California has record surge in COVID-19 cases; Arizona clamps down

By Dan Whitcomb and Maria Caspani

California marked a record spike in new COVID-19 infections on Monday, a Reuters tally showed, as Los Angeles reported an "alarming" one-day surge that put it over 100,000 cases.

Los Angeles has become a new epicenter in the pandemic as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge there despite California Governor Gavin Newsom's strict orders requiring bars to close and residents to wear masks in nearly all public spaces.

"The alarming increases in cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations signals that we, as a community, need to take immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19," Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County, said in a statement announcing the sharp rise. "Otherwise, we are quickly moving toward overwhelming our healthcare system and seeing even more devastating illness and death."

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a "hard pause" on when movie theaters, theme parks and other entertainment venues can reopen. Los Angeles County is the biggest movie theater market in the United States.

Los Angeles County said its beaches will be closed for the Independence Day weekend and fireworks displays will be banned.

Statewide positive tests for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, rose by at least 7,418 in California Monday to nearly 223,000, the biggest one-day increase since tracking began. Los Angeles County, with a population of 10 million, has recorded 100,000 cases.

California is among a number of U.S. states including Florida, Texas and Arizona battling a new wave of infections as the nation emerges from weeks of clamp-downs on residents and businesses.


Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Monday ordered the closure of bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters and water parks for at least 30 days. Ducey also delayed the start of public schools until at least Aug 17. "Our expectation is that next week our numbers will be worse," Ducey said at an afternoon news conference. Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Phoenix on Wednesday to discuss efforts to fight the pandemic's resurgence.

Texas and Florida ordered the closure of all their recently reopened bars on Friday.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said on Monday indoor dining will not resume on Thursday as planned and would be postponed indefinitely.

In Kansas, Governor Laura Kelly imposed a statewide mandate requiring the wearing of masks in public spaces, which she said was necessary to avoid another shutdown.

Beaches in Florida's Broward County and Palm Beach County will not open for the July 3-5 holiday weekend, officials said on Sunday, a blow to residents hoping to celebrate Independence Day there. Miami-Dade County has also announced beach closures for the holiday weekend.

AMC, the largest U.S. movie theater chain, on Monday said it was pushing back the reopening of its theaters to July 30 from July 15.

In June, 22 U.S. states reported record increases in new cases, often multiple times, including Alaska, Arkansas, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon and Utah.

Face covering orders have become a political issue, with some Americans, many of them supporters of President Donald Trump, calling them unconstitutional.

The city of Jacksonville, Florida, venue for part of the Republican nominating convention in August, said on Twitter it would be requiring masks in public starting later on Monday.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Monday that Trump "has no problem with masks and to do whatever your local jurisdiction requests."

The New York Times reported on Monday that 43% of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 were linked to nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The paper cited its own tracking database.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


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The United States accounts for about a quarter of all reported coronavirus cases and related deaths worldwide

A failure of leadership at all levels and throughout the population at all levels.

A pox on pandemic deniers, at all levels.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

"That's a recipe for disaster"

Yep. Not reopening is gonna be a disaster.

Reopen with precautions, but reopen. What, you want another Great Depression that's going to kill more people than the virus?

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Those states referenced in the headline include AZ, FL. And Texas. I'm sure all those but the rump Trumpies are just pleased as peach that all that lockin' in place from March was erased by their idiotic Governer's decision to re-open is the slap-dash, devil-may-care way they did.

And I am pretty sure they're gonna punish Republicans this fall for the party's ignorance and callousness.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If the VP says it's okay to wear masks, then everyone should be wearing masks.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday pressed Americans to adopt face masks during a trip to Texas and wore one himself, a sharp turnaround for the administration.

Just recently, Pence was gallivanting around the country without a mask, happy talking the virus wherever he went.

Now, he's all about covering up. A day late and a dollar short, I'd say.

Hey Mike. The rest of the world was putting on masks in February.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Fauci wasnt.

Hey Mike. The rest of the world was putting on masks in February.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

*LaPook, March 8:** There’s a lot of confusion among people, and misinformation, surrounding face masks. Can you discuss that?*

*Fauci:** The masks are important for someone who’s infected to prevent them from infecting someone else… Right now in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks.*

*LaPook:** You’re sure of it? Because people are listening really closely to this.*

*Fauci: **…There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences — people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.*

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Reopen with precautions, says a poster above.

I agree, but if you find that reopening certain businesses, such as bars, lead to substantial spikes in infections, then you have to close them down again. Some businesses are more important than others. Sorry, but if bars and clubs (places where people go to drink alcohol, meet other people, let down their hair and shed their inhibitions) are known to be causing problems, then they should close. I know that means bar and club workers will lose their jobs, and that some bars and clubs will go broke, but that's the sacrifice that as a society you have to make. If and when the Covid-19 is defeated, or at least can be proven to have subsided to a safe level, then either the old ones will reopen, or new bars and clubs will open up in response to market demand. In the meantime pay your unemployed workers a decent living allowance, and assist them to find other work.

No, it's not a perfect solution. In the middle of a pandemic, is there any choice that is?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

And I am pretty sure they're gonna punish Republicans this fall for the party's ignorance and callousness.

I doubt it because most of their supporters are usually even more ignorant!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Makes u wonder 125000 isnt enough for Trump and his band of crackpot supporters.I understand other Countries reopening but when you got that many deaths one would think you need to get control of this virus....anyhow time to go play golf...

2 ( +5 / -3 )


*Los Angeles - ..... is now the epicenter of the covid pandemic in the US?*

"a", not "the". There's a difference. Per the story:

*Los Angeles has become a new epicenter in the pandemic*

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The Avenger - The rest of the world was putting on masks in February.

In February, the rest of the world was still trying obtain masks, and other PPE gear, that was still being horded by China, the original epicenter of the virus from Wuhan.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

In February, the rest of the world was still trying obtain masks, and other PPE gear, that was still being horded by China

Is your point China played Trump's US? Again?

The US shipped millions of masks to China earlier this year, despite warnings from experts that a pandemic was about to hit

5 ( +5 / -0 )

plasticmonkey - "a", not "the". There's a difference. 

How many epicenters can exist at one time?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

BigYen - Yes, most of us.

"Most of us"? Were you elected to represent "most of us", or is this a voluntary position?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

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