Coronavirus live updates: Boston won't enter next phase of reopening after spike in cases

Ovidiu Dugulan/iStockBy WILLIAM MANSELL, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than one million people worldwide.

Over 33.9 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 criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has varied from country-to-country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.

The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 7.2 million diagnosed cases and at least 206,959 deaths.

California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 819,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 773,000 cases and over 706,000 cases, respectively.

Nearly 190 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least nine of which are in crucial phase three trials.

Here is how the news is developing Thursday. All times Eastern:

Oct 01, 7:00 am
North Carolina bars, movie theaters and amusement parks can reopen with restrictions

Bars, movie theaters, amusement parks and outdoor venues will be able to open this week in North Carolina as the state enters Phase 3 of its reopening plans, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday.

Beginning Friday, large outdoor venues with more than 10,000 seats may operate with 7% capacity for spectators. Smaller venues may operate at 30% of outdoor capacity, Cooper said. Movie theaters, bars, conference centers and amusements can open to 30% capacity.

However, Cooper said the limits on mass gatherings will remain at 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

“I believe that North Carolina can do this safely. But so I am clear, every gathering carries the risk of spreading this disease,” Cooper said in a statement Wednesday. “Being safe means being smart and making sure others around you are doing the same.”

North Carolina has more than 210,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, with at least 3,532 deaths.

“Our top priority remains getting children back to in-person learning. This month marks a major shift for many families now and in the coming months as schools open their doors, some for the first time since the pandemic,” Cooper said. “The virus continues to spread, so we must take the next steps methodically, and responsibly.”

Oct 01, 6:10 am
Boston mayor blames college students for rise in COVID cases

Boston announced it is not entering the next phase of the Massachusetts reopening plans in the city after an increase in COVID-19 cases, which Mayor Marty Walsh put much of the blame on young people and college students who are ignoring public health regulations.

“We are seeing small outbreaks, due to parties, due to college students, due to quite honestly irresponsibility,” Walsh said during a press conference Wednesday.

Boston’s range of average daily COVID-19 cases was listed at 8.5 cases per 100,000, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which listed the city as possibly moving into the red category for COVID-19 risk.

Walsh said last week the city had a 2.7% infection rate — as of Wednesday it had jumped to 3.5%.

“Here we are today, laying down millions of dollars to open school, we have businesses on the verge of bankruptcy, we have restaurants that need to open up, we have art venues that need to open up, we need people that need to come back to work,” Walsh said during his press conference. “Do we have to shut down everything again?”

He said while young people are not the worst-affected for the coronavirus, that doesn’t mean it’s OK to not care about those living around you.

He said more than 9,000 Massachusetts residents that were alive six months ago are “not with us today.” More than 200,000 people in the U.S., he said, were living in America seven months ago but are not here now “not because of cancer not because of their age, because of the coronavirus.”

“This is a serious pandemic, this is a serious virus,” Walsh said. “If you’re 21 if you’re 19, and you get COVID, yeah the numbers say you’ll probably be ok, but what the numbers won’t say is your parents won’t be ok, your grandparents won’t be ok, your elderly neighbor next door won’t be ok.”

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