The 2020 U.S. Open begins on Monday — without fans — as the country nears 6 million reported coronavirus cases. On the eve of the tournament, however, a French tennis player tested positive for COVID-19 and was dropped from the field.
Meanwhile, global cases surpassed 25 million on Sunday, with India reporting the worst daily spike in the world. India, which has reported more than 75,000 confirmed cases for four consecutive days, has the third-highest number of infections after the U.S. and Brazil.
In the U.S., California remains the state with the most confirmed cases, with infections surpassing 700,000 on Sunday. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday launched a new plan for reopening businesses that would prevent another surge in the state.
Some significant developments:
- The most complained about industries during the pandemic include fitness, telecommunication, banking and vacation rentals, according to FairShake data provided to USA TODAY.
- While the University of Virginia is preparing to begin in-person classes this week, Temple University and Northwestern University are among the major colleges scrambling to adjust amid the ongoing pandemic.
📈 Today’s numbers: Six states set records for new cases in a week while three states had a record number of deaths in a week, according to USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data. New case records were set in Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Record numbers of deaths were reported in Hawaii, Idaho and Oklahoma, and also Guam. The U.S. death toll surpassed 183,000 as cases approached 6 million. Globally, more than 846,000 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
📰 What we’re reading: A Michigan nursing home told its staff not to wear face masks or other personal protective equipment. According to the state’s health department, 19 residents died from COVID-19 at the home. Now, a victim’s family members are suing the nursing home.
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Universal Orlando cuts 800+ jobs amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
Hotels at the Universal Orlando Resort announced more than 800 employees will be losing their jobs as the Florida theme park industry continues to be devastated by the pandemic.
The employees at Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and Cabana Bay Beach Resort were indefinitely furloughed or permanently terminated, according to a notice filed last week by the company Loews Hotels & Co.
A company director said in a letter to the state that the surge of confirmed cases in late June and July and other states’ decisions to order Florida travelers to quarantine had caused a “sudden, dramatic and unexpected reversal in bookings.”
University of Virginia set to begin in-person classes after two-week delay
The University of Virginia says it plans to offer in-person instruction for the fall semester beginning with the opening of residence halls Thursday. UVA officials in Charlottesville said they had initially delayed the start of in-person undergraduate classes by two weeks to assess the spread of COVID-19 and to see how other schools have fared since opening.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that UVA has reported 67 total positive COVID cases since Aug. 17 among students, faculty and staff. Of those, 23 were students who reported a positive test on Thursday, the school’s highest single-day total. Twenty-five students, faculty or staff have been hospitalized.
A look at how other colleges are faring:
- A day before classes are scheduled to begin, Utah State University announced Sunday that they will test nearly 300 students for COVID-19 after wastewater samples from four dormitories showed elevated levels of the coronavirus.
- The State University of New York Oneonta in central New York will suspend in-person instruction for two weeks after more than 100 students and faculty tested positive for the virus. It’s the first college to shut down in New York state as many schools prepare to reopen for online and in-person instruction this fall.
- The University of Alabama reported an additional 481 students have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to more than 1,000 infections since students returned to campus. The university system said no students are hospitalized.
- In West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University has reported 80 confirmed cases for COVID-19 since Aug. 1, including 60 confirmed in the past week since the school, with an enrollment of around 40,000, reopened. At least three houses with more than 100 students combined — a fraternity, a sorority and cooperative house — are on lockdown and arranging classes remotely at the start of the semester.
- Temple University in Philadelphia will switch nearly all in-person classes to online for two weeks starting Monday after active COVID-19 cases spiked from 58 Friday to 103 Sunday.
- Northwestern University outside Chicago plans to have freshmen and sophomores take classes remotely, while juniors, seniors and graduate students will be allowed to attend in-person instruction or a mix with online classes, the Chicago Tribune reported. The school is keeping fraternity and sorority houses closed in the fall.
French tennis player tests positive for COVID-19 on eve of US Open in New York
In its effort to bring back Grand Slam tennis safely from its seven-month, virus-induced hiatus, the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) has adopted strict testing and behavioral protocols that run almost the length of the runways at nearby LaGuardia Airport.
Everything was going splendidly until Sunday morning, the day before America’s biggest tennis tournament was set to begin, when Benoit Paire, a 31-year-old Frenchman, became the first player to test positive, according to a tournament official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Paire, the No. 17 seed, was scheduled to begin his Open on Tuesday against Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak. He will be replaced in the draw by Spain’s Marcel Granollers. His result was only the second positive in over 7,000 tests that began being administered on Aug. 15; a non-player had a positive result several days after testing began.
– Wayne Coffey, Special for USA TODAY Sports
Labor Day warning: Family gatherings can be as dangerous as big crowds
Images of packed beaches, lakes and bars have made the rounds on traditional and social media for much of the summer, drawing scorn from those concerned about the COVID-19 outbreak.
But experts say also troubling are the growing instances of case clusters arising from smaller gatherings. Social functions of various sizes among relatives, friends and co-workers are drawing scrutiny as public health experts sound the alarm ahead of Labor Day weekend.
“People don’t think of it in the same way as the Trump rally in Tulsa, a bunch of people on the beach or in the bars, but these small events add up to a lot,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, a professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco. “It’s just invisible.”
– Jorge L. Ortiz
India’s one-day count of 78K new infections shatters global record
India is fast becoming a pandemic hot spot, registering a record 78,761 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. That is the worst single-day spike in the world, although the health ministry noted that the nation also set a record with more than 10 million tests.
India now has reported 3.5 million cases, more than all other nations except for the U.S. and Brazil. The boom in India comes amid government efforts to ease restrictions nationwide. The Health Ministry on Sunday also reported 948 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities to 63,498.
COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY
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Contributing: The Associated Press