Since Chinese officials locked down the city of Wuhan in January, there have been more than 11.4 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, across the planet.
More than 533,000 people have died from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Efforts to curb the outbreak have led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shuttered in hopes of slowing transmission. After months of precautions and lockdowns, governments have begun to reopen their economies.
HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and its effects.
Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)
Vast Majority ‘Do The Right Thing’ As UK Pubs Reopen After 15 Weeks — 7/06/20, 7:50 a.m.
Most people who went out on so-called super Saturday as coronavirus restrictions were eased in England “acted responsibly,” the U.K. health secretary has said.
Matt Hancock said most people were “doing the right thing” as pubs, restaurants, cafes and other venues reopened for the first time in three months, marking a major milestone in Britain’s efforts to restart the economy.
But it came after the chairman of the Police Federation said it was “crystal clear” that drunk people are unable to follow the one meter-plus social distancing rules amid images of streets packed with drinkers in Soho, London.
Many establishments chose to remain closed Saturday, and those that did open offered customers a very different pub experience, with staff decked out in gloves and face masks, plastic screens installed above bars and tables spaced at least one meter apart.
Some pubs required patrons to book tables in advance and order drinks via a smartphone app, in order to control crowds and reduce face-to-face contact with staff.
The death toll in Britain from confirmed COVID-19 cases rose by 22 to 44,220 on Sunday, the third-highest in the world. Read more
— James Martin
Australia Closes Key State Border For First Time In 100 Years — 7/06/20, 7:05 a.m.
The border between Australia’s two most populous states will close from Tuesday for an indefinite period after a fresh spike in coronavirus cases.
The decision marks the first time the border between Victoria and New South Wales has been shut in 100 years, with officials last blocking movement between the two states in 1919 during the Spanish flu pandemic.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the Victorian capital Melbourne has surged in recent days, prompting authorities to enforce strict social distancing orders in 30 suburbs and put nine public housing towers into lockdown.
Victoria reported 127 new COVID-19 infections overnight, its biggest one-day spike since the pandemic began. It also reported one death, the first nationally in more than two weeks, taking the country’s total tally to 105. Read more
— James Martin
Egypt Arrests Doctors, Journalists Who Criticize President’s Handling Of Outbreak — 7/6/2020, 6 a.m.
At least 10 doctors and six journalists have been arrested over criticism of the Egyptian government’s handling of the outbreak since the coronavirus first hit Egypt in February, the Associated Press reports. Other health workers say they have been told to keep quiet or face punishment.
President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has described critics of the government’s handling of the crisis as “enemies of the state.” As of Monday, Egypt has recorded 76,253 infections, including 3,343 deaths — the highest death toll in the Arab world. Read more
— Liza Hearon
Scientists Will Urge WHO To Take Airborne Spread Of Virus More Seriously — 7/6/2020, 3:40 a.m.
A group of 239 scientists plans to urge the World Health Organization to more seriously consider the threat that the novel coronavirus may be spread by microscopic particles in the air, The New York Times reported this weekend.
In an open letter set to be published later this week, the international coalition will warn of growing evidence that tiny aerosols can linger in the air indoors and result in new infections. WHO has maintained that the virus spreads mainly through larger respiratory droplets or contact and has primarily urged people to wash their hands and socially distance to prevent infection.
If airborne transmissions present a significant threat, it could dramatically impact safety guidelines, meaning people could need to wear masks inside areas with poor ventilation among other measures.
— Nick Visser
At Least 121 University Of Washington Students Test Positive In ‘Greek Row’ Outbreak — 7/6/2020, 3:30 a.m.
Seattle’s University of Washington said this weekend at least 121 students that live in fraternity houses near the college have tested positive for the coronavirus in what officials described as a “Greek Row outbreak.”
The surge in cases near the university was first announced on June 30. Residents of at least 15 of the school’s 25 fraternity houses have tested positive and the system houses about 1,000 students. The houses are independent organizations and are not run by the school.
The University of Washington plans to reopen by the end of September using a hybrid model of teaching, but the outbreak reflects the difficulty some schools may have as the pandemic continues to surge around the nation.
— Nick Visser
New Jersey Governor Calls For Nationwide Mask Requirement — 7/5/20, 2:47 p,m. ET
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) suggested that a nationwide mask requirement be enacted as people emerge from their homes during the summer months.
“It’s become almost not even debatable,” Murphy told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “If you’re leaving your house, put on a mask. I think it ought to be a national ... requirement.”
New Jersey is in its second stage of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, the state began allowing restaurants to resume outdoor dining and stores to open again. In July, casinos were allowed to open, and gyms were allowed to operate with outdoor spaces or by appointments indoors. All people are required to wear masks when shopping indoors.
“This thing is lethal. New Jersey’s paid an enormous price,” Murphy said of the coronavirus outbreak in the state. “We went through hell. We cannot go through hell again. We need a national strategy right now, and masking has to be at the core of that.”
The governor reported 303 new coronavirus cases in the state and 25 additional deaths. So far, New Jersey has seen 173,033 cases since the start of the pandemic.
— Carla Russo
2020 MLB All-Star Game Canceled — 7/3/2020, 12:00 p.m. ET
Major League Baseball announced Friday that the 2020 All-Star Game will not be played because of coronavirus concerns.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, which was scheduled to host the event, will now host the game in 2022.
“COVID-19 has forced us to make a lot of tough calls and sacrifices ― and while it may have disrupted our plans for this year, we can’t wait to welcome baseball’s best to Los Angeles for the 2022 All-Star Game,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
It’s the first time since World War II that the game has been canceled, according to MLB.com.
— Paige Lavender
Pence Visit To Arizona Delayed After Agents Caught Virus — 7/3/20, 11:00 a.m. ET
Vice President Mike Pence’s Arizona visit was originally scheduled to happen Tuesday this week, but got pushed to Wednesday after Secret Service agents reportedly contracted COVID-19.
Multiple outlets report that the trip had to be delayed so that healthy agents could accompany the vice president instead. It’s at least the second time in recent weeks that the Secret Service has been impacted by the coronavirus crisis; dozens of agents were required to quarantine themselves after President Donald Trump’s Tulsa rally late last month.
Arizona is among the Sun Belt states currently experiencing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases. This week, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) ordered bars and gyms to shut down once more to combat the threat.
— Sara Boboltz
U.S. Sets Grim Global Record Of 55,000 Coronavirus Cases Per Day ― 7/3/20, 10:30 a.m. ET
The U.S. has set a new global record for the highest number of reported coronavirus cases per day. The daily tally hit over 55,000 cases late Thursday, exceeding the previous single-day record of more than 54,000 set by Brazil on June 19.
States including Texas, Arizona and Florida, have seen a resurgence of infections as politicians have pushed to reopen businesses. At least 16 states have now paused their reopening plans amid the spike in cases.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, warned Tuesday that the U.S. could see as many as 100,000 daily coronavirus infections if states where cases are surging don’t begin taking stronger measures to combat the spread.
“We can’t just focus on those areas that are having the surge,” Fauci told a Senate committee this week. “It puts the entire country at risk. We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day, I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 cases a day if this does not turn around, so I am very concerned.”
Fauci: ‘We Are Not Going In The Right Direction’ — 7/3/2020, 6:45 a.m. ET
Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the record numbers of coronavirus cases in the U.S. reflect a “very disturbing week” for the U.S.
Speaking to the American Medical Association over livestream, Fauci said it was “pretty obvious that we are not going in the right direction.”
“We have areas of the country where they were at a level that is difficult and disturbing,” Fauci said. “Then when one tries to open up, even in situations where governors and mayors were trying to abide by the guidelines… that there is this, among some, there’s this feeling of an all-or-none phenomenon where you’re either under lockdown or say, you know, the devil may care,” he said.
Daily cases skyrocketed past 50,000 in the U.S. for the first time this week, and only 14 states are showing declines in the rate of infections.
— Nick Visser
UK To Keep Two-Week Quarantine For U.S. Visitors — 7/03/20, 6:20 a.m. ET
The United States will be on a “red list” of countries from which visitors to the U.K. will have to have quarantine for 14 days when they arrive, HuffPost UK reports.
A two-week self-isolation policy for people returning to or visiting England from destinations such as Spain, France, Italy and Germany is being lifted from July 10. A full list of around 60 countries deemed to pose “a reduced risk to the public health of UK citizens” will be published later Friday.
But speaking to the BBC on Friday, U.K. transport secretary Grant Shapps was asked if the U.S. would be on a “red list” of countries not included. “I’m afraid it will be,” Shapps said.
The requirement for everyone arriving into the UK – bar a handful of exemptions – to self-isolate for 14 days was introduced June 8.
— Ned Simons
In A Reversal, Texas Gov. Requires General Public To Wear Face Masks — 7/2/20, 4:50 p.m. ET
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered all Texans to wear a face covering in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases, a reversal from his previous stance.
In an executive order issued on Thursday, Abbott also gave mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on outdoor gatherings of 10 or more people.
Abbott has generally been against mask requirements, especially those imposed on the general public. In June, he banned local governments from imposing fines on those who refuse to wear masks, saying at the time that “government cannot require individuals to wear masks,” according to the Texas Tribune.
But spikes in infections across Texas have apparently led him to change his tune.
“Wearing a face covering in public is proven to be one of the most effective ways we have to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said, according to DallasNews.com. “We have the ability to keep businesses open and move our economy forward so that Texans can continue to earn a paycheck, but it requires each of us to do our part to protect one another — and that means wearing a face covering in public spaces.”
Over 40 Bay Area Principals Exposed To COVID-19 During Meeting To Discuss Schools Reopening — 7/2/20, 4:40 p.m. ET
Over 40 principals of schools in the Bay Area were exposed to COVID-19 after attending an in-person meeting to discuss plans for re-opening schools in the Santa Clara Unified School District.
The meeting took place on June 19, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
A person in attendance tested positive for COVID-19 days after the meeting.
During an online meeting last week, District Superintendent Stella Kemp told the school board that the infected person had exposed other attendees to the virus.
“Given the complexity required in the development of our reopening plan, some of our staff meetings are taking place in person,” Kemp said, according to the Associated Press. “Of course those meetings are being conducted under the strict guidelines provided to us by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.”
Schools across the country are scrambling to find ways to reopen campuses for the upcoming school year despite uncertainty, and as coronavirus cases continue to emerge.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey pushed back the first day of instruction for public schools in the state to at least Aug. 17. Some schools had been set to start as early as July 22, according to the Arizona Republic.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that public schools in the city would be opening in September. However, Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed back on those plans. Cuomo’s communications director said that the state government has the ultimate say on whether schools can reopen come the fall semester, according to CNN.
— Carla Russo
Herman Cain Hospitalized For COVID-19 Hours After Condemning Masks On Twitter — 7/2/20, 3:30 p.m. ET
Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was hospitalized with COVID-19 on Wednesday, hours after he sent a tweet hailing a Trump event in South Dakota where masks wouldn’t be mandatory.
A spokesman confirmed Cain’s condition Thursday afternoon, describing the 73-year-old as “resting comfortably” at an Atlanta-area hospital after his symptoms became serious enough Wednesday to require care, but not a respirator.
Cain’s positive coronavirus test on June 29 came just over a week after he appeared at Trump’s indoor campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he did not wear a mask.
Addressing speculation that he may have picked the virus up at Trump’s campaign, Cain’s team said in a statement that they are unsure how or where he contracted it, noting “he did a lot of traveling the past week.”
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