MIAMI — More Florida beaches will be closing again to avoid further spread of the new coronavirus as officials try to tamp down on large gatherings amid a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference Sunday in Pensacola that interactions among young people are driving the surge. Meanwhile in Broward County, home to Fort Lauderdale, authorities said they would be closing beaches during the busy Fourth of July weekend following the decision of Miami-Dade County to close theirs between July 3 and July 7.

The Florida Department of Health reported on Sunday more than 8,500 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 29 deaths in a day. New hospitalizations are also ticking upward, although not as dramatically as the new cases.

State officials on Friday announced a ban on alcohol consumption at bars, and DeSantis explained Sunday there was “widespread non-compliance.” Several restaurants were shut down over the weekend in Broward County for not following rules restricting capacity and mandating the use of masks.

“It has invariably been because they packed so many people in and created a type of environment that we are trying to avoid,” DeSantis said. “Caution was thrown to the wind and so we are where we are.”

Africa’s confirmed virus cases at 371,000

JOHANNESBURG — Africa’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have climbed to a new high of more than 371,000, including includes 9,484 deaths.

The African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released those figures Sunday.

South Africa has more than 1/3 of the continent’s cases. It reported 7,210 new cases, its highest single daily increase to date. A statement from Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize says South Africa now has 131,800 confirmed cases, including 2,413 deaths for a mortality rate of 1.8 percent.

The Western Cape province, including Cape Town, has 45 percent of the cases. But Gauteng province, including the country’s largest city, Johannesburg, and the capital, Pretoria, is experiencing a surge of the virus, taking it to 26 percent of the country’s cases.

The more rural Eastern Cape province currently has 18 percent of South Africa’s cases.

Greece reports 10 new cases

ATHENS, Greece — Greek authorities have reported 10 new coronavirus cases since Saturday afternoon, but no new deaths.

Total confirmed cases now stand at 3,376, with 191 deaths. Ten patients are on ventilators and 119 have exited intensive care units.

Despite being widely commended for having successfully contained the spread of the pandemic, Greek authorities are still wary. There are several reports of people flouting social distancing rules, and local alerts, such as the one Sunday on an island close to the capital Athens, where a test on an arrival from abroad came up positive, but not before the person had already been at a well-attended local funeral.

HHS head says window is closing for U.S. to curb spread of virus

WASHINGTON — Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is stressing that “the window is closing” for the U.S. to take action to effectively curb the coronavirus.

Azar pointed to a recent spike in infections, particularly in the South. He says people have “to act responsibly” by social distancing and wearing face masks especially “in these hot zones.”

Azar argued that the U.S. is in a better position than two months ago in fighting the virus because it is conducting more testing and has therapeutics available to treat COVID-19.

But he acknowledges that hospitalizations and deaths could increase in the next few weeks, because it is a lagging indicator.

Texas and Florida reversed course on parts of their reopening and clamped down on bars on Friday as the daily number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the U.S. surged to an all-time high of 40,000.

Azar spoke on NBC and CNN.

Maryland man who organized reopen protests has coronavirus

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A Maryland man who has helped organize reopen protests against measures intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus says he has the virus.

Tim Walters is a co-founder of the ReOpen Maryland movement. The Capital Gazette and Washington Post report that he announced on social media that he has tested positive.

In a Facebook video, he said he was diagnosed at a hospital emergency room. The newspapers report that he said, “Here I am months after not wearing a mask at rallies, churches and so on and so it’s funny how capricious this thing is.”

Walters declined interview requests from the papers. He said he would not provide any information to public health officials trying to trace the spread of the disease. Walters emphasized he had contacted people he’d recently interacted with.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan posted a link to the Annapolis paper’s story to his own Facebook page Friday. He noted that health experts “are strongly encouraging anyone who attended a demonstration or mass gathering to immediately get tested for coronavirus.”

Bavaria begins program to test all residents

BERLIN — The southern German state of Bavaria says it’s starting a program to offer coronavirus testing for all residents.

State Health Minister Melanie Huml said Sunday that the “corona test offensive” will help provide Bavarians “clarity if they have been infected.”

Bavaria is Germany’s largest state by area and is home to some 13 million people. It has been the worst hit by the coronavirus both in terms of infections per capita and in total numbers.

As of Sunday, the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s disease control center, reported the state had 48,294 of Germany’s overall 193,499 cases, with 2,592 of its 8,957 deaths.

Bavaria is the first of Germany’s 16 states to undertake universal testing. The state plans to pay for tests that aren’t already covered under the country’s health care system.

Until now, testing has been focused on people with symptoms or possible exposure, as well as in certain professions where they are more likely to have come into contact with the virus.

Russia reports almost 7,000 new cases

MOSCOW — Russia has recorded 6,791 new cases in the past day.

The national coronavirus task force said Sunday that the total number of cases rose to 634,437.

It said 104 people died of the virus over the past day, bringing the total dead to 9.073.

Russia has the third-highest coronavirus infection case count in the world. But it has reported far fewer deaths than many countries with smaller infection case counts, leading to speculation that figures are manipulated which Russian officials vehemently deny.

Britain pledges support for hot spot Leicester

LONDON — Britain’s government is pledging to support local officials the central English city of Leicester, amid reports that a spike in COVID-19 cases would prompt authorities to lock the community down.

The Sunday Times reports that a lockdown would come within days after 658 new cases were recorded in the Leicester area in the two weeks to June 16. It would be the first time Britain had locked down a single area during the pandemic.

The Department of Health and Social Care on Sunday acknowledged the city was an area of concern. It says it is “supporting the council and local partners in Leicester to help prevent further transmission of the virus.”

Confirmed cases pass 10 million worldwide

Confirmed coronavirus infections have surpassed the 10 million mark worldwide.

A tally compiled by Johns Hopkins University registered the grim milestone Sunday, after India and Russia added thousands of new cases. The United States has confirmed more than 2.5 million infections, the most in the world.

Globally, the Hopkins tally has reported nearly 500,000 deaths.

While Hopkins reports only confirmed coronavirus cases, experts believe the true number of people who have been infected could be as much as 10 times that figure, given that so many people can’t get tested or may have the virus without showing any symptoms.

Czech Republic sees steep increase in positive tests

PRAGUE — The Czech Republic has been registering a steep increase of the number of people infected with the coronavirus.

The day-to-day increase reached 260 new confirmed cases on Saturday, up from 168 the previous day and 93 the day before.

It is the highest number of newly infected people since April 8. It comes amid the government’s easing of its restrictive measures and despite a typical lower number of tests over the weekend.

The Czech Republic has had 11,306 confirmed cases while 347 people have died, according to Health Ministry figures released on Sunday.

Honolulu plans to reopen campgrounds

HONOLULU — The city of Honolulu has announced that campgrounds will reopen for the first time in three months with limited permits to ensure social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hawaii News Now reported that the city will issue permits for just over 100 campsites across Oahu.

Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation Public Information Officer Nathan Serota says campsites were limited to physically distance. Regular camp rules still apply.

The Bellows Beach campground northeast of Honolulu will remain closed through Sept. 4 for turtle nesting. All the other campgrounds have reopened.

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