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June 8 coronavirus news
Brazil's Health Ministry reported 15,654 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, bringing the country's total to 707,412.
Brazil also confirmed 679 new Covid-19 fatalities Monday, bringing the country's total deaths to 37,134.
The ministry on Monday reverted to providing cumulative data on Covid-19 cases and deaths after saying over the weekend that it would no longer provide comprehensive data. However, the ministry said the methodology and data would only be available on the website on Tuesday.
On Saturday, an official Covid-19 tracker from the Brazilian Health Ministry began showing only data on new cases and deaths recorded in the past 24 hours, eliminating running cumulative totals of virus deaths and cases that had previously appeared on the same page. The government faced widespread backlash for its decision.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted Saturday, “Cumulative data, in addition to not showing that the large part [of patients] no longer has the illness, does not depict the moment of the country. Other actions are in the works to improve case notifications and diagnostic confirmations.”
Both the number of new cases and deaths reported on Monday were lower than the previous day but Brazil nonetheless has the second highest number of coronavirus cases worldwide and the third highest number of reported deaths.
Millions of N95 respirator masks have been certified and will soon be shipped to California, according to a statement from Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The masks were part of a somewhat secretive deal made between the state and BYD during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. BYD, an electric car-maker based in China, stands for Build Your Dreams.
The contract calls for 150 million N95 masks. The masks were held up pending certification from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
A genetic study suggests the new coronavirus was carried into California several times by travelers, and suggests the state missed several opportunities to use contact tracing to stop further spread.
The report, published in the journal Science, also strongly indicates that at least one large cruise ship outbreak started with a virus transmitted by a single person infected with a strain of the virus that spread in Washington state early in the pandemic.
It’s a small analysis, but helps paint a picture of how a few cases can turn into a pandemic — and how quick action can stop the spread, said Dr. Charles Chiu, a professor of laboratory medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who led the study team.
For instance, the outbreak that infected more than 700 people with coronavirus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in February of this year, killing nine of them, almost certainly started with a single case, Chiu said.
“Probably one passenger brought it on board,” Chiu told CNN.
The strain that infected the passengers and crew on two voyages of the liner was the same strain that circulated widely in Washington state and elsewhere, Chiu added.
In contrast, another outbreak stopped with three people. One patient in Solano County infected two health care workers who cared for her, and transmission stopped there.
“That was it. It was an outbreak of three individuals,” Chiu said.
In that case, contact tracing and quick isolation of the new cases stopped any further spread, the researchers said.
The findings, he said, show many missed opportunities to stop the virus when it was seeded multiple times into California. “We simply did not have the infrastructure to do the detecting that would have been needed,” Chiu said. The findings also show that travel restrictions can work if they are started early enough and observed carefully.
“Social distancing interventions, such as the ‘shelter-in-place’ directive that was issued by the governor of California on March 20, 2020, may assist in stemming spread from community to community,” the team wrote.
North Carolina released health guidance for schools to reopen to students, but as North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in an afternoon news conference said, “opening schools will depend on our health metrics."
"We very much want to open the school building, but we won’t open and make a reckless decision when it’s so important," he said.
Cooper said this year would be different from any other.
“Students and staff will be screened for illness before they enter the school. Children will be asked to stay distant from classmates. They won’t be sharing pencils or textbooks and there will be a lot of cleaning,” he said.
The Nicaraguan Citizens' Covid-19 Observatory, an independent network that includes health care professionals who are tallying coronavirus cases, reported nearly five times more cases in the country than the government's tally, according to numbers released by the Observatory Saturday.
Nicaragua's government reported 1,118 cases and 46 deaths from the novel coronavirus on June 2. The Citizens' Observatory has in turn reported 5,027 suspected coronavirus cases and 1,015 Covid-19 deaths.
The Observatory also reported 458 health workers with Covid-19 symptoms and 48 deaths suspected from the virus among health care personnel.
The Nicaraguan government maintains its position of not issuing confinement measures nor shutting the economy, arguing that 40% of the population lives in the countryside and 80% of the urban population are self-employed.
In statements to official media on June 5, Nicaragua's Vice President Rosario Murillo announced at least 2,000 activities of the Family Economy program, which includes markets and food sales, would still take place this weekend.
Yosemite National Park will reopen to the public on Thursday, allowing 50% of its average visitors.
The park is beginning a phased reopening that starts by allowing 1,700 vehicle passes each day, according a statement from park spokesperson Jamie Richards.
"There is no place like Yosemite, and we can't wait to welcome visitors back," said Acting Superintendent Cicely Muldoon. "It's going to be a different kind of summer, and we will continue to work hand in hand with our gateway communities to protect community health and restore access to Yosemite National Park."
Los Angeles County is actively reviewing state guidance on reopening more sectors of the economy, including film and television production, sporting events, and theme parks.
The state guidelines permit reopening on Friday. L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger promised an announcement on what Los Angeles will allow prior to that.
Los Angeles County has recorded a total of 64,644 confirmed coronavirus cases, and more than 2,600 deaths.
In the wake of large crowds protesting throughout the county, Health Director Barbara Ferrer is urging all residents to move about under the assumption they are infected and do what they can not to spread the virus.
But the situation would have been much worse had states not shut down, a new study says.
More than 1.9 million Americans have been infected, and more than 110,000 have died in just over four months, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Some states are seeing increases: Nationwide, 22 states are seeing upward trends in coronavirus cases. About 20 states have seen decreases in recent days, and eight states are holding steady.
One of the states with the biggest spikes in new cases is Florida. The number of new cases reported each day has increased an average of roughly 46% over the past week, just as most of the state entered a second phase of reopening.
While big cities on the coasts were hit hard early in the pandemic, the past few weeks have seen wider spread in inland states, including Arkansas, Texas and Arizona.
In Utah, state Rep. Suzanne Harrison called a recent spike of cases "very concerning (and) approaching exponential."
"Today's 18.5% positive test rate is double yesterday's (9.4%)," she tweeted over the weekend.
Friday, health officials in Utah said they were "very concerned" about the rise in new cases over the past week.
The state has recorded more than 12,000 infections, according to Johns Hopkins.
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