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    Georgia governor reopens coronavirus field hospital at Atlanta convention center

    One room at a temporary hospital is viewed at the Georgia World Congress Center, Thursday, April 16, 2020, in Atlanta. Georgia.
    Ron Harris | Pool | AP

    Georgia is planning to reopen a field hospital at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center as the state struggles with increasing hospitalizations and a record-breaking number of new Covid-19 cases, according to Gov. Brian Kemp’s office.
    The convention center first turned one of its exhibit halls into a 200-bed makeshift alternative care facility in April, but officials closed the facility in May. The state has since reported record-breaking jumps in additional new Covid-19 cases since mid-June.

    According to a release from Kemp’s office, the facility will use state-owned equipment, such as hospital beds and medical equipment, procured through the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency earlier this year.
    The state first plans to “leverage a new contract for enhanced bed capacity with a metro-Atlanta area hospital” before using the center, according to the release. 
    “Over the past two weeks, we have experienced an increase in cases and hospitalizations, and following a drop-off in specimens collected over the holiday weekend, we now expect a trend of higher case numbers as new results arrive,” according to a release from Kemp’s office. 
    The need for additional space could be a sign of a worsening outbreak in Georgia, which was the first state to begin reopening its economy in late April. 
    The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 4,484 new cases Friday, a record-breaking daily tally. Most of the state’s cases are being reported in four counties in the greater Atlanta area.

    There were more than 2,300 people in the state’s hospitals with Covid-19 as of Thursday, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project, an independent volunteer organization launched by journalists at The Atlantic. 
    The state has reported a 43% increase in its number of hospitalizations, based on a seven-day average, compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of the data.  More

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    Coronavirus deaths tick up in Florida, Texas, California, Arizona as states grapple with growing outbreaks

    Medical staff wearing full PPE push a stretcher with a deceased patient to a car outside of the Covid-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on June 30, 2020 in Houston, Texas.
    Go Nakamura | Getty Images

    Reported coronavirus-related deaths appear to be on the rise in Florida, Texas, California, Arizona and some other states that are struggling to contain rapidly expanding outbreaks, a CNBC analysis of data collected by Johns Hopkins University shows. 
    After peaking at an average of more than 2,000 deaths per day just three months ago, primarily driven by New York and New Jersey, fatalities in the U.S. have been slowly declining — falling to an average of less than 600 fatalities a day from June 23 through July 8. Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. have declined or remained relatively stable for weeks, even though cases have more than doubled since mid-May. But the daily death toll appears to be on the rise again in the U.S., epidemiologists say.

    Covid-19 fatalities have steadily ticked up across the nation with the average number of fatalities a day rising over the last three straight days to over 600 on July 9, based on a seven-day average of daily reported deaths, driven by surges in several hot spots. Epidemiologists say it is cause for concern that deaths are beginning to accelerate again, even if it’s just a few days of data.
    U.S. officials and the general public should have seen the rise in deaths coming, Larry Levitt, executive vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told CNBC. Deaths tend to lag new cases because it can take weeks for a patient to get sick enough to be hospitalized and eventually die. 
    “This was predictable. We seem to have had difficulty in this country looking a few weeks in advance,” Levitt said. “But we know the pattern that as more people get infected, more people get hospitalized and ultimately more people die.”

    Record highs

    Florida, Texas, California and Arizona have all seen their daily death tolls rise to record highs over the past three days, according to Hopkins data.
    California has reported an average of about 85 new coronavirus-related deaths per day over the past seven days as of Thursday, up more than 29% compared with a week ago, according to CNBC’s analysis of data compiled by Hopkins. The state’s Covid-19 death toll now stands at 6,859, according to Hopkins. 

    Florida has recorded an average of 56 deaths per day over the past seven days, up over 35% compared with a week ago, CNBC’s analysis shows. Hopkins’ data shows more than 4,000 people have died of the disease in the state so far.
    On Thursday, Texas reported an average of about 66 new deaths per day over the past seven days, up more than 106% over the past week, according to CNBC’s analysis. More than 3,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the state so far, according to Hopkins. 
    To be sure, the fatality data is imperfect, epidemiologists say. If a Covid-19 patient has an underlying ailment, such as heart disease, and the virus worsens their condition and they die, the doctor can categorize cause as either. Elderly patients who die in nursing homes often have the coronavirus but aren’t often tested, they’ve said. 
    “Record keeping can be all over,” said Dr. Bruce Y. Lee, a professor of health policy and management at the City University of New York. 
    The country, however, is much better equipped today to handle an influx of Covid-19 patients than it was at the beginning of the outbreak, epidemiologists said. That should help avoid the same kind of spike in fatalities that overwhelmed hospitals and funeral homes in the Northeast and Washington state in March and April. Nonetheless, three epidemiologists in Florida and Texas all said they expect deaths to continue to rise for at least a few weeks.
    “Our cases started to increase right around the beginning of June and now as I’m looking through, you can see that the deaths have started to trend upward a little bit as well,” said Cindy Prins, an epidemiologist at the University of Florida. “Initially, a lot of people were saying, well, it’s flat, it’s flat. And the concern there was, well, we haven’t caught up with data, and now we are starting to see that increase, which is definitely a concern.”

    Age shift

    State officials in Florida and other states have noted that the recent surge in cases is driven largely by younger patients, which is significant because young people are less likely to become severely sick and die from Covid-19. However, the Covid-19 data shows that those infections are increasingly spreading to older, more vulnerable people, which could be driving the uptick in deaths, Prins said. 
    “There is more testing now than there was then, so that may account for some of this, but I think we’re seeing a true increase in cases in older adults, which makes sense given the overall large increase in cases,” she added.
    The shift from younger people to older people is beginning to show up in the data, said Dr. Mary Jo Trepka, an epidemiologist at Florida International University. Last month, the state reported that the daily median age of newly diagnosed Covid-19 patients hit a record low of 33. On Thursday, however, the median age of newly infected people had risen to 40, according to the state’s health department.
    With that median age ticking upward, both Prins and Trepka said they expect deaths to continue to rise in the coming weeks. However, Trepka noted that deaths won’t likely rise at the same rapid pace as New York City, which was hit particularly hard early on in the U.S. pandemic. Public health officials have since instituted measures to protect vulnerable populations and hospitals have improved patient care since then.
    “It doesn’t appear to be the same rates as back in April, and I think health care has dramatically improved. Care providers are much more skilled at caring for people with Covid-19,” she said. “Nevertheless, with these large numbers of cases, I do think that we’re going to be seeing continuously more deaths.”

    ‘It’s everywhere’ in Texas

    Deaths caused by Covid-19 began to increase slightly in Texas about two weeks ago, according to Spencer Fox, associate director of the University of Texas-Austin Covid-19 Modeling Consortium.
    “I don’t think it’s anything unexpected,” he said in an interview with CNBC. “I think it was more so a question of when we would start seeing an uptick, rather than if we would start seeing an uptick.”
    His team’s model does not predict as rapid an increase in deaths as was seen in March and April in the Northeast and some other parts of the country, he said. But hospitalizations have risen at a worrying pace, he said, indicating that older and more vulnerable people are getting infected. He added that infections in younger people was a “leading indicator” of a worsening outbreak that was bound to affect the more vulnerable populations in the state.
    “This resurgence might have started in younger populations; maybe they were the first to be infected. But clearly those populations aren’t insulated from older individuals,” Fox said. “This is a real resurgence in the epidemic. It’s not limited to just younger individuals who are more likely to survive it. It’s everywhere.”

    Deaths to follow

    He added that his team’s model predicts that deaths will continue to increase for two weeks “at least, if not longer, depending on really how the state reacts.”
    It’s difficult to get an accurate understanding of the reality of the outbreak by looking only at the national numbers, Kaiser’s Levitt said, because the progress places like New York have made in combating the outbreak offsets the worrying numbers elsewhere. He added that the death toll is an especially difficult figure to track because of differences in reporting standards across states. 
    He said now that there’s an observable increase in deaths, the trend is likely to continue for a number of weeks or even months as people who recently got infected fall ill, get hospitalized and eventually die.
    “I think in the next week, the pattern of increasing deaths is going to become clear,” he said. “And it will no longer be possible to claim that the declining mortality is somehow a success.” More

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    Canada Goose CEO says experiential store offers a 'break from the insanity of the world today'

    Dani Reiss, president and CEO of Canada Goose
    Rick Madonik | Getty Images

    Canada Goose’s CEO said Friday the retailer’s recently opened experiential store in Canada is “almost built for this environment,” as consumers brave enough to venture outside are looking for things to do during the coronavirus pandemic. 
    “Naturally, it is socially distanced,” Chief Executive Dani Reiss told CNBC in a phone interview Friday afternoon, about the store. “There are not a lot of people shopping at once. It is an experience in a controlled way.” 

    Canada Goose, famous for its extreme weather outerwear, opened the location in the CF Sherway Gardens Mall in Toronto late last year, before the Covid-19 crisis began. 

    The entrance to Canada Goose’s concept store is called “The Crevasse.” The floor simulates cracking ice as shoppers walk forward.
    Source: Canada Goose

    This particular store, the first of its kind for the company, has no inventory for shoppers to take home. Instead, the coatmaker wants consumers to have a multisensory experience to feel why the outerwear is worth the price tag, which can top $1,000. It calls it “The Journey.” And the shop is built with multiple cold rooms showcasing Canada Goose’s gear — including one room that spits out snow. 
    “There has been a pretty healthy flow of traffic of people going through the experience,” Reiss explained how shoppers are returning in recent weeks, against the backdrop of a pandemic. “It’s kind of a break from the insanity of the world today. I think it has done really well.” 
    Retailers are all trying to find ways to draw customers back to shop again, albeit safely. 
    But many shoppers say they are fearful of returning to shops where others are shuffling through racks of clothing and other accessories. 

    The “Elements Room” inside Canada Goose’s newest location, which allows shoppers to experience its products. The room will change depending on the season.
    Source: Canada Goose

    Although retail traffic declines in the U.S. had been decelerating week-over-week, they recently accelerated again, according to ShopperTrak data, with Covid-19 cases still surging in hot spots like Florida and Texas. A number of retailers, including Sur La Table, Neiman Marcus, J.Crew and Brooks Brothers, have been pushed to the brink and filed for bankruptcy during the pandemic. 
    Similar to in North America, in Canada, “some parts are very open and some are not,” Reiss said. “It’s almost too early to draw trend lines specifically.” 
    Unlike some of its retail peers that operate hundreds of stores, however, Canada Goose only has 20 locations today. The company is still looking to open more. That makes it one on a seemingly shorter and shorter list of names continuing to grow in bricks-and-mortar, as many other retailers shut their doors for good. 
    When it reported earnings, Canada Goose last month said it expected “a negligible level of revenue” in the June quarter, citing the impact from Covid-19 and the seasonality of its business. 
    “We’re on the road to recovery,” Reiss told CNBC. 
    “As we get into our season … and it gets colder, people want to go for walks outside,” he added about consumers needing to invest in a winter coat later this year. Especially if many indoor facilities like gyms happen to be shut. “People see our products as an investment product. It keeps you super warm. Our products are considered essential products.” 
    Canada Goose shares are down about 38% this year.  More

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    Why taking an ambulance is so expensive in the United States

    It’s an open secret among Americans that calling for an ambulance is a financial gamble.
    According to a recent study, 71% of ambulance providers don’t take the patient’s insurance. That same study found that 79% of patients who took a ground ambulance could be on the hook for an average fee of $450 after their insurance paid out. By comparison, air ambulances can cost the average patient $21,700 after the insurance pays out.

    These surprise bills can be a huge problem, especially when nearly four in 10 Americans would have to borrow money to cover an unexpected $1,000 emergency.
    Like the rest of the health-care industry, ambulance operators are feeling intense financial pressure during the coronavirus crisis, and that’s causing many municipalities to raise service fees.
    Watch the video above to learn why ambulance services cost so much in the United States and what’s being done to solve the problem.Watch more:How Germany’s universal health-care system compares to the United States More

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    Charles Barkley: Sports are turning social justice issues into a 'circus'

    Charles Barkley told CNBC’s Power Lunch on Friday that, instead of talking about issues related to racial and economic justice, the sports world is more focused on who is or isn’t kneeling, or what social justice message is written on the back of NBA players’ jerseys.
    “We need police reform, we need prison reform,” he said. “My concern is turning this into a circus instead of trying to do some good stuff.” 

    Barkley is in Edgewood Tahoe, Nevada this week, playing in American Century’s celebrity championship golf tournament. The sports legend spoke to CNBC about basketball, race relations and social justice. 
    The NBA announced last week that players in Orlando will be allowed to feature social justice related messages on the back of their jerseys. Phrases consist of everything from “Black Lives Matter,” to “Equality,” to “How many more?”
    The messages will be optional but the vast majority of players are said to be participating.
    Barkley said fans need a break from reality right now, as millions of people are sick with coronavirus and others are suffering job loss. 
    “The last thing they want to do is turn on the television and hear arguments all the time. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the public reacts,” he said.

    Coronavirus cases continued to soar in Florida as NBA teams arrived in Orlando this week. The state health department said cases rose by 11,433 (just shy of a single day high) to a total of 244,151. Barkley said he’s hopeful and optimistic about the NBA’s re-start plan, where 22-teams will compete in the Orlando bubble. 
    “I think you’d have to be foolish to think we could go that whole three months without getting positive tests, but I think we are all flying in the dark right now and I don’t think anybody knows what’s going to happen.” 
    Barkley said the decision to cancel the season would have huge economic consequences for players and could cost them $2 billion over the next couple of years.
    “That’s a lot of money for these players… and they can put it back in their community. So I think that’s the main reason to to play,” he said. 
    The 11-time NBA All-Star also also weighed in on the return to school in the fall. 
    “You’d have to be a fool to think your kids will be safe in school right now,” he said. Yet, he worries that keeping kids at home could also deepen the divide between the rich and the poor. 
    “A lot of kids who are at home don’t have access to the internet. That really makes the gap between the rich and poor even more so. This is a critical time in our country,” he added.
    “I just hope we get some adults who know what they are doing and stop screwing around and dividing our country,” he said.  More

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    Pandemic deals mightier blow to retail than Great Recession: First-quarter operating income down 58%

    Even when the Great Recession dampened consumer confidence and drove up unemployment things weren’t as bad for retailers as they have been during the current Covid-19 crisis, according to a new analysis from Retail Metrics.
    Days after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March, retailers across the U.S. were forced to shut their doors for many weeks to help stem the spread of the virus. The result: The retail sector’s first-quarter operating income fell 57.7% compared with last year – and 71.1% when not including Walmart, which was allowed to keep operating to sell essential items like food, a new report said Friday.

    This marks the worst retail earnings performance since the group began tracking retail earnings in the late 1990s.
    According to Retail Metrics, the previous low for retail earnings came during the Great Recession, when earnings landed down 26.6% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2008. The largest quarterly decline that followed the Dot.com Bubble was a drop of 11.7% in the fourth quarter of 2000, Retail Metrics said.
    While earnings gaps have been widening in previous years between mall and non-mall retail earnings, the difference grew significantly this quarter as mall-based retailers had to close in many places due to the pandemic. First-quarter earnings for mall chains plummeted 626%, but off-mall companies saw only a 26% income drop.
    Given the mandated store closures and revenue drops, many businesses took cost-saving measures including furloughing workers, permanent store closures and expanded curbside pickup. But these cost-savings measures aren’t going to be enough for some retailers. 
    Prior to the pandemic, many companies were struggling to stay afloat and adapt to new consumer habits. But the current crisis has accelerated the pressure on the industry. 

    Retail Metrics listed all the companies that have filed for bankruptcy or warned of the possibility since the pandemic began. 
    Companies that have completed bankruptcy fillings, liquidation or going concern:
    Modell’s Sporting Goods
    True Religion
    Roots USA
    J. Crew
    Gold’s Gym
    Neiman-Marcus
    Lord & Taylor
    Stage Stores
    JC Penney
    Tuesday Morning
    RTW Retailwinds
    GNC Inc.
    Chuck E. Cheese
    Lucky Brands
    Brooks Brothers
    Sur La Table           
    Reported as likely to file for bankruptcy:
    Retailers issuing going concern notices: More

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    Disney is still a buy, traders say, as Florida theme parks reopen amid rising coronavirus cases

    Disney is facing a double-edged sword.
    Shares of the entertainment giant climbed Friday as the company prepared to reopen parts of its Disney World theme park in Florida.

    Public concern has grown around the reopening, which is scheduled for Saturday, as coronavirus cases in the state continue to rise. Florida saw its largest one-day spike in virus-related hospitalizations on Friday.
    But Disney is facing a dilemma: Theme parks were its biggest profit maker, and with operations stalled, revenues are put at risk — so, despite calls from employees to delay the reopening, the company is plowing forward.
    As for the stock, which climbed nearly 2% on Friday and roughly 6% week to date, it still appears to have room to run, Mark Newton, the president and founder of Newton Advisors, told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Friday.
    “Momentum right now is still pretty positive off those lows, and really, the stock is not all that overbought,” he said. “A lot of how the stock is going to trade largely, I think, rests with vaccine hopes and/or hospitalization rates, and it’s really going to be, to some extent, dependent.”

    “Technically speaking, it is something to own,” Maley said, citing the above chart. “We all know the market is forward-looking. If we have, in fact, seen the worst and we can see, at least, lower rates of curves and things flattening out, then I think the stock likely is going to be good to own at least into the fall and potentially into year end.”

    Disney shares were trading just below the $119 level on Friday. Newton said his technical target was near $128, which would represent a 7.5% increase from the stock’s current levels.
    A move above $128 could “open things up for a move up to 140-150,” which is between 17% and 26% higher than where Disney is now, Newton said.
    On the flip side, “we have to watch for any move under 107 if things don’t materialize as expected,” Newton said. “That would be detrimental. But for now, I do like the stock, and I would own it for the weeks ahead.”
    Chad Morganlander, senior portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors, agreed with Newton’s call.
    “We would be invested in Disney. In fact, we own this in our all-cap value portfolio,” Morganlander said. “We believe that due in part to the coronavirus, we’re path-dependent on a therapeutic as well as other medical treatments.”
    Morganlander predicted that the theme parks would see improvement over the next 12-24 months, backed up by strength in Disney’s digital ventures.
    “As an investor, we’d look two to three years out for this story,” he said. “We think that this could do very well in this type of environment as we start to improve.”
    Disclosure: Washington Crossing Advisors owns shares of Disney.
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    Ghislaine Maxwell seeks release on $5 million bail in Jeffrey Epstein child sex case, says prosecution barred by deal

    Ghislaine Maxwell speaks at the Arctic Circle Forum in Reykjavik, Iceland October 2013.
    The Arctic Circle via Reuters

    Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite charged with facilitating Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls, on Friday asked for bail of $5 million, and argued that her criminal case is barred by a nonprosecution deal that the now-dead Epstein signed with federal authorities years ago.
    Maxwell, who has been held without bail since being arrested last week in New Hampshire, also proposes in a new court filing that she be released into home confinement with electronic monitoring in New York as her criminal case proceeds.

    A bail hearing for her is scheduled for Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan.
    “Ms. Maxwell vigorously denies the charges, intends to fight them, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence,” her lawyers, Mark Cohen and Jeffrey Pagliuca, wrote in their filing.
    The attorneys urged a judge to set a personal recognizance bond for Maxwell in the amount of $5 million. That bond would be secured by six co-signers, as well as by property in Britain worth $3.75 million.
    The attorneys said that the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on prisoners, warrants Maxwell’s release on bail, not only for health reasons but also to allow her to assist with her legal defense.
    The lawyers noted that they have already had difficulty communicating with Maxwell, 58, since she has been locked up in a federal jail in Brooklyn, New York.

    The also argued for bail on the grounds that she “has strong ties to the community,” holds American citizenship, has resided in the U.S. for decades and has no criminal record
    Maxwell, if granted bail, would agree to get visits at home from no one other than family, close friends and lawyers, according to her attorneys’ filing.
    They also said Maxwell would have a security staff who could report to authorities, and that she would also agree to limit any travel to New York City, Long Island and several counties north of the city.
    The filing said that Maxwell had not had contact with Epstein, a former boyfriend, for more than a decade before he died in August in a federal jail in Manhattan from what has been officially ruled a suicide by hanging.
    Prosecutors previously have said they want Maxwell detained without bail, calling her an extreme flight risk. They noted she holds several passports, citizenship in three countries, including Britain and France, and is wealthy.
    But her lawyers in their filing wrote that she “has not left the country even once since Epstein’s arrest a year ago, even though she was aware of the pending, and highly publicized, criminal investigation.”
    Maxwell, who is a daughter of the dead crooked media baron Robert Maxwell, was arrested at a 156-acre property in Bradford, New Hampshire, on July 2 on a six-count indictment that was issued by a federal grand jury in Manhattan. T
    The $1 million property was purchased months ago by a legal entity set up to disguise the actual purchaser’s real identity.
    She is accused of conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse children as young as 14 in the mid-1990s, and for lying under oath in civil litigation about her alleged conduct as his procurer.
    Epstein, 66, died while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges that related to alleged conduct from 2002 through 2005 involving dozens of underage girls. His death came after a judge denied him bail.
    A wealthy investor, Epstein was a former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, as well as of Britain’s Prince Andrew.

    Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to Florida state criminal charges that included paying for sex with an underage girl, and served 13 months in jail.
    That plea came after Epstein cut a deal in 2007 with federal prosecutors in South Florida to avoid prosecution on federal charges in exchange for admitting guilt in the state case.
    Maxwell’s lawyers in Friday’s filing wrote that her “prosecution is barred by Epstein’ non-prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice,” which they wrote “covers any potential co-conspirators of Epstein.”
    The lawyers said the charges against her of “conspiracy, enticement of minors, and transporting of minors charges are time-barred and otherwise legally flawed,” and that the two perjury charges “are subject to dismissal on several legal grounds.”
    In their filing, Maxwell’s lawyers said that after Epstein’s death, “the media focus quickly shifted to our client—wrongly trying to substitute her for Epstein — even though she’d had no contact with Epstein for more than a decade, had never been charged with a crime or been found liable in any civil litigation, and has always denied any allegations of claimed misconduct.”
    “Many of these stories and online posts were threatening and harassing to our client and those close to her,” the lawyers wrote.
    “But sometimes the simplest point is the most critical one: Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein,” the lawyers wrote.
    “She was not named in the government’s indictment of Epstein in 2019, despite the fact that the government has been investigating this case for years. Instead, the current indictment is based on allegations of conduct that allegedly occurred roughly twenty-five years ago.”
    Correction: Maxwell, if granted bail, would agree to get visits at home from no one other than family, close friends and lawyers, according to her attorneys’ filing. An earlier version misstated the terms. More