U.S. markets closed

Texas Closes Bars; Florida Reports Record Cases: Virus Update

Bloomberg News
Texas Closes Bars; Florida Reports Record Cases: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) -- Texas and Florida halted bar drinking and Arizona reported a surge in infections as the U.S. wrestles with a worsening outbreak, chiefly in Sun Belt states that were quick to reopen the past two months. New cases in Texas jumped 4.3%, above the week’s average.

San Francisco is delaying the next phase of its reopening, after a jump in new cases. New Jersey’s schools will reopen in September with smaller class sizes.

The European Union inched closer to limiting travelers from the U.S., while people from 18 nations could return. Tests of 302 NBA players found 16 were positive, and they will be in isolation until cleared by a doctor.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 9.6 million; deaths pass 491,000Meat shortages reopen costly path to small U.S. slaughterhousesVirus is eliminating many consumer brands that Americans loveVaccine plan to end pandemic’s worst phase to cost $18 BillionStrokes, altered mental states seen in some acute casesIn Silicon Valley, a $300 million bet on the return to officesFor Black Brazilians, virus is deepening painful inequalities

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.

Texas Cases Jump 4.3% (5 p.m. NY)

Texas posted a 4.3% rise in new cases that pushed the total to 137,624, according to the state health department. The jump exceeded the 4.1% seven-day average. Hospitalizations increased by 7.7% to 5,102, the data showed.

Earlier, Governor Greg Abbott issued a sweeping order to close taverns and force restaurants to limit occupancy to 50%, among other measures. The steps were applauded by Democratic city and county leaders who have been at loggerheads with the Republican governor for weeks over his decision to reopen the state’s economy.

Bars and nightclubs “were just out of control. Not all of them but some of them,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said during a media briefing. Closing them “is a very positive step in the right direction.”

Houston Cases Turn Younger (4:40 p.m. NY)

In Houston, the average age of patients diagnosed with the virus has fallen to 40 from about 50, said David Persse, director of city’s emergency medical services department. The change represents a significant demographic shift as the virus strains the region’s intensive-care wards, he said during a media briefing on Friday.

The fourth-largest U.S. city recorded 879 new cases in the past 24 hours, a 5.1% increase that pushed Houston’s total to 18,056, according to Mayor Sylvester Turner.

DeSantis Scoffs at Fresh Approach (4:30 p.m. NY)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis dismissed the need for major changes in his plans to reopen after the state reported record new cases. Asked why he isn’t implementing new measures, DeSantis responded: “Like what?”

The governor said earlier Friday the state banned on-premises bar drinking and he took steps to secure nursing homes. DeSantis, a Republican who has mimicked President Donald Trump’s lack of concern about the pandemic, showed no sign he was willing to reverse course seven weeks after reopening began. He said the growing number of young people getting the disease was an optimistic sign.

“As you see the cases shift younger, that’s not going to be as significant clinically as if you have nursing home outbreaks or outbreaks among elderly who are going to be more vulnerable,” he said.

U.S. Cases Rise 1.7%, Higher Than Average (4 p.m. NY)

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose by 41,925 from the same time Thursday to 2.45 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 1.7% increase was above the average daily rise of 1.5% over the past week.

Florida reported 122,960 cases, up 7.8% from a day earlier, compared with an average jump of 4.1% in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 3,366, up 1.2%.California cases rose by 2.5% to surpass 200,000, according to the state’s website. Deaths climbed 1.4% to 5,812.Arizona’s infections rose by 3,428 to 66,458, a 5.4% gain that exceeded the prior week’s daily average of 2.9%, the state reported Friday. Deaths rose by 45 to 1,535.

San Francisco Delays Reopening Phase (3:30 p.m. NY)

San Francisco will delay reopening businesses including salons and outdoor bars on Monday because of a rapid rise in cases, Mayor London Breed said. The city saw 103 infections Thursday, up from 20 when outdoor dining and in-store retail resumed June 15, she said.

“At our current rate, the number could double rapidly,” Breed said in a tweet. “If that continues & we don’t intervene, we’ll be at such a high number that our only option would be to shut down

San Francisco has had a relatively low case count compared with the rest of California, which reported 4,890 new infections Friday and has also seen numbers accelerate. One of the state’s hardest-hit areas -- Imperial County, a rural area on the border of Mexico -- is being encouraged to resume stay-at-home orders, Governor Gavin Newsom said in a news briefing. Its rate of positive tests is 23%, compared with around 5% statewide.

Texas, Alabama Get Added U.S. Help (3 p.m. NY)

Texas, where new infections are spiking, will get a two-week extension of federal support for five coronavirus testing sites, Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said in an statement.

A five-member team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is headed to Alabama to help as the state health department grapples with widespread community transmission. Alabama sought help from the team of epidemiologists.

California Tops 200,000 Cases (1:55 p.m. NY)

California saw its case count exceed 200,000 for the first time with 4,890 infections reported Friday. The state has seen a surge in cases, with more than 39,000 reported since June 19. The 79 additional deaths attributed to Covid-19 brought the state’s toll to 5,812.

N.J. School Class Sizes to Shrink (1:50 p.m. NY)

New Jersey’s more than 2,500 public schools will open in September with smaller class sizes and a mix of remote and in-person instruction, Governor Phil Murphy said in Trenton.

The reopenings were announced as the state reported 13,060 testing-confirmed deaths and, with New York and Connecticut, demands self-quarantining from visitors from the hard-hit U.S. South and West.

School buses must be “properly cleaned on a daily basis,” Murphy said. Students will be expected to wear face coverings, while reading circles and other close-contact activities will be suspended.

White House Focusing on 16 States (12:55 p.m. NY)

The U.S. Coronavirus Task Force is focused on 16 states where new cases are rising, Vice President Mike Pence said in Washington, with the remaining states “reopening safely and responsibly and seeing low and steady cases and not seeing a rise.”

“We believe we’ve made progress but as we are reminded as we see cases rising across the South, that we still have work to do,” Pence said. The vice president said he will travel to Texas, Arizona and Florida, where cases are spiking.

Pence also noted about half the new cases are in Americans under the age of 35. “We know so far in this pandemic, that younger Americans are less susceptible to the serious outcomes of this virus,” he said.

Italy Schools to Reopen Sept 14 (12:45 p.m. NY)

Italian schools will reopen on Sept. 14 in “safety conditions,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said during a press conference on Friday.

Additional 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) investment on education expected, Conte said. The Italian plan for the European Recovery Fund will include a “chapter” on schools, Conte said.

United Restores China Flights (12:30 p.m. NY)

United Airlines Holdings Inc. plans twice-weekly flights between San Francisco and Shanghai via Seoul beginning July 8, restoring service halted in March by the virus. United also will reinstate service between Chicago and Tokyo, with new service to Haneda Airport.

Delta Air Lines this week said it will restart service between Seattle and Shanghai via Seoul on June 25, operating twice per week.

Cuomo Offers Aid to 3 States (12:15 p.m. NY)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is offering help to Arizona, Texas and Florida -- where cases are surging -- as state hospitalizations drop to a low. Those states’ “course was incorrect,” he said.

Cuomo said 1.3% of the state’s tests are coming back positive, the lowest rate in the country. At the height of the virus, New York had 50% positivity rate.

EU Moves Toward Barring U.S. Travelers (11:50 a.m. NY)

The European Union moved closer to recommending that travelers from the U.S. shouldn’t be allowed to enter the bloc after July 1, according to a draft list being considered by officials.

EU diplomats have mostly agreed that travelers from 18 countries, including Canada and South Korea, should be allowed into the EU because the domestic level of new Covid-19 cases meets the bloc’s criteria, according to a copy of the list seen by Bloomberg.

Twelve other countries are still being considered, according to the copy. The U.S. isn’t on the list. Discussion is continuing and the list could still change.

Florida Suspends Drinking at Bars (11:50 a.m. NY)

Florida suspended consumption of alcohol at bars across the state effective immediately, the state’s first major policy shift in response to a surge in Covid-19 cases this month.

The office of Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed the move in an email Friday.

Florida reported 122,960 Covid-19 cases on Friday, up 7.8% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 4.1% in the previous seven days. The one-day increase of 8,942 was the most ever.

Arizona Cases Jump 5.4% (11:35 a.m. NY)

Arizona’s new Covid-19 cases increased by 3,428 to 66,458, a 5.4% gain that exceeded the prior week’s daily average of 2.9%, the state reported Friday.

The number of deaths rose by 45 to 1,535.

Governor Doug Ducey said Thursday that hospitals are likely to hit surge capacity “very soon,” with the number of cases and hospitalizations expected to worsen in the next two weeks. Earlier in the day, the state reported the number of people admitted to hospitals had jumped by 183 to 2,453, the biggest single-day increase since the state began tracking the number.

NBA, Union Say 5.3% of Players Test Positive (11:30 a.m. NY)

The National Basketball Association and NBA Players Association announced 5.3% of players have tested positive for Covid-19 and will remain in isolation until meeting “public health protocols for discontinuing isolation” and are cleared by a doctor. Of 302 players tested, 16 were positive, according to a statement. The positive rate is slightly below the 6.1% national seven-day average, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Two Phoenix Suns players tested positive on Tuesday, the Arizona Republic reported. Since then players on the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets tested positive.

The NBA season is scheduled to restart July 31 in Orlando, with training camps opening July 11 at Walt Disney World.

Houston Area to Declare Highest Level of Emergency (11:10 a.m. NY)

Harris County, Texas, will declare a Level 1 emergency on Friday as the Covid-19 outbreak intensifies.

County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the highest-ranking county executive in the region that includes Houston, will make the declaration at a media briefing scheduled for 11 a.m. Central time, according to a person with knowledge of her plans who wasn’t authorized to discuss them publicly.

A Level 1 emergency is equivalent to a recommendation that residents stay at home as much as possible to prevent or slow the spread of the virus.

Florida Reports Most New Cases Ever (10:40 a.m. NY)

Florida reported 122,960 Covid-19 cases on Friday, up 7.8% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 4.1% in the previous seven days. The one-day increase of 8,942 was the most ever.

Deaths among Florida residents reached 3,366, an increase of 1.2%, according to the report, which includes data through Thursday.

Seen on a rolling seven-day basis, Florida’s new cases reached 33,212, the highest level ever, and about seven times the rate when the state started reopening on May 4.

Cumulative hospitalizations of Florida residents rose by 212, or 1.5%, to 13,987. On a rolling seven day-basis, they reached 1,213, the highest level since at least May 1.

The new rate of people testing positive for the first time climbed to 13.1% for Thursday, from 8.9% on Wednesday.

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.