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Joe Biden will not be traveling to Milwaukee for the Democratic National Convention due to coronavirus concerns.

USA TODAY

A new forecast warns that COVID-10 deaths could reach 300,000 by December without widespread use of masks. The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation says consistent use of a face covering would lower the figure by 70,000.

Meanwhile, negotiations over another coronavirus stimulus tumbled into a state of uncertainty Thursday night. After a three-hour meeting, Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said the White House is still willing to do a short-term measure on unemployment if a broader deal cannot be reached.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, who had been set to meet with President Trump on Thursday, ultimately tested negative for COVID-19. Earlier in the day, a rapid test gave him a positive reading

Here are some significant developments:

Job report:The economy added 1.8 million jobs in July while unemployment fell to 10.2%, the Labor Department said Friday.Three positive cases of COVID-19 were detected among workers who wanted access to the Wisconsin Center, site of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. But convention organizers said those positive tests didn’t trigger Wednesday’s announcement that speakers, including Joe Biden, would not be traveling to Milwaukee.If you’re visiting New York, you may face a travel checkpoint as the state starts aggressive enforcement of its quarantine rules.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 160,000 deaths and 4.8 million cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, there have been more than 715,000 deaths and 19.1 million cases. 

📰 What we’re reading: Sanitizing booths to prevent the spread of COVID-19: Do they work? The Denver Broncos posted a video that showed its players, masked up and in jerseys on their way to practice, filing through a walk-through sanitizing booth that misted them. But medical experts cast significant doubts whether the booths are an effective tool to prevent the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Read about it here. 

Our live blog is being updated throughout the day. Refresh for the latest news, and get updates in your inbox with The Daily Briefing.

Hong Kong to offer free testing for all 7.5M residents

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says the semi-autonomous Chinese city will offer free coronavirus testing for all its 7.5 million residents beginning in two weeks.

Lam says such universal testing will help gauge the level of transmission in the community, find those who may be carrying the virus but not showing symptoms and reassure the public.

She told reporters, “Put simply, anyone in the community who wants to do a test can take the test. We won’t care if they come from high-risk groups or not.”

Lam says tests would be carried out in a manner to avoid lines and maintain social distancing. Lam’s government has already cited such concerns as the reason for postponing elections for the city’s Legislative Council originally scheduled for September in what the opposition camp called a political move.

Hong Kong has been struggling to contain a new outbreak that has seen it adding around 100 new cases per day. The city has registered more than 3,800 cases with 46 deaths.

– Associated Press

US adds 1.8M job as economy shows sluggish recovery

The U.S. added 1.8 million jobs in July as payroll growth slowed amid a split-screen economy that had employers stepping up hiring in parts of the country that continued to let businesses reopen, even as COVID-19 spikes forced Sunbelt firms to pull back and lay off workers.

The unemployment rate fell to 10.2% from 11.1% in June, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had estimated that 1.5 million jobs were added last month.

Paul Davidson

New forecast sees 300,000 virus deaths by December without mask use

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A new forecast by the University of Washington predicts the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 could hit 300,000 by December, but could be reduced by 70,000 if people consistently wear a mask.

The data from the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which has been frequently cited in the past by the White House, forecast 295,011 deaths by December. Consistent use of face coverings could cut the increases in deaths by 49%, the forecast said.

IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray described the response by the American public to the virus outbreaks as a “roller coaster.” He said Thursday that people tend to wear masks when infections are high, then stop protecting themselves when infections decline, “and the potentially deadly cycle starts over again.”

Murray said the recent drops in COVID-19 infections in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas appear to be driven by a combination of local mandates for mask use, bar and restaurant closures and more responsible behavior by the public. 

India reaches 2M cases as death toll surpasses 41,000

Two million people in India have tested positive for the coronavirus, the country’s health ministry reported Friday. India, the world’s second-largest country has the third-highest caseload in the world after the United States and Brazil.

The caseload in the world’s second-most populous country has quickly expanded since the government began lifting a months-long lockdown hoping to jumpstart the economy. The Indian government is projecting negative economic growth in 2020.

India is also home to the world’s largest vaccine-maker, the Serum Institute, which has ramped up capacity to manufacture as many as a billion doses of a vaccine in development by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, which is in phase two trials in India and England.

What we’re reading

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests negative after second COVID-19 test

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s second COVID-19 test came back negative Thursday evening. DeWine, 73, tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Thursday morning using a rapid test. That test was part of the protocol to greet President Donald Trump on the tarmac at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland.

DeWine then returned to Columbus and took a second COVID-19 test from Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. That polymerase chain reaction or PCR test came back negative late Thursday night.

First lady Fran DeWine and staff members also tested negative.

Jackie Borchardt, Jessie Balmert and Jason Lalljee, Cincinnati Enquirer

By the numbers: New records in Hawaii

A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Thursday shows one state set records for new cases in a week while one state had a record number of deaths in a week. New case records were set in Hawaii. Record numbers of deaths were reported in Tennessee, and also Puerto Rico. The United States has reported 4,883,582 cases and 160,104 deaths.

– Mike Stucka

New York City opens checkpoints to register travelers form high-risk states

New York City has set up traveler checkpoints at busy entry points to register visitors and residents returning from nearly three dozen states who are required to quarantine for 14 days.

Teams began stopping travelers arriving in the city by train Thursday, requiring they complete a state Department of Health traveler form and warning they could face fines as high as $10,000 for failing to quarantine.

The checkpoints, at busy entry points like Penn Station, are more of an awareness campaign than a blockade, intended to preserve the city’s progress reducing its COVID-19 infection rate and forestall a second wave. 

Los Angeles County nears 5,000 deaths

Los Angeles County passed the 200,000 mark Thursday for people having tested positive for COVID-19 and is closing in on 5,000 deaths.

The county, which encompasses the city of Los Angeles and all its surrounding suburbs, is already ranked highest in number of cases among counties by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. If the county were a state, it would have a higher case count than all but Florida, Texas, New York and possibly Georgia.

With the addition of 3,290 new cases, Los Angeles County had recorded a total of 201,106 cases. Another 48 deaths were attributed to the coronavirus, bringing the total to 4,869.

The grim new totals came as officials warned against gatherings or parties like the one Monday night at a swanky mansion in the Hollywood Hills that attracted about 200 participants — with few seen wearing masks. The party, which ended in a fatal shooting, attracted widespread news coverage from TV new choppers overhead.

– Chris Woodyard

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Last SlideNext SlideNorth Carolina school visited by Pence, DeVos under quarantine

All fourth-grade students and teachers at the K-5 Thales Academy in Apex, North Carolina, which was visited by Vice President Mike Pence and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos last week, began a 14-day quarantine after an asymptomatic student tested positive for the coronavirus, according to multiple media reports. 

Thales spokeswoman Holly Clark told ABC News the school was informed the student had tested positive on Monday after being infected by a family member. The student, who last attended class on Friday, had passed daily temperature and symptom checks, Clark said. 

During his visit to the campus on July 29, Pence stressed that “students being together is important” for the students to get a full educational experience. 

More COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY

On Facebook: There’s still a lot unknown about the coronavirus. But what we do know, we’re sharing with you. Join our Facebook group, Coronavirus Watch, to receive daily updates in your feed and chat with others in the community about COVID-19.  

In your inbox: Stay up-to-date with the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic from the USA TODAY Network. Sign up for the daily Coronavirus Watch newsletter here. 

Tips for coping: Every Saturday and Tuesday we’ll be in your inbox, offering you a virtual hug and a little bit of solace in these difficult times. Sign up for Staying Apart, Together here.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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