/U.S. sees renewed COVID-19 restrictions as more Republicans break from Trump on mask use | CBC News

U.S. sees renewed COVID-19 restrictions as more Republicans break from Trump on mask use | CBC News

The latest:

  • To date, more than 10 million confirmed cases have been reported globally.
  • Some U.S. Republicans break from Trump’s stance and urge mask use.
  • South Korea sees infections steadily climb in the greater capital area.
  • China has reported a further decline in new confirmed cases.
  • Serbia makes masks mandatory in all closed spaces in the Belgrade.

Governments are stepping up testing and reimposing restrictions as newly confirmed coronavirus infections surge in many countries.

The United States on Monday reported 38,800 newly confirmed infections, with the total surpassing 2.5 million, or about a quarter of the more than 10 million cases worldwide, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Experts say the actual numbers, both in the U.S. and globally, are probably far higher, in part because of testing limitations and the large number of people without symptoms.

The recent spike in cases have caused several states to backpedal on reopenings, with New Jersey saying indoor dining will no longer resume in the state as previously planned and Florida announcing beaches are closing.

WATCH | New Florida COVID-19 surge leads to tougher restrictions:

Florida saw more than 18,000 new cases of COVID-19 this weekend and officials are tightening restrictions ahead of Independence Day celebrations. We spoke to Mayor Tracy Upchurch of St. Augustine, Fla., a city that made wearing face masks mandatory over the weekend. 6:44

On Capitol Hill, Republicans in Congress — in a rare split from mask-averse President Donald Trump — are making public push for face coverings as cases surge in some GOP-leaning states.

The top Republican in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, said every American has a responsibility to follow the recommendations of health officials to wear masks and physically distance themselves to help slow the spread of infection.

Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, where cases are spiking, posted a similar message on Twitter.

Trump has given at least two reasons for eschewing a mask in public, while his Democratic opponent in November’s election, Joe Biden, generally wears one.

Trump has said he cannot picture himself in a mask while greeting royalty and foreign leaders, including dictators. He also has said he did not want to give journalists the pleasure of seeing him wear one.

A nurse waits for patients at a COVID-19 testing facility at JFK International Airport in New York City on Monday. (Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images)

The city of Jacksonville, Fla., where Trump will accept the Republican presidential nomination in August, adopted a mandatory mask requirement for public and indoor locations on Monday. The city’s mayor, Lenny Curry, is a Republican.

Asked if the surge in cases and the Jacksonville action had changed Trump’s thinking about wearing a mask, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters: “It’s the personal choice of any individual as to whether to wear a mask or not. He encourages people to make whatever decision is best for their safety but he did say to me he has no problem with masks and to do whatever your local jurisdiction requests of you.”

Throughout the country, resistance to public health measures has taken on a partisan tone and some Republicans in Congress have held off on wearing masks.

Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas told CNN he would not wear one because “I don’t have the coronavirus.” Other Republicans have shied away from insisting Americans cover their faces in public, saying it was a matter of personal choice.

Harris County election clerk Kathy Kellen wears a mask and face shield while working at a polling site in Houston on Monday. (David J. Phillip/The Associated Press)

That began to change as coronavirus cases nationwide soared to record levels day after day, prompting Republican-led states like Texas and Florida to reimpose restrictions, such as closing recently reopened bars.

Vice-President Mike Pence encouraged Americans to wear masks during a visit to Texas on Sunday.

In one of the more compelling images, U.S. Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming on Friday tweeted a photo of her father, Republican former vice-president Dick Cheney, wearing a surgical mask with the hashtag #realmenwearmasks

What’s happening with COVID-19 in Canada

As of 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 103,818 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 67,096 of the cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,610.

Canada’s chief public health officer said today transmission of the novel coronavirus is largely under control in this country, but warned that the caseload can flare up at any time.

“The epidemiology indicates that transmission is largely under control, while also showing us that cases can re-emerge at any time or place,” Dr. Theresa Tam told an updated modelling briefing Monday.

WATCH | Sombre WHO director warns COVID-19 ‘not even close to being over’:

‘If we can address people’s concerns one by one,’ it will help people who are vaccine-hesitant to see that it is safe, says Dr. Christopher Labos. 7:02

The number of daily cases is steadily declining, along with the number of hospitalized and critical care cases, said Tam. 

She warned, however, that lifting pandemic measures too soon without a proper system of contact tracing and isolation likely would lead to relapses.

After months of strict travel rules and widespread business shutdowns, more provinces are easing restrictions. Later this week, the four Atlantic provinces will open their borders to each other, meaning residents in those areas can travel without having to self-isolate for 14 days.

But areas in multiple provinces have experienced setbacks trying to reopen.

The updated Public Health Agency of Canada figures show that some areas have been more heavily affected by COVID-19 than others — specifically Quebec and Ontario — and identified some recent regional hotspots, including parts of Saskatchewan, the cities of Toronto and Montreal and around the border town of Windsor, Ont.

What’s happening around the world

In the Asia-Pacific, South Korean authorities reported 47 new cases as they struggled to curb outbreaks that have spread from Seoul to other regions.

In China, nearly 8.3 million out of about 21 million have undergone testing in recent weeks in Beijing after an outbreak centred on a wholesale market. The country reported just 12 new cases Monday, including seven in Beijing.

Health authorities are using what they describe as the world’s first saliva test for the coronavirus in Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, where the disease is spreading at an alarming rate.

India’s 20,000 new infections were another record. Several Indian states reimposed partial or full lockdowns after the total number of cases jumped by nearly 100,000 in one week to about 548,000.

A health worker wearing personal protective equipment checks the temperature of a resident in Chennai, India, on Monday. (Arun Sankar/AFP via Getty Images)

In Europe, the central England city of Leicester is waiting to find out if lockdown restrictions will be extended as a result of a spike in coronavirus infections.

Serbia’s authorities have made wearing face masks mandatory in all closed spaces in the capital, Belgrade, following a rise in cases.

And authorities have extended by a week a partial lockdown in the western German district of Guetersloh — home to some 360,000 people — which was hit by a big outbreak at a slaughterhouse.

A COVID-19 test is administered at an airport in Frankfurt, Germany, on Monday. (Michael Probst/The Associated Press)

In Africa, the continent’s most populous state announced it will let people people travel between its states outside curfew hours from July 1, a senior Nigerian official said on Monday as authorities moved to relax some coronavirus restrictions.

South Africa — which has more than a third of Africa’s confirmed cases with 138,000 — leads the continent in testing, but an initially promising program has now been overrun in Cape Town, which alone has more reported cases than any other African country except Egypt.

Critical shortages of kits have forced city officials to abandon testing for anyone under 55 unless they have a serious health condition or are in a hospital.

A person wearing a face mask is seen Soweto, South Africa, on Monday. (Themba Hadebe/The Associated Press)

In the Americas, escalations are unfolding in Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Panama, even after they imposed early lockdowns.

Meanwhile, Brazil has a confirmed caseload and death count second only to the United States, and its leader is unwilling to take steps to stem the spread of the virus.

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