Florida, Texas "Pause" Reopening Plans After US Sees Record Jump In COVID-19 Cases: Live Updates


  • Texas reports largest one-day spike in new cases
  • Houston hospital heads say capacity fears overblown
  • Fla. pauses reopening
  • Apple closes more US stores
  • NJ sees spread rate tick higher again
  • Cali reports latest numbers
  • Houston ICU capacity reached
  • Lisbon brings back stay at home orders
  • Arizona, Fla. report latest numbers
  • Texas Gov pauses reopening
  • Texas gov orders suspension of elective surgeries in some counties
  • NYC mayor says phase 3 could begin as soon as July 6
  • Deaths continue to lag new infections
  • Australia sees biggest jump in cases since April
  • UK warned about second wave
  • US sees ~45k jump in new cases reported yesterday
  • Global total nears 10 mil
  • Persian Gulf virus total tops 400k
  • India to carry out virus 'survey' of New Delhi
  • Russia sees ~7k new cases, 92 deaths
  • Dr. Scott Gottlieb: "complacency" driving new US outbreak
  • Eiffel Tower reopens Thursday

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Update (1023ET): As Houston city officials try to quiet the hysteria surrounding reports that their ICU capacity had reached 100% (they have a ton of 'overflow' capacity they can still bring online), the state has just announced that it has reported yet another record single-day jump in new cases. In total, the state reported 5,996 new cases of coronavirus, bringing its total to 131,917 cases.

As the governor backs down from making masks mandatory and instead leaves the decisions up to towns and cities, one North Texas family has been shaken after 18 relatives tested positive for COVID-19 following family gathering.

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Update (1625ET): Market analysts are now blaming that last-minute streak of panic-buying into the close on comments from the four leaders of Houston's largest hospitals.

Here's more from a local Houston TV station KPRC-TV:

Leaders from the four largest hospital systems in Houston said Thursday that they are in good shape to handle a surge of coronavirus patients if it happens.

The CEOs of Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann Health System, St. Luke’s Health and Texas Children’s Hospital held a virtual news conference aimed at reassuring the public that the systems are ready to handle whatever may come.

Recently, numbers released by the Texas Medical Center showed that 97% of intensive-care beds were occupied and the numbers were on track to exceed 100% in the future.

Dr. Marc Boom, of Houston Methodist, said those numbers don’t fully tell the capacity story.
“Just that number is being misinterpreted and, quite frankly, we’re concerned that there is a level of alarm in the community that is unwarranted right now,” Boom said.

All four CEOs agreed they are concerned about the increasing number of coronavirus cases, and asked Houstonians to do everything they can to help flatten the current curve. However, the hospitals in the Texas Medical Center are equipped to deal with a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

"We have plenty of capacity,” said Dr. David Callender, of Memorial Hermann.

The CEOs said they have a sustained surge protection plan in place, meaning other beds in other rooms could be used to house patients if it becomes necessary.

Missing from the discussion was the situation at hospitals in the Harris Health System, which includes Ben Taub Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.

This set of projections, released by TMC, still looks pretty dire.

Of course, setting off another wave of hysteria in the community won't do much to help the situation improve.


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Update (1540ET): Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis just announced that he would "pause" his state's plans for reopening as the number of hospitalizations and newly confirmed COVID-19 infections hits levels previously unseen since the start of the pandemic.


Meanwhile, JPM has just released a new spending indicator showing that spending growth in recent weeks has only just begun to slow in the worst-hit parts of the country.

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Update (1520ET): As President Trump continues to insist that the virus is "going away", the CDC on Thursday just released a report claiming the number of COVID-19 infections that went uncounted could have led to a total closer to 20 million, or nearly 10x more than the current level.

Alabama and Nevada each reported single-day highs for new COVID-19 cases...

...While California Gov Gavin Newsom warned that hospitalizations in his state were up 32% over the past 2 weeks. Earlier, Newsom issued a proclamation declaring a budget emergency that would allow the state to draw from emergency funds to ensure the availability of funding for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and other expenditures.

A new study found that pregnant women are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 infection, and up to 50% more likely to be admitted to the ICU.

California, Texas, and Florida account for more than 40% of new cases reported in the US over the past week. But deaths remain low.

Meanwhile, the country with the highest COVID-19 mortality rate is...Chile? Though Mexico, Peru and Brazil aren't far behind.

However, coming in at No. 4, is Sweden.

Circling back to the US, Goldman found that the US's national "r" rate (which isn't being calculated by some states including Florida) has only moved slightly above one.

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Update (1445ET): Apple just announced plans to close 14 more US stores in Florida as the outbreak in that state, and across the sun belt, worsens.



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Update (1330ET): Gov Phil Murphy just warned that the state's "r" rate, which measures the spread of the virus, has ticked higher for a second day in a row, rising from 0.86 to 0.88. The number is a ratio and it represents the number of people that each patient infects on average. Rates below 1 suggest the outbreak is slowing.

The state also warned that nearly 2,000 additional deaths have been identified as "probable" COVID-19 deaths, as more states move to revise their data to account for any sick patients who might have been missed, or deaths that were wrongly attributed to flu or some other illness.

California just reported its second-largest jump in new cases since the outbreak started, though, percentage-point-wise, it was in line with the recent seven day average which has included several record highs.

The state broke a record Tuesday with an increase of more than 7,000 cases in a day, obliterating a record hit a day earlier, when more than 5,000 new cases were recorded. On Thursday, officials reported 5,349 new cases, the second-largest jump since the outbreak began, which, thanks to yesterday's massive record jump, is right in line with the 7-day average.

Cali's latest totals:

  • TOTAL DEATHS: 5,733 (+ 1.8% INCREASE)

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Update (1230ET): Houston-area ICUs have reached maximum capacity.


In other news, California has declared a budget emergency to support the coronavirus response, as it has already accumulated a $55 billion budget deficit due to its COVID-19 linked spending.

Finally, in Beijing, the hailstones are starting to resemble SARS-CoV-2:

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Update (1210ET): After we repeatedly pointed out that deaths have continued  to plateau, or decline, in most states, President Trump has finally caught on to the fact that there's also a political upside to expanding testing capacity.

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Update (1205ET): As the WHO warns about rising case numbers in parts of Europe, Portugal's capital city, Lisbon, has just revived stay at home orders.


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Update (1120ET): The leader of one of the largest meat-packing workers unions in the country just revealed that 92 plant workers have died so far as these plants have proven fertile breeding grounds for the epidemic (though, notably, Beijing has been testing imported meats and foodstuffs for the virus, and has so far come up with nothing).

While NY's Thursday case total showed a 0.2% growth, in line with the 7-day average, both Florida and Arizona have just reported their numbers for Thursday.

Florida now has 114,018 total COVID-19 cases, an increase of 5,004 in one day, along with 46 new deaths, according to Fox13.

The rate of positive tests has increased during that time period. It dropped back to 10% on Wednesday after spiking to 18% on Tuesday. Thursday's total new cases represented the second-largest single-day jump since the pandemic began, as well as the 23rd straight day where 1,000+ new cases were reported. Experts say the current spike is partly due to more tests being given, but also a result of reopening the state.

The median age of those testing positive remained 34.

Prior to this spike, the state had averaged just ~700 new cases per day in the last month. That was a level that the health care system could handle, according to Gov. DeSantis. And while the number of new cases has trended up over the last few weeks, the number of deaths has appeared to trend down, though "significant delays" in data reporting, as the state says, make interpreting short-term trends from that statistic less reliable.

Arizona, meanwhile, reported another DoD jump in new cases. Arizona reported 3,056 new cases (+5.1%) and 27 new deaths Thursday, bringing the total confirmed cases there to 63,030 and deaths at just 1,490 in total. That's compared with a 7-day average of just 2.3%.

Texas Gov Abbott meanwhile has just announced that he will halt reopening plan, sending US equities sliding back into the red.


Here's his newest reopening plan.

As more blue-checks groan about economists weighing in on epidemiological matters, as they are wont to do, Raphael Bostic, the head of the Philly Fed, warned that the rising cases suggest the first virus wave isn't over, and that he's "concerned" about the possibility of another wave of shutdowns.

Dr. Tedros from the WHO meanwhile warned that he expects a virus will be ready for mass distribution within a year. Earlier, a WHO official said during Thursday's briefing that the world will likely surpass 10 million cases and half a million deaths by next week. That is, unless the pandemic suddenly comes screeching to a halt (which isn't very likely).

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Update (1020ET): Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order suspending all elective surgeries in several of the state's worst-hit counties, including Travis County, which includes Houston and the surrounding area.

As Public health officials reported another disturbing jump in hospitalizations - statewide figures saw a 8% increase compared with 7.3% yesterday - as officials in Austin warned Thursday that if nothing is done, hospitals might reach capacity by mid-July.

Already, hospital capacity in Houston is stretched, with ICU capacity already '97%' full, as the city activates emergency capacity that could itself be overwhelmed in under two weeks.

In NYC, meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio, who, during the opening days of March, warned that New Yorkers should "go about their lives" as the coronavirus wasn't a major threat, advised that the second phase of reopening was going so well, that the city could enter Phase 3 as soon as July 6.

If Texas' outbreak isn't brought under control within two weeks, Austin's top county health officials said he would have no choice but to order another shutdown, which would inevitably lead to a political crisis.

Per the Chronicle, as COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Houston and Texas, leaders of the Texas Medical Center are expected to update an update on the hospital system's capacity levels during a Thursday press conference.

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Update (0930ET): Here's something we don't see nearly enough.

As the media has raised the alarm about the outbreak in new cases in the south and west, deaths haven't been rising in lockstep with new cases and hospitalizations, as many of those infected are younger and more likely to survive even severe infections.

However, according to the Washington Post, health experts are taking little 'solace' from this, as Dr. Fauci said earlier this week that deaths "always" lag considerably behind cases.

"Deaths always lag considerably behind cases," he said. We're curious how he can be so certain when this virus has only been with us for a few months, but we digress...

This would suggest that Florida, Arizona and Texas will be burying more death in July...unless the heightened precautions being taken in facilities like nursing homes and long-term care facilities continue to protect the most vulnerable. One Veterans home, state-run by the VA and state of Masachusetts, saw the worst outbreak in the country due to absolutely unconscionable decisions like mixing wards of sick and health patients in a way suggesting that they were almost trying to expose their patients to the virus.

In New York, a policy that sent sick patients back to nursing homes where they infected their peers was in place until May.

States like Texas, California Florida and Arizona have seen deaths either stable or even declining in recent weeks.

Coronavirus hospitalizations have tripled in Houston since Memorial Day, Houston Methodist Hospital chief executive Marc Boom said Wednesday. Texas reported 5,551 new cases, the most in a single day, along with 4,389 hospitalizations, up almost 300 from Tuesday’s record high. But deaths in the city haven't seen a commensurate rise.

New rules by NY, NJ and Conn will apply to states with an infection rate of 10 per 100,000 people on a seven-day rolling average, which presently includes nine states currently are in that group: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas.

In other news, public health experts who worked in the Obama administration insist that deaths will catch up because the virus will eventually find its way to vulnerable populations. But is that really accurate? As Obama's CDC head Tom Frieden pointed out, CDC statistics show how thoroughly the virus attacks the elderly. From Feb. 1 to June 13, the virus was involved in just 2,630 deaths among people 44 or younger. But it was fatal to 83,426 people 65 or older.

Frieden added that nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are much better protected this time around than they were during the first wave, which would suggest that deaths likely won't even come close during the second time around.

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Update (0910ET): As more states join Louisiana and Oregon by 'pausing' their reopening plans, while more public health experts warn that 'more stringent' mitigation efforts might be necessary, CNBC's Meg Tirrell just pointed out that the impact of the protests on the overall number of coronavirus cases has been mixed.

In Massachusetts, public health officials have reported little impact. But in California, health officials are seeing what appears to be a surge in cases that would suggest the rallies have had an impact.

Meanwhile, demand for the steroid Dexamethasone, which one study showed had a substantially positive impact on patients COVID-19 symptoms, has skyrocketed. Keep in mind, both the CDC and WHO initially discouraged steroid use for...some reason...one of many conclusions that 'the experts' apparently jumped to...

...that has since proved incorrect.

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Update (0745ET): Australia's reopening hasn't gone as smoothly as hoped. The country on Thursday confirmed its largest new batch of COVID-19 cases since April. Australia's Victoria state reported 33 additional coronavirus cases, compared with 20 yesterday, while it was also reported that Australia is to deploy 1000 troops to the Victoria state capital of Melbourne to help contain the latest cluster in the area.

The WHO's European Director says Europe saw its first increase in weekly cases in a long time, with 11 countries now facing a resurgence, as  public health officials in the UK warned that the country is at risk of a second wave as PM Boris Johnson struggles to reopen.

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Thanks to the "complacency" of young (or young-ish) people across the south and the west of the US, the number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases topped its late-April peak of 36,400 new cases reported in a single day, with more than 45,000 new cases reported yesterday according to the latest tally from NBC News, up from the 39k we reported Wednesday evening.

All coronavirus data are reported with a 24-hour delay, so the record spike really happened on Tuesday. But the final numbers are in, and the picture is bleak. Seven states, including California, Florida, Oklahoma and Texas, reported record tallies of new cases yesterday, with the average age of hospitalized patients falling to 35, from 65 during the April peak in the northeast.

As Florida and Texas emerge as the two biggest 'hotspots', Disney has decided to delay the reopening of its theme parks in the US following a surge in cases in California and Florida, both of which reported record numbers of new cases yesterday. What's more, Disney is pondering whether to push back the release of its live-action "Mulan" blockbuster, which would have been the first major film release with movie theaters back open.

New York, NJ and Conn. have all said they'll be enforcing quarantine orders targeting travelers from out of state, and police will definitely be stopping cars with out-of-state license plates to see if they're violating quarantine orders: If they are, they can expect a hefty fine, after the states have seemingly had a change of heard following Cuomo's initial claim that the order wouldn't be enforced.

One health professional warned that the outbreak is likely the result of younger people getting "complacent" - going to bars and other crowded public places without taking proper precautions.

"People got complacent, And it’s coming back and biting us, quite frankly," according to the CEO of the Houston Methodist Hospital, who spoke to reporters as the health-care system in the city emerges as perhaps the most vulnerable in the country, as a new wave of COVID-19 patients flood the city's hospital and ICU beds, which are nearly at capacity.

According to the Associated Press, governments from NY to Melbourne are taking steps to prevent a resurgence, or get their outbreak under control.

In India, authorities are launching a massive coronavirus survey, perhaps the most ambitious the world has seen since the dawn of the pandemic, as the government tries to get a handle on New Delhi, both the nation's capital and one of the areas most impacted by the virus. The government will survey the city's entire population of 29 million, with everyone being tested and facing a brief survey by July 6. That's pretty, ambitious; Beijing managed to test millions of people in a week during its latest outbreak.

Per Al Jazeera, the new plan was announced Wednesday after the sprawling capital became the worst-hit city by the pandemic in India with 70,390 cases, exceeding the financial capital of Mumbai, its only real competition. 3,788 new cases were confirmed over the last 24 hours in Delhi, the government announced on Thursday, compared to 1,118 in Mumbai. India on Thursday registered another record high of 16,922 cases, taking the countrywide total to 473,105, leaving it still in fourth place behind the US, Brazil and Russia.

Latin America and the US are the two biggest contributors to the growing global coronavirus tally, but two other regions - the Middle East and Africa - are coming up in the rearview mirror.

COVID-19 cases in the Persian Gulf region have surpassed 400,000, according to Johns Hopkins data, as the number of daily cases reported climbs as governments start to ease restrictions. Africa's cases have surged past 336,000 on Thursday, following a 10k increase in infections announced Wednesday evening.

The UAE, home of Dubai and other popular international cities, announced that it would finally be lifting a nightly curfew in place since mid-March as the number of cases it's reporting every day has fallen by 2/3rds.

The global outbreak is on track to top 10 million next week, the World Health Organization has said, warning that the virus has yet to peak in North and South America. As of Thursday morning in the US, more than 9.4 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, with more than 4.7 million recovered, and nearly 483,000 fatalities, per JHU.

Indonesia, a country that drew the world's attention during the early days when its government acknowledged that it was actively hiding evidence of the virus, has finally seen its case total top 50k, though the government insists that improved testing is responsible for the recent uptick in newly confirmed cases.

Russia confirmed 7,113 new cases of the novel coronavirus, pushing its tally to 613,994.

The Eiffel Tower on Thursday welcomed back visitors after the coronavirus outbreak forced the Paris landmark into its longest closure since WWII.

Before we go, Dr. Scott Gottlieb appeared on Squawk Box this morning to comment on the latest record numbers out of the US. He said more states are seeing troubling data on new cases and hospitalizations, including Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Arkansas and others.

"This isn't confined to a handful of states anymore," the Dr. said. "It's going to be difficult now to get this under control."

Finally, Russia confirmed 7,113 new cases on Thursday, pushing its tally to 613,994, as the daily counts are slowly coming down. Only 92 deaths were recorded, bringing the death toll to 8,605. To be sure, critics claim Vladimir Putin's government is deliberately undercounting deaths.