MELBOURNE, Australia — The premier of Australia’s Victoria state announced a slight easing of restrictions in Melbourne but the country’s second-largest city will remain in lockdown until at least Oct. 26.
State police charged a protester with assault after an officer suffered cuts to the head during an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne on Saturday.
Police said that seven others have been charged with breaching COVID-19 directions after about 200 gathered at the Shrine of Remembrance and Albert Park. Scuffles between protesters and police resulted in more than 160 fines for contravening lockdown measures or not wearing a mask.
“Despite all the warnings, it was disappointing to see individuals turn out to protest in the city, putting the lives of Victorians at risk,” a police statement said.
On Sunday, health officials said Victoria recorded 63 new cases and five more deaths. It takes the state’s total fatalities to 666 and the national death toll to 753.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said that from Sept. 13, the nightly curfew will start an hour later at 9 p.m. and run until 5 a.m. People living alone can nominate a friend or family member who can visit them. Two hours of daily exercise will be allowed, including social interactions such as a picnic at a park or reading a book at the beach.
He said further restrictions could be eased from Sept. 28 and the government will consider lifting the curfew entirely from Oct. 26.
“We can’t run out of lockdown. We have to take steady and safe steps out of lockdown to find that COVID normal,” Andrews said.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
— Refugee families face unique struggles with online school
— Thanks, but no: Small businesses shun payroll tax deferral
— Spanish doctors hope beach trips can help ICU virus patients
— Hundreds of migrants have been transferred to a ferry from a tiny Italian island to relieve severe overcrowding during the coronavirus pandemic at a residence for asylum-seekers
— India’s coronavirus caseload has surpassed 4 million, deepening misery in the country’s vast hinterlands, where surges have crippled the underfunded health care system.
Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
NEW DELHI — India saw another record surge of 90,632 cases in the past 24 hours, as infections spread to smaller cities and parts of rural India.
According to the Health Ministry, India’s caseload reached 4,113,811, slightly short of Brazil’s confirmed 4,123,000 infections. Brazil is the second worst-hit country after the United States with 6,245,112 cases.
The ministry on Sunday also reported 1,065 deaths for a total of 70,626.
More than 1 million cases have been detected in India in less than two weeks. Authorities say India’s daily testing exceeds 1 million now.
Dr. Randeep Guleria, a government health expert, said India is seeing a resurgence with over 70% of its nearly 1.4 billion people still susceptible to infections. “We could say that we are seeing some sort of a second wave in certain parts of the country.”
India’s recovery rate was 77.23%, leading to a decline in fatality rate to around 1.73% , the ministry said.
With the economy contracting by a record 23.9% in the April-June quarter, leaving millions jobless, the government is continuing to relax restrictions except in high-risk areas. It announced that subway will resume service on Monday after more than five months with restrictions on the number of people on board.
Guleria also noted the country is experiencing a COVID behavior fatigue with many people crowding public places without masks and the streets back to traffic jams.
Six of India’s 28 states — Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi — remain the worst-hit, accounting for 75% of fatalities and nearly 65% of total cases.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada health officials on Saturday reported 390 additional COVID-19 cases and 13 new deaths, bringing the statewide totals to 71,102 confirmed cases and 1,388 deaths.
The vast majority of cases and deaths in Nevada have occurred in Clark County, which includes metro Las Vegas.
In other developments, Reno officials said a one-day closure of a small section of a downtown street for limited on-street food and drink service would be a test for helping restaurants whose operations are crimped by restrictions on mass gatherings.
Reno’s experiment Saturday follows the lead of other cities.
PHOENIX — A suburban school district in metro Phoenix has put off its plan to return its high school to in-person instruction from remote learning starting Tuesday.
Cactus Shadows High School Principal Tony Vining announced late Friday that Cave Creek Unified School District’s sole high school didn’t “have enough staff to safely open and will need to revert to our distance learning model.”
Some Arizona schools have reopened for in-person instruction, but J.O. Combs Unified in San Tan Valley, was thwarted last month because numerous teachers called in sick while voicing concerns about the safety of reopening schools.
The state Department of Health Services on Saturday reported 836 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases with 36 additional deaths, increasing the statewide totals to 205,516 cases and 5,207 deaths.
SANTA FE, N.M. New Mexico officials are urging residents to take precautions while celebrating Labor Day to avoid spreading the coronavirus.
The state “has made great progress in the fight against COVID-19,” but the holiday weekend will be a key to keeping spread of the virus low and to ensuring that students can return safely to school this year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement Friday.
“I ask New Mexicans to please not let their guard down — continue wearing masks and avoiding gatherings,” the governor added. “Just one large gathering can lead to hundreds of COVID-19 cases and affect an entire community’s health and safety …”
State health officials on Saturday reported 152 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and six additional deaths, increasing the statewide totals to 26,048 cases with 800 deaths.
ST. LOUIS — Missouri added 77 COVID-19 related deaths to its total Saturday, most of which occurred weeks or months ago.
The state’s Department of Health and Senior Services blamed technical issues in a tweet for the spike that brought the state’s total number of deaths since the pandemic began to 1,639. The newly reported deaths included five that occurred over the past 24 hours, with the bulk occurring from June to August.
“Through continuing efforts to ensure data transparency and quality, DHSS analysts discovered an inconsistency in death certificate diagnosis codes when compared to case information contained in DHSS disease surveillance systems,” health officials said in a tweet. “After thorough analysis and evaluation, these additional COVID-19-associated deaths were identified. We expect to report more (although not as many as today) of these on Sunday as we work to complete this evaluation of cases.”
Health officials also reported that the number of confirmed cases had risen by 1,987 to 92,202.
Amid the rise in cases, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson announced Friday in a social media post that bars, restaurants and nightclubs must continue to restrict capacity to 50% and close no later than 11 p.m. each night. The restrictions were originally set to end Sept. 7.
SAN DIEGO — San Diego State University has issued a Labor Day weekend stay-at-home order for students living on campus to limit the spread of COVID-19 as they return for the school year.
KNSD-TV reported that the order is in effect Saturday and will last through 6 a.m. Tuesday. The announcement was made Saturday, a day after the university reported an additional 120 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases linked to students both on and off campus. The university said those who violate the order could face disciplinary action, but it did not detail what those consequences would be.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida officials are urging vigilance over the Labor Day holiday weekend.
That’s despite the fewest number of new deaths — about 60 — since mid-July. Officials have been urging Floridians to wear face masks and observe social distancing throughout the three-day holiday weekend, particularly at beaches and other public places.
On Saturday, the state reported nearly 3,700 news cases of coronavirus, pushing the total number of infections to nearly 644,000 since the outbreak began in the spring.
DES MOINES, Iowa — An Iowa judge has refused to allow some Des Moines area bars to reopen while their lawsuit challenging Gov. Kim Reynolds’ bar closures makes its way through the courts.
The Des Moines Register reports Polk County Judge William Kelly emphasized the importance of public health in his explanation of the ruling denying a temporary injunction to the bar owners in Polk and Dallas county.
Attorney Billy Mallory, who is representing the bar owners, says he’ll appeal the denial while preparing for trial, where he will seek a permanent injunction. The suit alleges bars closures in Dallas and Polk counties are unconstitutional and unfairly targets some businesses, while restaurants and coffee shops can stay open.
In the Aug. 27 order, Reynolds required the closing of bars in Black Hawk, Johnson, Linn and Story counties. Those counties, along with Polk and Dallas, are considered hot spots for coronavirus infections.
Statewide, cases rose Saturday by 1,024 to 69,006. There’s been 23 new deaths to bring the total to 1,160, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.
BERLIN — German soccer team Union Berlin allowed 4,500 fans at its 2-1 win over Nuremberg in a preseason exhibition match.
It was the first game any professional German soccer team played in front of so many fans since the pandemic forced the suspension of the Bundesliga in March. No fans were allowed once the league resumed after a two-month break.
Fans were only permitted to attend the game – a celebration of 100 years of Union’s stadium – under certain conditions.
Tickets were for club members only, personalized and non-transferable to ensure contact-tracing is possible. The supporters needed to show ID and their club membership card before entering and wear masks when not in their allocated place.
Stewards asked fans too close to move. Journalists had their temperatures taken and were seated apart.
MILWAUKEE — Nine fraternities and sororities are under quarantine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison after 38 students tested positive for the coronavirus.
The orders from UW-Madison and Dane County health officials affect 420 Greek life students, who have been instructed to quarantine for two weeks, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
UW-Madison is requiring coronavirus tests for students who live in the 38 Greek life houses. The university didn’t say if the cases were linked to parties or large gatherings.
So far, 440 UW-Madison students have tested positive for the virus, according to the university.