California Becomes First State To Top 600k Cases, Canada Extends US Border Closure To Sept. 21: Live Updates

Summary:

  • California cases top 600,000 - the highest state count.
  • Dr. Fauci says "herd immunity" would lead to "unacceptable" death level
  • Canada extends border lockdown
  • Florida cases decline again
  • New CDC forecast projects 200k deaths by labor day
  • Spain bans smoking in crowds
  • Global death toll tops 750k
  • UK places travel restrictions on France & the Netherlands
  • UK signs vaccine deal
  • Paris and area around Marseille on "red alert"
  • French new cases top 2k for the 4th time in a week
  • New Zealand expands Auckland lockdown
  • Mexico tops 500,000 cases
  • Tokyo suffers 389 new cases
  • South Korea confirms 103 new cases
  • North Korea lifts lockdown around border region

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Update (1435ET): As California Governor Newsom continues to come to terms with his state's massive data error and "corrects" the case counts, the Golden State just became the first state to top 600,000 cases.

Florida has recorded 557,137 cases, and Texas, 527,715.

The Golden State also has the third highest death toll in the U.S. with 10,800 COVID-19 fatalities, behind New York and New Jersey, which were hit hard by the disease early on in the pandemic.

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Update (1113ET): Lockdown restrictions covering parts of northwestern England will remain in place, officials determined on Friday, as COVID cases remained stubbornly high. 'Partial lockdown' restrictions have been imposed on Leicester, Greater Manchester, parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire.

"The latest evidence does not show a decrease in the number of cases per 100,000 people in the area, and the health secretary, in collaboration with local leaders, has agreed that the rules must remain in place at present," a government statement said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci said in his latest interview (an Instagram Live session with actor Matthew McConaughey) that "aiming for herd immunity" would inevitably lead to a "massive" death toll in the US.

“If everyone contracted it, even with the relatively high percentage of people without symptoms...a lot of people are going to die,” Dr. Fauci said.

"You look at the United States of America with our epidemic of obesity, as it were. With the number of people with hypertension. With the number of people with diabetes. If everyone got infected, the death toll would be enormous and totally unacceptable."

During the early days of the outbreak, Dr. Fauci said the goal for the US response would be to "flatten" the curve to minimize fatalities while we wait to either reach herd immunity, or until a vaccine becomes widely available.

Meanwhile, Canada has extended its border closure with the US until at least September 21.

The Florida Department of Health said Friday that 6,178 additional cases of COVID-19 were confirmed, pushing the state’s known total to 563,315. Another 220 Florida resident deaths were also reported. New York saw a 0.8% positivity rate.

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Update (0737ET): The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 753,000 people worldwide, and while deaths in France and Spain remain subdued, both countries are trying to manage lockdowns and social distancing policies in a way that won't completely destroy their domestic tourism industries.

Now, Spain's top health officials has just banned smoking outdoors in public spaces unless the smoker can adequately social distance.

  • SPAIN BANS SMOKING IN OUTDOOR PUBLIC SPACES WHEN IMPOSSIBLE TO RESPECT SAFE DISTANCE - HEALTH MINISTER

We suspect this order will lead to no shortage of grumbles from smokers.

The CDC, in a new set of projections released Friday, now believes the US death toll will fall between 180,000 and 200,000 people by Sept. 5, as deaths continue to accelerate while hospitalizations and new cases decline.

Additionally, as some doctors push for a new approach to combating the virus that depends on repeated at-home testing and careful monitoring of the results, an Israeli company is apparently working on a saliva test that could be administered very easily, and produce results within "less than 1 second".

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As we previewed during a brief update yesterday evening, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson late Thursday decided to impose new restrictions on travelers from France and the Netherlands, reviving worries about another wave of travel restrictions just as more European countries were tentatively reopening their borders to travelers from within the EU.

Shrugging off groans from returning holidaymakers worried about the impact on work, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he expects 160,000 British holidaymakers heading back from France to be impacted by the new rules, which take effect Saturday. Travelers were aware of the risks when they decided to leave the country, he insisted. They'll figure it out.

On the vaccine front, according to ITV, the UK government has secured access to a further 90 million doses of potential coronavirus vaccines, after striking new deals with J&J, Novavax and others.

As cases creep higher across Western and central Europe, France has placed Paris and the Bouches-du-Rhône department around Marseille on "virus red alert," issuing a decree that allows local officials to impose new social distancing restrictions if need be. The move follows a rapid rise in the number of those testing positive for the virus in recent days. On Thursday, 2,669 people tested positive across France, the 4th time in a week that the number exceeded 2,000.

Jerome Salomon, the head of the French Health Agency, said the situation in his country is "worsening".

While cases climb in France, most of those infected during this latest wave are young people, many of whom have recklessly attended illegal, or ill-advised, beach parties and other gatherings that risk allowing COVID-19 to spread.

Surprisingly, Sweden reported a surprisingly large drop in GDP on Friday, suggesting that its lockdown-averse approach wasn't as effective as previously believed. However, as critics like CNBC latched on to the GDP numbers as the latest "proof" that Sweden's approach was ill-advised, they fail to mention how Sweden's new cases and deaths have slowed to a crawl.

Critics are already calling on Anders Tegnell, the country's top epidemiologist to consider more restrictive measures to prevent a "second wave".

Meanwhile, in the land down under, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern announced plans on Friday to extend a new lockdown on Auckland by 12 days as more cases are discovered in the city. In a surprising admission, the NYT on Friday blamed the new outbreaks in Australia and New Zealand - outbreaks that have expanded in defiance of lockdowns - on "border failures," criticizing both countries for being too lax with tourists, especially passengers from "the Ruby Princess". The commentary was spurred by Australian prosecutors' finding that NSW Health made multiple "serious" and "inexplicable" lapses in allowing the cruise ship's passengers to disembark without being scanned for the virus when they disembarked in Sydney back in March.

So far, the cluster linked to the cruise ship has resulted in 28 deaths, while at least 854 passengers and crew were infected.

Circling back to New Zealand, according to the latest data, the cluster of infections that began in Auckland earlier this week has grown to 30, including a probable case, while two cases were also found in the North Island town of Tokoroa, officials said.

Continuing its streak of rising daily tallies, Germany reported 1,422 new cases in the 24 hours ending Friday morning, up from 1,319 the previous day and bringing its total to 222,281, according to JHU data. Meanwhile, Germany's infection rate - represented algebraically as "R" - has remained below the key level of 1, above which denotes expansion.

In Latin America, officials in Peru reported that the country's death toll may have surpassed 50k, while Brazil reported 60,091 new cases on Thursday evening, the biggest daily increase since July 29, according to the Health Ministry. That pushed Brazil's total north of 3.2 million.

Meanwhile, Mexico reported 7,371 new cases pushing the total to 505,751, according to data released by the Health Ministry. Deaths climbed by 627 to 55,293.

Tokyo confirmed 389 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, up from 206 the day before. The city reported 462 cases last Friday, its biggest daily total yet. Finally, in a particularly alarming development, South Korea has confirmed 103 more cases during 24 hours, nearly double the 56 cases reported a day earlier, per the KCDC. Of these, 85 were locally infected, and 18 were imported.

Across the border, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un has lifted a lockdown affecting the border city of Kaesong, which was imposed following worries about a former citizen who fled back to the country after defecting a few years ago possibly spreading COVID to the local population.