Coronavirus cases shot up in states across the country this week as the U.S. saw its highest single-day increase in new confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
Texas and Florida continued to pump the brakes on reopening plans Friday, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom urged one county to reinstate its stay-at-home order amid a surge in cases there.
Amid the resurgence, the White House Coronavirus Task Force held its first public briefing in nearly two months Friday, urging young adults to follow public health guidance for containing the COVID-19 outbreak.
The increase in cases isn't due to an increase in testing, health officials say.
Here are the most significant developments of the day:Stocks capped a volatile week with steep losses Friday as coronavirus cases in the U.S. surged.Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday announced another round of restrictions, including closing bars and limiting restaurant occupancy. And in Florida, bars on Friday were prohibited from allowing alcohol consumption.The federal government will continue to fund community testing sites across Texas, Abbott announced Friday. The sites were due to stop receiving funding at the end of the month.In their first public briefing since April 27, White House Coronavirus Task Force officials pleaded with adults under 40 to act responsibly to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Vice President Mike Pence did not wear a mask during the news conference.
📈Today's stats: Worldwide infections have surpassed 9.7 million, with more than 2.4 million in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 492,000 people have died worldwide, with more than 124,000 deaths in the U.S.
📰 What we're reading: Startling, never-before-seen images show that the new coronavirus hijacks proteins in our cells to create monstrous tentacles that branch out and may transmit infection to neighboring cells.
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Dow drops 730 points, caps week with losses as virus cases surge
Stocks capped a volatile week with steep losses Friday as coronavirus cases in the U.S. surged to a daily record, dimming the prospects of a quick economic recovery after some states paused their reopening efforts in the wake of more outbreaks.
Investors are looking ahead to a possible rebound from the deepest global downturn since the 1930s and trying to buy companies that will thrive after the pandemic ends, analysts say. But they warn the market rise might be too fast and too early to be sustained by an uncertain economic outlook.
The Dow Jones industrial average shed 730.05 points, or 2.8%, to 25,015.55, erasing all of Thursday's gains after the blue-chip average jumped 300 points as regulators loosened some financial regulations on banks.
– Jessica Menton
Infections up in some hot areas
New coronavirus infections are surging in some of America’s hottest places. Florida on Friday became the second state, after New York, to report more than 8,900 new cases in a single day. But New York’s high was back in April.
That report came as Florida neared an all-time heat record. Sun-baked Texas and Arizona are also getting hit particularly hard by coronavirus. Outside the U.S., crippling outbreaks are underway in such sweltering places as India and Mexico.
President Donald J. Trump suggested several times starting last winter that coronavirus would dissipate as warm temperatures came in April. “The virus that we’re talking about having to do, a lot of people think that goes away in April, with the heat, as the heat comes in, typically that will go away in April,” Trump told governors in February, The New York Times reported.
Instead, April was the deadliest month, claiming the lives of 57,723 Americans, Johns Hopkins University data indicate.
– Mike Stucka
New Jersey says 1,854 additional residents likely died of coronavirus
New Jersey added 1,854 people to its official toll after counting them as probable COVID-19 deaths. The deaths occurred throughout the pandemic, but all the previously uncounted fatalities were included in Thursday’s total – creating an artificial one-day spike in national death numbers.
“We report this out of nothing else than a solemn sense of duty," Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday. "For many families we hope these determinations will provide a sense of closure and of finally knowing. For our state, I hope it steels our resolve to do all that we can to save every single life that we can save.”
The state previously counted lab-confirmed cases. The newly released numbers add people whose deaths included COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 or novel coronavirus on the death certificates. They also include people who died in known outbreaks, like those in nursing homes, but without tests; and people who received an early but no-longer accepted coronavirus test, Gannett New Jersey reported.
On Wednesday, data reported from Johns Hopkins University said America recorded 754 deaths in one day; with New Jersey’s deaths reported Thursday, the count leaped to 2,425. Though relatively few of those deaths actually occurred recently, it’s the single-largest increase in coronavirus deaths since April 29 in the Johns Hopkins data.
– Stacey Barchenger and Mike Stucka
California urges one county to re-institute stay-at-home order
Gov. Gavin Newsom is urging Imperial County to "pull back" and reinstate its stay-at-home order amid a surge in positive coronavirus tests there and through much of the state.
About 23% of people tested in the Southern California county, which borders the Mexican state of Baja California, are positive for COVID-19, according to Dr. Sonia Angell, director of the California Department of Public Health and state health officer.
That rate is "particularly concerning," Angell said Friday afternoon. The state places counties on a watch list if more than 10% of people test positive.
– Rebecca Plevin and Mark Olalde, Palm Springs Desert Sun
16 NBA players test positive for COVID-19
Sixteen NBA players of 302 tested positive for the coronavirus, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association said in a joint news release Friday.
"Any player who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until he satisfies public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and has been cleared by a physician," both organizations said in a statement.
Teams started mandatory testing for players Tuesday, and Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Indiana’s Malcolm Brogdon and Sacramento’s Jabari Parker were among those who have tested positive.
– Jeff Zillgitt
What we're readingHow long can the virus live on surfaces? There's new research on the topic.Like the idea of an empty middle seat when flying? Don't get used to it.Take this quiz: Are you ready to join the COVID-19 world?
Trump administration extends funding for testing sites in Texas
The federal government will continue to fund community testing sites across Texas as the state sees record-breaking increases in new daily coronavirus cases, Gov. Greg Abbott announced in a press statement Friday.
The Trump administration had planned to end federal funding of 13 coronavirus testing sites in five states on June 30 in favor of a "more sustainable model" done in coordination with the states and retail and pharmacy partnerships, according to a senior administration official earlier this week.
The sites – in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas – were originally expected to stop receiving funding in May but received a 30-day extension. Texas is home to seven of the sites.
Task force urges adults under 40 to act more responsibly; Pence doesn't wear face mask
Administration officials pleaded with adults under 40 on Friday to act responsibly to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In the first public meeting of the White House Coronavirus Task Force since late April, several administration officials said the rising number of cases in states like Florida, Texas and Arizona suggest that younger adults are not following public health guidance for containing the COVID-19 outbreak.
Healthy young people are less likely to suffer the worst symptoms of COVID-19, but they can still infect others – numbers suggest that everyone who catches the virus infects at least one other person, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. And some of those people will be vulnerable to breathing struggles, organ failure, immune overreaction and even death from COVID-19, he said.
Vice President Mike Pence did not wear a mask during the news conference. Health officials in attendance, including Fauci, wore masks except when speaking at the microphone.
– Elizabeth Weise and Karen Weintraub
More on the coronavirus from USA TODAY
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