US states reimpose virus measures as cases near record





Houston (AFP) - US officials on Wednesday imposed tough measures including quarantines and stay-at-home advice as daily coronavirus cases approached record levels after surging across the nation's South and West.

Nearly four months after reporting its first death from COVID-19, the United States faces a deepening health crisis as a wave of infections hits young Americans and experts issue new acute warnings.

More than 35,900 cases were recorded in the past 24 hours, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, with heavily populated states including Florida, Texas and California all reporting daily record cases.

The world's largest economy is already the country hardest hit by the pandemic, with a mounting death toll of almost 122,000.

Some officials -- including the Texas governor -- who loosened restrictions on business, dining, public gatherings and tourism, are now urging residents to again stay home.

Three northeastern states that made progress beating back the pandemic -- New York, New Jersey and Connecticut -- urged visitors arriving from US hotspots to quarantine themselves.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the advisory applied to visitors from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Utah and Texas.

Washington state was originally included, but Governor Jay Inslee said this was by error and it would be removed.

Several states in the South and West including Florida and Texas are suffering what White House advisor and top scientist Anthony Fauci described as "disturbing" new surges in infections.

Fauci warned the next two weeks would be "critical" to addressing the surges.

Texas, among the most aggressive states in reopening in early June, saw new cases hit a daily high of 5,489 on Tuesday.

A concerned Governor Greg Abbott warned Texans of the virus's "rampant" spread and said the "safest" place to be was in their homes, adding that those who needed to go out should wear masks.

"If we are unable to slow the spread over the next few weeks, then we will have to reevaluate the extent to which businesses are open," he told a local NBC affiliate.

"Because if it's not contained in the next couple of weeks, it will be completely out of control, and Texas will have to ratchet back."

Pointing to recent mass gatherings for Memorial Day and graduations, Abbott added: "Now it's clear that Texas is not immune to COVID-19."

Abbott is an ally of Donald Trump, but his warnings are at stark odds with the president, who proclaimed Tuesday that "we did a great job on CoronaVirus."

- 'Real explosion' -

Florida marked 5,508 new infections on Tuesday, bringing its total to more than 109,000 confirmed cases and 3,281 deaths.

Governor Ron DeSantis said the state was experiencing "a real explosion in new cases among our younger demographics," and a spike in hospitalizations.

The average age of new cases in Florida Wednesday was just 33 years, his spokeswoman said.

DeSantis warned that bars and restaurants could lose their alcohol licenses if they do not follow social distancing guidelines.

He declined to order the state-wide mandatory masking policies active in California, Washington state and North Carolina, where Governor Roy Cooper "hit the pause button" on easing further restrictions.

Miami has implemented its own mandatory mask rules, however.

- 'Amnesia' -

California, the nation's most populous state, also saw a daily record of 7,149 new cases Tuesday, to pass 190,000 total.

Disneyland, near Los Angeles, delayed its planned July 17 reopening without announcing a new reopening date for the world's second-most visited theme park.

Governor Gavin Newsom warned that a widespread return to "old habits" is "increasing the spread of this virus," but also pointed to record testing levels. He declined to reimpose restrictions.

"Many of us, understandably, developed a little cabin fever. Some, I would argue, have developed a little amnesia," added Newsom.

Governor Steve Sisolak of the neighboring state of Nevada tweeted Wednesday that residents would have to wear masks or face coverings out in public beginning Friday.

"I'm offering us all another opportunity to limit our risk for exposure and infection, and to keep our businesses open and our economy moving," he said.

And nearby Arizona is seeing dangerous spikes.

Its confirmed COVID-19 cases have more than quadrupled since the stay-at-home order expired on May 15, and the average age of people getting infected is getting younger and younger.

Arizona's reported seven-day rolling average of 39 new cases per 100,000 residents is a nationwide high.

But the dire figures did not stop Trump from hosting a rally Tuesday in Arizona's largest city Phoenix, where most attendees did not wear masks or practice social distancing.

Epidemiologist Rebecca Fisher said states like Texas should have maintained their mitigating efforts longer.

"It doesn't look like we are coming close to the top of the peak," Fisher told AFP. "And we're definitely not coming down the other side of this yet."

COMMENTS

More Related News

Exclusive USA TODAY poll: Biden widens his lead, but Trump keeps the edge on enthusiasm
Exclusive USA TODAY poll: Biden widens his lead, but Trump keeps the edge on enthusiasm

In a new USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll, the president falls further behind in a race where much of Biden's support comes from those opposed to Trump.

He shared photos of Trump supporters and called them racist. Some threatened to sue
He shared photos of Trump supporters and called them racist. Some threatened to sue

Daniel Gonzalez, a 17-year-old rising senior at Miami Lakes Educational Center, found an email from a lawyer in his inbox Monday afternoon. If Gonzalez didn't remove a series of posts he had made the previous day on Twitter, he could get hit with a defamation lawsuit, the letter said.

Trump Shares Video of Armed White Couple Confronting Protesters
Trump Shares Video of Armed White Couple Confronting Protesters

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump retweeted a video Monday morning of a white man and woman brandishing a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun at peaceful Black protesters in St. Louis over the weekend, amplifying a surreal scene that embodied the racial divisions roiling the country.Trump's promotion of the St. Louis confrontation was the second time in two days that the president used his social media platforms -- which he often credits with allowing him to circumvent mainstream news outlets -- to exacerbate racial divisions as Americans have been protesting police brutality and demanding social justice reforms after the killing of George Floyd.On Sunday, Trump retweeted a video of one...

Laura Ingraham Tells Viewers to
Laura Ingraham Tells Viewers to 'Suit Up' for Battle: 'It Is Time to Do or Die'

Fox News host Laura Ingraham spoke in stark and apocalyptic terms about the coming election on Monday night, warning viewers that "more chaos is coming" and that they needed to "suit up for this battle" because it was do-or-die time.The right-wing primetime star opened up her Monday evening broadcast by sniping at "conservatives on the sideline in this battle" while the country "is under attack," taking aim at Never Trump Republicans for trying to help elect Democrats this cycle.She also blasted conservative politicians who she claimed weren't stepping up to fight back as Black Lives Matter protests rage across the country and statues and monuments are toppled."A lot of very clever people...

Supreme Court, in 5-4 ruling, strikes down restrictive Louisiana abortion law
Supreme Court, in 5-4 ruling, strikes down restrictive Louisiana abortion law

The law required any doctor offering abortion services to have admitting privileges for hospitals within 30 miles of a clinic.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

  • uninsured people nyc
    (2020-06-30 00:18:30Z)

    Yes, this is really important news and the US is the highly effected country in the world. You should share this post on an online page for many other students and visitors. Your posts are always good and informative. Thank you so much.

    REPLY

Top News: Latin America