NJ COVID-19 Transmission Rate Highest In Months; Manchester Declares "Major Incident" To Fight Outbreak: Live Updates

Summary:

  • UK activates declares "major incident" in Manchester to combat COVID
  • Cuomo says students, teachers must be confident for in-person learning to return
  • Florida cases drop, deaths lowest in weeks
  • NJ "R" rate hits highest rate in months
  • Melbourne declares "state of emergency" 3 weeks into lockdown
  • Victoria reports 671 new cases
  • US cases climbed 58,908 (+1.3%) yday, slowest rate in 5 days
  • Mexico death toll tops UK for 3rd place
  • India cases top 1.75 mil
  • Democratic rep tests positive
  • Vietnam reports 2 more deaths

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Update (1515ET): COVID-19 cases haven't really come back all that much in the UK.

While there has been a slight uptick, as some epidemiologists have described it, warnings about a dire 'second wave' hitting just as children are supposed to be returning to school have prompted local officials in the new "hotspots" including part of northern Manchester to declare a "major incident", according to the leader of the City Council, who was quoted in the British press.

Notably, the announcement comes just after Mexico officially (according to Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg) surpassed the UK for the world's third-highest death toll. The British people have been left shellshocked from a brutal outbreak that impacted up to half of long-term care homes in some of the worst-hit parts of the country. UK-wide, 4 in 10 homes were affected, and the dead likely number in the tens of thousands.

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Update (1405ET): US cases are on track for another day-on-day decline following the lowest aggregate number in five days.

In New York, Gov Andrew Cuomo - as promised - announced that parents and teachers must be comfortable before returning to the classroom, and therefore, in the state of New York, teachers and students will have the option of continuing with remote learning.

He also released the state's latest numbers.

While Cuomo promised to come up with a detailed reopening plan that would accommodate those who wish to continue with remote learning, media reports citing sources within Cuomo's office trashed NYC (and its mayor, Cuomo's top political rival) for submitting an "outline" of a reopening strategy - not the fully fleshed out plan that some had apparently been expecting, ABC7 reports.

Florida reported 7,104 (+1.5%) cases on Sunday, lower than the previous week’s average of 2.8%. Reported deaths among residents was 62, the lowest in weeks.  The state's total has climbed to 487,132 cases and 7,084 deaths among residents, leaving it in 2nd place nationwide behind California in terms of number of cases.

On the political side, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she doesn’t trust information on the pandemic from the head of the White House’s coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah Birx.

Birx "is [Trump's] appointee so I don’t have confidence there, no," Pelosi told ABC.

Across the Hudson in Trenton, Gov Murphy announced that NJ's transmission rate continued to creep up, with it hitting 1.49, according to data posted on the state’s website, the highest rate in months, and double the level from the mid-June lows.

The rate indicates the average number of people infected by each patient, and is supposed to measure whether the outbreak is expanding, or contracting.

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Across the Sun Belt, the number of coronavirus cases reported daily has continued to decline, but the outbreak is intensifying across Europe, and - most alarmingly - in Melbourne, which is becoming a new global symbol of SARS-CoV-2's intransigence, as one of the most restrictive lockdowns in the world has failed to squelch the latest outbreak.

Although the alarmism peddled in some corners of the media probably isn't warranted, Melbourne has seen its daily confirmed totals climb to new records day after day. With the public pressure mounting three weeks after the new lockdown began (with no progress having been made), state officials have tightened restrictions and declared a state of disaster on Sunday.

The decision comes as Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews announced 671 new cases in the past 24 hours with seven deaths. More than 380 people were being treated in the hospital, with 38 in intensive care.

Andrews' state of disaster will begin at 6pm Sunday, and allow police the added powers to enforce social distancing restrictions.

Metropolitan Melbourne will be under a curfew limiting movement between 8 pm and 5 am. These new restrictions will be in place for (at least) six weeks.

Australia has recorded about 17,000 infections and ~200 deaths so far, with the majority of these in Victoria.

In North America, the number of new US cases rose by 58,908 (+1.3%), the smallest daily jump in at least five days, according to data maintained by Johns Hopkins & Bloomberg.

That's less than the 1.6% average for the past 7 days. Deaths have increased by 946, coming in below 1,000 for the first time in five days.

Of course, some of this pullback could be due to the closings of testing centers in Florida in areas threatened by hurricane Isaias.

South of the border, Mexico's soaring death toll has become the third largest in the world (though that's not yet reflected in this chart).

Only the US and Brazil have recorded more deaths. Mexico has now suffered at least 46,688 deaths during the pandemic, with a total of 424,637 infections.

India has seen the number of new cases finally start to wane, yet the country's COVID-19 caseload passed 1.75 million on Sunday after another spike of 54,735 in the past 24 hours. That's down from 57,118 on Saturday. The Health Ministry on Sunday also reported 853 deaths for a total of 37,364.

In some of the densest slums of Mumbai and New Delhi, contact tracers have gathered evidence showing that nearly half of the population, in some places, will test positive for antibodies.

Days after Texas Rep Louie Gohmert tested positive for the virus, Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva announced late yesterday that he had become infected, and unsurprisingly, is already jumping to conclusions.

"While I cannot blame anyone directly for this, this week has shown that there are some Members of Congress who fail to take this crisis seriously...Numerous Republican members routinely strut around the Capitol without a mask to selfishly make a political statement at the expense of their colleagues, staff, and their families."

Vietnam reported two more deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday, raising the country's death toll to five, all in the last few days.

As Sunday begins in the US, will the number of new cases continue to fall? Thanks to a series of 'teenage house parties', Connecticut and New Jersey have reported "mini-boomlets" of the virus over the past week or so.