U.S. Adds Almost 50,000 Cases; France Hits Record: Virus Update

California’s latest numbers climbed above the 14-day averages for both new cases and deaths, according to the health department’s website. The state reported 4,304 new coronavirus cases, versus the 14-day average of 3,350. The number of deaths increased by 100, compared with a 91 average. There have been 14,912 fatalities in all.
France’s daily coronavirus cases surged to the highest since the national lockdown ended in May. Another 13,498 cases were reported on Saturday, the second straight day over 13,000.
The higher numbers reflect to some degree increased testing, now five times the level performed in May to over one million a week. But the pace of infections is at its highest since the start of the outbreak, based on rolling 7-day data that smooths out reporting spikes.
Authorities have been calling on the population to step up social distancing measures as the number of clusters has been increasing in past weeks, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire became on Friday the country’s most senior official to become infected.
New York reported 986 cases, the most since early June. That was the last time infections in the state rose above 1,000. But the daily rise remained at 0.2%, in line with the average increase of the previous seven days.
The transmission rate also remained less than one, still below the point at which the virus is considered to be increasing. Two more fatalities were reported, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a news release.
Arizona’s spike in cases tapered as the state added 610 infections, compared with double that number reported Friday and nearly triple the day before. The 0.3% rise on Saturday was slightly less than the average 0.4% daily increase of the previous seven days. Total cases are now 213,551.
The death toll declined to 16, the lowest in five days, for a total of 5,467.
Florida reported the most new cases and the highest positive-test rate among residents since Sept. 10, according to a state Department of Health report that reflects data received through Friday. Test positivity increased to 4.5% from 4.1% a day earlier.
Cases, including people diagnosed with Covid-19 who don’t reside in Florida, increased by 3,573 to 681,233. Virus-related deaths among residents declined for the second consecutive day to 67, bringing the total to 13,287.
Italy reported 24 new coronavirus deaths Saturday, more than doubling the 10 recorded the day before to levels not seen since July.
While new cases declined by almost 300 to 1,638, the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care at hospitals rose by seven to 215, according to health authorities. That compares with a peak of more than 4,000 ICU patients in April.
The U.K. reported 4,422 more cases on Saturday, the second consecutive day with the most new infections since May 8. Another 27 people died within 28 days of testing positive.
U.K. cases have surged in the last two weeks, prompting Prime Minister Boris Johnson to warn that tighter restrictions on public life may be needed.
The country is facing a “perfect storm” after easing controls over the summer, former government adviser Neil Ferguson told the BBC on Saturday. The government needs to resume some nationwide measures “sooner rather than later” to prevent a new surge leading to more deaths, said Ferguson, an Imperial College London professor whose modeling led to the U.K. lockdown in March.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon repeated her request for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to call an emergency cabinet meeting for the four nations of the U.K. in the next 48 hours, as 350 new cases were recorded in Scotland, up from 203 the previous day. Three people died. In a post on Twitter, Sturgeon urged people to stick to social distancing guidelines and be “extra careful.”
Saudi Arabia recorded 551 new Covid-19 cases and 28 deaths on Saturday, the health ministry said. Kuwait had 521 new infections and one death.
U.S. cases increased by 49,299 on Friday, a 0.7% increase that compares with a 0.6% daily average over the previous week. It was the second-highest number of new infections on a single day in the last two weeks.
Confirmed cases nationwide si…