At least 121 test positive in UW frat outbreak

More than 100 students have tested positive at the University of Washington.

July 5, 2020, 9:58 PM

A novel coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 530,000 people worldwide.

More than 11.2 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 the scope of their nations' outbreaks.

The United States is the worst-affected country in the world, with more than 2.8 million diagnosed cases and at least 129,676 deaths.

Latest headlines:

  • LA reports 7,232 new cases over holiday weekend
  • At least 121 students now positive in UW frat outbreak
  • Florida tops 200,000 total cases
  • Trump claims a coronavirus vaccine coming 'long before the end of the year'
  • Here's how the news developed Sunday. Check back for updates. All times Eastern.

    9:46 p.m.: LA reports 7,232 new cases over holiday weekend

    The Los Angeles County Public Health department reported 7,232 new COVID-19 cases for the period of Thursday-Saturday over the July Fourth weekend.

    Friday marked the county's largest number of new cases in a single day at 3,187, officials said.

    As of Saturday there were 1,921 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in LA County, 28% of whom were in the ICU and 18% of whom were on ventilators.

    Officials reported 30 new deaths but said that figure was pending verification and was likely an undercount.

    6:55 p.m.: Mississippi health dept. says uptick not tied to protests

    The Mississippi State Department of Health told ABC News that it has no evidence to support Gov. Tate Reeves' claim that the state's uptick in COVID-19 cases is related to last month’s protests.

    Reeves said on Twitter Sunday that the uptick "began within days of massive protests all over."

    When contacted for information to confirm the governor's claim, health department spokesperson Liz Sharlot told ABC News, “We do not have any evidence that an increase in cases is due to the protests that occurred a few weeks ago."

    Other states have also reported that they haven't seen a rise in COVID-19 cases tied to protests, including Minnesota.

    Mississippi has 30,671 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of July 3, according to the state health department. The state set a record for daily new cases on June 25, with 1,092.

    4:35 p.m.: At least 121 students now positive in UW frat outbreak

    More students have been identified in a COVID-19 outbreak tied to the University of Washington's Greek houses.

    At least 121 UW students, including 112 fraternity house residents, have tested positive for the coronavirus, the university announced Sunday. The other nine students were close contacts of the residents but do not live in the houses, the Seattle school said.

    The Interfraternity Council, a student-led governing board for UW fraternities, has separately reported that as of July 3 at least 117 residents living in 15 fraternity houses have self-reported that they tested positive for COVID-19. The university said it is continuing to conduct its own testing and verification of coronavirus cases, which may account for the discrepancy.

    PHOTO: Students at the University of Washington are on campus for the last day of in-person classes on March 6, 2020 in Seattle. The university closed March 9, as a reaction to the novel coronavirus outbreak for the remainder of the winter quarter.
    Students at the University of Washington are on campus for the last day of in-person classes on March 6, 2020 in Seattle. The university will close starting Monday, March 9, as a precautionary reaction to the novel coronavirus outbreak for the remainder of the winter quarter.
    Karen Ducey/Getty Images

    A testing site set up near UW's Greek Row in the past week has conducted nearly 1,300 tests as of this weekend, the university said. Greek house residents and others in the community have also been tested at Seattle drive-up sites, Hall Health and UWMC-Northwest, it added.

    The university first reported the outbreak on June 30, when at least 38 students living in 10 fraternity houses tested positive.

    About 1,000 students are currently living in 25 fraternity houses north of the UW campus. The residents of the houses are being asked to quarantine or self-isolate.

    12:36 p.m.: Florida tops 200,000 total cases

    The Florida Department of Health released its morning summary which reports 200,111 total cases -- an increase of 10,059.

    The department reported this is a positivity rate of 15%, up from 14% on Saturday.

    The total number of tests conducted was 66,839.

    Miami-Dade reported 2,258 new cases and a positivity rate of 20.3%.

    Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) reported 1,670 new cases and a positivity rate of 16.5%. This is the highest one-day total of new cases.

    Duval County (Jacksonville) reported 531 new cases and a positivity rate of 16.9%, up from 14.5% on Saturday.

    Lee County (Fort Myers) reported 278 new cases and a positivity rate of 14.8%.

    Hillsborough County (Tampa) reported 630 new cases and a positivity rate of 16.2%.

    Orange County (Orlando) reported 760 cases and a positivity rate of 14.2%, a daily high.

    Osceola County (Kissimmee and Celebration) reported 188 new cases and a positivity rate of 16.4%, down from 19.5% on Saturday.

    2:08 a.m.: Fort Worth bar faces 30-day shutdown

    The Rail Club Live in Forth Worth, Texas, now faces a 30-day shutdown after hosting a "Tea Party Protest" on Saturday evening which defied state orders designed to counteract the state's soaring COVID-19 numbers, according to ABC News' Dallas affiliate WFAA.

    Owner Chris Polone made good on a promise made earlier in the week to host a protest party Saturday night at the venue.

    Masks were required at the door and guests were advised to maintain social distancing and wash their hands regularly. Hand sanitizer was also made available by the staff.

    The opening of the bar was a direct violation of executive order Governor Greg Abbott signed over a week ago which temporarily closed businesses that earn 51% of their sales from alcohol.

    Abbott said in an interview with WFAA on June 26, that delaying the opening of bars is the one thing he would have done differently in his reopening plan.

    “Bars are one of those types of settings that are not made for a pandemic. Bars invites people to gather together, to drink and to have conversations and things like that. And that is the opposite of the type of practices that are needed to slow the spread of the coronavirus,” he said.

    Owner Chris Polone streamed the beginning of the event on Facebook live but just minutes after his protest began Saturday, enforcement officers arrived, informing Polone he could stay open, but would lose his license for 30 days. He chose to remain open.

    A post on the venue's Facebook page argued the shutdown was unconstitutional because the venue didn't charge admission or "sell" alcohol Saturday.

    The post said the state shut down a peaceful protest on Saturday, not a business.

    The protest, however, did not appear to be shut down, as it was allowed to continue after a visit from authorities.

    12:55 a.m.: Trump says vaccine will arrive 'long before the end of the year'

    President Donald Trump made remarks on Saturday evening at the second annual Salute to America July 4th event held in Washington, D.C. and claimed that a therapeutic and/or vaccine will be around “long before the end of the year.”

    "I want to send our thanks to the scientists and researchers around the country and even around the world who are at the forefront of our historic effort to rapidly develop and deliver life-saving treatments and ultimately a vaccine," Trump said. "We are unleashing our nation's scientific brilliance and we'll likely have a therapeutic and/or vaccine solution long before the end of the year."

    Trump also said that his administration has tested more than 40 million people around the country.

    President Donald Trump greets visitors as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House during a "Salute to America" event, Saturday, July 4, 2020, in Washington.
    Patrick Semansky/AP

    "We got hit by the virus that came from China," Trump began. "And we've made a lot of progress, our strategy is moving along well. It goes out in one area and rears back its ugly face in another area. But we've learned a lot. We've learned how to put out the flame. We've made ventilators where there were none, by tens of thousands, to the point that we have far more than we need, and we're now distributing them to many foreign countries as a gesture of good will. Likewise, testing -- there were no tests for a new virus. But now we have tested almost 40 million people."

    Said Trump: "By so doing, we show cases, 99% of which are totally harmless, results that no other country can show because no other country is testing that we have, not in terms of the numbers or in terms of the quality. And now just like everything else, we have become the manufacturer and record for ventilators. We have the most finest testing anywhere in the world and we are producing gown and masks and surgical equipment in our country we're heretofore it was almost exclusively land in lands in China ironically where this virus and others came from. China secrecy deceptions and coverup allowed it to spread all over the world. 189 countries, and China must be held fully accountable."

    ABC News' Ahmad Hemingway, Eric Alvarez and Marilyn Heck contributed to this report.

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