US states reverse re-opening as coronavirus records spike

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The US states of Florida and Texas have reversed their re-opening plans due to a new spike in number coronavirus cases.

The surge in cases in southern states comes after businesses were allowed to re-open in recent weeks.

On Saturday, Florida reported more than 9,500 new cases, up from almost 9,000 on Friday, the previous record.

The spike has led state officials to tighten restrictions on business again.

Last week, Texas, Florida and Arizona put re-opening plans on pause in an effort to tackle the outbreak.

On Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis imposed new restrictions, ordering bars in the state to stop serving alcohol on their premises.

The total number of cases in Florida so far is over 132,000 with more than 3,300 deaths.

And in Texas, which has also seen record numbers of cases this week, Governor Greg Abbott told bars to close and limited restaurants’ indoor seating capacity to 50%.

Many other southern and western states have reported record spikes as they moved to re-open and people from other areas poured in in recent weeks.

Coronavirus infections across the United States have passed 2.5 million with more than 125,000 deaths nationwide, more than in any other country.

The leading US government adviser on coronavirus, Dr Anthony Fauci, said last week that the country had a “serious problem”.

Speaking at the first White House coronavirus task force briefing in two months, Dr Fauci said on Friday that the current rises were due to regions “maybe opening a little bit too early” and to people themselves not following guidance.

“People are infecting other people, and then ultimately you will infect someone who’s vulnerable,” he said.

Vice-President Mike Pence who heads the coronavirus task force has called off campaigning events in Florida and Arizona this week.

The events were due to drum up support for President Donald Trump’s re-election bid.

On Saturday, Johns Hopkins University said the total number of cases in the country had risen to 2,505,593.

While some of the rise was down to more extensive testing, the rate of positive tests in some areas is also increasing.

Health officials estimate the true number of cases is likely to be 10 times higher than the confirmed total.

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said up to 20 million Americans may have been infected.