The number of new coronavirus deaths reported Thursday reached 1,039, marking the third consecutive day that new daily deaths due to COVID-19 surpassed 1,000.
New COVID-19 deaths were reported in all 50 states, and some reported their all-time high daily increases in fatalities. Oregon’s state health department recorded nine new coronavirus deaths Friday, the state’s highest number since the outbreak began. Texas reported its second-highest number of new COVID-19 deaths, 196, on Friday. The statewide total has reached 4,717.
In Florida, 135 new deaths were reported, pushing the total number of fatalities to 5,653. Over 670 Floridians have died this week, a 13% rise in the state’s overall toll, according to the state health department.
California also reported 159 new deaths Friday, a record daily increase for the second day in a row. The statewide death toll has reached 8,186.
The number of deaths due to the coronavirus nationwide has surpassed 145,000 since March.
Texas is turning the corner on the coronavirus, according to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. “We are turning the situation in the state of Texas. It’s just going to take a little while, but we’re going to be fine,” Abbott told CNBC Friday morning. The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations appears to have stabilized. It hovered around 10,600 in the last week and fell to 8,858 Thursday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Available intensive care unit beds have also increased statewide to 1,267, up from 865 a week ago.
New guidance for reopening schools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday night downplayed health risks that in-person operation poses to students and staff and instead stressed the psychological benefits to children of returning to brick and mortar schools.
While children infected by the virus are at lower risk of becoming severely ill or dying due to COVID-19, how efficiently they spread the virus to older, more vulnerable people is not definitively known.
“No studies are conclusive, but the available evidence provides reason to believe that in-person schooling is in the best interest of students, particularly in the context of appropriate mitigation measures similar to those implemented at essential workplaces,” the CDC said.
McDonald’s will require all customers to wear face coverings inside all of its U.S. restaurants starting Aug. 1. Nearly 82% of McDonald’s restaurants are in states or cities that legally require people to wear facial coverings for both crew members and customers, but the new order extends to the restaurants in areas where government officials have yet to mandate masks in public places.
Sweden’s public health authorities, responsible for instituting a no-lockdown strategy during the coronavirus pandemic, have claimed that the coronavirus immunity in Stockholm could be as high as 40% and thus playing a role in suppressing the disease, Politico reported Friday.
“We are clearly at levels which are very significant,” lead epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told reporters on Tuesday. “The reduction we are now seeing speaks strongly in favor of a very large immunity in the population.”
The University of Virginia Health System reported earlier this month that Sweden’s decision not to lock down during the pandemic led to more deaths and greater healthcare demand than seen in countries with earlier, more stringent interventions.
Mel Gibson was hospitalized for COVID-19 in April and has since made a full recovery, People magazine reported Friday. The actor, who was treated with remdesivir, the latest therapy used to treat the coronavirus, kept his diagnosis and hospitalization a secret.
The Starr County Memorial Hospital in Starr County, Texas, a poor and mostly Latino county on the Mexican border, is now overflowing with COVID-19 patients, the Star-Telegram reported. In order to help save scarce medical supplies in the county’s only hospital, a county health board will authorize critical care guidelines to help medical workers determine ways to allocate scarce medical resources on COVID-19 patients with the best chance to survive. Some in the hospital are calling it a “death panel.” COVID-19 patients who are likely to die will be sent home with family.
An aide to Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Florida Republican, died of the coronavirus, the congressman said Friday. The staff member, Gary Tibbetts, was 66. “Gary was the consummate professional and a true public servant in every sense of the word,” Buchanan tweeted.