* US federal government starts to roll back testing program * Americans urged to stick to guidelines as several states hit by increasesThe US has recorded a one-day total of 34,700 new Covid-19 cases, the highest level since late April, when the number peaked at 36,400, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University.A coronavirus resurgence is wiping out two months of progress in the US and sending infections to worrying new levels in southern and western states.Administrators and health experts warned on Wednesday that politicians and a public that, in many cases, is tired of being cooped up are letting a disaster unfold.While new infections have been declining steadily in early hotspots such as New York and New Jersey, several other states set single-day records this week, including Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma.North Carolina and South Carolina joined some other states in breaking hospitalization records.“People got complacent,” said Marc Boom, the chief executive of the Houston Methodist hospital system. “And it’s coming back and biting us, quite frankly.”With the US death toll creeping towards 122,000 on Wednesday, and confirmed cases at almost 2.4 million for the US, a widely-cited University of Washington computer model of the outbreak projected nearly 180,000 deaths by 1 October.Stocks slid on Wall Street as the news dampened hopes for a quick economic turnaround. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 700 points for a drop of 2.7%. The broader S&P 500 fell 2.6%.Experts urged Americans to continue following guidelines to stop the spread of coronavirus as, in total, seven states reported record-high hospitalizations and 19 others saw new cases rising compared to last week.The increase is hitting states which eased lockdown restrictions in the past month. The federal government is also starting to roll back testing programs, including in states most affected by the resurgence in cases.The record-high hospitalizations indicate the rise in cases is not simply because of increased testing, a point confirmed by the leading public health expert on the White House coronavirus task force, Anthony Fauci, and in sharp contrast to views put forward by Donald Trump.Dr Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA commissioner, said on Wednesday he expected that hospitals in Texas, California, Florida and Arizona would need to again suspend elective surgeries in order to have capacity to deal with coronavirus patients.“They’re going to be on a trajectory to get overwhelmed again,” Gottlieb said on CNBC.Epidemiologist Caitlin Rivers warned the national case count is going in the “wrong direction”.Rivers, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said in addition to her concerns about the increase in hospitalizations, she was worried about the higher percentage of positive tests.“In some ways this feels worse than April, because at least then there was energy around gaining control,” Rivers tweeted. “I sense less of that now.”Rivers is one of several public health experts to express concern that people are taking public health guidance less seriously though the threat of infection remains.States across the US have eased lockdown restrictions, but with inconsistent policies on what can open, where crowds can gather and how much these rules are enforced. Outside a Trump rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, few people wore masks and social distancing guidelines were ignored.Despite eased restrictions across the country, it is still important to follow local health guidance. This includes wearing masks, frequent hand washing and isolating if experiencing Covid-19 symptoms.> The safest place for you is at your home> > Greg AbbottTexasgovernor Greg Abbott urged people to stay at home, as a children’s hospital in Houston was forced to admit adults because of increasing coronavirus cases. Texas began lifting its shutdowns on 1 May and hospitalizations have doubled and new cases have tripled in two weeks. Abbott told local station KFDA-TV that the state is facing a “massive outbreak”.Meanwhile on Wednesday, California reported over 7,100 new cases in 24 hours, an all-time high. Florida’s single-day count surged to 5,500, a 25% jump from the record set last week and triple the level of two weeks ago.Amid the increase in cases, the Trump administration is ending funding and support for 13 testing sites in states including Texas this month, local officials told Talking Points Memo.Rocky Vaz, the director of emergency management for the city of Dallas, told the website that the city had asked the federal government to extend the testing program but it refused.Testing is crucial for monitoring the spread of the illness and for helping people to know when to isolate and warn others of possible exposure.Republican senator John Cornyn of Texas offered a rare rebuke of the president from the GOP over the president’s decision to wind down funding for testing sites – including some in Texas.“I know there’s concern, concern I share, over some of the statements being made about withdrawing federal support for coronavirus testing in Texas at the end of June,” Cornyn said. “It’s pretty clear to me, and I think it’s clear to all of us, that with the uptick of cases, now is not a time to retreat from our vigilance in testing.”He called on the White House to extend federal support for Texas, “at least until we get this most recent uptick in cases addressed”.And a spokesman for Ted Cruz, the other Republican senator of Texas, told NBC News that he “has urged and will continue to urge [health officials] to extend the community testing sites in Texas”.
The prison Joe Exotic is currently being held at is the second leading hotbed for coronavirus in the entire federal prison system — but not to worry … Uncle Sam’s got a plan. The ‘Tiger King’ star has been locked up at FMC Forth Worth in Texas,…
(Bloomberg) — New York City reported a record 824 deaths from the coronavirus in 24 hours, a grim reminder that despite flattening infection curves and lower hospital admissions, the health crisis in the largest U.S. city is far from over.Statewide, the fatality rate has worsened by the day. New York reported 799 new deaths on Thursday, on top of about 1,500 in the prior two days. Total coronavirus deaths in the state now exceed 7,000.The city and state take snapshots of the virus’s effects at different times during the day, which may account for the discrepancy showing more deaths in the city than in the state. Spokesmen for the mayor and the governor didn’t have an immediate explanation.The latest spike in deaths, which lag as an indicator of the virus’s spread, comes as the rate of hospitalizations in the city and state is dropping sharply.At his daily virus briefing on Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said there had been only 200 net new hospitalizations over 24 hours, the lowest number since the crisis broke out. That number had been as high as 1,400 just a week ago. Likewise, the rate of new intensive-care admissions and intubations — when patients are put on a ventilator — also plummeted.But New York State also reported more than 10,600 new positive cases on Wednesday, a second day above 10,000 after multiple days when the number was trending downward. At more than 159,000 infections, New York’s cases have now eclipsed those of Spain and Italy. It’s unknown how many people have been infected but never tested.About 18,000 people in the state are hospitalized for the virus. If New York is indeed reaching a plateau, the statistics suggest that the state will need far less hospital capacity than it raced to build at the onset of the crisis.After early models predicted a wave as big as 135,000 coronavirus patients, New York nearly doubled its hospital capacity to about 90,000 beds, with hospitals filling hallways, lobbies and conference rooms with them. If the spread continues to slow, the question may become what to do with the excess capacity the state no longer needs.That wasn’t a question Cuomo was prepared to answer on Thursday, saying it was too early to begin making such assessments.“I don’t want to get into a retrospective when we’re in the middle of the game,” Cuomo said. But he added: “The expert models were all off.”He urged New Yorkers to continue practicing social distancing, noting that the curve could begin trending up again if people become complacent and that the state needed to prepare for potential additional waves of the virus.“We’re in a battle right, but this is about a war,” Cuomo said.Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that the apparent flattening of the infection curve might mean that the city could reach a second phase as early as June that would relax restrictions on movement outside the home. That would require much wider testing and continued adherence to some level of social distancing, he said.The mayor gave no estimates for when, or under what conditions, businesses, schools, courts, restaurants or theaters could reopen.“If we do things right and get testing we can make steady progress,” de Blasio said. “If we don’t do things right or get thrown a curve ball we may have to tighten restrictions further.”The city death toll reached 4,426 on Thursday morning, up from more than 3,600 the previous day. Confirmed cases totaled roughly 84,000, up about 6,400 from 24 hours earlier.As the caseloads stabilize and then decrease, city officials plan to isolate mildly symptomatic patients in hotel rooms while they fight off the virus to prevent them from infecting others in their households, de Blasio said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that no victim of the coronavirus has died because the state could not provide health care for them, even as New York posted its highest number of deaths in one day."You can't save everyone. This virus is very good at what it does, and it kills vulnerable people," Cuomo said at his daily briefing providing updates on the outbreak. "The question is, are you saving everyone you can save? And there the answer is yes, and I take some solace in that fact.""Our health care system is operating. I don’t believe we’ve lost a single person because we couldn’t provide care," the Democratic governor continued. "People we lost we couldn’t save despite our best efforts."A record 731 New Yorkers died between Monday and Tuesday, Cuomo reported. He cautioned that the death rate is a "lagging indicator," meaning that those who died are often sick for weeks before they pass. More than 138,000 people in the state have been infected with the respiratory illness, with 8,157 new positive cases on Tuesday, the lowest rate in a week. The number of patients being hospitalized and moved to intensive care has dropped as well.The governor warned Thursday that New York state only had enough ventilators for six days and was considering how to increase the supply. The state released 400 ventilators to New York City a day earlier. Cuomo has worked to get as many ventilators as possible to the city, which has emerged as the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak with nearly half the total deaths in the country. On Friday, the governor issued an executive order allowing the state to take ventilators and personal protective equipment from hospitals and transfer them to places that need them.New York has also received medical equipment from other states and countries, including Oregon and China, where the coronavirus outbreak originated.