California and Texas have marked record spikes in new COVID-19 infections, a Reuters tally shows, as Los Angeles reports an “alarming” one-day surge in America’s second-largest city that puts it over 100,000 cases.
Los Angeles has become a new epicentre in the pandemic as coronavirus cases and hospitalisations surge there despite California Governor Gavin Newsom’s strict orders requiring bars to close and residents to wear masks in nearly all public spaces.
“The alarming increases in cases, positivity rates and hospitalisations signals that we, as a community, need to take immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County, said in a statement on Monday announcing the sharp rise.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a “hard pause” on when movie theatres, theme parks and other entertainment venues can reopen.
Los Angeles County said its beaches would be closed for the Independence Day weekend.
Positive tests rose by at least 7418 in California to nearly 223,000, the biggest one-day increase since tracking began. Los Angeles County, with a population of 10 million, has recorded 100,000 cases.
California is among a number of US states including Florida, Texas and Arizona battling a new wave of infections as the nation emerges from weeks of clamp-downs on residents and businesses. COVID-19 infections in Texas rose by 6545 on Monday to nearly 160,000, also setting a record for a one-day increase.
Nationally, cases rose by more than 40,000, for the fourth time in the past five days.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Monday ordered the closure of bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theatres and water parks for at least 30 days. Ducey also delayed the start of public schools until at least August 17.
Vice-President Mike Pence will travel to Phoenix on Wednesday to discuss efforts to fight the pandemic’s resurgence.
Texas and Florida ordered the closure of all their recently reopened bars on Friday.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said on Monday indoor dining would be postponed indefinitely. In Kansas, Governor Laura Kelly imposed a statewide mandate requiring the wearing of masks in public spaces.
Beaches in Florida’s Broward County, Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County will not open for the July 3-5 holiday weekend.
AMC, the largest US movie theatre chain, said it was pushing back the reopening of its theatres to June 30 from July 15.
In June, 22 US states reported record increases in new cases, often multiple times, including Alaska, Arkansas, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon and Utah.
Face covering orders have become a political issue, with some Americans, many of them supporters of US President Donald Trump, calling them unconstitutional, even in the face of a pandemic.
The city of Jacksonville, Florida, venue for part of the Republican nominating convention in August, said it would require masks in public starting on Monday.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump “has no problem with masks and to do whatever your local jurisdiction requests”.
Originally published as California, Texas see record virus surges