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U.S. reports another 67K COVID-19 cases; record deaths in Florida

Storm clouds hover over Times Square in New York City on Friday. City leaders released a plan Friday to reopen schools, as long as certain COVID criteria are met. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Storm clouds hover over Times Square in New York City on Friday. City leaders released a plan Friday to reopen schools, as long as certain COVID criteria are met. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

July 31 (UPI) -- There were 67,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the United States on Thursday, updated data showed Friday.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 4.496 million U.S. cases and 152,000 deaths, according to updated figures from researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

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More than 1,200 patients died Thursday, the ninth day of the last 10 that saw the daily toll pass 1,000, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday he planned to speak with President Donald Trump about the dangers of COVID-19 and Hurricane Isaias, which is expected to bring severe storm conditions to the state this weekend. Trump traveled to Belleair Friday, which is located in central Florida on the Gulf Coast.

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DeSantis said he'd request an extension of National Guard support.

Trump will participate in a roundtable at 4:30 p.m. EDT to discuss efforts to control the pandemic and potential hurricane damage from Isaias.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza released details Friday for plan to reopen city schools, including a requirement that the citywide infection rate remain below 3%.

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"Unless that number is below 3%, we will not reopen schools," de Blasio said. "If that number is below 3%, we will move ahead with our plan."

He said if the rate moves higher after schools are opened on Sept. 10, they will be shut down.

The city has had a "positivity rate" of 3% or less every day since June 10.

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"That's extraordinary, and today's indicators are very strong again," de Blasio said. "We know we can do it, but I want to hold that very tough, tough standard."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to decide next week whether city schools will reopen for the fall.

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