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The United States reported 55,220 new coronavirus cases Thursday, surpassing Wednesday’s record of 52,789, previously the largest single-day total since the start of the pandemic, according to data collected by The Washington Post.

Florida on Thursday reported 10,109 new cases of the coronavirus, marking a new single-day record for the state, which reported 6,563 cases on Wednesday. There were 68 deaths, for a total of 3,718. It’s the 25th consecutive day that Florida has set a record high in its seven-day rolling average. Georgia, one of the first states to loosen restrictions, joined Florida and several other states in setting single-day records of new cases. Georgia reported 3,472, up from 2,976 on Wednesday.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Thursday issued a statewide mandate requiring Texans to wear masks in public in any county with 20 or more positive covid-19 cases — a dramatic move that comes as cases in the state continue to climb. On Thursday, Texas reported 7,915 new cases of the coronavirus.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The mayor of Miami-Dade County announced a 10 p.m.-to-sunrise curfew starting Friday night and continuing until further notice. Around 2,300 of Florida’s 10,109 new infections on Thursday were reported in Miami-Dade.
  • During an event in Florida, Vice President Pence sought to distinguish the surge of coronavirus cases across the Sun Belt from the larger pandemic that shut down the country. “It’s not one large pandemic, but rather pandemics that emerge individually,” Pence said.
  • Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has been hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus, according to a statement posted to his Twitter account Thursday. The announcement comes almost two weeks after Cain joined thousands of people at President Trump’s Tulsa campaign rally.
  • Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top infectious-disease expert, attributed rising case numbers in the United States at least partially to the fact lockdown measures were more lenient than those in some European countries that have since managed to turn the tide on the virus.
  • The U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in June, sending the unemployment rate down to 11.1 percent. But new data also released by the Labor Department showed that 1.4 million people filed unemployment claims for the first time last week, marking the 15th straight week of claims that exceeded 1 million.
  • The United States is on track to have a vaccine against the coronavirus by the end of this year or early 2021, according to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn. The FDA has given authorization to proceed with clinical trials for four vaccines, Hahn said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

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July 2, 2020 at 10:02 PM EDT

Dozens of school principals quarantine after in-person meeting

More than 40 school principals in and around Santa Clara, Calif., were instructed to quarantine after being exposed to the novel coronavirus two weeks ago.

An asymptomatic instructor attended the meeting of the Santa Clara Unified School District and tested positive days later, NBC Bay Area reported Thursday. The meeting was in violation of county guidelines prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people.

“Given the complexities of our reopening, some of our staff meetings are taking place in person,” Stella Kemp, SCUSD’s superintendent, told the TV station, adding she did not believe any of the principals had tested positive.

By Steven Goff
July 2, 2020 at 10:00 PM EDT

As coronavirus rebounds, more patients are being hospitalized. That’s a bad sign.

Patients suffering from covid-19 are rapidly filling hospitals across the South and West, with Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Nevada and Arizona setting records for hospitalizations Thursday, a sign that the coronavirus pandemic is entering a dangerous new phase.

In Arizona, where the virus appears to be spreading out of control, hospitals rushed to expand capacity and adopted practices similar to those employed at the height of the outbreak in New York City and Italy, including doubling up hospital beds in rooms, pausing elective surgeries and bringing in health-care workers from other states.

Perhaps most chillingly, at the urging of doctors and advisers, state officials this week activated “crisis standards of care” protocols, which determine for hospitals which patients get ventilators and care as the system becomes overwhelmed under the crush of patients.

“I think it’s pretty obvious that we are not going in the right direction,” Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top infectious-disease expert, said during a YouTube live stream.

Read more here.

By Anne Gearan, William Wan and Jacqueline Dupree
July 2, 2020 at 9:44 PM EDT

Five kinds of health appointments you should consider keeping, despite the pandemic

Most Americans made a lifestyle U-turn several months ago because of the potential risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Activities that once were a given in our day-to-day lives have become less common or have disappeared altogether — such as going out to dinner, taking in a movie or shopping for something other than food. But we’ve also stopped doing tasks that can affect our health and well-being — such as keeping appointments with doctors, dentists, physical therapists and more.

Now that it’s clear that the coronavirus waves are going to keep coming, here are five health practices that experts say you might want to reconsider delaying.

By Linda Searing
July 2, 2020 at 9:25 PM EDT

A summer without internships leaves budding sports journalists on an uneven playing field

After another digital journalism outfit announced another round of furloughs, Christina Long dashed off a text to a group of friends — all women, all up-and-comers in the close-knit but intensely competitive world of sports media.

“WHY ARE NONE OF MY INTERESTS WORTH ANYTHING IN DOLLARS,” the University of Missouri junior lamented in April after Vox Media furloughed more than 100 people, many from its trendsetting sports blog SB Nation.

The responses gave voice to their collective apprehensions. In Ann Arbor, Mich., Aria Gerson raised the possibility of law school. Kennedi Landry in Baton Rogue and Ella Brockway outside Chicago mused about teaching. For Emily Leiker, just down the street from Long in Columbia, Mo., the idea of any other career path was inconceivable: “I feel I have no skills except for writing.”

The five are trying to chart their professional lives while a global pandemic and deep recession are still unfolding, accelerating job and pay cuts in their long-beleaguered industry. The disruptions are even more pronounced in sports media with the loss of live events. That’s led to more uncertainty and, for the next generation of sportswriters, lost opportunities as internships are tabled and job offers scarce.

Read more here.

By Jacob Bogage
July 2, 2020 at 9:11 PM EDT

A hairdresser and her client finally reunited at the salon. And everything was different.

MAPLE GLEN, Pa. — It was like the first day back at school, except with hair dye and combs in canisters of Barbicide. Oh, and masks. Exciting, and also a bit daunting.

“I want to hug you,” Beth Dickson says to Dulce Astolfi from behind a paper mask.

“Me, too,” says Astolfi, answering behind a black cloth.

There would be no hugs. No coffee. No snacks. No touching of products. No lounging. No chitchat between waiting clients except while standing many feet apart, yelling through the muffling of their masks and over the din of blow dryers.

On March 14, Pennsylvania became one of the first states to close hair salons and barber shops in response to the covid-19 pandemic, and on Friday, its most populous counties were among the last places to reopen them. The Keystone State had been rendered the land of forlorn locks.

Read more here.

By Karen Heller
July 2, 2020 at 8:36 PM EDT

Chicago orders travel quarantine; Pennsylvania recommends it for 15 states

Ahead of a three-day holiday weekend, Chicago and Pennsylvania announced new travel quarantine measures for arrivals from coronavirus hot spot states.

The Chicago Department of Public Health announced that travelers from 15 states, and Chicagoans who traveled to those states, will be expected to quarantine for 14 days. People found in violation of the order could be fined up to $500 per day for a maximum of $7,000.

The quarantine order goes into effect July 6.

The states included in the order are seeing a recent surge in the spread of the virus, measured by the number of new cases per day, per 100,000 residents: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

New infections in Illinois had been declining since late May, but the state has recently reported a slight uptick in cases and hospitalizations. Illinois reported 869 new cases on Thursday, 470 of which were in Cook County, where Chicago is located. At its peak, Illinois reported 4,014 new cases on May 12.

“This emergency order will not only help contain the local spread of COVID-19 and preserve the positive progress we’ve made,” Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot (D) said in a statement, “it will also serve to prevent further spread nationwide and support the efforts of officials in other cities and states.”

Pennsylvania recommends its residents quarantine in their homes for 14 days upon return from the same 15 states. The state health department is not requiring quarantine for non-Pennsylvanian travelers from those states, as other states and cities have done.

“We would recommend that if someone is coming from one of the listed states, and has been in areas with a high prevalence of covid-19, that they consider postponing their trip,” said Nate Wardle, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) also signed an order on Wednesday requiring masks be worn when residents leave their homes.

By Angela Fritz
July 2, 2020 at 8:26 PM EDT

As cases mount in California, governor urges safety with mask PSA and ‘strike teams’

Ahead of the July Fourth weekend, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is using strong language and sobering public service videos to urge residents there to take the coronavirus seriously. Cases and hospitalizations in the state have risen precipitously in the past two weeks, which prompted Newsom to announce new shutdown orders for 70 percent of the state’s population.

Newsom’s office on Thursday shared a public service announcement asking everyone to wear a mask to slow the spread.

“Even without symptoms, you can spread COVID-19,” the public service announcement begins, panning across a dark hospital room with a patient. “And people can die. People like your mom ... grandpa ... friends.”

“Wearing a mask slows the spread,” the video concludes.

California added 9,740 cases to its official tally on Wednesday, a new daily high. Another 7,538 cases were added on Thursday. More than 6,800 people are hospitalized in the state, around a 60 percent increase from mid-June.

Newsom on Wednesday announced that across 19 counties, bars would be closed and other venues like restaurants, theaters and zoos would need to stop all indoor service. The order affects 70 percent of the state’s population, and was focused on areas where the virus is spreading the fastest.

Newsom said he expects local authorities to help enforce the new restrictions and that most of them have been cooperative. But he also created a “strike team” with employees from seven state agencies, including the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and Division of Occupational Safety and Health, tasked with ensuring that businesses comply with the orders.

“Why have rules, why have regulations, why have laws if you’re not willing to enforce?" Newsom posed. “One must be willing. So it’s targeted. It’s where there are abuses.”

By Angela Fritz
July 2, 2020 at 8:20 PM EDT

Mexico City deaths spiked to three times normal during covid outbreak, top official says

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican capital suffered about three times as many deaths as it normally would from March through May, according to the country’s coronavirus czar — the clearest sign yet of the extraordinary toll that the pandemic has taken on the city.

That estimate comes from the government’s first detailed study on lives claimed by the virus, an investigation officials say will soon be made public.

The excess mortality figure, which includes deaths both directly and indirectly related to the pandemic, is considered the most complete indicator of the damage done by coronavirus. The jump in deaths this spring was similar to surges in urban centers such as London or New York, experts said.

“Certainly it’s on a par with what we’ve seen in the most hard-hit areas of the United States,” said Daniel Weinberger, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health who has studied excess deaths during the pandemic.

Hugo López-Gatell, the undersecretary of health who is leading Mexico’s response to the coronavirus, told The Washington Post that the study uses average deaths from March through May in recent years as a baseline. “How many people have died now? This statistic, which we are still refining, is about three times more,” he said.

Read more here.

By Mary Beth Sheridan
July 2, 2020 at 8:02 PM EDT

Oregon State Police condemns trooper said to have refused to wear a mask in coffee shop

The superintendent of the Oregon State Police rebuked the alleged conduct of a trooper who refused to wear a mask while patronizing a coffee shop in Corvallis.

The episode was captured on film obtained by the Oregonian, showing several troopers enter the shop without face coverings. After being told by the store’s assistant manager that he needed to wear a mask, one trooper, according to the report, refused to put on a mask and used an expletive to bad-mouth Gov. Kate Brown (D), whose statewide mandate to wear masks in public went into effect Thursday. The mask policies and businesses closures are designed to prevent the spread of the virus, which has surged in recent weeks.

After the Oregonian published a news report of the incident, Superintendent Travis Hampton took to Twitter to apologize and address the alleged behavior.

“This conduct is embarrassing and indefensible, especially in the wake of thousands of Oregonians taking to the streets each day to rightfully demand police accountability,” Hampton said in a series of tweets.

“Let me be clear, Oregon State Police Troopers are not above the law and this conduct is being immediately addressed. As the leader of the Oregon State Police, I would like to offer my apology to the coffee shop employees and the community.”

As covid infections shatter daily records in parts of the country, Oregon is one of several states and cities imposing mask rules to prevent more people from catching the virus.

By Hamza Shaban
July 2, 2020 at 8:00 PM EDT

Miami-Dade County mayor implements nightly curfew to slow spread of infections

After a record-setting day of new coronavirus infections in Florida, the mayor of Miami-Dade County is trying a new restriction to slow the spread. Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez announced a 10 p.m.-to-sunrise curfew starting Friday night and continuing until further notice.

“I agree with my medical advisers that young people and their parents are not taking seriously the New Normal rules,” Gimenez said in a statement. “ ... This curfew is meant to stop people from venturing out and hanging out with friends in groups, which has shown to be spreading the virus rapidly.”

Florida reported 10,109 new infections on Thursday, a record for the state and the largest daily increase for any state in the United States on Thursday. Around 2,300 of Florida’s cases were reported in Miami-Dade.

Gimenez’s curfew announcement says essential workers, “among them first responders, hospital workers, food delivery services and media,” will be excluded from the order.

“I do not want to go back to closing all but essential businesses, but the only way to avoid that is for everyone to take COVID-19 seriously,” Gimenez said. “That means every generation — everyone of us, no exceptions.”

On Wednesday, the mayor ordered masks be worn in all indoor and outdoor public settings and said in a statement that police would be out over the holiday weekend to enforce the rule.

Beaches in Miami-Dade will be closed through at least Tuesday. Gimenez said he would consider extending the closure if cases continued to rise. Beaches in neighboring Broward County are closed from Friday though Sunday.

By Angela Fritz
July 2, 2020 at 7:27 PM EDT

Oregon senator criticizes American Airlines for crowded flight

A U.S. senator on Thursday called out a major U.S. airline on social media for increasing the number of passengers it will allow on a flight, saying, “No way you aren’t facilitating spread of COVID infections.”

Oregon’s Jeff Merkley (D) tweeted a photograph of himself on a crowded American Airlines flight and wrote, “@AmericanAir: how many Americans will die bc you fill middle seats, w/ your customers shoulder to shoulder, hour after hour. This is incredibly irresponsible. People eat & drink on planes & must take off masks to do so. No way you aren’t facilitating spread of COVID infections.”

Last week, American Airlines announced that, effective July 1, it would resume selling all available seats. The airline also said it would allow passengers, at no charge, to take a less-crowded flight instead.

In response to a request for comment on Merkley’s tweet, American Airlines said in a statement that it was “unwavering in our commitment to the safety and well-being of our customers and team members.”

“We have multiple layers of protection in place for those who fly with us, including required face coverings, enhanced cleaning procedures, and a pre-flight COVID-19 symptom checklist — and we’re providing additional flexibility for customers to change their travel plans, as well,” the airline said. “We know our customers are placing their trust in us to make every aspect of their journey safe, and we are committed to doing just that.”

American joins United Airlines, which told ABC News it has never limited capacity — contrary to most airline policies during the pandemic.

Merkley is not the first senator to express concern on a public forum about airline crowding. On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said on Twitter, “American Airlines is recklessly endangering millions of lives just to make a profit. They should fully refund passengers who don’t feel safe flying with the airline.”

By Steven Goff
July 2, 2020 at 7:07 PM EDT

Walmart transforming 160 store parking lots into drive-ins

Go for groceries, stay for the movie — and keep social distance.

That’s what Walmart is hoping will draw customers in with its announcement Thursday that it will transform 160 of its store parking lots into drive-in theaters next month.

Walmart is launching the program next month in partnership with Tribeca Enterprises, the New York-based media company co-founded by Robert De Niro. The locations and movie lineup will be announced on a new Walmart Drive-In website, the retailer said in a news release.

Read more here.

By Hannah Denham
July 2, 2020 at 6:59 PM EDT

In Washington state, no mask means no service

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Thursday said he will issue an order next week requiring businesses to refuse service to customers who are not wearing a mask inside.

“It is a reasonable expectation for businesses to enforce this law,” Inslee said at a news conference in Olympia. “This order gives employers an added measure of protection.”

The statewide order follows a similar requirement, announced last week, for hard-hit Yakima County, in the south-central part of the state, which ranks second in cases to King County, which includes Seattle.

Washington’s death rate has remained relatively low but it has experienced a growth in cases the past two weeks.

Last week, Inslee announced the state would pause the fourth phase of reopening in eight counties. On Thursday, he relaxed a set of restrictions for three counties — Benton, Franklin and Yakima — that have been stuck in the first phase of the plan.

By Steven Goff
July 2, 2020 at 6:28 PM EDT

Report: 11-year-old who died from covid-19 is youngest recorded death in Florida

An 11-year-old boy is the youngest child to die from covid-19 in Florida, the Miami Herand reports.

The Miami-Date County child died of covid-19 pneumonia on June 30. The county medical examiner said his immune system was compromised by “multiple congenital abnormalities," the Herald reported.

Covid-19 appears to be milder in children and fewer children experience symptoms than adults, though severe outcomes are possible and have been reported. As of last week in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported nine covid-19 related deaths of babies younger than 12 months, six deaths among children 1 to 4 years, and 14 deaths among children 5 to 14 years.

The CDC in May warned doctors to be on the lookout for a covid-related inflammatory syndrome in children that has some characteristics in common with Kawasaki disease, a rare illness that typically impacts children under age 5 and whose cause is unknown.

Health commissioners in New York and New Jersey released data in early June that showed black or Hispanic children have been disproportionately affected by the pediatric syndrome — representing roughly two-thirds of all cases.

Ariana Ejung Cha and Chelsea Janes contributed to this report.

By Angela Fritz