U.S. Cases Rise 2%; California Shuts Indoor Dining: Virus Update

U.S. Cases Rise 2%; California Shuts Indoor Dining: Virus Update

Bloomberg  | Jul 14, 2020 06:00

U.S. Cases Rise 2%; California Shuts Indoor Dining: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) -- California closed indoor dining and bars, and its two biggest school districts said they would offer remote learning only despite calls by the Trump administration for classrooms to fully reopen. The state reported a record number of people hospitalized with coronavirus.

New York City will redouble efforts to educate young people about the importance of wearing masks and keeping socially distant after an increase in cases among those ages 20 to 29.

Hong Kong reported 41 new local cases, another record high, and tightened social-distancing measures amid fears of a resurgence after weeks of near-normal activity. More than half a million residents defied the fresh outbreak and government warnings to vote in an unofficial primary.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases top 12.9 million; deaths surpass 569,600
  • New York school reopenings will hinge on regional infection rates
  • Covid-19 reinvades U.S. states
  • Death rate in majority-Black countries is getting worse
  • The pros and cons of pooling Covid-19 tests
  • Anonymity helped overcome stigma in handling of Korean nightclub outbreak

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus.

U.S. Cases Rise 2% (3:59 p.m. NY)

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 2% as compared to the same time yesterday to 3.34 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. That was in line with the 1.9% average increase over the past week.

California Shuts Indoor Dining, Bars (3:48 p.m. NY)

California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all inside dining, wineries, movie theaters and other indoor entertainment closed to control the spread of Covid-19.

Bars and breweries statewide must close all indoor and outdoor operations, while fitness centers, worship services, protests and salons must shut in counties that have been on a monitoring list for three straight days. Those counties include Sacramento, Santa Barbara, San Benito and San Diego.

California reported 109,910 new cases in the last 14 days, and 1,104 new deaths, out of a total of 329,162 cases and 7,040 deaths. The state has 1,716 new patients in hospitals for Covid-19 in the past two weeks, an increase of 28% from the previous two weeks.

California Sees Record Hospitalizations (2:25 p.m. NY)

California reported a record number of people hospitalized with coronavirus: 6,485 on Sunday, up 2.6% from the previous day. The state also reported 8,358 new cases -- above the 14-day average of 7,800 -- as well as 23 new deaths, well below the 14-day average of 76.

L.A., San Diego Schools Go Remote in Fall: NYT (2:05 p.m. NY)

California’s largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, said instruction will be remote only in the fall due to concerns over the coronavirus, according to the New York Times.

The school districts, which together enroll 825,000 students, are the largest in the U.S. to abandon plans for a physical return to classrooms when they reopen, the Times reported.

The joint announcement came as U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos continued to press the Trump administration’s case to quickly reopen public schools, not only for students’ social and emotional development but also to allow parents to return to work fully, the newspaper said.

Atlanta Mayor Asks N.Y. for Help (1:05 p.m. NY)

New York state will send Atlanta resources to help increase testing and tracing efforts as the number of new coronavirus cases in Georgia continue to climb.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, on Monday via video link, asked Governor Andrew Cuomo for help, saying the intensive-care unit capacity in some hospitals in the city are close to maxing out.

“We’re headed in the wrong direction,” she said. “Unless we have a coordinated approach across this country, we are going to continue to unnecessarily watch people die.”

Bottoms, a potential vice presidential pick for Democrat Joe Biden, has been at odds with Republican Governor Brian Kemp over the state’s response to Covid-19.

New York, once the center of the pandemic in the U.S., is in a “stable period” right now, Cuomo said.

He lauded Bottoms for her leadership, saying she’s doing “exactly the right thing” in slowing reopening plans and requiring masks to be worn. Cuomo said he would send a team down to aid Atlanta.

Cuomo said he’s talking to a few states as well, seeing what they need and the best way to get it to them.

Hong Kong Mandates $645 Fine for No Mask (12:15 p.m. NY)

Hong Kong ordered gyms and bars to close for a week, restored strict limits on public gatherings and introduced fines for anyone refusing to wear a mask on public transport in a fresh bid to prevent the resurgent coronavirus from spiraling out of control.

The tougher measures, to take effect Wednesday, include drastically limiting the number of people gathering in public back to four, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in a press conference on Monday.

No Normal for Foreseeable Future: WHO (11:45 a.m. NY)

It would be unrealistic to expect that a perfect vaccine will become available to everyone immediately, and it’s not realistic to expect Covid-19 to disappear in the coming months, said Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization’s emergencies program, speaking at a briefing in Geneva.

“There will be no return to the old normal for the foreseeable future,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the organization, an agency of the United Nations.

The best way to reopen schools is to do so once countries succeed in combating the spread of the disease, Ryan said. Not enough is known about the role of children in transmission, though several recent studies suggest that children over 10 are more susceptible to infection than those under 10, said Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead officer on Covid-19.

Separately, two scientists that the WHO has sent in an advance mission to China are working remotely with local researchers as local rules require them to stay in quarantine. Learning how animals transmitted the disease will help in fighting it, Van Kerkhove said.

Arizona Reports Fewest New Cases in Two Weeks (11:40 a.m. NY)

Arizona on Monday reported 1,357 new Covid-19 cases for a total of 123,824, an increase of 1.1% that was well below the prior seven-day average of 3.2%. It was the lowest number of new cases reported in two weeks.

The Arizona Department of Health Services also reported eight new deaths, bringing the statewide toll to 2,245.

NYC to Educate Young People on Masks (10:55 a.m. NY)

New York City will redouble efforts to educate young people about the importance of wearing masks and keeping socially distant after a rise in cases among those ages 20-29.

Young adults between the ages of 20 to 29 with Covid-19 infection increased to about 35 per 100,000 during the last week in June, from about 27 per 100,000 in the first week in June, according to the city health department. The rate among those 30 to 39 remained almost flat, to about 31 per 100,000 from about 30 per 100,000 during the same time span.

While the city is celebrating its first day of no deaths from Covid-19 since the outbreak, and its hospitalization and positivity rates are stable, it sees a troubling pattern as the phased reopening of the most populous U.S. city lures people out of their homes.

“We’re going to double down and make sure that younger adults really follow precautions,” the mayor said. “We need to remind them that they are not impervious.”

De Blasio also urged President Donald Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act now to make sure all states get the supplies they need to battle the virus.

Florida Cases Rise More Than Average (10:40 a.m. NY)

Florida reported 282,435 Covid-19 cases on Monday, up 4.7% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 4.4% in the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 4,277, an increase of 35, or 0.8%, according to the report, which includes data through Sunday.

The new rate of people testing positive for the first time climbed to 11.5% for Sunday, from 11.3% on Saturday.

Empire State Building Observatory to Reopen (9:12 a.m. NY)

The Empire State Building plans to reopen the observatory on July 20 under New York state’s Phase 4 guidelines. Hours of operation will be reduced for the first few weeks, and initial capacity will be cut more than 80% to only 500 guests at a time.

Top U.K. Scientists Urge Making Masks Mandatory (8:30 a.m. NY)

A group of U.K. scientists is calling on the government to make face masks mandatory in indoor spaces, as evidence on the use of coverings in preventing the spread of Covid-19 grows.

The Independent SAGE panel -- set up as an alternative to the U.K. government’s official coronavirus advisory committee -- published a report Monday petitioning for new laws to enforce the use of masks. Legislation should be accompanied by a campaign advising the public of the benefits, according to the group.

Hong Kong Tightens Measures Amid New Wave (8 a.m. NY)

Hong Kong tightened virus control measures as it battles with a new wave of local cases. These include limiting the number of people gathering in public to four from 50, and banning dine-in services at eateries from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. The moves were announced at a news conference with Chief Executive Carrie Lam. The new social-distancing measures take effect on Wednesday.

Earlier, Hong Kong reported 41 new local cases, another record high. Government officials said 21 were related to previous clusters while 20 were of unknown origins. This suggests that hidden chains of transmission have been circulating for some time as the population returned to work and social activities.

Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) Vaccine Sales May Top $5 Billion (7:12 a.m. NY)

Moderna Inc.’s experimental vaccine for Covid-19 could generate sales of more than $5 billion a year, Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) analyst Michael Yee said, initiating the stock at a buy.

Chinese Ports Jammed (7 a.m. NY)

Intensive testing of meat, seafood and other products for the coronavirus has tripled customs clearance times at some major Chinese ports, raising concerns the delays could ensnare global trade flows.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), BioNTech Vaccine Candidates Fast-Tracked (6:54 a.m. NY)

Two of Pfizer and BioNTech’s four investigational mRNA-based vaccine candidates received fast track designation from the FDA. The designation was granted based on preliminary data from phase 1/2 studies that are currently ongoing in the U.S. and Germany as well as animal studies. The companies said a large, global Phase 2b/3 study may begin as early as this month.

BioNTech shares rose 5% pre-market while Pfizer gained 1.6%.

Iran’s New Cases Slightly Below Average (6:09 a.m. NY)

Iran reported 2,349 new daily cases, a 0.9% increase that is slightly below the 1% average rise from the past week. There were 203 new deaths in the past 24 hours. The country has 259,652 infections and 13,032 fatalities.

Greece Allows Flights From Sweden (6 a.m. NY)

Greece will allow direct flights from Sweden from July 22, according to government spokesman Stelios Petsas. The country will also look into allowing direct flights from non-EU countries, such as the U.S., from end of July, depending on the situation in those countries and on condition travelers have a negative test for Covid-19 carried out within 72 hours before arrival.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

© Bloomberg. An employee wearing a protective mask and gloves at sanitizes a table in the outdoor dining area of a restaurant in Miami, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. A day after announcing pending closures, Mayor Gimenez said he had met with medical experts and business leaders and decided that restaurants could still provide outdoor dining and gyms could open if everyone wore a mask.

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