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COVID-19 Updates: Liberty County to require face coverings in businesses; Texas reports 8,076 new cases, its highest yet

Here is a look at some of the latest coronavirus news and updates for Wednesday.

BEAUMONT, Texas — This article contains ongoing U.S. and international updates on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects. Here are some key updates for Monday, June 29, 2020. You can find more details by scrolling through the story.

Today's Headlines:

  • Liberty County will require businesses to mandate face coverings for customers, employees
  • Galveston beaches will be closed for the Fourth of July weekend
  • Texas reports 8,076 new cases, its highest yet
  • Port Arthur cancels Fourth of July celebration
  • Republicans, except Trump, now push mask-wearing
  • Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says Dr. Anthony Fauci 'doesn’t know what he’s talking about'

Active cases: Active cases: 1,739 Fatalities: 48 Recovered: 744  Positives: 2,531 Hospitalized in Jefferson County: 73

Latest updates:
Here are the latest updates from around Southeast Texas, Texas, Louisiana and some from the world (all times are local Central Daylight Time)

July 1, 6 p.m. — Liberty County businesses will now be required to mandate mask wearing for customers starting on July 2. Employees, vendors, customers and visitors will all have to wear masks or face coverings inside businesses that provide goods and services directly to the public.

The order is set to last until July 15 unless extended or modified before then. Read more. 

July 1, 5:00 p.m.  Access to Galveston beaches will be closed for the Fourth of July weekend, and parking along Seawall Blvd. won't be allowed. The closure begins at 5 a.m. Friday and will be lifted July 6 at 12:01 a.m. Read more. 

July 1, 4:30 p.m.  An estimated 8,076 people tested positive for the coronavirus today. That's 1,101 more cases reported than Tuesday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services

July 1, 2:20 p.m. — Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie announces cancellation of 4th of July celebrations for the city. At a Wednesday afternoon news conference, officials urged locals to follow the county's mask mandate when going out in public.

July 1, 12:20 p.m. — A Lumberton coaching staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Lumberton ISD. The district is contacting the athletes involved in the Raider Pride Strength & Conditioning Camp who may have come in contact with the coach.

These athletes and the coach will follow the Raider Pride guidelines and remain out of camp activities for 14 days, according to a Lumberton Raiders Facebook post. The entire Camp was previously scheduled to be closed for the week of July 6-10 as a mid-summer break. 

July 1, 10:40 a.m. — Officials for the Austin City Limits Music Festival have announced that the 2020 event has been canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

The music festival had previously featured headliners such as Childish Gambino, Cardi B, Tame Impala, Billie Eilish and Guns N’ Roses. The festival is traditionally held in Zilker Park in early October.

July 1, 9:30 a.m. — Despite Texas’ surge of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Tuesday evening that he doesn’t need the advice of the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, Anthony Fauci.

“Fauci said today he’s concerned about states like Texas that ‘skipped over’ certain things. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Patrick told Fox News host Laura Ingraham in an interview. “We haven’t skipped over anything. The only thing I’m skipping over is listening to him.”

July 1, 6:30 a.m. — As a surge of infections hammers the South and West, GOP officials are pushing back against the notion that masks are about politics, as President Donald Trump suggests, and telling Americans they can help save lives.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, on Tuesday bluntly called on Trump to start wearing a mask, at least some of the time, to set a good example.

July 1, 6:30 a.m. — There are several testing sites available in Southeast Texas today.

Cristo Rey Church: The National Guard Mobile Testing Team will conduct mobile testing at the Cristo Rey Church at 767 Avenue A from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

Testing is free and no registration is required. You must bring identification. MTT results can be found at results.txcovidtest.org

McCabe-Roberts Avenue UMC: Free COVID-19 testing for those with and without insurance at McCabe-Roberts Avenue UMC located at 1205 Roberts Ave from June 29-July 2. Testing will take place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

RELATED: Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

MORE | Find more COVID-19 testing sites in Texas

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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus 

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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