Health Highlights: June 29, 2020

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

U.S. Coronavirus Rates Much Higher Than Reported: CDC

Actual coronavirus infection rates in many areas of the United States are more than 10 times higher than reported rates, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study suggests.

That difference was highest in Missouri. As of April 26, about 2.6% of people (6,800) in the state were reported to have been infected, but CDC data show the actual number was about 24 times higher, at 162,000, according to The New York Times.

As of April 1, New York City had reported 53,803 cases, but the actual number of infections was 12 times higher, at nearly 642,000, the CDC study found.

“This study underscores that there are probably a lot of people infected without knowing it, likely because they have mild or asymptomatic infection,” study leader Dr. Fiona Havers told the Times. “But those people could still spread it to others.”

Even in areas hard hit by the new coronavirus, most people have not been infected, noted Scott Hensley, a viral immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved in the study.

“Many of us are sitting ducks who are still susceptible to second waves,” he told the Times.


Bars in Seven California Counties Ordered to Close

Bars in seven California counties have been ordered to close due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The mandated closures affect Los Angeles, Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin and Tulare counties, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

He also recommended the closure of bars in Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and Ventura, CBS News reported.

“Californians must remain vigilant against this virus,” Newsom said in a statement. “COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger. That’s why it is critical we take this step to limit the spread of the virus in the counties that are seeing the biggest increases.”

The state reported an increase of nearly 6,000 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.


Miami-Dade County Closes Beaches Over July 4th Weekend

Beaches in Miami-Dade County will be closed over the Fourth of July weekend due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Florida.

On Saturday, the state reported a record high of more than 9,000 new COVID-19 cases. The previous record was 5,500 cases, CBS News reported.

“After consulting with our county’s public health experts, I will be signing an emergency order on Saturday to close all beaches in Miami-Dade County starting Friday, July 3, and ending Tuesday, July 7,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement.

He warned that the closure of beaches may be extended if the situation doesn’t improve, or if people don’t wear masks or social distance, CBS News reported.