Blog Archive


US deaths surpass 1,000 for second straight day, hospitalizations near record; California scrambles for protective gear

The daily U.S. death toll surpassed 1,000 for the second straight day and hospitalizations were again peaking as the paralyzing coronavirus pandemic showed little sign of easing Thursday.

The Johns Hopkins University data dashboard reported 1,195 U.S. deaths Wednesday, high by standards of recent weeks but still only half of the daily toll during the outbreak’s deadly peak in the spring. The Covid Tracking Project, however, showed almost 60,000 people are currently hospitalized, less than 200 short of the highest totals from April. 

The scary numbers could continue to drive unemployment claims as states pause reopening their economies amid the surge. Economists estimate the U.S. Department of Labor will report more than 1 million jobless claims Thursday.

Worldwide confirmed cases topped 15 million late Wednesday as the Trump administration placed an order for 100 million doses of a vaccine candidate being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, a German firm.


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GOP senators consider $600 extension; US orders 100 million vaccine doses from Pfizer; California cases top NY

The U.S. government has placed an initial order for 100 million doses of a vaccine candidate being developed by Pfizer and a German firm, BioNTech, for $1.95 billion, the companies announced Wednesday.

The U.S. can acquire up to 500 million additional doses, the statement said.

Meanwhile, federal unemployment benefits are taking a hit at a time when more states are abruptly pausing their reopening plans. The $600 weekly jobless benefits bonus, approved in March, is about to expire and likely won’t be extended or replaced before next month.

The U.S. has been averaging more than 60,000 new cases daily for multiple weeks, and hospitalizations have climbed to totals not seen in three months. A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Tuesday shows 10 states set seven-day records for new cases while five states had a record number of deaths over the period.

📈 Today’s stats: The U.S.

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California high school sports forced into three-month delay

The coronavirus pandemic prompted California to spike all fall high school sports on Monday, in favor of a new calendar that will compact all games, like football, into a few winter and spring months.

The California Interscholastic Federation, which regulates high school sports, won’t stage any games in any sports until at least December, officials said.

The new calendar would mean football — a staple of fall Friday nights across America’s largest state — would be played in the spring with the last game played no later than April 17, 2021, the CIF announced.

CIF Southern Section Commissioner Rob Wigod admitted the calendar is not ideal. But because so many California schools have said they’re going to start the fall term with just online instruction, this was the only option short of canceling whole seasons.

“The alternative would be to just cancel an entire season or seasons, In other words,

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California Governor Gavin Newsom Orders Majority Of State’s Schools To Close Campuses, Move To Virtual Instruction Only; Los Angeles County Will Follow Newsom’s Lead

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At his Friday news conference, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered counties on the state’s coronavirus watch list to shut down school campuses this fall, at least to begin the school year. The 32 counties on the list — which include Los Angeles and most of Southern California — must switch to virtual instruction only. The state’s two largest districts, Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified, had already announced plans to begin the new academic year with online-only courses.

The mandate applies to private as well as public schools, according to Newsom.

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In order to physically reopen schools, counties will have to meet the state’s attestation requirements. Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Diego and Riverside counties are on the watch list.

Shortly after Newsom’s accouncement, the L.A. County Department of Public Health announced it would follow the governor’s order,


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More than half of all states, including California and Michigan, pause reopening or take steps to halt the spread of COVID-19

A week after the United States surpassed 3,000,000 coronavirus cases — around a quarter of the world’s cases and deaths — the coronavirus pandemic continues unabated. 

Governors and other leaders in states including California, Texas and Michigan continue to grapple with plans to reopen their economies – or slow them down again – amid this severe uptick in cases. Twenty-five states have taken action to cut down on skyrocketing COVID-19 cases.

Among measures on the table: shutting down high-capacity businesses such as bars and gyms, halting elective surgeries and requiring people to wear masks. 

Here is a look at which states have paused their reopening or taken other steps. This list is continually updated.


After days of an “alarming” upward climb in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced she will enforce a statewide mask order starting July 16. 

Ivey had previously said she believed a statewide

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‘A selfish mindset.’ Coronavirus cases spike among young adults in California, Sacramento

A growing majority of coronavirus cases in Sacramento County is being reported among young adults. And health officials think birthday parties and graduations may be to blame.

Members of the millennial and “Gen Z” generations – typically those under the age of 39 – make up more than half of Sacramento County’s coronavirus infections, data from local health officials show. The number of those infected in those age groups is on the rise: of the 2,379 new COVID-19 cases reported over the past 12 days in Sacramento, more than 1,400 — about 60 percent — have been in people under the age of 40.

Since the start of the pandemic, over 3,100 of the 5,938 people who’ve tested positive for the coronavirus in Sacramento County have been under 40, according to the county health department’s coronavirus dashboard.

The trend is also playing out in nearby counties. As of Monday, 61

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How California went from a rapid reopening to a second closing in one month

Hannah Mikus demonstrates how to administer a coronavirus self-test to drivers at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in South Los Angeles. <span class="copyright">(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Hannah Mikus demonstrates how to administer a coronavirus self-test to drivers at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in South Los Angeles. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Two months ago, California looked like a coronavirus success story.

The first-in-the-nation stay-at-home order helped the state avoid the explosion of cases and deaths that New York and New Jersey had experienced, and officials said it was safe to begin reopening the economy.

But the last six weeks have been a disaster. Coronavirus cases have spiked, along with hospitalizations. In a few counties, hospitals are approaching capacity.

Schools in Los Angeles and San Diego as well as parts of the Bay Area say they won’t open campuses for in-person learning this fall. And many of the businesses that were allowed to reopen in May — shopping malls, indoor dining establishments, bars, movie theaters — are again closed in many

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2 biggest California districts say school will start online

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles and San Diego school districts, the two largest in California with a combined K-12 student population of about 720,000, announced Monday they won’t bring students back to classrooms next month because of rising coronavirus hospitalizations and infection rates.

School leaders said there is too much uncertainty surrounding the safety of students and staff to try to return pupils to classrooms right away so they will continue the distance learning that was employed for the final months of the spring semester.

“There’s a public health imperative to keep schools from becoming a petri dish,” said Austin Beutner, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District — the second-largest public school district in the country. “The health and safety of all in the school community is not something we can compromise.”

In a letter to parents, Cindy Marten, superintendent of the San Diego Unified School

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U.S. Cases Rise 2%; California Shuts Indoor Dining: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

California closed indoor dining and bars, and its two biggest school districts said they would offer remote learning only despite calls by the Trump administration for classrooms to fully reopen. The state reported a record number of people hospitalized with coronavirus.

New York City will redouble efforts to educate young people about the importance of wearing masks and keeping socially distant after an increase in cases among those ages 20 to 29.

Hong Kong reported 41 new local cases, another record high, and tightened social-distancing measures amid fears of a resurgence after weeks of near-normal activity. More than half a million residents defied the fresh outbreak and government warnings to vote in an unofficial primary.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 12.9 million; deaths surpass 570,000New York school reopenings will hinge on regional infection ratesCoronavirus surge is officially slowing the U.S. recoveryDeath rate in majority-Black counties is getting

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LA and San Diego school districts will start fall classes online only; California orders statewide closures

Two of the largest school districts in the U.S., the Los Angeles and San Diego unified school districts, said Monday that their academic years will start with only online instruction, as California continues to fight a surge of COVID-19 cases.  

The districts made the announcement in a joint statement and said their academic calendars will begin as scheduled – Aug. 18 for Los Angeles and Aug. 31 for San Diego. The statement added that both districts will plan to resume in-person learning “as soon as public health conditions allow.”

Also on Monday, Florida reported another alarming number of new coronavirus, as President Donald Trump displayed his frustration with the CDC and the World Health Organization’s director warned that the global pandemic is worsening.

“We need to reach a sustainable situation where we have adequate control of this virus without shutting down our lives entirely,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday, adding

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