U.S. Deaths Rise While Nation Awaits Biden’s Plan: Virus Update
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(Bloomberg) -- U.S. coronavirus deaths rose along with cases, exceeding 1,000 for a fourth day this week. The nation had more than 120,000 new infections for a second day on Friday and Covid-19 hospitalizations are on track for all-time highs.
President-elect Joe Biden’s victory signals a turning point in the U.S. response to the pandemic, as he promises a newly aggressive federal effort to contain a virus surge across the country. He plans to name a 12-member virus task force on Monday, Axios reported. President Donald Trump’s chief of staff has been infected.
France, the European Union country with the most cases, reported record new infections, including some that weren’t counted earlier in the week. Italy approved a new pandemic relief package for businesses hit by the country’s second lockdown.
- Global Tracker: Cases surpass 49.6 million; deaths top 1.24 million
- Biden heads for Congress clash over fixing the virus economy
- With U.S. cases at record levels, hospitalizations may be next
- Outbreak in mink farms now has the world worried
- Brexit in a lockdown is worst of all worlds for U.K. business
- Vaccine Tracker: Clinical trials restart in hopeful sign
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France Reports Almost 87,000 New Cases (4:20 p.m. NY)
France reported 86,852 new cases on Saturday, the third consecutive daily record. That’s more than the trailing seven-day average of about 54,000, which itself has doubled in little more than two weeks.
The latest data include cases from the previous three days, according to French health authorities.
Slovak Premier More Nationwide Testing (3:07 p.m. NY)
Slovakia may need to screen all citizens for Covid-19 again in December to allow the government to relax pandemic restrictions, Premier Igor Matovic said.
The country of 5.5 million people is doing a second round of nationwide testing using $5 antibody tests. Two-thirds of citizens participated in the first round a week ago, uncovering a 1.1% infection rate.
Biden Win Signals a Turning Point in Virus Response (2:55 p.m. NY)
President-elect Biden’s victory signals a turning point in the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic, as he promises a newly aggressive federal effort to contain a virus that is spiking nationwide in contrast to a president who has consistently downplayed the outbreak’s dangers and promised it would disappear.
But while the president-elect can begin to lay the groundwork for a more muscular approach and a vastly different messaging campaign than President Donald Trump, Biden will have to wait until he is officially inaugurated on Jan. 20 to put any of those plans into place.
Still, Biden’s transition team has been working for months on how to coordinate federal agencies to execute the plans Biden outlined months ago. The proposals include a national mask mandate -- although Biden has acknowledged that would be difficult to enforce except on federal property.
Ohio Hits Record for Third Straight Day (2:36 p.m. NY)
Ohio reported 5,549 infections Saturday, the third consecutive record day as cases continue to rise rapidly. Average daily cases increased this week to 4,290 compared with 2,842 the week before, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. Republican Governor Mike DeWine has been issuing stark warnings for the state to follow the health precautions he’s mandated, noting that hospitalizations too are at an all-time high.
French I.C.U. Beds Nearing Capacity (1:59 p.m. NY)
France reported a rise in the number of serious ill Covid-19 patients occupying intensive care wards. As of Saturday, 87.2% of intensive-care capacity was occupied by patients infected with the virus, an increase from 85.4% on Friday, French health authorities reported.
In mid-August, the rate touched a low of around 7% after peaking at nearly 139% in April when France increased capacity.
The number of confirmed new Covid-19 cases and deaths from the virus in France were not immediately available.
Arizona Cases Spike (1:43 p.m. NY)
Arizona reported 2,621 cases Saturday, the most since August when the state was beginning to recover from the summer surge of infection in Sun Belt. It was the fifth day in the last week with infections over 1,000 and the second day over 2,000. Hospitalizations have more than doubled since the beginning of October to more than 1,000 virus cases, still well below the peak of roughly 3,500 in mid-July, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
New Jersey Reports Most Cases Since April (1:30 p.m. NY)
New Jersey reported 3,207 new cases on Saturday, the most since April, and the first time since May it added more than 3,000 in one day. The additions pushed New Jersey to more than 250,000 cumulative infections since the outbreak’s start, and Governor Phil Murphy has warned that tougher restrictions may be coming.
Of 21 counties, Essex has the most cases. That county includes Newark, New Jersey’s largest city by population, which this week reported a citywide positive test rate of 19%, compared with the state’s 7.7%, according to Mayor Ras Baraka.
The state has 1,392 hospitalizations for Covid-19, with 276 in intensive care. More than half of those hospitalized are in the northern region of the state.
More Than 1% in Wyoming Infected (12:18 p.m. NY)
In Wyoming, the nation’s least populated state, “more than one in every 100” residents is infected with the coronavirus when factoring in probable patients, the Casper Star-Tribune said, citing state health department data. Wyoming’s population is about 600,000.
Italy Nears 40,000 Cases in Another Record Day (11:30 a.m. NY)
Italy reported new 39,811 coronavirus cases setting a third consecutive day with record infections. The country reported 425 fatalities versus 446 Friday. Number of patients in intensive care rose to 2,634. That compares to a peak of over 4,000 in early April.
Italy’s government approved overnight an extra pandemic relief package for businesses hit by the country’s second lockdown.
With Covid-19 surging around Europe, Italians are prohibited from leaving or entering areas in high-risk areas, including Milan, Italy’s financial hub, and key northern industrial cities. The extra 2.5-billion-euro ($3 billion) aid seeks to shield companies and families in the highest-risk areas.
Biden to Announce Covid-19 Task Force Monday, Axios Reports (10:52 a.m. NY)
Joe Biden plans to name on Monday a 12-member task force to fight and contain the spread of the coronavirus, Axios reported, citing sources.
The move is a signal that the coronavirus is Biden’s immediate priority for his transition and his administration.
The task force will be led by three co-chairs: former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy; former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler; and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith from Yale University.
Trump’s Aides Frustrated After Meadows’s Silence on Infection (10:38 a.m. NY)
Some of Donald Trump’s White House and campaign aides are frustrated that the president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, didn’t issue a statement after he tested positive for the coronavirus this week, instead informing only a close circle of advisers.
His infection was not widely known across Trump’s staff until late Friday, after Bloomberg News reported it. He tested positive on Wednesday, according to a senior administration official.
Geneva Region Has Highest Cases in Europe, RTS (9:35 a.m. NY)
Geneva is the region in Europe with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the past 14 days, Radio Television Suisse reported, citing data from the WHO. The state, or canton, is followed by Wallonia in Belgium and three other regions in Switzerland, RTS said. Geneva closed bars, restaurants, cultural venues and nonessential stores earlier this week until Nov. 29.
U.S. Fatalities Are Rising With Infections (8:14 a.m. NY)
As U.S. virus cases break daily records, deaths are rising too: the nation reported 1,153 fatalities on Friday, the fourth day this week over 1,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.
That’s almost 100 a day more than the previous week and 31% higher than average daily deaths in the first week of October. It is significantly lower than the outbreak’s first spike last spring, when several days neared or passed 2,500 daily deaths. The U.S. death toll is now 236,099.
Georgia Brings Back Night Curfew in Major Cities (6:46 a.m. NY)
Georgia ordered a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in Tbilisi and all larger major cities starting Nov. 9 to tackle the spread of the virus. The country reported 2,859 new cases and 18 deaths in the last 24 hours. The restrictions ban all pedestrian and car movement, with exceptions for media, transport of groceries and health-related issues, according to Deputy Prime Minister Maia Tskitishvili. The previous nighttime curfew lasted from March to May.
Iran’s Daily Virus Cases Surpass 9,000 for First Time (6:03 a.m. NY)
Iran reported 9,450 new infections in the past 24 hours, the 10th record for daily cases over the last month. The death toll rose by 423 compared with 424 a day earlier, the latest Health Ministry data showed. The country now has 37,832 deaths in 673,250 infections.
Germany Reports Cases Rise as Partial Lockdown Continues (6:50 p.m. HK)
As Germany enters its second week of “lockdown light,” authorities reported a rise of 22,820 new cases and 130 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Poland Tightens Restrictions as Cases Top 500,000 (5:51 p.m. HK)
Daily infections hit a record 27,875, the Health Ministry reported on Saturday. New cases broke a threshold set by government for a full lockdown for third day in row, with the trigger set at 70-75 daily per 100,000 people measured over a 7-day period. From Saturday, new restrictions include closing non-essential stores in malls and larger furniture stores as well as moving younger classes in schools to remote learning.
Hungary Adds Most Cases; Deaths Top 100 (4:40 p.m. HK)
Hungary reported a record 5,318 new cases, with the daily death toll also at a high of 107. Many intensive care units are already at full capacity due to the lack of qualified staff, Nepszava newspaper reported Saturday, citing the head of a doctors’ union.
Italy Approves Boost in Aid for Business (3:17 p.m. HK)
Italy’s government approved an extra pandemic relief package for businesses hit by the country’s second lockdown.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte held a cabinet meeting on Friday evening to back the measures, which come on top of earlier aid of 5 billion euros ($5.9 billion). Italy is expected to spend 2.5 billion euros in its additional spending program, which aims to shield companies and families in the highest-risk areas, according to officials familiar with the discussions.
U.S. Has Record 126,714 Daily Infections (1:55 p.m. HK)
The U.S. had a record 126,714 new cases on Friday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News from sources including Johns Hopkins University and the World Health Organization. The tally was up from 126,403 a day earlier, and underscores the growing challenge American authorities face in containing outbreaks. The tally may be adjusted as more data are incorporated.
Nationwide, 58,678 beds were occupied by Covid-19 patients, according to Department of Health and Human Services data analyzed by Bloomberg News. Almost 11,000 patients are being treated in intensive care units, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Hospitalizations have soared.
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