New York Sees ‘Warning Flags’; French Cases Peak: Virus Update

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on residents to heed “warning flags” of Covid-19’s spread in parts of the state, while U.S. deaths rose nationwide along with cases.

President-elect Joe Biden’s victory signalsa turning point in the U.S. response to the pandemic with his promise of an aggressive federal effort to contain a virus surge across the country. He plans to name a 12-member virus task force on Monday, Axios reported.

Hospital capacity is re-emerging as a concern in the U.S. and in countries such as France, where cases rose to a record of almost 87,000 after officials added data from earlier in the week.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases surpass 49.6 million; deaths top 1.24 million
  • Biden heads for Congress clash over fixing thevirus economy
  • With U.S. cases at record levels,hospitalizations may be next
  • Outbreak inmink farms now has the world worried
  • Brexit in a lockdown isworst of all worlds for U.K. business
  • Vaccine Tracker: Clinical trials restart in hopeful sign

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New York Cases Top 3,000 for Second Day (5:34 p.m. NY)

New York reported 3,587 cases Saturday, the second day over 3,000 and the most since early May at the tail of the deadly spring outbreak. Governor Andrew Cuomo has focused on reining in “clusters” of the virus that have spread in parts of New York City and upstate, where the positive rate is double the rest of the state.

Overall, hospitalizations remain over 1,000 and the statewide positive rate is over 2%. On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City was “really threatened with a second wave.”

“There are several warning flags in New York,” Cuomo said in a statement Saturday. “As we head into winter months, it’s going to take the work of all New Yorkers to ensure we don’t go back to where we were this spring.”

Idaho Capital Cuts Trash Pickup With Workers Ill (4:21 p.m. NY)

Boise, Idaho, is cutting back on refuse pickup because of a shortage of workers “related to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” city authorities said in a statement.

Daily cases in the state reached a record 1,330 and hospitalizations rose to almost 300, also a record.

France Reports Almost 87,000 New Cases (4:20 p.m. NY)

France reported 86,852 new cases on Saturday, the third consecutive daily record. That’s more than the trailing seven-day average of about 54,000, which itself has doubled in little more than two weeks.

The latest data include cases from the previous three days, according to French health authorities.

Slovakia May Repeat Nationwide Tests (3:07 p.m. NY)

Slovakia may need toscreen all citizens for Covid-19 again in December to allow the government to relax pandemic restrictions, Premier Igor Matovic said.

The country of 5.5 million people is doing a second round of nationwide testing using $5 antibody tests. Two-thirds of citizens participated in the first round a week ago, uncovering a 1.1% infection rate.

Biden Win Signals a Turning Point in Virus Response (2:55 p.m. NY)

President-elect Biden’s victory signals a turning point in the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic, as he promises a newly aggressive federal effort to contain a virus that is spiking nationwide in contrast to a president who has consistently downplayed the outbreak’s dangers and promised it would disappear.

While the president-elect can begin to lay the groundwork, Biden will have to wait until he’s inaugurated on Jan. 20 to put any of those plans into place.

Biden’s transition team has been working for months on how to coordinate federal agencies to execute the plans Biden outlined months ago. The proposals include a national mask mandate — although Biden has acknowledged that would be difficult to enforce except on federal property.

Ohio Hits Record for Third Straight Day (2:36 p.m. NY)

Ohio reported 5,549 infections Saturday, the third consecutive record day as cases continue to rise rapidly. Average daily cases increased this week to 4,290 compared with 2,842 the week before, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. Republican Governor Mike DeWine has been issuing stark warnings for the state to follow the health precautions he’s mandated, noting that hospitalizations too are at an all-time high.

French I.C.U. Beds Near Capacity (1:59 p.m. NY)

France reported a rise in the number of serious ill Covid-19 patients occupying intensive care wards. As of Saturday, 87.2% of intensive-care capacity was occupied by patients infected with the virus, an increase from 85.4% on Friday, French health authorities reported.

In mid-August, the rate touched a low of around 7% after peaking at nearly 139% in April when France increased capacity.
The number of confirmed new Covid-19 cases and deaths from the virus in France were not immediately available.

Arizona Cases Spike (1:43 p.m. NY)

Arizona reported 2,621 cases Saturday, the most since August when the state was beginning to recover from the summer surge of infection in Sun Belt. It was the fifth day in the last week with infections over 1,000 and the second day over 2,000. Hospitalizations have more than doubled since the beginning of October to more than 1,000 virus cases, still well below the peak of roughly 3,500 in mid-July, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

New Jersey Reports Most Cases Since April (1:30 p.m. NY)

New Jersey reported 3,207 new cases on Saturday, the most since April, and the first time since May it added more than 3,000 in one day. The additions pushed New Jersey to more than 250,000 cumulative infections since the outbreak’s start, and Governor Phil Murphy has warned that tougher restrictions may be coming.

Of 21 counties, Essex has the most cases. That county includes Newark, New Jersey’s most populous city, which this week reported a citywide positive test rate of 19%, compared with the state’s 7.7%, according to Mayor Ras Baraka.

The state has 1,392 hospitalizations for Covid-19, with 276 in intensive care. More than half of those hospitalized are in the northern region of the state.

More Than 1% in Wyoming Infected (12:18 p.m. NY)

In Wyoming, the nation’s least populated state, “more than one in every 100” residents is infected with the coronavirus when factoring in probable patients, the Casper Star-Tribune said, citing state health department data. Wyoming’s population is about 600,000.

Italy Nears 40,000 Cases in Another Record Day (11:30 a.m. NY)

Italy reported new 39,811 coronavirus cases setting a third consecutive day with record infections. The country reported 425 fatalities versus 446 Friday. Number of patients in intensive care rose to 2,634. That compares to a peak of over 4,000 in early April.

Italy’s government approved overnight an extra pandemic relief package for businesses hit by the country’s second lockdown.

With Covid-19 surging around Europe, Italians are prohibited from leaving or entering areas in high-risk areas, including Milan, Italy’s financial hub, and key northern industrial cities. The extra 2.5-billion-euro ($3 billion) aid seeks to shield companies and families in the highest-risk areas.

Biden to Announce Covid-19 Task Force Monday, Axios Reports (10:52 a.m. NY)

Joe Biden plans to name on Monday a 12-member task force to fight and contain the spread of the coronavirus, Axios reported, citing sources.

The move is a signal that the coronavirus is Biden’s immediate priority for his transition and his administration.

The task force will be led by three co-chairs: former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy; former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler; and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith from Yale University.

Trump’s Aides Frustrated After Meadows’s Silence on Infection (10:38 a.m. NY)

Some of Donald Trump’s White House and campaign aides are frustrated that the president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, didn’t issue a statement after hetested positive for the coronavirus this week, instead informing only a close circle of advisers.

His infection was not widely known across Trump’s staff until late Friday, after Bloomberg News reported it. He tested positive on Wednesday, according to a senior administration official.

Geneva Has Most Cases in Europe: Broadcaster (9:35 a.m. NY)

Switzerland’s Geneva canton leads European regions with the most virus cases in the past 14 days, ahead of Wallonia in Belgium and three other Swiss regions, Radio Television Suisse reported, citing World Health Organization data.

Geneva closed bars, restaurants, cultural venues and nonessential stores earlier this week until Nov. 29.

U.S. Fatalities Are Rising With Infections (8:14 a.m. NY)

As U.S. virus cases break daily records, deaths are rising: the nation counted 1,153 on Friday, the fourth day this week with more than 1,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.

That’s almost 100 a day more than the previous week and 31% higher than average daily deaths in the first week of October. It is significantly lower than the outbreak’s first spike last spring, when several days neared or passed 2,500 daily deaths. The U.S. death toll is now 236,099.

The U.S. had a record 126,714 new cases on Friday, according to the data.

Georgia Brings Back Night Curfew in Major Cities (6:46 a.m. NY)

Georgia ordered a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in Tbilisi and all larger major cities starting Nov. 9 to tackle the spread of the virus. The country reported 2,859 new cases and 18 deaths in the last 24 hours. The restrictions ban all pedestrian and car movement, with exceptions for media, transport of groceries and health-related issues, according to Deputy Prime Minister Maia Tskitishvili. The previous nighttime curfew lasted from March to May.

— With assistance by Ian Fisher, Jason Gale, Natalie Lung, Benjamin Dow, Andras Gergely, Arsalan Shahla, Alexander Weber, James Amott, Konrad Krasuski, Bruce Stanley, Sarah Syed, Vivian Nereim, Helena Bedwell, Stephen Kirkland, Sebastian Tong, Tommaso Ebhardt, Vincent Del Giudice, Stacie Sherman, William Horobin, Tyler Pager, John Tozzi, Radoslav Tomek, and Rudy Ruitenberg

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