Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 5 August 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: US reports 50,000 cases in a single day

Florida accounted for nearly 20 per cent of new cases on Wednesday

The US continues to face an alarming surge in new coronavirus infections, with another 50,304 cases reported on Wednesday.

Florida accounts for almost 20 per cent of new cases, reporting 9,989 new infections for the 24 hours.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said the state led the country in new reported cases over the previous week.

Concerns are mounting about limited medical resources as the rate of hospital admissions and new cases continue to rapidly rise.

At least five central Florida hospitals have already reached capacity in the intensive care units.

Florida's death toll stands at just under 4,000.

Elsewhere, New Jersey on Wednesday adopted one of the toughest orders on face mask orders in the US.

Governor Phil Murphy issued an executive order requiring face coverings outdoors where social distancing was not possible.

Mr Murphy said the measure was necessary because of a recent rise in the state's transmission rate.

"Wearing a face covering, I remind you, is not about politics," he said. "It's about quite simply being sick or healthy. It's about life and death."

Many states require use of masks in public indoor areas and recommend they be used outside, but have stopped short of ordering them to be used outdoors.

As many states retreat from easing restrictions, New York City went ahead with its plan for students to return to classrooms in the autumn, with a mix of classes online and in person.

Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a "blended learning" schedule, which requires state approval.

It means 1.1 million public school students would spend two days at school and three learning at home, and then reversing the sequence in the week after.

The scheme is designed to limit the number of students and teachers in school buildings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

New Jersey and New York were among of the hardest-hit states when the virus emerged.

They are desperate to preserve the progress they have made in containing the virus while cases surge elsewhere in the country.

New York on Wednesday reported 692 new cases, while New Jersey announced 335.

The recent rapid rise in cases is mainly in the southern and western states.

President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa in late June that drew thousands of participants and large protests “likely contributed” to the dramatic surge in new cases, Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said on Wednesday.

Tulsa County reported 261 confirmed new cases on Monday, a one-day record high, and another 206 cases on Tuesday. By comparison, during the week before the June 20 Trump rally, there were 76 cases on Monday and 96 on Tuesday.

“In the past few days, we’ve seen almost 500 new cases, and we had several large events just over two weeks ago, so I guess we just connect the dots,” Dr Dart said.

Meanwhile, officials in Houston have cancelled the Texas Republican Party convention, saying the spread of the coronavirus made it impossible for members to gather in person.

“The public health concerns outweighed anything else,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said on Wednesday afternoon.

Updated: July 9, 2020 03:21 AM

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