COVID-19 widespread testing is crucial to fighting the pandemic, but is there enough testing? The answer is in the positivity rates.


Americans have a long way to go for “herd immunity” given that only about 9% of adults in the U.S. have been exposed to COVID-19. That’s according to the largest study so far that looks for evidence of the disease in peoples’ blood.

California’s health secretary said Friday that there have been increases in the number of newly confirmed cases, hospital emergency department visits for COVID-19 and new hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected cases.

And in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted restrictions on restaurants and other businesses in a move to reopen the state’s economy despite the spread of the coronavirus.

Some significant developments:

  • California is seeing a concerning uptick in cases, which appear to be attributable to gatherings around Labor Day.
  • Texas A&M’s Midnight Yell was a little “eerie” because no fans were there due to COVID restrictions.
  • Areas with high numbers of Black and non-white Latino residents had higher infection rates than mostly white communities, a study on herd immunity found.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 7 million cases and 203,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Globally, there have been more than 32.6 million cases and over 989,000 fatalities.

📰 What we’re reading: Coronavirus has exposed a secret underbelly of the travel business: Ponzi-style schemes to pay bookings.

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak, state by state.

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.

about 9 percent of American adults had been exposed to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to a new study of dialysis patients, the largest yet looking for evidence of the disease in people’s blood.

That data shows the American public is a long way from achieving “herd immunity” – having enough infections to prevent further spread of the virus. 

The infection rates varied from essentially zero in some states that avoided infection by mid-summer, to more than one-third of residents in parts of New York hard-hit in the spring.

The new study, published in The Lancet, is in line with previous, smaller studies, and also showed areas with high numbers of Black and non-white Latino residents had higher infection rates than mostly white communities.

– Karen Weintraub

according to one of the signators.

“To be successful, the public needs to have the utmost trust in the vaccine and the science behind it,” the letter said, according to Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine who posted the letter Saturday on Twitter.

The Washington Post reports that Pfizer said in a statement that it shared the writers’ “commitment to rigorous safety standards,” but did not directly respond to their request. Pfizer, along with other pharmaceutical companies, signed a pledge earlier this month not to cut corners on a coranvirus vaccine.

The letter noted that since many trial participants have not yet received their second dose, monitoring should occur through at least late November before an application for an Emergency Use Authorization should be considered by the Food and drug administration.

It said the submission of an application before that standard would “would severely erode public trust”  and “prolong the pandemic, with disastrous consequences.” 

President Donald Trump has repeatedly said a vaccine would be available by Election Day, Nov. 3, or sooner.

Johns Hopkins data through late Friday shows six states set records for new cases in a week while four states had a record number of deaths in a week.

New case records were set in Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming, and also Puerto Rico. Record numbers of deaths were reported in Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The United States has reported 7,034,432 cases and 203,789 deaths as of Saturday morning.

– Michael Stucka

lifting COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants and other businesses across Florida as he pushed to reopen the state’s economy.

DeSantis also said any local government limitations affecting restaurants and other businesses would have to be justified by his administration.

“We’re not closing anything going forward,” DeSantis said, while insisting that the state is prepared with plans in place if infections increase again.

The Phase 3 order will allow theme parks to operate at full capacity and lift any restrictions on gatherings, although the state still is recommending people avoid crowded spaces.

Bars can go beyond 50% capacity, if local governments give them the green light, DeSantis said.

– John Kennedy, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Sign up for the daily Coronavirus Watch newsletter. 

  • On Facebook: A lot is still unknown about the coronavirus. But what we do know, we’re sharing with you. Join our Facebook group, Coronavirus Watch, to receive daily updates in your feed and chat with others in the community about COVID-19.  
  • Tips for coping: Every Saturday and Tuesday we’ll be in your inbox, offering you a virtual hug and a little bit of solace in these difficult times. Sign up for Staying Apart, Together.
  • Contributing: The Associated Press


    Show Thumbnails

    Show Captions

    Read or Share this story: