California COVID-19 Cases Top 500,000 As Global Total Nears 18 Million: Live Updates

Summary:

  • California cases top 500k
  • Texas reports another 9k+ new cases
  • New York to announce decision on schools next week
  • Arizona cases slow, deaths climb
  • Florida deaths top 7k
  • Poland suffers 3rd record jump in COVID-19 cases
  • Germany sees "R" rate hit 1.06
  • Tokyo reports 472
  • Russia hopes to start mass vaccinations in October

* * *

Update (1840ET): California, the state with the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the US, has just surpassed half a million cases.

The state recorded 6,542 infections over the past 24 hours, below the rolling 14-day average, according to the state health department’s website. The death toll increased by 219 on Friday to 9,224, a 2.4% rise from the previous day.

If California were a country, it would have the 6th-largest case total in the world, leaving it between South Africa (~505k) and Mexico (~425k).

California now has 500,130 confirmed cases, run 7,886,587 diagnostic tests (an increase of 75,546 tests since Thursday), while the positivity rate over 14 days was 7.3%.

Arizona reported another 2,992 cases (+1.7%) on Saturday, which was higher than the 1.5% 7-day average. Total cases, at a time when the state has doubled testing, are 177,002.

The state reported 53 new fatalities, bringing its death toll to 3,747. The state reported 68 deaths yesterday.

Arizona’s rate of positive tests dropped again, to 12.6%, down from 15.7% reported Friday and 21.3% the day before.

ICU occupancy declined slightly to 85%.

In other news, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would make a decision on whether the state will be reopening schools in the coming week.

He said NYC missed a Friday deadline to submit reopening plans.

"An initial decision at this point is schools should plan on reopening," Cuomo said during a phone briefing with reporters on Saturday. One major complicating factor is parents - who must first believe that the schools are safe, or there will be partial attendance.

"So you open a school, you will have partial attendance, which will serve no one,” he said.

New York reported 753 new virus cases, in line with the 0.2% average increase of the previous seven days. The state also reported 4 new deaths.

Texas reported 9,539 new cases on Saturday, boosting the state's total to 430,485. Deaths increased by 268 to 6,837, the Department of State Health Services said.

Globally, the total number of confirmed cases is nearing 18 million: There were 17,987,000 confirmed/suspected cases worldwide as of Saturday evening in New York.

* * *

For the next few days, the COVID-19 pandemic won't be the only major disaster unfolding in the Sun Belt: Hurricane Isais is headed straight for Miami-Dade, the worst-hit county in the worst-hit state.

To be sure, as we pointed out yesterday, hospitalizations and single-day case tallies, and daily positivity percentages appear to finally be declining across the Sun Belt.

However, deaths have continued to climb. In the US, COVID-19 daily deaths topped 1,000 - another 1,353 deaths, to be exact - for the fifth consecutive day of fatalities over 1,000. for the fifth straight day, even as the shuttering of testing sites in some parts of the state has caused positivity numbers to decline.

According to the latest data published by Bloomberg and JHU on Saturday morning, the US added 66,545 new virus cases on Friday, a 1.5% increase, compared with the daily average increase of 1.6%. Total cases were 4,561,511.

On Saturday, Florida reported 179 new deaths, snapping a 4-day streak of record daily death numbers, while also pushing the state's death toll past 7k to 7,022.

Fla also reported another 9,642 cases (+2%), lower than the 2.3% average increase over the prior week. The state's total is now 480,028.

Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency as the storm nears, and many state-run testing facilities have been closed.

Meanwhile, in Europe and Asia, new case numbers continued to climb.

Public health officials in Tokyo announced 472 new cases on Saturday, a new record for Japan's capital city, according to NHK public television, which quoted Tokyo officials as saying such. The number of cases reported out of the capital megacity topped 400 for 2 days in a row.

Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike has said Tokyo could declare its own state of emergency if the situation continues to worsen, however, the central government says there is still no need to do so nationally, despite a record spike in several cities around the nation.

As thousands of protesters gathered in Berlin to campaign against the government reimposing economically-painful COVID-19 restrictions - with some claiming the hysteria surrounding the virus, Germany recorded 864 new infections in the 24 hours through Saturday morning. A spate of smaller outbreaks has kept the infection rate above the key threshold of 1.0 for eight consecutive days. The most recent reading put the "R" rate at 1.06.

After reporting its lowest death rate in five days, Russian health officials announced Saturday that the government is preparing to start mass vaccinations against the virus, with health workers and teachers first in line for innoculation said Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said.

A vaccine has reportedly been developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute (with help from the Russian Direct Investment Fund) and has completed clinical trials and the authorities are preparing to register it with regulators. It will be used for the vaccinations.

Russia hopes to start the mass vaccination program in October. Meanwhile, below is the latest chart from JHU showing the 5-day-moving averages for the ten worst-impacted countries in the world.

Poland reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases for a third day in a row on Saturday, with 658 new cases confirmed, according to the Health Ministry. 5 new deaths were also reported. The country has reported a total of 46,346 coronavirus cases and 1,721 deaths.

Poland's prime minister hasn't ruled out tightening some social distancing restrictions if the situation continues to worsen.