In just one week, the fall surge in Covid-19 infections added nearly half a million cases to the national total.
The past seven days have been marked by daunting coronavirus records and upticks, with 489,769 new cases reported since October 20. More than 8.7 million people have now been infected since the pandemic again, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The fall resurgence has led some local and state officials to rein in their reopening plans, as hospitalization numbers increase and states report case records. Building on already high case counts, health experts have warned this rise could be worse than any the US has seen before.
“We’ve never really had waves in the sense of up and then down to a good baseline,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday in a Yahoo Finance Interview. “It’s been up and wavering up and down, until now we’re at the highest baseline we’ve ever been — which is really quite precarious.”
At 69,967 new cases per day, the 7-day average of new cases is at the highest levels since the pandemic began, bringing the national death toll to 225,720, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
And state numbers are worrisome too: 37 states are reporting 10% more new cases compared to last week, and 21 states saw their highest 7-day averages on Sunday.
Whether these states are seeing a new wave of cases or just an exacerbation of the original wave, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, is just semantics.
“No matter how you look at it, it’s not good news,” Fauci said.
Officials reinstate restrictions
Officials in states and cities alike are responding to the bad news by rolling back reopening plans.
With 1,223 new cases and 948 hospitalizations on Monday, New Jersey is experiencing a spike, Gov. Phil Murphy said.
“Everywhere you look, it is screaming out that this is surging right now folks, and we have all got to band together and turn these numbers down, particularly hospitalizations and loss of life,” Murphy said.
Newark, which is in the counties with the top five case counts, will begin implementing restrictions including closing non-essential businesses by 8 p.m. starting Tuesday, according to a press release.
“This is not the first time COVID-19 has threatened our city and its residents at this magnitude and once again, we will meet this challenge with determination and guided by data,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka in the statement. “We are Newark strong and can get through this together. We did it once before and we can
We answer the often searched question: “What are the symptoms of coronavirus versus the flu?”
A long-predicted surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths has begun in the United States, but Americans aren’t changing their behaviors to slow the virus’ spread, according to an influential virus model.
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation released their latest model updates this week and they paint a bleak picture of the coming months: A surge in cases will create “enormous pressure on hospital capacity” and deaths will reach nearly 2,200 per day sometime in January.
But even as cases and deaths are currently rising, mask use remains consistent and Americans aren’t staying at home more. If mask use became nearly universal, 63,000 lives can still be saved, the model found.
Meanwhile on Friday, the U.S. surpassed its record for most daily infections when more than 83,700 new COVID-19 cases were recorded. The previous high was set in July when the U.S. saw more than 77,300 new cases.
Here’s what to know today:
- President Donald Trump is expected to hold a campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida, on Saturday night. A USA TODAY investigation found that Trump’s rallies during the past two months didn’t just defy state orders and federal health guidelines – they left a trail of coronavirus outbreaks in their wake.
- The Food and Drug Administration authorized trials of a vaccine being developed by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University to restart in the U.S. on Friday.
- In Europe, France surpassed 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday, and a patient from the Netherlands was airlifted to a German intensive care unit – the first such international airlift since the global pandemic began.
- Citing multiple COVID-19 clusters connected to indoor ice hockey, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health ordered a two-week “pause” for ice rinks and ice skating facilities.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported close to8.5 million cases and 224,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 42.2 million cases and 1.1 million deaths.
🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.
Which activities have the highest and lowest risk? Scientists say 6 feet is not enough, so develop a system to help you make smart decisions about common activities.
When will there be a COVID-19 vaccine? Our panel of experts expects at least one COVID-19 vaccine will be approved in the coming months. Then things could really get complicated.
This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.
Nobel-Prize winning CRISPR technology delivers 5-minute COVID-19 test
Researchers say a test developed by a Nobel Prize winner using cutting-edge CRISPR technology has the potential to be rapid, accurate and inexpensive.
CRISPR, or clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, is a gene-editing technology studied for a wide range of uses from cancer and sickle cell disease treatments to improved food production. The test recognizes a sequence of RNA in SARS-CoV-2,
US Coronavirus: The US topped 1,000 daily Covid-19 deaths and experts worry the worst of the fall surge is yet to come
In other words, it’s going to be “a horrible winter,” according to Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
Experts say the coming months will be especially challenging for several reasons. The country never got down to a low daily case baseline before entering the colder seasons, meaning new infections will be building on an already rampant spread of the virus. As gatherings move indoors, the virus is more likely to spread.
States announce bleak milestones
As the country’s cases move in an upward trajectory, more states reported grim new milestones this week.
Ohio reported more than 2,300 new infections Wednesday, the highest number since the pandemic began, state health officials told CNN.
“We are thankful to have this facility available to Wisconsinites and our hospitals, but also saddened that this is where Wisconsin is at today,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a news release.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday the state added more than 1,000 daily infections and its hospitalizations are at the highest they have been in three months.
And there are alarming patterns coming out of the Dakotas as well.
North Dakota is seeing an average of more than 101 new cases per 100,000 people every day — the highest per capita new case rate of any state so far in the pandemic, according to the COVID Tracking Project. To put that into perspective: that would be like California averaging nearly 40,000 new cases daily.
South Dakota holds the second highest rate of new cases per 100,000 in the country, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
It doesn’t have to be this way
Those include masks and social distancing. Updated guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on close contact emphasize just how critical face coverings are.
The CDC’s new definition of a close contact with a Covid-19 patient includes exposures adding up to a total of 15 minutes spent six feet or closer to an infected
New U.S. coronavirus infections fell below 50,000, the lowest in nearly a week, as deaths approached 220,000 and moving averages suggested the spread is picking up steam.
The U.S. reported more than 48,000 new infections on Sunday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, down from 50,719 Saturday and 69,156 Friday. It was the fewest since last Monday’s 41,653.
Latest on the Virus
- New U.S. cases fall below 50,000
- U.S. deaths approach 220,000
- Japan and Vietnam agree to allow short-term business travelers to skip quarantine
Date of peak daily cases*
Daily new case numbers tend to be lower at the beginning of the week, as fewer people are tested over the weekend. But data from the Covid Tracking Project showed testing ticking up nationwide, with more than 1.16 million tests conducted Saturday, the largest daily number since Oct. 10
The U.S. has now recorded more than 8.15 million cases and more than 219,600 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins’ data. World-wide, nearly 40 million people have been infected and more than 1.1 million people have died, the data show.
The seven-day moving average of daily new cases in the U.S., which smooths out irregularities in the data, was 55,493 as of Saturday, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins’ data. The 14-day moving average was 51,717. When the seven-day average is larger than the 14-day average, as it has been since Oct. 5, it suggests infections are accelerating.
The seven-day average was higher than the 14-day average for 42 states as of Saturday. On Friday, 10 states—including Idaho, Minnesota, New Mexico and North Carolina—marked records for new daily confirmed cases, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data.
The South and the Midwest are being hit hardest, contributing 72% of the nation’s daily new cases, according to seven-day moving average data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project.
As of Sunday, five of the 10 states with the most new cases in the past seven days were in the Midwest, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—led by Illinois, which ranked second only to Texas.
But the number of people hospitalized because of the disease declined Sunday to 36,428 after four straight days above 37,000, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Saturday’s figure of 37,404 was the highest since late August.
Coronavirus aid: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) told the White House it had until Tuesday to reach a deal with Democrats or legislation to provide additional coronavirus relief to struggling households and businesses couldn’t be passed before the election. If Tuesday evening passes without an agreement, negotiations could continue, but would be unlikely to produce sweeping relief legislation within two weeks, an aide to Mrs. Pelosi said. And the election could create new political uncertainties that could make an agreement even harder to reach afterward.
Daily reported Covid-19 deaths in the U.S.
Notes: For all 50 states and D.C., U.S. territories and cruises. Last updated
Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science
Experts say the fall Covid-19 surge is here. Infections and hospitalizations are rising across the country. And one leading health official says daily Covid-19 deaths could soon begin climbing, too.
The alarming trends come ahead of a season that will likely be especially challenging. Students across the country have returned to class and college students — some of whom live in campuses that reported Covid-19 outbreaks — will soon return to visit their families and could unknowingly bring the virus back with them. And Covid-19 will also be stacked up against the flu season and could create what doctors call a “twin-demic.”
What happens next is unclear. But here’s how we got here:
On April 10, about a month after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the US hit its first high point during the pandemic, peaking at an average of a little more than 31,800 daily cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The country also eclipsed more than half a million Covid-19 infections.
Cases were clustered mostly in New York, with other, smaller outbreaks in places such as Washington state, Louisiana and Illinois. Around that time, New York state had more infections than any other country in the world, with more than 160,000 cases. As of October 16, the state has reported more than 481,000 infections.
By June 9, the US had flattened the curve and was averaging about 20,340 new cases daily, Johns Hopkins data showed. States were opening back up after weekslong lockdowns that were put in place to help curb the spread of the virus.
With the easing of measures, more Americans began to venture outside and images and videos emerged of parties and other gatherings with no social distancing and few masks in sight.
By July 22, the nation reached its highest peak of the pandemic, to date, averaging more than 67,000 cases daily. The US was seeing huge spikes in cases in the West and South.
The case surges came weeks after crowds celebrated the July 4 holiday. Across the country, local officials warned more young people were testing positive and helping drive the increase in infections.
Arizona, Florida, California, Texas and Georgia were adding thousands of cases per day. Experts called Florida the epicenter of the pandemic and by the end of the month, more than four dozen hospitals across the state were reporting full ICUs.
By September 12, the summer peak had slipped down to a little more than 34,300 average new cases daily, according to data from Johns Hopkins. That baseline was higher than what it was in the spring and experts warned Americans should work to lower it as the nation was heading into the colder fall and winter months.
A spin class became a superspreader event. Why are fitness instructors excluded from workers’ compensation if they fall ill on the job?
Back injuries, knee pain, shoulder problems — and now, COVID-19.
They are daily risks faced by fitness instructors and personal trainers across the province. But unlike millions of employees in other sectors, gym staff are not entitled to workers’ compensation when they get sick or hurt on the job.
It’s a long-standing exclusion to the workers’ compensation system that critics say needs urgent change, especially in light of a Hamilton spin studio outbreak that may have exposed upwards of 2,500 people to COVID. Two staff members at the studio contracted the virus.
“Our bodies are on the line,” said Toronto-based group fitness instructor Vidya Sri. “The laws are completely out of date.”
Under current provincial legislation, gyms and fitness studios are exempt from mandatory workers’ compensation coverage. That means they do not need to pay insurance premiums to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board — and their employees cannot access benefits following a workplace accident or illness.
Gyms can voluntarily opt into the workers’ compensation system. There are 1,653 fitness establishments in Ontario, according to Statistics Canada; of those, 24 have elected to provide compensation coverage to workers, data from the WSIB shows.
Coverage means workers are eligible for loss-of-earning or health-care benefits following a work-related illness or injury.
A 2019 report on working conditions in the Ontario fitness sector by Larry Savage, a professor of labour studies at Brock University, found nearly a third all instructors and trainers had sustained an injury on the job. Half reported not having paid sick days.
“The lack of WSIB coverage and paid sick days make gym and fitness club workers less willing to disclose illness or injuries out of fear of reprisal or loss of income,” Savage said.
“The pandemic only makes this bad situation worse by increasing the likelihood that clients and other workers will contract COVID-19 if gym and fitness club workers decide to come in to work sick in order to avoid loss of pay.”
As part of his research, Savage told the Star he made inquiries with the Ministry of Labour about the history of the gym exclusion but “no one could or was willing to explain” why it existed.
Around 76 per cent of Ontario workplaces are required to pay into workers’ compensation. Legislative change is needed to amend the list of excluded employers. When asked if the government is considering reform, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour said workers’ health and safety was its “top priority.”
“With only a handful of exceptions, those workplaces that aren’t subject to mandatory coverage can choose to purchase coverage from the WSIB,” the statement said.
Planet Fitness outlets account for 10 of the gyms that voluntarily signed up for coverage, according to the WSIB’s data. Other than F45 Guelph, part of a relatively new but popular fitness chain, none of the gyms that opted into the workers’ compensation system are major players. (Other establishments included the “Orillia Agricultural Society” and “Retro Rollers.”)
In response to questions from the Star,