Brampton’s coronavirus positivity rate more than double national average; B.C. cases soar over the weekend

For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.

‘Concerning’ number of cases over the weekend in B.C.

Dr. Réka Gustafson, British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer, said the province is dealing with a “concerning” number of COVID-19 cases, after 1,120 new cases were reported over a three-day period.

She said the most common places of transmission are private “uncontrolled” gatherings in a private residence, with too many many and no safety protocols in place.

Health minister Adrian Dix recognized that it can be incredibly frustrating for British Columbians who are following the public health rules to see individuals who aren’t doing the same, specifically after reports of large crowds of people on Halloween.

“We’re facing COVID-19 for a long time to come, for months and months and months and months and month and months and months to come,” Dix said. “We need to follow public health guidance and public health advice.”

The health minister said it’s even more important to follow the rules in the winter months, compared to summer, and suggested that upcoming holiday gatherings will have to be virtual this year.

Dr. Gustafson also spoke about the federal COVID Alert app and why B.C. hasn’t adopted it yet. She said it was carefully reviewed with contact tracers in the province and the information that the app provides wouldn’t have any “additional benefit.”

“It isn’t able to notify and tell them…how intense that contact was,…when it occurred and what they need to do about it,” she said. “In order to act in a meaningful way…you need to have some details about it.”

‘You knew the allocations that you had so don’t overbook people’

The Ontario government announced it is increasing the hours of direct care for long-term care residents to an average of four hours per day.

“I made a promise to long-term care residents, their families and their caregivers that we would deliver better care for our seniors,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in a statement. “Today, we are delivering on that promise and acting on the early recommendations of Ontario’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission.”

“By increasing the hours of daily direct care for residents, we will improve their quality of life and ensure they are more comfortable and safe.”

At a press conference on Monday, Ford called out Rexall pharmacies for overbooking influenza vaccine appointments after it was announced the chain is pausing the flu shot program due to supply issues.

“You knew the allocations that you had so don’t overbook people,” the premier said. “If you know you have X amount of flu shots, book X amount of flu shots.”

The premier also defended the decision to move Toronto, Peel, York and Ottawa into modified Stage 2 restrictions.

Ford said he would rather err on the side of caution than let everything go “hog wild” and open up.

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Fauci Calls for National Mask Mandate | Health News

By Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters

(HealthDay)

THURSDAY, Oct. 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) — America’s leading infectious diseases expert called for a national mask mandate on Wednesday as coronavirus cases surged across the country.

After expressing regret that face masks haven’t been more widely adopted, Dr. Anthony Fauci said for the first time on Wednesday that the United States needs a nationwide mask mandate to combat the rising tide of coronavirus infections, the Washington Post reported.

Until now, Fauci has been reluctant to back such a sweeping policy, telling reporters in September that a national mandate “probably would not work,” the Post reported. But in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Fauci said that he had hoped “we could pull together as a country” and recognize the importance of mask-wearing without the government getting involved, the Post reported.

When questioned whether it was time for a national mask mandate, Fauci said, “You know, yes. If we don’t get one, I would hope that the mayors and the governors do it locally.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Fauci was also asked about a potential mask mandate during a question-and-answer session hosted by the Journal of the American Medical Association. He stressed the key to avoiding future lockdowns was getting 90 percent or more of the population to wear masks, the Post reported.

Calling the prospect of a new round of stay-at-home measures “almost radioactive,” Fauci said that Americans would have to “at least do the fundamental, basic things” if they want to avoid additional shutdowns. “What we can’t have is this very inconsistent wearing that you see, where some states absolutely refuse to wear a mask,” he said.

Meanwhile, hospitals across America were struggling as the new coronavirus struck with a vengeance in parts of the country that had been spared the worst in the early days of the pandemic.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has climbed an estimated 46 percent in the past month, straining the capacity of regional health care systems to respond to overwhelming demand, The New York Times reported.

Twenty-six states are at or near record numbers for new infections, the newspaper reported. More than 500,000 new cases have been announced in the past week, and no states are seeing sustained declines in case numbers.

The situation is grim in the Texas town of El Paso: The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has more than tripled over the past three weeks, and doctors at University Medical Center there have started airlifting some patients to hospitals as far away as San Antonio while treating others in a field hospital in a nearby parking lot, the Times reported.

States, cities and towns are responding to this latest coronavirus surge with new restrictions that range from a nightly business curfew in Newark, N.J., to a two-week stay-at-home order in El Paso, to a halt to indoor dining in Chicago, the Times reported.

COVID-19 continues to spread around the globe

By Thursday, the U.S. coronavirus case count

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Fauci expresses support for national mask mandate

The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: White House seeks to clarify press release claiming pandemic over | Fauci: COVID vaccine likely not available until next year Fauci: COVID-19 vaccine likely not available until next year Kushner told Woodward in April Trump was ‘getting the country back from the doctors’ MORE, expressed support for a national mask mandate in an interview late Wednesday with CNBC.

Fauci explained that the U.S. rate of new coronavirus infections is trending in the wrong direction, adding that mask mandates are likely the only option to slow the spread.

“You know, yes,” he said when asked if a national mandate is needed. “If we don’t get one, then I would hope that the governors and the mayors do it locally, if it’s not done nationally.”

“This is going to get worse because we’re going more into a colder season, as we get through the fall and into the winter with the holiday season going, we’ve got to do something different. We can’t just let this happen,” Fauci continued.

Fauci also said, however, that he did not think the Trump White House would issue a national mask mandate.

“You’re using the word ‘mandating masks’ – yes if that works, let’s do it. I don’t think it’s going to happen nationally,” he said. “It may not come from the White House to do it and if it doesn’t, then I think that the mayors and the governors should do it.”

President Trump has resisted the idea of national mandates and criticized Fauci personally in recent weeks, telling supporters that his opponent, Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: ‘I love you back’ Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline Overnight Defense: Trump campaign’s use of military helicopter raises ethics concerns | Air Force jets intercept aircraft over Trump rally | Senators introduce bill to expand visa screenings MORE, would follow the doctor’s advice.

“He wants to listen to Dr. Fauci,” Trump said at a rally this month. “He’ll listen to the scientists. If I listened totally to the scientists we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression.”

Biden responded to the story on Twitter with a simple tweet: “…yes.”

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Fauci expresses support for national mask mandate for the first time amid record-setting coronavirus infections

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said for the first time Wednesday that the United States needs a nationwide mask mandate to combat the rising tide of coronavirus infections. In interviews with CNBC and the Journal of the American Medical Association, Fauci expressed regret that masks haven’t been adopted more widely and suggested that doing so would be key to avoiding another round of shutdowns.



Anthony S. Fauci wearing a suit and tie: Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, testifies during a Senate hearing in September.


© Graeme Jennings/AP
Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, testifies during a Senate hearing in September.

Here are some significant developments:

  • With five days to go before Election Day on Nov. 3, President Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden have crystallized opposing messages on a pandemic that has affected most aspects of American life, including voting.
  • Germany and France announced month-long lockdowns on Wednesday, saying that the resurgence of infections had spiraled out of control.
  • Health officials say the White House called off an investigation into its coronavirus outbreak, while failing to notify people who may have been exposed.
  • The United States has seen a steady increase in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations for almost the entire month of October, with record-high numbers of cases reported in the past week, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. More than 80,000 new cases were recorded on Wednesday, pushing the total number of infections past 8.8 million. At least 227,000 fatalities have been linked to the virus since February.
  • A federal government briefing document obtained by The Washington Post suggests that a traveler could theoretically drive all the way from the Canadian border to northern Mississippi without ever leaving a “hot-spot” county.

Sign up for our coronavirus newsletter | Mapping the spread of the coronavirus: Across the U.S. | Worldwide | Vaccine tracker | Where states reopened and cases spiked | Has someone close to you died of covid-19? Share your story with The Washington Post.

1:31 AM: Fauci expresses support for national mandate for the first time, says he hasn’t spoken to Trump in ‘quite a while’

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, appeared to call for a nationwide mask mandate for the first time on Wednesday in a series of interviews with the CNBC and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has historically been reluctant to advocate for such a sweeping policy, telling reporters last month that a national mandate “probably would not work.” But in a Friday interview with CNN, he suggested that the federal government should “maybe” consider instituting one.

Questioned about his apparent hesitation on Wednesday by CNBC’s Shepard Smith, Fauci said that he had hoped “we could pull together as a country” and recognize the importance of mask-wearing without the government getting involved. “We haven’t,” Smith interrupted, before going on to ask Fauci if it was time for a national mandate.

“You know, yes,” Fauci replied. “If we don’t

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Fauci expresses support for national mask mandate amid record-setting coronavirus infections

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said Wednesday that the United States needs a nationwide mask mandate to combat the rising tide of coronavirus infections. In interviews with CNBC and the Journal of the American Medical Association, Fauci expressed regret that masks haven’t been adopted more widely, and suggested that doing so would be the key to avoiding another round of national lockdowns.



Anthony S. Fauci wearing a suit and tie: Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, testifies during a Senate hearing in September.


© Graeme Jennings/AP
Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, testifies during a Senate hearing in September.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Germany and France announced month-long lockdowns on Wednesday, saying that the resurgence of infections had spiraled out of control.
  • Health officials say that the White House called off an investigation into its coronavirus outbreak, while failing to notify people who may have been exposed.
  • The United States has seen a steady increase in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations for almost the entire month of October, with record-high numbers of cases reported in the past week, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. More than 80,000 new cases were recorded on Wednesday, pushing the total number of infections past 8.8 million. At least 227,000 fatalities have been linked to the virus since February.
  • A federal government briefing document obtained by The Washington Post suggests that a traveler could theoretically drive all the way from the Canadian border to northern Mississippi without ever leaving a “hotspot” county.

Sign up for our coronavirus newsletter | Mapping the spread of the coronavirus: Across the U.S. | Worldwide | Vaccine tracker | Where states reopened and cases spiked | Has someone close to you died of covid-19? Share your story with The Washington Post.

1:01 AM: We’re all making choices in the pandemic. Many of us are lying about them.

On a recent Saturday that Rebecca Wolfe said she spent at home, she was strolling along the beach with a man she met on Hinge — but as far as she’s concerned, her mother doesn’t need to know that. Given that health experts emphasize maintaining our distance from each other during the pandemic, Wolfe plans to keep the outing to herself.

Everyone has different levels of risk tolerance, and opinions vary widely about what kinds of activities are acceptable right now: Is outdoor seating at a restaurant okay? What if we wear masks except when we’re eating? How about if we’re the only family there?

We all make our own choices. Many of us are just lying about them.

Read the full story

By: Marisa Iati

12:29 AM: A spice boom has left manufacturers scrambling, and packaging materials can’t keep up

The most sought-after at times have been as costly as precious metals. Their allures set world exploration in motion, fueled sailing expeditions around the Cape of Good Hope, precipitated the establishment of colonies. And now, more than 4,000 years after the initial fervor, we are living through a new spice boom.

The pandemic

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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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National Nonprofit SoldierStrong Announces Donation of 10 iBots to Veterans During VHA Innovation Experience Conference

STAMFORD, Conn., Oct. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SoldierStrong, a national nonprofit dedicated to helping military veterans take their next steps forward through the use of revolutionary medical technology, is teaming up with renowned inventor Dean Kamen and DEKA Research and Development Corp. to donate 10 iBOT wheelchairs to individual wounded veterans, co-founder and chairman Chris Meek said Tuesday.

“The goal of this donation is to create lasting, life-changing impacts on the physical and mental health of those who have served our country,” said Meek, who made the announcement remotely during the Veterans Health Administration’s Innovation Experience (iEX) conference in Washington, D.C.

The iBOT wheelchair, which is the brainchild of Kamen in partnership with his company, DEKA, and Johnson & Johnson’s Independent Technology division, is a one-of-a-kind powered wheelchair that climbs stairs, allows users to rise from sitting level to six feet tall, maintains superior balance compared to other products on the market and can withstand travel through sand and standing water. 

“Dean Kamen is one of the most recognized and sought-after innovators of our time. He’s made it his life’s work to invent technology, like the iBOT, that improves the lives of others,” Meek said. “With such an iconic status in the science and technology communities, it was a tremendous honor to introduce Dean today at the VHA Innovation Experience. It is also with sincerest gratitude that I thank him for his support of SoldierStrong and his commitment to share DEKA’s life-changing iBOT with veterans who desperately deserve access to this type of disruptive technology.” 

The VHA Innovation Experience (iEX) is an annual conference that brings innovators and inventors, medical health experts, veterans, and the public together to showcase and celebrate emerging innovations, partnerships and technologies that improve and save veterans’ lives. 

Donations of the iBOTs are the latest effort by SoldierStrong to provide revolutionary medical technologies to help injured veterans lead full lives. SoldierStrong has donated $3.8 million in state-of-the-art medical devices to individual veterans and Veterans Affairs medical centers across the country. These devices include hyper-advanced prosthetics, specialized rehabilitation, and the organization’s signature device, the SoldierSuit exoskeleton used in the rehabilitation of spinal injuries and strokes and to help paralyzed individuals become more mobile. To date, SoldierStrong has donated 22 SoldierSuits, or exoskeletons, that allow some paralyzed veterans to stand and walk again. 

A four-year mental health study by the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System that included use of a SoldierSuit found that paralyzed veterans able to maintain an eye-level view of the world experienced better mental and physical health and a decline in suicidal thoughts or attempts.

“This donation of iBOTs allows SoldierStrong to provide technologies that simultaneously address the needs of physical and mental health,” Meek said. “The iBOT’s unique capabilities will allow veterans who receive a donation to feel secure, independent and enjoy a sense of confidence unmatched by other devices.”

CONTACT: CHRISTINA STROBACK
(319)-936-9300

Source Article

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VIDA Fitness Partners with the National Academy of Sports Medicine to Offer 20 Scholarships for Black Students Seeking Careers as Personal Trainers

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct 26, 2020–

VIDA Fitness is launching the Personal Training & Scholarship Mentorship Program in partnership with National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). The purpose of the program is to create more opportunities for Black aspiring personal trainers to have access to the certification program, textbooks, and mentorship necessary to launch a successful career in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

“We want to bring more diversity into the fitness industry,” said David von Storch, President and Founder of VIDA Fitness. “This program will be a launchpad for individuals who are looking for ways to start successful careers. It will also help us meet hardworking, innovative Black trainers who may become future team members in the fitness industry.”

VIDA encourages Black students, returning citizens, fitness freelancers, and anyone who has demonstrated dedication, experience, and interest in pursuing a career in health and fitness to apply.

VIDA has appointed a Diversity & Inclusion Board that will review and interview the applications on a rolling basis. Over the next 6 – 12 months, twenty scholarship recipients will enter NASM’s Personal Training program, which is the fitness industry’s most respected certification. Upon successful completion of the NASM program and the certification exam, graduates will be invited to VIDA for a personal training mentorship.

“Our community of fitness professionals is strengthened by its diversity and its ongoing commitment to continuing education,” said Laurie McCartney, President of NASM. “We are proud to partner with VIDA Fitness on this very important initiative that will truly transform lives.”

VIDA Fitness will review applications on a monthly basis. For details about eligibility requirements and the application process, https://vidafitness.com/scholarship.

About VIDA Fitness: With 6 uniquely designed and thoughtfully laid out locations in downtown Washington, DC and Arlington, VA, VIDA Fitness provides industry-leading facilities and programming, all powered by the best fitness professionals to support you in achieving your goals, and creating a community where people of shared values can make meaningful personal connections.

About NASM: Now in its 33rd year, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has remained the international standard in fitness education due to the high quality of fitness professionals they produce and the scientific rigor of their programs. NASM offers a best in class Certified Personal Training program along with major specializations in Nutrition Coaching (CNC), Sports Performance (PES), and Corrective Exercise (CES).

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201026005138/en/

CONTACT: Alyson Campbell

Heart & Soul PR for NASM

646.895.2841

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA MARYLAND VIRGINIA DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: EDUCATION HEALTH SPORTS OTHER SPORTS FITNESS & NUTRITION CONTINUING TRAINING

SOURCE: National Academy of Sports Medicine

Copyright Business Wire 2020.

PUB: 10/26/2020 09:00 AM/DISC: 10/26/2020 09:02 AM

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VIDA Fitness Partners with the National Academy of Sports Medicine to Offer 20 Scholarships for Black Students Seeking Careers as Personal Trainers – Press Release

WASHINGTON–(Business Wire)–VIDA Fitness is launching the Personal Training & Scholarship Mentorship Program in partnership with National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). The purpose of the program is to create more opportunities for Black aspiring personal trainers to have access to the certification program, textbooks, and mentorship necessary to launch a successful career in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

“We want to bring more diversity into the fitness industry,” said David von Storch, President and Founder of VIDA Fitness. “This program will be a launchpad for individuals who are looking for ways to start successful careers. It will also help us meet hardworking, innovative Black trainers who may become future team members in the fitness industry.”

VIDA encourages Black students, returning citizens, fitness freelancers, and anyone who has demonstrated dedication, experience, and interest in pursuing a career in health and fitness to apply.

VIDA has appointed a Diversity & Inclusion Board that will review and interview the applications on a rolling basis. Over the next 6 – 12 months, twenty scholarship recipients will enter NASM’s Personal Training program, which is the fitness industry’s most respected certification. Upon successful completion of the NASM program and the certification exam, graduates will be invited to VIDA for a personal training mentorship.

“Our community of fitness professionals is strengthened by its diversity and its ongoing commitment to continuing education,” said Laurie McCartney, President of NASM. “We are proud to partner with VIDA Fitness on this very important initiative that will truly transform lives.”

VIDA Fitness will review applications on a monthly basis. For details about eligibility requirements and the application process, https://vidafitness.com/scholarship.

About VIDA Fitness: With 6 uniquely designed and thoughtfully laid out locations in downtown Washington, DC and Arlington, VA, VIDA Fitness provides industry-leading facilities and programming, all powered by the best fitness professionals to support you in achieving your goals, and creating a community where people of shared values can make meaningful personal connections.

About NASM: Now in its 33rd year, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has remained the international standard in fitness education due to the high quality of fitness professionals they produce and the scientific rigor of their programs. NASM offers a best in class Certified Personal Training program along with major specializations in Nutrition Coaching (CNC), Sports Performance (PES), and Corrective Exercise (CES).

Alyson Campbell

Heart & Soul PR for NASM

646.895.2841

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US should consider national mask mandate for the winter, former FDA commissioner writes in op-ed

As the US reports its second-highest day of new Covid-19 cases amid the continuing fall surge, a former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration says it may be time for a national mask mandate.



Alice Arnold wearing a hat: Salt Lake County Health Department public health nurses look on during coronavirus testing outside the Salt Lake County Health Department Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Rick Bowmer/AP)


© Rick Bowmer/AP
Salt Lake County Health Department public health nurses look on during coronavirus testing outside the Salt Lake County Health Department Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Dr. Scott Gottlieb wrote the mandate could be “limited and temporary.”

“A mandate can be expressly limited to the next two months,” Gottlieb wrote, adding that it’s easier to wear a mask in the winter than the summer. “The inconvenience would allow the country to preserve health-care capacity and keep more schools and businesses open.”

With deaths expected to rise this winter, policymakers will have to make moves to slow the spread, Gottlieb wrote. There already is no support for reinstating the stay-at-home orders from the spring.

If 95% of Americans wore masks in public, more than 100,000 lives could be saved in the United States through February, according to data released Friday by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

“If people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Friday.

Gottlieb wrote the concern about needing fines to enforce the mandate leading to confrontations with police isn’t necessarily true.

“States should be able to choose how to enforce a mandate, but the goal should be to make masks a social and cultural norm, not a political statement,” he wrote. “Mandating masks has become divisive only because it was framed that way by some politicians and commentators.”

Gottlieb was appointed FDA commissioner by President Trump and served from May 2017 to May 2019. He is now a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank in Washington, DC.

Saturday saw 83,718 new Covid-19 cases, just 39 cases shy of the all-time record that was reported Friday. Already, national cases total more than 8.6 million and 225,212 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins.

“We’re at a dangerous tipping point right now,” Gottlieb told Margaret Brennan Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “We’re entering what’s going to be the steep slope of the curve, of the epidemic curve.”

Social gatherings and family events moving indoors to avoid the colder weather is largely to blame for the high rates of spread, officials said over the weekend.

In Maryland, the governor said this week family gatherings were the No. 1 source of transmission in the state, followed by house parties. In North Carolina, health officials reported its highest daily case count Friday and said they continue to see clusters “from social and religious gatherings.”

At least 35 states report rise in cases

The Florida Department of Health on Sunday reported 2,385 additional coronavirus cases and

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