This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Saturday, July 11th, 2020. Previous daily updates can be found here, and up-to-date statistics are here.
New York City is in Phase 3 of reopening now, which includes nail salons, tattoo parlors, and massage facilities as well as recreation like tennis and basketball courts; dog runs are also reopening. A look at preparing for the spread of coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is our regularly updated coronavirus FAQ. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.
Here's the latest:
- Texas Governor Says Lockdown Is Possible With Spike In Cases And Lack Of Mask-Wearing
- Unemployed New Yorkers Brace For End Of $600 Weekly Federal Help
- Can’t Wait For The Museums? Many NYC Galleries Are Now Reopening To The Public
- How Do You Feel About New York City's Plan To Reopen Public Schools? Tell Us About It
1:15 p.m. Starting this weekend, concession stands at state beaches and lakes will reopen with restrictions, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced.
Jones Beach, along with Robert Moses, Sunken Meadow, Lake Welch and Harriman state parks will see concessionaires serving up fast food bites for visitors after Cuomo consulted with state Health Department commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker and local stakeholders on safety protocols for the stands.
"We made this decision based on facts and science, and in recognition that these concessions are largely outdoors and are similar to other businesses we have allowed to open with precautions as part of NY Forward. As always, New Yorkers and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear face masks as appropriate, and local governments will be actively monitoring to ensure compliance," said Cuomo in a statement.
State beaches reopened in May just before Memorial Day after Cuomo spoke with his counterparts in New Jersey and Connecticut. Mayor Bill de Blasio allowed beaches to reopen for swimming on July 1st.
Texas Governor Says Lockdown Is Possible With Spike In Cases And Lack Of Mask-Wearing
9:30 a.m. The United States has apparently broken another record of new COVID-19 infections. The New York Times reports that, according to its data, cases rose above 68,000 on Friday, writing, "On June 24, the country announced 37,014 new cases, breaking a single-day record that had stood for two months. By Friday, just 16 days later, the peak was at least 84 percent higher."
The Times' database says there are more than 3,199,600 cases, with at least 133,900 deaths; the Johns Hopkins University data has cases at 3,184,722 and deaths at 134,097.
In Texas, where cases have surged in recent weeks (240,111 cases/3,013 deaths per the state's dashboard; 249,448 cases/3,129 deaths by the Times' data), Governor Greg Abbott raised the possibility of completely locking down the state to control the spread of coronavirus.
"[I]f we do not all join together and unite in this one cause for a short period of time, of adopting a mask, what it will lead to is the necessity of having to close Texas back down," he said in an interview with CBS 19. "That should be the last thing that any government wants — the last thing that any business owner wants. Your business owners in Tyler — in Longview, they should be demanding that their government officials enforce this face mask order now to make sure they will be able to stay open. And the only way those businesses are going to stay open is to make sure people wear masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus."
Many counties aren't enforcing Abbott's statewide mask order. Hugh Reed, the top administrator for rural Armstrong County, told the Texas Tribune, "I think it's an insult to Texans to be required to do something they should have discretion for."
Abbott's mandate allowed counties to opt out if they had fewer than 20 cases; the Texas Tribune reports, "In Montgomery County, which has a population of over 600,000 and has reported more than 2,700 coronavirus cases so far, the sheriff's office said July 3 that it would not take action on the mask rule."
The number of intensive care beds available in Texas has dropped below 1,000 for the first time since mid-March; there are nearly 10,000 people hospitalized.
The mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, announced on Friday that the city would be rolling back its reopening to Phase 1—which would close restaurants and non-essential businesses—as Georgia recorded nearly 5,000 new cases on Friday, a new record for the state.
"Based upon the surge of COVID-19 cases and other data trends, pursuant to the recommendations of our Reopening Advisory Committee, Atlanta will return to Phase I of our reopening plan," Bottoms said. "Georgia reopened in a reckless manner and the people of our city and state are suffering the consequences."
However, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp's office says his order supersedes Bottoms' mandate, making the rollback unenforceable. Georgia's stay-at-home order expired on April 30th. The state now has 103,597 cases and 2,915 deaths; its cases-per-100,000 residents rate is 976, which is higher than California's, with 788, according to the Times.
On Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he believed infections would increase in the state. New York has had more than 400,000 cases, with a little more than half in New York City; the statewide and city positivity rates have been around 1.0-1.5 percent over the past weeks.
Cuomo has offered to send ventilators and hard-hit states likeArizona, Texas, and Florida, but also admitted despite his efforts—like the quarantine for those coming from states with spikes in cases—are imperfect to containing the spread."It’s gonna come back here. It’s like being on a merry-go-round," Cuomo said. "I can feel it coming."