Here are some other significant developments:
- A federal appeals court blocked a lower-court ruling that would have allowed the Republican Party of Texas to proceed with its planned in-person convention in downtown Houston. Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) said the event poses too great a health risk with infections in the area spiraling out of control. “In the middle of a pandemic, the doors remain locked,” Sylvester said of the appeals court’s decision.
- The nine largest brick-and-mortar retail companies — including Walmart, Lowe’s and CVS — have adopted new policies requiring customers to wear masks inside U.S. stores.
- President Trump affirmed in a Fox News interview he does not favor requiring face coverings nationwide. “I want people to have a certain freedom,” Trump told Chris Wallace in an interview set to air in full on Sunday.
- California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday announced new guidelines that will bar schools in 32 hotspot counties from reopening in the fall unless they meet strict standards for preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said Friday the state’s schools must resume in-person instruction.
Infections and deaths are rising in states around the country, led by Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and Arizona. Texas on Friday reported a record 14,916 new cases and 174 new deaths related to the virus. Other states, including Ohio, Utah and the Carolinas, have reported single-day records in the past week.
The sharp increases have prompted many states to adopt new public health measures to prevent the virus spread. California ordered most of its schools to conduct remote instruction in the new academic year unless counties can meet strict benchmarks for reducing community transmission. More than half of all U.S. states have instituted some form of statewide mask requirements, including Alabama and Arkansas, where governors previously balked at mask mandates.