Aug. 12, 2020, 1:04 p.m. EDT · CORRECTED

Coronavirus update: Global cases top 20.3 million, U.S. tally tops 5.15 million as Florida and Georgia see record one-day deaths

British economy hit the hardest of any by COVID-19 as GDP shrinks by the most on record

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By Ciara Linnane, MarketWatch

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that students and teachers in a Georgia school district were quarantined after all tested positive for COVID-19. Only 59 tested positive. The article has been corrected.


AFP via Getty Images

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus illness COVID-19 worldwide climbed above 20.3 million on Wednesday and the U.S. case tally topped 5.15 million, as Florida and Georgia reported record one-day death tolls.

There were more than 1,300 deaths in the U.S. on Tuesday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. Florida counted 276 deaths on Tuesday, according to the Florida Department of Health, topping the previous record of 257 recorded on July 31.

Georgia counted 137 deaths to beat its previous record of 92 reported last Friday. In one school district in Cherokee County, more than 900 students and staff have been ordered to quarantine after 59 tested positive for COVID-19. Many schools in rural and suburban Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi reopened in early August, and some have now been forced to close again, as the New York Times reported.

In other news:

• The British economy collapsed in the second quarter by the most on record, in the worst showing of any major economy during the pandemic, MarketWatch’s Steve Goldstein reported.

The U.K. gross domestic product quarter-on-quarter fall of 20.4% in the second quarter was worse than even hard-hit France and Spain. It was double the roughly 10% declines of the U.S. and Germany during the period. The 20.4% decline was slightly better than the 21.2% decline forecast by economists.

See also: Brace for more stimulus from Johnson and the Bank of England, as U.K economy falls into recession

“The economy began to bounce back in June with shops reopening, factories beginning to ramp up production and house building continuing to recover. Despite this, GDP in June remains a sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck,” said Jonathan Athow, ONS deputy national statistician and director general for economic statistics.

The U.K. has the fourth highest death toll from COVID-19 in the world, at 46,611. It has 313,403 confirmed cases of the illness, after entering lockdown after neighboring countries, and allowing some major sports events to take place, including the annual Cheltenham Festival, a four-day horse racing event that ran from March 10 to March 13.

See: ‘Cable Cowboy’ John Malone’s Liberty Global lassos Sunrise Communications in $7.4 billion deal

• New Zealand is starting mass testing after four new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed on Tuesday, following more than 100 days with zero cases. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardem is to hold a news conference with the country’s top health official, Ashley Bloomfied, later Wednesday, the Guardian reported.

• The Paris marathon that was meant to take place on Nov. 15 has been canceled after a fresh surge in virus cases in France, Agence France-Presse reported . The race had already been moved from its original timing of April 15.

“Faced with the difficulty that many runners, especially those coming from abroad, had in making themselves available for the 15 November, it was decided that it would be better and simpler for those concerned if we organized the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris in 2021,” organizers said.

• The World Health Organization warned that the displacement of people following last week’s major explosion in Lebanese capital Beirut could accelerate the spread of COVID-19.

World Organization official Tarik Jarasevic told a UN briefing in Geneva that the roughly 300,000 people left homeless by the blast has caused many containment measures to be relaxed. Lebanon reported a record of 309 new cases of the virus on Tuesday, boosting the number to 7,121, the Johns Hopkins data show.

• In Belgium, officials in the capital Brussels has made it compulsory to wear face masks in public places, after cases exceeded 50 per 100,000 people. Belgium has 75,008 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and at least 9,885 people have died.

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