Texas and Florida clamp down on bars again


Texas and Florida clamped down on bars once more Friday within the nation’s largest retreat but as a surge throughout the South and West despatched the variety of confirmed new coronavirus infections per day within the U.S. to an all-time excessive of 40,000.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered all bars closed, whereas Florida banned alcohol consumption in any respect such institutions. The two states joined the small however rising record of these which might be both backtracking or placing any additional reopenings of their economies on maintain due to a comeback by the virus.

Abbott had pursued so far one of the aggressive reopening schedules of any state and had not solely resisted calls to order the sporting of masks however had additionally refused till final week to let native governments take such measures.

“It is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” he stated. “The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health.”

Texas, reported greater than 17,000 confirmed new circumstances prior to now three days, with a document excessive of almost 6,000 on Thursday. The day’s tally of over 4,700 hospitalizations was additionally a document.

The Florida company that governs bars acted after the day by day variety of confirmed circumstances within the state neared 9,000, a document that was virtually double the earlier mark set simply two days earlier.

Various the hardest-hit states, together with Texas, Florida, Arizona and Arkansas, have Republican governors who’ve resisted mask-wearing necessities and largely echoed President Donald Trump’s need to rapidly reopen the economic system.

Colleen Corbett, a 30-year-old bartender at two locations in Tampa, stated that she was disenchanted and nervous about being unemployed once more however that the restrictions are the proper transfer.

“Bars were at normal capacity, not COVID capacity,” Corbett stated. “It was like they forgot there was a pandemic or just stopped caring.”

Amid the surge, the White House coronavirus activity pressure, led by Vice President Pence, held its first briefing in almost two months, signaling a recognition that the administration’s can’t ignore the alarming will increase.

Pence gave assurances that “this moment in the coronavirus pandemic is different than what we saw two months ago.” He stated that amongst different issues, the U.S. has extra provides readily available now, with no requests from hard-hit states for gear corresponding to ventilators and protecting gear.

The variety of confirmed new infections within the U.S. per day soared previous the earlier excessive of 36,400, set on April 24, throughout one of many deadliest stretches within the disaster, in response to the rely stored by Johns Hopkins University. The common variety of new circumstances per day has risen about 60 p.c over the previous two weeks, in response to an Associated Press evaluation.

Health specialists stated a disturbingly massive variety of circumstances are being seen amongst younger people who find themselves going out once more, hitting the bars and different nightspots, usually with out sporting masks or observing different social-distancing guidelines.

While the rise in reported circumstances is believed to replicate, partially, vastly expanded testing, specialists say there’s ample proof the virus is making a comeback, together with rising deaths and hospitalizations in components of the nation and better percentages of exams coming again constructive for the virus.

Deaths from the coronavirus within the U.S. are all the way down to round 600 per day, in contrast with about 2,200 in mid-April. Despite the rise in circumstances, some specialists have expressed doubt that deaths will return to that degree, due to advances in remedy and prevention and in addition as a result of a big share of the brand new infections are in youthful adults, who’re extra possible than older ones to outlive.

The virus is blamed for 124,000 deaths within the U.S. and a pair of.Four million confirmed infections nationwide, by Johns Hopkins’ rely. But U.S. well being officers stated the true variety of Americans contaminated is about 20 million, or virtually 10 instances larger.

Worldwide, the virus has claimed near a half-million lives, in response to Johns Hopkins.

In an indication of the reversal of fortune amongst states, New York stated it’s asking Arizona, Texas and Florida whether or not they want any medical gear, personnel, technical recommendation or different assist. Various states and 1000’s of out-of-state well being care employees helped New York when it was within the throes of the deadliest outbreak within the nation this spring.

“We will never forget that graciousness, and we will repay it any way we can,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated.

In addition to closing bars once more, Abbott scaled again restaurant capability and shut down rafting operations and stated any outside gatherings of greater than 100 individuals will want approval from the native authorities. The transfer got here because the variety of sufferers at Texas hospitals statewide greater than doubled in two weeks.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has pursued a phased strategy to lifting restrictions, doing issues extra slowly than a activity pressure advisable, however has allowed theme parks to reopen, inspired skilled sports activities to come back to Florida and pushed for the GOP conference to be held within the Sunshine State.

On Thursday, Arizona placed on maintain any additional efforts to reopen the economic system, with Republican Gov. Doug Ducey saying the numbers “continue to go in the wrong direction.” Arizona reported over 3,000 further infections Thursday, the fourth day in every week with a rise over that mark.

Nevada’s governor ordered the sporting of face masks in public, Las Vegas casinos included.

Elsewhere around the globe, China moved nearer to containing a contemporary outbreak in Beijing. Another document day by day improve in India pushed the caseload on this planet’s second most populous nation towards half 1,000,000. And different international locations with large populations like Indonesia, Pakistan and Mexico grappled with massive numbers of infections and strained well being care techniques.

South Africa, which accounts for about half of the infections on the African continent with over 118,000, reported a document of almost 6,600 new circumstances after loosening what had been one of many world’s strictest lockdowns earlier this month.


Smith reported from Providencd, Rhode Island; D’Emelio reported from Rome. Associated Press journalists around the globe contributed to this report.