold nucleic acid test results showing they are negative for the coronavirus. The new order takes effect Friday, one day after the city reported 1 confirmed coronavirus case on July 16. All inbound visitors from July 20 are required to hold test reports too. Subway services in the city have also been halted after 10 pm.
In Japan, new daily infections hist yet another record high in Tokyo, with 293 new cases reported, Governor Yuriko Koike told a news briefing in the Japanese capital Friday. About 70% of those infected are in their 20s and 30s, Koike said.