The Latest: China Says Latest Outbreak Appears Contained | World News

BEIJING — Officials in the northwestern China region of Xinjiang say they believe they have contained the country’s latest coronavirus outbreak.

Xinjiang reported 23 new confirmed cases Thursday, all involving people who had initially tested positive but displayed no symptoms. It was the second consecutive day in which newly confirmed cases emerged entirely among such people.

Officials say that development appears to show new infections have been curbed in Kashgar prefecture, where the outbreak appeared Saturday. They say all the cases seem to be linked to a garment factory that employs 252 people and has since being sealed off.

More than 4.7 million people in Kashgar have been tested for the virus.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— US plans to buy initial antibody doses from Eli Lilly

— Task force member Giroir: Cases, hospitalizations, deaths up in US – not just testing

— President Emmanuel Macron announces second national lockdown in France starting Friday. German officials agreed four-week partial lockdown.

— Belgium and Czech Republic top Europe’s highest number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 citizens, ahead of hotbeds France and Spain.

— Love blossoms amid pandemic for two TikTok creators in Los Angeles, using goofy dance videos, heartfelt vlogs and affirmations.

— Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Officials in Anchorage, Alaska, say the city is on a “dangerous path” as coronavirus cases rise and are urging people to avoid gatherings and follow orders to wear masks in public.

Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson says she has been meeting with business leaders, health officials and others to make decisions that protect health but also impose minimal restrictions so businesses can stay open.

The mayor says that “none of us wants another hunker-down” order.

The city’s health director says that after months of dealing with the pandemic, some people may have let down their guard. She says people should stay home except to get food, exercise outside or go to work. She says it is important to wear masks and social distance in public and to avoid contact with those at higher risk for severe illness.

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota health officials are warning against traditional Halloween festivities amid the recent rise in coronavirus cases statewide.

Officials say that instead of traditional trick-or-treating and indoor haunted houses, people should look to lower risk activities like carving pumpkins and decorating homes or holding virtual gatherings.

he state’s infectious diseases director said Wednesday that warmer weather this weekend may encourage outdoor gatherings, but cautioned against disregarding health guidelines with virus infections rising steadily.

Officials reported 1,916 new coronavirus cases and 19 new COVID-19 deaths. Daily case counts statewide have exceeded 2,000 three times in the past two weeks, and the state has reported more than 1,000 new daily cases for the last 21 days.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Medical professionals in Iowa are expressing concerns that a surge in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations could overwhelm medical facilities if

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White House could have traced and contained its covid-19 outbreak. It chose not to.

When he called the White House about a coronavirus outbreak, the Indiana doctor expected to get some help, not a “head in the sand approach.”



a group of people in a park: President Trump introduces Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court at a September Rose Garden event that his top infectious-disease adviser labeled a coronavirus superspreader.


© Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post
President Trump introduces Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court at a September Rose Garden event that his top infectious-disease adviser labeled a coronavirus superspreader.

It was Oct. 1, and Mark Fox, a county public health officer in South Bend, had just learned that the University of Notre Dame’s president, the Rev. John I. Jenkins, had tested positive for the novel coronavirus after attending a Rose Garden ceremony days earlier in honor of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. It seemed likely that either Jenkins had taken the virus to the White House, potentially infecting others there, or he had become infected in Washington and brought the virus home to South Bend.

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There are long-standing protocols for investigating the spread of a virus: contact tracing, or interviewing infected people about their recent interactions and advising those exposed that they should get tested. There’s also a more cutting-edge technology that can map the spread of a virus by tracking tiny changes in its genetic code. The Trump administration did not effectively deploy either technique in response to what Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease specialist, has called a “superspreader event” at the White House, leaving not just the president and his staff at risk, but also the hundreds of people who were potentially exposed.

Officials say the White House called off early efforts to get to the bottom of the outbreak, including sequencing the genomes of virus samples from infected individuals. This genetic analysis could have revealed shared mutations that linked cases in Washington and other affected communities.

Had the administration done such an investigation, it would know whether infections among aides to Vice President Pence that were reported this past weekend bore the same genetic signature as earlier cases at the White House. That could indicate whether the virus was circulating among administration officials for weeks or had slipped through infection-control measures a second time.

But the administration has shown little interest in investigating its outbreak, Fox said. He was initially told that the White House would send contact tracers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of a multistate investigation — and later learned they were asked to stand down. To this day, Fox, the local official tasked with contact tracing for the outbreak, has not seen a full list of people from his county who attended the Rose Garden ceremony.

“I have seen so many opportunities not just missed but cavalierly dismissed by this White House,” said Fox, citing the president’s travel even after learning he’d been in close contact with staff members who tested positive. “He failed to follow what in our county would have been really basic public health guidance.”

Fox’s frustration with the White House response isn’t unique. In Minnesota, after a Sept. 30 Trump

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