France imposes new national lockdown as virus deaths mount

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron ordered his country into a new month-long, nationwide lockdown Wednesday aimed at stopping a fast-rising tide of virus patients filling French hospitals, but said schools and some workplaces will stay open.

With over 520 deaths recorded Tuesday, the French leader said the measure that will come into effect Friday would be the only possible way to successfully fight COVID-19.

“We are submerged by the sudden acceleration of the virus,” he said in a national televised address. France has been “overpowered by a second wave.”


All France’s restaurants, bars and non-essential businesses were ordered shut down starting Friday, and Macron said people should return to full-time remote work wherever possible, but said factories, farms and construction sites could continue working. He said unlike in the spring, this time nursing homes will remain open to visitors when possible, and cemeteries will be open so that people can hold in-person funerals.

The French government is scheduled to lay out the full details of the new lockdown on Thursday.

Macron said that France needs to put on the “hard brakes” on the circulation of the virus to protect the country’s most vulnerable. A stay-at-home order, similar to the March lockdown had been the preferred solution by French scientists. But it had been a guessing game in France if the president would cede to those voices, or choose a more moderate path.

“Nothing is more important than human life,” Macron said, noting that France has one of the highest coronavirus rates in Europe currently.

French markets fell Wednesday on expectations of some kind of lockdown, and economists warn that a full lockdown could impact Europe more broadly if other European countries hit hard by rising infections follow France’s lead.

Many French doctors urged strict confinement, noting that 58% of the country’s intensive care units are now occupied by COVID patients and medical staff are under increasing strain.

Dr. Karim Debbat, head of intensive care at the Joseph Imbert Hospital in the southern city of Arles told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his service has no more space because of a rise in COVID patients.

While he said his staff now have more knowledge of the virus than during the spring, half of the hospital’s non-urgent surgeries have been canceled and there’s not enough personnel to deal with a real crisis.

“I’m like a coach with no substitutes,” he said. “We’re walking a tightrope, and unfortunately I don’t think we’ll be getting outside help since all of the regions are affected and each hospital is going to hold (onto) its staff because we’re all affected.”

France’s confirmed virus-related death toll so far is 35,785, the world’s seventh-highest. France has for weeks been reporting tens of thousands of new infections per day and is now recording more than 380 new cases each week per 100,000 people.

France saw a rise in infections over the summer but virus hospitalizations and deaths stayed low, so the government encouraged people to return

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Business mandates mount as New Mexico deals with virus surge

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday unveiled more requirements for businesses after a string of record-breaking daily case counts prompted renewed restrictions just last week.

Starting Friday, restaurants, breweries, retail stores, gyms and other businesses will be required to close for two weeks if they have more than four separate incidents of COVID-19 among employees within a 14-day period. Those businesses that have had at least two outbreaks will be listed on the state’s new watch list.

Restaurants that want to continue offering limited indoor dining must also complete specific training and keep a log of customers for at least three weeks. Retail stores must close by 10 p.m., and state-operated museums and historical sites will be closed until further notice.

Lujan Grisham said the restrictions are not meant to punish businesses but rather curb what has become one of the highest rates of spread in the U.S. New Mexico on Tuesday reported an additional 599 cases, bringing the total to nearly 37,900 since the pandemic began. Another seven deaths were reported, and hospitalizations have increased nearly 90% over the last two weeks.

“We don’t have much time,” the governor said during a briefing. “If we don’t attack and snuff out the virus right now by working collectively with businesses and each other, then the virus will win and it leaves us very little opportunity to save lives and to keep our health systems from being overrun.”

Despite having some of the strictest rules in the country, Lujan Grisham’s administration has been struggling in recent weeks with a surge in cases and increases in transmission and positivity rates. The governor said she believes the exponential increase is the result of people letting their guard down and not taking precautions.


The Republican Party of New Mexico called the latest requirements another attack on businesses, saying the Democratic governor’s policies during the pandemic have led to a collapsed economy, tens of thousands of job losses and hundreds of permanently shuttered restaurants.

“Locking down New Mexico more is not the answer,” party chairman Steve Pearce said, suggesting that the governor’s rules were arbitrary.

Under the state’s rapid response program, officials responded to more than 830 businesses during the past week. That marked a six-fold increase over the last month. Businesses on the watch list range from hospitals and medical marijuana operations to law firms, car dealerships, grocery stores and gas stations.

Sandia National Laboratories is among them. The state’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau has opened an investigation of the lab after receiving a complaint about alleged violations of the state public health order.

A letter sent Monday by the bureau and obtained by The Associated Press alleges that Sandia failed to comply with the health order by not limiting operations to remote work to the greatest extent practicable to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The state claims employees were ordered to cease telework and report to work in-person.

The state is requiring the lab to inform

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Mount Sinai doctors elected to National Academy of Medicine for contributions to emergency medicine and translational genetics

Brendan G. Carr, MD, MA, MS, Chair of Emergency Medicine for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Mount Sinai Health System, and Judy H. Cho, MD, Dean of Translational Genetics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of The Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Election to the NAM is considered one of the highest honors in health and medicine, recognizing individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. With their election, Mount Sinai has 25 faculty members in the NAM.

“The recognitions of Dr. Carr and Dr. Cho are well deserved for their groundbreaking contributions to emergency medicine and translational genetics,” says Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Dr. Carr’s research has focused not only on improving the emergency care system for time-sensitive conditions such as trauma, stroke, cardiac arrest, and sepsis, but also on creating a more distributed and innovative approach to increasing access to acute care. Likewise, Dr. Cho is committed to improving care through personalized medicine and the understanding of each patient’s unique genes. She has enhanced genetic research, clinical implementation, and data platforms to ensure Mount Sinai remains at the forefront of genetic discoveries and implementation.”

Emergency Medicine

A leading voice in emergency medicine, Dr. Carr played a central role in coordinating Mount Sinai’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has dedicated his career as an emergency medicine physician and health policy researcher to seamlessly combining research, policy, and practice to advance acute care delivery. Before joining Mount Sinai in February 2020, Dr. Carr held faculty positions at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Outside academia, Dr. Carr has worked within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during both the current and previous administrations to improve trauma and emergency care services at the national level. His roles have included Senior Advisor and Director of the Emergency Care Coordination Center within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, focusing on integrating the emergency care system into the broader health care delivery system. He previously supported the Indian Health Service’s initiatives to improve emergency care delivery, and worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense to integrate military and civilian health care response during disasters and public health emergencies. Dr. Carr has advised and supported major not-for-profit foundations, the World Health Organization, and the National Academy of Medicine.

He conducts health services research that connects disciplines including epidemiology, health care policy, business, economics, and health care delivery system science. His work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He has published and lectured widely on systems of care for trauma, stroke, cardiac

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