The U.S. broke a record again Friday for daily Covid-19 infections, reporting at least 161,374 new cases, and states were clamping down. New York City may close schools as soon as Monday as statewide infections reached 5,000, the most since spring. Oregon will impose a two-week “freeze,” restricting retail, restaurants, gyms and gatherings. New Mexico ordered non-essential businesses shut. Wyoming may impose its first state mask mandate.
President Donald Trump dismissed the notion of a lockdown in his first public comments in eight days, contrasting with President-elect Joe Biden’s call for an “immediate federal response” to the surge. In a statement at the White House, Trump also claimed part of the credit for the progress toward a vaccine.
Illinois reported a record number of daily cases and hospitalizations, a day after Chicago announced a stay-home advisory. Ohio’s governor said the state is facing a “monumental crisis.”
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U.S. Infections Break Record Again (6:53 a.m. HK)
U.S. cases rose by a record Friday, topping the 152,255 reported on Wednesday evening, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. The incomplete tally was 161,374, and could grow. The nation’s outbreak has escalated sharply in recent weeks, and Friday was the ninth consecutive day with more than 100,000 cases. It was the third time the record for infections was broken this week.
Newark Mayor Urges Testing for All Residents (6:09 a.m. HK)
In Newark, New Jersey, where positivity is almost double the state’s rate, Mayor Ras Baraka encouraged all 280,000 residents to get tested.
“You should really just stay inside for the next two weeks,” Baraka said in a Facebook live broadcast. People who are encouraging others to socialize irresponsibly, he said, “are leading you to slaughter.”
Positivity in New Jersey’s most populous city, most recently 19%, now is 22%, while New Jersey’s rate is 12%, he said. Household spread is among the biggest concerns, he said, particularly because cases are being traced to younger, asymptomatic people, and families are planning to gather for the Thanksgiving holiday.“You, Grandma, the 10-year-old, the 11-year-old, the 7-year-old, the high school student — everybody needs to get tested. Every single person,” Baraka said.
Texas Hospitalizations Top 7,000 For First Time in 3 Months (5:18 p.m. NY)
Texas virus hospitalizations climbed above 7,000 for the first time since Aug. 12 as hot spots multiplied in the second-largest U.S. state.
Hospitalizations have surged 40% statewide in less than three weeks, straining already full intensive-care wards in the hardest-hit enclaves such as El Paso and Amarillo.
Almost half the state’s 22 trauma service areas have more than 10% of hospital capacity occupied by Covid-19 patients, according to state health department data. There were 10,542 new cases reported on Friday, the third time in four days that positive tests exceeded 10,000.
Biden Calls on Trump to Mount Federal Response (4:55 p.m. NY)
Biden on Friday urged the Trump administration to undertake an immediate federal response as Covid-19 surges across the country and called on Americans to step up their vigilance in guarding against the virus.
“This crisis demands a robust and immediate federal response, which has been woefully lacking,” the president-elect said in a written statement released after a meeting Friday with his transition Covid-19 Advisory Board. “Urgent action is needed today, now, by the current administration — starting with an acknowledgment of how serious the current situation is.”
New Mexico Orders Non-Essential Businesses Shut (4:43 p.m. NY)
New Mexico’s governor is ordering the shutdown of non-essential businesses. The action, announced by Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office, is intended to relieve the “dramatically escalating strain on hospitals and health care providers across the state,” the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. The two-week shutdown starts Monday.
Wyoming Considers First Mask Mandate (4:42 p.m. NY)
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, a Republican, said for the first time the state is considering a mask mandate. Gordon had been in quarantine after being exposed to the virus.
“We’ve relied on people to be responsible, and they’re being irresponsible,” Gordon said at a news briefing. “I’m very concerned, and angry, about the conditions in our state. We are being knuckleheads about this.” Wyoming hospitals are operating near or at capacity. Gordon has been a proponent of personal responsibility regarding masks.
California Warns of Tougher Measures (4:38 p.m. NY)
California’s top health official said new coronavirus cases are rising faster than at any point during the pandemic and warned more stringent measures may be needed to stop the spike. In the first seven days of November, the daily case count per 100,000 people jumped 47%, a faster increase than the state endured during a major surge this summer.
California, which has surpassed a million virus cases, on Friday joined Oregon and Washington in suggesting that people traveling to or from the those states self-quarantine for 14 days. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, said the advisory could be toughened if the surge in cases continues. He said a statewide stay-at-home order isn’t currently under discussion, although he didn’t rule it out for the future.
“As I say to my patients, often, ‘When I’m worried, I’ll tell you, so you can worry with me.’ And we’re there,” Ghaly said.
Toronto Residents Told to Stay Home (4:21 p.m. NY)
Residents of Canada’s financial capital were asked toavoid leaving their homes except for essential reasons to slow a virus outbreak that has left hospitals at risk of being overwhelmed.
Toronto, the country’s largest city, and most of its suburbs are being placed in a “control-red” zone under Ontario’s Covid-19 framework, Premier Doug Ford said Friday. The move means tighter restrictions on most indoor businesses and activities — closing movie theaters and some personal care services and placing tight limits on restaurants and fitness centers.
Colorado Governor Urges Trump to Sway Virus Skeptics (4:19 p.m. NY)
Colorado Governor Jared Polis called on President Trump to turn his attention to Covid-19 skeptics as infections and deaths increase across the U.S. “We are able to reach who we reach,” Polis said at a news conference. “I think President Trump reaches additional people that would hang on his words and follow his advice if he were to offer it.”
Polis also urged the state’s residents to “self-quarantine before you go to the Thanksgiving table” with friends and extended family for two weeks – starting now. Infections in Denver, the state’s largest city with a population of roughly 700,000, are running at an estimated 1-in-64 people, Polis said.
Oregon To Impose Two-Week ‘Freeze’ (4:16 p.m. NY)
Oregon ordered what amounted to a limited lockdown Friday, as Governor Kate Brown said the state was facing “a very dangerous situation.” Calling it a two-week “freeze,” which begins on Nov 18, Brown called for curtailed capacity at grocery stories and pharmacies, gyms shut and restaurants limited to takeout only. Indoor and outdoor gatherings cannot exceed six people, and masks should be worn at all times, indoors and out, except when eating and drinking.
“Whether we like or not we are about to face what might be the roughest days of the pandemic,” she said at a news conference.
Michigan Deaths at Highest Since Spring (3:31 p.m. NY)
Michigan reported 118 deaths, the most since the first wave of Covid-19 last spring, and 8,516 new infections, the second consecutive daily record. Hospitalizations, which have been doubling every two weeks, are five times higher than at the beginning of October.
Covid Death Toll Mounts in America (3:03 p.m. NY)
The U.S. is starting to see a rising death toll from its latest spate of Covid-19 cases, and it’s poised to get worse in the weeks to come.
The seven-day average of Covid-19 fatalities in America was 1,052 on Thursday, close to the highest since mid-August, according to Covid Tracking Project data. A consensus of models tracked by the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Reich Lab shows the daily pace poised to increase by about 200 by early December.
Ohio Cases Spike Again (2:42 p.m. NY)
Ohio’s new infections continue skyrocketing: The state set yet another record Friday as it reported 8,071 cases, some 2,200 more than two days ago. “We are facing a monumental crisis in Ohio,” Governor Mike DeWine tweeted. The Republican governor told the state Wednesday that he would step up enforcement of the mask mandate, and new restrictions may be ordered if infections did not come under control. The state reported 42 deaths, compared with the 21-day average of 25.
We are facing a monumental crisis in Ohio.
Since yesterday, 8,071 new #COVID19 cases were reported. Nearly 300 more people were admitted to Ohio hospitals. 42 more people have died.
It is up to everyone to slow this virus down. Protect your family and friends. Wear a mask.8:00 PM · Nov 13, 2020
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