New coronavirus cases skyrocket on Fourth of July weekend


More than 57,000 new cases of coronavirus have been reported in the U.S. in the past 24 hours, setting yet another record for new infections just as the country heads into the July Fourth holiday.

Coronavirus cases are rising in 37 states, a dramatic turn that’s now leading health officials to warn the outbreak will spiral further out of control if Americans don’t stay home this weekend.

In many places, parades and picnics have been now canceled and even backyard barbeques are being discouraged. Beaches in Miami, which are usually crowded with tourists, are shut down, and the county there has ordered a curfew.

Nationwide, more than 129,000 people have been killed by the virus, and there are over 2.7 million cases across the country.

While most of the country’s traditional fireworks displays have been scaled back or canceled, President Trump is heading to Mount Rushmore to watch a fireworks show with a crowd that could top 7,500 people. South Dakota’s governor, Kristi Noem, said wearing masks and social distancing won’t be enforced.

In Galveston, Texas, officials feared that crowds would come for a getaway from Houston, where 1 out of 4 people are now testing positive for COVID-19. “Primarily we’re seeing a surge in young people who really are just not paying any regard to the risk of this,” said Dr. Philip Keiser of the Galveston County Health Department. 

The lockdowns for this holiday weekend follow a surge in cases and reopenings post-Memorial Day. 

Chris Palone, the owner of the Rail Club in Fort Worth, went rogue and opened his business in defiance of Governor Gregg Abbott’s order closing bars in the state.  “I’m responsible for 15 employees’ ability to feed their children,” Palone said. 

The Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Commission said it will have agents out throughout the state this weekend to enforce the governor’s order. Any bar caught breaking the order could have its alcohol license suspended, CBS Dallas Fort Worth reported.

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“The science is clear: wear a mask, practice social distancing, and in general, outdoors is safer than indoors because outdoors there’s improved ventilation,” said CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook.

For businesses like Abuelitas Taqueria in Gavelston, it won’t be the money-making weekend it usually is, and owner Sara Asocar is fine with that.

“What do you think of the beaches being closed?” CBS News asked.

“Well the beaches being closed, they shoulda never got open — no offense to the outsiders or tourists,” Asocar said.

Traditional celebrations looking different this year. Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas are among the cities that have canceled fireworks. New York has been doing smaller displays throughout the week.

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