Miami is shutting down its popular beaches over the Fourth of July weekend as coronavirus cases surge in Florida, CNN reports. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez made the announcement Friday and said all county parks and beaches will be closed from Friday, July 3 to Tuesday, July 7. "As we continue to see more COVID-19 positive test results among young adults and rising hospitalizations, I have decided that the only prudent thing to do to tamp down this recent uptick is to crack down on recreational activities," he said. The Miami Herald reports that Broward County is also closing beaches over the weekend. This as the state reported 8,530 new cases Sunday, the day after reporting 9,585 cases—a one-day high since the pandemic started. In related news:
- States in crisis: Georgia, Nevada, and South Carolina also reported new daily case highs on Saturday, per NBC News, while the New York Times reports on additional single-day highs Friday in Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Oregon, South Carolina and Utah. Texas and Florida responded to rising case numbers by scaling back their reopenings, and Gov. Gavin Newsom of California told rural Imperial County to reimpose its lockdown.
- 'The window': "This is a very serious situation," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Sunday, per the Guardian, warning that "the window is closing" to curb the virus. "We have to act, and people as individuals have to act responsibly. We need to social distance, we need to wear our face coverings."
- Long waits: Florida and Texas residents are enduring long waits and are even getting turned away at overburdened coronavirus test sites, the New York Times reports. A Texas resident says he drove an hour to Austin and waited four-and-a-half hours in his car at the testing area. "I was annoyed," he said. "There wasn’t really communication."
- Mississippi ICUs: Some ICUs are full in Mississippi as medical staffs struggle to provide care for common ICU illnesses along with COVID-19 patients, the Clarion Ledger reports. "We're very concerned," says Alan Jones, a top official at the University of Mississippi Medical Center's ICU.
- 36 states: Just two states are reporting a reduction in new coronavirus cases this week—Rhode Island and Connecticut—while CNN reports that a "staggering 36 states" are seeing an upswing. "As a doctor, a scientist, an epidemiologist, I can tell you with 100% certainty that in most states where you're seeing an increase, it is a real increase," former CDC Director Tom Frieden said on Fox News. "It is not more tests; it is more spread of the virus."
- Silent spreaders: For two months, health officials and politicians dismissed data showing that symptom-less people could spread the disease. Calculating the cost of that error is impossible, per a Times investigation, but "aggressive action might have saved tens of thousands of lives."
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