Coronavirus Updates: Upstate New York Monitoring Coronavirus Uptick Traced Back To Travel From Georgia


This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Sunday, July 12th, 2020. Previous daily updates can be found here, and up-to-date statistics are here.

New York City is in Phase 3 of reopening now, which includes nail salons, tattoo parlors, and massage facilities as well as recreation like tennis and basketball courts; dog runs are also reopening. A look at preparing for the spread of coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is our regularly updated coronavirus FAQ. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.

Here’s the latest:

4:40 p.m.: New York State is monitoring an uptick in COVID-19 cases in Rensselaer County after some cases were traced back to people who traveled back to New York from Georgia, the Governor’s office said.

The group of people are in isolation and both the state Health Department and county health department are conducting contact tracing.

“What’s happening elsewhere in the United States is very concerning to us here at home, and our ability to avoid the same fate rests on New Yorkers’ willingness to wear masks, socially distance and wash their hands, and local governments’ willingness to enforce state guidelines,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

Three county residents who were on the July 6th Delta flight from Atlanta to Albany tested positive, according to the county executive’s office. They felt sick a day later.

The county says the positive cases from the flight include two 22-year-old women and a 27-year-old man from Troy, New York.

Georgia is among a group of states from which travelers coming to New York are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have imposed the quarantine mandate in coordination. Cuomo has said he expects people to comply voluntarily.

Delta told CNN the company had been “made aware of the three customers who tested positive for Covid-19” and that it’s “following the guidance of local healthcare officials” and the CDC.

The infection rate bumped up to 2 percent in the capital region, where Rensselaer is located, on Saturday—up from .7 percent Thursday and 1.2 percent Friday.

There were 23 new cases in the county, for a total of 616 confirmed positive, according to the state’s count.

For comparison, New York City had 341 new cases, for 219,051 total. But the city’s population is more than 52 times Rensselaer County’s, U.S. Census population estimates show.

Statewide, the infection rate was 1.08 percent. NYC’s rate was 1.3 percent.

Five people died of the coronavirus on Saturday in the state, as the total number of deaths reached 24,979.

President Donald Trump wears a face mask as he walks down a hallway during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

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President Donald Trump wears a face mask as he walks down a hallway during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Patrick Semansky/AP/Shutterstock

Florida Sets Grim COVID-19 Record, Disney World Reopens

Florida now holds the grim record of most new coronavirus cases in one day—15,300 reported on Sunday, for a total of 269,811 cases. This number exceeds the 12,274 cases that New York recorded on April 4th, according to the Miami Herald.

In early April, New York’s testing was about 20,000-25,000 tests, while Florida has been ranging from 35,000 to 60,000 tests a day over the past week, based on Johns Hopkins University data. Almost 100,000 tests were conducted in Florida on Sunday.

The Herald also reports, “Throughout the pandemic, the daily case report numbers on Sundays have tended to be lower than the five days previous because fewer people work in labs and enter data on the weekends. So, Sunday reflects Saturday’s decrease in processing tests and reporting results. Monday tends to be a reflection of a similar decrease on Sunday, but also a normal amount of data entry happening early Monday.”

Through Sunday, the state has reported 4,242 deaths and over 18,000 hospitalizations. The Orlando Sentinel also noted, “Florida is outpacing the field in new cases and hospitalizations, which have both been on a steady, upward climb. Experts say the double-barreled trend could also cause Florida’s low death rate to rise in the coming weeks.”

Disney World reopened on Saturday, with reduced capacity, a mask requirement for visitors, and thousands of hand sanitizing stations.

One employee who was furloughed earlier this year, Diego Henry, was back at work, in spite of having diabetes and asthma. He told the NY Times, “I have had to tell a few people, ‘Hey, your mask needs to be covering your mouth and your nose,.’ But I give Disney a round of applause. I feel safer at work than I do at the grocery store, where people don’t wear masks.”

The record-breaking number of new COVID-19 cases in Florida came as President Donald Trump wore a mask in public for the first time on a visit to see injured military members—99 days after after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended everyone wear face coverings to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“I think when you’re in a hospital … I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask,” the president told reporters, announcing he would probably wear a mask during a hospital visit to Walter Reed National Medical Center on Saturday.

“I’ve never been against masks, but I do believe they have a time and a place,” Trump said. He wore a navy blue mask during the visit.

The coronavirus has killed more than 134,500 and sickened 3.2 million in the U.S. alone, according to the New York Times’s coronavirus-tracker updated Sunday morning.

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