The Latest: Rose Parade canceled on New Year’s Day

PASADENA, Calif. — Organizers have canceled the Rose Parade because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on long-range planning for the New Year’s tradition.

The Tournament of Roses Association say the decision was put off until organizers were certain safety restrictions would prevent staging the 132nd parade.

The watched parade is held every Jan. 1 except when New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday. Since its inception in 1891, the parade has been canceled only three times — in the World War II years of 1942, 1943 and 1945.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Texas sets daily record for cases with nearly 10,800

— Oklahoma Gov. Stitt tests positive for coronavirus

— Florida tops 10,000 virus cases, reaches more than 300,000

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Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas set a record for confirmed new coronavirus cases in a single day with nearly 10,800.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott mandated face coverings this month. Some Texas sheriffs have said they won’t enforce the order.

But Abbott has increasingly emphasized face coverings as the way out of avoiding another lockdown, which he has not ruled out.

“If we were two shut down for two weeks, as some people are asking, once we open back up you would then see things begin to spread again,” Abbott told Houston television station KTRK on Wednesday. “Until there are medications to slow the spread of the coronavirus, there is only one thing that can slow the spread and that is by people adopting the use of wearing a face guard of some sort whenever they go out.”

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PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia school district says it plans hybrid instruction in the fall, with most students in class just two days per week and learning remotely the other three.

District officials also warned that it’s “highly likely” evolving coronavirus conditions will require individual schools or entire districts to shut down temporarily or for the balance of the school year.

“This school year will challenge all of us in new ways,” Superintendent William Hite Jr. said in a video message. “This new normal will not be simple or easy.”

The school district had hoped to offer elementary students four days of face-to-face instruction but says that plan was too costly. Special education students with complex needs and pre-kindergarten students will be at school four days a week.

While they’re at school, students and staff will be required to wear masks, with face shields offered as an alternative for younger students. Masks or shields will be required on buses.

The district says it wants to limit classroom occupancy to 25 “when feasible” and install barriers in classrooms that can’t space desks at least 6 feet apart.

The School District of Philadelphia is Pennsylvania’s largest, with an enrollment of about 200,000.

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ROME — Italy’s main nursing federation says 40 nurses with coronavirus died during the peak of the outbreak.

The National Federation of the Order of Nursing Professions released a breakdown of the deaths on Wednesday, based on reporting from its regional chapters in March, April and May. “It’s obvious that the lack of PPE, including the FFP2 masks, was one of the principal causes of infection transmission among nursing personnel,” the report said.

The toll adds to 172 doctors with coronavirus who have died, according to a tally kept by Italy’s main doctors’ association. Both associations included retired personnel.

The nursing group says 32 nurses died of COVID-19. For four others, coronavirus was a determining factor. Of four suicides, two were in hardest-hit Lombardy region.

Italy’s Superior Institute of Health has confirmed 29,768 positive cases among health care workers. Overall, Italy has 243,506 confirmed cases, with 163 infections and 13 deaths recorded Wednesday.

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MADRID — Authorities in Spain’s Balearic Islands are pulling the plug on endless drunken nights to the beat of techno music by closing bars and nightclubs in beachfront areas popular with young and international visitors.

To slow the spread of the coronavirus, regional authorities closed all establishments near the beach of Palma de Mallorca and the nearby Magaluf.

The region’s tourism minister, Iago Negueruela, says it wants to shake off a reputation of no social distancing and no masks that went virual and made headlines in Germany and Britain.

Spain has confirmed at least 28,400 deaths from the virus. It’s dealing with dozens of outbreaks reopening last month.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt says he’s tested positive for the coronavirus and is isolating at home.

The first-term Republican governor has backed one of the country’s most aggressive reopening plans, has resisted any statewide mandate on masks and rarely wears one.

Stitt attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa last month, which health experts have said likely contributed to a surge in coronavirus cases there.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama will require masks in public after a surge of coronavirus cases filled hospitals.

Gov. Kay Ivey’s office announced the rule Wednesday, a day after the state reported a high of 40 confirmed deaths.

Officials say the mask requirement starts Thursday for people age 6 or older in public and within 6 feet (2 meters) of someone who is not a relative.

There are exceptions, including for people with certain medical conditions, exercising and some work activities. Ivey previously called a statewide mask order unenforceable.

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida reported more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases Wednesday and reached 300,000 total infections.

Florida has 10,181 confirmed cases and a total of 301,810 since the outbreak began there March 1. The state confirmed 112 deaths — the third time in the last seven days its eclipsed 100 – and 4,626 total COVID-19 deaths.

Florida’s rolling seven-day average for deaths has increased to 92 per day, triple the 31 posted a month ago.

As of Tuesday, Florida had the No. 2 death rate in the United States, slightly behind Texas.

When the coronavirus was ravaging New York three months ago, it recorded 799 deaths on April 9 and a top seven-day average of 763 deaths on April 14.

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LONDON — More countries have signed up for a global coronavirus vaccine initiative to ensure any vaccine is fairly distributed.

The vaccines alliance Gavi says 75 rich countries will join its new “Covax facility,” along with 90 low-income countries, which hope to receive donated vaccines. The Associated Press reported this week the plan may allow rich countries to reinforce their own coronavirus vaccine stocks while leaving fewer shots for more vulnerable populations.

When Gavi approached donor countries last month, it advertised the plan as an “insurance policy” for rich countries that have already struck deals with drug makers for experimental candidates.

Gavi told donor governments when an effective shot is found within its pool of coronavirus vaccines, all countries will receive enough to cover 20% of their populations, including rich countries that may have their own stockpiles.

It says countries would be encouraged, but not required, to give up any vaccine they might not need.

Gavi says it is aiming to raise $2 billion to buy vaccines.

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BRUSSELS — The Belgian government has decided to postpone a further relaxation of its coronavirus lockdown because of a recent increase in cases.

Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes says despite the recent weekly 8% increase kept the overall numbers relatively low, the trend “is not good.”

Wilmes says, “the epidemic is gaining in strength,” and delayed until next week any decision on bigger indoor and outdoor events or the opening of night clubs.

Last weekend, the government imposed the mandatory wearing of masks in shops, museums, swimming pools and cinemas.

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LONDON — More countries have signed up for a global coronavirus vaccine initiative to ensure any vaccine is fairly distributed.

The vaccines alliance Gavi says 75 rich countries will join its new “Covax facility,” along with 90 low-income countries, which hope to receive donated vaccines. The Associated Press reported this week the plan may allow rich countries to reinforce their own coronavirus vaccine stocks while leaving fewer shots for more vulnerable populations.

When Gavi approached donor countries last month, it advertised the plan as an “insurance policy” for rich countries that have already struck deals with drug makers for experimental candidates.

Gavi told donor governments when an effective shot is found within its pool of coronavirus vaccines, all countries will receive enough to cover 20% of their populations, including rich countries that may have their own stockpiles.

It says countries would be encouraged, but not required, to give up any vaccine they might not need.

Gavi says it is aiming to raise $2 billion to buy vaccines.

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BRUSSELS — The Belgian government has decided to postpone a further relaxation of its coronavirus lockdown because of a recent increase in cases.

Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes says despite the recent weekly 8% increase kept the overall numbers relatively low, the trend “is not good.”

Wilmes says, “the epidemic is gaining in strength,” and delayed until next week any decision on bigger indoor and outdoor events or the opening of night clubs.

Last weekend, the government imposed the mandatory wearing of masks in shops, museums, swimming pools and cinemas.

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LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson has committed to holding an “independent inquiry” into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic at some point.

The U.K. leader mentioned it during his weekly question and answer session in the House of Commons. His Downing Street office later didn’t offer any details on the timing or conditions for such a probe.

Johnson has been under pressure to hold an inquiry in hopes of learning lessons to stave off a “second wave’’ of infection. Johnson says he doesn’t believe it is “the right moment to devote huge amounts of official time to an inquiry,’’ given the country is still battling the pandemic.

But he added “we will seek to learn the lessons of this pandemic in the future and certainly we will have an independent inquiry into what happened.”

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BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania’s president announced a 30-day extension for the nationwide state of alert declared for the coronavirus pandemic.

President Klaus Iohannis says the extension was needed because of the rising number of infections.

Among the measures in force are the mandatory wearing of face coverings on public transportation and in shops, while restaurants can only serve customers in outdoor locations.

Romania set a record for new infections on Saturday with 698 cases. That came days after the Constitutional Court banned the government from forcing people infected with the coronavirus to quarantine or stay in hospital for treatment.

The government is working on legislation to address the court’s concerns and set new regulations for people affected by the coronavirus.

Romania has 34,226 confirmed cases and 1,952 deaths.

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MOSCOW — A World Health Organization delegation visiting Turkmenistan, a country with no reported coronavirus infections, is recommending the country take stronger actions.

The WHO recommends “activating critical public health measures in Turkmenistan as if COVID-19 were circulating,” delegation head Dr. Catherine Smallwood said.

Smallwood didn’t directly comment on the credibility of the authoritarian and secretive country’s absence of reported cases.

“The responsibility of reporting outbreaks sits firmly with the member state and we rely on health authorities to inform WHO of any outbreaks,” she said. She noted based on what the delegation saw in its inspections the “country fully recognizes the risk currently posed by the virus.”

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BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia’s president says he hopes the country will have a vaccine for the coronavirus by the end of this year.

Aleksandar Vucic says it would cooperate with an unspecified country. Media reports in Serbia have indicated it could be China.

Vucic says the vaccine would be a “savior for Serbia and our economy.”

He added: “We are currently in talks with one country in connection with the vaccine. Its testing is done and it is being given to those exposed.”

Serbia has developed close political and trade relations with China. At the start of the pandemic, Vucic blasted the European Union and the West for allegedly showing little solidarity with Serbia — an EU member candidate country — while China quickly provided help in medical equipment and experts.

Nearly two dozen possible vaccines are in various stages of testing around the world.

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WASHINGTON — The White House says an opinion piece by its trade adviser that’s critical of Dr. Anthony Fauci is the adviser’s opinion “alone.”

Alyssa Farah, White House director of strategic communications, tweeted Wednesday the piece by trade adviser Peter Navarro “didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes and is the opinion of Peter alone.”

Farah adds President Donald Trump “values the expertise” of the medical professionals advising the administration. But Trump has also broken with Fauci and publicly accused him of making “mistakes” in his public guidance about combating the virus.

USA Today published Navarro’s piece. It outlines the ways Navarro says he has disagreed with Fauci, who is the leading U.S. expert on infectious diseases and serves on the White House coronavirus task force.

Navarro had shared his views with some reporters and the column comes as allies of Trump, including others inside the White House, have been waging a campaign to discredit Fauci.

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Categories: AP National News