Cases Spike Across U.S. in Test for State Leaders: Virus Update

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California reported the most Covid-19 cases since August, a day after joining Oregon and Washington in an appeal for arriving travelers to quarantine. States across the U.S. are tightening rules to stem the virus, which caused a a record 190,000 daily infections this week amid a stalled presidentialtransition in Washington.

New York City’s positive-test rate remainedbelow the threshold for closing public schools. New Jersey reported the most infections since the start of the pandemic.

Shutdowns are spreading around Europe along with lockdown fatigue — fromsecond-wave measures in Austria and school closings in Greece to ashutdown call by the mayor of Istanbul, a city of some 15 million people. Hong Kong is imposing stricter social-distancing curbs and will require some mandatory testing.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases top 53.5 million; deaths 1.3 million
  • Covid’s rampage meansno medical cavalry coming to the rescue
  • Crucial vaccine, treatmentdata seen only days away
  • Thedeath toll from the latest spate of U.S. cases is poised to get worse
  • Bloomberg ismapping coronavirus cases across the U.S.
  • NYC’sprivate schools brace for lockdown with Covid rate spike
  • Vaccine Tracker: Encouraging breakthroughs offer hope

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

California’s New Cases Hit 3-Month High (2:50 p.m. NY)

California added 9,875 new cases, the biggest one-day increase since August, and reported 81 new deaths, bringing the total to 18,218.

The number of cases in the state exceeded 1 million this week. The 14-day test positivity rate rose to 4.2%, a two-month high.

Romanian Fire Kills 10 Patients (3:35 p.m. NY)

A fire ripped through the intensive care unit of a Romanian hospital, killing 10 intubated Covid-19 patients and injuring several others, including doctors and nurses, according to Health Minister Nelu Tataru. The cause of the fire, in the northeastern town of Piatra Neamt, has not been determined.

Virginia Expands Restrictions (3:29 p.m. NY)

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced new restrictions as infections surged to record levels. Starting Sunday, the state will expand its mask mandate, lower its cap on gatherings to 25 individuals from 250, strengthen enforcement for distancing and other rules at retail businesses, and set a 10 p.m. alcohol service curfew for restaurants and bars.

“More people are dying,” the Democrat and former Armydoctor said in avideo released Friday along with his office’sstatement. “Face coverings are one of the best tools we have to fight Covid-19, so everyone needs to wear them, age 5 and up.”

The seven-day average for new infections among the state’s 8.5 million residents rose by a record 1,546 on Thursday. Total confirmed cases breached 200,000 on Saturday.

South Dakota Deaths Spike (2:56 p.m. NY)

South Dakota reported a record 45 deaths Saturday. Deaths lag infections by weeks or months — and the number reported Saturday represented almost 8% in a single day of the total 615 fatalities reported.

Governor Kristi Noem has opposed mask mandates and any other anti-virus measures, despite that her state has been among the worst-hit in recent months. On Friday, she said she would not enforce any national measures put in place by a Biden administration. The same day, Governor Doug Burgum of North Dakota, who had also resisted anti-virus measures, announced a mask mask mandate and other restrictions.

Texas Inmates Assigned to Morgue Duty (2:17 p.m. NY)

Inmates from the El Paso County jail in Texas are moving bodies of Covid-19 victims into refrigerated trucks as the outbreak overwhelms regular morgue staff, KTSM-TV reported.

The broadcaster posted photos of inmates in black-and-gray striped jumpsuits outside the medical examiner’s office. The prisoners were “helping them there,” a sheriff’s spokesperson was quoted as saying.

El Paso, the Lone Star state’s worst hot spot, logged more than 1,500 new cases in the past 24 hours and has more active cases than Houston’s Harris County with a fraction of the population.

Minnesota Hits Record (2:13 p.m. NY)

Minnesota reported a record 8,703 infections Saturday, as the state’s Covid-19 surge shows no signs of slowing.

The seven-day average is now 5,868, compared with an average daily increase of 1,327 in the same period last month. Another 35 deaths were reported, just below the seven-day average of 36. That compares with a daily average of 11 in the same period last month. Hospitalizations have also soared.

France Cases Slow, I.C.U. Levels Drop Slightly (2:09 p.m. NY)

France reported 32,095 new coronavirus cases on Saturday. The seven-day average, which smooths out fluctuations in the data, shows a 21% drop to 29,413, the biggest decline in weeks.

Deaths rose by 354 to 44,246 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The pressure on France’s intensive-care wards also eased slightly, as seriously ill patients now occupy 96% of the country’s initial ICU capacity, French health authorities reported. That rate rose sharply in the last weeks to reach 96.6% on Thursday, a level at which it remained on Friday.

North Dakota Breaks Record After Mask Mandate (1:29 p.m. NY)

North Dakota broke another record for new infections, 2,278, the day after Governor Doug Burgum reversed course and imposed a statewide mask order and other anti-virus measures.

The Republican governor, long reluctant to impose restrictions even as North Dakota became one of the hardest hit states, announced the mask mandate along with other measures Friday night in a video, noting that hospital capacity was straining and that the state had crossed the “tragic milestone” of 700 deaths. Hours were limited for bars and restaurants, capacity for events was reduced and winter sports were paused.

Arizona Cases Highest Since July (12:51 p.m. NY)

Arizona reported 3,476 infections, the third time this week over 3,000 and the most since July. Hospitalizations have roughly doubled since the start of October, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

New York Cases Rise by More Than 5,000 for Second Day (12:16 p.m. NY)

New York reported 5,388 new infections, the second consecutive day over 5,000 — the highest level since the peak of the outbreak in April. Governor Andrew Cuomo did not, however, indicate any move toward widespread restrictions. New York’s strategy has been to target hot spots for specific measures, and he suggested Saturday that would continue. “If those numbers go up we stand ready to tighten the valve,” he said in a call with reporters.

The state’s overall positive-test rate rose to 2.92% from 2.65% the previous day, though he said that remains one of the lowest in the nation.

New Jersey Hits Record (12:14 p.m. NY)

New Jersey reported a record 4,395 daily cases. “These numbers are alarming and concerning, to say the least,” Governor Phil Murphy said on Twitter.

Hospitalizations climbed to 2,000, with 370 patients in intensive care. New Jersey’s previous high was 4,391 in April.

Trump Says Congress Must Finish ‘Big and Focused’ Virus Aid Bill (11:43 a.m. NY)

President Donald Trumprenewed a push for lawmakers to proceed with fresh stimulus to sustain the U.S. recovery as the coronavirus spreads at a record pace across the world’s largest economy.

“Congress must now do a Covid Relief Bill,” Trump tweeted Saturday while traveling via motorcade to his golf course in Virginia, without offering details. “Make it big and focused. Get it done!”

Italy Cases Slow as Curb Widen (11:20 a.m. NY)

Italy reported 37,255 new coronavirus infections Saturday, a slight decrease from 40,902 the day before, and 544 deaths. The country widened the number of regions subject to its toughest restrictions to include the areas of Florence and Naples.

Silvio Brusaferro, head of the ISS public health institute, said in a press conference Saturday that Italy remains in an emergency situation with a very high pressure on hospitals and intensive care units. While about half of the people who test positive do not show symptoms, he said, the average age of the new cases is rising.

U.K. Cases, Deaths Outpace Previous Seven Days (11:14 a.m. NY)

The U.K. reported new cases and deaths Saturday that were above the seven-day average. Another 26,860 cases were reported, compared to the weekly average of 24,430, and 462 fatalities compared with 404 over the previous seven days. New infections have stayed above 25,000 for three straight days.

Austria Tightens Lockdown (11:10 a.m. NY)

Austria willshut down schools, most stores and services such as hairdressers starting Tuesday, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said, after attempts to rely on self-discipline and moderate restrictions failed to slow the coronavirus pandemic.

A soft lockdown two weeks ago large parts of the economy and society open. With Austria’s infections spiking, Kurz said he hoped to end the latest measures on Dec. 6 to allow for Christmas celebrations.

“Don’t meet anybody,” Kurz said at a news conference on Saturday. “Every social contact is one too many.”

NYC Remains Below Level to Close Schools (10:40 a.m. NY)

New York City’s seven-day positivity average declined to 2.47%, from 2.83% the previous day. Mayor Bill de Blasio had warned parents yesterday to prepare for in-person schooling to close as soon as Monday. A seven-day positivity rate of 3% would trigger a shutdown, according to a threshold set by de Blasio. “We’re still below 3%, but that could change,” he said on Twitter. “We MUST fight back a second wave to keep our schools open.”

Istanbul Mayor Calls for Shutdown (10:05 a.m. NY)

A shutdown of two to three weeks should be implemented in Istanbul as the city accounts for more than 50% of the coronavirus cases in Turkey, Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu said.

Imamoglu, who recently recovered from coronavirus himself, said that the city’s Science Advisory Board is recommending a shutdown followed by a controlled reopening.

Turkey reported 3,045 new Covid-19 patients and 93 deaths, the most on both counts since the end of April.

Spain to Extend Grace Periods on State Loans (8:54 a.m. NY)

Spain plans to extend grace periods for credits from state lender ICO at its cabinet meeting next week, Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said in an online forum. The positive news about Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine candidate will help removeuncertainty about the course of the pandemic that threatened to cloud the economic outlook, she said. Spain’s economy may shrink more than 11% in 2020.

Greece Closes Schools for Two Weeks (6:06 p.m. HK)

Greece decided to close all schools that remained open for two weeks beginning Monday, except for those educating special-needs children. Secondary and high schools were closed on Nov. 9.

The government has already put in place a national lockdown and a night curfew through November.

— With assistance by Ian Fisher, Chiara Albanese, Vassilis Karamanis, Catherine Bosley, Alexandre Rajbhandari, Boris Groendahl, Todd White, Inci Ozbek, Stacie Sherman, Sara Marley, Billy House, Joe Carroll, Jeff Kearns, and Andra Timu

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