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COVID-19 Spreading in US Too Fast to Control, CDC Expert Says

By VOA News June 30, 2020

The novel coronavirus is spreading too fast and across too many places in the United States to bring it under control, a top expert said Monday as some states set records for new cases every day.

"We have way too much virus across the country for that right now, so it's very discouraging," Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Schuchat called the surge in new cases just "the beginning," and said new cases are not being rapidly identified and isolated with proper contact tracing.

"I think there was a lot of wishful thinking around the country that, hey it's summer. Everything's going to be fine. We're over this and we are not even beginning to be over this. There are a lot of worrisome factors about the last week or so," she said.

Dr. Schuchat appealed to people to wear masks, practice social distancing and not to expect any kind of relief until there's a vaccine.

The city of Jacksonville, Florida, where the Republican Party will hold its convention in August, said Monday it will require masks for all public locations.

State officials have also halted alcohol consumption at bars because of what Governor Ron DeSantis called "widespread noncompliance."

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that indoor dining will not resume as planned this week because of the threat of the virus.

The Trump administration has said only 4% of U.S. counties has seen a jump in new coronavirus cases. But according to the Associated Press, more than 20% of the U.S. population lives in those counties.

Arizona, California, Florida and Texas are among the states that have seen the biggest spike in new cases.

The United States is expected to be on the European Union's list of countries whose citizens are barred from traveling there because of COVID-19. Diplomats say Brazil, India and Russia are also expected to be on the list because of their high number of cases.

"This is not an exercise to be nice or unfriendly to other countries, this is an exercise of self-responsibility," Spain's foreign minister, Arancha Gonzalez Laya, told Spanish radio.

EU diplomats say the list will be revised every 14 days.

President Donald Trump suspended most European travelers from entering the United States in March.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the worst of the coronavirus outbreak is over in Canada but urged citizens to stay alert.

"After a very challenging spring things are continuing to move in the right direction," Trudeau said Monday. "What the situation we're seeing in the United States and elsewhere highlights for us is that even as our economy is reopening, we need to make sure we are continuing to remain vigilant."

Non-essential border crossings between the United States and Canada are set to expire on July 21. But it is unclear how Canada will react if the surge in cases in the United States continues.

Canadian-based Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group filed for bankruptcy protection Monday after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to cancel shows and lay off about 95% of its performers and staff.

In New York, Broadway theaters that first closed in March because of the coronavirus outbreak will now remain shut through the end of the year.

The shutdown has meant temporarily closing 31 plays and musicals, and putting as many as 100,000 actors, musicians, dancers, stagehands, and other theater professionals out of work.

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