FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear reported 979 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, a daily record that he said should be a “wake-up call” for the state’s citizens to abide by mask and social distancing restrictions to slow the spread of the virus.

The Democratic governor announced the new cases, including 30 involving children 5 years old or younger, in a news release on Sunday.

“I have faith and I have trust in the people of Kentucky,” Beshear said. “But today and in the days ahead we’ve got to do a whole lot better. We’re going to have to take some more action.”

Beshear said there were at least 23,161 coronavirus cases in Kentucky as of 4 p.m., including the new cases reported on Sunday. The state’s public health commissioner said efforts would be made to confirm the accuracy of the results with some of the laboratories that submitted them.

“We typically have limited reporting on Sunday which makes today’s record-setting number of positives particularly alarming,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department of Public Health.

Beshear also reported three new deaths, raising the total to 670 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

S. Korea has smallest rise in cases in 2 months

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported its smallest daily jump in local COVID-19 transmissions in two months as health authorities express cautious optimism that the outbreak is being brought under control.

South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday still reported 26 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including 22 that were tied to international arrivals.

Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip said during a virus briefing that the four local transmissions represented the first time that such infections came below 10 since May 19. He continued to plead for vigilance, encouraging people to avoid crowded places or even stay at home during the summer holiday period.

Officials consider imported cases as a lesser threat than local transmissions because the country is mandating COVID-19 tests and enforcing two-week quarantines on all people arriving from abroad.

Las Vegas hospitals add beds and staff

LAS VEGAS — Officials say Las Vegas-area hospitals are adding beds and staff to accommodate an increasing number of COVID-19 patients.

The Clark County fire chief says hospital occupancy isn’t high enough activate a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to use the Las Vegas Convention Center for up to 900 patients. But the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that hospitals in Clark County added 441 staffed beds as of Thursday, and the Nevada Hospital Association says another 49 have been added in other parts of the state.

The intensive care unit at the state’s only public hospital was 95% occupied as of Wednesday, with about one in three of those patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

State health officials report that 35,765 people have tested positive for the virus statewide and at least 647 have died.

Arizona reports 31 new deaths from coronavirus

PHOENIX — Arizona health officials are reporting 31 more deaths from the coronavirus. State Department of Health Services data shows the statewide death toll due to COVID-19 is 2,761 as of Sunday. There have been more than 143,600 confirmed cases.

Gov. Doug Ducey lifted stay-home orders and other restrictions in May and the state became a national hot spot for reported cases. In June, Ducey authorized local governments to impose mask requirements to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, and many have done so.

Mayor concedes Los Angeles reopened too soon

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti conceded Sunday that Los Angeles eased COVID-19 restrictions too quickly and again warned that the city was “on the brink” of new shutdown orders as the coronavirus continues to surge in California.

Appearing on CNN, Garcetti was asked about an LA Times editorial that criticized the rapid reopening of California — which was followed by a spike in new COVID-19 cases.

Garcetti said the decisions were made at the state and county levels, but said that LA officials wouldn’t hesitate to implement new stay-at-home orders if the numbers don’t turn around.

California on Saturday reported its fourth-highest daily total of new confirmed cases.

Louisiana overwhelmed by applications for rent assistance

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana officials said Sunday they have suspended an emergency rent assistance program to help those hurt by the COVID-19 economic slowdown because they were quickly overwhelmed with applicants.

They said more than 40,000 people had begun the application process in less than four days. The Lousiana Housing Corportation had estimated it had enough money to help about 10,000 tenants, with money paid directly to landlords.

The Corporation had set aside $24 million of federal money for the program and says it will try to find more money after the flood of applications.

When the program was announced Thursday, housing advocates said it was a good start, but was far too little money, especially with the $600-per-week federal unemployment payments expiring at the end of the month.

“The response to our state’s emergency rental assistance program proves how significant the economic burden of COVID-19 is for our citizens,” Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement.ATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana officials said Sunday they have suspended an emergency rent assistance program to help those hurt by the COVID-19 economic slowdown because they were quickly overwhelmed with applicants.

They said more than 40,000 people had begun the application process in less than four days. The Lousiana Housing Corportation had estimated it had enough money to help about 10,000 tenants, with money paid directly to landlords.

The Corporation had set aside $24 million of federal money for the program and says it will try to find more money after the flood of applications.

When the program was announced Thursday, housing advocates said it was a good start, but was far too little money, especially with the $600-per-week federal unemployment payments expiring at the end of the month.

“The response to our state’s emergency rental assistance program proves how significant the economic burden of COVID-19 is for our citizens,” Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement.

South Carolina reports record new cases in day

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina has set another record for newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases in a single day.

Sunday saw 2,335 people newly diagnosed with COVID-19, the South Carolina Deparment of Health and Environmental Control reported.

South Carolina has reported 2,000 new cases three times since the virus was first detected in the state in March. All have been in the past eight days. The state has spent much of the past month in the top four in the nation for new COVID-19 cases when adjusted by population.

Health officials also reported 19 new deaths Sunday, bringing the death toll to 1,138 people.

But one key statistic has been missing from the public over the weekend. Health officials said they are unable to release how many people are hospitalized with COVID-19 because the state is following a federal request to change how it reports hospitalizations.

South Carolina reported a daily record 1,593 people in the hospital with the virus Friday, the last day figures were available.

ROME — The Italian region that includes Rome is warning citizens that local lockdowns might have to be ordered if there are more clusters of coronavirus infections.

Lazio Region Health Commissioner Alessio D’Amato said 17 new COVID-19 cases were registered on Sunday, 10 of them “imported” from other countries when foreign residents returned to Italy. Many of the Rome area’s recent cases have been among returning workers from Bangladesh.

“I appeal for the use of masks, otherwise, we’ll have to close down again” with restrictive measures on citizens’ activities and movements outside of homes, D’Amato said.

“We can’t turn back and waste all the efforts done till now,” D’Amato pleaded in a Facebook post.

Lazio’s increases were included in Italy’s 219 new cases, raising to 244,434, the number of confirmed infections since the outbreak began. Italy’s known death toll on Sunday stood at 35,045, with the confirmation of three more deaths.

Rome region warns of possible new lockdowns

ROME — The Italian region that includes Rome is warning citizens that local lockdowns might have to be ordered if there are more clusters of coronavirus infections.

Lazio Region Health Commissioner Alessio D’Amato said 17 new COVID-19 cases were registered on Sunday, 10 of them “imported” from other countries when foreign residents returned to Italy. Many of the Rome area’s recent cases have been among returning workers from Bangladesh.

“I appeal for the use of masks, otherwise, we’ll have to close down again” with restrictive measures on citizens’ activities and movements outside of homes, D’Amato said.

“We can’t turn back and waste all the efforts done till now,” D’Amato pleaded in a Facebook post.

Lazio’s increases were included in Italy’s 219 new cases, raising to 244,434, the number of confirmed infections since the outbreak began. Italy’s known death toll on Sunday stood at 35,045, with the confirmation of three more deaths.

Pope expresses solidarity with all those suffering

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is assuring his closeness to all those grappling with COVID-19 and its “economic and social consequences.”

Speaking on Sunday from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, Francis said that “the pandemic is showing no sign of stopping.”

He said he was thinking in particular about all those whose suffering in the pandemic is worsened by conflicts.

Citing a recent U.N. Security Council resolution, he renewed his appeal for a worldwide, immediate cease-fire that he said “will permit the peace and security indispensable to supplying the necessary humanitarian assistance.”

Turkey suspends flights to Iran, Afghanistan

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey has suspended flights to Iran and Afghanistan because of the coronavirus outbreak, Turkey’s Transport Ministry said Sunday.

In a brief statement, the ministry said the flights were halted “as part of the Covid-19 process”.

Turkey previously shut down air travel with its neighbor Iran in February while Afghanistan suspended all flights in March.

Hong Kong tightens anti-virus rules following surge

HONG KONG — Hong Kong is tightening anti-coronavirus measures following a recent surge in cases. The wearing of masks will be mandatory in all public places and nonessential civil servants will again work from home.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam introduced the measures on Sunday, saying the situation in the Asian financial hub is “really critical” and that she sees “no sign” that it’s under control.

Travelers flying to Hong Kong from areas where the risk of infection is considered particularly severe will have to show a negative coronavirus test before boarding their flight, undergo another test upon arrival and undergo a 14-day quarantine in a hotel. Previously, those arriving could quarantine themselves at home. The nations included in the new regulation were given as Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa.

Hong Kong had appeared to have largely contained the coronavirus, but new cases reported last week have brought the city’s total to 1,777, including 12 deaths.

China, which runs Hong Kong as a semi-autonomous region, has ordered all arrivals from Hong Kong to be quarantined for two weeks, sharply reducing the volume of cross-border traffic.

India’s total cases now more than 1 million

NEW DELHI — A record 24-hour surge of 38,902 new cases has taken India’s coronavirus total to 1,077,618.

The Health Ministry on Sunday also reported 543 additional deaths for a total of 26,816.

The number of people who have recovered continues to grow. The Health Ministry data shows 677,422 patients have been cured so far across the country, putting the recovery rate at 62.82%.

Experts say India is likely to witness a series of peaks as the infection spread in rural areas.

Global death toll passes 600,000

Johns Hopkins University says the global death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 600,000.

The university’s tally as of Saturday night says the United States tops the list with 140,103 deaths. It is followed by 78,772 fatalities in Brazil and 45,358 in the United Kingdom.

The number of confirmed infections worldwide has passed 14.2 million, out of which 3.7 million are in the United States. There are over 2 million in Brazil and more than 1 million in India.

The World Health Organization again reported a single-day record of new infections with 259,848.

Mexico’s surging numbers frustrate plans to reopen businesses

MEXICO CITY — Mexico continues to register near-record levels of confirmed coronavirus infections, frustrating plans to reopen the economy.

The Health Department reported 7,615 more cases Saturday and 578 more deaths. That brings Mexico to a total of 38,888 confirmed COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began and 338, 913 cases. Those numbers are widely considered significant undercounts because Mexico has done so little testing. Government labs have administered slightly more than 800,000 tests so far, or about one out of every 150 people in the country with a population of nearly 130 million.

Mexico had hoped to begin a gradual reopening starting in June, but several states have had to reverse course, closing beaches and hotels again.

Authorities urge people not to visit Amsterdam’s red light district

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Authorities in Amsterdam are urging people not to visit the city’s famous red light district and have closed off some of the historic district’s narrow streets because they are too busy.

After months of coronavirus lockdown measures, sex workers in the Netherlands were allowed to resume work on July 1 and as other restrictions also have eased, the red light district has gotten busier again.

Late Saturday night, amid fears that visitors could not maintain social distancing, Amsterdam Municipality took action, closing roads in the area and tweeting in Dutch and English: “Don’t come to the red light district. It is too busy.”


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