By MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 534,000 people worldwide.
Over 11.4 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.
Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 2.8 million diagnosed cases and at least 129,947 deaths.
Here’s how the news is developing Monday. All times Eastern:
5:19 a.m.: Over two-thirds of Georgia Tech faculty protest plans to reopen
More than two-thirds of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s academic faculty are protesting the school’s plans to reopen this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic without making face masks mandatory.
An open letter, dated July 2, has garnered the signatures of more than 800 professors out of the roughly 1,100 faculty members at the public university in Atlanta. The letter voices concerns that the reopening plans “have been shaped based on guidance from outside the Institute, and with limited input from the faculty who are being asked to carry out these plans.”
“We are alarmed to see the Board of Regents and the University System of Georgia mandating procedures that do not follow science-based evidence, increase the health risks to faculty, students, and staff, and interfere with the nimble decision-making necessary to prepare and respond to COVID-19 infection risk,” the letter states.
The faculty are asking, among other things, that the school require face masks be worn everywhere on campus, provide large-scale COVID-19 testing, ensure timely contact tracing of new infections and make most classes take place remotely during the fall semester. The current reopening plans make masks mandatory for professors, while students are “strongly encouraged” to wear them.
ABC News has reached out to the Board of Regents and the University System of Georgia for comment.
The letter was first reported by Georgia Public Broadcasting.
3:30 a.m.: US reports over 49,000 new cases in a single day
More than 49,000 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the United States on Sunday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The latest daily caseload is just under the country’s record high of more than 54,000 new cases identified last Thursday.
The national total currently stands at 2,888,729 diagnosed cases with at least 129,947 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.
By May 20, all states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 50,000 for the first time last week.
Nearly half of all 50 states have seen a rise in infections in recent weeks, with some — including Arizona, California and Florida — reporting daily records.
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