deaths

Florida ICUs nearing capacity as deaths spike; Nevada, New Mexico renew restrictions; Kentucky requires masks

A spiking COVID-19 case count in Florida is straining the Sunshine State’s hospital system as nearly half of its intensive care units are at least 90% full, state data shows.

On Thursday, Florida recorded a one-day record of 120 deaths. More than 4,000 people have died there since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mississippi has also seen a recent strain on its hospitals. Five largest medical centers in the have no ICU bed space for new patients – coronavirus or otherwise – and are being forced to turn patients away.

Meanwhile, some states are scaling back reopening guidelines or adding new requirements: Some bars in Nevada will be closing again Friday and restaurants can no longer serve parties more than six people. Kentucky will join the growing list of states that require face coverings in public, too.

In New Mexico, indoor dining at restaurants and breweries will be restricted

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CDC won’t revise guidelines for opening schools; deaths surge in California, Texas; Trump again blames testing

Federal health guidelines for reopening schools across the nation will not be altered despite complaints from President Donald Trump that they are too difficult and expensive, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

Vice President Mike Pence had said Wednesday that the CDC would next week issue “a new set of tools, five different documents that will be giving even more clarity on the guidance going forward.” Documents, yes, new guidelines, no, Redfield told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He also stressed that guidelines are not requirements.

“Our guidelines are our guidelines, but we are going to provide additional reference documents to basically aid communities in trying to open K-through-12s,” Redfield said. “It’s not a revision of the guidelines.”

Also Thursday, Trump again defended the nation’s booming number of coronavirus cases as a function of testing.

“For the 1/100th time, the reason we show so many

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Drug could be ready by summer’s end; Florida orders ‘brick and mortar’ schools to open; 130,000 US deaths

The U.S. coronavirus death toll has surpassed 130,000, but a U.S. pharmaceutical company says it could have initial doses of a drug ready by the end of summer that could treat or even prevent COVID-19.

A $450 million federal contract awarded Regeneron Pharmaceuticals could help get the drug to “many people quickly, hopefully helping to change the course of this deadly and still-raging pandemic,” the company said in a statement.

The news comes as confirmed cases surge across most of the U.S.; Dr. Anthony Fauci said the country is “still knee-deep in the first wave of this.” Arizona is one hot spot: The state surpassed 100,000 cases Monday, and more than 62,000 of the 101,441 reported cases involve people younger than 44, state officials said.

In Florida, another hot spot, the fall semester begins next month for public schools. The state’s education chief ordered school boards to “open brick and

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Coronavirus surges on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, doctors warn deaths underreported

By Oliver Griffin

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Coronavirus cases and deaths are surging along Colombia’s Caribbean coast as the region becomes the epicenter of the pandemic in the Andean country, with doctors warning many deaths are going undetected.

Colombia – Latin America’s third-most populous nation – has officially reported over 113,000 cases of coronavirus and just under 4,000 deaths among its 50 million inhabitants.

The climbing figures pale in comparison with some neighboring countries, with regional giant Brazil exceeding 64,200 deaths on Saturday.

Colombia’s Caribbean region accounts for close to 40% of the country’s reported cases and just over half its deaths, according to an analysis of government data by the World Health Organization (WHO).

President Ivan Duque told Reuters last month his government was escalating its response to the pandemic in the Caribbean region, given the concentration of cases there, after taking strict measures to slow infection in cities like

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Los Angeles, Florida counties to close beaches for July 4th weekend; WHO warns ‘worst is yet to come’; 126K US deaths

As coronavirus cases climbed in the U.S. and across the globe, the World Health Organization director general warned “the worst is yet to come” and European Union leaders were ready to extend the ban on American travelers for at least two more weeks.

Adjustments were being made to help slow spreading of the disease. Jacksonville, Florida, which is scheduled to host the GOP convention, is mandating masks, though it’s not clear for how long. Broadway stages will remain dark through 2020. And beaches in Los Angeles and several Florida counties will be closed for Fourth of July weekend as cases surge.

Also, a drug company’s steep price for remdesivir, a drug that has shortened recovery times for severe COVID-19 patients by about 31%, is drawing criticism.

Some good news? The nation’s leading infectious diseases expert remains “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine could be widely available by year’s end.

Here are

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