- Texas gov orders suspension of elective surgeries in some counties
- NYC mayor says phase 3 could begin as soon as July 6
- Deaths continue to lag new infections
- Australia sees biggest jump in cases since April
- UK warned about second wave
- US sees ~45k jump in new cases reported yesterday
- Global total nears 10 mil
- Persian Gulf virus total tops 400k
- India to carry out virus ‘survey’ of New Delhi
- Russia sees ~7k new cases, 92 deaths
- Dr. Scott Gottlieb: “complacency” driving new US outbreak
- Eiffel Tower reopens Thursday
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Update (1020ET): Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order suspending all elective surgeries in several of the state’s worst-hit counties, including Travis County, which includes Houston and the surrounding area.
As Public health officials reported another disturbing jump in hospitalizations – statewide figures saw a 8% increase compared with 7.3% yesterday – as officials in Austin warned Thursday that if nothing is done, hospitals might reach capacity by mid-July.
Already, hospital capacity in Houston is stretched, with ICU capacity already ‘97%’ full, as the city activates emergency capacity that could itself be overwhelmed in under two weeks.
In NYC, meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio, who, during the opening days of March, warned that New Yorkers should “go about their lives” as the coronavirus wasn’t a major threat, advised that the second phase of reopening was going so well, that the city could enter Phase 3 as soon as July 6.
If Texas’ outbreak isn’t brought under control within two weeks, Austin’s top county health officials said he would have no choice but to order another shutdown, which would inevitably lead to a political crisis.
Per the Chronicle, as COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Houston and Texas, leaders of the Texas Medical Center are expected to update an update on the hospital system’s capacity levels during a Thursday press conference.
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Update (0930ET): Here’s something we don’t see nearly enough.
As the media has raised the alarm about the outbreak in new cases in the south and west, deaths haven’t been rising in lockstep with new cases and hospitalizations, as many of those infected are younger and more likely to survive even severe infections.
However, according to the Washington Post, health experts are taking little ‘solace’ from this, as Dr. Fauci said earlier this week that deaths “always” lag considerably behind cases.
“Deaths always lag considerably behind cases,” he said. We’re curious how he can be so certain when this virus has only been with us for a few months, but we digress…
This would suggest that Florida, Arizona and Texas will be burying more death in July…unless the heightened precautions being taken in facilities like nursing homes and long-term care facilities continue to protect the most vulnerable. One Veterans home, state-run by the VA and state of Masachusetts, saw the worst outbreak in the country due to absolutely unconscionable decisions like mixing wards of sick and health patients in a way suggesting that they were almost trying to expose their patients to the virus.
In New York, a policy that sent sick patients back to nursing homes where they infected their peers was in place until May.
States like Texas, California Florida and Arizona have seen deaths either stable or even declining in recent weeks.
Coronavirus hospitalizations have tripled in Houston since Memorial Day, Houston Methodist Hospital chief executive Marc Boom said Wednesday. Texas reported 5,551 new cases, the most in a single day, along with 4,389 hospitalizations, up almost 300 from Tuesday’s record high. But deaths in the city haven’t seen a commensurate rise.
New rules by NY, NJ and Conn will apply to states with an infection rate of 10 per 100,000 people on a seven-day rolling average, which presently includes nine states currently are in that group: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah and Texas.
In other news, public health experts who worked in the Obama administration insist that deaths will catch up because the virus will eventually find its way to vulnerable populations. But is that really accurate? As Obama’s CDC head Tom Frieden pointed out, CDC statistics show how thoroughly the virus attacks the elderly. From Feb. 1 to June 13, the virus was involved in just 2,630 deaths among people 44 or younger. But it was fatal to 83,426 people 65 or older.
Frieden added that nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are much better protected this time around than they were during the first wave, which would suggest that deaths likely won’t even come close during the second time around.
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Update (0910ET): As more states join Louisiana and Oregon by ‘pausing’ their reopening plans, while more public health experts warn that ‘more stringent’ mitigation efforts might be necessary, CNBC’s Meg Tirrell just pointed out that the impact of the protests on the overall number of coronavirus cases has been mixed.
In Massachusetts, public health officials have reported little impact. But in California, health officials are seeing what appears to be a surge in cases that would suggest the rallies have had an impact.
Meanwhile, demand for the steroid Dexamethasone, which one study showed had a substantially positive impact on patients COVID-19 symptoms, has skyrocketed. Keep in mind, both the CDC and WHO initially discouraged steroid use for…some reason…one of many conclusions that ‘the experts’ apparently jumped to…
…that has since proved incorrect.
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Update (0745ET): Australia’s reopening hasn’t gone as smoothly as hoped. The country on Thursday confirmed its largest new batch of COVID-19 cases since April. Australia’s Victoria state reported 33 additional coronavirus cases, compared with 20 yesterday, while it was also reported that Australia is to deploy 1000 troops to the Victoria state capital of Melbourne to help contain the latest cluster in the area.
The WHO’s European Director says Europe saw its first increase in weekly cases in a long time, with 11 countries now facing a resurgence, as public health officials in the UK warned that the country is at risk of a second wave as PM Boris Johnson struggles to reopen.
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Thanks to the “complacency” of young (or young-ish) people across the south and the west of the US, the number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases topped its late-April peak of 36,400 new cases reported in a single day, with more than 45,000 new cases reported yesterday according to the latest tally from NBC News, up from the 39k we reported Wednesday evening.
All coronavirus data are reported with a 24-hour delay, so the record spike really happened on Tuesday. But the final numbers are in, and the picture is bleak. Seven states, including California, Florida, Oklahoma and Texas, reported record tallies of new cases yesterday, with the average age of hospitalized patients falling to 35, from 65 during the April peak in the northeast.
As Florida and Texas emerge as the two biggest ‘hotspots’, Disney has decided to delay the reopening of its theme parks in the US following a surge in cases in California and Florida, both of which reported record numbers of new cases yesterday. What’s more, Disney is pondering whether to push back the release of its live-action “Mulan” blockbuster, which would have been the first major film release with movie theaters back open.
New York, NJ and Conn. have all said they’ll be enforcing quarantine orders targeting travelers from out of state, and police will definitely be stopping cars with out-of-state license plates to see if they’re violating quarantine orders: If they are, they can expect a hefty fine, after the states have seemingly had a change of heard following Cuomo’s initial claim that the order wouldn’t be enforced.
One health professional warned that the outbreak is likely the result of younger people getting “complacent” – going to bars and other crowded public places without taking proper precautions.
“People got complacent, And it’s coming back and biting us, quite frankly,” according to the CEO of the Houston Methodist Hospital, who spoke to reporters as the health-care system in the city emerges as perhaps the most vulnerable in the country, as a new wave of COVID-19 patients flood the city’s hospital and ICU
According to the Associated Press, governments from NY to Melbourne are taking steps to prevent a resurgence, or get their outbreak under control.
In India, authorities are launching a massive coronavirus survey, perhaps the most ambitious the world has seen since the dawn of the pandemic, as the government tries to get a handle on New Delhi, both the nation’s capital and one of the areas most impacted by the virus. The government will survey the city’s entire population of 29 million, with everyone being tested and facing a brief survey by July 6. That’s pretty, ambitious; Beijing managed to test millions of people in a week during its latest outbreak.
Per Al Jazeera, the new plan was announced Wednesday after the sprawling capital became the worst-hit city by the pandemic in India with 70,390 cases, exceeding the financial capital of Mumbai, its only real competition. 3,788 new cases were confirmed over the last 24 hours in Delhi, the government announced on Thursday, compared to 1,118 in Mumbai. India on Thursday registered another record high of 16,922 cases, taking the countrywide total to 473,105, leaving it still in fourth place behind the US, Brazil and Russia.
Latin America and the US are the two biggest contributors to the growing global coronavirus tally, but two other regions – the Middle East and Africa – are coming up in the rearview mirror.
COVID-19 cases in the Persian Gulf region have surpassed 400,000, according to Johns Hopkins data, as the number of daily cases reported climbs as governments start to ease restrictions. Africa’s cases have surged past 336,000 on Thursday, following a 10k increase in infections announced Wednesday evening.
The UAE, home of Dubai and other popular international cities, announced that it would finally be lifting a nightly curfew in place since mid-March as the number of cases it’s reporting every day has fallen by 2/3rds.
The global outbreak is on track to top 10 million next week, the World Health Organization has said, warning that the virus has yet to peak in North and South America. As of Thursday morning in the US, more than 9.4 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, with more than 4.7 million recovered, and nearly 483,000 fatalities, per JHU.
Indonesia, a country that drew the world’s attention during the early days when its government acknowledged that it was actively hiding evidence of the virus, has finally seen its case total top 50k, though the government insists that improved testing is responsible for the recent uptick in newly confirmed cases.
Russia confirmed 7,113 new cases of the novel coronavirus, pushing its tally to 613,994.
The Eiffel Tower on Thursday welcomed back visitors after the coronavirus outbreak forced the Paris landmark into its longest closure since WWII.
Before we go, Dr. Scott Gottlieb appeared on Squawk Box this morning to comment on the latest record numbers out of the US. He said more states are seeing troubling data on new cases and hospitalizations, including Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Arkansas and others.
“This isn’t confined to a handful of states anymore,” the Dr. said. “It’s going to be difficult now to get this under control.”
Finally, Russia confirmed 7,113 new cases on Thursday, pushing its tally to 613,994, as the daily counts are slowly coming down. Only 92 deaths were recorded, bringing the death toll to 8,605. To be sure, critics claim Vladimir Putin’s government is deliberately undercounting deaths.