Coronavirus updates: California to release 8,000 inmates; masks ‘only way’ to prevent another shutdown, Texas Gov. says – USA TODAY

If you thought COVID-19 symptoms couldn't get worse, doctors say a new symptom has emerged. Hallucinations. USA TODAY

A spiking COVID-19 case countis straining Florida's hospital system as nearly half of its intensive care units are at least 90% full, state data shows.

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

Mississippi has also seen a recent strain on its hospitals. Five of the largest medical centers have no ICU bed space for new patients COVID-19 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 again starting Monday, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham halted high school sports and said state parks will be closed to out-of-state residents.

Here are some recent developments:

Today's stats:The U.S. has surpassed 3.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. More than133,000deaths have been confirmed, according toJohn Hopkins University data. Globally, there have been 12.3 million cases and over 556,000deaths.

What we're reading:ThreeArizona teachers shared a classroom for summer school.They thought they were being "very careful."All threecontracted COVID-19, and one died.The teachers who survived say their colleague's death is a stark reminder of the risks teachers will face if school reopens too soon.

Our live blog will be updated throughout the day. For first-in-the-morning updates,sign upfor The Daily Briefing.

R-0 may be the most important scientific term youve never heard of when it comes to stopping the coronavirus pandemic. USA TODAY

Schools should prioritize safety and rely on local authorities inschool reopening plans, ajoint statementfrom associations of pediatricians, educators and superintendents says.

"Returning to school is important for the healthy development and well-being of children, but we must pursue re-opening in a way that is safe for all students, teachers and staff," the statement says. "Science should drive decision-making on safely reopening schools."

The statement follows a push fromTrump to open schools across the nation andamid a nationwide debate over whether children should return to the classroom.

The statement says the organizations The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Federation of Teachers, the National Education AssociationandThe School Superintendents Association favor a localized approach driven by re experts over a "one-size-fits-all" approach.

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Californiastate prisons, upto 8,000 currently incarcerated people could be released by the end of August, the state's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced Friday.

"Too many people are incarcerated for too long in facilities that spread poor health. Supporting the health and safety of all Californians means releasing people unnecessarily incarcerated and transforming our justice system,"Jay Jordan, Executive Director ofCalifornians for Safety and Justice, said in a press release.

Since the start of the pandemic, the state has releasedabout 10,000 people, according to the state'sDepartment of Corrections.

Activists have repeatedly called on the governor to address the outbreak atSan Quentin prison, where more than 200 staff and more than 1,300 prisoners have active cases, and at least six inmates have died, according to local news reports.

Amid a resurgence of COVID-19 in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Friday that the state will reactivate its makeshift coronavirus hospital at a convention center in Atlanta.

The 200-bed temporary hospital at theGeorgia World Congress Centerwas constructed in April but wound down operations at the end of May.

Nearly 3,000 people have died and more than 111,000 people have tested positive for the virus in the state.

At least 47 students at UC Berkeley tested positive for the coronavirus in just one week, and most of the new cases stem from a series of Greek life parties, university officials said.

In a message to the campus community, UniversityHealth Services Medical Director Anna Harte and Assistant Vice Chancellor Guy Nicolette said it was "becoming harder to imagine bringing our campus community back in the way we are envisioning."

"Generally, these infections are directly related to social events where students have not followed basic safety measures such as physical distancing, wearing face coverings, limiting event size, and gathering outside," the officials wrote.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott begged Texans to mask up in a Friday interview with eastern Texas TV station CBS19, saying face coverings were "the only way"businesses could stay open.

"Its disappointing"that some local officials are refusing to enforce the states mask order, Abbott said. "If we do not all join together and unite in this one cause for a short period of time it will lead to the necessity of having to close Texas back down."

Abbott's ordereffective July 3 requires face masksin public spaces in counties with 20 or more active COVID-19 cases.The order does not apply to people eating,drinking, swimming orexercising or those under 10 years old.

Joel Shannon

West Virginia is among states with the fewest COVID-19 cases, but the state now has the highest coronavirus transmission rate in the country, the head of the state's coronavirus response said Friday.

"The virus is spreading faster person to person in West Virginia right now than in any other state in the country,"Dr. Clay Marsh.The state's "RT value" the average number of people who become infected by an infectious personis the highest in the nation, at 1.37, Marsh said. "We can see that COVID is starting in that logarithmic phase, that compounding phase."

The state has doubled its number of active cases in the last 10-14 days.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday expanded Michigan's mask-wearing requirements, effective Monday, saying that wearing masks is the best way to reverse an increase in coronavirus cases.

The order requires the use of face coverings in crowded outdoor spaces and reiterates that individuals are required to wear a face covering whenever they are in an indoor public space. The mandate also requires any business that is open to the public to refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a face covering, with limited exceptions.

Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

Shutting down states in the early days of the US COVID-19 outbreak prevented at least 250,000 deaths and as many as 750,000-840,000 hospitalizations, a new study found. Shelter-in-place orders took about two weeks to show an effect on hospitalizations and three weeks to limit the number of deaths, according to the study by researchers at the University of Iowa and National Bureau of Economic Research.

The authors, who published their results in the journal Health Affairs, also found that deaths from causes other than COVID-19 might have increased if hospitals had become overwhelmed; slowing cases saved those lives, as well, they said.

"These estimates indicate that [stay in place orders] played a key role in flattening the curves not only for cases, but also for deaths and hospitalizations, and eased pressure on hospitals from avoided COVID-19 admissions," the authors conclude.

Karen Weintraub

All 50 states had visitors from Floridathis week, according to data that 15 million U.S. mobile device users provided to the data company Cuebiq. Applying Cuebiqs sample to the whole population, approximately 1.5 million Floridians are now setting up shop in other states.

Residents have left the state in increasing numbers at a time when the crisis there got worse. In early June, just 5% of the states residents appeared in other states. That number has ticked up every week.

Cuebiqs data, which is based on cell phone locations, shows that most interstate visitors from Florida appeared in other parts of the South. About 38% of the states travelers were in Georgia at least once during the week, for example. Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee also topped the list of destinations for visitors from the hard-struck state.

States outside the region saw big Florida influxes as well. New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and Ohio all had more than 50,000 visits from Florida residents in the most recent week of data, based on an extrapolation of the cell phone location data.

Matt Wynn

New data on the experimental drug remdesivir confirms it can shorten the course of COVID-19 infections and suggests it also can save lives.

Gilead Sciences, Inc., a California pharmaceutical company that makes the drug, revealed data Friday about nearly 400 patients in its late-stage clinical trial.

According to the results, 74% of patients treated with remdesivir had recovered by their 14th day of hospitalization, compared to 59% of those who did not get the drug. Nearly 8% of the patients on remdesivir had died by day 14, versus more than 12% of patients who did not receive it.

The study also found patients who took the drug hydroxychloroquine along with remdesivir fared worse than those on remdesivir alone. The company recommended against using the drugs in combination.

Remdesivir, an antiviral initially developed to treat Ebola, has not yet been approved for widespread use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but it has been given emergency use authorization to treat COVID-19 patients.

Karen Weintraub

Congestion, runny nose, nausea and diarrhea are the four most recent COVID-19 symptoms that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added to its growing list of potential signs of the novel coronavirus.

The CDC previously said symptoms include chills, fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and a new loss of taste or smell. The agency now lists 11 symptoms on its website.

The additions come as health experts continue to learn more about the disease, and care for very ill COVID-19 patients is improving. Even so, the CDC states the current list doesn't include all possible symptoms for the virus.

Wyatte Grantham-Philips

Fifty-eight Major League Baseball players tested positive for the coronavirus upon reporting to their team, while an additional 13 tested positive after workouts began, according to data released by MLB on Friday.

Perhaps most disconcerting is that 10 teams reported positive test results during what MLB is calling "monitoring testing," meaning one-third of the league's teams had an infected player or staff member after workouts began last week.

Several teams have had workouts halted or curtailed while awaiting test results, and besides those testing positive, players who have come in contact with those testing positive have been temporarily sidelined, as well.

Gabe Lacques

As COVID-19 cases spikeacross, multiple states have taken measures to scale back their reopening plans. Here are some of the last moves:

Read more about states that arepause reopening or take new steps to slow the spread.

A Los Angeles Times report says that researchers are working on an upper-arm injection that would deliverantibody-rich blood plasma of COVID-19 survivors to provide potentially months of protection from the virus.

The approach is similar to one used for other diseases likehepatitis A and could be widely available across the United States, the Times reported.

However, the proposal has received push back from the federal government and pharmaceutical companies, who argue efforts in plasma-based therapy should focus on treating sick people rather than preventing infection, the Times report says.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told the newspaper that the research was promising but more work is needed to show thatcoronavirus antibodies work.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said Friday he has not briefed President Donald Trump in at least two months and not seen him in person at the White House since June 2, despite a coronavirus resurgence that has strained hospitals and led several states to pause reopenings.

Fauci told the Financial Times he was "sure" his messages were sent to the president even though the two have not been in close contact in the past several weeks.

The comments from the Trump administration's director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases came as Trump has been critical of Fauci and spoken openly about issues on which they disagree.

In a Thursday interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Trump said Fauci had "made a lot of mistakes" but called him a "nice man." Trump also said "most cases" of coronavirus would "automatically cure. They automatically get better."

Fauci also in the FT interview said Trump was incorrect in claiming 99% of coronavirus cases were "harmless" and may have conflated some statistics.

Nicholas Wu

COVID survivors' main symptoms can linger for weeks or even months, causing pain, trouble breathing, nightmares and even organ failure. USA TODAY

Two scientists from the World Health Organization are traveling toBeijing on Friday to lay the groundwork for an investigation into the origins of the new coronavirus.

The researchers,an animal health expert and an epidemiologist, will work with counterparts in China to "look at whether or not it jumped from species to humanand what species it jumped from," WHO spokesperson Dr. Margaret Harris said.

The team will determine the logistics, locations and participantsfor a WHO-led international mission.

The virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. Scientists believe the novel virusoriginated in bats, transferred to another mammal then jumpedto humans.

The Trump administration this week officially began withdrawing the United Statesfrom the WHO, of which President Donald Trump and his advisers have been sharply critical.

Americans are three times as likely to know someone in their community who has been sick with the coronavirus than they did in March, according to a new survey.

More than one-third of Americans (36%) say someone they know outside of their immediate family or work has been sick with the coronavirus, according to a new survey from the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape Project. That number is more than triple the number in mid-March, when it was 11%.

The survey also showed Black (11%) and Latino (11%) Americans are more likely than white Americans (7%) to have had an immediate family member get sick, according to the survey. These racial differences were not apparent in the survey from March.

Rebecca Morin

Nearly half of Florida's intensive-care units are at least 90% full, and more than 1 in 5 are completely full, according to state data.

Hospitals are increasingly strained under COVID-19, andhospitalizations across the state have jumped more than 13% just since July 1. More than 17,100 Floridians have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

A total of 95 hospital ICUs were at least 90% full Thursday, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. That's nearly half the 207 ICUs that the agency is tracking. At least 45 hospital ICUs were at capacity, and 46 others had only one bed available in the units.

At least 4,111 people in Florida have died from the virus, according to the state a figure that would have made it the ninth leading cause of death in Florida last year, according to Florida Department of Health statistics. Florida set a one-day record Thursday with 120 deaths. The previous high, 83, was in late April.

Frank Gluck, Fort Myers News-Press

The five largest medical centers in Mississippi have no ICU bed space for new patients coronavirus or otherwise and are being forced to turn patients away, even as COVID-19 continue to surge.

In some cases, patients are being sent to facilities out of state and as far away as New Orleans. In many hospitals, patients admitted to the ER are being forced to spend the night before they receive treatment.

"(Wednesday), five of our biggest hospitals in the state had zero ICU beds. Zero," State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said. "Our biggest medical institutions who take care of our sickest patients have no room."

The transition from shelter-in-place to where we currently stand, with the highest number of hospitalizations since the first reported case of the coronavirus virus on March 11, has left the state "wide open," said Dr. Louann Woodward, UMMC vice chancellor for health affairs.

Justin Vicory, Mississippi Clarion Ledger

California is set to become the first state to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration over anew policy that prevents international students from staying in the U.S. if their college or university switches to online-only classes in the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement comes a day after some colleges and universities filed similar lawsuits or announced plans to do so.

The Trump administration revealed its new guidelines in a memo issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Monday. It says that international students will have to leave the country, or face possible deportation, if their schools switch to remote learning, which many have planned to do amid the pandemic.

President Donald Trumps attack on his own health experts guidance for safely reopening schools cracked open for public display a power strugglewithin the administration that has been building for months.

Trump blasted the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday as very tough & expensive and asking schools to do very impractical things.

But CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said on Thursday the guidance would stand, and his staff would provide some new documents to clarify the recommendations.

Theflare-up punctuates a conflict escalating for months, with the nations top scientists publicly sidelined in the Trump administrations initial coronavirus response. Earlier disagreements delayed the release of the reopening guidance for schools and businesses.

Public health leaders who worked at the CDC under prior presidents said they had never seen anything like this weeks open discord."It underminesleadership for everyone involved, said Dr.JeffreyKoplan, a former CDC director."It's public health malpractice to say, 'Open without worrying about anything.'"

Brett Murphy and Letitia Stein

What's actually in the CDC school guidelines?These are the highlights.

Read more:
Coronavirus updates: California to release 8,000 inmates; masks 'only way' to prevent another shutdown, Texas Gov. says - USA TODAY

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