Mon, 08/03/2020 – 11:52
- Arizona reports just 1,030 new cases as hospitalizations fall for 12th day
- Iran’s death toll is 3x larger than previously believed
- Issues plague school reopenings in Indiana, Georgia
- NYC will bring back outdoor dining next summer, mayor says
- Owner, captain of NYC party boat arrested after flouting restrictions
- Kosovo PM infected by COIVD
- New Florida cases decline as testing stations closed
- 46 hospitals in FLA have no open ICU beds
- More schools reopen in Indiana, Georgia, elsewhere
- Global COVID cases top 18 million
- Australia imposes tighter lockdown on Melbourne
- Duterte revives Manilla lockdown
- COVID US cases slow
- HK reports 80 new cases, first reading below 100 in two weeks
- Gottlieb says lockdowns may not always be most appropriate solution
* * *
Update (1115ET): Arizona just reported 1,030 new cases (+0.6%) on Monday, its smallest daily increase since late June. That’s compared with 1.3% 7-day average.
The state also reported 14 more deaths on Monday, the lowest count since July 13, bringing the state’s tallies to 179,497 (for confirmed cases) and 3,779 (for deaths).
The spread of coronavirus in Arizona has been slowing in the weeks after the implementation of face mask requirements in many areas, including all of Maricopa County, the worst-hit county in AZ, and statewide executive orders to close businesses such as bars and gyms and restrict dine-in service.
Arizona’s positivity rate declined to 12.9% statewide.
In other news, Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti revealed late last night that he had tested positive for COVID-19, but was not experiencing any serious symptoms.
During his latest update from city hall, Mayor de Blasio said that his outdoor dining program for NYC restaurants has been so successful, he would revive it next year, while largely dithering about plans for returning students to school, which is supposed to start in a few weeks.
I’m at City Hall with the latest updates. https://t.co/9xIQPvR01w
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) August 3, 2020
More than 9,000 restaurants have set up tables on sidewalks, curbs and on streets closed to traffic in the past few months, the mayor said. Outdoor dining will begin June 1 next year. It will also continue in NYC until the cold weather makes it impermissible.
Meanwhile, as NYC struggles to keep looking tough on COVID-19 enforcement, officers arrested the owners and captain of The Liberty Belle, a large riverboat that can fit up to 600 guests with four bars and three outdoor decks, after the boat flouted NYC’s social distancing rules to hold a party with 170 guests on board.
Over in the Middle East, the BBC reported that following Iran’s latest explosion in COVID-19 deaths, the true death toll may be almost 3x larger than official count.
Spain just diagnosed 968 new cases over the last 24 hours, bringing its total to 297,054.
* * *
Update (1100ET): With more testing centers closed, Florida reports 4,752 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, along with another 73 deaths. It’s the fewest number of new cases reported since June 23, though it comes after a weekend when many test sites were closed.
The state has 491,884 total cases, the most in the country after California, which has more than half a million cases. The death toll hit 7,279.
We’ll likely need to wait a few days to see whether the trend of declining new cases remains intact.
In other news, more states around the country are sending staff back to school for the first time since education shut down around the country back in the spring.
Already, over the weekend, just days after public schools reopening in Indiana for the first time, at least one student and one school staff member have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to reports that emerged over the weekend. The infections occurred in the Greenfield-Central Community School Corporation, 20 miles east of Indianapolis. A student tested positive on his first day back in class, meaning he likely contracted the virus elsewhere.
Parents at another early-open school district in Georgia complained to CNN in a story published last week before schools reopened with only staff allowed on-site. And on Monday, a spate of new positive tests has prompted North Paulding High School near Atlanta to consider delaying the return of in-person classes, which were supposed to start imminently, after an outbreak affecting the football team. Football practices have been cancelled, the school said. School is supposed to start Monday with a mix of both in-class and virtual learning.
Circling back to hard-hit Florida, 46 hospitals around the state still have no open ICU beds and 26 hospitals have just one available ICU bed, according to Fla.’s Agency for Healthcare Administration. 4 counties – Jackson, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee – said no ICU beds were available as of Monday morning, the agency said. These numbers typically fluctuate throughout the day.
* * *
New coronavirus flareups that have emerged over the past few weeks across Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Australia have driven global infection rates to their highest levels yet. By early Monday morning in New York, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 had surpassed 18 million…
…as the world reports roughly 250,000 new cases a day, leaving the world on track to surpass 19 million by the end of the week.
Lockdowns initially helped Europe, China, South Korea and parts of the US to suppress the virus. But similar measures adopted by Australia’s Victoria State – home of the country’s second-biggest city, Melbourne – have failed to suppress a second-wave of the outbreak.
While analysts at JPM question whether lockdowns are the smartest strategy to confront outbreaks in the second wave, Australia’s Victoria state has doubled down, announcing Monday that it would shut down large parts of its retail and manufacturing sectors for another six weeks.
One day after declaring a state of disaster, Premier Daniel Andrews also announced that construction firms must radically reduce the number of workers on-site across the city. While essential services such as banks, supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations remain open, production at meat-processing plants across Victoria will be reduced by one-third, potentially limiting supplies of meat and driving up food prices during already trying times.
The new measures – which follow lockdowns, curfews and other restrictions – will further limit movement and activity, especially at night, and ultimately force 1 million workers to stay home, according to the BBC.
Workers forced to stay home can apply for benefits to compensate them for some of their lost wages, up to
Despite imposing a strict lockdown three weeks ago (these new measures add to the restrictions already in place), the outbreak in Victoria has continued to worsen. Until about 4 weeks ago, Australia held the title of one of the most successful virus response efforts of any anglophone country. But a seemingly unstoppable outbreak centered around Melbourne has brought the country to its worst place yet.
Elsewhere in Asia, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the country’s capital, Manila, back on lockdown starting Aug. 4 after the country recorded its biggest single-day jump in new cases yet, with 3,226 new infections confirmed and 46 additional deaths. That marked the fourth straight day that the Philippines had recorded a new record jump in infections, putting it on track to surpass Indonesia as the country with the biggest outbreak in Southeast Asia.
Health officials announced that the country’s total confirmed cases had reached 106,330 confirmed cases and 2,104 deaths.
In the US, which saw the number of new cases reported decline again on Sunday, Dr. Birx warned last night that the virus is more widespread than ever across the country, while Dem leader Nancy Pelosi said she didn’t have much confidence in Dr. Birx, whom she denounced as an unreliable Trump appointee.
Another silver lining: Hong Kong reported 80 new cases, the first time in 12 days that the SAR reported a daily rise of fewer than 100 new cases. A team of Chinese officials are rolling out a new mass-testing regime in the quasi-autonomous territory that is still reeling from a new national security law imposed by Beijing that cracks down on political dissent.
Finally: During his daily appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, former FDA head Scott Gottlieb said governments should work toward a “happy medium” of closures and restrictions that does the least amount of damage to the economy while keeping the virus mostly at bay.
“The question is: can they hang on to those gains, or are they being quietly seeded right now”…the bottom line question is targeted mitigation – you close bars….you move activities outside – combined with universal masking…is that enough to keep the virus at bay,”
“If it can, then we may have found some kind of happy medium if you will between lockdowns and unfettered spread.”
Watch the clip below:
“We need to put these vaccines through proper trials,” says @ScottGottliebMD on the race to a #COVID19 vaccine. “There’s going to be enormous pressure around these vaccines.” pic.twitter.com/adplvC9UCN
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) August 3, 2020
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Author: Tyler Durden
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