Florida and Arizona hit daily highs for COVID-19 cases

By Gary McWilliams and Nathan Layne

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Florida and Arizona posted daily highs for COVID-19 cases on Saturday, highlighting the worsening spread of the virus in several southern and western states, some of which are taking steps to reverse their reopening plans. .

Florida reported 9,585 new infections on Saturday morning in the last 24 hours, a record for a second day, while Arizona reported 3,591 new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, which coincides with its previous record on 23 of June.

The United States recorded more than 45,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the largest increase in the pandemic in a single day, according to a Reuters count. More than 2.5 million Americans have now tested positive.

The increase in cases has been most pronounced in southern and western states like Florida and Texas, which are now taking steps to re-establish restrictions on businesses, threatening an economic recovery and expected jobs.

Mayor of Galena Park, a community of 10,000 people east of Houston, said she was hearing a warning from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who on Friday raised the level of public threat to its most severe level, a signal that people should take refuge in their homes.

“It is crucial to continue practicing good hygiene, staying home as much as possible, avoiding unnecessary trips, meetings, and covering your face at all times when you leave your home,” Mayor Esmeralda Moya said in a statement Friday night. .

The Galena Park curfew will last from 10 pm to 5 am daily.

In a change from his first moves to relax restrictions, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the closure of bars across the state and required restaurants to limit indoor seating capacity to 50%. Florida, another state that reopened its economy relatively quickly, told bar owners in the state to stop serving alcohol on its premises.

Earlier this week, New York teamed up with New Jersey and Connecticut to impose mandatory 14-day quarantines on travelers from states with high infection rates.

(Reporting by Gary McWilliams in Houston, Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut, and Sinead Carew in Maplewood, New Jersey; Daniel Wallis and Diane Craft edition)