States pause reopening plans as US hits another bleak milestone


Video above: California rolls back more openings due to virusHealth officials are urging Americans to limit their holiday weekend festivities to avoid clusters of outbreaks.”We know people are tired of being cooped up at home … but cases surged after Memorial Day,” said Dean Sidelinger, the Oregon state health officer. “We don’t want the same thing to happen over the Independence Day holiday.”In Nebraska, officials warned residents to maintain a contact list for future tracing if they have to invite guests over for July Fourth. They urged people to hold such events outdoors if possible, avoid sharing items such as sun screen and maintain social distancing.The Fourth of July weekend could be the “perfect storm” for a spike in coronavirus cases, said Dr. Joshua Barocas, an infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center.”The combination of travel, the combination of reopening — perhaps in some cases, too early — and the combination of people not necessarily following some of these preventive guidelines,” he said.The latest numbersThe U.S. has reported more than 2.6 million cases of the virus and at least 128,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.The U.S. set another record for new coronavirus cases Wednesday.There were a 50,203 new cases reported nationwide, a single-day record. At least five states — Arizona, California, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas — reported a record number of new cases Wednesday. At least 23 states have paused reopening plans to combat the spreading infections. Economic impactU.S. employers added a substantial 4.8 million jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%, as the job market improved for a second straight month yet still remained far short of regaining the colossal losses it suffered this spring.The nation has now recovered roughly one-third of the 22 million jobs it lost to the pandemic recession. And with confirmed coronavirus cases spiking across the Sun Belt states, a range of evidence suggests that a job market recovery may be stalling. In those states and elsewhere, some restaurants, bars and other retailers that had re-opened are being forced to close again.The re-closings are keeping layoffs elevated: The number of Americans who sought unemployment benefits barely fell last week to 1.47 million. Though that weekly figure has declined steadily since peaking in late March, it’s still more than double the pre-pandemic peak set in 1982. And the total number of people receiving jobless aid remains at a sizable 19 million.The virus shows signs of resurgenceAs new cases rise and states rethink reopening plans, some areas that had made progress against the virus are showing signs of resurgence.California was one of the first states to shut down with some of the most stringent measures. On Wednesday, it reported 9,740 new cases — a number that included over 3,800 previously unreported cases from a five-day period, officials said.More than 28 million Californians live in counties where restaurant dining rooms, bars and other indoor facilities have been ordered to stay shut as COVID-19 cases increase. The closures affect 72% of the state’s population, and include restaurants, breweries, museums, zoos and movie theaters for at least three weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.”Bottom line is, the spread of this virus continues at a rate that is particularly concerning,” Newsom said.Michigan is closing indoor service at bars throughout most of the lower part of the state.Other states including Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine and Nevada — which have all seen more than a 50% increase in cases — have paused or rolled back their reopening plans.”If you have bars, you have music. If you have music, you want to socialize. And you want to speak louder than usual so you can overcome the background noise,” said Dr. Ricardo Franco, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.All those factors can increase the spread, Franco added. There’s still a chance to turn things around, experts sayWhile predictions are dire, the U.S. can turn the coronavirus pandemic around, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert.”It does not have to be 100,000 cases a day,” he told NPR on Wednesday. “I used that number because I wanted to jolt people.”During a testimony before a Congressional committee Tuesday, he said without intervention such as mask-wearing and social distancing, the U.S. could see as many as 100,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. Already the country is seeing an average of 40,000 new cases a day.”If you leave the virus to its own devices, it will take off on you. The control of an outbreak is what we do to oppose the dynamics of the outbreak. And if you do things that essentially enhance the outbreak, then you’re part of the problem. You’re not part of the solution,” Fauci said.The U.S. can reduce the numbers, but it’ll require people to do things differently and follow guidelines, he said.Stop the spread of COVID-19To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC recommends wearing a cloth face mask in public, which is a requirement in some states. Experts also recommend you keep 6 feet between yourself and others.Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.For more tips on how to stay safe, CLICK HERE.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Video above: California rolls back more openings due to virus

Health officials are urging Americans to limit their holiday weekend festivities to avoid clusters of outbreaks.”We know people are tired of being cooped up at home … but cases surged after Memorial Day,” said Dean Sidelinger, the Oregon state health officer. “We don’t want the same thing to happen over the Independence Day holiday.”

In Nebraska, officials warned residents to maintain a contact list for future tracing if they have to invite guests over for July Fourth. They urged people to hold such events outdoors if possible, avoid sharing items such as sun screen and maintain social distancing.

The Fourth of July weekend could be the “perfect storm” for a spike in coronavirus cases, said Dr. Joshua Barocas, an infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center.

“The combination of travel, the combination of reopening — perhaps in some cases, too early — and the combination of people not necessarily following some of these preventive guidelines,” he said.

The latest numbers

The U.S. has reported more than 2.6 million cases of the virus and at least 128,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. set another record for new coronavirus cases Wednesday.

There were a 50,203 new cases reported nationwide, a single-day record. At least five states — Arizona, California, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas — reported a record number of new cases Wednesday.

At least 23 states have paused reopening plans to combat the spreading infections.

Economic impact

U.S. employers added a substantial 4.8 million jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%, as the job market improved for a second straight month yet still remained far short of regaining the colossal losses it suffered this spring.

The nation has now recovered roughly one-third of the 22 million jobs it lost to the pandemic recession. And with confirmed coronavirus cases spiking across the Sun Belt states, a range of evidence suggests that a job market recovery may be stalling. In those states and elsewhere, some restaurants, bars and other retailers that had re-opened are being forced to close again.

The re-closings are keeping layoffs elevated: The number of Americans who sought unemployment benefits barely fell last week to 1.47 million. Though that weekly figure has declined steadily since peaking in late March, it’s still more than double the pre-pandemic peak set in 1982. And the total number of people receiving jobless aid remains at a sizable 19 million.

The virus shows signs of resurgence

As new cases rise and states rethink reopening plans, some areas that had made progress against the virus are showing signs of resurgence.

California was one of the first states to shut down with some of the most stringent measures. On Wednesday, it reported 9,740 new cases — a number that included over 3,800 previously unreported cases from a five-day period, officials said.

More than 28 million Californians live in counties where restaurant dining rooms, bars and other indoor facilities have been ordered to stay shut as COVID-19 cases increase. The closures affect 72% of the state’s population, and include restaurants, breweries, museums, zoos and movie theaters for at least three weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

“Bottom line is, the spread of this virus continues at a rate that is particularly concerning,” Newsom said.

Michigan is closing indoor service at bars throughout most of the lower part of the state.

Other states including Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine and Nevada — which have all seen more than a 50% increase in cases — have paused or rolled back their reopening plans.

“If you have bars, you have music. If you have music, you want to socialize. And you want to speak louder than usual so you can overcome the background noise,” said Dr. Ricardo Franco, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

All those factors can increase the spread, Franco added.

There’s still a chance to turn things around, experts say

While predictions are dire, the U.S. can turn the coronavirus pandemic around, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert.

“It does not have to be 100,000 cases a day,” he told NPR on Wednesday. “I used that number because I wanted to jolt people.”

During a testimony before a Congressional committee Tuesday, he said without intervention such as mask-wearing and social distancing, the U.S. could see as many as 100,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. Already the country is seeing an average of 40,000 new cases a day.

“If you leave the virus to its own devices, it will take off on you. The control of an outbreak is what we do to oppose the dynamics of the outbreak. And if you do things that essentially enhance the outbreak, then you’re part of the problem. You’re not part of the solution,” Fauci said.

The U.S. can reduce the numbers, but it’ll require people to do things differently and follow guidelines, he said.

Stop the spread of COVID-19

To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC recommends wearing a cloth face mask in public, which is a requirement in some states.

Experts also recommend you keep 6 feet between yourself and others.

Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

For more tips on how to stay safe, CLICK HERE.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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