U.S. Lifts Cruise Ship Ban; Deaths in France Surge: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — New U.S. cases rose to a record of more than 89,000 after four consecutive days of increases, and now total over nine million. New Jersey reported the most Covid-19 patients in intensive care in four months. Utah’s governor called for anti-mask protesters to stop demonstrations at the home of a health official as the state again reported record cases.

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Global cases surpassed 45 million. Italy and Greece reported infection records, increasing pressure on their governments to follow Germany and France in further tightening restrictions on public life.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it would lift a ban on cruises in U.S. waters, even as government scientists warned that ships remain vulnerable to deadly outbreaks.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases surpass 45.3 million; deaths top 1.18 millionHospitals are under strain from Poland to UtahPfizer, Astra vaccines in accelerated U.K. reviewsOperation Warp Speed could shape up to be an $18 billion bargainLockdowns overshadow record growth in euro area’s big fourHow do people catch Covid-19?: QuickTakeVaccine Tracker: Clinical trials restart in hopeful sign

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

Trump Administration to Put 180-Day Ban on Many Asylum Requests (5:23 p.m. NY)

The Trump administration is expected to announce a 180-day ban on a range of asylum requests citing the threat posed by the coronavirus, according to two people familiar with the matter, in its latest effort to restrict immigration ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Under the new rule, anyone entering or trying to enter the U.S. by land from Canada or Mexico would be ineligible for asylum — and subject to removal — because of potential national security threats to the U.S. amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Colorado Issues Warning on Hospitalizations (5:09 p.m. NY)

Colorado health officials warned that rising hospitalizations could soon strain the medical system, surpassing records from the outbreak last spring within two weeks. “There is a small window to improve transmission control over the next few weeks,” said Dr. Jonathan Samet, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health. In a statement, state health officials said intensive care units could filled by December or January.

Denver has ordered most businesses to limit capacity to 25%. Pueblo, the state’s ninth largest city, imposed an overnight curfew amid a deadly surge.

France Reports Biggest Death Toll Since April (4:51 p.m. NY)

France reported the most daily Covid-19 deaths since April, the same day a lockdown came into effect aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

An additional 545 people died from the virus, bringing the total to 36,565, France’s public health agency said on its website on Friday. Confirmed cases rose by 49,215 to 1.33 million, the second-biggest increase, trailing only that of Oct. 25.

The country has closed bars, restaurants, and non-essential services until at least December, while allowing schools and most businesses to operate. President Emmanuel Macron says the

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Pritzker Defends Coronavirus Data Used To Ban Indoor Dining

CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker defended the metrics used to guide his regional COVID-19 resurgence mitigation plan, which have triggered restrictions on indoor service at restaurants and bars across most of the state.

Coronavirus positivity rates in all but one region of Illinois are above the 8 percent fail-safe threshold that leads to increased restrictions under the governor’s Restore Illinois plan and executive orders.

“Let’s be clear,” Pritzker said. “Well-meaning and reasonable people can have fair disagreements about how and where to draw lines and connect dots, but when every single metric in every single corner of our state is trending poorly, we have to take meaningful action to keep our people safe”

In addition to a positivity rate that has risen by 3.4 percentage points since Oct. 1, the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 rose by 73 percent, while the number of coronavirus patients in the state’s intensive care units is up by 61 percent this month, according to Illinois Department of Public Health data Pritzker shared at a briefing Thursday in Chicago.

Of the two regions where restrictions have yet to be imposed: Region 6, the Champaign EMS region, is on track to see restrictions announced Friday, having already averaged two days above the 8 percent mark. And Region 2, the Peoria EMS region, saw its positivity rate rise to 7.9 percent on the most recent day for which data was available.

The restrictions can also be triggered by a period of seven out of 10 days with both increasing positivity rates and an increasing rounded rolling average number of new daily hospitalizations of people with coronavirus symptoms. That led to the first tier of mitigations in suburban Cook County and Chicago before the regions also triggered restrictions by spending three days above the 8-percent mark.

“Bars and restaurants are spreading locations,” Pritzker said. “We need to clamp down because we need to bring the numbers down. They’re headed in the wrong direction, and unfortunately bars and restaurants are the location — no fault of the people who own them or operate them or even people who visit them — but it is true that those are places where there is a higher transmission likelihood than other locations.”

Tiered mitigations restricting indoor dining and limiting the size of gatherings have been imposed on nine of the state’s 11 regions. Region 3, the Springfield emergency medical services region, Thursday became the latest to trigger the additional measures. One region — Region 1 in Northwest Illinois — has advanced to the second tier of mitigations. “Tier 2” includes a 10-person gathering size limit and a six-person limit at outdoor tables.

Pritzker was asked whether the first two tiers of limitations that be enough to curb the spread.

“I don’t know. I really would like to know the answer to that. This virus is unknowable, seemingly,” he said. “We didn’t know when we put the stay-at-home order back in March, we didn’t know if that was enough. We

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Some restaurants in Illinois are defying closure orders as ban on indoor service spreads to Chicago suburbs

Despite Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s recent order to shut down indoor service at bars and restaurants in northwest Illinois due to the coronavirus, Fozzy’s Bar and Grill near Rockford was among those that stayed open.



Nick Fosberg standing in front of a computer: Nick Fosberg, owner of Fozzy's Bar & Grill, speaks with customers on Oct. 20, 2020, in Loves Park, near Rockford. "We're sticking to what we were doing and being safe about it," he said. "We're getting a ton of support. I'm not closing."


© Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Nick Fosberg, owner of Fozzy’s Bar & Grill, speaks with customers on Oct. 20, 2020, in Loves Park, near Rockford. “We’re sticking to what we were doing and being safe about it,” he said. “We’re getting a ton of support. I’m not closing.”

Owner Nick Fosberg said he had to leave the doors open to keep his employees working, pay his bills and stay in business. He says the workers wear masks, and customers wear masks on their way in and out, while tables are spaced 6 feet apart, at 25% capacity.

“We’re sticking to what we were doing and being safe about it,” he said. “We’re getting a ton of support. People are happy someone finally stood up and said, ‘I’m not closing.’”

The Oct. 3 closure order covering the northwest region of Illinois has the same restrictions coming Friday to DuPage, Kane, Kankakee and Will counties. Four regions of the state have exceeded 8% rate for positive COVID tests, which is one of the state-imposed thresholds for such restrictions, and the rest are trending in that direction.



a car parked in front of a building: Two women enter Fozzy's Bar & Grill in Loves Park near Rockford.


© Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Two women enter Fozzy’s Bar & Grill in Loves Park near Rockford.

Now other restaurant owners are declaring they, too, will stay open. The Facebook page of Lockport Stagecoach in Will County, a western-style saloon, states that it will remain open for indoor dining and stand by more than 30 employees who depend on the restaurant for their livelihoods.

“We are NOT trying to be rebellious or are anti-masks, anti-people’s health or any of the other nonsense,” the post stated. “This is a decision out of survival.”

Ki’s Steak and Seafood in west suburban Glendale Heights also declared its independence from “DICTATOR PRITZKER.”

“We are standing up for our freedom and WE WILL STAY OPEN!” Ki’s Facebook page announced. “We have been in business for 80+ years and no one is going to tell us we can’t live out the American dream.”

In Winnebago County, where Rockford is located, the closure orders are prompting a showdown between local businesses and health officials. The local health department issued closure orders to Fozzy’s and to two other bar/restaurants in Loves Park, and issued more than 30 other orders warning businesses they weren’t following the coronavirus regulations.



a person sitting in a chair in a room: Jim McQuinn and his dog, Bella, hang out in the bar at Fozzy's Bar & Grill on Oct. 20, 2020 near Rockford. "I'm glad to be out socializing. It's my first time in a bar since January," McQuinn said.


© Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Jim McQuinn and his dog, Bella, hang out in the bar at Fozzy’s Bar & Grill on Oct. 20, 2020 near Rockford. “I’m glad to be out socializing. It’s my first time in a bar since January,” McQuinn said.

While no one source drove the recent rise in positivity rate in the region, county Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell said, bars and restaurants were “disproportionately impacted.”

“It is extremely frustrating that

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Coloradans are voting on an abortion ban: What to know about Proposition 115

As Coloradans vote this fall, they’re deciding on more than just the president and other elected officials — they’re also being asked to vote on a ballot measure, Proposition 115, which seeks to ban abortion in the state after 22 weeks of pregnancy.

Colorado is one of seven states without a gestational limit on abortion, with or without exceptions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

If Prop 115 is approved and enacted, a person who performs an abortion after that point is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and subject to a fine ($500 to $5,000), according to the measure’s language. A licensed practitioner would lose their license for at least three years. The patient would not be charged with a crime.

The ballot measure includes only one exception: if “an abortion is immediately required to save the life of a pregnant woman,” including physical disorders, illnesses and injuries. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

Proponents of the proposal say it is to prevent the abortions of potentially viable fetuses. Opponents say it puts pregnant people’s lives and wellness at risk, while there are also concerns about the disproportionate impact a ban could have on already marginalized communities.

Singular exception frightens some doctors

Dr. Rebecca Cohen, an OB-GYN in the Denver area, pointed to the language in the ballot measure requiring a pregnant person’s life be at “immediate” risk.

“As a practicing physician, it’s unethical for me to allow a medical situation to progress to the point that someone’s life is immediately in danger,” she told ABC News.

PHOTO: An anti-abortion rights protester prays while holding a rosary while demonstrating outside of the Colorado Springs Westside Health Center, Feb. 11, 2017, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

An anti-abortion rights protester prays while holding a rosary while demonstrating outside of the Colorado Springs Westside Health Center, Feb. 11, 2017, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Dr. James Monaco, a Colorado cardiologist who has cared for patients in high-risk pregnancies due to cardiac issues, wrote in an opinion piece for The Colorado Sun that if passed, the proposition “will result in unnecessary maternal deaths.”

He expanded in a piece for the Colorado Times Recorder that if a pregnant person with severe heart disease has a 50% chance of death, doctors would have to question, “Is a 50% chance of death ‘immediate?'”

The exception also does not mention the health of the fetus. That means if a pregnant person gets a diagnosis that the fetus will likely either be stillborn or only live a few hours or days, that person then potentially has to carry the fetus to term and go through labor — which includes an emotional and financial toll on top of the physical risks of labor and pregnancy.

The Coalition for Women and Children, also known as the DueDateTooLate campaign, which supports the proposition, says that in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities, pregnant people would turn to “perinatal hospice.”

“Perinatal hospice involves a multidisciplinary team” to “accompany the family through the pregnancy and

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The F.D.A. Wanted to Ban Some Hair Straighteners. It Never Happened.

Heat is crucial to the process: Directions call for applying the product to the hair, blow drying the hair with a hair dryer, and then using a flat iron heated to at least 380 degrees to straighten the hair. The concern is that heat converts the liquid formaldehyde into a gas and releases it into the air.

Reached by phone in early October, Monte Devin Semler, who is listed in California business records as the trustee of an entity that manages GIB LLC and who says on his LinkedIn profile that he is the owner and founder of Brazilian Blowout, hung up after being asked to comment. He did not respond to emails.

Another manufacturer, Van Tibolli Beauty PR, was told by the F.D.A. on Sept. 2, 2015, that its GK Hair Taming System products contained formaldehyde, and that labels warning consumers of possible health effects, including cancer, were required. F.D.A. officials said last week that the case had been resolved, but refused to provide further details. The company’s president, Van Tibolli, said in a phone interview that some of his company’s hair straightening products still contain methylene glycol, the liquid form of formaldehyde.

Products containing formaldehyde may soon be taken off the market in at least one state: Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California signed the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act into law. The law prohibits the use of a dozen chemicals in cosmetics, including formaldehyde, mercury, phthalates and parabens.

Salon workers experience the most exposure to the hair straightening products, according to the nonprofit group Women’s Voices for the Earth. Many hair dressers say they always assumed products that were on the market were safe.

“When I would try to speak up about this, my co-workers always said, ‘If it was that bad for you, it wouldn’t be legal,’” said Emily Baedeker, a hair dresser in Alameda, Calif., who got migraines when Brazilian Blowout was used around her. “The assumption is that there is an invisible safety net that protects us.”

Susan Beachy contributed research.

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Farmers Push ‘Veggieburger’ Label Ban In Europe

Angry European farmers are pushing for a ban on calling vegetarian products a “burger” or a “sausage” that they say mislead consumers into thinking certain products contain meat.

Their demand was part of a legislative proposal on Monday at the European Parliament, which MEPs are to vote on later this week in Brussels.

The ban request comes on the back of the rising success of high-end veggieburgers that closely replicate the taste and sensation of eating meat.

Vegetarianism is also gaining ground due to the link between raising cattle and climate change.

Also banned would be products labelled as “yoghurt-style” or “cheese-like” for non-dairy based products. Terms such as “soy milk” and “vegan cheese” are already banned in the EU.

According to the proposal, “terms and descriptions referring to ‘meat’ should be reserved exclusively for the parts of animals fit for human consumption”.

The draft text lists “steak”, “sausage”, “escalope”, “burger” and “hamburger” as examples of banned words.

The ban request comes on the back of the rising success of high-end veggieburgers that closely replicate the taste and sensation of eating meat The ban request comes on the back of the rising success of high-end veggieburgers that closely replicate the taste and sensation of eating meat Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Drew Angerer

The parliament’s agriculture committee proposed the passage as an amendment to a vast farming bill that would go to a vote on Tuesday.

Jean-Pierre Fleury, of the EU’s farmers association Copa and Cogeca, called the misuse of meat labels “an obvious case of cultural hijacking.”

“We are about to create a brave new world where marketing is disconnected from the real nature of products, which is just asking for things to spin out of control!” he said earlier this month.

Food advocacy group ProVeg International said the opposite was true and that the terms “provide important information regarding the taste and uses that people can expect from a product.”

“Just as we all know that peanut butter does not contain butter, consumers know exactly what they are getting when they buy veggie burgers or veggie sausages,” said ProVeg’s Alex Gromminger.

Herv? Salomon, director for France of veggie butter-maker Upfield, called the proposal “totally absurd” and said it went against everything the EU is trying to achieve in terms of lowering pollution in farming.

Voting results should be available no earlier than Wednesday. If the present text is adopted, it would then be negotiated with EU member states as part of a reform to the EU’s agriculture policies.

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