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 Thursday, July 9, 2020. You can find more details by scrolling through the story which we are updating throughout the day. The newest items will be at the top.
Here are the latest updates from around Southeast Texas, Texas, Louisiana and some from the world (all times are local Central Daylight Time)
July 9, 5:45 p.m. – The annual 'Champagne & Ribs' event held by Gift of Life has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a news release, the organization said, "As the needs are greater than ever before, we will dedicate all funds that have been raised towards the care of our clients and additional Southeast Texas men and their families, many who have lost their jobs and are unable to afford healthcare."
July 9, 4:45 p.m. – The LogOn Cafe said in a Facebook post they are experiencing difficulties staying open due to TABC requirements. "We need your business more than ever," Chantell Cattell said in the post. "We are open for to go and call in orders. We can even send alcohol with food orders." For orders, call the LogOn Cafe at (409) 833-6950. The kitchen is open until 10 p.m., she said.
July 9, 4:15 p.m. – In a record-setting day, the City of Beaumont reported a total of 148 new COVID-19 cases in its jurisdiction. This includes 143 new positives in Beaumont, 4 in Fannett and 1 in Cheek.
Thursday's report also notes the death of one person, a 66-year-old man.
July 9, 3 p.m. – In an open letter published this week in a journal, two scientists from Australia and the U.S. wrote that studies have shown “beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking and coughing in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft in the air.”
In a change to its previous thinking, WHO noted on Thursday that studies evaluating COVID-19 outbreaks in restaurants, choir practices and fitness classes suggested the virus might have been spread in the air. More here.
Texas is divided into 22 regions called trauma service areas (TSAs), provided for the formation of a regional advisory council (RAC) in each region to develop and implement a regional trauma system plan.
Southeast Texas falls under TSA R -- which includes Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, and Orange counties. They join Houston-area counties that have already seen elective surgeries suspended. Read more here.
July 9, 1 p.m. – St. Francis of Assisi Church in Orange asked for prayers in a Facebook post for one of their deacons, who was diagnosed with COVID-19. The church announced they would be holding a rosary for him at the church at 2 p.m.
July 9, 1 p.m. – Nashville SC withdrawls from Major League Soccer's MLS is Back tournament in Florida after nine players tested positive for the coronavirus, the league announced Thursday.
Nashville is the second team to withdraw from the tournament. FC Dallas had to pull out after 10 players and a coach tested positive for COVID-19. More here.
July 9, 12 p.m. – Eight Dallas-area bars are suing Gov. Greg Abbott for more than $1 million over his June 26 executive order that required bars and similar businesses that bring in 51% or more of their total sales from alcohol to close.
They claim Abbott singled out stand-alone bars, and not bars located in facilities like sports arenas, hotels, restaurants and bowling alleys, because his coronavirus task force includes stakeholders from the hotel, gym, restaurant, amusement park and professional sports industries. Read more here.
July 9, 11:30 a.m. – The City of Nederland reports its second coronavirus-related death. The woman was a Nederland resident between the ages of 65 and 70-years-old. The woman had underlying health issues, according to officials.
July 9, 10 a.m. – Chick-fil-A's annual Cow Appreciation Day has been postponed until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The annual event, which began in 2005, traditionally features a free food giveaway for any Chick-fil-A customers that show up on a selected date sporting a cow-inspired accessory or cow costume. The 2019 event was held on July 9.
July 9, 8 a.m. – More than 1.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a historically high pace that shows that many employers are still laying people off in the face of a resurgent coronavirus.
The persistently elevated level of layoffs are occurring as a spike in virus cases has forced six states to reverse their move to reopen businesses. Those six — Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and Texas — make up one-third of the U.S. economy. Fifteen other states have suspended their re-openings. Collectively, the pullback has stalled a tentative recovery in the job market and is likely triggering additional layoffs.
July 9, 6:30 a.m. – Coronavirus testing is available today from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. with no insurance required at the Bob Bowers Civic Center in Port Arthur. Due to overwhelming response those wishing to be tested are asked to pre-register at Texas.CurativeInc.com/Welcome
RELATED: Where can I get a COVID-19 test?
July 9, 6:15 a.m. – The U.S. government will provide its latest snapshot Thursday of the layoffs that have remained stuck at an elevated weekly pace above 1 million since the coronavirus erupted in March even as newly re-opened businesses have rehired some workers.
Though the weekly toll of job cuts has gradually dropped, the pace of improvement has essentially stalled as companies continue to shed workers. A resurgence of confirmed viral cases is threatening to derail what had looked like the start of an economic recovery.
July 9, 4 a.m. – China defended the World Health Organization and lashed out at the U.S. decision to withdraw from the U.N. body, adding to a litany of disputes between the world's largest economies and increasing geopolitical rivals.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the move was “another demonstration of the U.S. pursuing unilateralism, withdrawing from groups and breaking contracts.”
July 9, 4 a.m. – Is it safe to visit the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Dentists can’t eliminate all risk, but they are taking steps to minimize the chances of spreading the coronavirus.
You'll likely notice changes as soon as you enter the office. Many dentists have removed magazines from waiting rooms, for example, as well as some chairs to encourage social distancing. They also are spacing out appointments to avoid crowding their offices.
July 9, 4 a.m. – The Transportation Security Administration has improved coronavirus protection for airport screeners after a TSA official accused the agency of endangering travelers, the whistleblower's lawyer said Wednesday.
The changes include requiring screeners to change or sanitize gloves after every time they pat down a passenger, and to wear face shields around travelers if there aren't plastic barriers between them and the public.
Here’s the breakdown by county of coronavirus cases for the eight-county Southeast Texas region...
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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.