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US saw more than 63,000 new coronavirus cases Friday

University of Georgia undergraduates moved int a dorm one week before the start of the fall semester on Friday. UGA plans to start in-person classes next week.
University of Georgia undergraduates moved int a dorm one week before the start of the fall semester on Friday. UGA plans to start in-person classes next week.Joshua L. Jones/Associated Press

Virus cases in the U.S. jumped by 63,742, the first day over 60,000 this month, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. Deaths also rose, to 1,323, marking the fifth day in a week exceeding 1,000. Florida recorded more than 200 deaths for the fourth time this week.

Florida deaths again pass 200

Florida posted 204 new Covid-19 deaths among residents, pushing the cumulative total to 9,345, according to a state Department of Health report Saturday. It was the fourth time the death toll rose above 200 in the last week.

Florida had a cumulative 569,637 Covid-19 cases, up 1.1% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 1.2% in the previous seven days, according to the report, which includes data through Friday.

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US clears saliva-based test

A Covid-19 test that processes saliva samples and doesn’t require special swabs or probes gained emergency approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The rapid-detection test by Yale University’s School of Public Health “is groundbreaking in terms of efficiency and avoiding shortages of crucial test components like reagents,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement.

Yale plans to provide the test protocol to interested labs under an “open-source” arrangement, according to the FDA.

New York cases are steady

New York reported 734 virus cases, a 0.2% rise in line with the average daily increase of the previous seven days. Another five deaths were reported, one more than the previous day, and the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients dropped slightly to 523. The positive-test rate was below 1% for the eighth consecutive day.

US case rise 1.2 percent

Virus cases in the U.S. jumped by 63,742 on Friday, the first day over 60,000 this month, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. It was a 1.2% increase compared with average daily growth of 1% for the previous seven days.

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Deaths also rose, to 1,323, from 1,080 on Thursday. It was the fifth day in a week with fatalities over 1,000. California had the highest number of confirmed infections, at 613,101, while cases in Hawaii jumped 5.4%.

TUI cancels tours to Spain

TUI AG canceled all its tours to Spain and the Balearic Islands until Aug. 24 on the German government’s advice to avoid non-essential travel there, a spokesman said. The Canary Islands are excluded from the policy.

Spain’s Basque region will declare a health emergency on Monday, giving the local government exceptional powers to control the spread of the coronavirus, El Confidencial reported. The Basque Country, as it’s known, is an entry point from France, an industrial center and tourist destination. It would be the first of Spain’s 17 regions to grant its local leader exceptional powers to order mini-lockdowns since the national government ended the state of emergency in June.

Russia starts producing vaccine, Tass says

Russia has started production of its Covid-19 vaccine, the Health Ministry said Saturday, according to the state-run Tass news agency. President Vladimir Putin last week announced that Russia had become the first to approve an inoculation against the novel coronavirus, but critics said key tests needed to confirm its safety and effectiveness haven’t yet been completed. The government plans to begin administering the vaccine to medical personnel and other priority groups within weeks.

New German cases are highest since April

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Germany reported 1,510 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the highest single-day increase since April 30, according to data from Johns Hopkins. Total cases rose to 223,791. Thirteen new deaths were reported, a number roughly in line with figures seen through August and July.

The four-day reproduction factor -- or R value -- calculated by Germany’s health body, was 1.08 for the day before. The seven-day R value, which is seen as being less influenced by fluctuations, was 1.14 on Friday.

Tokyo cases are above 300 for second straight day

New coronavirus cases in Tokyo topped 300 for the second straight day on Saturday, according to government data. The city’s new infections totaled 385, down slightly from 389 on Friday.

Patients in their 20s were the biggest group, accounting for 120 new cases, followed by 84 people in their 30s. Saturday’s figure brings the total number of infected people in Tokyo to 17,454, of which 23 are in critical condition.

New Zealand case numbers increase

New Zealand reported seven new community-spread Covid-19 cases on Saturday, six linked to a cluster in Auckland, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said. New Zealand has a total of 1,258 infections, 56 of which are active.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday extended the lockdown in Auckland, the country’s largest city, for 12 days as authorities try to stamp out the nation’s first outbreak in more than three months.

Meanwhile, authorities are investigating whether the recent outbreak in the community came from chilled products shipped from a Melbourne cool store where two workers recently tested positive for the disease, stuff.co.nz reported.

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Texas deaths pass 300 again

Texas virus deaths topped 300 for the second time in three days, while hospitalizations declined for a third week. The state reported 313 virus fatalities Friday, bringing the total to 9,602. Hospitalizations fell to 6,632, down from more than 10,000 in late July.

New cases were well below the July peak, when more than 10,000 a day were being discovered. Texas ended the week with 7,018 new daily cases, though that number swung as high as 9,803 and as low as 4,455 in the past five days. The state has confirmed a total 520,593 cases of Covid-19.

The state’s positivity rate was reported as 16.1%, falling from a record 24.5% earlier in the week. The dramatic rise this month in the percentage of tests coming back positive prompted Gov. Greg Abbott to order an investigation into how the number is being calculated.