ABC News Corona Virus Government. Response

US suffers 1,000 deaths for 5th straight day

There have now been more than 146,000 deaths in the U.S.

Over 15.9 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their nations' outbreaks.

The United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 4.1 million diagnosed cases and at least 146,418 deaths.

Saturday's headlines:

  • Brazil's Bolsonaro tests negative for COVID-19
  • US marks 1,000 deaths for 5th day in a row
  • Hundreds of Texas bar owners pledge defiance to governor's order
  • Florida to discuss reopening bars
  • New Orleans closing bars, prohibiting takeout alcohol sales
  • Here is how the news is developed on Saturday. All times Eastern. Check back for updates.

    9:19 p.m.: Birx concerned about cases in Ohio

    Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, made a visit to Ohio on Saturday to meet with state health officials in locations with concerning case numbers.

    "We have seven states right now with less than 2% test positivity; Ohio is almost to 7," Birx told Columbus ABC affiliate WSYX in an exclusive interview. "So this is why we're concerned. This is why we believe that if every Ohioan acts now, they can change the course of this pandemic before it gets significantly out of control and your hospitals start filling up."

    Birx singled out people hanging out in bars as one of the problems in the state. Bars and restaurants were reopened to indoor dining on May 21. Birx said that decision may need to be rolled back, as it has been in several states across the country.

    "It's something about drinking, not wearing a mask and being close to people, particularly indoors, that is actively spreading this virus," she said.

    The total number of cases increased from 58,991 on July 1 to 83,184 on Saturday -- an increase of 24,193 cases. Ohio recorded 18,920 cases for the entirety of June.

    Birx is expected to travel to Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia in the coming days.

    7:15 p.m.: US crosses 1,000 deaths for 5 straight days

    The U.S. saw a death toll over 1,000 for the fifth day in a row, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

    The number of deaths is continuing to trend up after dropping throughout May and June.

    The death toll reported Saturday was 1,037.

    The death toll for the week was 6,297 -- up more than 1,000 from last week, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

    There have now been more than 146,000 deaths from coronavirus in the U.S.

    The number of hospitalizations is also on the rise, even with issues stemming from the shift in reporting from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the Department of Health and Human Services, the project reported.

    5:07 p.m.: Florida to discuss reopening bars, official says

    The same day Florida became the state with the second-highest number of cases, a government official announced that discussions would begin on how to reopen bars "as soon as possible."

    Halsey Beshears, Florida’s secretary of Department of Business & Professional Regulation, wrote in a Facebook post that he will set meetings starting Friday throughout the state with breweries and bars to discuss ideas on how to reopen.

    "We will come up with a Safe, Smart and Step-by-step plan based on input, science and relative facts on how to reopen as soon as possible," Beshears wrote in a Facebook post.

    2:24 p.m.: Alabama rolls out plan to test every college student

    Alabama outlined its plan to provide free COVID-19 testing for every college student attending a public four-year or two-year college in the state when returning to campus.

    The plan -- called GuideSafe -- would require students get tested within 14 days of entering a college campus.

    It was not immediately clear how many college students were enrolled in public colleges in Alabama, however the largest university in the state -- The University of Alabama -- had 38,103 students in 2019.

    The move is an effort to "maintain a safe environment and slow the spread of COVID-19," according to the GuideSafe website.

    Students will receive an email with a link to register and schedule the testing.

    The samples will then be sent to a lab and run in 24 hours, with students receiving another email about their test results.

    The test will be a self-administered nose swab.

    12:44 p.m.: Florida becomes state with 2nd-highest number of cases

    The Florida Department of Health reported an additional 12,199 cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number to 414,511.

    The state now has the second-most confirmed cases, behind California and surpassing New York, which was at one point the state with the highest number of cases.

    Deaths and hospitalizations also increased. Florida has recorded 5,894 total deaths, with an increase of 126, and 23,730 hospitalizations, with an increase of 505.

    There are 9,002 active hospitalizations.

    Miami-Dade has been the hardest-hit county, with 3,396 new cases and a positivity rate of 19.7%.

    Broward County trails behind with 619 new cases and a positivity rate of 13%.

    12:35 p.m.: LabCorp receives authorization for pool testing

    Commercial lab giant LabCorp received an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, allowing it to test groups of individuals -- known as pool testing -- for COVID-19 infections.

    "LabCorp’s unique matrixed pooled strategy for COVID-19 provides an efficient testing approach for populations by allowing for larger groups of samples to be tested at one time," the company said in a statement, adding that their methodology can "quickly provide quality test results for individuals within the group, without requiring retesting in the majority of cases."

    Five samples can be tested at once, according to the company.

    If there is a positive sample in the pool, LabCorp said it can identify the individual positive sample in the pool using its robotic testing platform. Pooled testing can reduce the number of tests required in specific populations, optimize laboratory testing supplies, and increase testing capacity.

    Pool testing can reduce the number of tests required in specific populations and can increase testing capacity. It can be used for populations at low risk of COVID-19, when testing demand exceeds laboratory capacity or when testing reagents are in short supply.

    11:40 a.m.: Georgia Senate candidate experiencing symptoms after wife tests positive

    The wife of Georgia Senate candidate, Jon Ossoff, has tested positive for COVID-19 and Ossoff is experiencing symptoms but has not yet been diagnosed, a statement from his campaign read.

    Ossoff is awaiting his results.

    He has not held any in-person campaign event in over a month and plans to self-isolate in quarantine until he and his wife get clearance from their doctor, according to the campaign statement.

    Kramer is an OB/GYN physician at a local hospital.

    "We will keep the public informed with updated information, but right now we are just praying for the family’s health and full and speedy recovery," the campaign statement read.

    10:24 a.m.: NY sees another record low for hospitalizations

    New York, once the epicenter of the pandemic, has recorded 646 hospitalizations as of Saturday -- the lowest number since March 18, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

    There were also 149 intensive care unit patients, another record low since March 16, according to the governor.

    "New York State's numbers continue to show progress in the midst of alarming increases in COVID-19 cases throughout the country and a renewed need to ensure compliance with state guidance here at home," Cuomo said.

    Of the 71,466 test results reported to the state, 1.05% were positive.

    The total number of confirmed cases in New York is 411,200 and there have been 25,103 deaths. The majority of deaths and an overwhelming number of cases have been in New York City.

    8:40 a.m.: Brazil's Bolsonaro tests negative for COVID-19

    Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro tested negative for COVID-19. He did a PCR test on Friday night according to the Presidential office and received the results today from BRASILIA Military hospital.

    5:55 a.m.: Social media influencer arrested, apologizes for breaking Hawaii's mandated 14-day quarantine

    A 20-year-old woman from Birmingham, Alabama, has been after violating Hawaii's mandated 14-day quarantine order.

    Anne S. Salamanca arrived in Honolulu on July 6, and four days later, the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) learned she was out in public breaking the State’s mandatory 14-day quarantine.

    The HTA subsequently provided the attorney general with videos showing her dancing in a store and dining out with friends.

    Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors said, “The fact Ms. Salamanca has so many followers makes her actions that much more dangerous and concerning. The spread of misinformation can have very severe consequences during an emergency situation like we are in now.”

    Salamanca was arrested in Waipahu and booked before relatives bailed her out of jail. She is the 24th person on O‘ahu arrested by the Department of the Attorney General for violating the travel self-quarantine order

    3:01 a.m.: Hundreds of Texas bar owners pledge defiance to governor's order

    Hundreds of Texas bar owners say they'll defy Gov. Greg Abbott's mandate that ordered them closed after a surge in coronavirus cases.

    Approximately 800 bar owners have promised to participate in an event organized by Fort Worth bar owner Chris Polone called the "Freedom Fest" where bar owners have pledged to open their doors in defiance of the governor's orders which could place their state liquor licenses in jeopardy.

    Abbott had previously allowed bars to reopen with restrictions but ordered them to close again on June 26 after the state experienced a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

    Bars must adhere to safety measures that include taking customers' temperatures before entering, maintaining social distancing, requiring face coverings and having hand sanitizer available.

    The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is aware of the event and will be conducting inspections, said commission spokesman Chris Porter. Violators of the order could face a 30-day suspension of their liquor license.

    What to know about coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the U.S. and worldwide: Coronavirus map
  • 1:14 a.m.: New Orleans closing bars, prohibiting takeout alcohol sales

    Mayor Cantrell made the announcement at a press conference Friday afternoon, saying, “Since we moved to Phase 2, the city has seen an unfavorable trend with the COVID-19 virus.”

    “As of tomorrow 6 a.m., all bars and restaurants in the city of New Orleans will be prohibited from selling takeout alcohol beverages. So what this essentially will mean is bars will be closed throughout Orleans Parish,” Mayor Cantrell said.

    “The closure of bars & restricting social gatherings are both recommendations made by the @WhiteHouse #Coronavirus Task Force due to Louisiana’s surging numbers. Dr. Avegno: ‘We agree that restricting activities that are clearly tied to the spread of the virus is common sense.’”

    ABC News' Scott Withers contributed to this report.