According to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, more than 9.8 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus. Actual numbers are said to be much higher due to testing shortages, numerous unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their country’s epidemics.
The United States has become the most affected country, with more than 2.5 million cases diagnosed and at least 125,039 deaths.
Here’s how the news is evolving today. Every hour in the East. Please refresh this page for updates
6:00 p.m .: confirmed cases in the top 2.5 million in the United States
At least 2,501,244 Americans have tested positive for the new coronavirus, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University.
Earlier on Saturday, the death toll in the United States reached 125,169, according to Johns Hopkins.
Florida, Georgia, Nevada and South Carolina have all reported record numbers of daily cases.
4:30 p.m .: Texas reports fifth consecutive day of 5,000 cases
Texas, on the fifth consecutive day of reporting at least 5,000 new cases of COVID-19, has now recorded 143,371 positive cases.
There were 2,366 deaths across the state and 5,523 people hospitalized, with the test positivity rate reaching almost 13.3%.
3:14 p.m .: Pence campaign events reported in Florida, Arizona
Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign events in Arizona and Florida this coming week have been postponed “out of prudence,” a Trump campaign official confirmed to ABC News.
Both states are seeing increases in positivity, hospitalization and death rates, according to an analysis by ABC News.
The vice president was scheduled to continue his Faith in America tour to Tucson, Arizona on Tuesday and to Sarasota, Florida on Thursday.
2:56 p.m .: 85 people tested positive after contracting a virus in the restaurant
At least 85 people tested positive for COVID-19 after contracting the virus at a Michigan restaurant, officials said.
The Ingham County Health Department told ABC News that they had “85 cases associated with the Harper’s Restaurant & Brew Pub in East Lansing. Of these 85, five are secondary, which means they were in close contact with someone who went to Harper’s, but did not. go themselves. ”
Those who tested positive were asked to self-quarantine. However, authorities have warned anyone in the facility between June 12 and June 20 to also self-quarantine.
The restaurant announced on Monday that it will close the restaurant to install air purification technology in the HVAC system.
2:20 p.m .: South Carolina reports highest number of new COVID cases
South Carolina has its highest number of new COVID-19 cases, with 1,599 new confirmed cases, according to the state health department.
The previous high was 1,293.
There were also 15 new confirmed deaths and two probable deaths related to COVID-19.
The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 31,850, while confirmed deaths have reached 707. There are 89 probable cases and four probable deaths.
11:12 a.m .: New York state health officials investigate possible spread to high school
The New York Department of Health will investigate a potential spread of COVID-19 at a high school graduation ceremony in Westchester County, according to the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Five people who attended the ceremony tested positive for the virus, said the governor’s office. The first person to test positive was someone who had recently traveled to Florida.
The other four then had contact with this person and were subsequently tested positive. A person who recently traveled to Florida attended the ceremony and then began to show symptoms, said the governor’s office. This person was then tested positive for the virus.
“We are ready to carry out the aggressive testing and contact tracing necessary to slow and ultimately control any potential group of new cases like the one in Westchester County,” Cuomo said in a statement.
He also said he was issuing an executive order that any New York employee who voluntarily travels to a high-risk state will not be eligible for COVID protections created as part of paid sick leave.
The graduation was for Horace Greeley High School and was a drive-in ceremony on June 20.
Everyone who tested positive is self-isolated, said the governor’s office.
However, one of the test subjects also attended a Field Night event on June 20, which was attended by juniors and seniors and students from surrounding school districts.
The Cuomo office recommended that anyone who attended this or any of the events associated with the graduation be quarantined and stay there until July 5.
10.59 a.m .: over 9,600 new cases in Florida
The Florida Department of Health has reported a total of 132,545 cases of COVID-19, representing 9,636 new positive cases.
The increase marks a one-day record for Florida.
There were 76,129 tests done on Friday, with a positivity rate of 12.7%, according to the health department.
The increase in the number of cases comes as Miami-Dade County announced the closure of all beaches for the July 4 holiday weekend.
7:02 a.m .: the co-founder of the reopening of Maryland is positive
Co-founder of ReOpen Maryland, which held rallies to pressure Governor Larry Hogan to lift the state’s house arrest order, said he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Tim Walters, a former Republican candidate for the General Assembly, said he had had a dry cough for months but had recently gotten worse. He said that he then started to experience excruciating headaches, fever and an inability to concentrate with one of his eyes, which caused dizziness.
Walters, 53, a diabetic who suffered a mini-stroke, said he went to the emergency room on Monday and was diagnosed with the virus.
“I’m here for months after not wearing a mask at rallies, churches, etc., so it’s funny how capricious this thing is,” he said in a Facebook video. .
Walters said he had no plans to provide health officials with the people he had been in close contact with for the contact tracing program.
5:40 am: HHS is “actively working” on the idea of group testing
On Friday evening, the United States Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to ABC News that the agency was pressuring the idea of ”pooling” the tests, that is, when officials collect samples from large groups and immediately test them to see if individual tests are needed.
The White House Coronavirus task force is actively talking about trying to push it locally as a surveillance tool. The main reason is that so many people are carriers of the virus without symptoms.
“HHS is actively working with a number of collaborators to validate the pooling so that it can be used generally as a technique,” HHS said in a statement to ABC News.
“Pooling is a public health surveillance strategy in which samples from more than one person are” pooled “in the same test,” said Amm. Brett Giroir, HHS assistant secretary responsible for coordinating the tests. “Depending on the underlying prevalence of the disease, this can be extremely beneficial. For example, if five samples are combined into one test and the test is negative, the five individuals are negative. ”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, said that pooling of tests on Friday may be necessary because the current contact tracing strategy has not worked.
One problem with finding contacts for COVID-19, said Fauci, is that there are too many asymptomatic people, which means you can’t identify them if they don’t have symptoms. Fauci also said that since many people did not trust the government, people did not answer tracing calls.
4:53 a.m .: Miami is about to close its beaches
As the number of coronavirus cases in the state of Florida continues to increase, Miami-Dade County has announced the closure of all beaches for the July 4 holiday weekend.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced that he would sign an executive decree on Saturday to close all beaches from July 3 to July 7 at least, but said it could be extended “if conditions do not improve and people do not comply with the new normal rules requiring the wearing of masks. always worn indoors and outdoors when a social distance of at least 6 feet is not possible. ”
The mayor said the region has a higher hospitalization rate with its younger population, which is particularly worrying during the recent increases.
“As we continue to see more positive results for COVID-19 tests in young adults and an increase in hospitalizations, I have decided that the only prudent thing to do to reduce this recent increase is to crack down on recreational activities that take our global community to the next level. risk, “said Gimenez in a statement on Friday.
In his order, the mayor also prohibits any gathering of more than 50 people and closes all parks and beaches to limit fireworks. He said fireworks should be seen from the house or the parked vehicle.
“After all the success we have had in mastering the COVID-19 curve, we cannot back up and overload our hospitals, which puts our doctors and nurses at greater risk with more cases in the emergency room,” said said Gimenez Friday. “Everyone has to do their part and follow the rules. ”
Florida is one of several states in the United States that has recently seen a significant increase in diagnosed cases of COVID-19. His positivity rate for coronaviruses jumped to 13% on Friday, according to new figures from the Florida Department of Health.
Florida has more than 122,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, with at least 3,366 deaths.
What you need to know about coronavirus:
ABC Scott ‘Rachel Scott, Anne Flaherty, Brian Hartman, Scott Withers, Joshua Hoyos and Jason Volack contributed to this report.