WHO reports record increase in global coronavirus cases. South Africa reinstates alcohol ban in bid to free up hospital beds. India, Romania see record new infections. How the pandemic caught Canada with its PPE stockpiles down. Why it may be harder to catch COVID-19 from surfaces than we first thought.
While the United States grapples with the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world, Florida hit a grim milestone Sunday, shattering the national record for a state’s largest single-day increase in positive cases.
Deaths from the virus have been rising in the U.S., especially in the South and West, though still well below the heights hit in April, according to a recent Associated Press analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
“I really do think we could control this, and it’s the human element that is so critical. It should be an effort of our country. We should be pulling together when we’re in a crisis, and we’re definitely not doing it,” said University of Florida epidemiologist Dr. Cindy Prins.
Admiral Brett Giroir, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, called mask-wearing in public, which has been met with resistance in some U.S. states, “absolutely essential.”
People wear face masks as required to attend the official reopening day of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Saturday. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
Giroir, the assistant secretary at the Health and Human Services Department, told ABC’s This Week on Sunday that “if we don’t have that, we will not get control of the virus.”
U.S. President Donald Trump wore a mask in public for the first time Saturday, something Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday showed he has “crossed a bridge.”
Pelosi told CNN’s State of the Union that she hopes it means the president “will change his attitude, which will be helpful in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.”
In hard-hit Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, both Democrats, called for the nation’s fourth-largest city to lock back down after a week in which Texas continued to break records for confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths linked to the disease.
The decision over a lockdown, however, rests with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — who has resisted this step, saying it should be a last resort
.<a href=”https://twitter.com/HoustonHealth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@HoustonHealth</a> reports 1,215 new cases of <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a> today, bringing our total to 29,421. Our city’s death count increased by one to 269.<br><br>Large number of reported cases is due to delayed reporting affected HEDSS’ earlier stability issues as well as increase in reports from DSHS. <a href=”https://t.co/cxlbfaYlSa”>pic.twitter.com/cxlbfaYlSa</a>
In Florida — where parts of Walt Disney World reopened Saturday — 15,299 people tested positive, for a total of 269,811 cases, and 45 deaths were recorded, according to state Department of Health statistics. California had the previous record of daily positive cases — 11,694, set on Wednesday.
The new cases come at the end of a record-breaking week as Florida reported 514 fatalities — an average of 73 per day. Three weeks ago, the state was averaging 30 deaths per day.
Researchers expect deaths to rise in the U.S. for at least a matter of weeks, but some think the count probably will not go up as dramatically as it did in the spring because of several factors, including increased testing.
What’s happening with coronavirus in Canada
As of 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 107,589 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 71,467 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,819.
Ontario reported 129 new cases on Sunday, bringing its total number to 36,723.
In Quebec, there were 114 new cases confirmed on Sunday, for a provincial total of 56,521.
Commuters wear face masks in Montreal on Sunday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press )
Newly released data from the City of Ottawa shows nine hair stylists and barbers received fines for opening during the COVID-19 shutdown. Four restaurants, two landscaping companies and one garden centre were also fined the standard $880, while two people received another $1,130 fine for obstruction of implementing those orders.
Elections Saskatchewan estimates it will need 400,000 face masks and thousands of litres of hand sanitizer and disinfectant to keep people safe at the polls on Oct. 26. The independent body says it’s working to source those supplies, at an expected cost of about $425,000.
Saskatchewan is the only province with a general election on the books this year. It’s also a province with a low infection rate. On Friday, 43 active cases were reported. But health officials have said there are concerns another wave of infections could arrive with cooler temperatures in the fall.
To date, labs across 🇨🇦 have tested 3,183,516 people for <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a>, w an average ~3% positive overall. Over the past week, an average of ~38,000 people have been tested daily (w 1% +ve) as <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/publichealth?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#publichealth</a> continues to <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/TestandTrace?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#TestandTrace</a>.
Calgary’s mayor is musing about the possibility of making masks mandatory in certain situations and says he could bring forward a draft bylaw to council on July 20. Naheed Nenshi says mask use indoors in Calgary is too low, particularly on public transit.
Nenshi is just one vote on council, so he can’t do anything on his own. He has said he could bring a proposed bylaw before council, who would have to vote for moving forward with it.
Here’s what’s happening around the world
The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours.
The UN health agency said Sunday the U.S. again topped the list among countries, with more than 66,000 cases recorded. The figures don’t necessarily account for delays in reporting of cases, and are believed to far underestimate actual case totals.
Globally more than 12.7 million people have been infected by the virus and more than 566,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
In Europe, Hungarian authorities said they have sorted countries into three categories — red, yellow and green — based on their rates of new coronavirus infections, and they will impose restrictions, including entry bans and mandatory quarantines, depending on which country people are arriving from.
Romania announced a record-high number of infections on Saturday, with 698, while 456 new cases were reported Sunday.
British authorities are locking down 200 workers at a vegetable farm in the English village of Mathon, south of Birmingham, after 73 workers tested positive for the virus.
A police officer wearing a face mask stands at the entrance to a farm that has been locked down in Mathon, U.K., on Sunday. (Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
South Korea reported 44 new cases, maintaining an uptick in new infections in the greater Seoul area and central cities.
India — which has the most cases after the U.S. and Brazil — saw a record surge of 28,637 cases reported in the past 24 hours. Authorities also announced a week-long lockdown beginning Tuesday in the key southern technology hub of Bangalore, where the offices of top tech companies like Microsoft, Apple and Amazon are located.
A health worker conducts a COVID-19 test in Gauhati, India, on Sunday. (Anupam Nath/The Associated Press)
In the Americas, the ashes of 245 Mexican migrants who died of COVID-19 in New York have arrived back into their home nation.
A Mexican Air Force plane carrying the remains arrived at near midnight Saturday in what the Foreign Relations Department called an “unprecedented” effort. The urns were taken from the plane and placed on a table adorned with white flowers for a brief ceremony.
The Mexican government says more than 1,500 Mexican migrants have died of COVID-19 in the U.S., about half of them in New York.
Soldiers are seen beside boxes of cremated remains of Mexicans who died from COVID-19 in the U.S., during a welcoming ceremony at the tarmac of Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City on Saturday. (Fernando Llano/The Associated Press)
In Africa, the continent’s 54 countries have reported 577,904 cases, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Sunday.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country will immediately return to a ban on the sale of alcohol to reduce the volume of trauma patients so that hospitals have more beds to treat COVID-19 patients.
Confronted by surging hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, South Africa is also reinstating a night curfew to reduce traffic accidents, and made it mandatory for all residents to wear face masks when in public.