DALLAS — Both Vice President Mike Pence and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott acknowledged Sunday that there has been a rapid rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the state in recent weeks after Abbott begin allowing businesses to start reopening in early May.
“Covid 19 has taken a very swift and very dangerous turn in Texas over just the past few weeks,” said Abbott, who on Friday again shut down bars and limited restaurant dining, a day after Texas reported a record high confirmed positive tests of 5,996.
Abbott has also banned elective surgeries in the state’s largest counties.
Pence praised Abbott for his decisions both to reopen the state, then to roll back the reopening plans.
“You flattened the curve here in Texas ... but about two weeks ago something changed” and the number of positive confirmed cases have risen from about 2,000 cases a day to more than 5,000 a day. “With the development of these new cases, we’re grateful, Governor, you’ve taken the steps you’ve taken,” Pence said.
Pence also encouraged the wearing of face coverings in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
“Wear a mask, where ever it’s indicated or where ever you’re not able to practice the kind of social distancing that would prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” said Pence, who along with Abbott wore face masks as they entered and left the room, taking them off while speaking to reporters.
Another global record reported
GENEVA - The World Health Organization has announced another daily record in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the world - topping over 189,000 in a single 24-hour period.
The tally Sunday from the U.N. health agency eclipses the previous record a week earlier at over 183,000 cases, showing case counts continue to progress worldwide.
Brazil recorded the most new cases over the one-day span at more than 46,800, followed by the U.S. at over 44,400. India had nearly 20,000.
Overall the U.S. still has far and away the most total cases. At more than 2,450,000 - roughly twice that of Brazil. The number of actual cases worldwide is much higher.
California orders some bars closed
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered bars that have opened in seven counties to immediately close.
Newsom is urging bars in eight other counties to do the same, saying the coronavirus is rapidly spreading in some parts of the state.
The counties under the mandatory bar closure order include Los Angeles, Fresno, San Joaquin, Kings, Kern, Imperial and Tulare counties.
State officials asked eight other counties to issue local health orders closing bars include Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Stanislaus.
Kosovo eyes new lockdown
PRISTINA, Kosovo — The prime minister of Kosovo is warning that officials may have to reinstate lockdown measures if things don't improve after a recent surge in reported coronavirus cases.
Avdullah Hoti said Sunday that he's worried the hospital system will be overwhelmed.
Kosovo has seen a steep daily increase of the virus cases following containment measures from March to May. This past week, there were 517 new confirmed cases and 12 deaths.
Hoti urged residents to wear masks, follow social distancing protocols and wash their hands. He says those are simple measures “to protect ourselves, our children, parents and co-workers or co-travelers in the bus or taxi, or the next person at the restaurant."
Kosovo has eased all restrictions except for those on mass gatherings, or fans at sport or cultural events.
As of Sunday, Kosovo has reported at least 2,590 confirmed cases and 48 deaths.
'Reopen' organizer has COVID-19
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A Maryland man who has helped organize “reopen” protests against measures intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus says he has the virus.
Tim Walters is a co-founder of the ReOpen Maryland movement. The Capital Gazette and Washington Post report that he announced on social media that he has tested positive.
In a Facebook video, he said he was diagnosed at a hospital emergency room. The newspapers report that he said, “Here I am months after not wearing a mask at rallies, churches and so on and so it’s funny how capricious this thing is.”
Walters declined interview requests from the papers. He said he would not provide any information to public health officials trying to trace the spread of the disease. Walters emphasized he had contacted people he’d recently interacted with.