Texas, Florida pause reopening plans + 6 more updates from states with largest COVID-19 case increases

This briefing contains updates at the state and city level for six states that have seen a 100-plus percent increase in new COVID-19 cases compared to June 11, according to data provided by NPR.

Those states are:
● Oklahoma (+284 percent)
● Florida (+205 percent)
● Arizona (+157 percent)
● Texas (+156 percent)
● Idaho (+134 percent)
● South Carolina (+119 percent)

1. Texas pauses reopening. Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday announced a statewide pause for any further phases to reopen. Businesses permitted to open under the previous phases can continue to operate at the designated occupancy levels and under the protocols specified by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

2. Elective surgeries suspended for some Texas hospitals. Mr. Abbott on Thursday also issued an executive order halting elective procedures in four Texas counties: Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis. The order directs all hospitals in those areas to postpone all nonemergent procedures.

3. Florida governor says he does not intend to move to the next phase of reopening. Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday that he has no plan to move to the third and final phase of reopening the state, according to News4Jax. Florida reported nearly 9,000 new cases June 26, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the state to almost 123,000, CNBC reports.

4. Miami mandates facial coverings in public. On Thursday, the city issued an emergency order mandating facial coverings be worn in public at all times and until further notice. Under a civil infraction ordinance, violators will receive a verbal warning for first offenses, a $50 fine for second offenses and a pledge to appear in court for third offenses. The Miami Police Department and Department of Code Enforcement will enforce the order.

5. Arizona governor pleads for residents to stay home as hospitals on track to hit surge capacity. Gov. Doug Ducey on Thursday did not issue any new mandates for public compliance, but pleaded with Arizonans to stay home if they can avoid going out, wear face coverings and distance themselves if they do go out, and avoid large gatherings, according to the Arizona Republic. "The rate of the spread of this virus is unacceptable, and it's time for us to step up our actions and our personal responsibilities," he said during a press conference.

6. Boise, Ada County return to stage 3 after spike in cases. Boise and Ada County in Idaho will move back to stage 3 of its reopening plan and bars will be closed, after the county reported a spike in coronavirus cases, the Idaho Statesman reports. In total, the county has 1,256 COVID-19 cases. It reported its single-day record of 68 cases June 20, and a majority of its last 323 cases were Boise residents. Stage 4 of the reopening had started June 13.

7. Charleston, S.C., to require masks in public. The Charleston, S.C., city council voted to require face masks in public, following the lead of city officials in Columbia and Greenville, according to The State. The rule goes into effect July 1 and will remain for 60 days. Coronavirus cases continue to rise in South Carolina, with the state reporting nearly 1,300 new cases June 24, the Greenville News reports.

8. Virus alert plan proposed by Democrats in Oklahoma House. House Democrats in Oklahoma are urging state leaders to implement their virus alert plan, which provides guidance to businesses and the public in the state, according to KFOR-TV, an NBC affiliate. The plan includes a color-coded chart to let residents know what the current level of transmission risk is and what precautions need to be taken. The Democrats are calling on the governor to implement their plan.

Editor's note: This article was updated June 26 at 11:30 a.m. to include the latest coronavirus case count in Florida.




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