Coronavirus updates: Florida reports 4th day of record deaths

Coronavirus updates: Florida reports 4th day of record deaths

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 673,000 people worldwide.

Over 17.3 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with nearly 4.5 million diagnosed cases and at least 152,075 deaths.

Latest headlines:

US records over 67,000 new cases in a single day Dr. Anthony Fauci to testify on Capitol Hill Hong Kong government delays elections, citing coronavirus 45 fraternity members at USC test positive

Here is how the news is developing today. All times Eastern.

11:22 a.m.: New York reports 3 new record lows since mid-March

New York saw its lowest number of hospitalizations, ICU patients and intubations since mid-March on Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said.

Hospitalizations dropped to 576, the lowest since March 17, while ICU patients dropped to 140, the lowest number since March 16. Intubations were down to 70, the lowest number since March 15.

Less than 1% of Thursday’s COVID-19 tests were positive.

There were five deaths in the entire state in the last 24 hours.

“New York State continues to closely monitor alarming COVID-19 numbers throughout the nation as we flatten the curve, slow the spread and proceed with a data-driven, phased reopening,” Cuomo said in a statement.

He encouraged New Yorkers to continue social distancing, wearing masks and washing their hands.

10:36 a.m.: Florida reports 4th day of record deaths, DeSantis announces new initiative to fight COVID

The Florida Department of Health recorded 257 deaths in the last 24 hours, marking a new, grim record for the state for the fourth day in a row.

There are now 6,966 total deaths and the number of confirmed cases has reached 470,386, with an increase of 9,007 in the last 24 hours, according to the health agency.

The rise in deaths and cases comes on the same day that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a new initiative to stop the virus’s spread.

PHOTO: Governor Ron DeSantis during a ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C, July 24, 2020. (Stefani Reynolds/EPA via Shutterstock)

DeSantis’ initiative — called One Goal One Florida — encourages the public to follow four guidelines: Protect the vulnerable, practice proper hygiene, practice social distancing and wear a mask if in close contact with another person.

“COVID-19 has been a significant challenge for all Floridians but I’m 100% confident we can, and will, overcome this challenge,” DeSantis said in a statement. “To that end, I’m asking all Floridians to join me in this important effort.”

DeSantis has previously encouraged people to wear masks when they cannot maintain social distancing; however, the initiative is believed to be the first formal plan put forth by the state.

PHOTO: Women wearing protective face masks walk along Ocean Drive amid the coronavirus pandemic, July 24, 2020, in Miami Beach, Fla. (Lynne Sladky/AP)

10:13 a.m.: Cardinals v. Brewers game canceled

The St. Louis Cardinals have postponed their game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday after multiple positive coronavirus tests were reported, a source told ESPN.

It was not clear exactly how many positive tests had been reported.

The two teams were expected to play in Milwaukee at 2:10 p.m. local time.

Six of the Major League Baseball’s 30 teams will not be playing Friday because of coronavirus cases. That is 20% of the league.

PHOTO: Miller Park is seen, July 28, 2020, in Milwaukee. (Morry Gash/AP)

7:25 a.m.: 45 fraternity members at University of Southern California test positive

At least 45 fraternity members at the University of Southern California have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed the cases while investigating a coronavirus outbreak at three fraternities associated with the private university in Los Angeles. The names of the fraternities involved were not released.

PHOTO: University Village area of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, March 12, 2019. (Reed Saxon/AP, FILE)

“The outbreak may be linked to a large social gathering on July 4,” the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a statement Thursday night. “As a reminder, gatherings of people from different households are prohibited under the Health Officer Order in place. These are high-risk situations where COVID-19 can spread quickly to many people. Those people, even if they are asymptomatic, can then spread it to their household, which may include someone who becomes seriously ill or who may die.”

ABC News has reached out to the University of Southern California for comment.

What to know about coronavirus:

6:32 a.m.: Hong Kong government delays elections, citing coronavirus

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced Friday that the highly anticipated legislative elections planned for September have been postponed, citing the coronavirus outbreak in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

Lam told a press conference that her government has China’s support in making the decision to delay local elections for one year — a move that will surely infuriate pro-democracy lawmakers and supporters.

PHOTO: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 31, 2020. (Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images)

Lam said it was “the hardest decision I have made in the past seven months” but a “necessary” one to “protect public health, people’s lives and guarantee fairness of the election.”

Hong Kong has seen a spike in coronavirus infections in recent weeks. The total number of diagnosed cases stands at 3,273, including at least 27 deaths, according to the latest data from Hong Kong’s Department of Health.

6:14 a.m.: Dr. Anthony Fauci to testify on Capitol Hill

Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the nation’s top medical experts on the coronavirus pandemic, is set to testify Friday on Capitol Hill.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health and a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, last testified before Congress on June 30. His latest appearance comes amid rising COVID-19 cases across the United States and mounting scrutiny into his strained relationship with President Donald Trump.

PHOTO: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, joins President Donald Trump at the American Red Cross National Headquarters on July 30, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

Fauci will be joined during a hybrid in-person/remote hearing by two other leading officials from the task force: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s director, Dr. Robert Redfield, and the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, Adm. Brett Giroir.

5:39 a.m.: South Africa reports more than 11,000 new cases overnight

South Africa’s health ministry said there were 11,046 new cases of COVID-19 reported across the country on Thursday.

That brings the national total to 482,169, including 7,812 deaths, according to data released early Friday morning by the South Africa’s National Department of Health.

PHOTO: Funeral workers wearing personal protective equipment sanitize each other after a burial at the Olifantsvlei cemetery, south-west of Johannesburg, South Africa, on July 28, 2020, during a nationwide lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters)

The latest daily caseload is just under the country’s record set on July 9, when nearly 13,500 new cases were identified in a 24-hour reporting period.

South Africa has the fifth-highest number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases in the world, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University. The country also accounts for well over half the total number of cases in Africa.

4:27 a.m.: US records over 67,000 new cases in a single day

More than 67,600 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the United States on Thursday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The latest daily caseload is under the country’s record set on July 16, when more than 77,000 new cases were identified in a 24-hour reporting period.

PHOTO: A volunteer dressed in personal protective equipment gestures to a driver in line at a COVID-19 testing site in the Panoramic City neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, on July 30, 2020. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

A total of 4,494,601 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 152,055 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.

Many states have seen a rise in infections in recent weeks, with some — including Arizona, California and Florida — reporting daily records.

ABC News’ Kirit Radia, Rachel Katz, Scott Withers and Brian Hartman contributed to this report.

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