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Brazil Tops U.K. in Deaths; CDC Hints at New Steps: Virus Update

Bloomberg News
Brazil Tops U.K. in Deaths; CDC Hints at New Steps: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) -- New state lockdowns may be needed if U.S. coronavirus cases rise dramatically, top officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Brazil’s death toll exceeded the U.K. to become the second highest in the world.

New Jersey sued Asbury Park for defying state measures to stem the virus. White House adviser Larry Kudlow said a new wave of cases hasn’t yet emerged.

U.S. stocks recovered, but all three major equity measures fell for the week on concern about the pace of recovery following months of Covid-19 lockdowns.

Key Developments:

Virus Tracker: Cases pass 7.5 million; deaths exceed 423,000Covid-19’s renewed assault on America is underwayResurgent virus thrusts states into life-or-death decisionsHow a “second wave” sparks renewed pandemic fearsCDC reiterates mask recommendations as spread continuesKorea crushed a huge virus outbreak. Can it beat a new wave?Johnson & Johnson is speeding up its vaccine timetableAmericans return to car dealers, thwarting expected shift online

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus. For a look back at this week’s top stories from QuickTake, click here.

Brazil Passes U.K. in Deaths (5:17 p.m. NY)

Brazil surpassed the U.K. on Friday in the number of Covid-19 deaths, becoming the second deadliest epicenter in the world after only the U.S. The states reported 909 new deaths, bringing the total death count to 41,828. The U.K. tally is 41,566.

Latin America’s largest nation and economy trails only the U.S. in number of cases. The University of Washington’s Institution for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which the Trump administration has relied on, projects Brazil will overtake the U.S. in per-capita deaths by mid-July.

Dominican Opposition Angry at Lockdown (4:50 p.m. NY)

The Dominican Republic extended its pandemic state of emergency by 17 days, as lawmakers brushed aside opposition complaints they are at a disadvantage in the July 5 presidential election. Candidates will have less than a week to hold rallies, banned by the emergency, ahead of the vote.

The government says the measures are necessary to curb the spread of the pandemic in the country, which is the Caribbean epicenter with 21,437 cases and 561 deaths, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

The presidential election is a close three-way race, with some polls giving the opposition a lead over the ruling party’s candidate.

U.S. Cases Rose 1%, in Line with Average (4 p.m. NY)

U.S. cases increased by 20,574 from the same time Thursday to 2.03 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 1% increase was lower than the average daily increase of 1.1% the past seven days. Deaths rose 0.6% to 114,126.

Florida cases rose 2.8% to 70,971, the biggest daily jump since May 1. Deaths reached 2,877, an increase of 1%.New York cases increased by 822 to 381,714, according to the state’s health department. Deaths reached 24,495.California cases rose 1.9% to 141,983, compared with the average 2.2% in the past seven days, according to the state’s website. Deaths rose 1.3% to 4,943

CDC Hints at New Lockdowns (3:50 p.m. NY)

States and cities might have to resume lockdowns if cases surge dramatically, top officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at their first press briefing in months.

The officials offered little in the way of explanation for why cases are increasing in some regions, releasing little new data on what’s driving up cases in states such as Arizona, Texas and Oregon.

The CDC also advised anyone at large gatherings to wear masks, keep six feet apart and wash hands, but officials wouldn’t be drawn in by questions about whether political events should take place. President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Oklahoma next week. Masks “are strongly encouraged in settings where individuals might raise their voice,” the CDC guidance said. The agency also recommended limiting attendance to allow for distancing.

Separately, the CDC said that forecasts suggest the U.S. death toll could top 124,000 by July 4.

More Than 20% in NYC Know a Covid Victim (3:30 p.m. NY)

More than 4 in 10 New Yorkers know someone who tested positive for Covid-19, and 23.1% know someone who died from the disease.

That’s according to a survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and may help explain regional differences in perceptions about the coronavirus and efforts to reopen local and state economies.

Among respondents in Los Angeles, about 10% know someone with the infection, and 7.3% know someone who died. Across the U.S., the resulst were 16.8% and about 6%. Overall, 79.5% of U.S. respondents backed stay-at-home orders and nonessential business closures. In the city, the percentage was 86.7%.

Arizona Reports Record New Cases (2:45 p.m. NY)

Arizona reported a 5.3% increase in new cases on Friday, the most for a single day, bringing total infections to 32,912. The state added 17 deaths, bringing the total to 1,144. The previous one-day high was 1,251 on June 2, according to the state website.

The state Department of Health Services this week urged hospitals to activate emergency plans. Director Cara Christ told a Phoenix television station that she was concerned about the rising case count and percentage of people tested who are found to be positive.

Oklahoma Posts 2.9% Jump in Cases (2:40 p.m. NY)

Oklahoma reported a 2.9% increase in new cases on Friday -- a one-day record -- bringing the total to 7,848. Deaths inched up by 2, or 0.6%, to 359, according to the state health department.

Almost 32% of the cases — 71 — came from Tulsa County, the county’s highest increase to date, the data show. In the past four days, Tulsa County reported 247 new cases for a total of 1,443, The Fronter nonprofit website reported.

President Donald Trump is set to hold a campaign rally in Tulsa next week. The staff is asking people attending to waive liability if they contract Covid-19.

Turkey’s Cases Back Over 1,000 (2:15 p.m. NY)

Turkey’s new cases rose 1,106, topping 1,000 for the first time since May 29, following a partial rollback of measures to arrest the pandemic. The daily increase, the highest since May 17, took the total to 175,218. Deaths increased by 15 to 4,778.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Twitter blamed the spread on “erroneous optimism” among citizens.

N.J. Sues Asbury Park (1:35 p.m. NY)

New Jersey is suing Asbury Park’s government after failing to resolve a dispute over allowing indoor dining before state guidelines were eased, Governor Phil Murphy said. “Our rules are based on one principle -- ensuring public health,” Murphy said in a tweet.

The Asbury Park City Council on Wednesday voted to allow indoor dining on June 15, with density restrictions, while a ban remained in effect statewide. Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn said the council has been inundated by business owners on the brink of collapse.

State police said they issued at least 3,690 citations for noncompliance with Murphy’s orders. Car washes, bars, salons and pool stores are among businesses cited for violations.

WHO Says Outbreak Is Just Starting (1:20 p.m. NY)

“The virus is actually starting and will wreak more havoc,” said World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Most countries are in the throes of the first wave, and the risk of a second wave is present for any country exiting lockdowns, said Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s health emergencies program.

Ryan said he’s concerned by the “upswing” in the Southern Hemisphere, and Tedros said the pandemic is accelerating in low- and middle-income countries. It’s most active in the Americas, and governments need to give clear and consistent messaging about it, Tedros said. Ryan said there’s no guarantee any vaccine will arrive in time.

“We have never seen something like this since 1918,” Tedros said, adding that Europe could see a resurgence of cases even as numbers have been dropping recently. “No one is safe until everyone is safe.”

N.J. Sales Taxes Drop 29% Amid Lockdown (12:55 p.m. NY)

New Jersey sales-tax collections during the economic lockdown plunged by a record 29% in May from a year earlier, a bigger decline than the worst month of the Great Recession, according to the state treasury department.

The number reflects collections in April, the first full month of the shutdown, as sales taxes report on a one-month lag. Revenue from the alcohol beverage excise tax increased 8.7% in May. Casino collections fell 34%, the state said.

Brazil Outbreak Wider Than Data Shows: Survey (12:45 p.m. NY)

Novel coronavirus infections in Brazil, which has the second-most cases in the world, may be far more widespread than official data suggest, a new study reveals.

Researchers at the University of Pelotas in southern Brazil estimate six unreported cases for every one confirmed diagnosis across 120 cities studied The conclusion is based on tests and interviews with more than 31,000 people conducted June 4-7. In Rio de Janeiro, where the government tally lists 40,000 cases, up to half a million people may have been exposed, they said. Brazil has 802,828 cases, according to John Hopkins University data, trailing the 2 million in the U.S.

“The number of people with antibodies is in the millions -- not thousands,” the authors said in a statement.

N.Y. Cases in Line With Average (11:45 a.m. NY)

New York registered 42 new deaths on Thursday, a slight rise from the 36 reported a day earlier, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. New cases rose 0.2%, matching the seven-day daily average.

Cuomo at his daily briefing displayed charts showing New York City”s infection rate down to 1.5%, ranging from 1.1% in Manhattan to 1.9% in Queens. The rate in six of the state’s 10 regions is below 1%, while Long Island is at 1% and Western New York is 1.4%.

HHS Chief Denies Trump Rift With Advisers (11:30 a.m. NY)

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar denied President Donald Trump is at odds with his advisers as more states reopen their economies without meeting the guidelines of a White House task force of his health experts. Trump has been urging states to open faster.

“The guidelines are guidelines,” Azar said in an NBC News interview to be broadcast Saturday. “They’re simply potential markers for how one would progress to reopening. But each governor knows the lay of the land in their state better.”

Florida Cases Jump Most in 6 Weeks (11 a.m. NY)

Florida cases rose 2.8% to 70,971, the biggest daily jump since May 1, as the state continued to roll back restrictions five weeks after reopening. The average daily increase was 2% in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 2,877, an increase of 1%.

As recently as Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis downplayed concerns about the up-tick, saying it reflected increased testing and isolated outbreaks in long-term care facilities, prisons and agriculture communities.

The new positivity rate -- people testing positive for the first time -- was 5.01% on Thursday, the third straight day above 5%. Previously, it had topped 5% just twice in the past four weeks. Hospitalizations on a seven-day basis were on a steady decline until this week when they began to rise again, though slightly.

NYC Subway Ridership Up 25% (10:40 a.m. NY)

New York City subway ridership jumped 25% Wednesday from the previous week as businesses began coming back to life after three months of lockdown, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “Our job is to get working people back to work,” he said.

Monday marked the start of the first phase of reopening for manufacturing, construction, wholesale and curbside retail businesses.

Subways carried 851,000 passengers Wednesday, representing 15% of the pre-pandemic ridership, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said. Bus ridership increased 23% from a week earlier, to 914,000 -- or 42% of pre-pandemic levels. Staten Island Ferry passengers were up 31%, de Blasio said.

Norway, Finland Ease Regional Travel (10:40 a.m. NY)

Norway will allow unrestricted leisure travel throughout the Nordic region starting next week, but keep restrictions on most areas of Sweden.

After opening for travel to Denmark, Norway is easing restrictions for Finland, Iceland and Greenland from June 15, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said. Due to high infection levels in Sweden, which adopted a more liberal strategy, only travel to the Baltic Sea island of Gotland will be allowed, Solberg said.

On Thursday, neighboring Finland also removed regional travel restrictions, excluding Sweden. The Swedish government on Friday extended a temporary ban on entries to the European Union via the country until June 30.

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