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US COVID-19 Tracker: Florida, Texas report record surge

The latest soar was the second time in three days that the state's caseload increased by more than 10,000

Sunday July 5, 2020 3:24 PM, IANS

US Covid Tracker

Washington: Florida and Texas have reported new record high number of COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour time period, forcing authorities in other parts of the US to scale down Fourth of July celebrations.

On Saturday, Florida reported 11,458 new coronavirus cases, smashing the previous single-day record and almost tying New York state's peak daily figure set in April, reports Xinhua news agency.

Second time in three days

The soar was the second time in three days that the state's caseload increased by more than 10,000.

The new record also continues a marked upturn in cases that began in late May, forcing the state to roll back part of its reopening starting on May 4.

Also Read | On US Independence Day, The Masked American Rises

In Texas, 8,258 cases were reported, with the total infections now standing at 191,790, according to local health officials.

Actual number may be higher

Health experts argued, however, that the true number of coronavirus infections is likely to be much higher since the majority of the local population have yet to be tested.

Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday reported an increase of nearly 53,000 infections, bringing the national count to 2,838,678, while the death toll stood at 129,672.

ID celebrations scaled down

With some 40 states in the US reporting resurgence of COVID-19 cases, Independence Day celebrations have been either scaled down or cancelled.

In Chicago, the local government has cancelled the fireworks displays at Navy Pier and most of the surrounding suburbs to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

There was also no public activity and access to the annual Houston Fourth of July celebration Saturday night as COVID-19 continues its rapid spread in Texas.

"The city of Houston will celebrate freedom this year, but out of an abundance of caution during the COVID-19 pandemic, we want people to stay home and watch the fireworks," said Mayor Sylvester Turner.

"The virtual celebration will include a dazzling display of red, white, and blue as we reflect on the history of our country and the challenging events of 2020," he added.

Restrictions on gatherings

Following Texas Governor Greg Abbott's statewide face covering mandate, Lina Hidalgo, judge of Harris County where Houston is located, has issued an order prohibiting outdoor gatherings of 10 or more people.

The order went into effect on Friday, and will last until August 26.

In New York, once the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, the public were urged to avoid crowds, and Nathan's Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest happened at an undisclosed location without spectators on hand, according to local media reports.

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