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Across the United States, 39,327 new coronavirus infections were reported by state health departments on Thursday — surpassing the previous single-day record of 38,115, which was set on Wednesday. Texas, Alabama, Missouri and Nevada reported daily highs. The death toll also spiked, to about 2,500, as New Jersey added 1,854 probable deaths to its overall tally.

Texas reported 5,996 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, beating Wednesday’s record of 5,551. The state’s rolling average of 4,581 was a record and 340 percent higher than the rolling average on Memorial Day. The 47 new deaths were the most since May 20, according to tracking by The Washington Post.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) raised alarms about the biggest jump in new cases in his state since April, emphasizing that more than increased testing is at play. Ohio reported 892 new cases on Thursday, compared to 632 on Wednesday.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The number of Americans who have been infected with the novel coronavirus is likely 10 times higher than the number of cases reported, according to the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a call with reporters Thursday, CDC Director Robert Redfield said, “Our best estimate right now is that for every case that’s reported, there actually are 10 other infections.”
  • A rush to reopen the nation’s economy without proper safety measures in place is behind this week’s spike in cases, Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said Thursday on the “Today” show.
  • In New York, coronavirus hospitalizations dipped just below 1,000 for the first time since March 18, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said.
  • President Trump continued to push the discredited notion that coronavirus cases are increasing in the United States because of “GREAT TESTING” and complained that the news media was not spreading the word. While testing has increased, health experts say that in several states with rising caseloads, new cases are outpacing the spread of testing.
  • The World Health Organization said the global pandemic’s hotbed is now in Latin America, which has reported 100,000 fatalities as of this week. New flare-ups have also been reported in Australia, Germany and South Korea.

Sign up for our coronavirus newsletter | Mapping the spread of the coronavirus: Across the U.S. | Worldwide | Which states are reopening | Has someone close to you died of covid-19? Share your story with The Washington Post.

3:39 a.m.
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The Marine Corps Marathon is still on (for now). But there will be less time to finish.

Wednesday’s announcement that the Oct. 25 Marine Corps Marathon would go on as scheduled was a surprise to many, especially as it came amid a wave of cancellations of major fall marathons. New York City had thrown in the towel just minutes earlier.

The announcement also contained an unwelcome surprise for some runners: They will have less time to finish.

Longtime race director Rick Nealis said the change is one of many his team is agonizing over in trying to reinvent the iconic race in a way that will mitigate the chance of spreading covid-19.

Read more here.

3:02 a.m.
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Mississippi health official ‘terrified’ by increase in coronavirus cases in his state

Saying he is “terrified we will overwhelm the health-care system,” Mississippi’s state health officer is urging residents to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Mississippi on Thursday reported 1,092 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the second time in four days the state has surpassed 1,000. There are 532 people hospitalized.

“If we’re not careful, Mississippi will look like New York,” said epidemiologist Thomas Dobbs, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

After four days without reporting any covid-19 deaths, the state said 78 people died of the virus in the past four days.

“It’s not just the cases,” Dobbs said. “We have seen the highest number of hospitalized patients. I’m terrified we will overwhelm the health-care system, the hospitals, the ICUs. Not in the fall, I’m talking about this week.”

The state’s stay-at-home order ended June 1. All businesses were allowed to reopen, including bars and movie theaters, with capacity limits and other guidelines.

2:15 a.m.
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Amid a rise in cases, New Mexico pauses next reopening phase

Citing a “very concerning” climb in coronavirus cases, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said Thursday the state is not ready to enter the next phase of reopening businesses.

“We’re not doing as good a job keeping the virus in check,” New Mexico Human Services Secretary David Scrase said in a video conference. “We have to be even more careful.”

State health officials, the Albuquerque Journal reported, are weighing whether to reimpose more stringent health orders and increase enforcement of wearing masks in public. The state is also considering quarantine orders for visitors arriving in vehicles, not just on planes.

According to data compiled by The Washington Post, New Mexico has seen a steady rise in new cases this week, including 202 on Thursday.

Bars remain closed, but since June 1, restaurants have been allowed to offer dine-in services at 50 percent capacity and with additional guidelines. Salons and barbershops were allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity.

1:39 a.m.
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Surprise birthday party in Texas believed to infect 17 family members

A surprise birthday party in Carrollton, Tex., last month is believed to be the source of 17 family members contracting the novel coronavirus, including a couple married 68 years.

As reported by WFAA in Dallas, the host of the party, who unknowingly had the virus, passed it onto seven relatives who attended. It then spread to 10 other family members.

Ron Barbosa told the TV station he didn't attend the May 30 party, which was for his daughter-in-law, who turned 30. His nephew was the host.

Though guests practiced social distancing, Barbosa said he believes the party, which was attended by 25 people, was the catalyst for the virus spreading. He also said it could’ve started spreading when his nephew went golfing with relatives before the party.

Three are hospitalized: Barbosa’s parents and his sister, who is also battling breast cancer. She did not attend the party.

His mother has been hospitalized since June 13. His father, who entered the hospital four days later, is on life support. “My dad’s hanging on by a thread,” Barbosa told WFAA.

1:09 a.m.
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White House coronavirus task force to hold press briefing on Friday

With cases on the rise, the White House coronavirus task force has scheduled its first press briefing in nearly two months for Friday afternoon.

Unlike the daily briefings held at the White House at the start of the crisis, this one will be held at the Department of Health and Human Services and be led by Vice President Pence, who heads the task force.

Trump played a significant role in the earlier briefings, but it’s unclear whether he will attend this one.

A month ago, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the top U.S. infectious-disease expert, said he was hopeful that Americans would begin hearing directly from him and Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, on a more regular basis again.

“I think you’re probably going to be seeing a little bit more of me and my colleagues,” Fauci predicted in a May 21 CNN interview. “They realize we need to get some of this information out. … Hopefully you’ll be seeing more of us.”

12:48 a.m.
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Reopenings, record cases and full hospitals: America’s dissonant response to the pandemic

Americans are living through a split-screen pandemic: Their leaders are relaxing restrictions while their states set records for new coronavirus infections. Churches, beaches and bars are filling up, and so are hospital beds.

Early in the outbreak, President Trump told governors they were on their own — for testing, medical supplies and stay-at-home orders. Now, in this new phase of soaring cases and reopenings, the effects of this decentralized decision-making are particularly noticeable and subject to politics, with some states making seemingly arbitrary decisions.

Experts note a troubling lack of consistent, unified messaging from Trump and Vice President Pence, who have downplayed the danger and denigrated effective disease defenses such as mask-wearing, testing and social distancing — even as the administration’s own health officials contradict them. The coronavirus task force briefings, where health officials updated the public daily, disappeared weeks ago.

On Wednesday, the country reported more than 38,000 new cases, its highest-ever single-day count, according to data gathered and analyzed by The Washington Post. The counties home to Dallas, Phoenix and Tampa all reported record-high averages on at least 15 straight days in June.

In many places, the number of people sick enough to be hospitalized has also increased sharply. Those hardest hit include the largest states — California, Texas, Florida — and those that thought they had the virus under control, like Utah and Oregon.

“I think the politicians are in denial,” said Kami Kim, director of the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine at the University of South Florida.

The push to reopen quickly even as cases climb sends a dangerous and inaccurate message, said Andrew T. Pavia, the chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at University of Utah Health.

“On the one hand, you get messages from politicians and the business community that we have to go, go, go and open up,” he said. “On the other hand, you’re seeing epidemiological indicators that we still have to be very careful.”

“It’s cognitive dissonance,” he added.

Read more here.

11:52 p.m.
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Union urges Disney to delay Florida reopening after Disneyland pause

A union representing actors and stage managers at Walt Disney World is calling on Disney to push back the planned reopening of its Orlando theme parks as coronavirus infections surge in Florida and across the South.

The Actors’ Equity Association urged the company to delay the reopening, which had been planned for July 11 — first with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, and then EPCOT and Hollywood Studios on July 15.

The plea comes a day after Disney announced that the reopening of its Disneyland Resort in California would be postponed. The company had planned to welcome guests back on July 17, but said on Wednesday it was delaying because the state of California would not issue guidelines for theme parks to reopen until some date after July 4.

“If Disneyland has postponed, it is unclear how Walt Disney World can responsibly move toward reopening when coronavirus cases are much worse in Florida,” Mary McColl, executive director of the Actors’ Equity Association, said in a news release Thursday.

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the union’s request and to confirm Disney World’s current plans.

Health departments posted the highest-yet number of new, nationwide covid-19 cases on Wednesday. Florida and California were among the three states with the biggest spikes, each reporting more than 5,000 new infections.

11:09 p.m.
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Under siege from Trump, U.S. Postal Service finds surprising financial upside in pandemics

A tidal wave of packages is keeping the U.S. Postal Service afloat during the coronavirus recession, boosting the beleaguered agency’s finances to near pre-pandemic levels while legislators and the White House joust over its independence.

When the pandemic’s resulting economic shutdown took hold in early spring, postal leaders told lawmakers the mail service expected to hemorrhage $2 billion a month for 18 months, risking insolvency as soon as September. After Congress approved an emergency $10 billion loan from the Treasury Department, the agency said it could hold out until March 2021, but it’s avoided accessing those funds, wary of conditions the Trump administration is poised to impose in exchange.

But postal leaders, in revised financial data provided this week to Congress and obtained by The Washington Post, said rising e-commerce transactions may have — at least temporarily — delivered the USPS from imminent financial ruin. Week to week, package deliveries increased 20 to 50 percent in April compared with the same period a year ago, and 60 to 80 percent in May.

Read more here.

11:05 p.m.
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U.S. sets another single-day record for coronavirus cases

The United States on Thursday set another daily record for new coronavirus cases, surpassing Wednesday’s mark as several states, including Texas, reported single-day highs.

The new case total was 39,327, according to data maintained by The Washington Post. Wednesday’s count of 38,115 had demolished the previous high of 34,203 on April 25.

The seven-day average is 32,806 -- 9,112 more than last Thursday’s figure.

The death toll also spiked, to about 2,493, as New Jersey added 1,854 probable deaths to its overall tally.

It comes as the state health departments of Texas, Alabama, Missouri and Nevada reported daily highs of new cases. Thirty-nine states reported increases in their seven-day average compared to last Thursday, and 17 of them reported 40 percent increases.

Texas reported 5,996 new cases, beating Wednesday’s record of 5,551. The state’s rolling average of 4,581 was a record and 340 percent higher than the rolling average on Memorial Day. The 47 new deaths were the most since May 20.

The 350 new covid-19 hospitalizations Thursday in Texas increased the number of current patients to a record 4,739.

With 497 new cases, Nevada also reported a record rolling average for the seventh day in a row. The rolling average is now 398 — up 66 percent from last week’s rolling average of 240 cases.

Alabama reported 1,129 new cases, and the state has a total of 880 deaths, up from 801 deaths a week ago. Missouri is reporting just over a 1 percent increase in cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the state to roughly 19,400 total.

Georgia reported 1,714 new cases, the third consecutive day with more than 1,700.

Arizona has reported an almost 200 percent increase in hospitalizations since Memorial Day. Texas and Arkansas are 190 percent higher.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) raised alarms about the biggest jump in new cases in his state since April, emphasizing that more than increased testing is at play. Hospitalizations have increased, and those infected are trending younger, he said, echoing officials in other states.

After Arizona set a single-day case record on Wednesday with 3,593 cases, it reported 3,056 new infections on Thursday. Hospitalizations there hit another high of 2,463 people, up by more than 300 from Wednesday.

California reported its second-highest single-day caseload, with 5,349 new infections — down from Wednesday’s 7,149. Hospitalizations, which jumped more than 300 to 5,552, have increased 25 percent since Memorial Day.

In Florida, the daily caseload topped 5,000 for the second time in two days.

9:36 p.m.
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Two sisters wanted to lift lonely seniors’ spirits. Their organization has sent 14,000 letters.

Shreya and Saffron Patel usually FaceTime their grandparents in England every weekend, but during the novel coronavirus pandemic, they have typically reached out each day. Their grandmother on their mom’s side hasn’t left her apartment in nearly four months.

When the Patel sisters, who live in Boston, spoke to their grandmother, they noticed her mood improve. She texted them about the cards and showed them to her teenage granddaughters during their video calls.

They started Letters Against Isolation in early April with a plan to send cards to seniors at care centers, where residents have lost in-person contact with their family and friends because of the coronavirus. Shreya, 18, who will begin her freshman year at Washington University in St. Louis this fall, reached out to a few local nursing homes, expecting maybe one to respond and ask for 10 cards. Instead, several agreed and hoped to receive a combined 200 cards.

Read more here.

8:57 p.m.
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Illinois continues reopening effort as other states scale back

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) on Thursday announced that Illinois would move to Phase 4 of its five-phase reopening plan — which allows for gatherings of 50 people or fewer and indoor dining at restaurants, among other expansions.

Illinois will move into Phase 4 on Friday, even as other states begin to take steps back. But Pritzker said the state had met the benchmarks to plow ahead, which means bars, movie theaters, barbershops and more can reopen — with some capacity limits and other safety measures in place.

Those in Illinois will be asked to continue to wear face coverings, socially distance and frequently wash their hands.

“I think we are being measured, I think we’re being careful,” he said at a news conference. “The states where you see these massive spikes have either opened up completely, and not done so in a measured fashion, and have suffered because of it.”

Health officials in the state have pointed to favorable metrics, highlighted by testing and new cases. On Thursday, the Department of Public Health announced 894 new cases and 41 additional confirmed deaths.

“We’ve seen what’s happened in other states that have allowed politics or short-term thinking to drive decision-making. Many other states are now seeing significant increases in cases, hospitalizations, and intensive care bed usage and they’re being forced to move backward and stay at home — that’s not the story in Illinois,” Pritzker said in a statement. “… It’s because of the people of Illinois that we’re seeing a trajectory of relative success where other parts of the country are not.”

8:34 p.m.
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Texas Medical Center hits normal ICU capacity, turns to surge inventories

Amid a statewide spike in covid-19 cases, the Texas Medical Center — which calls itself the largest medical complex in the world — hit 100 percent of normal operating capacity in its intensive care units this week and will use additional beds in its effort to handle a sustainable surge.

The normal ICU capacity at the Houston center is 1,330 beds, of which 374 (28 percent) are occupied by covid-19 patients. The sustainable surge capacity can accommodate 373 more people. A temporary ICU for 504 patients is also available.

“The reality is all of us have the ability to significantly expand capacity on a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month basis,” Doug Lawson, chief executive of CHI St. Luke’s Health, which has facilities at the center, told the Houston Chronicle.

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) stopped elective surgeries in the state’s biggest counties, including in the Houston area, and said Texas would pause its reopening as it confronts a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

The rolling average of daily new cases in Texas has increased 62 percent from the past week, jumping from 2,610 on June 18 to 4,227 on Thursday, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. The daily count has set a record each day for 13 consecutive days.

8:02 p.m.
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White House’s Kudlow on new hot spots: ‘We just have to live with that’

Larry Kudlow, the White House’s top economic official, said Thursday that the administration does not anticipate a second wave of the novel coronavirus to hit the United States and that new hot spots popping up across the country are scenarios Americans will “just have to live with.”

Kudlow’s remarks on the government’s management of the pandemic came during an appearance on the Fox Business Network and while talking to reporters at the White House, Reuters reported.

A number of states have recorded record-high daily case counts this week, and on Wednesday the United States set a new daily high of 38,115 new infections reported by state health departments — surpassing the previous single-day record of 34,203 set on April 25.

Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council, told Fox Business that “there will be some shutdowns individually … in individual places and certain stores.”

“We are keeping a very close eye on this,” Kudlow said, according to Reuters.

Later, while speaking with reporters at the White House, Kudlow said that there is “no question” the United States will experience new hot spots. “We just have to live with that,” he said.

On Tuesday, Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a House committee hearing that the country is still experiencing the effects of the pandemic’s first wave. He characterized the new cases in states such as Florida, Texas and Arizona as a “disturbing surge.”

“That’s something I’m really quite concerned about,” Fauci said. “A couple of days ago, there were 30,000 new infections. That’s very disturbing to me.”

Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, echoed that concern Thursday morning during an appearance on the “Today” show.

“It is pretty alarming; it is pretty worrisome,” Jha said. “We had hoped that we would be able to keep the virus at bay for awhile, but we are seeing these resurgences, largely because we opened up too quickly and we opened up without the right safeguards in place.”

7:52 p.m.
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Apple to re-close 14 stores in Florida

Apple announced on Thursday that it is re-closing 14 stores in Florida, as the state reported a second consecutive day of more than 5,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases.

The decision comes a day after the tech giant announced it would temporarily close seven stores in the Houston area, owing to the rapid rise in infections and hospitalizations in and around Texas’s largest city.

In recent days, Apple has announced the re-closing of 32 stores as case numbers surge in the United States, according to a count by CNBC.

Like many other major retailers, the tech company closed all stores worldwide in March, before gradually reopening its facilities in the United States as states and localities loosened their restrictions.

But with outbreaks spreading at record levels in much of the South and West, the move to shut some stores down again may signal a growing hesitance from major businesses to expose their employees and customers.

“We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation,” the company said in a statement to ABC news affiliate KTRK, “and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.”

Apple has closed nearly a dozen stores in Arizona, Florida and the Carolinas, all of which have reported surges in new infections recently. Some other companies have made similar moves. On Wednesday, Disneyland in California said it would delay its reopening, which had been scheduled for July 17.

Of Apple’s 271 stores across the country, about 200 are now open, according to Bloomberg News, incorporating health measures such as mask requirements and temperature checks. Some locations only allow shoppers to make purchases online and then pick them up curbside.

Coronavirus hospitalizations in the Houston metro area have more than doubled since Memorial Day, with about 650 new cases per day on average, Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) said at a news conference Wednesday.

Hospitalizations have soared, too, with the Texas Medical Center reporting that 97 percent of its intensive care unit beds were occupied.