Coronavirus Live Updates: Millions Of Australians Head Back Into Lockdown

Stay up to date as we cover the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its effects across the world.

Since Chinese officials locked down the city of Wuhan in January, there have been more than 11.8 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, across the planet.

More than 544,000 people have died from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Efforts to curb the outbreak have led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shuttered in hopes of slowing transmission. After months of precautions and lockdowns, governments have begun to reopen their economies.

HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and its effects.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)

New York City To Partially Reopen Schools For Fall Term — 7/8/20, 11:05 a.m. ET

New York City, home to the nation’s largest public school system, will not fully reopen classroom doors for the upcoming fall term due to the continuing threat of COVID-19. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement Wednesday after weeks of debate between teachers, politicians, parent advocates and public health experts.

Students will instead be subject to one to three days of in-person classroom instruction, with the rest completed remotely. The city’s entire student body was forced to move to online-only education in mid-March as the coronavirus crisis raged throughout the region.

Across the country, schools are faced with tough decisions about reopening classrooms. Some elite universities, such as Princeton and Yale, have already announced plans to continue with remote learning in the fall term.

While there are dramatically fewer COVID-19 cases in New York and the surrounding region than there were at the peak of the crisis, caseloads are skyrocketing in other states, and officials have voiced concern about a potential resurgence. 

— Sara Boboltz

Boris Johnson Accused Of ‘Trumpian’ Response To UK Care Home Row — 7/08/20, 7:45 a.m. ET

A charity boss who went viral for his attack on U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “cowardly” criticism of care homes has hit out at Downing Street’s “Trumpian” response and refusal to apologize.

Mark Adams, who oversees a workforce of 6,500 staff helping people with dementia and learning difficulties, spoke out after Johnson’s spokesman tried to suggest the prime minister was not apportioning blame when he said, “Too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have.”

The row, which has dominated British politics this week, has seen Johnson blasted for a string of government failures in the pandemic. Adams told HuffPost UK that the government’s move to clarify Johnson’s remarks felt like an attempt to “bluff” his way through the controversy.

He added that Johnson response echoed Donald Trump’s denial of statements he himself had made, which were easily provable. “I think we’ve had numerous examples of kind of Trumpian revisions of history. I mean it’s normally been other ministers standing up at [the] five o’clock [government press conference] patting themselves on the back for a job well done,” he said.

The U.K. death toll stands at 44,391, the third-highest in the world. 

Read more here.

— Paul Waugh

Millions Of Australians Head Back Into Lockdown Amid Melbourne Outbreak — 7/08/2020, 7:30 a.m. ET

Five million Australians face a heavy police clampdown from midnight on Wednesday to contain a flare-up of coronavirus cases, with checkpoints to be set up around Melbourne to ensure people stay at home.

Police said they would conduct random checks of vehicles on major roads surrounding the country’s second-most populous city, creating a “ring of steel” as partial lockdowns are reinstated for six weeks to stem a surge in infections.

Melburnians will be allowed to leave home only for essential business for the next six weeks. Cafes, bars, restaurants and gyms will shut again.

The renewed lockdown follows the closure of the country’s busiest border, between Victoria and Australia’s most populous state New South Wales, on Tuesday night.

Melbourne is the capital of Victoria state, which reported 134 new infections on Wednesday, down from the previous day’s record 191 but well over the low single-digit daily increases elsewhere in the country.

Nationwide, Australia has reported about 9,000 COVID-19 cases and 106 deaths from the virus.

— Reuters

6 Dead, 1,500 Infected As Virus Ravages California’s San Quentin Prison — 7/8/2020, 4:50 a.m. ET

As of Tuesday, 1,369 people incarcerated at California’s San Quentin Prison and 184 staffers had tested positive for the coronavirus, and six inmates have died, per the state’s tracking tool, in an outbreak that has grown devastating in recent weeks.

Advocates have urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to release more prisoners in response. Last week, 20 inmates went on hunger strike to protest its inhumane conditions including dirty, cramped cells.

There have been more than 5,000 coronavirus cases among California’s prison system and 29 inmates have died. 

Read more here.

—  Sarah Ruiz-Grossman

For more on the pandemic, go here.


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