By WILLIAM MANSELL and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 555,000 people worldwide.
Over 12.2 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.
The United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 3.1 million diagnosed cases and at least 133,420 deaths.
Here is how the news is developing Friday. All times Eastern:
12 p.m.: Mexico looking to extend border closing with US
Mexico’s Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Friday that Mexico’s border closure with the U.S. should be extended to August or until there is a “decline” in U.S. cases.
“Our perspective and the one from the Secretary of Health is that it would not be prudent to reopen because what we are going to cause is an impact towards a new outbreak.” Ebrard said at a news conference. “So what we are looking with the local authorities is to prolong the nonessential travel restrictions.”
11:30 a.m.: South Carolina order restricts alcohol sales
In South Carolina, where COVID-19 is surging, Gov. Henry McMaster said he is issuing an executive order prohibiting the sale of alcohol at bars and restaurants after 11 p.m. each night.
The order begins Saturday and lasts until further notice, he said Friday.
Restaurants and bars that violate the order may be fined or have their alcohol permits suspended or revoked, the governor warned.
Alcohol can still be purchased at wine and liquor stores.
South Carolina’s positivity rate stood at 20.6% on Thursday. Three-quarters of the state’s hospital beds were in use as of Thursday.
11 a.m.: Florida reports over 11,000 new cases, 11-year-old girl among fatalities
Florida reported 11,433 new cases on Friday, bringing the state’s total cases to 244,151.
Florida’s positivity rate is down to 12.7%, a 5.5% drop from Thursday.
Among the state’s 4,203 fatalities is an 11-year-old Fort Lauderdale girl, reported ABC Miami affiliate WPLG, citing the local medical examiner. The young girl suffered from underlying conditions including cerebral palsy, epilepsy and asthma, WPLG said.
Miami-Dade County, which includes Miami, and Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, are especially hard-hit, but both counties showed improvement on Friday.
Miami-Dade reported 2,360 new cases and a positivity rate of 20.2%, down from 26.2% on Thursday.
Broward County reported 1,627 new cases and a positivity rate of 15%, a drop from 22.7% one day earlier.
9:40 a.m.: Dog in Texas confirmed to have COVID-19
A dog in Tarrant County, Texas, was confirmed to have SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, according to federal officials and the Texas Animal Health Commission.
The dog was tested after its owners were confirmed to have the coronavirus, the animal health commission said.
The 2-year-old dog is considered healthy, officials said.
“Based on current knowledge, there is no evidence that pets play a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2 to people,” Texas’ state veterinarian, Dr. Andy Schwartz, said in a statement. “It’s always important to restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would other people, if you are infected with COVID-19 in order to protect them from infection.”
8:45 a.m.: Boston’s moratorium on evictions extended through end of year
As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economy, Boston is extending its moratorium on nonessential evictions through the end of the year, Mayor Marty Walsh said Friday.
This moratorium, which began in March, applies to Boston Housing Authority’s public housing residents.
“These are extraordinary times, and right now, we all need to come together to ensure that our city’s most vulnerable residents are able to continue to live and work in the city they call home,” the mayor said in a statement.
8:03 a.m.: Judge rules against Texas GOP
A Harris County District Court judges has ruled against the Republican Party in Texas, after it sued the city of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner after the mayor canceled the state’s GOP convention in the city.
Turner, citing the surge in coronavirus cases in the state and city, canceled the Texas Republican Party’s in-person state convention, which was scheduled to start on July 16 in Houston.
“Look, these are some very serious times, and the safety of people attending the convention, the employees, their family members, the people in the city of Houston, have their public health concerns,” Turner said in a statement. “First responders and municipal workers will all be in contact or in proximity to the indoor gathering. Public health concerns outweigh anything else.”
The Texas GOP, said it was expecting the “liberal” court’s ruling and said it would appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.
“It didn’t matter in which court this case landed, we expected a denial from the liberal Harris County courts,” Texas Republican Party Chairman James Dickey, said in a statement Thursday. “We thank them for a speedy denial so we can move forward with the appeal we had prepared.”
Turner canceled the convention, which was to be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, after the city’s Local Health Authority, Dr. David Persse called the GOP convention “a clear and present danger.”
5:13 a.m.: US COVID-19 deaths begin to climb again
National coronavirus case counts, hospitalizations and deaths continue to climb, according to the COVID Tracking Project. At least 867 people died of COVID-19 Thursday in the U.S.
Nationally, the seven-day average has begun to climb after an extended decline, the COVID Tracking Project said.
The last three days were the highest numbers the organization has reported since early June. This rise in deaths is concentrated in states with large outbreaks. Texas, California and Florida all reported their single highest day of deaths for the entire pandemic on Thursday.
This news comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 death toll forecast Thursday to say it expects between 140,000 to 160,000 deaths by Aug. 1
The CDC forecasts suggest that the number of new deaths over the next four weeks in Arizona, Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands and West Virginia, will likely exceed the number reported over the last four weeks. For other states, the number of new deaths is expected to be similar to the number seen in the previous four weeks or to decrease slightly.
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