COVID-19 hospitalizations up 50% in Calif.; Florida orders schools to open in August

6 months ago 24
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July 7 (UPI) -- The United States has recorded 2.94 million total cases since the start of the pandemic, according to an update Tuesday morning by Johns Hopkins University, and just over 130,300 deaths.

The new figures come amid further rises in cases in several states.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said hospitalizations are up 50 percent over the last two weeks and more young people are being affected by COVID-19.

The rising numbers are being driven by a "significant increase" in the percentage of cases among residents between 18 and 40 years old, Los Angeles County health officials said, with almost 50 percent of all new cases occurring among younger people.

Young people comprised only 10 percent of all hospitalizations in April, but this month have accounted for about 25 percent of the total, according to county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

"What we do now determines where we are in three to four weeks," she said. "The sooner we all recommit to taking care of each other, the sooner we create a new normal, where we get back to work, school, and our friends and extended family."

COVID-19 hospitalizations in California set a new record Monday for the 17th consecutive day at nearly 5,700 and the rate of positive tests rose to nearly 7 percent.

Newsom added six counties to the state's coronavirus watchlist, including San Diego County. The list now includes 23 counties where indicators such as the rate of new infections, positive tests or increasing hospitalizations are being closely monitored.

In Florida, health officials have ordered that public schools must reopen in August, even though cases in the state have soared in recent days.

"There is a need to open schools fully to ensure the quality and continuity of the educational process, the comprehensive well-being of students and families and a return to Florida hitting its full economic stride," an order Monday from Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran states.

The order says all public schools must reopen in August for at least five days a week and provide full educational services required by law, including in-person instruction and services for students with special needs.

In Texas, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has surpassed 200,000, according to updated data from state health officials. Hospitalizations rose to nearly 8,700, setting a record high for the eighth consecutive day.

Although new cases declined slightly on Sunday and Monday, officials say a "big increase" could be coming this week as more local officials tabulate data from the holiday weekend.

"There were a lot of jurisdictions that didn't report new cases with the holiday weekend, particularly on Saturday, which would have showed up in yesterday's update," Texas Department of State Health Services spokesman Chris Van Deusen told the Austin American-Statesman.

COVID-19 pandemic alters life in New York City

Pianist Kaliya Kalcheva performs on a Steinway & Sons piano in Grand Central Terminal in New York City on June 23 and New York City enters a new phase of reopening. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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