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The Latest: Ky. gov urges more care in hardest-hit counties

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s governor is urging people in the state’s counties hit hardest by the pandemic to take stricter steps to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Gov. Andy Beshear stressed Monday that he is only offering recommendations — not mandates.

Beshear says people should avoid hosting or attending gatherings of any size. He says employers should allow employees to work from home when possible, and noncritical government offices should operate virtually. Also, he says, in-person shopping should be reduced, with people opting to order online for pickup.

The recommendations are aimed at the 55 counties — nearly half of all Kentucky counties — with the highest infection rates. Those counties have a daily average of at least 25 new virus cases per 100,000 residents.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Trump to intensify his campaign schedule despite U.S. virus surge, new White House outbreak

— Wary of angering public with restrictions, Iran has few ways to contain virus

— Nations across Europe enact more sweeping restrictions to try to slow surging infection rates

— Mexico acknowledges far more deaths than officially confirmed, saying 139,153 now attributable to COVID-19

— El Paso, Texas imposes curfew as virus cases overwhelm hospitals

— COVID-19 cases surge in north-central West Virginia county, shutting down schools and sports

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— Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is again imploring people in his state to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, which can cause the sometimes deadly COVID-19.

During his daily briefing Monday, delivered from the OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Pritzker said there is a “COVID storm on the rise, and we have to get prepared.”

Pritzker spoke two days after Illinois officials reported 6,131 coronavirus infections, which was a new single-day high for the state.

His public health director reported another 4,729 fresh cases Monday, with 17 deaths from COVID-19.

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JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is expanding a mask mandate to seven additional counties to try to control the spread of the coronavirus as cases increase rapidly in some areas.

His new order takes effect Wednesday and lasts until at least Nov. 11.

Sixteen of Mississippi’s 82 counties will now have a requirement for people to wear face coverings when they are indoors away from their homes. Social gatherings in those 16 counties also will be limited to 10 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.

Reeves says the restrictions are in counties that have had at least 200 confirmed virus cases or at least 500 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents during a recent two-week period.

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WASHINGTON — The White House coronavirus response coordinator said Monday that North Dakota’s capital city had the worst COVID-19 protocols she’s seen in her travels around the country after she spent a day looking around.

Dr. Deborah Birx, whose tour has taken her to nearly 40 states, said

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Hospitals Balance Covid-19 Care With More-Lucrative Services During Latest Virus Surge

Hospitals are holding off as long as possible before halting procedures to make room for fresh waves of Covid-19 patients, a reversal from earlier this year when facilities postponed care, leading to steep financial losses and public-health risks.

National hospital chain Tenet Healthcare Corp. pushed ahead with procedures as states permitted, such as knee and hip replacements, colonoscopies, and surgery to implant pacemakers, through recent surges in Alabama, California and elsewhere. In southeast Wisconsin, where already rising Covid-19 hospitalizations jumped 35% in the first two weeks of the month, Advocate Aurora Health continues nonessential surgery across a dozen hospitals.

HCA Healthcare Inc., one of the nation’s largest hospital systems, waited until last week to suspend some surgery in El Paso, Texas, where a coronavirus surge sharply accelerated in recent weeks. About 80% of the procedures there continue, however.

Nashville-based HCA stops surgery “as a last resort,” said Jon Foster, an HCA president who oversees 90 of the company’s 186 hospitals.

Hospitals have grown more circumspect of shutdowns through new waves of the virus after fallout from voluntary and state-ordered shutdowns in March and April. And unlike last spring, fewer states are ordering broad shutdowns, leaving it to hospitals.

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The Latest: India’s cases keep downturn with 50K infections

NEW DELHI — India’s daily coronavirus cases have dropped to nearly 50,000, maintaining a downturn over the last few weeks.

The Health Ministry says 50,129 new cases have taken the overall tally to nearly 7.9 million on Sunday. It also reported 578 deaths in the past 24 hours, raising total fatalities to 118,534.

The ministry also said India’s active coronavirus cases were below 700,000 across the country and almost 7.1 million people had recovered from COVID-19.

India is second to the United States with the largest outbreak of the coronavirus. Last month, India hit a peak of nearly 100,000 cases in a single day, but since then daily cases have fallen by about half and deaths by about a third.

Some experts say the decline in cases suggests that the virus may have finally reached a plateau but others question the testing methods. India is relying heavily on antigen tests, which are faster but less accurate than traditional RT-PCR tests.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Surging coronavirus colors White House race in closing days

— Europe, US watch case totals grow, debate new restrictions

— Colombia reaches 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases

— Iran’s supreme leader has urged authorities to prioritize public health above any economic or security concerns, amid the Mideast’s worst outbreak of the coronavirus. Iran’s death toll from the global pandemic topped 32,000 this week.

— Pope Francis met with the Spanish prime minister Saturday at the Vatican, which has had a rash of COVID-19 infections confirmed in recent days, but neither man used a face a mask during the public part of their meeting.

— Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for the coronavirus; apologizes to those in quarantine because of contact, including Poland’s recent French Open winner.

— Police force in England says it will try to stop people from leaving Wales, which has started a 17-day lockdown to slow a surging rate of coronavirus infections.

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Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

MELBOURNE, Australia — A COVID-19 outbreak in the north of Melbourne has led health authorities in Australia’s Victoria state to hold off on any further easing of restrictions in the beleaguered city.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews withheld any announcement on an easing on Sunday as the state awaits results on 3,000 people who were tested in the city’s north in the past 24 hours.

He described it as a “cautious pause” – not a setback – to rule out there wasn’t widespread community transmission linked to the cluster.

Among the current restrictions are mandatory wearing of masks and no traveling beyond 25 kilometers (15 miles) from home. At the start of the second wave of cases two months ago, Andrews instituted an overnight curfew and shut down most businesses.

“I know it is frustrating,” Andrews said. “I know people are keen to have a long and detailed list of changes to the rules.

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The Latest: India’s Cases Keep Downturn With 50K Infections | World News

NEW DELHI — India’s daily coronavirus cases have dropped to nearly 50,000, maintaining a downturn over the last few weeks.

The Health Ministry says 50,129 new cases have taken the overall tally to nearly 7.9 million on Sunday. It also reported 578 deaths in the past 24 hours, raising total fatalities to 118,534.

The ministry also said India’s active coronavirus cases were below 700,000 across the country and almost 7.1 million people had recovered from COVID-19.

India is second to the United States with the largest outbreak of the coronavirus. Last month, India hit a peak of nearly 100,000 cases in a single day, but since then daily cases have fallen by about half and deaths by about a third.

Some experts say the decline in cases suggests that the virus may have finally reached a plateau but others question the testing methods. India is relying heavily on antigen tests, which are faster but less accurate than traditional RT-PCR tests.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Surging coronavirus colors White House race in closing days

— Europe, US watch case totals grow, debate new restrictions

— Colombia reaches 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases

— Iran’s supreme leader has urged authorities to prioritize public health above any economic or security concerns, amid the Mideast’s worst outbreak of the coronavirus. Iran’s death toll from the global pandemic topped 32,000 this week.

— Pope Francis met with the Spanish prime minister Saturday at the Vatican, which has had a rash of COVID-19 infections confirmed in recent days, but neither man used a face a mask during the public part of their meeting.

— Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for the coronavirus; apologizes to those in quarantine because of contact, including Poland’s recent French Open winner.

— Police force in England says it will try to stop people from leaving Wales, which has started a 17-day lockdown to slow a surging rate of coronavirus infections.

Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

MELBOURNE, Australia — A COVID-19 outbreak in the north of Melbourne has led health authorities in Australia’s Victoria state to hold off on any further easing of restrictions in the beleaguered city.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews withheld any announcement on an easing on Sunday as the state awaits results on 3,000 people who were tested in the city’s north in the past 24 hours.

He described it as a “cautious pause” – not a setback – to rule out there wasn’t widespread community transmission linked to the cluster.

Among the current restrictions are mandatory wearing of masks and no traveling beyond 25 kilometers (15 miles) from home. At the start of the second wave of cases two months ago, Andrews instituted an overnight curfew and shut down most businesses.

“I know it is frustrating,” Andrews said. “I know people are keen to have a long and detailed list of changes to the rules. It is not

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health

The Latest: No Masks: Pope, Spanish PM Meet at Vatican | World News

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan has reported more than 3,000 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the highest daily count yet during the pandemic.

The 3,338 new COVID-19 cases reported Saturday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services surpassed the state’s previous single-day record of 2,030 new cases set on Oct. 15. That earlier record had topped the previous record of 1,953 from early April.

The state agency also reported Saturday 35 more deaths from COVID-19, raising Michigan’s pandemic toll to 7,182 deaths.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, said in a statement that it’s “now more important than ever that people take this seriously.” She urged Michigan residents to wear a face mask every time they are around someone outside of their own household, to practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— US sets daily record of more than 83,000 virus cases

— Pope Francis, Spanish PM Sanchez meet at Vatican without masks

— Italy’s daily coronavirus cases reach nearly 20,000

— Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for the coronavirus; apologizes to those in quarantine because of contact, including Poland’s recent French Open winner.

— AstraZeneca resumes late-stage testing of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the U.S.

— Police force in England says it will try to stop people from leaving Wales, which has started a 17-day lockdown to slow a surging rate of coronavirus infections.

Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

EL PASO, Texas — The surge in coronavirus in the Texas border city of El Paso continued Saturday with a record 1,216 new cases, nearly 20% of the state’s 6,125 new cases, according to city-county health officials.

There have been 3,346 cases in the city during the past three days, according to city-county health reports. El Paso has reported 38,554 total cases since the pandemic began in March.

“Today’s spike is part of an unfortunate national surge that we have been planning and preparing for,” public health director Angela Mora said in a statement. “Now, we need our community to help us by doing their part and staying home, if and when possible, for the next two weeks in order to stop the rapid the spread of the virus.”

Gov. Greg Abbott has sent medical equipment and about 500 medical personnel to the region to help fight the virus. There have been more than 858,000 reported cases in Texas and nearly 17,500 deaths, 81 reported Saturday, since the pandemic’s start.

COLUMBIA, Tenn. — A Tennessee hospital is suspending all elective procedures requiring an overnight stay due to a surge in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, The Daily Herald of Columbia, Tennessee, reported.

As of Friday evening, Columbia’s Maury Regional Medical Center was treating 50 COVID-19 inpatients, 20 of whom were in the medical center’s 26-bed intensive care unit. In response, the hospital said Friday it is suspending elective surgical procedures that require

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Health officials ramp up flu shot efforts, including free vaccines at Audubon Zoo on Oct. 26 | The Latest | Gambit Weekly

Health officials at the Louisiana Department of Health and the City of New Orleans are asking Louisianans to roll up their shirt sleeves and get flu shots as they ramp up efforts to distribute these essential vaccines.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, for which there is still no vaccine or cure, health officials say it’s more important than ever to get the shot, especially because COVID-19 and the flu sometimes have similar symptoms and both can be fatal. They have for months warned of a “twin-demic” this fall and are concerned about overwhelmed hospitals, as the flu can also lead to lengthy stays and require medical care around the clock.

Dr. Gina Lagarde, the LDH’s regional medical director for the Northshore, said the health department will be conducting “mass vaccination exercises in each of the state’s regions” over the next several weeks, in partnerships with local pharmacies. The department will be making an extra effort to reach out to historically under-vaccinated populations, including low-income, rural and minority communities that frequently lack access to health care.

On Oct. 26, free vaccines will be available at the Audubon Zoo from 1 to 6 p.m., in partnership with New Orleans Health Department, New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and the Audubon Zoo. 

 “It is critical,” Lagarde told Gambit. “We worry about the surge to our emergency rooms. With the cold and flu season, we know the impact on our emergency rooms and in our hospitals. We need to get as many people as vaccinated as possible.”

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control and the LDH have long recommended a yearly flu shot for everyone over 6 months of age and note that it’s especially crucial for people at higher risk of serious complications, including babies and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and citizens aged 65 years and older.

Most seasonal flu activity occurs between October and May, peaking between December and February. The LDH notes that the flu shot will not prevent COVID-19, but it will reduce the burden of the flu illness, hospitalizations and deaths. Though the flu is less fatal than COVID-19, both are highly contagious illnesses that can impact long-term health and require lengthy recovery periods.

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Health official tears up delivering latest COVID-19 numbers in emotional briefing

ABC News Corona Virus Health and Science

Illinois’ top doctor pleaded with residents to “fight the fatigue.”

“I want to say happy Friday, but I understand the mental, the social and the emotional toll that this pandemic continues to have on people,” Illinois Department of Public Health Department Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike began Friday’s COVID-19 briefing.

While acknowledging the sacrifices she has asked people to make, Ezike noted that COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to increase in the state.

“Yesterday we lost an additional 31 lives, for a total of 9,418 deaths,” she said. “These are people who started with us in 2020 and won’t be with us at the Thanksgiving table.”

PHOTO: Illinois Department of Public Health Department Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike teared up as she delivered the state's latest COVID-19 update.

Illinois Department of Public Health Department Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike teared up as she delivered the state’s latest COVID-19 update.

Her voice wavering, she reported there were 3,874 new cases on Thursday, for a total of 364,033 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.

The official then paused and stepped away from the podium to gather herself, before reporting that there were 2,498 people hospitalized overnight with COVID-19, including 511 in the intensive care unit and 197 on ventilators. Hospitalizations reached a record on Thursday, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

“My message to you is to stay strong,” Ezike said. “I’ve never run a marathon, but I have the utmost regard for those who’ve been able to train and plan and finish a marathon. But this is a difficult race when you can’t actually see the endpoint and I’m sorry that that’s the message I have for you.”

She pleaded with residents to “fight the fatigue” and continue to social distance, diligently wear a mask and reconsider large, in-person gatherings.

“This is what we’ll have to do to bring the spread down in our community,” Ezike said. “When we bring the spread down in our community, kids can go to school safely, people can go to work safely, activities, [and] family celebrations can be celebrations, instead of super-spreader events that result in disease and death.”

What to know about the coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the U.S. and worldwide: Coronavirus map
  • Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.

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    The Latest: UNGA Head Concerned NY Mayor Won’t Meet on Virus | World News

    UNITED NATIONS — The president of the United Nations General Assembly has expressed concern that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio rejected a meeting with him to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work of the 193-member world organization.

    Volker Bozkir said in a statement that the United Nations “has been proud to call the city its home since the middle of the last century” and is “happy to generate billions of dollars in economic benefits and tens of thousands of jobs in New York City.” But the Turkish politician said he was disappointed at the mayor’s refusal to meet him.

    Bozkir said: “This lack of interaction concerns me.”

    His spokesman, Brenden Varma, told reporters that Bozkir reached out about two weeks ago to ask for an appointment with the mayor. But the assembly president received a response a few days ago declining the request, he said.

    Penny Abeywardena, New York City’s commissioner for international affairs, responded to the assembly president’s statement without mentioning the mayor’s decision not to meet Bozkir.

    She pointed to de Blasio’s “excellent relationship” with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and “deeply collaborative relationship with Mr. Bozkir’s predecessors,” and said the city looks forward “to continuing our partnership with the United Nations.”

    HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

    — France surpasses 1 million coronavirus cases

    — WHO says Northern hemisphere at ‘critical juncture’ with rising cases, deaths

    — FDA approves first COVID-19 drug: antiviral remdesivir

    — UN chief says G-20 leaders must coordinate to fight coronavirus. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is frustrated leaders of 20 major industrialized countries didn’t do it in March as he proposed.

    — Schools from New Jersey to California have been hit with teacher and staff layoffs. Urban areas lacking the property wealth of suburban communities are especially vulnerable to budget cuts, with many schools hoping for a new round of federal money.

    — An online Japanese-language text messaging service for suicide prevention has grown to 500 volunteers since March.

    Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

    HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

    MADISON, Wis. — Nearly 4,400 more Wisconsin residents have contracted COVID-19 as the disease continues to surge unchecked across the U.S. state.

    The state Department of Health Services reported 4,378 newly confirmed cases on Friday. The daily record is 4,591 cases, set on Tuesday. The state has now seen 190,478 cases since the pandemic began in March.

    DHS reported 42 more people have died, bringing the death toll to 1,745.

    The Wisconsin Hospital Association reported 1,243 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Friday, setting a new record for the second straight day. Two patients were at a field hospital the state has set up at the state fairgrounds in West Allis as of Friday.

    NEW YORK — The number of people hospitalized in New York because of the coronavirus has climbed back over 1,000.

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there were 1,023 hospitalizations around the state as of Thursday. That’s more than

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    health

    Louisiana coronavirus: 696 cases, 21 more deaths reported Friday; see latest data | Coronavirus

    The Louisiana Department of Health reported 696 more coronavirus cases and 21 more deaths in its noon update Friday.

    The number of hospitalizations increased by 22, and the number of patients in need of ventilators increased by one.

    Here are a few key statewide statistics as of Friday:

    — Total cases: 178,870

    — Total deaths: 5,614

    — Currently hospitalized: 620

    — Currently on ventilators: 65

    — Presumed recovered: 165,282 as of Oct. 19 (updated weekly)

    — Probable cases: 3,733 as of Oct. 21 (updated weekly)

    Note: The Advocate and The Times-Picayune staff calculates daily case count increases based on the difference between today’s total and yesterday’s total of confirmed coronavirus cases. The Louisiana Department of Health releases a daily case count on Twitter based on the deletion of duplicate cases. That case count can be different than the one listed here.

    You can view more graphs and charts breaking down the data by clicking here.

    Louisiana began reopening for Phase 1 on May 15-16 then moved to Phase 2 on June 5. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards extended Louisiana’s Phase 2 restrictions twice in August before moving the state to Phase 3 on Sept. 11.

    This is a developing story. More details and analysis to come.

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    The Latest: UN chief urges G20 to unite on coronavirus fight

    UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. chief says it’s “very frustrating” that leaders of the 20 major industrialized nations didn’t come together in March and establish a coordinated response to grapple with the coronavirus in all countries as he proposed.

    The result, he says, is every country is taking its own sometimes contradictory actions, and the virus is moving “from east to west, north to south,” with second waves of infections now affecting many countries.

    Ahead of the Group of 20 summit next month, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in an interview with The Associated Press that he hopes the international community now understands “they need to be much more coordinated in fighting the virus.”

    Guterres says the United Nations also will be “strongly advocating” during the G-20 summit for a guarantee that when a vaccine is available, “it becomes indeed available and affordable for everyone, everywhere.”

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    HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

    — France extends curfew to 38 regions because of coronavirus surge

    — African health officials expect WHO distribution of rapid virus tests

    — Oxford vaccine trial continues amid death report

    — Britain offering financial help for bars, pubs and restaurants struggling because of restrictions due to the coronavirus.

    — Czech Republic enters second lockdown to avoid health system collapse. New measures include closing stores, shopping malls and hotels.

    — Photographer in Dubai providing free photo shoots to laid-off expats forced to leave the skyscraper-studded Persian Gulf city because of the pandemic.

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    Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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    HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

    SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 155 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, its highest daily jump in more than 40 days as officials struggle to stem transmissions at hospitals and nursing homes.

    The figures announced Friday brought the national caseload to 25,698, including 455 deaths. Officials say most of the new cases were local transmissions and primarily in the Seoul region, where hundreds of infections have been tied to a handful of hospitals and nursing homes.

    A nursing home in Namyangju, east of Seoul, has emerged as the latest cluster of infections, with officials putting the facility under isolation after more than 30 workers and residents tested positive. Around 120 infections have been linked to a hospital in nearby Gwangju.

    Friday’s daily jump was the highest since Sept. 11 when 176 new infections were reported.

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    BOISE, Idaho — A regional health board in northern Idaho has voted narrowly to repeal a local mask mandate, acting moments after hearing how the region’s hospital has been overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and is looking at sending people as far away as Seattle for care.

    The board heard Thursday that the hospital in Coeur d’Alene reached 99% capacity the previous day, even after doubling up patients in rooms and buying more beds. The board in Kootenai County then voted 4-3 to end the mask mandate. Kootenai is the third most populous county in conservative Idaho.

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