(Bloomberg) — New York’s daily Covid-19 cases exceeded 5,000, the highest for the state since April, as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned parents to prepare for city schools to halt in-person classes as soon as Monday.
President Donald Trump will give an update at 4 p.m. in Washington on the administration’s Operation Warp Speed program to accelerate coronavirus vaccines, his first public remarks in eight days. Meanwhile, a consensus of models shows U.S. is starting to see a rising death toll from its latest spate of cases that’s poised to get worse in the weeks to come.
Oregon will impose a two-week “freeze,” restricting retail, restaurants, gyms and gatherings. 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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Toronto Residents Told to Stay Home (4:21 p.m. NY)
Residents of Canada’s financial capital were asked to avoid 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. The province’s top doctor said families shouldn’t visit other households.
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.
The surge in infections has now spread to 49 states, with some of the most alarming momentum in places such as New York state, where seven-day average cases are up 72% in the past week, third most in the nation, Covid Tracking data show.
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.
New York Daily Cases Top 5,000 for First Time Since April (2:12 p.m. NY)
New York state’s daily Covid-19 cases exceeded 5,000 for the first time since April.
Of 203,721 tests reported yesterday, 5,401 or 2.65% were positive, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday on Twitter.
The governors of six northeastern states will have an emergency meeting this weekend to discuss regional coronavirus policies, Cuomo said on Friday. He said it was likely each state would take steps to rein in the recent surge around the region, one part of the dramatic nationwide Covid-19 increase.
“We want to make sure that we align policies as much as possible or at least be aware of what the other states’ policies are,” Cuomo said on a conference call with reporters.
Puerto Rico Activates National Guard to Enforce Curbs (1:35 p.m. NY)
Puerto Rico will activate the National Guard on Monday to force compliance with Covid-19 measures, including a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, occupancy limits at restaurants and other locations, and mandatory mask policies.
Governor Wanda Vazquez said the extra manpower is needed as residents have been flouting some of the strictest rules of any U.S. jurisdiction.
Trump to Give Update on Operation Warp Speed (1:34 p.m. NY)
President Donald Trump will give an update Friday afternoon on Operation Warp Speed, the administration’s program to accelerate the development of a vaccine, his first public remarks in eight days. He’s scheduled to speak from the Rose Garden at 4 p.m.
Illinois Cases, Hospitalizations Rise to New Highs (1:33 p.m. NY)
Illinois reported a record number of daily Covid-19 tests, cases and hospitalizations. Cases rose to 15,415 from 12,702 a day earlier while hospitalizations increased to 5,362 from 5,258, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The state also conducted a record 106,540 tests in one day, with its positivity rate reaching 13.2%. Deaths declined to 27 from 43.
The data came a day after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a 30-day stay-at-home advisory that starts Monday. Earlier this week, the state said people should stay home as much as possible for the next three weeks and only go out for essential activities such as work, groceries and pharmacy visits.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has said further statewide restrictions such as a state-at-home order could be on the table if the trajectory doesn’t change.
Mexico City Launches QR Covid-Tracing System (1:06 p.m. NY)
Mexico City is starting a QR check-in system next week that will allow authorities to trace people in case of a cluster of Covid-19 cases at closed spaces like restaurants, malls and movie theaters.
French Christmas-Tree Sales Safe (1 p.m. NY)
France is expected to allow people to buy Christmas trees in person, resolving the question of whether they’re an essential item that isn’t restricted to online sales during the pandemic, Le Figaro reported. Government rules to be published soon could involve selling the trees outside in the parking lots of big retailers and flower shops, according to the newspaper.
The country reported 23,794 new cases in the latest 24-hours period, less than the trailing seven-day average of 42,478. Deaths in hospitals and nursing homes totaled 932 while the number of patients in ICU rose by four. The improving numbers follow a government decision Thursday to keep lockdown measures in place until the end of the month.
Texas to Send Antibody Therapy to Hospitals (11:29 a.m. NY)
Texas plans to begin shipping an Eli Lilly & Co. antibody therapy to acute-care hospitals next week, Governor Greg Abbott said.
Initial shipments of bamlanivimab will be allocated to regions with the highest rates of viral spread and hospitalizations, Abbott said in a statement on Friday. Texas on Wednesday became the first U.S. state to surpass 1 million cases.
The medicine is being supplied to Texas by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
NYC Schools Could Close Monday, Mayor Says (11:25 a.m. NY)
Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City schools could end in-person classes as soon as Monday and parents should be considering their options.
“People should get ready,” De Blasio said on WYNC-FM radio. “Parents should have a plan for the rest of the month.”
The mayor has said school doors will shut when the city’s positive Covid test rate hits 3%. The seven-day rolling average is 2.83% — meaning the “number has gotten quite close,” he said.
Italy Cases Reach Record (11:18 a.m. NY)
Italy’s new cases reached a record 40,902, while Covid-19 patients in intensive care increased by 60 to 3,230 on Friday, the smallest rise in three weeks. New deaths fell for the first day in five to 550.
Italy’s government is likely to extend its region-by-region lockdown system through the winter, Deputy Health Minister Pierpaolo Sileri said. The country will decide if any additional area will be included in the highest-risk zone in its weekly review later Friday.
West Coast Governors Issue Travel Advisory (11:04 a.m. NY)
The governors of California, Oregon and Washington — three states with a combined population of more than 51 million — issued travel advisories urging visitors entering their states or people returning home to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the virus.
“COVID-19 does not stop at state lines,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown said.
Secret Service Reassures After Infections Report (10:58 a.m. NY)
The U.S. Secret Service said its safety procedures ensure it’s “prepared and fully staffed” to carry out its mission after the Washington Post said more than 130 agents have contracted Covid-19 or are in quarantine.
The cases, believed to be linked in part to President Donald Trump’s late-campaign rallies, are putting stress on the presidential security unit, the Post reported, citing sources it didn’t identify. In its statement, the Secret Service said it won’t release information on infected or quarantined employees for privacy and security reasons.
California Advances Worker-Protection Rules (9:16 a.m., NY)
California released proposed worker-protection requirements after the state surpassed more than 1 million cases.
Employers will have to make virus-prevention measures part of state-required injury and illness prevention programs. The requirements may be approved at a Nov. 19 meeting and then come into take effect as soon as next month. Employer groups have opposed the rules, which will initially last for six months.
First Post-Virus Caribbean Cruise Struck by Outbreak (8 a.m. NY)
The first Caribbean cruise to set sail since an industry shutdown returned early to Barbados after passengers got preliminary positive test results for Covid-19. SeaDream Yacht Club didn’t say how many passengers had received positive tests. A journalist onboard the vessel tweeted that there were as many as six possible cases.
J&J Taps UnitedHealth to Speed Vaccine Trials (7 a.m. NY)
Drugmaker J&J teamed up with UnitedHealth to help find 60,000 participants for vaccine tests to potentially cut trial times in half.
J&J has so far only enrolled a “few thousand” patients in a late-stage clinical trial, partly due to an earlier recruitment pause caused by a safety concern, Mathai Mammen, head of global research and development at the company’s pharmaceutical division, said in an interview.
Vaccine Fund for Low-Income Countries Reaches $2 Billion (6:26 a.m. NY)
Covax, a program that aims to supply low- and middle-income countries with Covid-19 vaccines, said it has raised more than $2 billion, though it needs another $5 billion for next year.
The EU, France, Spain, South Korea and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged a combined $360 million, according to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Austria Set to Tighten Restrictions (5:35 a.m., NY)
Austria’s government plans to announce steps to tighten its second lockdown on Saturday. Most schools, stores and services such as hairdressers have remained open, while restaurants, cafes, cinemas, theaters and gyms have closed.
Daily new cases have jumped 73% since Oct. 31, when restrictions were announced, to a record 9,262 on Thursday.
German Cases Dent Hopes for Easing of Restrictions (4 p.m. HK)
German Health Minister Jens Spahn cooled optimism about a potential easing of restrictions, saying that infection numbers haven’t come down enough.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government never promised that life would be back to normal in December, he said. Germany reported 24,738 new cases through Friday morning, almost a record.
U.K. Flags Travel Quarantine Measures Ahead (3:46 p.m HK)
The U.K. will unveil changes to 14-day travel quarantine measures “very soon,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News. The government is “actively working” on reducing quarantine and self-isolation periods for international travelers, he said.
World’s Biggest Fur Auction House to Liquidate (2:20 p.m. HK)
Kopenhagen Fur, the world’s largest auction house for furs, is closing down after Denmark’s government ordered a mass cull of the country’s mink in an effort to fight a coronavirus mutation.
The 90-year-old company still has enough pelts to hold auctions next year and possibly further into the future, but will start liquidating the business after that, it said.
Tesla’s Musk Says He Tested Positive (2:17 p.m. HK)
Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk tweeted he may have Covid-19 and renewed his conspiratorial posting about the virus that has infected almost 53 million people. He said four tests Thursday showed mixed results.
“Something extremely bogus is going on,” he said.
Russia Has South Korean Vaccine Partner (1:15 p.m. HK)
Russia’s Direct Investment Fund agreed with South Korea pharmaceutical company GL Rapha to produce over 150 million doses a year of its first registered Covid-19 vaccines, Sputnik V, according to the vaccine’s Twitter account.
Production will begin in December and vaccine will be distributed globally.
Drones Check Crowds on Sydney Beaches (12:45 p.m. HK)
Surf patrol guards at some of Sydney’s iconic beaches are using aerial drones so they can check sunbathers are evenly spaced on the sand.
They’re trying to avoid a repeat of scenes in the early days of the pandemic when authorities were forced to close Bondi Beach and other spots after thousands flocked to the coast, with many ignoring social-distancing rules.
U.S. Infections 30% Less Fatal, IHME Says (10:07 a.m. HK)
The death rate of infected people in the U.S. has declined by 30% since April due to improved treatment, a study from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found.
The researchers forecast that total U.S. deaths will reach 439,000 by next March after topping 2,200 a day in mid-January as the number of cases rise. That forecast includes 33 states reimposing broad social-distancing mandates.
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