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U.S. Cases Rise 1.8%; Texas Infections Hit Record: Virus Update

Bloomberg News
U.S. Cases Rise 1.8%; Texas Infections Hit Record: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) -- The virus set records across the U.S., with Texas’s daily cases, Arizona’s deaths and California’s hospitalizations hitting new highs. New Jersey’s transmission rate rose to the highest in about ten weeks.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive, escalating the crisis that’s engulfed Latin America’s largest economy. In an interview, the 65-year-old leader said he feels “perfectly well” and is being treated with hydroxychloroquine.

Novavax Inc. was awarded $1.6 billion in U.S. funding to support large-scale manufacturing of its vaccine candidate while Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. got a shot of confidence with a $450 million contract to start amping up output of its experimental antibody therapy.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases near 11.7 million; deaths exceed 540,000Beijing reported no cases. Here’s how the city turned it aroundTrump insists schools must open, teachers aren’t so sureForged to tackle virus, Israel’s alliance of rivals falls shortI had to take five antibody tests for results I could believeOutbreaks at U.S. meat plants hit minority workers hardestMore U.S. young adults return home with options reduced

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus.

New York’s Long Island to Enter Fourth Reopening Phase (5:42 p.m. NY)

New York’s Long Island has been cleared to enter the fourth stage of reopening starting Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. The move applies to higher education, “low risk” arts and entertainment activities, media production and professional sports with no fans.

“As states across the country experience a resurgence in cases, we’ve maintained both low hospitalizations and a low rate of positive cases,” Cuomo said.

Texas Infections Jump by More Than 10,000 (5 p.m. NY)

New cases in Texas topped 10,000 for the first time, rising by 5%, or 10,028, from Monday to 210,585. That exceeded the seven-day average daily increase of 3.9%. Sixty more people died, a 2.3% increase, versus an average 1.4% rise over the previous seven days. An additional 588 hospitalized with Covid-19 also topped the state’s seven-day average.

In Houston, the state’s largest metropolitan area and home of the most severe outbreak, virus patients continued to rise in area intensive-care units. With the normal supply of ICU beds full, hospitals there are moving into surge capacity, filling another 9% of “Phase 2” beds, according to data reported Tuesday by the Texas Medical Center, which includes more than 20 local hospitals.

The State Fair of Texas, an annual fall event in Dallas that brings as much as a $500 million boost to the region’s economy, was canceled on Tuesday. A poll conducted in the last days of June by the University of Texas at Austin found a continuing sharp divide between how Republicans and Democrats perceive the pandemic, with 76% of Republicans saying efforts to deal with the coronavirus are going well, compared with 84% of Democrats who say it’s going badly.

U.S. Cases Rise 1.8% (4 p.m. NY)

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose 1.8% as compared to the same time yesterday to 2.96 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. That matched the average daily increase over the past week and marked a fourth day in which new cases topped 50,000. Deaths rose 0.6% to 130,813.

Florida had 213,794 cases, up 3.6% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 5% in the previous seven days, according to state health officials. Deaths reached 3,841, an increase of 1.7%.Arizona health officials reported 3,653 new cases, bringing that total to 105,094, a 3.6% increase that was lower than the prior seven-day average of 4.5%. Deaths rose by a record 117, to 1,927.Montana cases rose 6.2% to a total 1,327, according to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg News.

U.S. Starts Clock to Quit WHO (3:49 p.m. NY)

The Trump administration sent a letter giving the United Nations a one-year notice for the U.S. to quit the World Health Organization, formalizing President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the agency even as the coronavirus rages.

The administration sent the letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, making the U.S. withdrawal official on July 6, 2021, according to Stephane Dujarric, the secretary-general’s spokesman. It’s almost certain that Democratic rival Joe Biden will reverse Trump’s decision if he’s elected in November.

California Hospitalizations Rise (3:17 p.m. NY)

California reported a 3.4% daily jump in virus hospitalizations, to a record 5,989 patients, according to state data. The number of patients in intensive-care units climbed 2% to 1,740.

The state added 6,090 confirmed cases for July 6, less than the 14-day average of 6,648 per day. The rate of positive tests over the past 14 days rose to 6.8% from 6.7% the prior day and about 4.8% two weeks earlier.

San Francisco said it will delay plans to open indoor dining and outdoor bars as planned on July 13. The city’s number of new cases per day per 100,000 people has jumped to 6.1, a sharp rise from 3.5 when reopening began on May 18.

N.J. Transmission Rate Up Again (2:57 p.m. NY)

New Jersey’s virus transmission rate rose again to 1.05, the highest in about ten weeks, according to Governor Phil Murphy’s office. The rate was 1.03 on Monday, the first time since mid-March it had a rate where each case is causing at least one other new infection. Weeks ago, the rate was 0.64.

Regeneron Antibody Gets U.S. Support (1:27 p.m. NY)

An experimental antibody therapy from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. received a $450 million contract from the U.S. government to start amping up production. The move may signal a new plan of attack for the Trump Administration to concentrate on so-called “neutralizing” antibodies that are tailored to mimic immune responses to the virus.

Other companies racing to come up with antibody treatments include AstraZeneca Plc and Vir Biotechnology Inc. in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline Plc.

Theater Operators Sue N.J. to Open (12:55 p.m. NY)

Movie theater operators AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., Cinemark Holdings Inc. and Regal Cinemas Inc. sued New Jersey for keeping cinemas closed due to the risk of coronavirus spread while allowing stores, shopping malls and churches to reopen. They argue that going to the movies is less risky than attending organized religious services and ceremonies, which were allowed to resume in late June.

WHO Sending Mission to China (12:30 p.m. NY)

The World Health Organization will send a mission to China this weekend to begin preparations to study the animal origins of the virus, a controversial issue.

The objective is to “ascertain how it jumped between animals and humans,” Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing. The WHO has said the group will include an epidemiological expert with a background in field investigations of epidemics, and an expert on animal health.

Gene May Boost Male Risk (12:28 p.m. NY)

In the latest peek into the genetics of Covid-19, testing giant LLC has identified a DNA region that may explain why the virus appears to impact men more than women. The region was associated with 44% higher odds of Covid-19 susceptibility in males. Women with the same DNA difference didn’t show any increased risk of infection.

Arizona Reports Record Deaths (12:02 p.m. NY)

Arizona health authorities on Tuesday reported 117 new deaths, a record number that brings the total to 1,927. The previous single-day high was 88 fatalities, reported July 1. There were 3,653 new cases, bringing that total to 105,094, a 3.6% increase that was lower than the prior seven-day average of 4.5%.

Brown Latest School to Plan Opening (11:46 a.m. NY)

Brown University is implementing a three-term academic model for the coming year, becoming the latest Ivy League school to plan for the upcoming term. Undergraduates will be on campus for two of the three terms, and the school said it will “de-densify” spaces on its Providence, Rhode Island campus.

On Monday, Harvard and Princetonsaid they planned to bring back a portion of their undergraduate populations for the upcoming semester.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Tests Positive (11:19 a.m. NY)

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for Covid-19 in an escalation of the health crisis that has engulfed Latin America’s largest economy. “I’m perfectly well,” the 65-year-old Bolsonaro told CNN Brasil in a live interview, after announcing the result of his test.

Brazil is a global hotspot for the virus, trailing only the U.S. with more than 65,000 confirmed deaths and over 1.62 million total cases.

Positive Cases Jump in Florida (10:50 a.m.)

The percentage of Florida Covid-19 tests coming back positive jumped in the latest report Tuesday, undermining Governor Ron DeSantis’s claim that the crisis is not getting worse.

The new rate of people testing positive for the first time climbed to 16.3% for Monday, from 15% on Sunday. It’s now at the highest on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, which goes back to early April. Florida reported 213,794 cases on Tuesday, up 3.6% from a day earlier. On a rolling seven-day basis, Florida’s new cases reached 61,360, the highest ever. Deaths reached 3,841, an increase of 1.7%.

NY Adds to Quarantine List (10:30 a.m. NY)

New York added Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma to its quarantine list. The state reported 588 new cases on Tuesday. The 0.1% increase was below the 0.2% average increase in the previous seven days and in line with Monday’s figures.

U.K. Should Aim for Zero Cases, Scientists Say (9:52 a.m. NY)

A group of scientists said the U.K. government needs to be more ambitious in its efforts to prevent Covid-19 and start aiming for complete eradication. The strategy should include measures that specifically aim to achieve zero cases, such as broad programs to test and trace infections and limiting both local and international travel, the Independent SAGE group said in a report.

Russian Doctors Distrust Official Numbers: Poll (9:23 a.m. NY)

About half of Russian doctors don’t trust the country’s official Covid-19 statistics, according to a new survey, amid suspicions that the government is under-reporting the scale of the outbreak. The real number of cases is higher than the official one, 49% of doctors said. The death toll looked unreliable to 47% of them.

Russia reported 6,368 new confirmed cases in the past day. That raised total infections to 694,230, according to data from the government’s virus response center, which showed 29.9% of new cases were asymptomatic and 198 people died of the disease over the period, bringing total death toll to 10,494.

U.K. Retailers Still Struggle as Pubs Reopen (8:53 a.m. NY)

British shops aren’t getting much of a boost from newly reopened bars, cafes and restaurants as customers prefer to stay away. Retailers saw only a 15% week-on-week increase in footfall as pubs opened their doors for the first time since March on July 4. From a year earlier, traffic was still down by half, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Separately, the number of overall jobs supported by the U.K. government’s pandemic program exceeds 12 million, highlighting the scale of the task facing Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak as he prepares to announce his latest economic strategy on Wednesday.

Glaxo, Medicago Work on Vaccine Candidate (8:15 a.m. NY)

GlaxoSmithKline is collaborating on an experimental Covid-19 vaccine with Medicago, a company partly owned by Philip Morris International Inc. Human testing is due to start in mid-July, and the companies aim to make the vaccine available in the first half of 2021 if successful.

The U.K. pharmaceutical giant is contributing its technology to multiple partnerships rather than developing its own vaccine candidate.

U.S. Home Prices Seen Falling (8 a.m. NY)

U.S. home prices will fall about 6.6% during the 12 months through May 2021, the first annual annual decline since 2012, as the economic impact of the pandemic deepens, according to a report Tuesday by CoreLogic Inc.

U.K.’s Johnson Refuses to Apologize for Care Home Blame (7:32 a.m. NY)

Boris Johnson’s spokesman refused to apologize after the prime minister appeared to blame care homes over the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, sparking a furious reaction.

“Too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have, but we’re learning lessons the whole time,” Johnson said on a visit to Yorkshire on Monday.

Regeneron Gets $450 Million for Treatment (7:07 a.m. NY)

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals was awarded a $450 million U.S. government contract to manufacture and supply REGN-COV2, an investigational double antibody cocktail for the prevention of coronavirus infections.

Italy Works on Measures for Non-EU Arrivals (6:14 a.m. NY)

Italy will work on new measures to protect against arrivals from outside the European Union. The country imposed a one-week suspension on flights from Bangladesh after a high number of Covid-19 positive passengers were found in a flight that arrived in Rome on Monday, Italy’s Health Ministry said in a statement.

Novavax Gets $1.6 Billion U.S. Vaccine Funding (6:04 a.m. NY)

Novavax was awarded $1.6 billion from Operation Warp Speed to support large-scale manufacturing of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine, NVX-CoV2373.

The funds will allow the company to conduct advanced human studies and establish manufacturing to deliver 100 million doses as soon as late 2020, Novavax said in a statement. A final-stage study of its vaccine candidate is planned for as early as this fall, with as many as 30,000 subjects. The company’s shares rose 33% in pre market trading.

Iran Suffers Deadliest Day (6:00 a.m. NY)

Iran suffered its deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak. Authorities reported that 200 people had died from Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, a sharp spike from the previous high of 163 recorded on July 5. The total death toll reached 11,931 out of 245,688 known cases.

“I repeatedly said to our people that it’s extremely dangerous to understate the situation,” Health Minister Saeed Namaki said on state TV just before the latest figures were made public. “Unfortunately, our pleas fell on deaf ears until we were gripped by a new wave” of infections.

England and Wales Weekly Deaths Fall (4:40 p.m. HK)

Weekly Covid-19 deaths fell to their lowest in 13 weeks in England and Wales and now account for just 6.7% of total deaths in the week ended June 26, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.

Fatalities fell in all English regions except the North East and total U.K. coronavirus deaths were registered at now over 55,100.

Heathrow Aims to Trial Virus Tests (4:30 p.m. HK)

London’s Heathrow airport plans to conduct trials of a coronavirus testing procedure that could allow the scrapping of quarantine rules for people arriving from territories including the U.S.

The pilot program would be offered as a private service, with swabs taken by nurses from Collinson Group at a facility run by ground-handling firm Swissport International AG. Passengers would go on to their place of quarantine with the results made available within 24 hours.

Hungary Has Biggest Infection Increase in a Month (4:19 p.m. HK)

Hungary’s official coronavirus cases rose by 16 in a day, the biggest increase in a month, according to data from the country’s pandemic task force published on Tuesday.

Total cases rose to 4,205, with 589 deaths, unchanged for a third day. Hungary has so far managed to avoid a flare up of the virus with active cases, which subtracts recoveries and deaths from total infections, steadily declining to 742 on Tuesday from over 1,100 a month ago.

Europe Sees Deeper Economic Slump (4:00 p.m. HK)

Europe’s economy will suffer more than previously estimated this year and take longer to recover because of a slow easing of coronavirus restrictions, according to the bloc’s executive arm.

The European Commission forecasts a contraction of 8.7% in the euro area this year, a full percentage point deeper than previously predicted. Risks remain “exceptionally high and mainly to the downside,” the commission said on Tuesday.

U.S. Bailouts for China’s HNA (2:22 p.m. HK)

HNA Group, the troubled conglomerate being taken over by the Chinese state, is among recipients of the billions of dollars in virus-relief loans handed out in the U.S. government’s Paycheck Protection Program.

Tokyo Finds 106 New Infections, NHK Says (2:16 p.m. HK)

Tokyo found 106 cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, the sixth consecutive day new cases in the capital exceeded 100, NHK reported. Total infections in Tokyo are approaching 7,000.

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