California Orders Bars, Gyms & Indoor Dining To Close In Biggest COVID-19 Reopening Rollback Yet: Live Updates

Summary:

  • Peru passes 330k cases; 2nd biggest outbreak in Latin America
  • Refrigeration trucks arrive in Houston
  • California rolls back reopening statewide, closes restaurants, gyms, etc
  • Dr. Fauci: "In 50 years, we'll talk about COVID-19 like the Spanish flu
  • Oregon announces new restrictions
  • LA, San Diego say schools won't open in the fall
  • California hospitalizations hit record highs
  • Cuomo says schools won't reopen until it's safe
  • Arizona sees 1.1% daily jump in new cases
  • NYC reports no COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours for first time
  • Florida reports another 12k+ new cases
  • Slowing Sun Belt testing speeds hobbles Sun Belt outbreak
  • White House reportedly cancels Dr. Fauci media appearances
  • Hong Kong Disneyland to close July 15
  • Hong Kong closes restaurants, gyms
  • US approves accelerated trials for 2 vax candidates
  • Global COVID-19 cases top 13 million
  • US deaths climb by fewer than 500 cases
  • South Korea confirmed 62 new cases
  • China warns on travel to Australia
  • Hong Kong reported another 52 new cases

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Update (1815ET): Peru is home to one of the biggest COVID-19 outbreaks in Latin America. And on Monday, it surpassed 330,000 confirmed cases making it the second biggest outbreak in Latin America, behind only Brazil, and ahead of Chile and Mexico.

The Peruvian health ministry reported 3,797 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the country's total to 330,123. Meanwhile, the Peruvian death toll increased by 184 to 2,054 as of end of day Monday.

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Update (1650ET): Following Gov Newsom's bombshell and Oregon's new restrictions, Texas reported its latest numbers as Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said his city needs a 2-week return to lockdown to slow the spread.

Texas reported fewer cases than yesterday in keeping with the typical Monday post-weekend dip, but that didn't stop the 7-day average from hitting a new record high.

But get this: for the first time in 15 days, hospitalizations fell in Texas.

As Houston's trademark medical center - the largest in the world - is overwhelmed, the Houston Chronicle just published a lengthy story claiming the number of deaths in Texas are being undercounted, and that when compared with other states, Texas's numbers are distorted since they don't include "probable" cases and deaths. It also claimed that refrigeration trucks

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Update (1610ET): As hundreds of thousands of green Robinhood traders panic following Monday's stunning late-day market reversal, here are a few more negative headlines from CNN.

First, Miami's mayor is now saying the city's hospitals are at less than 10% free capacity.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez updated the public on newly reported numbers from the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), saying the hospital system in Miami is at its peak, with 1,898 people battling coronavirus in hospitals across the city.

The mayor said that hospitals are somewhere between 91-92% of capacity and are trying to increase capacity by up to 50% over the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, Georgia reported more than 3,000 new cases on Monday.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) reported 3,643 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the state on Monday.

This brings the state total to 120,569 confirmed cases.

The GDPH reported 25 new coronavirus deaths and 217 additional hospitalizations Monday.

The state has reported a total of 3,026 Covid-19 related deaths.

Infectious disease expert Lilian Abbo has also called Miami the "epicenter of the pandemic" in a virtual news conference Monday.

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Update (1540ET): As stocks head sharply lower into the close, the Trump Administration is dropping the therapeutics headlines and praying for a late-day rescue, apparently.

Interestingly enough, the list of 'promising therapies' released by the administration has omitted a drug that Trump himself has experimented with: hydroxychloroquine.

  • TRUMP ADMIN. RELEASES LIST OF PROMISING COVID-19 THERAPIES
  • HHS'S LIST OF VIRUS THERAPIES EXCLUDES HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE

Sadly, it's not having the effect that this morning's Pfizer and BioNTech headlines had.

Meanwhile, Oregon has also announced new COVID-19 restrictions: As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown announced two new mandates: First, a ban on indoor gatherings of more than 10 people, along with expanding face mask requirements outside. Starting Wednesday, facemasks will be required to be worn whenever distancing isn't possible.

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Update (1520ET): In a press briefing scheduled in Sacramento after officials in LA and San Diego announced they wouldn't resume in-person school in the fall, California Gov Gavin Newsom just revealed that his state will roll back its reopening efforts to Phase 1, ordering all indoor Restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment, zoos, museums and cardrooms.

Businesses will be closing indoor operations in more than 30 counties as the order takes effect in all parts of the state, with additional restrictions impacting certain hotspots. The end result will leave churches, salons, non-critical offices and most other businesses closed in parts of the state where 80% of California's 40 million people live.

California was averaging more than 8,000 new cases a day as of Sunday, more than double the rate from the prior month. While it remains the second worst hit state with 331,626 cases and more than 7,000 deaths, it's only a matter of time before it surpasses NY, barring a resurgence there.

It's the most drastic rollback announced so far, and the news knocked stocks back into the red...before the decision, the entire state except for LA was in Phase 2.

The state still has nearly a quarter of a million active cases - and those are just the cases authorities know of.

Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci appeared on TV (despite reports claiming he was being barred from media appearances) and called the global coronavirus pandemic "the worst nightmare," adding that we will someday talk about COVID the way we talk about the Spanish Flu.

"One thinks about the worst nightmare of an infectious disease person who's interested in global health and outbreaks – is the combination of a new microbe that has [a] spectacular...degree of capability of transmitting, and also has a considerable degree of morbidity and mortality – and here it is, it’s happened," Fauci said while speaking during a webinar with the Stanford School of Medicine.

"Your worst nightmare, the perfect storm," he added. "I think 50 years from now, people are going to be reflecting historically on this, the way we used to reflect on the 1918 outbreak."

Very reassuring - and we see the market agrees!

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Update (1440ET): As President Trump moves to make federal aid contingent on schools reopening in the fall, local officials in California have announced that schools in LA and San Diego won't reopen in the fall.

Together, the two districts enroll some 825,000 students. This means they are the largest in the country so far to abandon plans for even a partial physical return.

In a joint statement, the two school districts noted that while much has been learned about the virus, health recommendations remain vague and contradictory.

But "one fact is clear," the statement said. "Those countries that have managed to safely reopen schools have done so with declining infection rates and on-demand testing available. California has neither. The skyrocketing infection rates of the past few weeks make it clear the pandemic is not under control."

The decision comes as California reports 8,358 new cases (2.6%), exceeding the 14-day average of 7,800 and bringing its statewide total to 329,162 COVID-19 cases. Hospitalizations For July 12 climbed by 41 (0.5%) to hit 7,895, a new record high.

Gov Newsom will deliver a statement at 3pmET.

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Update (1200ET):  After releasing his latest update on NY state's numbers...

...Gov Cuomo said schools will only reopen when the data say it's safe, adding that airports in the state will enforce quarantine rules

And accused Trump of attacking science and "denying reality".

When evaluating the situation in NY's schools, Cuomo claimed a "safety valve" will be implemented by the state will close schools if infections spike.

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Update (1120ET): There were 1,357 new coronavirus cases (+1.1%) and eight new deaths reported in Arizona on Monday, bringing the statewide total to 123,824 confirmed cases and 2,245 total deaths as of Monday. That's compared with a 7-day average of 3.2%.

The data are in line with a trend where Monday sees a dip from the prior day due to a weekend backlog, which is typically cleared on Tuesday, which has typically seen much higher case counts. Across the state, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases topped 123,000, a week after reaching the 100,000 mark.

Hospitalizations remain at record highs.

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Update (1110ET): For the first time since the coronavirus outbreak began, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said there were no deaths reported within a 24-hour period.

"The fact is for the first time in months we have a 24-hour period where no one in this city died from the Coronavirus, it is so striking and so moving," de Blasio said during the press briefing. "Twenty four hours where no one dies, let’s have many more days like that,” the mayor added.

Now, de Blasio said the city will be "doubling down" on reaching out to young adults, who are increasingly being infected in greater numbers, by offering more mobile testing vans and outreach programs.

Watch the remarks below:

Of course, the surging crime across the city probably is making this a bittersweet moment for Hizzoner.

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Update (1045ET): One day after Florida reported the biggest single-day jump of any state across the US, Florida has reported another 12,624 coronavirus cases Monday for a total of 282,435 and 35 new fatalities to bring the death toll to 4,277.

Even as turnaround times remain inconsistent across states and across the Sun Belt, the Sun Sentinel points out that the testing rate in Florida has gone from about 25,000 tests per day to almost 50,000, though the percent positive has risen even more dramatically than the increase in testing can justify.

The positivity rate fell to 12.9% from the highs north of 20% as tests doubled from the week before.

 Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he expects the "apex" of cases in the South to hit in two to three weeks.

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Update (1040ET): Just hours after Florida reported a recordbreaking jump in newly confirmed COVID-19 cases that was driven by an even larger surge in new tests, the Washington Post published this story about how states across the Sun Belt are falling so far behind on testing, that it's beginning to "hobble" the US response.

Some testing sites are struggling to provide results in five to seven days. Others are taking even longer. Outbreaks across the Sun Belt have strained labs beyond capacity. That rising demand, in turn, has caused shortages of swabs, chemical reagents and equipment as far away as New York.

The long testing turnaround times are making it impossible for the United States to replicate the central strategy used by other countries to effectively contain the virus - test, trace and isolate. Like catching any killer, speed is of the essence when it comes to the coronavirus.

“Instead of going from one step to the next, it’s like you’re already stumbling right out of the gate,” said Crystal R. Watson, a public health expert at Johns Hopkins University. “It makes contact tracing almost useless. By the time a person is getting results, they already have symptoms, their contacts may already have symptoms and have gone on to infect others."

That wasn't the only critical piece published by WaPo Monday. For the umpteenth time, the MSM is reporting that the Trump Administration is moving to "sideline" Dr. Fauci by cancelling some of his media appearances after Trump made some comments that were critical of the doctor.

Of course, this isn't the first time we've heard that.

* * *

Update (0830ET): As Hong Kong Monday records 52 new cases of the virus on Monday, including 41 that were locally transmitted, city officials are increasing their efforts to quash this latest outbreak. Some of the new measures include closing restaurants for dine-in services in the evening, and also closing gyms and arcades.

The city is also re-implemented new social distancing measures until July 15.

  • HONG KONG TO CAP ALL PUBLIC GATHERINGS AT FOUR PEOPLE ON VIRUS
  • HONG KONG'S LAM URGES COMPANIES TO LET STAFF WORK FROM HOME
  • HONG KONG NEW SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES TO TAKE EFFECT JULY 15
  • HONG KONG TO BAN DINE-IN SERVICES AT EATERIES FROM 6PM TO 5AM
  • HONG KONG TO SHUT GYMS, GAME ARCADES FOR 7 DAYS

Although it was one of the first foreign destinations to confirm the virus, HK has only reported over 1,500 cases and 7 deaths since late January, despite the discovery of a few small follow-up clusters.

Even Hong Kong Disneyland is expected to close down again more than a month after reopening.

* * *

Update (0730ET): Yesterday, we groused about how US markets place so much faith in the many vaccine and therapeutic trials that are being carried out around the world. It seems that news of these trials, even when that news is entirely procedural, tends to send markets higher (however briefly).

And now on Monday morning, it's happening again, as a headline about the FDA granting fast-track approval to 2 vaccine candidates from Pfizer and German biotech BioNTech is sending futures higher in premarket trade.

* * *

It seems most of the popular tallies of coronavirus cases and deaths are in agreement that the US added only 59,017 (per JHU) or

58,147 (per Worldometer) cases on Sunday, the first day that the number of new cases fell short of 60k since early last week. Worldometer reported 3,414,042 cases at the end of day on Sunday, along with 137,784 deaths after 379 new deaths were confirmed.

While the number of new cases moved back below 60k, despite Florida's record-smashing new-cases number from Sunday, the number of deaths recorded across the US dipped back below 500. So while the 7-day average for cases climbed to new all-time highs...

...the 7-day average for deaths ticked lower after hitting its highest level since mid-June.

The deceleration in the US helped ease yesterday's global total, which was below the 200k for the first time in days.

Sunday's numbers helped push the global case total to 13,049,461, moving above 13 million, the latest important psychological threshold.

Meanwhile, the number of new deaths was below 5k...

...bringing the global death toll to 571,812, as the global death toll draws inexorably nearer to 600k.

As the outbreak intensifies in Australia, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its embassy in Canberra on Monday have jointly advised Chinese citizens traveling to Australia to exercise caution. However, in addition to the resurgence in COVID-19, they also warned about "racism" and "anti-Chinese sentiment" as Beijing continues to punish Canberra for backing the US in its campaign against Huawei.

Australia, along with the US, is a part of the powerful "Five Eyes" intelligence partnership that China has been desperately seeking to compromise.

With its schools temporarily closed, Hong Kong reported another 52 new cases of coronavirus Monday, including 41 that were locally transmitted, health authorities confirmed. Tokyo just confirmed 119 new infections, sources tell Nikkei, with cases coming in below 120 for the first time in 5 days.

After crossing the 850k case threshold, cementing its status as the third-worst outbreak in the world behind the US and Brazil, India reported yet another record single-day jump in coronavirus cases, with 28,701 new infections reported in the last 24 hours. This brought India's total to 878,254. The death toll, meanwhile, has climbed to 23,174, up 500 since Sunday morning. Meanwhile, South Korea confirmed 62 new cases, up from 44 a day ago, bringing total infections reaching 13,479, with 289 deaths.