Coronavirus live updates: Mexico confirms 1st case of someone with both COVID-19 and influenza

There were 44,614 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Sunday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The latest daily tally is down by more than 10,000 from the previous day and falls well under the country’s record set on July 16, when there were 77,255 new cases in a 24-hour-reporting period.

An additional 400 coronavirus-related fatalities were also recorded Sunday, down from a peak of 2,666 new fatalities reported on April 17.

A total of 7,762,809 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 214,771 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.

By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July. The daily tally of new cases has gradually come down since then but has started to climb again in recent weeks.

Week-over-week comparisons show the number of new cases reported across the nation continues to go up, as does the usage of intensive care units, but the number of new deaths are down, according to an internal memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was obtained by ABC News last week.

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Miami-Dade students return to class for 1st time since March

MIAMI (AP) — More than 22,000 students are returning to classrooms in Miami-Dade County on Monday for the first time since schools shut down in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade students are the first to return to the Miami-Dade Public School district under a staggered reopening plan. Another 40,000 students are expected to return to classrooms on Wednesday, with yet another group starting on Friday. Another group of students will continue distance learning from their homes. Miami-Dade is the nation’s fourth largest district, with 345,000 students.

The school board originally wanted to push the reopening back to mid-October but settled on Monday’s start date after Florida’s education secretary threatened to withhold state funding. Miami-Dade County’s daily positive test result rate on Sunday was over 5% during four of the previous seven days.

School officials prepared campuses for social distancing, installed air filters and arranged for school nurses and “medically trained staff” to be present at each school. Each student is expected to receive a thermometer when returning to school.

Many teachers and parents have expressed concern over the system’s readiness to return to brick-and-mortar schools, including student-teacher ratios, sanitation supplies and masks. District officials say they are well prepared for students to return.

In neighboring Broward County, which boasts the country’s sixth largest district, school officials are preparing for a staggered reopening beginning on Friday.

South Florida has been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus, but is complying with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order to put the entire state into Phase 3 of his coronavirus recovery plan, with only case-by-case exceptions to his call for all businesses and restaurants to reopen.

Florida on Sunday had more than 1,800 new reported coronavirus cases and more than 40 new related deaths. Florida now has had 716,459 total cases of the virus, and 14,845 related deaths.

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Trump kept quiet about 1st positive COVID-19 test

When President Trump called into Fox News on Thursday night and confirmed his close aide Hope Hicks tested positive for COVID-19, he didn’t share with viewers that he also had a positive result from a rapid test and was waiting for the results from a more thorough screening, several people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

Speaking to host Sean Hannity, Trump said he had been tested and would get the results back “either tonight or tomorrow morning.” Early Friday morning, Trump tweeted that both he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for coronavirus.

When Hicks tested positive on Thursday morning, Trump’s top advisers wanted to make sure this was kept under wraps, and even his campaign manager, Bill Stepien, didn’t find out until it was reported by Bloomberg News on Thursday night, people familiar with the matter told the Journal; Stepien announced on Friday morning that he tested positive for the virus. Per the Journal, Trump told another unnamed adviser that they should keep their positive test results to themselves, saying, “Don’t tell anyone.”

On Thursday afternoon, Trump left Washington for a fundraising event in New Jersey. One official told the Journal the campaign squad was not consulted on whether Trump should attend the event, and the White House has since said the operations team determined it was safe to go, since Trump tested negative in the morning. Holding this fundraiser “in spite of knowing that one of the team was infected and had exposed others was a recipe for spreading disease,” Lisa M. Lee, a public health expert at Virginia Tech University, told the Journal.

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New Coronavirus Cases Top 1K In Virginia For 1st Time In 2 Weeks

VIRGINIA — The Virginia Department of Health reported 1,116 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, up from the 966 cases reported Friday. The new cases bring the cumulative case total in the state to 150,803.

The daily increase topped 1,000 cases for the first time since Sept. 18 when 1,242 new cases were reported. State health officials also reported a cumulative total of 11,191 hospitalization since the start of the pandemic and 3,270 deaths, an increase of 20 deaths since Friday.

The breakdown of new cases by region as of Saturday was 283 in the southwest region, 260 in the central region, 221 in the northern region, 187 in the northwest region and 165 in the eastern region. The seven-day average of new cases across Virginia is now 771.

The positive average of PCR tests remains at 4.7 percent, below the 5 percent rate recommended by the World Health Organization before reopening. The total of PCR tests completed in Virginia stands at 2,113,878, up 19,517 from Friday.

Four regions have averages below 5 percent — the northern region with 4.2 percent, the central region with 4.3 percent, the eastern region with 4.6 percent and the northwest region with 4.8 percent. The southwest region has an average above the statewide average — 6.0 percent.

Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients stand at 906 statewide on Saturday. The breakdown of hospital patients by region is 239 in the central region, 208 in the northern region, 198 in the eastern region, 168 in the southwest region, and 93 in the northwest region.

The current hospitalizations, as of Saturday, include 191 in the intensive care units and 103 on ventilators, according to the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association. Ventilator use stands at 21 percent among all Virginia patients, and ICU occupancy remains at 80 percent. There are no hospitals reporting difficulty obtaining personal protective equipment in the next 72 hours.

Virginia residents in the 20-29 age group have the greatest number of positive tests, at 131,370 cases, or 20.1 percent of the state total. People older than 80 represent the highest number of deaths, at 1,566 people, or 47.9 percent of the number of Virginians who have died from COVID-19.

Here are the latest coronavirus data updates for our coverage area between Friday and Saturday:

  • Alexandria: 3,893 cases, 326 hospitalizations, 70 deaths; increase of 20 cases and one death

  • Arlington County: 4,026 cases, 505 hospitalizations, 151 deaths; increase of 17 cases and two hospitalizations

  • Fairfax County: 21,176 cases, 2,176 hospitalizations, 590 deaths; increase of 112 cases and seven hospitalizations

  • Fairfax City: 137 cases, 14 hospitalizations, eight deaths; no changes

  • Falls Church: 72 cases, 13 hospitalizations, seven deaths; increase of one case

  • Loudoun County: 6,954 cases, 437 hospitalizations, 126 deaths; increase of 38 cases and one hospitalization

  • Manassas: 1,936 cases, 130 hospitalizations, 24 deaths; increase of six cases

  • Manassas Park: 613 cases, 55 hospitalizations, eight deaths; no changes

  • Prince William County: 12,667 cases, 923 hospitalizations, 209 deaths; increase of 27 cases, and one hospitalization;

Timothy Ray Brown, 1st person cured of HIV, dies after cancer relapse

Timothy Ray Brown, famous for being the first person to be cured of HIV, has died from cancer at age 54.

Known as the “Berlin patient,” Brown was diagnosed with both HIV and acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells, while living in Berlin more than a decade ago, according to Reuters. After his cancer diagnosis in 2006, Brown received radiation therapy and a bone marrow transplant in 2007; the goal of the treatment was to kill the existing cancer in his body and jumpstart production of healthy white blood cells, which are generated in the bone marrow. 

But the physician who led the procedure, Dr. Gero Huetter, aimed to treat both Brown’s leukemia and his HIV using the same operation, according to The Associated Press

Related: 7 revolutionary Nobel Prizes in medicine

Huetter sought out a bone marrow donor with a rare genetic mutation that provides natural resistance against HIV infection. The virus normally targets white blood cells called CD4-T cells, which it infiltrates through a specific receptor on the cells’ surfaces; people with the genetic mutation have an altered version of this receptor, so the virus can’t slip inside, Live Science previously reported.

After his initial bone marrow transplant in 2007, Brown was cleared of HIV and remained free of the virus until his death, The Associated Press reported. He required a second transplant in 2008 to eliminate his leukemia, but after years in remission, the cancer returned last year and spread to his spine and brain, Reuters reported.

“I’m heartbroken that my hero is now gone. Tim was truly the sweetest person in the world,” Brown’s partner Tim Hoeffgen wrote in a Facebook post, according to Reuters.

“We owe Timothy and his doctor, Gero Huetter, a great deal of gratitude for opening the door for scientists to explore the concept that a cure for HIV is possible,” Adeeba Kamarulzaman, president of the International AIDS Society, told Reuters.

Originally published on Live Science. 

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Tampa International Airport 1st To Offer Coronavirus Testing

TAMPA, FL — Tampa International Airport will soon offer coronavirus testing for arriving and departing passengers, announced airport officials Monday morning.

TPA is the first airport in the country to do so.

TPA is partnering with BayCare Health System to provide the tests. There will be two types of FDA-approved tests offered – the swab and rapid antigen. The antigen test, which produces results in 15 minutes and is most accurate within five days of the onset of symptoms, offers an added layer of same-day reassurance for travelers arriving at or departing TPA.

“We think this is going to be a very successful trial,” said the TPA CEO Joe Lopano. “This is just a test but if it’s successful, and we think it will be, we’ll continue it and we’ll grow it and we’ll build it into something more.”

The testing is voluntary.

As part of an initial trial period, according to TPA, tests will be administered from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 in the main terminal. They will be offered seven days a week on a walk-in basis from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

All ticketed passengers who are flying, or can prove they’ve flown within the prior three days, are eligible.

The testing site, located inside the Main Terminal near the Airside F shuttle, will offer both the rapid antigen test and Polymerase Chain Reaction test.

PCR nasal swab test results are the most accurate and broadly accepted internationally. Interested travelers will be able to purchase either test regardless of which airline they’re booked on, their gate location or destination.

The PCR COVID-19 test costs $125 and the antigen test costs $57.

“We’re going to build confidence on behalf of the traveling public by giving them an opportunity to have a test done right here at the airport before they get on a flight,” Lopano said. “This is the only airport in the whole country that is doing these tests. We hope others will follow. Testing is the key to getting people back to travel.”

The testing will be offered in the main terminal on a walk-in basis starting Oct. 1.

“I believe this is going to allow people to travel to see loved ones,” said Baycare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nishant Anand. “It’s going to allow other passengers to feel safe if they’re traveling. It’s going to allow them to know that people around them have had some sort of screening test done.”

At many destinations around the world, government health agencies are requiring travelers to provide a negative PCR test result to avoid quarantine or other restrictions upon arrival.

Passengers departing from Tampa to states, countries or territories requiring negative PCR tests are advised to take the test three days before departure and can expect results within 48 hours. The antigen test, which produces results in 15 minutes and is most accurate within five days of the onset of symptoms, offers an added layer of same-day reassurance for travelers arriving at or departing TPA.