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Over the weekend, Florida also passed 100,000 cases according the state’s health department and the surgeon general there began formally advising that all residents wear face coverings “in any situation where social distancing is not possible.” In Miami, Mayor Francis Suarez went further on Monday, making it a requirement that residents wear masks in public, effective immediately.
In Washington’s Yakima County, where the number of cases has more than doubled in the past month, the situation is dire. Gov. Jay Inslee said the county was at a “breaking point.” With a shortage of hospital beds, patients were being taken to Seattle, more than two hours away, for medical care. Yakima hospitals are also reporting significant staffing shortages because of employees who are sick with the virus or are under a 14-day quarantine after being exposed.
In the wake of another record-setting day for new cases, Dr. Michael Ryan, the executive director of the W.H.O.’s health emergencies program, said on Monday that increased testing was not driving the surge in cases.
“We do not believe that this is a testing phenomenon,” he said. “Clearly, hospital admissions are also rising in a number of countries, deaths are also rising, and they are not due to increase testing, per se. So there definitely is a shift in the sense that the virus is now very well established at the global level.”
The declaration comes two days after Mr. Trump told supporters at a political rally in Tulsa, Okla., that he had urged U.S. officials to slow down testing for the virus. Mr. Trump has attributed the recent upswing of cases in the United States to increased testing.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the W.H.O., said on Monday that more than 183,000 new cases worldwide were reported in the last 24-hour period, “easily the most in a single day so far.”
He also warned countries not to make the virus a political issue, particularly as infections worldwide are on the rise.