LOS ANGELES: California and Texas both marked record spikes in new COVID-19 infections on Monday, a Reuters tally showed, as Los Angeles reported an “alarming” one-day surge in America’s second-largest city that put it over 100,000 cases.
Los Angeles has become a new epicenter in the pandemic as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge there despite California Governor Gavin Newsom’s strict orders requiring bars to close and residents to wear masks in nearly all public spaces.“The alarming increases in cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations signals that we, as a community, need to take immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County, said in a statement announcing the sharp rise.
“Otherwise, we are quickly moving toward overwhelming our healthcare system and seeing even more devastating illness and death,” Ferrer said. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a “hard pause” on when movie theaters, theme parks and other entertainment venues can reopen. Los Angeles County is the biggest movie theater market in the United States.
Los Angeles County said its beaches will be closed for the Independence Day weekend and fireworks displays will be banned.
Statewide positive tests for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, rose by at least 7,418 in California Monday to nearly 223,000, the biggest one-day increase since tracking began. Los Angeles County, with a population of 10 million, has recorded 100,000 cases.
California is among a number of U.S. states including Florida, Texas and Arizona battling a new wave of infections as the nation emerges from weeks of clamp-downs on residents and businesses. COVID-19 infections in Texas rose by 6,545 on Monday to nearly 160,000, also setting a record for a one-day increase.
Nationally, cases rose by more than 40,000, for the fourth time in the past five days. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Monday ordered the closure of bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters and water parks for at least 30 days. Ducey also delayed the start of public schools until at least Aug. 17.“Our expectation is that next week our numbers will be worse,” Ducey said at an afternoon news conference. Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Phoenix on Wednesday to discuss efforts to fight the pandemic’s resurgence. Texas and Florida ordered the closure of all their recently reopened bars on Friday.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said on Monday indoor dining will not resume on Thursday as planned and would be postponed indefinitely.