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More than 15,000 new cases of the coronavirus were announced on Sunday in Florida, marking the highest single-day total of known cases in any state since the start of the pandemic.
Florida’s surge soared past the previous record, set in New York, of more than 12,000 cases in a day. That occurred in April, during the worst of the outbreak there, when testing was scarce. And Florida is reporting far fewer deaths than New York.
Florida also saw single-day records in the counties that include Florida’s largest cities, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, Pensacola and Sarasota.
The U.S. outbreak is growing across 37 states. More than 60,000 new coronavirus cases were announced on Saturday, more than any day of the pandemic except Friday, when the country recorded more than 68,000 — setting a single-day record for the seventh time in 11 days.
The country’s seven-day death average reached 700 on Saturday, up from 471 on July 5, but still well below the more than 2,200 deaths the country averaged each day in mid-April. And eight states set single-day death records over the last week: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Tennessee. Alaska reached a new single-day record. on Sunday, with more than 110 cases.
Florida has recorded more than 269,800 cases, with more than 4,200 total deaths, according to a New York Times database.
The increase has added strain on hospitals. In Miami-Dade County, Fla., six hospitals have reached capacity as virus cases spike. The increase in cases caused Mayor Carlos Gimenez to roll back reopening plans by imposing a curfew and closing restaurants for indoor dining.
“We’ve definitely had a sharp increase in the number of people going to the hospital, the number of people in the I.C.U., and the number of people on ventilators,” he said. “We still have capacity, but it does cause me a lot of concern.”
Public health experts said that the state has had widespread community transmission, which has intensified after stay-at-home orders were lifted and businesses reopened.
“Bottom line is, more people are mobile and they’re not necessarily taking the precautions we think would help,” said Dr. Marissa Levine, a professor at the University of South Florida College of Public Health.
The surge in cases had been fueled in large part by younger people, a segment of the population that became the most mobile in recent weeks, which is a factor in the lower death count compared to other places because the virus is likely to have a less severe toll, Dr. Levine said. But they have contributed to the virus spreading more widely.”
“It’s not hard for younger people coming home to parents or grandparents or working with older coworkers to spread,” Professor Levine said, “and I think that’s what we’re seeing.
Some parts of the Midwest are beginning to look alarming like the South and West did just a month ago. Cases have been trending upward in every Midwestern state except Nebraska and South Dakota.
Minnesota announced its highest daily case totals since May on Sunday and Saturday. Ohio, which had been making progress fighting the virus, reported 1,525 new cases on Friday, exceeding the previous single-day record it had set back in April.
Across the Midwest, state and local officials are locked in contentious, partisan debates about reopening and masking ordinances that eerily echo those that occurred in the South and West just weeks before some emergency rooms began to fill to capacity and businesses were forced to close again.
Indiana was among the first states in the Midwest to begin reopening in early May. The state was on track to enter its final phase (Phase 5) of reopening by the Fourth of July but as cases began rising, Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, announced the state would instead enter an interim “Phase 4.5.” Mr. Holcomb’s amended executive order stops short of fully reopening but allows fairs and festivals, youth overnight camps and even conventions of up to 250 people to continue. Face coverings are “strongly recommended” but not required.
In Vanderburgh County, Indiana, cases have more than doubled since June 24. Mayor Lloyd Winnecke announced that a mandatory mask order for indoor spaces only will go into effect on Wednesday.
“I think wearing face coverings is one easy way to stop the spread and avoid future drastic actions that no one wants to take,” Mr. Winnecke said. In contrast, he said shutting down businesses was “not practical.”
In Kansas, average daily case counts are at their highest levels and in Sedgwick County, which includes Wichita, cases have more than doubled since June 25. Local officials in Wichita have attempted to slow the spread by issuing a universal mask ordinance and banning gatherings of more than 45 people.
“The goal is really to lean on common sense,” Wichita’s mayor, Brandon Whipple, said in a Facebook Live video Sunday. Face mask ordinances have been contentious in Kansas where just days after Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, issued a mask order, a Republican county chairman posted a cartoon on his newspaper’s Facebook page comparing it to the Holocaust.
Mr. Whipple, a Democrat, also said that testing is a slow, arduous process in the area, despite President Trump’s repeated claims that testing is readily available nationwide.
Facing questions about the gravity of the nation’s coronavirus crisis, Trump administration health officials on Sunday took a somber tone and stressed the importance of wearing masks, something their boss did publicly for the first time only the day before.
On ABC’s “This Week,” Adm. Brett Giroir, an official with Health and Human Services, acknowledged that with “more cases, more hospitalizations,” the expectation was for “deaths to go up” over the next several weeks. “It’s really essential to wear masks,” he said, adding: “We have to have like 90 percent of people wearing the masks in public in the hot spot areas. If we don’t have that we will not get control of the virus.”
The host, George Stephanopoulos, asked about suggestions by President Trump — who after months of refusing, donned a mask on Saturday during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center — that there could be some harm in wearing face coverings.
“There’s no downside to wearing a mask,” Admiral Giroir said. “I’m a pediatric I.C.U. physician. I wore a mask 10 hours a day for many, many years.”
Asked if states with stark increases in cases, like Florida, South Carolina, Arizona, Texas and Georgia, should consider more stringent measures, Admiral Giroir said that closing bars and limiting the number of patrons allowed in restaurants are “two measures that really do need to be done.”
The admiral, who has been in charge of testing, also told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that rates of people testing positive were “leveling off.” However, the Covid Tracking Project at The Atlantic shows positivity rates leveling only in the Northeast, with rates rising in the South, West and Midwest.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams said people needed to “understand the importance of wearing face coverings and good hand hygiene and staying home when they can.”
Dr. Adams wore a mask during his entire interview on the CBS program “Face the Nation” even though he was being interviewed remotely from Indiana. He said measures like wearing face coverings were “critically important.”
“Please don’t mistake me for saying we’re happy with where we are,” he said. “What I’m saying is that we are working with states to make sure we can respond to this incredibly contagious disease. And part of that, again, is making sure we’re slowing the spread, right? People understand the importance of wearing face coverings and good hand hygiene and staying home when they can.”
Though the signals in the early going were mixed, a clear consensus has since emerged among public health experts: Getting the public to wear masks is crucial to slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
With Covid-19 cases surging in many parts of the country, a number of governors, mayors and county officials who had been hesitant about requiring face coverings have now issued mandates.
In all, 25 states and the District of Columbia now have face-covering orders in effect, and two more will join them on Monday, according to a tally by The New York Times. Twelve of the orders have come into force in July.
In general, the orders require most people to cover their faces when in public places and unable to maintain social distance. But the scope of the mandate varies from state to state.
For example, Texas, Mississippi and Ohio are requiring masks only in certain counties. Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Oregon require them in indoor public spaces; Utah’s order applies only in state facilities and schools.
In states without statewide orders, some cities have imposed local mask orders, including Miami and Tampa, Fla.;Phoenix and Tempe, Ariz.; and Atlanta and Savannah, Ga.
State mask orders are in effect in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. Orders in Louisiana and Mississippi take effect on Monday.
As recently as early June, days went by with hardly anyone testing positive for the coronavirus in Corpus Christi, Texas, a popular beachfront vacation spot. A single case one day. Three the next. Then zero. Zero. Zero.
Now the city of 325,000 has one of the fastest-growing outbreaks in Texas, a state where records for positive cases were set for four straight days last week, with nearly 11,000 recorded on Thursday. Corpus Christi has seen more cases per capita than Houston and a rapidly mounting death toll: Of the 38 deaths it has recorded from the pandemic, 30 have come in July, including a baby less than 6 months old.
Local officials have been left scrambling to get ahead of an outbreak that went swiftly into overdrive. As recently as June 15, the city had tallied 360 cases during the entirety of the outbreak; on Wednesday alone, there were 445.
The city’s two dozen contact tracers are so overwhelmed that they are no longer able to seek detailed information about each new infection. Hospital beds have filled at an alarming rate, prompting pleas for additional staffing.
The surge in cases has forced local leaders, businesses and residents to grapple with the uncomfortable reality that the same out-of-towners who help the city thrive economically may have caused the outbreak. The feeling is less one of resentment than of frustration at a seemingly impossible dilemma.
“I never thought in my wildest dreams that I’d be telling tourists, ‘Don’t come to our beaches,’” said Mayor Joe McComb, 72.
In other U.S. news:
Pittsburgh, which has an economy driven by the health care industry and is a sister city to Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus first emerged, took the threat seriously and shut down early. But now Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, is experiencing an alarming surge in infections.
More than 330 new cases were announced Sunday in Webb County, Texas, which includes Laredo. El Paso County also reported a single-day high as cases spike along Texas’ border with Mexico.
The New Mexico Environment Department ordered a Walmart in Las Cruces to shut down on Saturday after four employees tested positive for the virus, and is urging anyone who visited the location since June 22 to get tested. In a statement, the company said the employees were self-isolating with paid leave, and that the store had reopened on Sunday after being cleaned and sanitized.
The governor of Louisiana has ordered that bars close and most residents wear masks outdoors. The state had an early outbreak that receded, before a recent sharp increase in cases and hospitalizations. Louisiana now has more cases per capita than all but New York and New Jersey, and on Friday, the state recorded more than 2,600 positive tests, more than any day since April 2.
At least 60 people on two U.S. Marine bases on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa have been infected with the coronavirus, according to Marine officials.
A spokesman for the Marines said that commanders had enacted “soft shelter-in-place orders” at the bases, Camp Hansen and Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, and that only essential personnel would be permitted to enter and leave those areas.
“Cleaning teams have been dispatched and thorough contact tracing is ongoing to identify and isolate those who may have come in contact with infected personnel,” the spokesman, Major Kenneth Kunze, said in a statement on Saturday.
In one month, cases in the U.S. military have more than doubled, according to Pentagon data, a disturbing surge that mirrors a similar trend across the country.
On Friday, Pentagon statistics reported 16,637 cases in the entire military. On June 10, that number was just 7,408.
A Marine familiar with the situation in Okinawa, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said that it was likely that the virus was transmitted to at least one of the bases after a unit deployed there in mid-June.
It is believed that some in the unit contracted the virus after sneaking off the base for Fourth of July celebrations, according to the Marine as well as a notice sent by a Marine official.
“Okinawans are shocked by what we were told” by the U.S. military about the outbreak, the Okinawa governor, Denny Tamaki, told a news conference, according to The Associated Press. He questioned disease prevention measures taken by the U.S. military.
The outbreak could inflame long-simmering tensions over the presence of American military bases on Okinawa, which dates to the end of World War II. Okinawans have complained about crime, noise and other problems associated with the bases, and have questioned why a substantial number of the 50,000 American troops in Japan are stationed on Okinawa.
On a day when India reported more than 28,000 new infections, one case in particular caught the whole country’s attention: that of Amitabh Bachchan, a Bollywood star and one of India’s most revered figures.
Mr. Bachchan, known as Big B, announced on Saturday to his 43 million followers on Twitter that he had tested positive and urged his recent contacts to get tested themselves. His son, Abhishek, and daughter-in-law, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, both actors, have also become infected.
India is now racking up more new reported infections each day than any other country except the United States and Brazil. It also has the third-highest total number of infections after those same two countries, with about 850,000 confirmed cases and more than 22,000 deaths. Hospitals in India are overflowing to the point that pregnant women have died in labor after being turned away.
The surge has led officials around India to reimpose restrictions after attempting to loosen things up to stimulate a critically wounded economy. The borders between states are being rigorously patrolled, and international travel is still closed. But the density of India’s population makes it difficult to practice social distancing in cities like Mumbai, home to Mr. Bachchan.
It’s hard to overstate how famous Big B is, having appeared in more than 200 films over the past 50 years.
“He’s like god,” said Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, a filmmaker who has worked with him. “I’ve never seen a star having such power, such credibility. He’s the biggest superstar this country has ever, ever seen.”
Mr. Bachchan’s illness may create more fear across India. But Mr. Dungarpur predicted that many Indians would find his struggle inspiring and say to themselves: “If Amitabh Bachchan can fight this, so can we.”
Other developments around the world:
Australian citizens and residents returning from overseas to New South Wales, which includes the city of Sydney, will be charged for their mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine starting July 18, the state premier said on Sunday. Mandatory hotel quarantines at a similar cost are already in effect in Queensland and the Northern Territory, and other parts of the country are likely to begin charging travelers as well amid a new outbreak in Melbourne, Australia’s second-biggest city. The border has been closed to nonresidents since March.
Xu Zhangrun, a law professor in Beijing who has criticized the Chinese government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, was released from detention on Sunday, a week after the police took him away.
In Hong Kong, a Department of Health spokeswoman said that the latest outbreak in the semiautonomous Chinese territory was worse than a peak in March because of a growing number of cases with unknown origins and clusters linked to housing estates, homes for older people and restaurants. Hong Kong recorded 38 new infections and 20 preliminary positive cases on Sunday.
With infections skyrocketing on the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority has ordered a new two-week lockdown, banning travel between different provinces and imposing an 8 p.m. to 6 p.m. curfew. Weddings and funeral gatherings have been forbidden. Active virus cases on the West Bank have soared from 72 on July 2 to more than 5,100 on Sunday.
Voters in Poland are deciding a runoff between the presidential incumbent, Andrzej Duda, and his challenger, Warsaw’s mayor, Rafal Trzaskowski. Nationalism and populism have been more focal in their race than the coronavirus — the country has recorded more than 37,800 infections and more than 1,500 deaths — but precautions taken at polling stations, including social-distancing requirements, were a reminder of the lingering threat.
Spain is holding its first elections since it was hit by the pandemic, with voting on Sunday in two northern regions, Galicia and the Basque Country. Both votes were initially set for April, but were rescheduled when the country went into lockdown in March. A prime concern is that turnout could fall to record lows as voters fear getting infected while lining up at polling stations. And regional authorities in Catalan have tightened a health lockdown and confined over 140,000 people to only leaving their homes for work and other essential activities, a week after they had already limited travel to and from the county of El Segria, the A.P. reported.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos pushed ahead Sunday with the Trump administration’s pressure campaign on schools to resume in-person classes this fall, using a television show tour to downplay both the resurgence of the virus and guidelines issued by the administration’s own health officials.
“I think the go-to needs to be kids in school, in-person, in the classroom because we know for most kids, that’s the best environment for them,” Ms. DeVos said on CNN’s “State of the Union.
Ms. DeVos has increasingly become the face of the administration’s efforts to amplify calls for schools to fully reopen after President Trump railed last week against guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and threatened to cut off federal funding to schools that did not reopen their campuses.
On both CNN and “Fox News Sunday,” Ms. DeVos reiterated the administration’s stance that the C.D.C. guidelines, which call in-person classes the “highest risk” scenario and recommend a range of safety precautions to keep children and teachers safe, were not mandatory.
That drew a rejoinder from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who appeared on “State of the Union” after Ms. DeVos and said the C.D.C. guidelines “should be requirements.” “Going back to school presents the biggest risk for the spread of the coronavirus,” Ms. Pelosi said. “They ignore science and they ignore governance in order to make this happen.”
When asked about Mr. Trump’s threats to federal funding, Ms. DeVos gave conflicting answers. She said on Fox that if schools did not reopen, “they shouldn’t get the funds,” while saying on CNN that “there’s no desire to take money away — in fact, we want to see schools open and have been committed to ensuring the resources are there to do that.”
Alberto Carvalho, the superintendent of the Miami-Dade County public schools, the fourth-largest public school system in the country, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that federal aid under the stimulus bill enacted in the spring might not be enough to cover the added costs of resuming in-school instruction safely this fall, including providing personal protective equipment like masks and gloves.
“I think for the purchase of P.P.E. and additional disinfection cycles, electrostatic disinfection of schools, alteration of schedules — we may need more bus routes to achieve greater social distancing between the riders — more than likely we will need additional resources earmarked specifically for local governments and school systems,” Mr. Carvalho said.
“We need the community’s collaboration” to get the virus outbreak under control, he said, adding, “We need the science to drive the practice, rather than politics influencing what is legitimately a community concern.”
Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican who has been critical of the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic, said on “Meet the Press” that he would not be “rushed” into sending children back to school in the fall, despite the threats on federal funding.
Beyond being the women who lead Michigan’s state government, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson have a lot in common.
All three are accomplished Democratic lawyers and Gen-Xers who were elected as part of a wave that has flipped much of Michigan’s leadership from red to blue. And they’ve all tussled with President Trump.
Trailing Joseph R. Biden Jr. in polls of voters in Michigan, a key battleground state, Mr. Trump has taken aim at Ms. Whitmer and her colleagues over their mission to expand voting rights. He has taken to calling Governor Whitmer — who is seen as a potential running mate for Mr. Biden — “that woman from Michigan.”
The three women have responded forcefully to Mr. Trump, zeroing in on his virus response. Ms. Whitmer said on Tuesday that it was “incumbent on every one of us to mask up, from the White House to the State House,” and added, “The fact that we’re behind the rest of the world is a disgrace.”
Ms. Nessel has joined or filed dozens of lawsuits to reverse Trump administration policies, including one lawsuit filed against the secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, over a new rule reallocating some virus relief money to private schools. Ms. DeVos is a former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party.
Ms. Nessel also called Mr. Trump “a petulant child” after he declined to wear a mask while touring a Ford Motor Company plant in Ypsilanti in May. “I swear, some days I wake up and think Montgomery Burns is president,” she said, referring to the greedy boss in “The Simpsons.” Mr. Trump accused Ms. Nessel of scaring businesses away from Michigan with her language.
The idea of playing college sports this fall has felt shaky all along. Now, it is teetering with each bit of news, with this week bringing some of the most seismic moves yet.
The Ivy League shut down sports until at least Jan. 1. Ohio State and North Carolina each had enough coronavirus cases among the few athletes on campus that they suspended summer workouts. And the Big Ten Conference said that most of its fall sports, including football, would play only league games — if they played at all. The Pac-12 Conference did the same on Friday, later announcing that its commissioner had tested positive.
“Nobody wants to be the first one, but when somebody is, then it makes it OK for somebody to be the next one,” Buddy Teevens, the longtime football coach at Dartmouth, said of the Ivy League.
Through Wednesday, at least 426 college athletes had tested positive for the coronavirus among roughly 50 Division I programs, and the number of cases is probably much higher. About half of American universities either did not respond to requests for testing results from The New York Times or declined to provide numbers, under the auspices of protecting the privacy of student-athletes.
Ohio State, in suspending its off-season workout programs this week, did not reveal how many students tested positive. It said only that the shutdown affected seven sports, including football.
In pro sports, some competitions, desperate to salvage their seasons and profits, have cautiously reopened, with testing a crucial component. But there was no blueprint for screening athletes on such a scale, so a patchwork of businesses and labs, all with entirely different missions before the pandemic, converged to try to meet the need.
If you are longing for an international getaway, or simply to go farther than you’re willing to drive, you may have some anxieties about flying or even wondering where you are allowed to go. Let us help:
Reporting was contributed by Pam Belluck, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, John Branch, Chris Buckley, Catie Edmondson, Vanessa Friedman, Jeffrey Gettleman, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, J. David Goodman, Kathleen Gray, Erica Green, Maggie Haberman, Rebecca Halleck, Jennifer Jett, Patrick J. Lyons, Zach Montague, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Sarah Mervosh, Raphael Minder, Kate Phillips, Stanley Reed, Campbell Robertson, Rick Rojas, Mitch Smith, Lucy Tompkins, Mariel Wamsley and Karen Zraick.
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