The Latest: South Dakota bike rally continues amid virus

STURGIS, S.D. — Thousands of bikers poured into the small South Dakota town of Sturgis as the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally rumbles to life despite fears it could lead to a massive coronavirus outbreak.

The bike rally is set to become the largest gathering of people since the pandemic began.

Event organizers are expecting 250,000 people from all over the country to make their way through Sturgis during the 10-day rally.

Local residents — and a few bikers — worried it could create a “super-spreader” event. But many who rode their bikes into town expressed defiance of the uncomfortable regulations that have marked life during a pandemic.



— California tops 10,000 virus deaths, 3rd highest in U.S.

— 7-year-old boy dies of coronavirus in Georgia, youngest in state

— Lebanon’s health ministry reports new daily record 279 cases; adds 70 deaths

— Citing New York’s low coronavirus numbers, Gov. Cuomo is clearing the way for schools to offer at least some days of in-person classes, alongside remote learning.

— Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s positive-then-negative test results for the coronavirus serve as a reminder that no test is definitive.

— Russia boasts its about to become the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine, with vaccinations planned as early as October using shots that haven’t completed clinical trials.


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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The nation’s top infectious disease expert says he’s “cautiously optimistic” that a COVID-19 vaccine could be developed soon, but acknowledged the chances it would be highly effective are “not great.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a discussion hosted by Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, that he hopes a coronavirus vaccine could be 75% effective but one that’s 50% to 60% effective would also be acceptable.

Fauci also urged states to move quickly to respond to even modest upticks of 1% to 2% in virus cases to prevent broader outbreaks.


OLYMPIA, Wash. — Health authorities in Washington on Friday said there are now 11 cases of pediatric inflammatory illness associated with the new coronavirus that have been reported in the state.

Department of Health spokesperson Kristen Maki said the cases occurred between April and July. She said according to the latest information available to state officials most of the children were admitted to intensive care units but have since been discharged home.

The Department of Health said Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children is defined as a patient under the age of 21 with a fever, laboratory evidence of inflammation and severe illness involving more than two organs that requires hospitalization.

Patients must also have a positive COVID-19 test or exposure to a confirmed case in the four weeks before symptoms began, the department said.

Six of the cases in Washington are children 9 or younger and five are in children 10 or older.


FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota Indian Affairs Commissioner Scott Davis says the state’s tribes are “back to square one” after recent coronavirus outbreaks linked to July Fourth gatherings.

The primary counties where the state’s five federally recognized tribes are located are all ranked in the state’s top 20 for virus cases per capita in the last two weeks.

Davis says tribal leaders are taking the virus seriously and that he has warned the pandemic will probably last a long time.

Spirit Lake Nation Chairman Douglas Yankton, whose northeastern North Dakota county leads the state in the number of cases by population in the last two weeks, said the tribe is debating shutting down the casino for a second time and issuing a stay at home order for everybody. But the economic consequences could be devastating.

Some tribes have issued mandatory masks orders and all have ramped up testing. Recent mass COVID-19 screenings at Spirit Lake and at the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation each drew nearly 1,000 people.


PHOENIX — Arizona health officials have reported more than 1,400 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 79 more deaths.

The latest figures released Friday by the Department of Health Services increased the state’s total confirmed cases to more than 185,000 and the reported death toll to 4,081.

According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Arizona dropped in the past two weeks, going from about 2,600 new cases per day on July 23 to about 1,800 new cases per day on Aug. 6.


RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Supreme Court has granted a request from Gov. Ralph Northam to suspend judicial proceedings related to evictions for tenants who can’t pay rent.

The court ruled 4-3 Friday to grant a moratorium on evictions through Sept. 7 as the state grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

That will give the General Assembly and governor time to pass a rent relief package in a special session that will start later this month.


BEIRUT — Lebanon’s health ministry is reporting a new daily record of 279 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total 5,951. An additional 70 deaths were confirmed on Friday.

The surge comes three days after Beirut was hit by a massive chemical explosion that killed 154 people, wounded thousands and damaged large parts of the city. There have been concerns that the crowding at hospitals overwhelmed with the huge casualties from the blast could lead to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks.

Virus cases in Lebanon have been increasing since early July, when the country’s only international airport reopened and a lockdown was eased.

Firas Abiad, head of the city’s Rafik Hariri University Hospital, urged the international community to send medical aid to Lebanon.

He says there is no doubt “our immunity in the country” is less than before the explosion.


PARIS — France counted more than 2,000 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the biggest single-day total since May.

Health officials say there were 2,288 new cases, bringing the total for the week to 9,330. That’s more than four times the 556 cases recorded on Monday.

The uptick in cases corresponds with France’s summer holidays and seashore vacations. More than 593,600 coronavirus tests were carried out during the week.

The French health agency says circulation of the virus is ‘’especially among young adults,’’ and appealed for respect of safety measures.

More than 30,300 people have died in France, the seventh highest total in the world, with 28 new daily deaths reported.


LONDON — Ireland’s prime minister has ordered regional lockdowns in three counties amid a surge of coronavirus cases.

Micheal Martin says the restrictions will apply in counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly and are in response to a “deep and urgent threat.’’ The restrictions begin at midnight and will last for two weeks.

Movement will be restricted within the counties except for work and other essential journeys. Pubs serving food and restaurants will only provide takeout services.

Entertainment venues such as movie theaters, museums, galleries and bingo halls will close.

Ireland has recorded 1,768 deaths from the coronavirus and 26,372 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California has surpassed 10,000 deaths from the coronavirus, making it the U.S. state with the third-highest deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The figure was reported Friday by Johns Hopkins University, with 10,024 dead since the outbreak began in California in February.

New York has the highest number of deaths at more than 32,000, followed by New Jersey with nearly 16,000. California is the nation’s most populous state with 40 million people.

The first known COVID-related death in the U.S. occurred in early February in the San Francisco Bay Area county of Santa Clara. Nearly half of California’s deaths are in hard-hit Los Angeles County, where more than 4,800 of its 10 million residents have died.

Gov. Gavin Newsom was the first in the nation to issue a stay-home order in mid-March, but the virus began to surge after the Memorial Day holiday as the state relaxed some measures.

The current infection rates are unclear because California’s system is beset by technology problems, delaying the reporting of test results.


LONDON — British officials say there were about 3,700 new coronavirus infections a day in England in the week to Aug. 2, down from the previous weekly average of nearly 4,200 a day.

The Office for National Statistics says the coronavirus may have leveled off after a rise following the easing of the lockdown in June. There were 98 more deaths reported by the government on Friday.

British authorities are extending a ban on different households meeting up to a northwest England city where coronavirus infections are increasing. The Department of Health says the town of Preston will be added to restrictions on social life starting Saturday.

The move comes a week after the government barred different households from meeting indoors in nearby Greater Manchester and surrounding areas of Lancashire and West Yorkshire counties.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock says infection rates in those areas have not fallen and restrictions will continue.

Britain’s official coronavirus death toll stands at more than 46,000, the highest in Europe and fourth highest in the world.


MADRID — Spain reported 1,895 new coronavirus cases Friday, more than 200 from the previous day.

It’s the highest daily increase in coronavirus infections since the country ended a lockdown in June.

The Health Ministry says the Madrid region, with 567, and the Basque country, with 403, accounted for around half of the new cases in the last 24 hours.

But the report didn’t include the Aragón region, which on Thursday had the highest number of new cases with more than 300. The Health Ministry says Aragón had technical problems in reporting.

Since the outbreak began, Spain has confirmed 314,362 cases and more than 28,500 deaths.


ROME — The number of daily new coronavirus cases in Italy has surged, with 552 confirmed infections on Friday.

That’s a 38 percent increase from the previous day’s new caseload. Italy hasn’t seen a such a high daily figure since late May.

The northeastern region of Veneto, which performed some 16,500 swab tests since Thursday, registered roughly a third of the new cases at 183, according to Health Ministry on Friday. Veneto Gov. Luca Zaia says the new infections were found in residents who recently returned home from travel to Spain, Peru, Malta, Croatia and Greece.

Italy’s total known infections stand at 249,756. Three more deaths since Thursday raised Italy’s overall confirmed death toll to 35,190.


ATHENS, Greece — Greek authorities have reported 151 confirmed coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, one of the highest daily numbers since April, but no new deaths.

Data released Friday showed 12 of the new cases were people visiting from abroad, while another 17 involved a wedding in the northeastern town of Alexandroupolis.

The country of about 11 million has a total of nearly 5,300 confirmed cases and 210 deaths. On Thursday, 153 new infections were recorded, prompting a partial tightening of restrictions.


SAVANNAH, Ga. — A 7-year-old boy with COVID-19 has become the youngest known person to die in Georgia since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The African-American boy had no other chronic health conditions, according to data released by the state. The case is from Chatham County, which includes Savannah, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported.

The boy’s death comes amid nationwide debate ahead of the school year about the risks that children face for infection or spread of the coronavirus. There is no indication in the health department’s reports about where or when the child contracted the virus.

Georgia’s previous youngest death involved a 17-year-old African American in Fulton County who had undisclosed health issues in addition to COVID-19. More than 30 people in their 20s have died, state data shows.

Georgia recently topped 4,000 deaths and more than 200,000 confirmed cases.


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