FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida set a one-week record of nearly 500 confirmed coronavirus deaths.

The state health department reported 96 new deaths Saturday, bringing the total for the week to 496 or an average of nearly 71 per day.

A record 120 deaths were reported Thursday. Three weeks ago, Florida’s weekly average for deaths stood at 30 per day.

The state on Saturday confirmed 9,960 new coronavirus cases and 421 addition hospitalizations. Since March 1, when the first Florida infections were recorded, the state has reported 254,511 confirmed cases and 4,301 deaths.

The previous weekly record average of 60 deaths per day was set May 8. Throughout May and into June, the state reopened much of its economy with some restrictions.

Testing has increased, but the percentage of people testing positive has risen. A month ago, fewer than 5% of tests came up positive on a daily average. Over the past week, the daily average exceeded 19%.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has scheduled a news conference Saturday to discuss the outbreak.

With rise in cases elsewhere, Gov. Cuomo fears resurgence in New York

NEW YORK — The number of New Yorkers hospitalized with the coronavirus has fallen to the lowest point in nearly four months.

However, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is concerned a resurgence in cases is inevitable amid outbreaks in other states.

Cuomo told WAMC radio on Friday the state’s quarantine rules for travelers returning from hard-hit areas are difficult to enforce. He says the only question is how high New York’s rate will rise.

State officials reported 799 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Saturday, which is the lowest number since March 18.

Arizona reports 69 new coronavirus deaths

PHOENIX — Arizona health officials have reported an additional 69 deaths from the coronavirus outbreak.

So far, there’s been more than 2,150 confirmed deaths from the virus in Arizona.

The state added 3,038 confirmed cases in the last day, bringing the total to 119,930. Arizona also set a record with 3,485 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Friday.

Hospital caseloads have surged since Arizona became one of the hot spots for the coronavirus after Gov. Doug Ducey relaxed stay-home orders and other restrictions in May.

Texas reports record number of new cases – more than 10,000 in day

AUSTIN, Texas — The new coronavirus continues to cut a swath through Texas, with state officials reporting a record 10,351 new confirmed cases for the day.

The increase reported Saturday brought the state’s total cases of COVID-19 to just over a quarter-million since the start of tracking in early March.

A record 10,083 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, while 99 new fatalities were reported Saturday. The total is second only to the record 105 reported Thursday and brought the state’s overall death toll to 3,112.

Harris County, which includes the bulk of Houston and many of its suburbs, had the most active cases, with almost 27,000. Dallas County, which includes Dallas and many of its suburbs, came in a distant second at almost 13,000.

Widow condemns ‘barbaric’ death of driver beaten over masks

PARIS — The wife of a French bus driver who died of injuries after he asked four passengers to wear face masks wants “exemplary punishment.”

Four people are in custody for the assault of Philippe Monguillot on July 5 at a bus stop in Bayonne, southwest France.

The Bayonne prosecutor says Monguillot was assaulted after he asked four passengers on his bus to wear face masks, which are required aboard French public transportation because of the coronavirus. He was insulted, pushed off the bus and violently beaten and kicked in the head, the prosecutor said.

President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday dispatched the interior minister to meet the driver’s widow after his death was announced Friday. He had been hospitalized in critical condition.

Veronique Monguillot told minister Gerald Darmanin that she and her three daughters were “destroyed” by the death.

Read the rest of this story here.

South Africa reports more than 13,000 new cases

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa is reporting another 13,497 confirmed coronavirus cases for a total of 264,184 including 3,971 deaths. More than a third of cases are in the new hot spot of Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria.

Already public hospitals are expressing concerns about shortages of available beds and medical oxygen. The percentage of tests that are positive is now over 25% but the National Institute of Infectious Diseases says that could reflect both the rise in infections and more targeted testing.

The country’s health minister has said the “storm” that authorities have been warning citizens about has arrived.

Disney World reopens as coronavirus cases surge in Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” has reopened after nearly four months with new rules in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are reopening Saturday, while Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will follow four days later.

“It’s the chance to come back and be in the magic,” said Diane Watkins, a preschool teacher from Helena, Alabama, who visits the park about eight times a year. “Hot or not, mask or not, we’re just happy to be here. I feel like everybody here is in the same frame of mind. Everybody is just so excited to be here.”

Watkins said that when she and her 16-year-old daughter walked into the Magic Kingdom on Saturday morning, then saw all the cast members lined up and clapping on Main Street, she cried.

“It was very emotional,” she said.

Read the rest of this story here.

Dozens of US Marines in Japan’s Okinawa get coronavirus

TOKYO — Dozens of U.S. Marines at two bases on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa have been infected with the coronavirus in what is feared to be a massive outbreak, Okinawa’s governor said Saturday, demanding an adequate explanation from the U.S. military.

Gov. Denny Tamaki said he could say only that a “few dozen” cases had been found recently because the U.S. military asked that the exact figure not be released. The outbreaks occurred at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which is at the center of a relocation dispute, and Camp Hansen, Tamaki said.

Local media, citing unnamed sources, said about 60 people had been infected.

“Okinawans are shocked by what we were told (by the U.S. military),” Tamaki told a news conference. “We now have strong doubts that the U.S. military has taken adequate disease prevention measures.”

Read the rest of the story here.

N.C. Republican state senator tests positive

RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina state senator says he’s tested positive for COVID-19, the first known public case for a General Assembly member.

Sen. Danny Britt, a Robeson County Republican, told The Associated Press he received the positive test on Friday.

Britt, an attorney and National Guard officer, was on the Senate floor on Wednesday as the chamber debated bills and cast votes. The full legislature isn’t expected to return to work until September.

Building administrators at the legislative complex in downtown Raleigh have initiated health and social distancing measures since April. There is no mandate for wearing masks indoors in the two buildings. That’s frustrated Democrats who serve in the Republican-controlled House and Senate.

Nationwide, at least 75 legislators in at least 28 states have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the outbreak, according to an AP tally.

India’s cases pass 800,000

NEW DELHI — India’s coronavirus cases have passed 800,000 after the biggest spike of 27,114 cases in the past 24 hours, causing nearly a dozen states to impose a partial lockdown in high-risk areas.

The new confirmed cases took the national total to 820,916. The Health Ministry on Saturday reported another 519 deaths for a total of 22,123.

A surge in infections went from 600,000 to more than 800,000 in nine days. The ministry says the recovery rate was continuing to improve at more than 62%.

Eight of India’s 28 states, including the worst-hit Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and New Delhi, account for nearly 90% of all infections.

The most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, with nearly 230 million people, imposed a weekend lockdown. Several others announced restrictions in districts reporting major spikes.

New cases drop sharply in China

BEIJING — New coronavirus cases have dropped sharply in China, and authorities are turning their attention to concerns the virus could spread through imported food.

Those worries have risen since a June outbreak in Beijing was linked to the city’s largest wholesale market.

Testing has been stepped up on incoming food shipments, and Friday customs officials said they are halting imports from three Ecuadorian shrimp producers after tests showed the virus present in recent shipments.

Authorities say the coronavirus was detected on the outer packaging of the shipments July 3. The inner packaging and the shrimp themselves tested negative. Products from the three companies received after March 12 have been ordered returned or destroyed.

South Korea reports 35 new cases

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 35 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its confirmed caseload to 13,373 infections and 288 deaths.

South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 13 of the new cases were in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, which has been at the center of a virus resurgence since late May.

Infections were also reported in other major cities such as Daejeon and Gwangju, where patients had ties to churches, a Buddhist temple, nursing homes and a sauna.

Fifteen of the new cases were linked to international arrivals.

Face masks now mandatory in Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky’s governor says a new requirement for people to wear face masks in public took effect at 5 p.m. Friday despite a judge’s restraining order related to pandemic restrictions though not specifically on the face covering rule.

Gov. Andy Beshear says the mask mandate is “mandatory, regardless of anything else that’s out there.”

The Scott County court judge issued an order Thursday blocking the governor from issuing executive orders related to the pandemic unless he first meets a list of requirements.

Beshear calls the restraining order “bizarre” and “not legal.” He says the ruling will be appealed and likely end up before the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Newly reported cases of COVID-19 have increased in recent days in Kentucky, prompting Beshear to issue the 30-day order requiring masks in public places.

Texas Gov. says ‘things will get worse’

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says “things will get worse” in the state as more than 10,000 patients are hospitalized with the coronavirus.

The deadliest week of the pandemic yet in Texas continued Friday with 95 new deaths.

On the Texas-Mexico border, Starr County Judge Eloy Vera says his rural community is trying to get a refrigerated trailer because the local funeral home can’t keep up with more than two bodies a day.

Texas members of Congress are asking the Trump administration for a field hospital in the Rio Grande Valley. They say in a letter sent Friday to the health and human services secretary Azar there is “no indication that case counts will level out soon.”

Oregon officials urge smaller gatherings

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon health officials are urging people to limit indoor social gatherings to fewer than 10 people during the next three weeks amid a “troubling” surge in coronavirus cases.

New projections by the Oregon Health Authority predict if transmission of the virus continues at the current pace, the estimated number of new daily, confirmed infections could reach anywhere from 1,100 to 3,600.

The director of the Oregon Health Authority says “we are calling on Oregonians to take action, to help us bring down the spread of COVID-19 and get it under control so we can again bend the curve back down.”

Oregon officials reported 275 new confirmed coronavirus cases Friday, bringing the total statewide to 11,454. There have been at least 232 deaths.

Pennsylvania records more than 1,000 new cases

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Confirmed coronavirus infections in Pennsylvania were more than 1,000 on Friday in the state’s highest one-day mark since May, with state health officials blaming the rising numbers on crowded bars and out-of-state travel to virus hot spots.

Pennsylvania reported more than 1,000 confirmed infections for the first time since May 10. About 175 of the newly reported cases arose from a batch of private lab results, according to the state Health Department.

Health officials reported another 32 virus-related deaths, raising the statewide toll to 6,880.

State health officials warned in an alert to hospitals, doctors offices and other heath care providers that increasing numbers of young people are contracting the virus. The Health Department also says local outbreaks are being traced to out-of-state travel and to parties, restaurants, bars and other social gatherings.


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