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U.S., Florida see decline in new COVID-19 cases, deaths

By
Don Jacobson & Jean Lotus & Darryl Coote
Medical staff are seen during mass testing at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on July 21. Florida's total caseload surpassed 432,000 on Sunday. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI
Medical staff are seen during mass testing at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on July 21. Florida's total caseload surpassed 432,000 on Sunday. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

July 27 (UPI) -- The United States saw a decrease in new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and Florida reported its lowest single-day tally in almost three weeks.

Florida heath officials on Monday reported the Sunday figure at just under 8,900 -- the lowest number since July 7 -- which pushed the statewide total past 432,000. The state also reported 77 more deaths, almost half as many that were reported Saturday.

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Florida recorded no new non-resident deaths on Sunday, officials said.

Meanwhile, on Monday, a group of 5,000 healthcare workers called on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a statewide mask mandate.

"With Miami-Dade the new epicenter of coronavirus with over 100,000 positive cases, and Florida cases now surpassing New York, it's critical that the state follow health restrictions including putting in place a mask requirement to control this crisis," said a letter from the Jackson Health employee union representing nurses, doctors and other health care professionals.

More than half the governors in the United States have issued mask orders for citizens in public places. U.S. airlines and retail chains such as Walmart and Lowe's have also ordered face masks to be worn while flying or shopping in stores.

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Nationally, updated data Monday from researchers at Johns Hopkins University showed 55,000 new U.S. cases -- a notable decline from a four-day average of 70,000 new cases last week.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 4.29 million cases of COVID-19 and 148,201 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

Deaths were also down significantly on Sunday, according to data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project. After four consecutive days of at least 1,000 deaths, just 558 died, the researchers said.

USA Today reported Monday that 13 states set weekly records for new cases last week and seven states had a weekly record number of deaths.

Case records were set in Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Wyoming -- and record deaths in Alabama, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas.

In Washington, D.C., the White House said national security adviser Robert O'Brien has COVID-19. He is the highest-ranking member of the Trump administration to date to test positive for the virus.

In Louisiana, health officials have reported 3,840 cases and 48 deaths over the weekend, but hospitalizations and ventilator patients both declined.

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Some 94% of the new cases are tied to community spread, the Louisiana Department of Health tweeted.

Louisiana has the nation's second-highest average of new cases over the past week, trailing only Florida, according to the Harvard Global Health Initiative.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the percentage of those testing positive in the city is down.

In his daily update Monday, he said the positivity rate is 1%, keeping it on track to retain loosened restrictions that started last week.

"This is the best number we've seen," he said. "That's absolutely outstanding and it's because of all the hard work that all of you have put in.

"Please do not let up. I was out and around the city this weekend, I saw a lot of people with face coverings but not as many as I'd like to see."

De Blasio also called for city courts to reopen to handle a rise in crimes.

In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear announced a two-week ban on bars effective Tuesday while limiting restaurants to 25% pre-pandemic in-door seating capacity and urging schools to not hold in-person instruction until the third week of August.

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The orders were made amid a spike in cases in the state, with 552 cases reported in the previous 24 hours, lifting its total to 27,601.

"At a time when Kentucky is dealing with a surge in the coronavirus, knowing where other states have gone and knowing what it takes to stop it from happening here, let's remember that we're going to get through this, and we're going to get through this together, but it's going to require us to do what's necessary," Beshear said in a statement.

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