Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Tennessee and Utah have all reported record daily cases, according to their state health departments. And for Florida, which was considered the next possible epicenter, that number reached 8,938 new cases in one day.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told reporters Friday that “nothing has changed in the past week” and that the push was the result of a “dump test”.
But the governor of Texas, the second most populous state in the country, “suspended” his state’s plan to gradually reopen and ordered new restrictions on businesses, including bars.
“At least in metropolitan areas, we now have people wearing masks, the bars are closed and we have a plea from the county judge and the mayor,” he said of Texas. “I don’t know how much this will really slow down this incredibly aggressive climb. It’s like trying to stop a train going down the tracks. “
“For the love of heaven: avoid the crowds”
The increase in the number of cases in more than half the country comes as people venture outside to take advantage of summer activities and ease restrictions after a spring inside to curb the spread of the virus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s foremost infectious disease expert, urged Americans to return to the basics to avoid spreading or becoming infected with the virus.
“For the love of heaven: avoid the crowds, wear masks. These are the fundamentals that – when you watch TV clips, when you see photos in the newspapers – people don’t do that. This is a recipe for disaster, “said Fauci. in an interview with Meg Tirrell from CNBC.
To this end, many institutions are taking steps to disperse large groups.
A federal judge ruled on Friday that the US government should release migrant children detained in government family detention centers before mid-July. They should be entrusted to the care of their parents or, if this is not an available option, to “suitable sponsors available or other assembly places without COVID available” with the consent of their parents or guardians.
In Texas, the Pride Houston march and parade have agreed to hold a virtual rally instead of a face-to-face event, the organization said in a Facebook statement on Friday.
“Pride Houston understands that we are not living in a bubble and we are also in the midst of another public health crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic,” the organization wrote.
And following epidemics after large beach rallies, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Friday that he will sign an emergency order on Saturday to close all of the county’s beaches for the week. weekend of July 4th.
The ordinance will also ban gatherings, including parades, of more than 50 people across the county during this period. Fireworks should be seen from homes or parked vehicles, Gimenez said in a statement.
“A bar in reality just doesn’t work with a pandemic”
Reopening the bars has been a challenge for Florida and Texas as they try to protect themselves from the virus.
“If I could go back and do anything again, it would probably have been to slow down the opening of the bars. Now seeing how quickly the coronavirus has spread through the bar – and, you know, a bar in reality just doesn’t work with a pandemic, “said Texas Governor Greg Abbott, affiliate of CNN, KVIA.
The Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission temporarily suspended liquor licenses at 12 bars in Texas on Monday after they were found to be in violation of state protocols to slow the spread. Videos and photos posted by the commission on Twitter show crowded bars over the weekend without seemingly any social distancing.
In Florida, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation suspended alcohol consumption in bars across the state Friday due to the non-compliance, the state governor said Friday.
“When people followed the instructions, we had no problem, you had no problem. The reason DBPR adopted it is because you had people who weren’t following it, “said DeSantis. “And so people just follow directions. We will be in good shape. “
90% or more of the country is sensitive
More than 2.4 million cases have been reported and at least 125,039 people have died from the virus in the United States to date. But the actual number of people infected is probably 10 times higher.
Antibody tests, which examine a person’s blood for signs of the immune system responding to an infection, show that more than 20 million people have been infected – most unknowingly, said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But even with such a high number, only between 5% and 8% of Americans have been infected with the coronavirus, the numbers varying by region. This means that 90% or more have not been infected and are susceptible to the virus, underscoring the need to act aggressively to combat rising infection rates, said Redfield.
Federal health officials have expanded the list of people potentially most at risk for serious complications from Covid-19.
Mild obesity, moderate to severe asthma, pregnant women and cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the CDC.
The same is true for people with sickle cell anemia, poorly controlled HIV infection, bone marrow transplant or organ transplant.
The agency also removed the specific age threshold, saying it is not just people over the age of 65 who are at increased risk for serious illness.
CNN’s Nicole Chavez, Jay Croft, Brian Rokus, Shelby Lin Erdman, Sara Weisfeldt, Hollie Silverman, Janine Mack and Nicole Williams contributed to this report.