Millions of Americans told to stay home for July 4 celebrations as eight states hit record high coronavirus cases – The Sun
MILLIONS of Americans have been urged to stay at home for 4th July celebrations following major surges in coronavirus cases across eight states.
The US reported 52,609 new coronavirus cases yesterday – and officials fear that the figures will only get higher as Americans prepare for Independence Day holiday weekend.
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North Carolina, Alaska and Texas have hit all-time high daily records, with Texas reaching more than 8,000 new infections.
Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho and Oklahoma are also among the eight states which have hit daily records – as the US death toll from the virus reaches near 130,000.
President Trump has attributed the surging daily case numbers to a 'great' expansion of coronavirus testing in the US.
The number of test run Tuesday, June 30, was nearly double the number of tests run on May 30, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.
But the number of daily cases has now far surpassed what was thought to be the pandemic's peak, in April.
Public health experts warn that, although the number of people dying each day is down significantly, these increases typically lag behind case increases, with one recent study estimating a 17-day delay.
Warnings have been put in place as Independence Day celebrations are set to happen this weekend.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control in South Carolina has said that the safest way to celebrate is by staying at home – whilst urging people to avoid group gatherings.
Public Health Director Dr. Joan Duwve said: "While we celebrate our country’s birthday, please help your communities, especially those who are at increased risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
DAILY RECORDS HIT
"If we all pledge to wear our face masks, stay six feet apart, and wash our hands often, together we will reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives."
California has locked down 223,000 beaches as Los Angeles has banned all firework displays to prevent 'dangerous' crowds gathering on 4 July.
The state reported 9,740 new cases yesterday – which obliterated the previous all-time single-day record of 7,149.
An additional 110 deaths were also reported yesterday.
The dramatic surge in cases prompted LA County to shut down the beaches – as 2,900 cases were reported on 29 June.
As a result, all public beaches, piers, parking lots, beach bike paths and beach access points will also be temporarily closed from July 3-6.
The new order makes it illegal to trespass and fines of $1,000 could be issued.
Arizona is following similar trends, with new lockdown rules shutting bars, movie theatres and gyms as their case numbers double from last week.
In a desperate bid to reverse the trend of Covid-19 rampaging through Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey signed an Executive Order to prohibit large gatherings of more than 50 people.
In Florida, which had more than 6,500 new cases on Wednesday, Miami's biggest public hospital announced that it would stop non-urgent elective surgeries in order to deal with the strain of COVID-19 patients.
On Tuesday, Delaware ordered some of its beach towns shut down their bars after a recent spike in cases.
More than 11,500 people in Delaware have now tested positive for coronavirus and the state announced 95 new cases Tuesday. Over the weekend, 270 new cases were diagnosed.
Delaware Governor John Carney's order was met with protests in at least one town. Citizens in Dover took to the streets brandishing signs that read "enough is enough."
The re-closures come just before the July 4th weekend, which would have been a boon to businesses, especially in beachfront towns, where bars will now have to shut their doors.
INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS
Like Delaware, Alaska's total number of cases is low compared to more populous states like California or Texas, but the recent uptick is disturbing.
Texas has also rolled back its reopening just before the big weekend, as Governor Greg Abbot announced a number of new, but modest, restrictions.
Bars or restaurants that gross most of their income from alcohol must close at noon, and dine-in restaurants are allowed to stay open, but only at 50 per cent occupancy.
All river rafting and tubing businesses were ordered closed, and outdoor gatherings of more than 50 people must now get permission from local authorities to proceed.
He stopped short, however, of re-issuing full closures or stay-at-home orders.
Local public health authorities in Austin, Texas, are urging residents to stay in their homes over the Independence Day holiday weekend, amid the surge in cases and hospitalisation from Covid-19.
Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority Mark Escott said: "We are still at a critical phase in the pandemic.
"The cases continue to increase in a manner that we just cannot sustain.
"We cannot afford the missteps right now, not this weekend.
"The consequences will be dire."
With 2,119,036 total tests run and 159,986 cases, the state of Texas now current rough positivity rate is 7.5 per cent.
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