Another hot spot in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott warned on Friday that he may have to impose further crackdowns if the state cannot curb its unprecedented records and hospitalizations through masks and social distancing .
“If we don’t adopt this best practice, it could lead to business closures,” the Republican governor told local KLBK-TV in Lubbock, adding that it was the last thing he wanted.
California announced on Friday that the state would release up to 8,000 inmates early in prison to slow the spread of COVID-19 inside the facility. At San Quentin State Prison, outside of San Francisco, half of the institution’s approximately 3,300 inmates have tested positive for the virus. The Walt Disney Co. said the Orlando theme parks would open on Saturday to a limited number of guests who, along with employees, should wear masks and undergo temperature checks. The park has also canceled parades, fireworks and events that generally draw crowds.
Disney’s chief medical officer said earlier this week that she believed the rules would allow guests to safely visit the park.
About 19,000 people, including some theme park workers, signed a petition asking Disney to delay the reopening. The union representing 750 artists from Walt Disney World has filed a grievance against the company, demanding retaliation against the members following a request from the union to submit them to a COVID-19 test.
Other theme parks opened in Orlando in June, including Universal Studios Orlando from Comcast Corp and SeaWorld from SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.
Florida remains one of the worst hotspots in the country and is one of a handful of states where deaths are increasing, according to a Reuters analysis of deaths in the past two weeks, compared to the previous two weeks.
On Thursday, the state reported a record 120 deaths and added 92 more on Friday. On Friday, 11,433 new cases of coronavirus were recorded, for a record, and nearly 7,000 hospitalizations.
More than four dozen hospitals in Florida have reported that their intensive care units are full.
This month, Florida repeatedly reported more new daily cases of coronavirus than a European country had during the height of their outbreaks. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, angered some residents and medical experts by calling the tip “a blow.”
DeSantis said on Friday that the state would receive more than 17,000 vials of the antiviral drug remdesivir from the US government, adding, “It will be something that hopefully will help improve patient outcomes.” ”
Scott Burkee, a 43-year-old Disney employee from Davenport, Florida, said DeSantis “has made no effort to control the spread, he only worries when Trump does. The virus is clearly out of control. ”
Trump, a Republican, traveled to Florida on Friday for a U.S. Army Southern Command event and fundraising campaign.
The president spoke with state and local officials and teacher unions about the reopening of schools and said Friday that the Treasury Department would review the tax exemption status and the funding of those who remain closed.
Trump had previously pledged to cut federal funding for schools and expel international students from US universities unless their schools offer courses in person. Most education funds come from state and local coffers.
The number of confirmed infections in the United States is more than 3 million, according to a Reuters count, fueling fears that hospitals will be overwhelmed.
More than 133,000 Americans have died, a toll that experts say will likely increase with the increase in cases.
Overall, coronavirus cases are increasing in 44 U.S. states, according to a Reuters analysis of cases from the past two weeks compared to the previous two weeks.