- Texas 7-day death average hits new record high
- Modern to price vaccine at $50-$60 per dose
- California sees fewest new cases in 3 weeks
- Illinois reports best numbers in a week
- Rhode Island sees concerning uptick in new cases
- Goldman points out decline in doctor’s cases
- Washington DC, Illinois, Minnesota, Kentucky and Puerto Rico added to quarantine list
- Arizona reported another 2,107 cases
- New York reports latest batch of cases
- 4 more Marlins players test positive
- Africa nears 1 million COVID-19 cases
- Florida reports new record single-day deaths
- Belarus president says he had virus
- Fla. suffers biggest one-day jump in hospitalizations
- Oldham faces tightened COVID-19 restrictions in bid to prevent lockdown
- BoJo defends travel restrictions on Spain
- Bill Gates sits for interview on CNBC
- Sun Belt states see promising pull back
- China reports 1st case in Beijing in 3 weeks
- Head of China’s CDC takes experimental vaccine
- WHO warns COVID-19 isn’t going to be “seasonal” like the flu
- Germany joins list of European countries warning on travel to Spain
- Tokyo suffers another 270 cases
- Vietnam makes mask-wearing mandatory again
- Madrid tightens virus restrictions amid resurgence fears
* * *
Update (1740ET): The Texas numbers are in, and in keeping with the trend of falling numbers in the Sun Belt, the state reported 8,342 new cases over the last 24 hours, bringing the 7-day average to 7,803 cases per day, the lowest since July 9.
Here’s a rundown of the day’s data courtesy of KXAN News.
On the other hand, the number of deaths in the state increased by 164, with a 7-day average of 156 deaths.
The Department of Health and Human Services has again reported incomplete hospitalization data “due to a transition in reporting to comply with new federal requirements.” Only 91% of hospitals reported complete data to DSHS, reflecting 9,593 Texans currently hospitalized due to COVID-19.
In other news, the FT reports that Moderna, the biotech darling that has received roughly $1 billion in government money to expedite its vaccine trial, is pitching its coronavirus vaccine at about $50 to $60 per course, higher than other vaccine makers have agreed to charge governments, according to inside sources cited by the paper. This premium price would apply to the US and other high-income countries.
* * *
Update (1610ET): New infections slowed in two of the worst hit US states grappling with outbreaks, California and Arizona, even as deaths hit new single-day record in Florida. With Texas numbers still in the post, BBG’s initial tally showed the US increasing cases by 1reported a record number of deaths. The American Federation of Teachers authorized its members to strike if schools reopen without proper safety measures.
Coronavirus cases in the US increased 1% as compared with the same time Monday to 4.31 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was below the average 1.7% daily gain over the past week. Deaths rose 0.7% to 148,298.
* * *
Update (1440ET): Despite new records for deaths and hospitalizations out of Florida, Arizona saw cases slow again on Tuesday, as did California, which reported 6,000 new virus cases, fewer than the 14-day average of 9,159 and the lowest daily tally since July 5.
The state had 73 additional deaths, lower than the 14-day average of 99.
Hospitalizations from COVID-19, which reached a record last week, decreased 0.6% to 6,896 people, while the number of intensive-care patients fell 1.8%. Meanwhile, the average rate of positive tests over the past two weeks was stable for the fifth straight day at 7.5%.
* * *
Update (1345ET): As the tri-state area adds Illinois and a handful of other states to its travel advisory list, the state, which was home to one of the earliest known outbreaks in the US, just reported its lowest daily case numbers in a week. Illinois has reported 1,076 new COVID-19 cases and 30 additional deaths Tuesday.
This brought the state’s total to 173,731 cases, including 7,446 deaths. The state’s 7-day positivity rate now stands at 3.8%.
As of Monday night, officials said 1,383 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 329 patients in the ICU and 128 patients on ventilators.
* * *
Update (1245ET): As the tri-state area makes some new additions to its quarantine list, Rhode Island is seeing a concerning uptick in new cases, pushing the positivity rate above 3% for the first time in six weeks.
Rhode Island has reported more than 100 new cases in five of the last seven days, as the positivity rate ticks up above 3% for the first time since June 10. Interactive versions –> https://t.co/p52MWxOdMB pic.twitter.com/d2SX6uiVjL
— Eli Sherman (@Eli_Sherman) July 28, 2020
As investors dig through reams of data searching for signals about the direction of the US epidemic, a team of analysts at Goldman Sachs said that while the number of new cases is still well above the levels from two weeks ago, a dip in doctor’s appointments related to COVID-19 over the past few days portends a coming decline, they said. The decline has been seen across nearly all states.
This suggests virus spread could be at the start of a national decline. The prevalence of CLI symptoms is a leading indicator of virus spread. Today, four states with elevated levels of new cases over 100 per million per day now have new cases on a sustained downward trajectory. Three of those — Texas, South Carolina, and Utah — saw CLI symptom prevalence peak about 12 days before the peak in confirmed cases. In Arizona, the decline in reported cases was roughly coincident with the decline in symptom prevalence.
Here’s more on that via this chart:
And here’s Goldman’s latest daily heat map.
* * *
Update (1125ET): Arizona reported 2,107 (+1.3%) new cases, bringing the statewide total to 165,934, along with 104 deaths, bringing the death toll in Arizona to 3,408.
Some 12.7% of cases were positive, while ICU capacity in the state declined to 84%.
Meanwhile, the latest New York numbers are in, and they suggest no change to the trend…
Today’s update on the numbers:
Of the 57,397 tests reported yesterday, 534 were positive (0.93% of total).
Total hospitalizations are at 648.
Sadly, there were 9 COVID fatalities yesterday. pic.twitter.com/MJg6tsnWxP
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 28, 2020
Cuomo also announced that Washington DC, Illinois, Minnesota and Kentucky and Puerto Rico have been added to the tri-state area quarantine list.
BREAKING: Illinois, Minnesota, Kentucky … Washington, DC and Puerto Rico added to Tri-state travel quarantine list #nbc4ny
— Steven Bognar (@Bogs4NY) July 28, 2020
They will join 31 other states on the travel quarantine list.
— Steven Bognar (@Bogs4NY) July 28, 2020
* * *
Update (1035ET): Florida reported its biggest daily jump in COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday as its death toll blew past 6,000.
Florida reported 191 fatalities in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department. Florida also reported 9,230 new cases, pushing the total to over 440,000, the second highest tally in the country behind California. Florida’s total death toll rose to 6,240, the ninth highest in the country.
Hospitalizations statewide increased by a record 585 new patients, bring the total to 24,917 to date, and 9,023 currently hospitalized as of 1030ET.
Statewide, the positivity rate hit 11.69%.
Meanwhile, the WHO’s latest Africa update showed that the number of confirmed cases on the continent is nearing 1 million.
Over 859,000 confirmed #COVID19 cases on the African continent – with more than 506,000 recoveries & 18,000 deaths. View country figures & more with the WHO African Region COVID-19 Dashboard: https://t.co/V0fkK7WnuG pic.twitter.com/kpv6APILhs
— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) July 28, 2020
In other news, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, the last of Europe’s Soviet-era Strongmen still in power, has told the press that he had the virus. If accurate, Lukashenko would join Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as a leader who has played down the virus, but also been infected himself.
* * *
Update (1030ET): Is this it for the 2020 MLB season? Another scheduled game – Tuesday’s bout between the Phillies and the Yankees – has been postponed after 4 more Marlins players tested positive for the virus.
Here’s more from Sports Illustrated:
After the latest round of coronavirus testing, the Miami Marlins had four additional players test positive, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
This means that 17 players have reportedly tested positive over the past five days. On Monday, there were 11 players and two coaches as the total confirmed cases on Miami’s roster.
The team remains in Philadelphia after Monday night’s home opener against the Baltimore Orioles was canceled. According to Rosenthal, one of the team members who tested positive had a subsequent test that came back negative.
In order for a player to be eligible to rejoin the team, they would need two negative tests recorded 24 hours apart.
As a result of the Marlins outbreak, the Philadelphia Phillies postponed Monday’s game against the New York Yankees at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies hosted the Marlins over the weekend but have had no players test positive in the early round of results, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.
Tuesday night’s Phillies game against the Yankees was also postponed.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred appeared on MLB Network and said that the Miami outbreak was not a “nightmare” scenario for the league and trusted the protocols in place.
Nearly 20 players on the team have tested positive over the last 5 days. More signs that the players are having second thoughts about agreeing to the season are being seen across social media, as players like and share posts critical of the league.
The NY Post reported yesterday that Rob Manfred has “no plans” to cancel play following a conference call with all 30 team owners. Instead, they will “redouble” their health efforts.
* * *
Update (0925ET): After Germany on Tuesday urged its citizens to avoid traveling to Catalonia, the Spanish government in Madrid started pushing for countries imposing travel restrictions or warnings to focus on the specific regions of Spain (ie Catalonia, specifically the area in and around Barcelona) instead of the entire country.
But in an interview filmed Tuesday morning, British PM Boris Johnson warned that the signs of a “second wave” of coronavirus are beginning to emerge across Europe, as he defended changing travel advice on Spain.
BoJo backed the decision, announced on Sunday, to advise travelers returning from Spain to the UK to quarantine for 14 days due to the recent resurgence in the country.
Additionally, the UK, which is only just exiting its own lockdown, is already seeing problems in the Greater Manchester area, where tougher restrictions have been introduced in Oldham, Greater Manchester in a bid to prevent a local lockdown, Sky News reports.
BREAKING: Tougher #COVID19 restrictions have been introduced in Oldham, Greater Manchester in a bid to prevent a local lockdown.
— Caribbean disaster (@BagalueSunab) July 28, 2020
The PM added: “What we have to do is take swift and decisive action where we think that the risks are starting to bubble up again,” BoJo said during a Tuesday visit to Nottingham.
* * *
Bill Gates on Tuesday morning sat for an interview with the Squawk Box team where he assured all viewers that skepticism about the safety of the coronavirus vaccine candidates had been greatly exaggerated. Once the FDA has slapped its imprimatur on a candidate, Americans and others shouldn’t hesitate to accept the final product.
Gates’s interview follows a slew of vaccine-related news. Taken together, the intended message is clear: With the bilateral relationship unraveling and US economic fundamentals continuing to deteriorate, vaccine-related headlines are the market’s last hope for survival. It follows news from yesterday about Moderna’s vaccine candidate, which is entering its Phase 3 trial.
During his interview on Tuesday, Gates praised the “low-cost” vaccines from AstraZeneca and Moderna…and seemingly dismissed concerns about safety and side-effects out of hand.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a particulary good, low-cost vaccine. The AstraZeneca and Moderna are two of the first to get out there,” says @BillGates on what companies are winning the race for the #COVID19 vaccine. pic.twitter.com/MFqGCF1Z4d
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) July 28, 2020
Yesterday, the worst-hit Sun Belt states showed promising signs that infections are slowing. Meanwhile, in China, the number of new cases confirmed daily has continued to creep higher as more cases were confirmed on Tuesday.
Beijing on Tuesday reported one new coronavirus case, its first in 21 days. The new case was confirmed just days after Beijing started reopening more public transit and lifting other restrictions inspired by the outbreak. The case was just 1 of 68 reported Tuesday across the mainland.
With anxieties on the rise, the head of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention surprised his audience by revealing that he had been injected with an experimental coronavirus vaccine. The talk, according to the AP, was intended to show the Chinese people that there’s nothing wrong with taking such a vaccine.
“I’m going to reveal something undercover: I am injected with one of the vaccines,” Gao Fu said in a webinar Sunday hosted by Alibaba Health, an arm of the Chinese e-commerce giant, and Cell Press, an American publisher of scientific journals. “I hope it will work.”
Suffering its own “third wave” outbreak, Hong Kong is considering postponing its upcoming legislative elections, according to local press reports, as a resurgence of new cases over the last 2 weeks has rattled Hong Kong society. Authorities reported 98 local infections on Tuesday, a slight ebb after the city found more than 100 local cases for six consecutive days. The city’s contact tracers have had trouble tracing the origins of new infections.
As the outbreak worsens, HK is imposing its most restrictive social distancing measures yet.
Elsewhere in Asia, Vietnam and its provinces are imposing mandatory mask-wearing orders after an unexpected surge in community infections stemming from an outbreak in Danang (reported 11 new cases yesterday). The province has put about 7,000 people in quarantine for 14 days. Over the past three days, the region has reported 15 new cases. Vietnam had all but claimed victory over the virus, having gone almost 100 days without even a single new local patient.
In Tokyo, officials confirmed about 270 new cases of the virus on Tuesday, Nikkei reported, citing an unidentified person. That’s more than twice the 131 cases the Japanese capital found Monday. The city has reported more than 100 new daily cases for weeks as it faces a renewed resurgence.
Finally, moving over to the Asia-Pacific region, Victoria reported another 384 cases and six deaths over the past 24 hours, and said that it will suspend all but the most urgent elective surgeries. As the outbreak in its second-most populous state intensifies, Australia is sending a medical team to help Papua New Guinea confront an alarming surge in cases, according to Canberra’s Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Birmingham. The small Pacific island state had 62 cases as of Tuesday, up from just eight 11 days ago.
All the while, worries about a second wave have intensified across Europe.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez responded angrily to the UK after Britain ratcheted up its travel restrictions to include a popular set of Spanish islands, and mandated quarantines for all travelers visiting the UK from Spain.
“The decision is unbalanced,” Sanchez said about these new restrictions. The Balearic and Canary Islands “have a lower incidence of the virus than is being registered right now” in Britain, Sanchez said.
Speaking to the BBC, Local Government Minister Simon Clarke said “we respectfully disagree with the Spanish government…You do have to make decisions on a country-wide basis. There is going to be internal transfer within Spain.”
Globally, cases have reached 16,409,902, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
This comes just after the worldwide death toll topped 650k to 652,531.
The WHO has warned against complacency over coronavirus transmissions in the northern hemisphere, saying that the virus does not behave like influenza, which typically follows a set “flu season”.
Adding to the growing number of European countries that have advised their citizens to avoid travel to Spain, Germany on Tuesday urged travelers to avoid Catalonia and Barcelona over fears they might contract the virus.
As was widely expected, the biggest COVID-19 vaccine trial in the world got under way on Monday with the first of 30,000 volunteers for Moderna’s major ‘Stage 3’ trial which is being run in cooperation with the US government.
While Spain denounced the new travel restrictions that will put the final nail in the coffin of the 2020 peak tourism season, the regional government in Madrid has just made the wearing of face masks mandatory in all public areas, while limiting the number of people allowed to gather in a given space to ten.
Finally, Iran has reported 235 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, a record single-day toll for the Islamic Republic, which has the highest death toll in the Middle East.