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US sees the five highest days of Covid-19 leading up to election

The United States reported the five highest days of Covid-19 cases right up to election, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.



a person wearing a blue hat: BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 22: An RN hands off a coronavirus sample to medical assistant Bettie Cleveland at a COVID-19 testing site set up by Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center at Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Grove Hall in Boston's Dorchester on Oct. 22, 2020. Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center set up mobile testing to help their community members who were disproportionally affected by COVID-19, the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan have seen some of the highest incident rates of the Coronavirus in Boston. In July of 2020 they began to administer tests in the city at various locations. The Grove Hall location is available for walk up testing every Thursday at the Prince Hall Grand Lodge from 10:00am - 3:00 PM. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)


© Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe/Getty Images
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 22: An RN hands off a coronavirus sample to medical assistant Bettie Cleveland at a COVID-19 testing site set up by Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center at Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Grove Hall in Boston’s Dorchester on Oct. 22, 2020. Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center set up mobile testing to help their community members who were disproportionally affected by COVID-19, the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan have seen some of the highest incident rates of the Coronavirus in Boston. In July of 2020 they began to administer tests in the city at various locations. The Grove Hall location is available for walk up testing every Thursday at the Prince Hall Grand Lodge from 10:00am – 3:00 PM. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The figures represent the highest number of reported cases since the pandemic began. Tuesday ranked fourth with about 85,200 reported cases, the data showed.

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Last Friday, the US reported 99,321 new cases — the highest single day number of infections recorded for any country. And at least 31 states set daily infection records in October.

Escalating case numbers point to a continuing fall surge across the country, setting grim records. Coronavirus is forecast to take tens of thousands more lives across the country in the coming months.

Experts have warned this bout with the virus will be the worst one yet — and alarming trends are already pointing in that direction. In just one month, the country’s 7-day case average nearly doubled.

Hospitalizations are also surging, with the number of patients nationwide rising by more than 10,000 in just two weeks, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project. Hospitals in some parts of the country have hit their “breaking point,” according to emergency medicine physician Dr. Leana Wen.

Hospital officials in El Paso, Texas, are now preparing to open the city’s civic center as an overflow medical facility and add a fourth mobile morgue. In Arkansas, Bo Ryall, president and CEO of the Arkansas Hospital Association, said there is a shortage of health care workers caused by fatigue, competition from other states, increasing costs and community exposure.

And when hospitalizations climb, deaths are likely to follow, doctors have warned.

The virus’ spread changed the way Americans cast their votes, as tens of millions of people voted early by mail or prior to Election Day. People recovering from Covid-19 or quarantining from being exposed to the virus were able vote, a spokesman for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the US reported 9.3 million cases of the virus and more than 232,000 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Researchers from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation project that 399,163 Americans could lose

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UK sees Covid ‘light ahead’ as Liverpool gets city-wide tests

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday promised “light ahead” for weary Britons ahead of a second coronavirus lockdown, pinning his hopes partly on the UK’s first city-wide testing plan in Liverpool.

The ambitious pilot scheme in the northwestern city, one of the areas worst-hit by the pandemic in Britain, will start on Friday, a day after all of England is to go into a revised version of the first lockdown instituted in March.

Britain, already grappling with the worst death toll in Europe, is tracking its neighbours in ramping up restrictions as a second wave of the pandemic takes grip.

But Johnson is under pressure from fellow Conservatives over the attendant economic harm.

Addressing a cabinet meeting, the prime minister said the four-week lockdown until December 2 was vital to prevent hospitals getting overwhelmed and “fatalities running in the thousands (daily) if nothing was done”.

There were grounds for hope, however, from new treatments to alleviate Covid-19 symptoms, mass and rapid testing, and the prospect of a vaccine, he said.

The kind of cheap new tests offering quick results intended for Liverpool “can be a massive and possibly decisive use to us in this country in defeating the virus”, Johnson added.

“So amid the uncertain gloom of November I see light ahead, and I’m absolutely certain that we will have better days before us.”

In launching the Liverpool pilot, the UK is following in the footsteps of Slovakia, which has begun testing its entire population.

But its effectiveness will depend on infected people self-isolating and their contacts being properly traced.

– Trust is short –

The track and trace facets of the Covid response have fallen short in Britain, Johnson has conceded, despite the government sinking a mammoth £12 billion ($16 billion) into its national testing programme so far.

Tom Wingfield, senior clinical lecturer at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said the pilot in his city was “an important step towards regaining control of Covid-19 transmission”.

But he warned: “Success will also not be possible unless there is trust in the testing system. That trust will only be achieved through engagement with our communities and clear information about the benefits of participation.”

Britain has registered almost 47,000 fatalities among people testing positive for the coronavirus since the respiratory disease emerged in China late last year.

The Office for National Statistics on Tuesday said 980 more deaths were registered in England and Wales in the week ending October 23 than the five-year average.

Of those, 978 mentioned coronavirus on the death certificate.

Johnson pushed reluctant members of his cabinet into agreeing the lockdown after government scientists presented worst-case projections of fatalities reaching 4,000 a day by mid-December without action now.

Opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer accused the prime minister of a “catastrophic failure of leadership”, after Johnson rejected a recommendation to impose a shorter lockdown during the October school holidays.

– Virus sparks new cyber threats –

But restive Conservatives, warning of the spiralling economic costs of lockdown,

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CT Sees 2,600+ Coronavirus Cases Over Weekend

CONNECTICUT — Connecticut reported another 2,651 positive coronavirus tests over the weekend along with a 3.4 percent positive test rate.

“There’s no question about it, the trend line is continuing to trend up,” Gov. Ned Lamont said during a Monday news conference.

The trend of more cases, a higher positive test rate and increased hospitalizations caused Lamont to roll back some guidelines to phase 2 levels in a new phase dubbed “2.1.”

Coronavirus hospitalizations increased by 11 patients up to a net of 340. Hospitalizations are now at early June levels.

Another 11 coronavirus-related deaths were reported over the weekend for a total of 4,627 during the pandemic to date.

Click on county names below to see how cases have grown over the past two months in your county:

The towns with the most new cases since Friday are:

  1. Bridgeport: 237

  2. Waterbury: 169

  3. Hartford: 153

  4. Norwalk: 139

  5. Danbury: 138

  6. Stamford: 111

  7. Meriden: 79

  8. New Haven: 71

  9. New Britain: 61

  10. East Hartford: 55

The towns with the most new cases since Oct. 25:

  1. Bridgeport: 444

  2. Norwalk: 374

  3. Danbury: 365

  4. Waterbury: 342

  5. Stamford: 301

  6. Hartford: 294

  7. New Haven: 165

  8. New Britain: 145

  9. Meriden: 133

  10. East Hartford: 126

This article originally appeared on the Across Connecticut Patch

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health

Coronavirus surge sees US hospitals scramble for nurses

As the coronavirus pandemic surges across the nation and infections and hospitalizations rise, medical administrators are scrambling to find enough nursing help — especially in rural areas and at small hospitals.

Nurses are being trained to provide care in fields where they have limited experience. Hospitals are scaling back services to ensure enough staff to handle critically ill patients. And health systems are turning to short-term travel nurses to help fill the gaps.

Adding to the strain, experienced nurses are “burned out with this whole (pandemic)” and some are quitting, said Kevin Fitzpatrick, an emergency room nurse at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, where several left just in the past month to work in hospice or home care or at outpatient clinics.

CORONAVIRUS CLAIMS LIFE OF MISSOURI BOY, 13, FAMILY CLAIMS

“And replacing them is not easy,” Fitzpatrick said.

As a result, he said, the ER is operating at about five nurses short of its optimal level at any given time, and each one typically cares for four patients as COVID-19 hospitalizations surge anew. Hospital officials did not respond to requests for comment.

But the departures are not surprising, according to experts, considering not only the mental toll but the fact that many nurses trained in acute care are over 50 and at increased risk of complications if they contract COVID-19, while younger nurses often have children or other family to worry about.

“Who can actually work and who feels safe working are limited by family obligations to protect their own health,” said Karen Donelan, professor of U.S. health policy at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. “All of those things have been factors.”

CORONAVIRUS FACE MASKS AT POLLS ENCOURAGED, BUT NOT REQUIRED IN SOME STATES 

Donelan said there is little data so far on how the pandemic, which has killed more than 231,000 people in the country, is affecting nursing overall. But some hospitals had a shortage even before the virus took hold, despite a national rise in the number of nurses over the past decade.

With total confirmed coronavirus cases surpassing 9 million in the U.S. and new daily infections rising in 47 states, the need is only increasing.

Wausau, Wisconsin-based Aspirus Health Care is offering $15,000 signing bonuses for nurses with at least a year of experience and hiring contract nurses through private staffing companies to handle a surge in hospitalizations that prompted the system to almost quadruple the number of beds dedicated to COVID-19 patients.

Aspirus, which operates five hospitals in Wisconsin and four in small communities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, also is moving nurses around between departments and facilities as hot spots emerge, said Ruth Risley-Gray, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Aspirus.

ARE POLL WORKERS AT INCREASED RISK FOR CORONAVIRUS? 

Outside help still is needed, in part because some nurses have gotten sick from or were exposed to the cornavirus during the current wave, which “came with a vengeance” starting in August, Risley-Gray said. At

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Gottlieb sees Thanksgiving as “inflection point” for accelerating pandemic

Washington — With coronavirus infections spiking in more than three dozen states, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), predicted Sunday that the Thanksgiving holiday will be an “inflection point” for the pandemic.

“Things are getting worse around the country,” Gottlieb said in an interview with “Face the Nation.” “I think Thanksgiving is really going to be an inflection point. I think December is probably going to be our toughest month.”

Gottlieb, who led the FDA under President Trump, said spread of the virus is accelerating in 23 states, including across the Midwest and the Great Lakes region, while 15 states have a positivity rate above 10%. There is an expanding epidemic in all 50 states, he said.

“This is very worrisome as we head into the winter,” Gottlieb said, adding that “as we get into the next two or three weeks, it’s going to be unmistakable what’s happening around the country. And we’re going to have to start taking tough steps.”

Public health experts and doctors in the Trump administration have warned for weeks Americans should brace themselves for a difficult winter, but Mr. Trump has claimed the country is “rounding the turn.” During a rally in Michigan on Friday, the president claimed without evidence that doctors are profiting off deaths from COVID-19.

“You know, our doctors get more money if somebody dies from COVID. You know that, right?” Mr. Trump alleged. “I mean, our doctors are very smart people. So what they do is they say, ‘I’m sorry, but, you know, everybody dies of COVID.'”

Gottlieb said it’s “troubling” for Mr. Trump to suggest doctors are manipulating data to get higher reimbursements. He noted the CARES Act, which the president signed into law in March, provides more money for COVID-pneumonia cases because it’s more expensive to treat those patients in hospitals.

“Any doctor that would be documenting COVID-pneumonia in a case where the patient doesn’t have pneumonia, that’s fraud,” he said.

When asked where Mr. Trump might have heard such a claim, Gottlieb said it’s unlikely he came up with the allegation on his own.

“Unfortunately I think there [are] probably advisers telling him that,” he said.

There have been more than 9.1 million coronavirus cases in the U.S., and the death toll surpassed 230,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic also continues, with more than 22 million Americans currently receiving jobless aid, according to the Department of Labor.

The White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, remain at an impasse over another coronavirus relief package. But Gottlieb said it’s crucial for Mr. Trump to focus on supplying aid to the states in his second term, if he wins reelection.

“They have to get a stimulus passed. They’ve got to get funding out to states to try to deal with this,” he said. “I think we need to focus on what we’re going to prioritize in terms of trying to keep things open and get

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Task force sees ‘unrelenting’ COVID-19 spread; daily U.S. cases up by record 91,000

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House coronavirus task force warned that much of the country is in the grips of an “unrelenting” surge in COVID-19 cases and urged tough countermeasures, as the number of U.S. infections reported on Thursday hit a new daily record of more than 91,000.

FILE PHOTO: Healthcare workers wearing powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) hoods process COVID-19 test samples at a drive-thru testing site operated by Avera Health inside the former Silverstar Car Wash, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, U.S., October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Bing Guan/File Photo

The hardest-hit regions in the West and Midwest encompass a number of battleground states expected to play a pivotal role in Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election contest between Republican incumbent Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.

“We are on a very difficult trajectory. We’re going in the wrong direction,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading task force member and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said coronavirus cases were on the rise in 47 states, and patients were overwhelming hospitals across the country.

“If things do not change, if they continue on the course we’re on, there’s gonna be a whole lot of pain in this country with regard to additional cases and hospitalizations, and deaths,” Fauci said in a CNBC interview on Wednesday night.

The White House coronavirus task force has warned states in the middle and western parts of the country that aggressive measures will be necessary to curb the virus’ spread, according to weekly state reports seen by CNN.

“We continue to see unrelenting, broad community spread in the Midwest, Upper Midwest and West. This will require aggressive mitigation to control both the silent, asymptomatic spread and symptomatic spread,” one state’s report said.

The ominous assessment was echoed on Thursday by Dr. Ashish Jha, Brown University’s dean of public health, who told Reuters, “things are very, very bad in the United States right now.”

“We are having some of the largest breakouts that we’ve had during the entire pandemic,” he said, adding that the initial waves of infections last spring were more localized.

“And nine, 10 months into this pandemic, we are still largely not quite prepared.”

At least a dozen states – Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio and Oregon – reported record one-day increases in COVID-19 cases on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally.

Seventeen states reported a record number of hospitalizations, a metric that has soared across the country and is independent of how much testing is being done.

Nationally, health authorities on Thursday confirmed 91,248 more people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, the highest single-day increase in cases reported to date, according to a Reuters tally. The previous 24-hour record tally was 84,169 cases, set just last Friday.

The number of Americans hospitalized with COVID-19 stood at

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Albany County sees most COVID-19 hospitalizations since June 1

ALBANY – Eight more Albany County residents were hospitalized overnight after testing positive for the coronavirus, the county said on Thursday.

That brings the county’s total to 24, the highest since June 1, with two patients in intensive care.

County Executive Dan McCoy said the county also saw 19 new cases, for a total of 3,526 since the pandemic began. There are 157 active cases in the county.

“If this isn’t a warning sign, then I don’t know what is,” McCoy said in a statement. “For a long time, we saw spikes in positive cases without it having a serious effect on our hospital data, but that is clearly not the case. And the sad truth is that as you start to see hospitalizations rise, you are likely to see more people losing their lives to the virus.”

The county has seen 140 deaths from the virus. For the Capital Region, COVID-19-related deaths now top 360.


Of the new cases in Albany County, seven had close contact with other positive cases, three reported out of state travel, three are healthcare workers or live in congregate settings and six did not have a clear source of transmission.

The rising number of cases in the region and state is sign that the so-called second wave of the coronavirus is upon us.

‘The next wave has started.’ Capital Region braces as COVID-19 numbers grow

The increase is also fueling Vermont’s insistence that residents of Capital Region counties – and most other counties in the state – quarantine before or after arriving in the Green Mountain state.

Surging cases in Capital Region mean quarantine in Vermont

Washington County is the only county on the state border with Vermont that is not required to quarantine. Under Vermont’s rules, visitors from New York must quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the state though a quarantine there can be avoided if New Yorker’s quarantine for seven days at home and then immediately arrive in Vermont with proof of a recent negative test for the virus.

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Maybe 2022 before US sees ‘some semblances of normality’

Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that it might be 2022 until the U.S. sees “some semblances of normality.”



a man wearing a suit and tie: Fauci: Maybe 2022 before US sees 'some semblances of normality'


© Washington Examiner/Pool
Fauci: Maybe 2022 before US sees ‘some semblances of normality’

During a University of Melbourne panel discussion, Fauci said it’s possible a “substantial proportion of the people” won’t receive vaccination until the second or third quarter of next year, even with the U.S. getting a vaccine in the next few months.

“I think it will be easily by the end of 2021, and perhaps even into the next year, before we start having some semblances of normality,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said.

“We’re not in a good place,” Fauci added. “Now we’re averaging about 70,000 [cases] a (day). That’s a bad position to be in.”

Gallery: Dr. Fauci Says This One State Is ‘Asking for Trouble’ (Best Life)

He also encouraged Americans who want to avoid another shutdown to wear a mask.

“If you don’t want to shut down, at least do the fundamental basic things, which are really the flagship of which is wearing a mask,” Fauci said. “We can’t have this very inconsistent wearing that you see, where you see some states that absolutely refuse to wear a mask.”

The top infectious disease expert’s comments come amid surging cases of coronavirus in the country, as the seven-day daily case count is measured at 75,522, according to The New York Times.

Johns Hopkins University reported that the average number of new cases is up 21 percent this week compared to last week. But testing has only jumped 6.63 percent in the same period, according to CNN analysis of the COVID Tracking Project, negating the argument that more testing is leading to more cases.

Several states are struggling with this month, with 29 documenting record single-day case counts and 11 measuring record single-day death counts since the beginning of the pandemic.

Forty states as of Wednesday recorded 10 percent more new cases this past week compared to the previous week, nine states remained steady and Missouri was the only state with 10 percent fewer cases in the past week when compared to the week before.

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South Dakota sees record virus hospitalizations, cases

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Hospitalizations from COVID-19 in South Dakota reached new heights for the fourth straight day on Wednesday.

The number of daily new cases also set a record, with 1,270 people testing positive for the virus. The virus has surged in the state and region, sending South Dakota to the nation’s second-worst ranking in new cases per capita over the last two weeks. Johns Hopkins researchers report that one out of roughly every 77 people in the state has tested positive in the last two weeks.

The wave of cases has resulted in 412 people who are currently hospitalized with the virus. Health officials also reported nine new deaths. October has become the state’s deadliest month of the pandemic, with 189 deaths so far.


South Dakota health officials attempted to offer some hope to the state’s virus outlook, saying they will be ready by the middle of next month to distribute coronavirus vaccinations. But it is not clear when coronavirus vaccinations will receive regulatory approval and actually arrive in the state.

Health experts are hoping that several candidates for vaccines could be ready for distribution by year’s end, maybe sooner. President Donald Trump has pushed for a faster timeline.

South Dakota Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said she is following federal instructions to have a vaccine distribution system in place by Nov. 15.

“If the vaccine shows up at our doorstep on that day, it will be getting out to folks immediately,” she said.

South Dakota’s plan prioritizes health care workers and people who are vulnerable to the virus before vaccines are made widely available to the public.

The Food and Drug Administration has pledged that any vaccine it approves will meet clear standards for its safety and effectiveness.

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France sees highest number of COVID-19 patients going into hospital since April

PARIS (Reuters) – French hospitals registered 1,307 new coronavirus patients on Monday in the highest one-day increase since April 2, which saw 1,607 new patients, as the health system comes under increasing stress from a runaway infection rate.

French health ministry data showed that France now has a total of 17,784 coronavirus patients in its hospitals, compared with a record 32,292 on April 14, at the height of the March-May lockdown.

The ministry also reported 26,771 new confirmed coronavirus cases in past 24 hours, from 52,010 on Sunday. On Monday, the tally usually drops sharply because of reporting lags over the weekend.

The death toll went up by 257, taking the cumulative total since the start of the epidemic to 35,018. The number of people in intensive care units rose by 186 to 2,770.

Several regions in France have implemented emergency plans in hospitals, delaying non-essential operations to make space in ICU units for COVID-19 patients and cancelling staff holidays.

Sources told Reuters that authorities were looking at options for still tighter measures to fight COVID-19, including starting a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m curfew earlier, confining people to their homes at weekends except for essential trips, and closing non-essential shops.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq, Editing by Franklin Paul and Alison Williams)

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