Worsening U.S. outbreak prompts tough actions as new coronavirus cases hit record
New Jersey adopted a stringent coronavirus face-mask order on Wednesday, and New York City unveiled a plan to allow public school students back into classrooms for just two or three days a week, as newly confirmed U.S. COVID-19 cases soared to a daily global record.
Officials in New Jersey and New York, the hardest-hit states at the outset of the U.S. outbreak, are trying to preserve progress in curtailing spread of the virus in the face of a resurgence elsewhere across the country, especially the South and West.
More than 47,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the two northeastern states, accounting for more than a third of the 132,000-plus Americans killed by the virus, according to a Reuters tally.
More than 60,000 new COVID-19 infections were reported across the United States on Wednesday, the greatest single-day tally of cases by any country since the virus emerged late last year in China. And U.S. deaths rose by more than 900 for the second straight day, the highest level seen since early June.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy unveiled an executive order requiring face coverings outdoors where social distancing is not possible, citing a rise in the state’s coronavirus transmission rate.
Many states require masks in public indoor settings and recommend them outside but have stopped short of mandating their use outdoors.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan for 1.1 million students in the nation’s largest public school district to return to classes in September. Pupils would alternate attending school two or three days weekly and spend the remaining time at home under the “blended learning” schedule, which requires state approval.