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U.S. Lifts Cruise Ship Ban; Deaths in France Surge: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — New U.S. cases rose to a record of more than 89,000 after four consecutive days of increases, and now total over nine million. New Jersey reported the most Covid-19 patients in intensive care in four months. Utah’s governor called for anti-mask protesters to stop demonstrations at the home of a health official as the state again reported record cases.

Global cases surpassed 45 million. Italy and Greece reported infection records, increasing pressure on their governments to follow Germany and France in further tightening restrictions on public life.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it would lift a ban on cruises in U.S. waters, even as government scientists warned that ships remain vulnerable to deadly outbreaks.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases surpass 45.3 million; deaths top 1.18 millionHospitals are under strain from Poland to UtahPfizer, Astra vaccines in accelerated U.K. reviewsOperation Warp Speed could shape up to be an $18 billion bargainLockdowns overshadow record growth in euro area’s big fourHow do people catch Covid-19?: QuickTakeVaccine Tracker: Clinical trials restart in hopeful sign

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

Trump Administration to Put 180-Day Ban on Many Asylum Requests (5:23 p.m. NY)

The Trump administration is expected to announce a 180-day ban on a range of asylum requests citing the threat posed by the coronavirus, according to two people familiar with the matter, in its latest effort to restrict immigration ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Under the new rule, anyone entering or trying to enter the U.S. by land from Canada or Mexico would be ineligible for asylum — and subject to removal — because of potential national security threats to the U.S. amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Colorado Issues Warning on Hospitalizations (5:09 p.m. NY)

Colorado health officials warned that rising hospitalizations could soon strain the medical system, surpassing records from the outbreak last spring within two weeks. “There is a small window to improve transmission control over the next few weeks,” said Dr. Jonathan Samet, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health. In a statement, state health officials said intensive care units could filled by December or January.

Denver has ordered most businesses to limit capacity to 25%. Pueblo, the state’s ninth largest city, imposed an overnight curfew amid a deadly surge.

France Reports Biggest Death Toll Since April (4:51 p.m. NY)

France reported the most daily Covid-19 deaths since April, the same day a lockdown came into effect aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

An additional 545 people died from the virus, bringing the total to 36,565, France’s public health agency said on its website on Friday. Confirmed cases rose by 49,215 to 1.33 million, the second-biggest increase, trailing only that of Oct. 25.

The country has closed bars, restaurants, and non-essential services until at least December, while allowing schools and most businesses to operate. President Emmanuel Macron says the goal

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Melbourne lifts one of world’s longest lockdowns after 111 days

The rollback came after the city reported zero new coronavirus cases on Monday and Tuesday, a dramatic drop from the hundreds logged each day during the outbreak’s peak in late July and early August.

“I’m pretty proud of what we have achieved here,” Sharon Lewin, the director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, told the BBC. “The outcome has been extraordinary — not without its pain, though.”

While the 111-day lockdown helped stop the spread of the virus, it has also taken a devastating toll on the local economy and mental health of residents.

Victoria, the state where Melbourne is located, lost an average of 1,200 jobs a day as most businesses were forced to stay closed, according to Bloomberg News. Demand for mental health services grew by 31 percent in September and October as a lockdown, which began in July and was initially supposed to last only six weeks, dragged on. Meanwhile, alcohol consumption increased, as did domestic violence.

Enduring the prolonged shutdown may have been made even more challenging by the fact that Melbourne had only recently exited a nationwide lockdown that was in place from March to May, giving residents a brief taste of normal life before their daily activities were curtailed again.

Melbourne residents stuck at home this summer watched travel and part of ordinary life resume in much of Europe while the virus surged across the United States. After stringent lockdowns in countries including Italy and Spain, Europe appeared to have largely contained its major outbreaks for a time, and began reopening borders.

This too came at a cost. Europe is now facing a surge of infections.

European leaders have said their goal is to avoid hard lockdowns like those imposed in the spring, which, as in Melbourne, had painful repercussions for economies and communities. Nonetheless, as hospitals warn of increasing strain, both Italy and Spain have tightened restrictions in recent days, while France is reportedly considering a month-long lockdown and Germany is expected to announce new, tougher rules this week.

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