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U.S. Cases Rise 1.2%; Worst Yet to Come, WHO Says: Virus Update

Bloomberg News
U.S. Cases Rise 1.2%; Worst Yet to Come, WHO Says: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) --

New Jersey halted plans for indoor dining and New York City said it’s considering the same move as other U.S. states experience a surge in Covid-19 cases after reopening restaurants and bars. One of those states, Florida, reported a jump in its double-digit infection rate.

Gilead Sciences Inc. said it will charge the U.S. government and other developed countries $390 per vial for its coronavirus-fighting drug remdesivir, or about $2,340 for a typical five-day course of treatment.

Deaths from the virus surpassed 500,000 worldwide and confirmed cases exceeded 10 million as the World Health Organization warned that the worst is yet to come. Tokyo reported more incidences of the disease, daily deaths in Iran reached a record and cases in Austria rose to the highest level since mid-May.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases pass 10.1 million; deaths top 502,500Swedish Covid expert says the world still doesn’t understandTrump dismisses virus, polls and recession to tell winning storyReviving Britain’s economy is tough with an aging workforceBoutique Manhattan hotel turns into Covid fortress to surviveOne big question: Are we going back into lockdown?: QuickTake

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus.

Texas Cases Rise 2.9% (4:45 p.m. NY)

Texas posted a 2.9% increase in new cases, which pushed the cumulative total to 153,011, according to state health department figures. The one-day increase trailed the seven-day average of 4.2% and was the lowest in a week.

In Houston, where emergency rooms and intensive-care units have been strained by the influx of patients, the cohort of Covid-19 patients in ICUs below the age of 40 is about 15%, David Persse, the city’s director of emergency medical services, said during a media briefing on Monday.

“They are extremely ill,” Persse said. “If they’re thinking, ‘I’ll get sick and then I’ll get over it,’ recognize that 15% of the people in ICUs now are in their 20s and 30s.”

Since late May, calls to the city’s 911 system have soared by almost 40%, driven by respiratory-distress cases, Fire Chief Samuel Pena said during the briefing. Emergency rooms are getting backed up trying to admit the influx of patients and that’s delaying how quickly ambulances can return to service and respond to new 911 calls, he said.

Unions Sue Vegas Casinos Over Virus Protection (4:30 p.m. NY)

MGM Resorts International’s Bellagio and Signature Condominiums, as well as Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s Harrah’s, were sued by Las Vegas labor unions for allegedly failing to do enough to protect workers from Covid-19.

The culinary workers and the bartenders unions filed a complaint Monday in federal court in Las Vegas claiming the hotel and casino operators wouldn’t immediately close and deep-clean areas where infected employees had worked and would require employees to continue working without immediate informing them that a co-worker had tested positive or conducting contact tracing to see if they had been exposed.

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of everyone inside of our properties,” MGM Resorts said in response to the lawsuit. “We have spent months working with health experts to create a comprehensive health and safety plan. We have offered free testing to all employees before they report to work and require it if they exhibit symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.”

Representatives of Caesars didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the allegations.

U.S. Cases Rise 1.2% (4 p.m. NY)

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose by 29,182 as compared to the same time Sunday to 2.56 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 1.2% increase was below the average daily increase of 1.6% over the past week. Deaths rose 0.2% to 125,928.

Montana cases rose by 6.5% to 919, according to the data from Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg News.Florida reported 146,341 cases, up 3.7% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 5.5% in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 3,447, an increase of 0.8%,California cases rose 2.5%, less than the seven-day average of 2.8%, for a total of 216,550. Deaths rose 0.5% to 5,905.

AMC Delays Theater Reopenings to July 30 (3:30 p.m. NY)

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the largest U.S. cinema chain, will start reopening its theaters on July 30, two weeks later than expected, after Hollywood studios rescheduled nearly every movie that was supposed to come out next month.

The chain said Monday it will reopen 450 locations on July 30, and a further 150 the following week. AMC initially planned a July 15 end to its four-month domestic closing, which was so devastating to the company that it warned it might go out of business. The first new big-budget film of the summer, “Tenet” from AT&T Inc.’s Warner Bros., was expected to come out on July 17.

NHL Says 26 Players Have Tested Positive (3:15 p.m. NY)

The National Hockey League said 26 players have tested positive for coronavirus.

As of Monday, 250 players have reported to training and practice facilities for optional participation in reopening activities, the NHL said in a statement.

Fifteen returning players tested positive while the league is also aware of 11 other players that have tested positive.

The NHL said this month that training camps for 24 teams resuming play will open on July 10.

N.J. Pauses Indoor Dining Plan for July 2 (2:58 p.m. NY)

Governor Phil Murphy said he would pause New Jersey’s plans to restart indoor dining on July 2, citing concerns about such a “sedentary” activity especially among “outlier” bars and restaurants not following social distancing.

This “brings me no joy to do this, but we have no choice,” Murphy said.

New Jersey indoor dining, with capacity caps and other restrictions, had been scheduled to restart on July 2, four days before New York City was to do so. But New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday said skyrocketing cases in the South and West have prompted them to consider postponing dining’s return. Cuomo also cited the failure of some New York City residents to practice social distancing.

10,000 Iran Health-Care Workers Have Virus (2:45 p.m. NY)

Some 10,000 Iranian health-care workers have contracted the coronavirus and least 64 have died fighting the pandemic, Iraj Harirchi, Iran’s deputy health minister, said on state TV.

On Monday, Iran reported its highest daily death toll from Covid-19 at 162. The country has 10,670 fatalities from more than 225,000 confirmed cases.

Houston-Area ICU Beds Are 95% Full (2:07 p.m. NY)

Houston-area intensive-care unit wards were 95% full as of Sunday night, up from 93% on Saturday, according to data from the Texas Medical Center. Covid-19 patients occupied 34% of the beds, compared with 31% a day earlier.

The number of Covid-19 patients requiring ICU admission is growing by an average of 3.5% a day, the center said on its website. The hospital systems that inform the medical center’s database have 64 regular ICU beds available and another 877 additional slots that could be made available to handle an overflow.

Miami-Dade ICU Use Highest Since Early May (1:30 p.m. NY)

Miami-Dade -- Florida’s most populous county -- reported 1,149 patients with Covid-19 admitted to hospitals as of Monday, an increase of 67 from a day earlier and the highest level since at least the first week of May.

The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive-care unit beds rose to 236 from 224, according to a report from the county. The number of Covid-19 patients on ventilators reached 90, up from 84 a day earlier. Both of those numbers were also the highest since early May.

Worst Yet to Come, WHO Chief Says (12:30 p.m. NY)

Tomorrow marks six months since the World Health Organization became aware of the novel coronavirus, and the “worst is yet to come” given a lack of global solidarity, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, said at a briefing in Geneva.

Some countries are experiencing a resurgence of cases and half the deaths are coming from the Americas, he said.

“This virus can be suppressed and contained using the tools at hand,” and countries shouldn’t wait for a vaccine to deal with it, Tedros said, giving the examples of South Korea, Japan and Germany. “If any country is saying that contact-tracing is difficult, it is a lame excuse.”

The WHO will send a team of researchers to China next week to study the virus’s origins, Tedros said.

Europe to Extend Travel Ban for U.S. (12:30 p.m. NY)

European Union governments are poised to extend a travel ban for U.S. residents for at least two weeks, according to a draft of a decision due to be formally adopted on Tuesday.

The wording of the decision, seen by Bloomberg, signals that the ban disrupting both business and leisure travel across the Atlantic won’t be lifted until U.S. authorities control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

California Cases Rise 2.5% (12:30 p.m. NY)

California’s virus cases rose 2.5%, less than the seven-day average of 2.8%, for a total of 216,550 confirmed infections. Deaths climbed by 0.5% to 5,905. The rate of positive tests over the past 14 days was 5.5%, compared with 4.8% a week ago.

Arizona Virus Cases Rise 0.8% (12 p.m. NY)

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 625 new cases on Monday, a 0.8% increase, bringing the total to 74,533.

While it was the lowest case increase since May 31, the agency said the data didn’t include all new infections because one of its lab partners didn’t submit a report. That may also lead to a larger-than-expected increase on Tuesday, it said.

The state reported no new deaths Monday, keeping the number at 1,588.

Planet Fitness Falls on Virus Report (11:30 a.m. NY)

Planet Fitness Inc. fell as much as 6.3% following a news report that more than 200 people may have been exposed to the coronavirus at a West Virginia location of the gym chain.

A client at the Planet Fitness gym in Morgantown tested positive for the virus, raising the possibility that patrons were exposed on June 24, said Mary Wade Burnside, a spokeswoman for the Monongalia County Health Department.

Broadway to Stay Closed Until 2021: NYT (11:15 a.m. NY)

New York City’s Broadway will remain closed for at least the rest of this year, according to a report in the New York Times.

Many shows are signaling that they don’t expect a return to the stage until late winter or early spring, the Times reported.

The Broadway League said Monday that theater owners and producers are ready to refund or exchange tickets previously purchased for shows through Jan. 3, the newspaper said.

ConocoPhillips Curbs Return to Houston Office (11 a.m. NY)

ConocoPhillips, the world’s largest independent oil explorer, is scaling back the reopening of its corporate headquarters in Houston after two weeks as the Covid-19 outbreak worsens.

Attendance at the office will be on a voluntary basis, spokesman John Roper said in an email. The company had been operating on a split-shift, 50% occupancy model since June 15.

NYC Reconsiders Indoor Dining (11 a.m. NY)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that officials are reconsidering a plan to allow indoor dining July 6, as other states experience a surge in Covid-19 cases after reopening restaurants and bars.

De Blasio cited surges of the virus in Texas, Florida and California as reasons to consider a slowdown in reopening restaurants, even at 50% capacity. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed similar concerns Monday morning during an interview on NY1.

“Around the country, a number of cities and states have been moving in the wrong direction,” de Blasio said. “We all love indoor dining, but we see problems with indoor dining.”

The mayor said the city and state will make a decision within the next few days, as health officials are “paying attention to this lesson. We’re increasingly concerned.”

Florida Cases, Positive Rate Rise (10:40 a.m. NY)

Florida reported 146,341 Covid-19 cases on Monday, up 3.7% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 5.5% in the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 3,447, an increase of 0.8%, according to the report, which includes data through Sunday.

Seen on a rolling seven-day basis, Florida’s new cases reached 46,124, the highest level ever.

Cumulative hospitalizations of Florida residents rose by 110, or 0.8%, to 14,354. On a rolling seven day-basis, they reached 1,235.

The new rate of people testing positive for the first time climbed to 13.7% for Sunday, from 12.2% on Saturday.

During the recent surge, Florida’s Monday reports have tended be more muted than other days of the week with fewer labs reporting over the weekend.

Houston Hospitals Redefine ICU Capacity (9:53 a.m.)

Just days after issuing a dire warning that Houston’s intensive-case unit wards were on the verge of disaster, the Texas Medical Center revamped how it describes bed capacity. Gone are any mention of “sustainable” and “unsustainable” surge capacity -- the descriptors that until now denoted non-ICU beds that can be converted to handle the overflow of patients.

Instead, surge capacity is now divided between “phase 2” and “phase 3,” which account for 373 and 504 beds, respectively. Normal ICU capacity of 1,330 beds was 93% full as of Saturday, down from 100% in the middle of last week. The medical center, a cluster of hospitals, medical facilities and educational centers south of downtown, was among the systems stung by Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on elective surgeries last week in four metro areas to conserve bed space.

U.K. Care Home Death Rate Higher Than Germany’s (9:30 a.m. NY)

Covid-19 is killing Spanish and U.K. care home residents at a higher rate than in other countries.

In the U.K., 5.3% of care home residents may have died from coronavirus infections, a figure 13 times worse than in Germany, according to a report by researchers from the London School of Economics. Of 15 countries analyzed the only one with a higher rate of Covid-19 fatalities was Spain, at 6.1%.

U.K. Pubs Prep for $259 Million Spending Spree (9:14 a.m. NY)

British consumers will open their wallets and spend about 210 million pounds ($259 million) at pubs this weekend, more than 70% higher than the average, the Centre for Economics and Business Research estimates. Still, capacity limits and fixed costs means profitability will be less than half of what it was before the pandemic. Reopening costs could send the figure even lower.

Scotland May Seek to Quarantine Visitors From Rest of U.K. (8:34 a.m. NY)

Scotland may seek to impose quarantine restrictions on visitors from other parts of the U.K. should there be a spike in coronavirus infections as the nation starts easing rules on movement.

The semi-autonomous government in Edinburgh doesn’t currently have any plans to isolate people, though would consider such a move if there’s a divergence between infection rates in Scotland and England, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told reporters on Monday. “I’m not ruling anything out if it’s required from a public health perspective,” she said.

Altimmune Rallies After Drug Gets Army Research Award (8:11 a.m. NY)

Altimmune shares jumped after the company was awarded $4.7 million by the U.S. Army Medical Research & Development Command for a clinical trial of its drug in patients with early Covid-19.

Tour de France Prepares for Virtual Race (8 a.m. NY)

The organizer of the Tour de France will hold a virtual version of the event starting this week as cycling grapples with maintaining interest in a sport that was already in trouble before the pandemic hit.

After Djokovic Shock, Serbian Politicians Infected (7:12 a.m. NY)

A surge in coronavirus cases in southeastern Europe that included world tennis No. 1 Novak Djokovic has spread to the top of Serbia’s political sphere after the country held elections. Authorities prepared to tighten lockdown measures and opposition parties that boycotted the June 21 general ballot faulted the government for holding the vote.

The head of Serbia’s government office for Kosovo, the speaker of parliament and the defense minister all announced they’d tested positive; the latter two had attended victory celebrations with President Aleksandar Vucic.

Gilead’s Remdesivir to Cost $2,340 for 5-Day Treatment (7:01 a.m. NY)

Remdesivir is one of the first widely used drugs for Covid-19. It received an emergency use authorization from U.S. regulators in May, after a trial found the medicine hastened recovery by about four days in hospitalized patients.

“We wanted to make sure that nothing gets in the way of remdesivir getting to patients,” Gilead Chief Executive Officer Daniel O’Day said in an interview. The price “will make sure all patients around the world have access to this medicine.

Iran Fatalities Increase to Record (6:03 a.m. NY)

Iran recorded the highest daily number of fatalities since the start of the outbreak, with 162 deaths in the past 24 hours. The death toll reached 10,670 from a total of 225,205 cases.

The level of infections is high or alarming in 11 of 31 Iranian provinces, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state television.

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