CORONAVIRUS

COVID-19 Live Updates: Ban On China, U.K. Travelers Likely To Last Months

Stay up to date as we cover the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its effects across the world.

Since Chinese officials locked down the city of Wuhan in January, there have been more than 7.9 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, across the planet.

More than 433,000 people have died from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University

Efforts to curb the outbreak 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.)

Beijing Braces For Resurgence Of Virus — 6/15/2020, 6 a.m. ET

More than 100 new cases of the coronavirus have been reported in recent days in Beijing, after about a month of no local transmission, the Associated Press reported.

The cases have been linked to the Xinfadi wholesale market, which supplies much of the meat and vegetables for the capital city. In response, Beijing has closed the market, put nearby neighborhoods on lockdown, and tested more than 76,000 people.

The resurgence in China, where the virus first appeared, underscores the difficulties countries around the world are having in containing the virus. There have been more than 7.93 million cases worldwide, with more than 433,000 deaths attributable to the disease.

— Liza Hearon

Fauci: Ban On China, U.K. Travelers Likely To Last Months — 6/14/20, 3:25 p.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert on the White House coronavirus task force, said he believes restrictions on travel from the United Kingdom, China and other countries to the United States will likely continue for “months.”

“It’s going to be really wait and see,” he told the British newspaper The Telegraph. “I don’t think there’s going to be an immediate pullback for those kinds of restrictions. My feeling, looking at what’s going on with the infection rate, I think it’s more likely measured in months rather than weeks.”

President Donald Trump restricted travel from China in later January, about a month after the first documented coronavirus case in the Chinese city of Wuhan. He followed up in mid-March with a ban on travel from the U.K., Ireland and 26 other countries in Europe. His delayed decision to shut down travel from Europe prompted criticism from many public health experts.

The virus could “go on for a couple of cycles, coming back and forth,” Fauci told The Telegraph. But a so-called second wave isn’t inevitable if local and state officials take the proper precautions, he said.

There have been more than 2 million confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. At least 115,000 people have died nationwide.

—Hayley Miller

Health Expert Calls Trump’s Tulsa Rally An ‘Extraordinarily Dangerous Move’ — 6/14/20, 3:05 p.m. ET

As President Donald Trump prepares for his first campaign rally in months, health experts are warning the event could lead to a new outbreak of the coronavirus.

The upcoming rally, which is slated to be held in a 19,000-seat arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, could prove to be “an extraordinarily dangerous move for the people participating and the people who may know them and love them and see them afterward,” Dr. Ashish Jha, director of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, told the Associated Press.

Trump’s reelection campaign, in a recognition of the risk, has included a notice to those registering to attend the rally that essentially says you can’t sue the campaign if you contract the coronavirus during event.

“By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury,” the waiver states.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert on the White House coronavirus task force, cautioned Friday that attending rallies or protests at this time is “risky” and poses “a danger.”

He urged rallygoers to wear masks and socially distance as much as possible.

Read more AP here.

― Hayley Miller

Oregon Governor To Halt Reopening As New Cases Rise — 6/12/20, 9:46 a.m. ET

Oregon will “press pause” on and reevaluate its reopening process for the next seven days “to ensure that the virus is not spreading too quickly,” Gov. Kate Brown announced Thursday night.

On Thursday, the state reported a new single-day high in the number of new COVID-19 infections. It’s one of at least a dozen states that have seen a rise in cases, which many experts attribute to loosening restrictions.

— Marina Fang

Deaths In Brazil Surpass 40,000, Infections Go Beyond 800,000  — 6/12/20, 7:25 a.m. ET

Brazil’s death toll from COVID-19 now exceeds 40,000 after another 1,240 deaths were announced on Thursday.

The country’s cumulative total of confirmed cases also surpassed 800,000, with 30,412 new infections in the last 24 hours. Brazil has the world’s second-worst outbreak of coronavirus after the United States and the third-highest death toll behind the U.S. and U.K.

Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states have suffered 42% of the fatalities. Despite the virus showing no signs of slowing in the country, many shops and businesses were allowed to reopen on Thursday.

— James Martin

Young COVID-19 Patient Becomes First In U.S. To Receive Double Lung Transplant — 6/12/2020, 7 a.m. ET

A woman in her 20s who had no serious underlying health conditions before contracting COVID-19 has become the first U.S. coronavirus patient to receive a double lung transplant, her doctors said Thursday.

The operation at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital was more challenging and took longer than usual because her lungs were so damaged, doctors said. But she is recovering well and told doctors, “Thank you for not giving up on me.”

— Dominique Mosbergen

UK Economy Shrinks 20% During First Full Month Of Lockdown — 6/12/20, 6:15 a.m. ET

The British economy shrank by an “unprecedented” 20.4% in April, the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown.

The new figures mark the largest monthly contraction since records began in 1997 and massively outstrips the then-record 5.8% drop in March gross domestic product (GDP) reported last month.

It means that GDP fell by 10.4% in the three months to April and sets the U.K. on course for one of its worst quarters in history.

May’s GDP figures are also likely to be awful, before things start to ease again in June as the economy slowly reopens. Large parts of the British economy were placed on ice on March 23 when Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people they must stay inside and only leave the house when absolutely necessary.

The official U.K. death toll is 41,279, second only to the United States.

Read more here.

— Chris York

Arizona Cases Jump 200% In The Last 2 Weeks — 6/22/20, 5:20 p.m. ET

Arizona, one of the earliest states to begin reopening its economy, has seen a 200% jump in coronavirus infections in the last two weeks, according to data collected by NPR.

New positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all on the rise in Arizona after the state eased major shelter-in-place orders in mid-May, allowing gyms, spas, movie theaters, restaurants and bars to reopen without releasing strict guidelines on how people should maintain their safety.

NPR’s analysis found that the state is averaging more than 1,000 new cases per day.  

“We weren’t ready to reopen,” Dr. Matthew Heinz, an internist at Tucson Medical Center, told ABC News on Thursday. “We hadn’t met the criteria set down by the WHO or the CDC to even begin to look at reopening the state, but political leadership pushed us in that direction.”

Arizona is one of 14 states where cases are rising.

—Lydia O’Connor

U.S. Passes 2 Million Coronavirus Cases — 6/11/20, 6 a.m. ET

The U.S. has reported more than 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data Thursday.

The grim milestone comes as states continue to reopen, despite rising infection rates. More than 112,000 people have died in the U.S.

President Trump, who has long downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic, has used the opportunity of widespread protests against racism and police brutality as an opportunity to argue for holding rallies again. On Wednesday, his campaign said the first rally since early March would be held in Tulsa on June 19, with plans to visit Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and Texas.

— Liza Hearon

Coachella, Stagecoach Music Festivals Canceled Over Coronavirus Concerns — 6/11/20, 2:25 a.m. ET

The Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals were officially canceled on Wednesday. Organizers had initially re-scheduled the events from April to October when the coronavirus began spreading around the U.S.

Dr. Cameron Kaiser, a public health officer in Riverside County, California, said the popular festivals wouldn’t be able to take place until 2021 at the earliest amid concerns cases of COVID-19 could rebound in the fall. 

“Given the projected circumstances and potential, I would not be comfortable moving forward,” Kaiser said, per The Associated Press.

The 2020 Coachella festival, which takes place over two weekends and attracts up to 125,000 fans with its sister event, Stagecoach, was set to feature Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean, among others.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said music festivals and live sports will be the last in line to reopen under the state’s coronavirus guidelines. They will not be able to resume until there is an effective treatment for the disease.

— Nick Visser

Disneyland Plans To Reopen Next Month ― 6/10/2020, 7 p.m. ET

Disney plans to reopen its Southern California theme parks ― Disneyland and Disney California Adventure ― on July 17, more than four months after they closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The reopening, which is pending government approval, will come with some new rules until further notice: a lower park capacity, reservations to enter, no parades and no character meet-and-greets.

The proposed reopening day falls on the 65th anniversary of the day Disneyland first opened its doors in 1955.

Lydia O’Connor

Hospitalizations On The Rise In Several States Since Memorial Day: Report — 6/10/2020, 8:35 a.m. ET

COVID-19 hospitalizations have been on the rise in at least nine states — including Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Oregon, Arkansas, Mississippi, Utah and Arizona — since Memorial Day weekend, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The data suggests that the rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in these states is occurring for reasons beyond an increase in testing, according to the Post.

Texas, one of the first states to ease its stay-at-home order, has reportedly seen a 36% increase in new cases since Memorial Day on May 25. As of Tuesday, the state has recorded two consecutive days of record-breaking coronavirus hospitalizations, the Post reported.

Health experts have warned that mass gatherings, such as the anti-lockdown protests that began in mid-April and the anti-racism protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day, could lead to new outbreaks of the virus. They’ve encouraged attendees to wear masks and socially distance as much as possible during these demonstrations.

The United States has recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world with nearly 2 million as of Wednesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 112,000 coronavirus-linked deaths have been reported nationwide.

— Hayley Miller


 
 
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