Florida and Texas reverse reopening as US cases pass 2.5 million

Anthony Fauci

Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had ordered bars and restaurants closed back in March as the pandemic spread, but recently allowed them to reopen with reduced capacities, sanitation requirements, and other restrictions on their operations.

Several states broke their own daily records this week, with Arizona, California, Texas and Florida among the hardest-hit.

Arizona's governor has also announced the state's reopening is on pause as a result of a major spike in cases.

Idaho and Oklahoma have seen similarly large percentage increases over the same three-week period, albeit from low starting points.

This time, the state saw 9,585 new COVID-19 cases, according to new numbers from the Florida Department of Health (DOH).

The numbers "continue to go in the wrong direction", said Republican Gov Doug Ducey said. Cases in McDonald County, Missouri, more than tripled after Tyson Foods conducted facility-wide testing at a chicken plant there.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said Friday that Imperial County, southeast of Los Angeles, has become so overwhelmed by the virus that he was recommending it issue a strict new stay-at-home order. Hospitalizations are also on the rise in these states. In many cases they have no symptoms'.

The biggest spikes have been seen in the West and South. That total eclipsed the previous day's by more than 600.

Texas had been at the forefront of states peeling away restrictions created to control the pandemic, allowing bars to reopen in May. Newly reported cases per day have risen on average about 60% over the past two weeks, according to an Associated Press analysis.

It now remains to be seen whether the USA can avoid the catastrophic daily death tolls it saw in April, when around 2,200 people were dying every day. Some experts doubt that deaths will return to that level, because of advances in treatment and prevention and because younger adults are more likely than older ones to survive.

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The virus is blamed for 1,24,000 deaths in the US and 2.4 million confirmed infections nationwide, by Johns Hopkins' count. But health officials believe the true number of infections is about 10 times higher. Worldwide, the virus has claimed close to a half-million lives.

The resurgence in the USA has drawn concern from overseas.

As cases spike, U.S. travelers are "unlikely" to be allowed into the European Union as the bloc begins opening up to global travel, several EU diplomats told CNN. German Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned Saturday that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over.

India reported more than 18,000 new cases Saturday, pushing its cumulative total over the half-million mark, the fourth highest globally behind the U.S., Brazil and Russian Federation. "It's easy to forget because Germany has gotten through the crisis well so far, but that doesn't mean we are protected".

Elsewhere around the world, China moved closer to containing a fresh outbreak in Beijing.

Britain was expected to scrap a 14-day quarantine requirement for people returning from overseas in a bid to make summer vacation travel possible. There were also 47 new deaths, the highest daily toll for a month.

"This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business", he said on Thursday. Fauci stressed the country was "interconnected" and areas now faring better should not take anything for granted.

Kayla Rivas is a Health reporter and joined Fox News in April 2020.

New cases of the coronavirus are now on the rise in several regions throughout the country.

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