Live Coronavirus Updates: U.S. Daily Cases Surpass 59,000


In addition to a national record, at least five states set single-day records for infections.

As President Trump continued to press for a broader reopening, the United States set another record for new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with more than 59,400 infections announced, according to a New York Times database. It was the fifth national record in nine days.

The previous record, 56,567, was reported on Friday.

The country reached a total of three million cases on Tuesday as the virus continued its resurgence in the South and West. At least five states — Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia — set single-day records for new infections on Wednesday.

As of Tuesday, the country’s daily number of new cases had increased by 72 percent over the past two weeks. And by Wednesday, 24 states had reported more cases over the past week than in any other seven-day stretch of the pandemic.

Texas reported more than 9,900 cases on Wednesday, the state’s third consecutive day with a record total of new infections. According to Dr. Deborah L. Birx, who is coordinating the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, the state’s rate of positive tests was hovering around 20 percent at the beginning of July, double what it was a month before.

In Arizona, a fast-spreading outbreak is putting pressure on hospital capacity, with the state having reported more deaths in recent days. New cases in Arizona have been trending upward since the beginning of June, and this week the state has been averaging more than 3,600 new cases a day, a record.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said in an interview on Wednesday with The Wall Street Journal: “Any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down. It’s not for me to say, because each state is different.”

Dr. Fauci spoke as medical facilities across the nation, under pressure from the surge in cases, continued to face a dire shortage of respirator masks, isolation gowns and disposable gloves that protect front-line medical workers from infection.

Schools, too, are at the center of conflicting messaging about how they can safely welcome back students. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday said that it would issue new guidelines, after Mr. Trump criticized its previous ones.

Federal health officials in the United States are trying to decide who will get the first doses of any effective coronavirus vaccines, which could be on the market this winter but may require many additional months to become widely available to Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and an advisory committee of outside health experts have been working on a ranking system for what may be an extended rollout. According to a preliminary plan, any approved vaccines would be offered to vital medical and national security officials first, then to other essential workers and those considered at high risk — the elderly instead of children, people with underlying conditions instead of the relatively healthy.

Agency officials and the advisers are also considering what has become a contentious option: putting Black and Latino people, part of the population that has disproportionately fallen victim to Covid-19, ahead of others in the population.

Some medical experts are not convinced there is a scientific basis for such an option. They foresee court challenges or worry that prioritizing minority groups would erode public trust in vaccines at a time when immunization is seen as crucial to ending the pandemic.

“Giving it to one race initially and not another race, I’m not sure how that would be perceived by the public, how that would affect how vaccines are viewed as a trusted public health measure,” said Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers, a group represented on the committee.

It is the first major pandemic-related unrest in Europe since the virus hit, and the authorities have moved quickly to try to put it down. Thousands of Serbs demonstrated for a second straight night on Wednesday, partly in response to President Aleksandar Vucic’s handling of the crisis.

The protests were met by a violent police response that some analysts said they had not witnessed in Serbia since the era of Slobodan Milosevic, who governed Serbia during the 1990s.

Serbs first took to the streets on Tuesday, soon after Mr. Vucic announced that Belgrade would be placed under a new three-day lockdown because of a new wave of infections. Some protesters briefly entered the Parliament building before being forced out by the police.

Even after Mr. Vucic backed down, suspending the second shutdown, the protests continued. They quickly grew into a wider expression of frustration with Mr. Vucic.

After initially enforcing one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns in March, Mr. Vucic lifted social restrictions in early May, claiming his government had defeated the virus. But while other European countries eased their lockdowns gradually, Mr. Vucic opted for a faster process, soon allowing Serbs to gather in the tens of thousands at sports matches and to crowd into reopened nightclubs.

“We went from one extreme to another,” said Jelena Vasiljevic of the University of Belgrade.

Protesters said they were less angry about the return of the lockdown than about the governmental missteps that had led to it, including a decision to proceed with a general election last week.

In other news from around the world:

  • The authorities in the northeastern Catalonia region of Spain on Thursday reintroduced the mandatory use of face masks outdoors, along with a fine of 100 euros ($113) for anyone not wearing one. There have been a series of outbreaks in the region, the most serious of which has led to the lockdown of about 200,000 people living around the city of Lleida. In the Balearic archipelago, off Spain’s east coast, the authorities are also preparing to make masks compulsory again starting this weekend.

  • Australia stepped up its efforts to isolate the outbreak spreading through Melbourne on Thursday, as the state of Queensland shut its doors to people trying to flee the city’s six-week lockdown. Most of Australia is now off limits to people from the state of Victoria, where Melbourne is the capital, as the state authorities reported 165 new cases on Thursday, including six infections tied to a school where a cluster has now spread to 113 people.

  • Tokyo recorded 224 new infections on Thursday, the Japanese public broadcaster NHK said, surpassing a record set in April. The city has more than 7,000 cases.

  • A man in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan was executed on Thursday, after he killed two village officials tasked with combating the virus, a local court and the state-run news media said. The killing was in February, and the man was sentenced to death in March.

  • The Indonesian island of Bali, a popular tourist destination, began reopening beaches and businesses on Thursday, despite a steady increase in the number of coronavirus cases. Bali was never locked down, but residents were encouraged to stay home, practice social distancing and wear masks. Over the past three weeks, the number of reported infections has more than doubled, to 1,971, and the number of deaths has more than quadrupled, to 25.

68% have antibodies in one New York City neighborhood. Can it hold off a next wave?

According to antibody test results, some of New York City’s neighborhoods were so disproportionately exposed to the coronavirus during the peak of the epidemic in March and April that the most vulnerable communities might have a higher degree of protection during a potential second wave.

The testing results from the urgent-care company CityMD were shared with The New York Times.

At a clinic in Corona, a working-class neighborhood in Queens, more than 68 percent of people have tested positive for antibodies to the virus, suggesting that their immune systems had encountered an infection and responded to it. At a clinic in Jackson Heights, also in Queens, that number was 56 percent. But at a clinic in Cobble Hill, an affluent Brooklyn neighborhood, only 13 percent of people tested positive for antibodies.

While stopping short of predicting that hard-hit neighborhoods like Corona and Jackson Heights would be relatively protected in any major new outbreak — a phenomenon known as herd immunity — several epidemiologists said that the different levels of antibody prevalence were likely to play a role in what happens next, assuming that antibodies do, in fact, offer significant protection against future infections.

“Some communities might have herd immunity,” said Dr. Daniel Frogel, a senior vice president for operations at CityMD, which runs urgent-care centers throughout the metropolitan area and plays a vital role in the city’s testing program.

As the virus has swept through New York, it has exposed stark inequalities in nearly every aspect of city life, from who has been most affected to how the health care system tended to those patients. Many lower-income neighborhoods, where Black and Latino residents make up a large part of the population, were hard-hit, while many wealthy neighborhoods had far fewer cases.

But if there is a second wave of the virus, some of those vulnerabilities may flip, with the affluent neighborhoods becoming most at risk for a surge of infections.

The CityMD statistics reflect tests done from late April to late June. As of June 26, CityMD had administered about 314,000 antibody tests in the city; citywide, 26 percent of the tests came back positive.

The testing results in Jackson Heights and Corona seemed to “jump off the map,” Dr. Frogel said.

How to start a new job from home.

Without face-to-face contact and the ability to get acquainted with your colleagues in person, how can you settle into your new, remote workplace? Here are some tips to help.

Reporting was contributed by Peter Baker, Damien Cave, Mike Ives, Joseph Goldstein, Erica L. Green, Andrew Jacobs, Patrick Kingsley, Raphael Minder, Richard C. Paddock, Mitch Smith, Megan Twohey, Noah Weiland and Elaine Yu.



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