COVID Live Updates: Texas death toll rising, new low in NY hospitals

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, July 19, 2020
Texas records highest one-day death toll in state
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This is the fourth time Texas has shattered its own record for deaths.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- More than 65,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across the country Saturday.

Texas recorded 130 fatalities, its highest one-day death toll. This is the fourth time Texas has shattered its own record for deaths.

New York state reported a new low in hospitalizations Saturday with 722. That's the lowest number since March 18, just days before the state was placed on lock down.

Meanwhile, 13 new coronavirus deaths were announced, and of the 46,204 tests conducted in New York State, 502, or 1.08 percent, were positive.

"During these confining and frustrating times, I know it's tempting to be tired of the many rules and guidelines the state has issued, but I reiterate that this pandemic is far from over, and the incredible compliance and fortitude of New Yorkers are key parts of our ability to fight COVID-19," Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Here are more of today's headlines:

FAUCI ON NEW YORK

Dr. Anthony Fauci said New York has set an example for the rest of the country of how to successfully bring down cases of coronavirus.

When PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff asked Fauci about a solution to increasing testing throughout the country, he said that New York did it right.

MLB EXPERIENCE FIRST COVID-ERA GAMES

Exhibition games in Washington, New York and Pittsburgh on Saturday gave Major League Baseball its first look at coronavirus-era games - cardboard cutouts for fans, sound effects for crowds and more.

BARS AND RESTAURANTS GET CREATIVE

Restaurants and bars across New York are taking a creative and sometimes comical approach to new state mandates.

New guidelines set by Gov. Andrew Cuomo demand bars and restaurants cannot sell drinks without food. So now there are some small menus popping up that include items like "a piece of meat" and a serving of french fries that includes nine fries.

BEACHES REACH CAPACITY

Multiple beach in Long Island already reached capacity by early Sunday afternoon. Jones Beach, Nickerson Beach, Lido West Beach and Lido Mushroom Beach in Lido Beach and Point Lookout located in Hempstead are all closed to the public until further notice after they all reached the maximum allowed capacity.

PREPARING FOR PHASE 4 IN NYC

New York City moves into phase four of the reopening process Monday with some changes. Similar to phase three eliminating indoor dining two weeks ago, phase four will include those sort of scale backs as well.

EMPIRE STATE BUILDING OBSERVATORY REOPENS

The Empire State Building observatory will welcome back visitors starting Monday. During the first few weeks, hours of operation will be between 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and initial capacity will be reduced by more than 80 percent to help maintain social distancing.

To prevent overcrowding, online reservations will be required for all visitors. Before its reopening, employees had to undergo training for new protocols and procedures.

RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR REJECTS VACCINE HACKING CLAIMS

Russia's ambassador to Britain has rejected allegations that his country's intelligence services sought to steal information about a coronavirus vaccine.

Andrei Kelin said in a BBC interview broadcast Sunday that there was "no sense" in the allegations made last week by the United States, Britain and Canada.

Intelligence agencies in the U.S., Britain and Canada on Thursday accused the hacking group APT29 - also known as Cozy Bear and believed to be part of Russian intelligence - of using malicious software to attack academic and pharmaceutical research institutions involved in COVID-19 vaccine development. It was unclear whether any useful information was stolen.

HUNDREDS GATHER IN QUEENS STREETS

Clusters of people were caught on video refusing to practice social distancing during the overnight hours in Queens Friday.

PARTYING IN FLORIDA

Deputies in Osceola Count, Florida have been busy breaking up so-called COVID-19 parties, and hundreds were captured on video.

NY AQUARIUM REOPENING POSTPONED

The Wildlife Conservation Society is still moving forward with plans to reopen its four zoos based on new Phase 4 guidelines from New York State on Friday, but will postpone the reopening of the NY Aquarium until further guidance from the state.

CDC DELAYS NEW GUIDANCE ON SCHOOLS REOPENING

Additional guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on schools reopening won't be released until the end of July, a spokesman confirmed to ABC News.

"CDC's Reopening Schools Safely documents will not be released this week; instead the full set will be published before the end of the month," the spokesman said. "These science- and evidence-based resources and tools will provide additional information for administrators, teachers and staff, parents, caregivers and guardians, as together we work towards the public health-oriented goal of safely opening schools this fall."

President Trump said the existing guidance for schools, which mandated things like masks and 6 feet of distance among students, is too tough and expensive to implement.

TRAVELING NURSES REFLECT

More than 4,000 travel nurses came to New York City to work in public hospitals at the height of the pandemic. Now that they're back home, some of them are reflecting on what they experienced and speaking out about what more could be done to help protect patients and front line workers in case a second outbreak happens.

WATCH THE SERIES: EYEWITNESS TO A PANDEMIC (Episode 6 below)

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