Okinawa Bases Locked Down As COVID-19 Outbreak Grows; Florida Smashes US Single-Day Record: Live Updates

Summary:

  • Japan shutters US bases on Okinawa
  • Phoenix mayor sets record for ventilator usage
  • South Carolina positivity rate tops 22%
  • French official warns we shouldn't expect vaccine by year's end
  • US hospitals see severe shortages of remdesivir
  • WHO reports another single-day global record
  • Florida shatters US single-day record, surpassing NY
  • US 7-day average for deaths hits highest level since June 16
  • Mexico deaths on track to surpass Italy
  • India outbreak surpasses 250k
  • Israelis protest in Tel Aviv

* * *

Update (1840ET): Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego told CNN Sunday during an interview with Dana Bash that the state's positivity rates and record-setting ventilator usage are plaguing Phoenix.

"Our health care workers are telling us they are already tired and they are worried that there could be additional growth after the 4th of July," Gallego said.

She also claimed that people in Phoenix are waiting up to 13 hours to get tested.

"We have had people waiting, eight, 10, 13 hours" to get tested, Gallego said.

We wonder: will she need to walk back any of these claims, too.

Meanwhile, as Iran suffers a dramatic resurgence of its deadly coronavirus outbreak, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a televised speech on Sunday said the situation is "truly sad" and encouraged citizens to take appropriate measures to help shorten the chain of transmission "before bringing the country to the shore of salvation," according to Khamenei's office.

While Florida's daily numbers were undoubtedly the highlight of the weekend, it's worth noting that the total number of test results reported yesterday in South Carolina was 8,769, with the % positive hitting 22.3%. A total of 538,022 tests were conducted in the state, according to the state's latest press release, while there were 1,952 new cases of coronavirus and 10 new deaths reported for a total of 56,485 confirmed cases and 163 probable cases. There have also been 950 confirmed deaths and 11 probable deaths statewide.

In vaccine news, after an Australian official warned that we shouldn't expect a vaccine by the end of the year, French epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet says that despite 'unprecedented effort' a vaccine is still not likely before next year.

As more countries scramble to secure stocks of Gilead's remdesivir, in the US, hospitals in some bad hit areas are complaining that they don't have enough of the stuff, while hospitals in places like NYC are saying they have more than they need.

Finally, after 61 US marines tested positive for the virus at two US bases in Okinawa, a Japan-controlled island, the Japanese and the US just announced that they would be placing the base on lockdown to prevent further spread. Japan is reportedly "shocked" and furious at the US after a major coronavirus outbreak at 2 Marine bases in Okinawa.

* * *

Update (1400ET): Like Brazil, Chile and Peru, Mexico’s cases from the coronavirus have been surging as the country struggles to compensate for its lackluster early response.

On Sunday, As Reuters reports, Mexico is set to overtake Italy and shoot above 35,000 deaths on Sunday, leaving Mexico on track to become the world's fourth most deadly outbreak, according to Reuters' tally. On Saturday, Mexico recorded 539 additional fatalities to bring its coronavirus toll to 34,730, with 295,268 confirmed cases.

Italy has recorded 34,945 deaths and 242,827 cases, though it's only diagnosing a hundred or so new cases a day for the entire country, along with a handful of deaths.

Mexico's coronavirus death toll per million residents is the 16th highest in the world. The country's population is about 120 million.

Meanwhile, after Fla. reported the largest single-day jump in new cases for any US state, Miami-Dade County officials warned that some hospitals in the state's hardest-hit county are reaching capacity in both available beds and ICU beds. The shortages are being found at some of the county's largest and most critical hospitals, Mayor Carlos Gimenez told CNN in an interview earlier.

“Our ventilator usage has gone up, close to 200 now, so we definitely had a sharp increase in the number of people going to the hospital,” Gimenez said.

In the first look at the number of new cases reported globally on Sunday, the WHO just reported 230,370 new cases for its Sunday total, the latest global record as outbreaks in Latin America, India and the US continue to intensify. The new cases bring the total number of cases reported to WHO from around the world to 12,552,765.

* * *

Update (1120ET): It was only a matter of time, but Florida has finally smashed the one-day coronavirus record set by New York State during the spring peak, reporting 15,300 new cases (15,299, to be exact) - a higher daily total than most countries have ever reported - bringing the state's total to 269,811.

Another 45 deaths were reported on Sunday as well, bringing the statewide death toll to 4,242. Though the 45 number was roughly half the number from the day before.

That number will probably account for roughly a quarter of all cases reported over the last 24 hours once all  of Sunday's reports are in.

However, this new daily record comes with an important caveat: A massive increase in tests was reported yesterday, with 143,000 being run, roughly double the 7-day total from earlier this month.

The positivity rate fell to 13.6%.

* * *

Though the various daily tallies are starting to diverge more noticeably (Johns Hopkins reports another record jump in new cases, while worldometer reported a pullback from the 70k+ high from Friday), they all reported another day of 60k+ new cases as the US's 7-day average continues to move to ever-higher records.

As of Sunday morning, the 7-day average reported by Worldometer was 58,340, while the US reported 61,719 new cases on Saturday (numbers across the US are reported with a 24-hour delay).

The US reported 732 new deaths on Saturday, which was lower than the prior three days, but not low enough to stop the 7-day average from climbing to its highest level since June 16.

All told, there were 3,357,928 cases as of Sunday morning in the US, along with 137,429 deaths. Globally, Worldometer counted 12,898,827 total cases and 568,815 deaths.

 

Outside of the US, India's coronavirus outbreak has continued to expand at its explosive pace, nearing 850,000 with a record surge of 28,637 cases in the past 24 hours, prompting authorities to announce the return to lockdown measures in the southern tech hub of Bangalore. India's other major hot spots, including Mumbai and New Delhi, are implementing strict new procedures focusing on proactive testing to try to eradicate the virus in the country's most densely packed slums.

In Israel, thousands filled Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square Saturday night to protest the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. The public is furious over Israel's failure to prevent an outbreak, despite strict and early steps taken, including lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Protesters waved yellow and black signs chastising the country's "disconnected" political leaders and saying "enough," while others held up signs calling this an "economic war" and demanding the government "release the money."

We can't imagine this will make Israel's famed contact tracing effort any easier.