The Latest: N.C. Republican state senator tests positive
RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina state senator says he’s tested positive for COVID-19, the first known public case for a General Assembly member.
Sen. Danny Britt, a Robeson County Republican, told The Associated Press he received the positive test on Friday.
Britt, an attorney and National Guard officer, was on the Senate floor on Wednesday as the chamber debated bills and cast votes. The full legislature isn’t expected to return to work until September.
Building administrators at the legislative complex in downtown Raleigh have initiated health and social distancing measures since April. There is no mandate for wearing masks indoors in the two buildings. That’s frustrated Democrats who serve in the Republican-controlled House and Senate.
Nationwide, at least 75 legislators in at least 28 states have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the outbreak, according to an AP tally.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— India passes 800,000 cases, with record daily jump of more than 27,000
— Trump undercuts health experts for reopening in schools debate
— US bets on untested company to deliver COVID-19 vaccine
— International students worried about a new immigration policy that could potentially cost them their visas s ay they feel stuck between unnecessary exposure during the coronavirus pandemic and finishing their studies in America.
— South Africa’s confirmed coronavirus cases have doubled in two weeks to a quarter-million. Inequality concerns are growing as health workers seek better protection while some among the rich are hoarding equipment.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
NEW DELHI — India’s coronavirus cases have passed 800,000 after the biggest spike of 27,114 cases in the past 24 hours, causing nearly a dozen states to impose a partial lockdown in high-risk areas.
The new confirmed cases took the national total to 820,916. The Health Ministry on Saturday reported another 519 deaths for a total of 22,123.
A surge in infections went from 600,000 to more than 800,000 in nine days. The ministry says the recovery rate was continuing to improve at more than 62%.
Eight of India’s 28 states, including the worst-hit Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and New Delhi, account for nearly 90% of all infections.
The most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, with nearly 230 million people, imposed a weekend lockdown. Several others announced restrictions in districts reporting major spikes.
BEIJING — New coronavirus cases have dropped sharply in China, and authorities are turning their attention to concerns the virus could spread through imported food.
Those worries have risen since a June outbreak in Beijing was linked to the city’s largest wholesale market.
Testing has been stepped up on incoming food shipments, and Friday customs officials said they are halting imports from three Ecuadorian shrimp producers after tests showed the virus present in recent shipments.
Authorities say the coronavirus was detected on the outer packaging of the shipments July 3. The inner packaging and the shrimp themselves tested negative. Products from the three companies received after March 12 have been ordered returned or destroyed.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 35 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its confirmed caseload to 13,373 infections and 288 deaths.
South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 13 of the new cases were in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, which has been at the center of a virus resurgence since late May.
Infections were also reported in other major cities such as Daejeon and Gwangju, where patients had ties to churches, a Buddhist temple, nursing homes and a sauna.
Fifteen of the new cases were linked to international arrivals.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky’s governor says a new requirement for people to wear face masks in public took effect at 5 p.m. Friday despite a judge’s restraining order related to pandemic restrictions though not specifically on the face covering rule.
Gov. Andy Beshear says the mask mandate is “mandatory, regardless of anything else that’s out there.”
The Scott County court judge issued an order Thursday blocking the governor from issuing executive orders related to the pandemic unless he first meets a list of requirements.
Beshear calls the restraining order “bizarre” and “not legal.” He says the ruling will be appealed and likely end up before the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Newly reported cases of COVID-19 have increased in recent days in Kentucky, prompting Beshear to issue the 30-day order requiring masks in public places.
CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration has given provisional approval to the drug remdesivir, an experimental medicine that has shown promise in the recovery time of the most seriously ill COVID-19 patients.
The approval comes as Australia had a sharp increase in coronavirus infections in the state of Victoria, which reported a record 288 confirmed cases Friday.
Authorities say remdesivir will be available only to hospital patients who are severely ill, require oxygen or high-level support to breathe. It is the only drug licensed by both the U.S. and the European Union as a treatment for people with severe illness from the coronavirus.
With a population of 26 million, Australia has recorded more than 9,000 coronavirus cases, with 107 deaths.
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says “things will get worse” in the state as more than 10,000 patients are hospitalized with the coronavirus.
The deadliest week of the pandemic yet in Texas continued Friday with 95 new deaths.
On the Texas-Mexico border, Starr County Judge Eloy Vera says his rural community is trying to get a refrigerated trailer because the local funeral home can’t keep up with more than two bodies a day.
Texas members of Congress are asking the Trump administration for a field hospital in the Rio Grande Valley. They say in a letter sent Friday to the health and human services secretary Azar there is “no indication that case counts will level out soon.”
SALEM, Ore. — Oregon health officials are urging people to limit indoor social gatherings to fewer than 10 people during the next three weeks amid a “troubling” surge in coronavirus cases.
New projections by the Oregon Health Authority predict if transmission of the virus continues at the current pace, the estimated number of new daily, confirmed infections could reach anywhere from 1,100 to 3,600.
The director of the Oregon Health Authority says “we are calling on Oregonians to take action, to help us bring down the spread of COVID-19 and get it under control so we can again bend the curve back down.”
Oregon officials reported 275 new confirmed coronavirus cases Friday, bringing the total statewide to 11,454. There have been at least 232 deaths.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Confirmed coronavirus infections in Pennsylvania were more than 1,000 on Friday in the state’s highest one-day mark since May, with state health officials blaming the rising numbers on crowded bars and out-of-state travel to virus hot spots.
Pennsylvania reported more than 1,000 confirmed infections for the first time since May 10. About 175 of the newly reported cases arose from a batch of private lab results, according to the state Health Department.
Health officials reported another 32 virus-related deaths, raising the statewide toll to 6,880.
State health officials warned in an alert to hospitals, doctors offices and other heath care providers that increasing numbers of young people are contracting the virus. The Health Department also says local outbreaks are being traced to out-of-state travel and to parties, restaurants, bars and other social gatherings.