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U.S. Cases Increase 0.9%; Hospitals Get Respite: Virus Update

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 8/10/2020 Bloomberg News

(Bloomberg) --

Global coronavirus infections approached 20 million. In the U.S., which accounts for more than a quarter of cases, hospitals are getting a reprieve as a spike in the Sun Belt eases and the Northeast recovers.

A vaccine likely won’t be available to most Americans until well into 2021, according to interviews and remarks from top specialists. U.S. lawmakers remained in a stalemate for a comprehensive virus stimulus plan, two days after President Donald Trump moved to implement scaled-down relief without congressional approval.

Nursing-home outbreaks are lifting death rates in Hong Kong and Australia, which are fighting resurgences of the virus. Greece said it plans to require negative tests for visitors, while Finland will quarantine travelers from most of the world.

Key Developments

Global Tracker: Global cases top 19.9 million; deaths pass 732,000Trump foists unemployment bills on states facing fiscal calamityMerck bets on one-shot vaccine in race with faster rivalsStates hit supply limitations as they plan to expand testingUnion steps in with contact tracing for 1.3 million workersTrack the race for vaccines that might end the coronavirus pandemic

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

a screenshot of a cell phone: More than 700,000 deaths blamed on coronavirus © Bloomberg More than 700,000 deaths blamed on coronavirus

California Governor Sees ‘Encouraging’ Signs (5:15 p.m. NY)

Governor Gavin Newsom said trends point to “encouraging signs” in California’s virus outbreak, even as the state recovers from several data glitches that caused it to undercount new infections for more than a week. Hospitalizations have dropped 19% in the last 14 days, while the number of people in intensive care fell 13% over the same period, Newsom said at a news briefing.

California officials spent the weekend processing nearly 300,000 backlogged test records, the result of two different data processing issues first reported last week. Late Sunday, the director of the Department of Public Health, Sonia Angell, abruptly resigned from her post, without publicly stating a reason.

Newsom wouldn’t discuss the reasons for her departure in detail or confirm that it was the result of the data problems. “She resigned, she wrote a resignation letter, and I accepted her resignation,” he said. “We’re all accountable in our respective roles for what happens underneath us.”

On Monday, California reported 7,751 new virus cases, a 1.4% increase and higher than the seven-day average of 7,240. Deaths rose by 66 to a total of 10,359. The 14-day average rate of positive tests fell to 6%, the lowest since June, compared with 7% a week ago. Some of the data may include cases from prior days because of the reporting backlog.

U.S. Cases Rise 0.9%, Less Than Average (4 p.m. NY)

Confirmed virus cases in the U.S. rose 0.9% as compared to the same time Sunday to 5.07 million, according to data from collected from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was lower than the average daily gain of 1.1% over the past week. Deaths rose by 545 to 163,252.

Florida infections rose 0.8% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 1.3% in the previous seven days. The daily increase of 4,155 cases was the lowest since June 23. Data early in the week tend to be lower because of delays in reporting over the weekend.California reported 7,751 new cases, a 1.4% increase and higher than the seven-day average of 7,240. Deaths rose by 66 to a total of 10,359.Hawaii experienced a 4.5% increase in cases, bringing the total to 3,498, according to the data from Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg News.

Finland to Quarantine Travelers From Most of World (3:25 p.m. NY)

Finland will quarantine travelers from most of the world to halt the spread of Covid-19. Just 25 countries are currently exempt from the mandatory quarantine, Krista Kiuru, minister for family affairs and social services, told reporters on Monday.

Passengers who fail to comply face at most three months jail time or a fine and airlines will be required to disclose transit passengers to avoid attempts to circumvent the rules. The government will also allow authorities to conduct mandatory testing of passengers for Covid-19, Kiuru said, adding that the new restrictions will come into force as soon as possible.

Big Ten to Cancel Football, Free Press Says (2:15 p.m. NY)

The Big Ten became the first “Power Five” conference to cancel football for the upcoming season, forgoing a major revenue source as the pandemic upends college sports, the Detroit Free Press reported.

School presidents voted Sunday to cancel fall sports and an official announcement is expected Tuesday, the newspaper said. The tally was 12-2, with only the University of Nebraska and the University of Iowa voting to play, Dan Patrick said Monday on his radio show. Over the weekend, the Mid-American Conference became the first in the FBS, or Football Bowl Subdivision, to scrap its 2020 season.

N.J. Transmission Rate Falls Below 1 (1:30 p.m. NY)

New Jersey’s virus transmission rate fell below 1 for the first time since July 25, Governor Phil Murphy said Monday, suggesting that the state is slowing the spread of Covid-19 but “only by a hair.”

Murphy warned that careless behavior could reverse that progress. “Consider this your warning before you go out drinking this weekend,” he said as he showed a photo of an unmasked crowd waiting outside a bar.

The transmission rate -- measuring how many people a virus-positive individual infects -- fell to 0.98 after recently hitting 1.49. Any measure above 1 indicates the virus is spreading. The decline followed a spike in cases caused by indoor parties.

New York Hospitalizations Hit Low (12:15 p.m. NY)

The number of coronavirus patients hospitalized and occupying intensive-care beds in New York state has reached a new low, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

There were 535 people hospitalized and 127 in the ICU statewide on Sunday, the lowest since the pandemic began in March, he said on a conference call with reporters.

Of the 54,002 tests conducted, 0.88% were positive, and there were two virus-related fatalities, he said.

Florida New Cases at Lowest Level Since June (10:45 a.m. NY)

Florida reported 536,961 Covid-19 cases on Monday, up 0.8% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 1.3% in the previous seven days. The daily increase of 4,155 cases was the lowest since June 23.

Case numbers are typically slower early in the week due to reduced lab activity on the weekend. Deaths among Florida residents reached 8,277, an increase of 91, or 2.1%, including data through Sunday.

Greece to Impose Test Requirement (10:30 a.m. NY)

Starting next Monday, Greece will require visitors arriving on flights from Sweden, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands to test negative for Covid-19 no later than 72 hours before arrival, a government spokeswoman said. The same requirement will apply to all people entering Greece via its land borders except for Greek citizens or legal residents.

Public events including concerts where people stand are prohibited until further notice. Greece is also canceling the 85th Thessaloniki International Fair scheduled for Sept. 5 to 13.

WHO China Mission to Begin in Wuhan (9 a.m. NY)

A World Health Organization mission to investigate the virus’s origins would start in Wuhan, where the first cases were identified, Maria Van Kerkhove, the group’s technical lead officer on Covid-19, said in a briefiing.

The organization plans an extensive study of individuals’ exposures and activities like travel, occupation and daily life before they developed symptoms. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program, said the first case of an illness to be identified is not always in the location of the first cluster. He noted that it took years to determine the zoonotic origins for the 2012 MERS outbreak, and that the genesis of the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak has never been fully established.

Kodak Sinks as Covid Drug-Related Loan on Hold (6:28 a.m. NY)

Eastman Kodak shares plunged as much as 49% ahead of the bell on Monday after a federal agency put on hold a $765 million loan for shifting the legacy photography company’s factories to help produce ingredients used in key generic medicines to fight the coronavirus.

China Resumes Tourist Visas to Macau, Lifting Recovery Hopes (5:56 p.m. HK)

China will resume issuing tourist visas for visitors to Macau, paving the way for the mass return of Chinese punters to the world’s largest gaming hub after months of losses. Zhuhai city in neighboring Guangdong province will begin issuing tourist visas for mainland residents to travel to Macau again on Aug. 12, Macau’s Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Ao Ieong U said Monday in a press briefing. The move reverses a ban implemented in late January to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

U.K.’s Johnson Says Schools Safe; Teachers Aren’t So Sure (5:37 p.m. HK)

As he tries to drag the British economy out of the pandemic recession, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a key problem to fix: how to reopen England’s schools. Unless children return to classrooms next month, millions of parents will be unable to return to work properly, leaving the government with little hope of boosting consumer spending and productivity. The damage to the education of a generation of children, especially from poorer families, could be huge.

Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie standing in a room: PM Visits East London School To Highlight Safety Measures Amid Pandemic © Photographer: WPA Pool/Getty Images Europe PM Visits East London School To Highlight Safety Measures Amid Pandemic

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST

Russian Deaths Rose 19% in June From Year Earlier (5:09 p.m. HK)

The number of deaths in Russia rose 19% in June from a year earlier, with nearly half of the additional victims diagnosed with Covid-19. Russia recorded 25,521 more deaths in June 2020 than the same month last year, according to data from the Federal Statistics Service published on Sunday. In the period, 11,917 of the fatalities had Covid-19.

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Gallery: US crosses 4 million cases: A timeline of COVID-19’s spread (Stacker)

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