The United States saw another record-breaking day on Friday with 66,600 new coronavirus cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That’s up from the previous daily record of 63,200 cases on Thursday and marks the third time in less than a week the country has hit an all-time high for new, confirmed infections.
The U.S. has now seen over 3.18 million COVID-19 cases and more than 134,000 deaths due to the virus.
Parts of the country are scrambling to shut down once again as the virus spreads, Michael George reported for “CBS This Morning: Saturday.”
Bars, restaurants and the young made their way into the crosshairs of governors in southern states where the virus is surging.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order Friday to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages at bars and restaurants in the state after 11 p.m. It goes into effect on Saturday, affecting about 8,000 locations.
“Many of the young people in our state as well as around the country seem not to be taking the virus as seriously as they should,” McMaster said.
“We know that young adults who are rapidly contracting the virus and spreading it into our communities frequently congregate in late-night atmospheres which simply are not conducive to stopping its continued transmission,” said McMaster.
At a Kentucky test site, bartender Michael Whitler knows what can happen after 11 p.m.
“Once it gets too late at night, it’s just unbelievable,” said Whitler.
“It’s been pretty nuts,” he said. “Enough to make you want to go get tested.”
In Tennessee, Shelby County restaurants require customers to fork over their contact information before they’re seated.
“It’s really important to have peoples’ names and phone numbers because if there was someone who was positive in that restaurant at the same time, then the owners can tell everyone else,” said infectious disease doctor Manoj Jain, who is on the local task force that mandated the rule.
Michael Patrick, chef and owner of Rizzo’s in Memphis, will hang on to the information and seating charts for the better part of a month to help trace patrons who test positive for COVID-19.
“I would hate for, God forbid, someone to get sick here, but I feel like it was a public obligation to let people know who ate here,” Patrick said.
Georgia set a new single-day record for new coronavirus cases on Friday, reporting more than 4,400 new infections. The skyrocketing case numbers prompted Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to order the city to return to Phase 1 of reopening, effective immediately.
Meanwhile, increasing virus infections in Pennsylvania are being blamed in part on crowded bars, as well of out-of-state travel. The state reported more than 1,000 new infections Friday – the highest one-day tally there since May.
In Nevada, bars in seven counties were ordered to close again in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. It marks the second time the state has tightened restrictions since it started reopening.
In Texas, one of the hardest-hit states, Governor Greg Abbott warned Friday that he may have to implement a lockdown if the virus numbers don’t come down. The governor has reiterated several times this week that his statewide mask order must be followed.
“The worst is yet to come as we work our way through that massive increase in people testing positive,” Abbott told CBS News affiliate KLBK-TV. “The only way that we can keep our businesses open, the only way that we can continue to have a job they need to pay their bill is for everyone to adopt this practice of wearing a face mask.”
The number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in the state has quadrupled in the last month, CBS News’ Mireya Villarreal reported. The state surpassed 240,000 confirmed cases on Friday and has seen more than 3,000 COVID-19 fatalities.
-Contributing: Sophie Lewis and The Associated Press
May 10, 2021 at 6:37 am
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