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Coronavirus Live Updates: Texas, Arizona And Florida See Record High In Daily Infections

Since Chinese officials locked down the city of Wuhan in January, there have been more than 8.1 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, across the planet.

More than 444,000 people have died from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University

Efforts to curb the outbreak led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shuttered in hopes of slowing transmission. After months of precautions and lockdowns, governments have begun to reopen their economies.

HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and its effects.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)

Texas, Arizona And Florida See Record High In Daily Coronavirus Infections — 6/17/2020, 6 a.m.

After implementing and then lifting stay-at-home orders, Texas, Arizona and Florida all reported record increases in daily coronavirus infections on Tuesday.

The increases come as President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Republican leaders try to downplay the ongoing spread of the virus, using misleading talking points like saying the cases are only rising because of increased testing.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said he wasn’t considering another shutdown because of the rise in cases.

— Nick Visser

U.S. Open Will Be Played Without Fans — 6/16/20, 12:48 p.m. ET

This year’s U.S. Open in New York City will be held on its usual dates, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13, but without fans, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed at his daily COVID-19 briefing Tuesday.

The U.S. Tennis Association, which administers the Grand Slam tournament held in Queens, is finalizing new procedures for players, including frequent coronavirus tests and a limited number of people on players’ support teams, The New York Times reported Monday night.

The pandemic has upended the tennis season. The French Open, normally held in late spring, was postponed to late September. For the first time since World War II, organizers of Wimbledon canceled the tournament altogether. 

— Marina Fang

Fauci Says He Hasn’t Spoken To Trump In 2 Weeks — 6/16/20, 12:05 p.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert on the White House’s coronavirus task force, said Tuesday that he hasn’t spoken with President Donald Trump in two weeks. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in several states.

“I spoke with him when we made the presentation to explain to him our vaccine development effort,” Fauci told NPR in response to a question about his last conversation with the president. “So it was two weeks ago.”

Vice President Mike Pence, whom Trump appointed to lead the task force, said last month that the White House may wind down the group in early June. The task force isn’t gathering as often as it used to, Fauci said earlier this month, adding that the frequency of his meetings with Trump has been “dramatically decreased.”

Some of the states that have reopened haven’t followed the federal guidelines for doing so, likely causing a spike in cases in those areas, Fauci said Tuesday.

“Congregating together without wearing a mask, that clearly is a risky procedure,” he said. “That’s troublesome because that clearly is increasing the risk and likely explaining some of the upticks that you’re seeing in certain of those states.”

Against the advice of many public health experts, Trump’s reelection campaign has planned a rally in a 19,000-seat arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday. The campaign included waiver language on the rally registration website that requires attendees to agree not to sue the campaign if they contract the virus.

― Hayley Miller

Beijing Closes Schools, Reimposes Some Restrictions As New Outbreak Emerges — 6/16/20, 11:41 a.m. ET

Officials in Beijing have ordered schools to close starting Wednesday and are encouraging people to work from home, in response to more than 100 new reported cases since Friday.

China’s capital city raised its COVID-19 emergency response from level 3 to level 2, Reuters and Bloomberg reported, citing Chinese state media. Residents living in medium- or high-risk areas will be barred from leaving the city, and anyone entering the city will be required to get tested and self-quarantine.

Just two weeks ago, officials had lowered the emergency response to level 3, which allowed schools to reopen.

Marina Fang

Low-Cost Drug Improves Chances Of COVID-19 Survival, Study Shows — 6/16/20, 10:55 a.m. ET

Researchers at Oxford University in England said they have the first evidence that a drug can improve COVID-19 patients’ chances of survival.

A cheap, widely available steroid called dexamethasone reduced deaths by up to one-third in severely ill hospitalized patients, according to the results of a study released Thursday. While the drug did not appear to help mildly ill patients, it reduced deaths by 35% in patients who needed breathing machines and by 20% in those only needing supplemental oxygen.

“This is an extremely welcome result,” Oxford researcher Peter Horby said in a statement. “The survival benefit is clear and large in those patients who are sick enough to require oxygen treatment, so dexamethasone should now become standard of care in these patients. Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide.”

Read more from the Associated Press here.

— Hayley Miller


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