Thursday, 02 July, 2020

Texas and Florida Restrict Businesses as States' Coronavirus Cases Continue Rising

A bar owner changes the sign outside his bar to 'Closed Again' in Houston Texas A bar owner changes the sign outside his bar to 'Closed Again' in Houston Texas
Deanna Wagner | 29 June, 2020, 18:22

The state reported 8,530 new COVID-19 cases and 29 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday's FDOH update. Many Florida and Texas venues reordered supplies in anticipation of a surge, and now those investments in goods may not provide a return.

Governor Gavin Newsom's order for bars to close in Los Angeles and six other counties followed moves by Texas and Florida to shut all their bars on Friday. Bars in seven counties, including Los Angeles, must close and those in eight more counties are strongly recommended to shut their doors.

About 13.5 million people live in the seven counties, accounting for roughly one-third of California's population.

Speaking on NBC and CNN, Azar argued that the U.S.is in a better position than two months ago in fighting the virus because it is conducting more testing and has therapeutics available to treat COVID-19.

But California bars were only allowed to reopen from June 12, with the final decision left to local authorities. Public health officials in California and throughout the nation have identified bars as the most risky non-essential businesses now open, the state said. In the USA, there are more than 2.5 million reported cases with over 125,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. One bar in East Lansing, Michigan has been linked to more than 85 cases, according to local health officials who say that number is likely to rise.

Aerial view of people in cars lined up for Covid-19 tests at Dodger Stadium LA
Aerial view of people in cars lined up for Covid-19 tests at Dodger Stadium LA

Florida on Saturday morning reported 9,585 new infections in the last 24 hours, setting a record for new cases for a second-straight day.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (DABT) announced the alcohol ban on Twitter moments after the department of health recorded 8,942 new confirmed cases, topping the earlier record of 5,500 set on Wednesday 24 June. But Pence will travel to the state on July 2 to meet with Gov. Ron DeSantis and health officials, according to the Associated Press. "Caution was thrown to the wind and so we are where we are", DeSantis said.

Three northeastern states that made significant progress beating back the pandemic - New York, New Jersey and CT - have urged visitors arriving from US hotspots such as Texas, Florida and Alabama to quarantine themselves. Despite being among the first states to push for reopening, Texas and Florida have recently pushed back from further plans, while Imperial County in California has been urged to reenter lockdown after a surge in cases.

But in Hawaii, the city of Honolulu announced that campgrounds would reopen for the first time in three months with limited permits to ensure social distancing.

Republican governors in Texas and Florida defied encouragement from Donald Trump to reopen their economies.

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