Thu | Aug 13, 2020

Florida reaches 7,000 deaths from coronavirus

Published:Saturday | August 1, 2020 | 12:20 PM
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows (right) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, arrive at the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Capitol to resume talks on a COVID-19 relief bill, Saturday, August 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

ST PETERSBURG, Florida — Florida health officials have reported 179 new deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the state’s total to more than 7,000.

The latest numbers came Saturday as Hurricane Isaias threatened Florida’s eastern coast, but no evacuations were immediately announced.

The National Hurricane Center’s latest prediction had the storm scraping past Florida but not making landfall.

Hospitalisations for the coronavirus have been declining for the past week and a half, with fewer than 8,000 treated for the coronavirus on Saturday.

That’s down from highs of more than 9,500 last week.

Meanwhile, talks on a huge coronavirus relief measure resumed on Saturday, focused on restoring a newly expired $600-per-week supplemental unemployment benefit and hundreds of billions of dollars in other aid to states, businesses and the poor.

The Trump administration is willing to extend the $600 jobless benefit, at least in the short term.

But it’s balking at other demands of Democratic negotiators like aid for state and local governments, food stamp increases, and assistance to renters and homeowners.

Unemployment insurance is a principal element of the COVID-19 relief bill, which is expected to grow considerably from a $1 trillion-plus GOP draft released this week.

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