Coronavirus updates: US surpasses 100K cases in a day again; Missouri poll worker with COVID-19 dies after working election
After the United States recorded more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time Wednesday, the record was surpassed again Thursday as 121,888 new COVID-19 infections were tallied across the country.
That's about 85 cases per minute.
On Friday, new coronavirus restrictions in Massachusetts begin, including a statewide face mask mandate, closure of some businesses, and limits to indoor and outdoor gatherings.
In Maine, Gov. Janet Mills issued a mask mandate regardless of whether people can physically distance from others. Across the country, Idaho is seeing a record number of daily cases and hospitals are running out of space for COVID-19 patients.
📈 Today's numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 9.7 million cases and more than 236,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: more than 49.2 million cases and 1.2 million deaths.
🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.
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MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in quarantine after 'close contact' tests positive for COVID-19
Rachel Maddow has announced that she will not appear on MSNBC on Friday night after a close contact tested positive for COVID-19.
The liberal pundit announced on Twitter that, though she has tested negative for the disease, she will still be quarantining at home to make sure she does not put anyone else at risk.
"Everything happens, all at once," Maddow wrote. "I have had a close contact test positive for COVID — I've tested negative thus far but will be at home quarantining 'til it's safe for me to be back at work without putting anyone at risk."
— Charles Trepany
Illinois governor in isolation after COVID-19 exposure
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker was in isolation after his office was notified Friday of a recent exposure to someone with COVID-19, the office said in a news release.
Pritzker was exposed at a meeting on Monday in a large conference room in the governor’s office, according to the release. He was tested for COVID-19 Friday, and the results would be made public when available, the office said. Contact tracing was underway.
Cases are surging in Illinois, and Pritzker said Thursday he would implement stricter coronavirus restrictions if the trend continues upward. The state on Friday reported more than 10,300 new daily cases of COVID-19. There have been nearly half a million confirmed cases in the state, and more than 10,000 people — a disproportionate number of whom were Black — have died, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
— Grace Hauck
MLB won't discipline Justin Turner for World Series celebration after positive test
Major League Baseball accepted part of the blame for third baseman Justin Turner’s actions during the Los Angeles Dodgers’ World Series celebration when he returned to the field after his positive COVID-19 test, saying there was miscommunication, and determined that he will not be disciplined.
He was shown on the field hugging teammates, kissing his wife, holding the World Series trophy, and posing for team pictures with his mask off, sitting next to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, a cancer survivor.
MLB said in its findings that Turner's teammates wanted him to join them and were willing to accept the risk, since they had already been exposed to Turner; that Turner thought he received permission from a Dodgers' employee to return to the field; and that, once on the field, "was incorrectly told by an unidentified person that other players had tested positive, creating the impression in Mr. Turner’s mind that he was being singled out for isolation."
Turner said Friday he has apologized to almost everyone on the field for putting them at further risk and not keeping his mask on.
— Bob Nightengale
Massachusetts residents will be breaking law if out during curfew starting Friday night
Starting Friday night, Massachusetts residents will be breaking the law if they're out between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless on the way to or from work or school. The curfew is the latest effort to stem the growing COVID-19 outbreak in the state, which was hard-hit in the spring but enjoyed a low infection rate in the summer and early fall.
In the last week, the state, which had around 200 cases a day for most of the summer, has routinely seen daily caseloads above 1,200. And it's likely to get worse.
The move is aimed at closing restaurants and bars earlier in the night, before people lose their inhibitions and get careless about COVID-19 safeguards. But it remains to be seen whether criminalizing such everyday activities as a late-night stroll is a good idea – or will have any effect on the virus case count.
William Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said he's dubious curfews will do much to curb infections. "Curtailing the evening for dining by an hour or so isn't likely to make a very large impact," said Hanage. "I can't think of a single place where further action was not necessary."
— Karen Weintraub
Denver enacts stay-at-home order starting Sunday until Dec. 7
In a similar effort, Denver announced Friday it will begin a nightly "Home By 10" order, requiring residents to remain in their homes from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m.
The order goes into effect Sunday and runs until Dec. 7. It will be temporarily suspended on Thanksgiving Day.
Unless traveling to and from work or for an essential business allowed to be open during those hours, residents must remain home and cannot congregate with anyone outside of their dwelling.
Infection rates and hospitalizations are rising, with Denver’s seven-day moving average of new cases at 419 on Thursday, up from 290 on Oct. 29.
Grocers limiting toilet paper, other purchases amid virus surge
Some grocery store chains are bringing back limits on purchasing certain items including toilet paper as COVID-19 cases spike in the U.S.
In a statement to USA TODAY, Kroger said they have "proactively and temporarily set purchase limits to two per customer" on items including toilet paper, paper towels, disinfecting wipes and hand soap. The limits went into effect around Monday, the grocer chain said.
Other chains that have reimposed limits in recent days include H-E-B and the Giant Company. Wegmans said it has had limits on purchasing toilet paper and paper towels since May and will continue to maintain them.
When the coronavirus pandemic first upended the lives of Americans in March, consumers rushed to stores to stockpile products such as toilet paper, paper towels and disinfecting wipes.
– Brett Molina
Kentucky hospitals face surge in cases as beds fill, health care workers get virus
After weeks of stabilizing, the COVID-19 unit at Louisville's Jewish Hospital is full and staying full with seriously ill patients hospitalized for days or even weeks.
"My census is higher now than it was back at the beginning of the pandemic, and that scares me a lot," Dr. Valerie Briones-Pryor, a University of Louisville Health physician, told members of the Louisville Metro Board of Health on Wednesday.
A new surge of COVID-19 cases in Kentucky and nationwide prompted Louisville officials to warn Tuesday that the local health system could be overwhelmed if people don't take the steps to avoid the virus more seriously.
"If the numbers continue to go up like they are right now, we will have to do something else because our hospital system will be overrun," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.
While Kentucky, with more than 11,000 hospital beds statewide, appears to have adequate capacity for such patients, health officials say the larger problem is ensuring enough health care workers, as some come down with COVID-19 or must quarantine because of exposure.
– Deborah Yetter and Grace Schneider, Louisville Courier Journal
A Missouri poll worker with COVID-19 has died
An election judge supervisor who tested positive for COVID-19 and was aware of the test result still worked at a Missouri polling place and has since died, health officials say.
The election official worked at a suburban St. Louis polling site in St. Charles County, where nearly 2,000 people voted on Tuesday.
The official, whose has not been identified, was informed of their positive test on Oct. 30 and was told to quarantine for 14 days. A cause of death was not immediately provided.
Economy adds 638K jobs in October as unemployment falls amid virus spikes
The U.S. economy added 638,000 jobs in October as payroll growth roughly held steady despite a surge in COVID-19 cases and Congress’s failure to provide more aid to unemployed Americans and struggling businesses. The unemployment rate fell from 7.9% to 6.9%, the Labor Department said Friday.
Economists had estimated that 600,000 jobs were added last month, according to a Bloomberg survey.
Although last month’s employment gains were outsized by historical standards, the increases have slowed for four straight months since peaking at 4.8 million in June. The nation has recovered about 12 million, or 55%, of the 22 million jobs wiped out in the health crisis as states have reopened restaurants, shops and other businesses shuttered by the outbreak, and brought back many furloughed workers.
But recovering the rest could take several years, economists say, and a growing share of temporary job losses have become permanent as businesses downsize or close for good.
– Paul Davidson
AstraZeneca CEO says trial data hopefully available by end of year
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said Thursday that the company is hoping to show its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is safe and effective by the end of the year.
Manufacturing of the potential vaccine is also being boosted, with the plan to have hundreds of millions of doses available in January, Soriot said.
AstraZeneca is working with Oxford to develop its vaccine candidates, and it is one of a few potential vaccines currently in late stage clinical trials in the U.S. Trials are also being conducted in the United Kingdom and other countries to determine the potential vaccine's effectiveness and safety.
“We have aligned the timing of delivery of vials to the timing of the clinical trial readout,” Soriot told analysts on a conference call. “On a global basis, we’ll be ready to supply hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine around the world by January.”
Most states are setting weeklong case records. That hasn't happened since April.
A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Thursday shows 27 states set records for new cases in a week while five states had a record number of deaths in a week.
The last time most states in the U.S. were setting case count records for a week wasn't in the summer surge of COVID-19 but the week ending April 7.
New case records were set in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Record numbers of deaths were reported in New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
The USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data also shows 46 states had more cases in the latest week than in the week before. Forty-three states had a higher rate of people testing positive than the week before, an analysis of COVID Tracking Project data shows.
– Mike Stucka
Idaho hospitals running out of room as COVID-19 cases spike; 2 flu deaths
Idaho hospitals are running out of space for COVID-19 patients as cases continue to surge statewide. At least 671 Idaho residents have died from the coronavirus, and a record high of 1,290 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Wednesday, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, followed by 1,265 new cases Thursday.
Meanwhile, the state's Disaster Medical Advisory Community on Tuesday sent a letter to Gov. Brad Little asking him to impose a statewide mask mandate. The committee, which was tasked with setting Idaho’s triage guidelines during an emergency, said a mask mandate would slow the spread of the virus and help hospitals avoid having to ration care.
As coronavirus cases surge statewide, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare on Wednesday announced the state's first flu-related deaths this season. Both individuals – a Blaine County man older than 60 and a Twin Falls County woman older than 80 – also had COVID-19 when they died.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills orders stricter mask mandate amid COVID-19 surge
Maine Gov. Janet Mills issued a new executive order Thursday requiring people to wear a face covering regardless of whether they can physically distance from others as. The new order strengthened a previously issued mask mandate that required face masks only if physically distancing was difficult to maintain.
“We have recorded yet another day of record high case numbers. This deadly and dangerous virus is spreading all across our state,” Mills said. “Protect your family. Protect a health care worker. Protect the elderly. Wear your face covering. Save lives. It is that simple.”
The state set a new single-day record of COVID-19 cases on Thursday with 183 new infections, WMTW reported. That brings the total count to 7,260 infections. No new deaths were reported Thursday, leaving the death toll at 150.
Report: NFL's Las Vegas Raiders to pay hefty price for COVID-19 violations
The Las Vegas Raiders will face the heftiest punishment of any team to date for multiple violations of the NFL's COVID-19 protocols. The league is fining the organization $500,000 and coach Jon Gruden $150,000, Yahoo Sports reported Thursday. The Raiders also will be stripped of a sixth-round draft pick, per the report.
No other team has been docked a draft selection for violating the league's COVID-19 policies. The Tennessee Titans were fined $350,000 in October after a joint investigation between the league and NFL Players Association determined the organization did not properly relay information to players during its COVID-19 outbreak and at times had personnel not wearing masks in the facility.
After Raiders right tackle Trent Brown tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago, the NFL found video evidence that included several players not wearing masks or face shields and not adhering to social distancing on the sidelines, a person with knowledge of the league's investigation told USA TODAY Sports under the condition of anonymity.
– Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz
Pac-12 opener canceled as California can't field a team because of positive tests
The opening college football weekend of the Pac-12 season just got smaller. Saturday's scheduled game between California and Washington has been canceled, the conference announced Thursday.
In a release, the Pac-12 said Cal had requested the move because the team could not meet the minimum requirement of scholarship players for the game due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases among its players.
The game will be not be rescheduled and will be declared a no contest.
There will now be five Pac-12 games this weekend. The league had pushed its opening back later than any Bowl Subdivision league due to the challenges of playing during the pandemic. See the complete list of games affected by the virus here.
— Erick Smith
Navajo Nation orders more weekend curfews amid second COVID-19 wave
The Navajo Nation late Wednesday announced two additional weekend-long curfews, citing a second wave of COVID-19 cases. The announcement came hours after tribal officials warned of an "uncontrolled spread" of COVID-19 within more than 20 of the tribe's communities.
The tribe's health department ordered the 56-hour weekend curfews, beginning at 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. on Nov. 9, according to a news release from the Navajo Nation executive branch. A second curfew with the same time constraints was set for the weekend of Nov. 13 through Nov. 16, the news release said.
"If you don’t need to purchase essential items or services and if you’re not an essential employee, then you should be at home during the 56-hour weekend curfew," Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in the news release.
– Chelsea Curtis, Arizona Republic
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Contributing: The Associated Press