Coronavirus updates: Cases surge in Sunbelt states; Treasury may delay tax deadline; Trump visiting NJ despite order quarantine order

Coronavirus updates: Cases surge in Sunbelt states; Treasury may delay tax deadline; Trump visiting NJ despite order quarantine order

The U.S. recorded a one-day total of 34,720 new confirmed cases, the highest level since late April, when the number peaked at 36,400, according to a database kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile, California, Texas and Florida are breaking records in the number of new daily cases. California Gov. Gavin Newsom reported Wednesday 7,149 people tested positive, a record number for the nation's largest state.

In Florida, with 5,508 new infections reported Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he won't order people to wear masks to curb the spread of the virus. In Texas, 5,551 new cases were reported Wednesday.

In a series of TV interviews Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the state is facing a “massive outbreak" and its ability to remain open for business depends on efforts by Texans to follow social distancing guidelines.

“People need to take this serious. People need to take responsive actions to control the spread,” Abbott said.

Here are the most significant developments of the day:

The White House says President Donald Trump will still travel to New Jersey this weekend, CNN reports, despite the state's new mandatory quarantine for visitors who've come from areas with significant community spread. In addition to New Jersey, New York and Connecticut are directing travelers from states with high rates of COVID-19 to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival.Organizers upended the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, as they told state delegations not to travel to Milwaukee, moved the convention to a smaller venue and added satellite events around the country.U.S. stocks posted their worst day in nearly two weeks Wednesday amid worries over the prospects of a quick economic recovery as coronavirus cases jumped, coupled with projections that the global recession will be worse than initially thought.

📈Today's stats on the coronavirus: Worldwide infections have surpassed 9.3 million, with 2.3 million in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 479,000 people have died worldwide, with more than 121,000 deaths in the U.S.

Our live blog will be updated throughout the day. For first-in-the-morning updates, sign up for The Daily Briefing.

DNC announces sweeping changes to convention amid pandemic

Organizers upended the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, as they told state delegations not to travel to Milwaukee, moved the convention to a smaller venue and added satellite events around the country.

But even as Democrats downsize their convention, they say former Vice President Joe Biden will still formally accept the nomination in Milwaukee. The decision to overhaul plans for the August 17-20 convention came after consulting with public health officials about the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers said.

The moves by the Democrats stand in stark contrast to the Republicans, who shifted their main convention events from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida, after North Carolina officials couldn't promise that social distancing rules would not be in effect.

— Mary Spicuzza and Bill Glauber

COVID-19's surge in Sunbelt states shows the virus, not testing, to blame

President Donald Trump blames the rising number of COVID-19 cases on increased testing and suggests case counts would drop with fewer tests. But infectious disease and public health experts dispute that claim, saying the surge in coronavirus cases in Sunbelt states reflects a potentially dangerous new phase of the pandemic.

Arizona, California and Texas reported record-high new daily coronavirus cases this week, as case counts continue to rise in more than half of U.S. states. Several states individually now have more cases than the entire European Union.

— Ken Alltucker and Karen Weintraub

Treasury may consider delaying tax deadline to Sept. 15

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin left the door open to extending the July 15 tax deadline for a second time to Sept. 15, as Americans and businesses continue to grapple with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

"As of now, we’re not intending on doing that, but it is something that we may consider," Mnuchin said in an interview at the Bloomberg Invest Global 2020 virtual summit. "I would encourage all Americans, if you can file, go ahead and do it, particularly if you think you have a refund."

The U.S. Treasury already pushed back the traditional April 15 deadline for federal 2019 income tax returns to mid-July, giving Americans three months longer to file their taxes. States, however, may have different deadlines.

— Jessica Menton

What we're reading

New coronavirus health concern as colleges reopen: Contaminated water sitting in pipesThree newborns in Mexico have tested positive for coronavirus in what officials confirm is the first such case in a set of triplets.'Most helpless feeling you've ever felt':Kentucky nursing home fought to keep residents aliveOuch! COVID-19 is forcing some people to put retirement on hold

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut issue travel advisory

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will direct travelers from states with high rates of COVID-19 to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival.

The Democratic governors of the three states held a joint news conference to announce the travel advisory Wednesday, six days after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo first threatened to put it in place.

Here's what to know about the quarantine order.

— Jon Campbell, New York State Team

Target increases store hours, senior shopping time to continue

After three months of operating with reduced hours due to COVID-19, Target has increased store hours by 60 minutes at most stores across the nation.

Most locations “are now back to closing at 10 p.m.,” the retailer posted on its COVID-19 response page, adding that shoppers can find the latest hours for specific locations on its store locator.

Stores continue to set aside time twice a week for senior shoppers age 65 and older, pregnant women and those defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as vulnerable or at-risk.

— Kelly Tyko

More on the coronavirus from USA TODAY

How is your summer going amid the pandemic? 🌴 We want to hear from you, especially if you are caring for loved ones. Your story could be featured in our daily news podcast, 5 Things. To share your story, go to Choose the first prompt, follow the instructions, and record a brief audio message.

Coronavirus Watch: Come together and share the latest information about coronavirus, coping with lifestyle changes and emotions and more. Join our Facebook group.

Decades of love: This couple celebrated 74 years of marriage during quarantine.

Timeline: It's been five months since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced what was thought to be the first confirmed coronavirus case in the U.S. Read how the pandemic unfolded here.

Contributing: Nicole Cobler, Austin American-Statesman; Jane Msgrave, The Palm Beach Post


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