5 states see record hospitalizations; scientists question WHO's stance on indoor transmission — 6 COVID-19 updates

The daily global COVID-19 case count hit an all-time high July 4, with 212,326 new infections reported, according to data from the World Health Organization cited by NBC News. The previous record had been 190,566 daily cases, set June 28.

Six updates:

1. At least four states saw record case increases this weekend and five saw record hospitalizations. On July 3, North Carolina reported a record 2,099 new cases, and Idaho reported 401 new infections. On July 4, Florida reported 11,445 new cases and surpassed 200,000 total cases in the state July 5, reports NBC News. Texas also reported a record 8,258 cases July 4, marking the first time that state has seen more than 8,000 cases in one day, according to USA Today. South Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Nevada and California reported a record number of hospitalizations, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. 

2. Airborne spread indoors could be a significant mode of COVID-19 transmission, 239 scientists write in an open letter to the WHO, according to The New York Times. The scientists urge WHO to revise its recommendations as the organization maintains that research regarding airborne transmission indoors is still inconclusive and that airborne transmission is possible only after medical procedures that produce aerosols. However, the 239 scientists from 32 counties say evidence shows the virus lingers in the air inside. The researchers intend to publish the letter in a scientific journal soon.

3. Black and Latino people are three times more likely to contract COVID-19 than white people, according to CMS data The New York Times sued to obtain. They are also more than twice as likely to die from the virus. The data covers 640,000 infections from nearly 1,000 U.S. counties through May. NYT noted the federal data is still incomplete, with more than half of cases missing race or ethnicity information. 

4. The WHO is discontinuing its hydroxychloroquine and HIV drug combination trials after they failed to reduce COVID-19 deaths for hospitalized patients, as reported by The Guardian. The WHO released a July 4 statement reading: "These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalised COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect."

5. Arizona opened "way too early," Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said in a July 5 interview on ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." Phoenix has seen an "explosion" of cases among people ages 20 to 44 and is struggling to boost testing capacity, according to Ms. Gallego. "We were one of the last states to go to stay-at-home and one of the first to reemerge," she said. "And we reemerged at zero to 60."

6. President Donald Trump said 99 percent of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are "harmless," though it is not clear where this figure came from, according to The Guardian. During a July 4 speech, President Trump said most cases were harmless, citing the high quality of testing in the U.S. When asked about the statement on CNN's "State of The Union", FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, refused to comment on President Trump's remarks and instead urged Americans "to follow the CDC and the White House task force guidelines," according to USA Today.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 2,888,729

Deaths: 129,947

Recovered: 906,763

Counts reflect data available as of 8:55 a.m. CDT July 6.

More articles on public health:
COVID-19 activity increasing in most regions: 4 CDC updates
22 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: July 6
Young adults in Alabama throwing COVID-19 parties with payout for first person infected

2 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: July 6

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