WORLD NEWS
07/01/2020 09:35 EDT | Updated 07/03/2020 06:54 EDT

COVID-19 Live Updates: Read The Latest About The COVID-19 Outbreak

Stay up to date as we cover the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its effects across the world.

Since Chinese officials locked down the city of Wuhan in January, there have been more than 10.6 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, across the planet.

More than 516,000 people have died from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Efforts to curb the outbreak led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shuttered in hopes of slowing transmission. After months of precautions and lockdowns, governments have begun to reopen their economies.

HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and its effects.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)

Fauci: ‘We Are Not Going In The Right Direction’ — 7/3/2020, 6:45 a.m.

Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the record numbers of coronavirus cases in the U.S. reflect a “very disturbing week” for the U.S.

Speaking to the American Medical Association over livestream, Fauci said it was “pretty obvious that we are not going in the right direction.”

“We have areas of the country where they were at a level that is difficult and disturbing,” Fauci said. “Then when one tries to open up, even in situations where governors and mayors were trying to abide by the guidelines… that there is this, among some, there’s this feeling of an all-or-none phenomenon where you’re either under lockdown or say, you know, the devil may care,” he said.

Daily cases skyrocketed past 50,000 in the U.S. for the first time this week, and only 14 states are showing declines in the rate of infections.

— Nick Visser

UK To Keep Two-Week Quarantine For U.S. Visitors — 7/03/20, 6:20 a.m.

The United States will be on a “red list” of countries from which visitors to the U.K. will have to have quarantine for 14 days when they arrive, HuffPost UK reports.

A two-week self-isolation policy for people returning to or visiting England from destinations such as Spain, France, Italy and Germany is being lifted from July 10. A full list of around 60 countries deemed to pose “a reduced risk to the public health of UK citizens” will be published later Friday.

But speaking to the BBC on Friday, U.K. transport secretary Grant Shapps was asked if the U.S. would be on a “red list” of countries not included. “I’m afraid it will be,” Shapps said.

The requirement for everyone arriving into the UK – bar a handful of exemptions – to self-isolate for 14 days was introduced June 8.

— Ned Simons

In A Reversal, Texas Gov. Requires General Public To Wear Face Masks — 7/2/20, 4:50 p.m. ET

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered all Texans to wear a face covering in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases, a reversal from his previous stance.

In an executive order issued on Thursday, Abbott also gave mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on outdoor gatherings of 10 or more people.

Abbott has generally been against mask requirements, especially those imposed on the general public. In June, he banned local governments from imposing fines on those who refuse to wear masks, saying at the time that “government cannot require individuals to wear masks,” according to the Texas Tribune.

But spikes in infections across Texas have apparently led him to change his tune.

“Wearing a face covering in public is proven to be one of the most effective ways we have to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said, according to DallasNews.com. “We have the ability to keep businesses open and move our economy forward so that Texans can continue to earn a paycheck, but it requires each of us to do our part to protect one another — and that means wearing a face covering in public spaces.”

—Andy Campbell

Over 40 Bay Area Principals Exposed To COVID-19 During Meeting To Discuss Schools Reopening — 7/2/20, 4:40 p.m. ET

Over 40 principals of schools in the Bay Area were exposed to COVID-19 after attending an in-person meeting to discuss plans for re-opening schools in the Santa Clara Unified School District.

The meeting took place on June 19, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

A person in attendance tested positive for COVID-19 days after the meeting.

During an online meeting last week, District Superintendent Stella Kemp told the school board that the infected person had exposed other attendees to the virus.

“Given the complexity required in the development of our reopening plan, some of our staff meetings are taking place in person,” Kemp said, according to the Associated Press. “Of course those meetings are being conducted under the strict guidelines provided to us by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.”

Schools across the country are scrambling to find ways to reopen campuses for the upcoming school year despite uncertainty, and as coronavirus cases continue to emerge.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey pushed back the first day of instruction for public schools in the state to at least Aug. 17. Some schools had been set to start as early as July 22, according to the Arizona Republic.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that public schools in the city would be opening in September. However, Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed back on those plans. Cuomo’s communications director said that the state government has the ultimate say on whether schools can reopen come the fall semester, according to CNN.

— Carla Russo

Herman Cain Hospitalized For COVID-19 Hours After Condemning Masks On Twitter — 7/2/20, 3:30 p.m. ET

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was hospitalized with COVID-19 on Wednesday, hours after he sent a tweet hailing a Trump event in South Dakota where masks wouldn’t be mandatory.

A spokesman confirmed Cain’s condition Thursday afternoon, describing the 73-year-old as “resting comfortably” at an Atlanta-area hospital after his symptoms became serious enough Wednesday to require care, but not a respirator.

Cain’s positive coronavirus test on June 29 came just over a week after he appeared at Trump’s indoor campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he did not wear a mask.

Addressing speculation that he may have picked the virus up at Trump’s campaign, Cain’s team said in a statement that they are unsure how or where he contracted it, noting “he did a lot of traveling the past week.”

—Ryan Grenoble

U.S. Economy Added 4.8 Million Jobs In June, But New Outbreaks Could Spell More Economic Trouble Ahead — 7/2/20, 8:50 a.m.

After record job losses in the spring, the U.S. economy gained 4.8 million jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%, the second straight month of improvements since the pandemic began, according to the Department of Labor’s jobs report.

However, as new outbreaks emerge in dozens of U.S. states, closing down businesses that had reopened, economic growth will likely slow down again in the coming month.

Last week, nearly 1.5 million workers applied for unemployment claims, a number that has remained steady for several weeks. 

— Marina Fang 

Trump ‘Undermining’ Global COVID-19 Fight By Hoarding New Drug — 7/02/20, 6:25 a.m.

Donald Trump risks “undermining” global collaboration on COVID-19 by buying up the world’s supplies of a drug treatment for the virus, the British government has warned.

Business minister Nadhim Zahawi hit out after it emerged that the United States had struck a deal with pharma giant Gilead to purchase almost its entire production of Remdesivir for the next three months.

HuffPost UK reports that Downing Street backed the minister on the need for countries and drugs firms to be “collaborating” rather than competing, as it revealed the U.K. had already stockpiled its own supply of the antiviral treatment for patients.

No.10 also said that the U.K. was opposed to the exploitation of potentially life-saving drugs for “financial gain” and stressed that countries should work together to beat the pandemic.

Remdesivir is authorized in the U.S. as a possible treatment for patients with coronavirus, although its impact on death rates is far from proven.

— Paul Waugh

Michigan Gov. Re-Closes Bars Amid Case Spike — 7/1/20, 5:40 p.m. ET

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered most bars in the state to halt indoor service once more, as COVID-19 cases spike across the lower part of the state.

Bars were allowed to open on June 8, albeit with safety restrictions and limited capacity. Whitmer’s order, issued Wednesday, forces establishments that earn more than 70% of sales from alcohol to serve customers outside or not at all.

The tip of the Lower Peninsula and the entire Upper Peninsula are exempt. 

Whitmer cited the goal of reopening classrooms for the upcoming school year in a statement on the order.

“Following recent outbreaks tied to bars, I am taking this action today to slow the spread of the virus and keep people safe. If we want to be in a strong position to reopen schools for in-person classroom instruction this fall, then we need to take aggressive action right now to ensure we don’t wipe out all the progress we have made,” she said.

The decision to re-close comes after one bar, Harper’s, in the college town of East Lansing, led to more than 100 infections — all in people under age 30. Harper’s says it followed safety protocol, and is currently installing an air filtration system.

Michigan has seen more than 70,000 coronavirus cases, and over 6,000 deaths.

— Sara Boboltz

Deaths Due To Coronavirus Likely A ‘Substantial Undercount’ Of Actual Burden, Yale Study Finds — 7/1/20, 4:15 p.m. ET

A Yale University study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association found the number of deaths caused by COVID-19 has likely been significantly undercounted.

According to the study, there were 781,000 total deaths in the U.S. in that period — 122,300 more than would be expected at that time of year. Of those, 95,235 deaths were officially attributed to COVID-19, leaving 27,065 unexplained excess deaths.

The authors suggest most of those excess deaths could ultimately be attributed to the coronavirus. One factor: Many people who died of COVID-19 went untested due to a shortage of tests, especially early in the pandemic. Another: Death certificates, and the data they record, varies greatly from state to state, likely contributing to an undercount.

“Our analyses suggest that the official tally of deaths due to Covid-19 represent a substantial undercount of the true burden,” Dan Weinberger, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health and a lead author of the study, told CNBC.

Weinberger told AFP that the margin of unexplained excess deaths has gotten smaller in states like New York, where COVID-19 tests have become more readily available.

“How reliably the official tolls capture the full burden of excess deaths still varies considerably between states,” he said.

— Ryan Grenoble

California Gov. Requires Some Counties To Close Indoor Dining, Other Businesses — 7/1/20, 3:20 p.m. ET

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that counties on a state “watch list” due to rising coronavirus cases must temporarily close some indoor operations, including dining inside restaurants. 

Several sectors, including restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and museums, must close indoor operations for the next three weeks, Newsom said. Bars in the affected counties must cease all operations. 

Nineteen counties, representing 70% of the state’s population, are impacted by Newsom’s announcement. Those counties include Los Angeles, Sacramento, Orange, Fresno and Santa Clara. 

He also announced that parking at state beaches in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area will be closed for the upcoming holiday weekend.

Coronavirus cases have spiked across California this week. On Tuesday, the state logged 8,610 new cases, setting a new single-day record in the state, where more than 6,000 people have died from COVID-19.

— Mollie Reilly

New York City Will Not Allow Indoor Dining In Next Phase Of Reopening — 7/1/20, 10:55 a.m. ET

As the number of COVID-19 cases tied to restaurants and bars is rising in a growing number of U.S. states, New York City won’t permit restaurants to resume indoor dining as part of the city’s next phase of reopening, which is set to begin July 6.

“It’s not the time to forge ahead with indoor dining,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday at his daily press briefing.

Following growing signs over the weekend that the pandemic is worsening in many states, de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said earlier this week that they would reassess whether the city would include indoor dining as part of Phase 3. Many of the new outbreaks have come from people gathering in restaurants and bars, and public health experts have warned that enclosed indoor spaces are among the highest risk and most dangerous for spreading the virus.

Instead, de Blasio said Wednesday he wants to “double down” on outdoor dining, which resumed on June 22, under the city’s second phase of reopening.

Outdoor dining also comes with its own risks, though it’s generally less risky than indoors. But many New York City restaurants have faced challenges in ensuring enough space for outdoor dining in the dense city, which was once the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. but is now one of the few regions where COVID-19 cases have steadily decreased.

New Jersey, which has similarly made a lot of progress in containing the virus, will also not allow indoor dining as part of its next phase of reopening, Gov. Phil Murphy said earlier this week.

— Marina Fang

Most Americans Favor Mask Requirements: Poll — 7/1/2020, 7:15 a.m.

Most Americans favor both a government rule to require people to wear masks in public and local stores instituting face mask policies, a HuffPost/YouGov survey finds.

The level of support varies across partisan and demographic lines, but the only group to oppose a government rule is Republicans who live in rural areas.

You can explore the results of the survey further here.

— Liza Hearon

Anthony Fauci Warns U.S. Could Reach 100,000 Cases Per Day ― 6/30/20, 1:25 p.m. ET 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, warned Tuesday that the U.S. could see as many as 100,000 daily coronavirus infections if states where cases are surging don’t begin taking stronger measures to combat the spread.

“We can’t just focus on those areas that are having the surge. It puts the entire country at risk,” Fauci told a Senate committee. “We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day, I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 cases a day if this does not turn around, so I am very concerned.”

States such as New York have seen a decline in cases, but others, including Texas, Arizona and Florida, are seeing a resurgence of infections as politicians have pushed to reopen businesses. At least 16 states have now paused their reopening plans amid the spike in cases.

Read more here. 

— Sebastian Murdock

Travelers Coming To New York From 16 States Must Self-Quarantine, Cuomo Says — 6/30/20, 11:50 a.m. ET 

Travelers arriving in New York from 16 states must self-quarantine for 14 days or face penalties, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Tuesday.

The governor added states to the travel advisory in an effort to keep New York’s once-abysmal COVID-19 infection and death rates on the decline. The list is made up of states with recent spikes in infections, or a high rate of infections per 100 people tested.

The states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

The civil penalty for violating the rule is a fine of up to $10,000.

Read more here.

— Andy Campbell 

Major Movie Theater Chains Delay Reopening Plans Again — 6/30/20, 11:10 a.m. ET

The largest movie theater chains in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have all postponed their plans to welcome back moviegoers after several major Hollywood films delayed their release dates once again.

AMC, Regal and Cinemark — the three biggest movie theater chains in the U.S. and Canada — as well as Cineworld, the U.K.’s biggest movie theater chain (and the parent company of Regal), will not begin reopening their locations until at least the end of July.

The announcements came after the release dates for “Tenet” and “Mulan,” two major Hollywood films that were initially slated to come out in July, were pushed back to mid-August.

But even delaying everything by a month seems optimistic, as COVID-19 cases are spiking in significant portions of the country. Movie theaters and other enclosed spaces are among the highest-risk locations for spreading the virus, and many of the new outbreaks in the U.S. are tied to indoor spaces like restaurants and bars.

Read more here.

— Marina Fang

European Union Bans Travelers From U.S. — 6/30/20, 11 a.m. ET

In a rebuke of the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic, travelers from the U.S. will be temporarily banned from visiting the European Union when the 27-nation bloc opens its borders next month, according to a list released Tuesday. 

Russia and Brazil also didn’t make the cut, as outbreaks surge in those countries. 

Officials in Brussels attempted to make the decision nonpolitical and base it on science. The EU’s ban follows a similar restriction that President Donald Trump imposed in the U.S. as the virus started to spread.

— Nick Visser

For more on the pandemic, go here.

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