Oklahoma governor has tested positive
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced that he has tested positive for the coronavirus and that he is isolating at home, making him the first U.S. governor to report testing positive. Stitt, 48, said he mostly feels fine, although he started feeling “a little achy” Tuesday and sought a test. He said his wife and children were also tested and that none of their results came back positive. Stitt has backed one of the country’s most aggressive reopening plans, resisted any statewide mandate on masks and rarely wears one himself. 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. The governor said he’s confident he didn’t contract the virus at the rally. “As far as where he became infected, it’s really unknown,” Oklahoma Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye said. “It wasn’t so far back as the rally,” which took place nearly a month ago.
Texas, Florida see highest daily tallies
Arizona, Texas and Florida together reported about 25,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday. Florida broke the 300,000 barrier on confirmed cases, reporting 10,181 new ones as its daily average death rate continues to rise. Major cities in Florida have imposed mask rules, but Gov. Ron DeSantis has declined to issue a statewide order, arguing those are best decided on and enforced locally. Texas also set a record for confirmed new coronavirus cases in a single day with nearly 10,800.
Alabama, Montana announce mask rules
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 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. In Montana, Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive requiring face coverings at indoor public spaces and at larger outdoor gatherings in counties where four or more people are known to be currently infected with COVID-19. Bullock said too many people continue to meet in large gatherings and too few are wearing masks. Montana reported a record 145 additional coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the state’s number of known cases to 2,096.
Mexican oil workers dying at highest rate
Of all the companies around the world affected by COVID-19, none has disclosed a worse death toll than Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil producer. Pemex said late Tuesday that 202 employees and five contractors have died of the disease so far. No other company has reported fatalities that come anywhere near that number, according to data reviewed by Bloomberg. The closest comparison may be New York’s Metropolitan Transport Authority, which has lost at least 131 workers. Pemex’s toll also exceeds the 132 recorded by the entire U.S. meat and poultry industry as of Tuesday, which has four times the workforce. Possibly the only institution with a confirmed toll higher than Pemex’s may be the U.K.’s National Health Service, which isn’t a company so much as a collection of health care systems employing over 1 million people, many of whom have been on the front line of the battle against the virus. It’s not clear why Pemex’s tally is so high.