Arizona Closes Bars, Gyms & Movie Theaters For 30 Days As COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations Climb: Live Updates

Summary:

  • 43% of US virus deaths tied to nursing homes
  • Arizona Gov shuts bars, movie theaters etc for 30 days
  • Texas hospitalizations continue to climb
  • LA issues "dire" warning about "deteriorating" conditions
  • Kudlow says states closing bars are doing the right thing
  • NJ cancels plans to resume indoor dining
  • WHO plans to launch investigation into China next week
  • India reports new daily record with almost 20k new cases
  • Cali reports 5,307 new cases, up 2.5%
  • Cuomo releases latest NY figures, says he's mulling indoor dining delay
  • Decision on indoor dining will come by Wednesday
  • Bangladesh reports record daily case jump
  • WHO warns outbreak "not even close" to being over
  • Deaths in NY drop to just 8
  • NYC mulls plan to delay indoor dining reopening
  • Florida reports latest COVID-19 cases
  • Unconfirmed Texas hospitalization data hits
  • Global deaths passed 500k last night
  • Victoria reports another ~75 cases
  • China reports another handful of new cases

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Update (1837ET): In the most sweeping rollback of the economic reopening since the state first started a month ago, Arizona governor Doug Ducey has ordered bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters and water parks to close for at least 30 days beginning at 8pm local time as the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations has continued to climb.

Reopening of schools has been delayed until Aug. 17, and gatherings of 50 or more are prohibited statewide. Some school districts were due to start classes in less than a month. Gov Ducey cited safety concerns and a need for "consistency" in the state's numbers.

Restaurant dining rooms, nightclubs, some bars, movie theaters and other attractions were given the OK to reopen six weeks ago when Arizona lifted its stay-at-home order in mid-March, becoming one of the first states to exit the lockdown, though at the time, case totals, deaths and hospitalizations remained low, aside from a few clusters in Maricopa County, the hardest hit part of the state, and the county where Phoenix, the 5th-largest city in the country, is located.

According to a local TV station, the majority of the districts in Maricopa County were planning to return between Aug. 3 & Aug. 10. However the Queen Creek, Higley, Kyrene, Riverside and Littleton Elementary School Districts to start on July 22 and July 30. One week ago, the largest school district in the state voted to push back its planned reopening until Aug. 5 (of course that date will now be pushed back, too).

While many are relieved by the move, there are also those in the state who are less than thrilled.

Ducey is speaking at a media briefing. Watch live below:

So much for Trump's promise not to return to economic lockdowns. We imagine the market isn't going to love this.

Notably, Arizona's decision comes as experts fear the 'weekend lag' will produce more than 4,000 new cases tomorrow, which would be a new single-day record, and would move the state's 7-day average back toward the record highs seen last week and the week before.

Will we see another sea of red on Wall Street tomorrow?

According to the NYT, a dozen states and cities have rolled back reopening measures, including Jacksonville, Fla., which has made mask-wearing mandatory, Tennessee, Georgia (Gov Brian Kemp is expected to extend his state's remaining restrictions for 2 weeks), Kansas (where the state's governor has promised to sign an EO mandating mask wearing in public), along with NY, NY and others.

Others are pressing ahead, like Rhode Island, which is planning to move into Phase 3 of its reopening plan on Monday.

And here's some more bad news for Gov Cuomo: the NYT just published a statistical deep-dive revealing that 43% of COVID-19 deaths were tied to nursing homes.

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Update (1630ET): Texas's latest numbers are out, and while the number of newly confirmed cases has declined, the number of hospitalized patients has moved higher.

As for cases...

  • TEXAS VIRUS CASES RISE 2.9%, BELOW 7-DAY AVERAGE OF 4.2%: STATE

The Texas Tribune reported Monday that Texas testing sites are being overwhelmed by a crush of frightened Texans, and that Texans have reported problems with almost every aspect of the process, from the difficulty of scheduling, to waiting in line for hours (while northeastern states see much shorter wait times) and then waiting days (sometimes weeks) for the results.

Here's a roundup of the data courtesy of a local reporter.

Meanwhile, an NYT article point out a massive disparity in the price of a COVID-19 test between two patients in Texas.

We imagine we'll be seeing a flood of memes based on this concept in the not-too-distant future.

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Update (1622ET): LA County has issued a "dire" warning Monday afternoon as the County, which was ordered to close all bars and nightclubs as its total nears 100k cases, faces "deteriorating" conditions according to the LAT.

Officials, including Barbara Ferrer, LA's director of public health (despite having no medical background), warned that new data show “alarming increases in cases, positivity rates and hospitalization.”

"There’s so much at stake, since these continued increases will result in many more people becoming seriously ill, and many more deaths of COVID-19,” she said.

"We are seeing an increase in transmission. We’re seeing more people get sick and go into the hospital. This is very much a change in the trajectory of the epidemic over the past several days. It’s a change for the worse and a cause for concern, said Dr. Christina Ghaly, LA County’s director of health services. If numbers continue to climb, the number of intensive care units in the state could hit max capacity by the end of next month.

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Update (1545ET): In the latest notable shift in tone from the Trump Administration, Larry Kudlow just appeared on CNBC in an end-of-day interview (with stocks already up 1%+) to urge viewers to wear masks and do their part, while lauding states like California and Texas for "doing the right thing" by closing bars and pausing their reopening plans.

"Those states that are pausing or slowing down are doing the right thing, absolutely," Kudlow said. At one point, Kudlow insisted that the message from the White House was follow local guidelines on social distancing just as it always has been - this coming from Kudlow, who has repeatedly insisted that rolling back the economic reopening wasn't an option...until it happened. He didn't directly address the 'controversy' over mandatory mask wearing.

Finally, Kudlow said he'd like to give Americans a re-employment "bonus", and said he's still looking forward to a "V-shaped" recovery.

Some things never change.

* * *

Update (1445ET): In keeping with Gov. Murphy's strategy of trying to stay one step ahead of his neighbor/rival/colleague Gov Cuomo across the Hudson, the state has just announced plans to delay the resumption of indoor dining, which had been slated for Thursday, smashing the hopes of thousands of small-business owners as states from California to Florida close bars.

Meanwhile, the state just reported its lowest daily death total since March 4.

* * *

Update (1410ET): We're seeing more concerning numbers about ICU cases in Miami and Houston, which as one hospital CEO recently explained is due to several factors, and that the 'fearmongering' about an imminent hospital crisis in Houston and elsewhere has been completely unfounded.

  • MIAMI-DADE COVID-19 ICU USE AT HIGHEST SINCE AT LEAST EARLY MAY
  • MIAMI-DADE HAS 90 COVID-19 PATIENTS ON VENTILATORS VS. PREV. 84
  • HOUSTON-AREA ICU BEDS ARE 95% FULL, UP FROM 93%: TEXAS MED CTR

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Update (1230ET): India reported a staggering new record in daily cases on Monday: nearly 20,000 cases were reported as certain cities imposed new social distancing measures following a lengthy countrywide lockdown. On Sunday, India opened what will be the country’s largest COVID-19 hospital, the Sardar Patel Covid Care Center. It will have 10,000 beds, officials confirmed. India has reported more than half a million cases, and more than 16k deaths. Nearly 100k cases were confirmed over the past week.

* * *

Update (1215ET): The WHO's Dr. Tedros just announced that the organization's investigation into China's handling of the early days of the pandemic will begin next week, when an "independent" WHO delegation will arrive in China.

Reactions on twitter were dominated by comic takes by notable China cynics like Mark Spiegel.

* * *

Update (1200ET): California just reported 5,307 new cases for Monday, up 10% from Sunday's more promising numbers, though still below a record daily case number closer to 7k. Deaths declined by 3% to just 32 for the entire state.

Source: NBC News

In other news, reports about the EU edging toward finalizing a list of countries whose citizens won't be allowed into the EU after it lifts border restrictions early next month are surfacing again. And guess what? It's looking increasingly likely that the US is going to be on it.

Source: NBC News

The market dipped on the Cali numbers.

* * *

Update (1145ET): Cuomo just released his latest numbers during today's briefing.

As for indoor dining, Cuomo gave no final answer, saying the state would consult with "stake holders" and try to have an answer by Wednesday.

The big news is that the number of deaths recorded in the state was just 8 over the last 24 hours.

At one time, the state was reporting more than 800 deaths a day, Cuomo reminded his audience. The "R" rate, meanwhile, is .8, with Cuomo saying the state's goal is to keep it "below 1".

The infection rate has continued to drop in NYC, though it remains higher in the outer boroughs. Cuomo said the city's contact tracing system is "working very well", contrary to earlier reports.

Meanwhile, during a briefing in Geneva, WHO's Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the global outbreak "isn't even close to being over," and is instead speeding up. He blamed the "lack of unity" around the world for the calamity.

Internationally, Bangladesh just reported more than 4k new cases, bringing its total to 141k+ following its largest daily jump yet.

* * *

Update (1050ET): As Blaz warns about the possibility of delaying the return of indoor dining for when NYC is expected to enter Phase 3 of its reopening plan on July 6, Gov Cuomo is preparing to hold a briefing on Monday, as criticism of his handling of nursing homes and long-term care facilities faces growing scrutiny.

Cuomo ended his daily COVID-19 briefings more than a week ago.

Circling back to the mayor, Hizzoner said he had spoken with his arch-rival Cuomo about what’s been going on elsewhere in the country, and said that indoor dining has emerged as "an area of concern".

"We are now going to reexamine the indoor dining rules for Phase 3," he said.

* * *

Update (1035ET): Florida has reported its latest daily and weekly COVID-19 data

  • FLORIDA COVID-19 CASES RISE 3.7% VS. PREVIOUS 7-DAY AVG. 5.5%

Looks like the positive numbers helped push stocks even higher.

* * *

As we reported last night the number of confirmed coronavirus deaths topped 500k according to data released Sunday, while the US recorded nearly 45k cases on Sunday, below the last daily record set a few days ago, but still above the 40k level. Following VP Pence's appearance alongside Texas Gov Greg Abbott on Sunday to ask Americans to please wear masks in public, a notable about-face from a press briefing on Friday, has set tongues wagging.

With the global outbreak having just surpassed 10 million cases and half a million deaths, two major milestones, over the weekend, perhaps the biggest news this morning was Gilead's release of its pricing menu for remdesivir, its widely hyped drug for treating COVID-19 that is less effective than a much-cheaper steroid called dexamethasone, which has proven more effective at lower mortality. Remdesivir was originally developed to treat Ebola, but one virus is as good as the next, right?

As fears about the worsening outbreaks in Latin America and Africa mount, with South Africa seeing a troubling surge in cases. Despite already having more than one-third of the reported cases for all 54 countries on the continent of more than 1.3 billion. More than 4,300 people have been hospitalized out of South Africa's 138,000 confirmed cases, the country's Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize said in a statement.

"We are seeing a rapid rise in the cumulative number of positive COVID-19 cases indicating that, as we had expected, we are approaching a surge during the...months of July and August," Mkhize said..."It is anticipated that while every province will unfortunately witness an increase in their numbers, areas where there is high economic activity will experience an exponential rise." He added that cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town are at the greatest risk for major outbreaks.

China on Monday reported 12 new confirmed cases, including five imported cases. The seven domestic infections were all in Beijing, where 1/3rd of residents have been tested since the latest "outbreak" at a local food wholesale market began earlier this month.

With a brief pause in US news, our attention turned to CNBC Monday morning where former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned that up to half of Americans could have been infected with the virus by the end of the year.

"By the time we get to the end of this year, probably close to half the population will have had coronavirus, and that’s if we just stay at our current rate," he said during an interview with CNBC’s "Squawk Box."

"We don’t need to vaccinate the entire population because a lot of people would have already had this by the time we get to a vaccination," he added.

Although younger people appear to be the most impacted during this latest wave, all that could change as transmission rates increase.

"Eventually, it will start to seep into older people, more vulnerable people, and you’ll start to see the total number of deaths go up even if the death rate has come down,” he said. “We’ll probably get above 1,000 deaths a day on average as the infection starts to widen out."

And again, this is assuming the rate of spread remains steady: if it gets worse, so will the outcome.

Instagram Founder Kevin Systrom also appeared on CNBC this morning to share data from a public COVID-19 tracking platform he's launched, which features this nifty display showing where each state's rate of spread is relative to the spectrum seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

As lengthy food bank lines appear to keep getting longer in the US, the World Food Program warned Monday that the socioeconomic fallout from the pandemic will be "devastating" for middle and low-income nations, possibly leading to food shortages and famines not seen in decades. The organization believes the rate of hunger in the poorest nations will have nearly doubled by year's end.

In further bad news, the Australian state of Victoria found 75 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours before Monday morning (local time), the highest daily total in 2 months, a total that is "absolutely concerning" according to county health officials who have launched a "testing blitz" and are also warning that lockdowns and other social distancing measures might be reintroduced.

Finally, there have been unconfirmed reports about Texas coronavirus hospitalizations rising another 7.5% over the last day, which would be bad news for a hospital system that is becoming worryingly stretched. Some Houston-area hospitals belonging to the Texas Medical Center hospital systems have stopped publishing ICU numbers as they claimed they caused needless panic since ICUs are often run at or near full capacity. They have insisted there is plenty of 'overflow' capacity that can be brought online.

Another important headline out of the US: NYC Mayor de Blasio now weighing whether to further delay the reopening of indoor dining, which has already started in the city in some places.

And with that, the few remaining independent restauranteurs in NYC will likely seriously rethink their plans to try and persevere.