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Infection Rate Remains Stubborn in Italy's Lombardy Region

Αssociated Press

A woman walks the desert beach in Ostia, near Rome, Friday, May 29, 2020. (Mauro Scrobogna/LaPresse via AP)

MILAN — As Italy decides whether to open regional borders as planned next week, hard-hit Lombardy remains an outlier.

The civil protection agency reported 345 confirmed new infections in the region on Friday. That brings Lombardy's total cases to 88,500, nearly 40% of Italy’s total.

Nearly half of Italy population of known positives are in Lombardy, and 80% of those in isolation at home, not requiring hospital care.

The Italian government had announced internal borders would open on June 3, but the stubborn infection rate in Lombardy has put that in question. Officials are considering whether delay the regional border opening by a week — a decision that is meant also to help Italy’s moribund tourist industry.

Italy’s total cases of confirmed COVID-19 rose by 516 to 232,248 on Friday, and deaths increased by 87 to 33,229. Only five other regions showed double-digit increases.