Alarm Rises With U.S. States Hitting Daily Records: Virus Update
Shoppers queue at a safe social distance on Oxford Street, ahead of a coronavirus lockdown, in London, U.K. (Photographer: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Alarm Rises With U.S. States Hitting Daily Records: Virus Update

With daily U.S. cases edging toward 100,000, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan were among states reporting record Covid-19 infections on Thursday. Ohio’s governor called the state’s numbers “shockingly high,” while Coloradans were urged to cancel any plans for big Thanksgiving get-togethers.

New York cases are running at the highest level in six months and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said his state’s positivity rate is unacceptable. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city isn’t out of the woods yet.

A Height Capital Markets analyst estimated that U.S. hospitals could reach capacity and trigger lockdowns before the Thanksgiving holiday if infections continue at the current pace. In Europe, France warned of a “violent” second wave and Greece imposed a three-week lockdown.

Key Developments:

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Alarm Rises With U.S. States Hitting Daily Records: Virus Update

Worst-Hit Counties Voted for Trump, A.P. Says (5:26 p.m. NY)

With Covid-19 surging around the nation, an Associated Press analysis concluded that 93% of the 376 U.S. counties with the biggest increases in per-capita cases voted for President Donald Trump. Most were in rural parts of the Midwest and Plains states, according to the analysis.

Michigan Reports Record for Second Day (4:30 p.m. NY)

Michigan reported 5,710 cases Thursday, breaking the record for the second day in a row. Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said on Thursday she had urged the Republican-controlled legislature to pass a law requiring masks indoors and crowded outdoor places, as is already required by health orders.

“This is the law under epidemic orders,” she said in a news conference. “But we do think it would be helpful to our health, our safety and our economy if it was codified in a bipartisan way with the legislature.”

North Dakota Hits Record Deaths (4:10 p.m. NY)

North Dakota reported a record 29 deaths on Thursday after weeks of elevated infections. The numbers of fatalities have been slowly increasing, as they have in other states that first reported a surge in cases. The seven-day average of deaths has risen from 5 on Oct. 4 to 11 on Nov. 4, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The state reported 1,540 new cases Thursday, also a record.

South Dakota also reported a record 22 deaths on Thursday for a total of 57 in the first five days of November. The state reported 56 deaths in all of September.

N.Y. Cases Reach 6-Month High (4:15 p.m. NY)

New York reported the most new cases since early May as Governor Andrew Cuomo raised “caution flags” about new hot spots in the west of the state the Finger Lakes.

Of more than 161,000 tests conducted statewide on Wednesday, 1.86%, or 2,997 were positive, including hot spots -- the highest positivity rate since June, according to state data. The rate was 1.70% without the hot spot areas, which include Brooklyn, Queens, Orange and Rockland counties, as well as counties that border Pennsylvania.

There were 1,277 hospitalizations and 24 virus-related fatalities.

Utah Flags Restrictions Amid ‘Grim’ Record (3:50 p.m. NY)

Utah reported 2,807 new cases on Thursday, breaking the previous record of 2,292. Governor Gary Herbert said on Twitter he has held “emergency meetings” and will announce next week “additional steps we will take to end the surge in infections.”

With medical officials warning of rationing care, Herbert called the numbers “grim and discouraging.”

“Though what we are seeing is not unexpected, it still remains worrisome for our hospitals and medical providers,” he said. “We will continue to see dramatic increases until we choose to act differently.”

U.S. House Members Face Travel Rules (3: 30 p.m. NY)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is rolling out new measures for U.S. lawmakers, including increased Covid-19 testing, according to a Democratic aide.

The goal is to bring the House into compliance with Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser’s travel restrictions that require visitors to the capital to test negative 72 hours before arrival. House lawmakers and staff will receive 2,000 RT-PCR tests at no cost from the U.S. Air Force.

Coloradans Should Cancel Social Plans, Polis Says (3:20 p.m. NY)

Colorado Governor Jared Polis appealed to residents to cancel social plans through Thanksgiving, saying one in 100 people in the state are now contagious with Covid-19 and hospitalizations reached a record.

“This is one of the darkest periods in the history of our state,” Polis said at a news briefing. “Interact with only members of your own household in November.”

Ohio Record Cases ‘Shockingly High’ (2:51 p.m. NY)

Ohio reported a “shockingly high number” of new cases, Governor Mike DeWine said, as the state hit another daily record of 4,961 cases. The Republican governor took to Twitter in alarm, giving incidents of infection and issuing warnings: Hospitalizations reached 2,075, he said, a 55% increase in the last two weeks and intensive care cases are at a high.

“We are once again at a critical juncture in our fight against #COVID19. Cases are spiking and are at an all-time high,” DeWine tweeted, adding that the “good news” is that a vaccine is coming.

New Jersey Positivity Rate ‘Unacceptable,’ Murphy Says (2:50 p.m. NY)

New Jersey’s positivity rate remains alarmingly elevated, while hospitalizations have tripled since Sept. 24.

On Oct. 31, statewide positivity was 8.22%, a five-month high, and on Nov. 1 it was 7.74%. “The positivity is unacceptable,” Governor Phil Murphy. Newark, the state’s most populous city, has 12.3% positivity.

Fed’s Powell Says Virus Spread is Concerning (2:34 p.m. NY)

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the recent rise in cases is “particularly concerning” as Fed officials kept monetary policy in a holding pattern, leaving interest rates near zero and making no change to asset purchases.

France Warns of ‘Violent’ Second Wave (1:53 p.m. NY)

France posted a record number of new virus cases, 58,046, as the health minister warned of a “violent” second wave sweeping the country.

France is also facing a surge in intensive care patients, Health Minister Olivier Veran said. Virus patients now account for more than 85% of French hospitals’ initial intensive-care capacity. Another 363 people died from the virus, bringing the total to 39,037.

Illinois Reports Record Cases (1:15 p.m. NY)

Illinois reported a daily record of 9,935 cases on Thursday, compared with 7,538 the day before.

Deaths increased to a five-month high of 97 for a total of 10,030. The seven-day positivity rate reached 9.1%.

Spain Adds 9,606 New Cases (1:20 p.m. NY)

Spain reported 9,606 new virus cases on Thursday, more than the previous day’s 8,924 but in line with high daily infections the country has seen in recent days.

U.S. Lockdown Risk Rising, Height Says (12:26 p.m. NY)

Surging U.S. Covid-19 cases have surpassed 100,000 per day and hospitalizations are also climbing. If the trend continues, hospitals could reach capacity and trigger lockdowns before Thanksgiving, according to a Height policy analyst.

“At the current growth rate, we expect the total number of currently hospitalized patients to hit 60,000—a breaking point in past surges —by Nov. 15,” Hunter Hammond wrote in a client note. At that point, “restrictions will gradually intensify.”

Greece to Enter National Lockdown on Saturday (12:37 p.m. NY)

Greece will go into a three-week national lockdown from 6 a.m. Saturday after a prolonged rise in coronavirus infections and an increase in the number of patients in intensive care, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.

“If we continued to see the same rate of increase in cases as in the past week we’d have thousands in our hospitals,” Mitsotakis said in a nationally televised address.

Greece reported 2,917 new coronavirus cases, the third straight record daily increase. The country also recorded 29 deaths, the highest daily number since the beginning of the pandemic.

Alarm Rises With U.S. States Hitting Daily Records: Virus Update

U.K. Orders Travelers From Germany, Sweden to Quarantine (12:19 p.m. NY)

The U.K. will tell people arriving from Germany and Sweden to self-isolate upon arrival starting early Saturday, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said on Twitter.

Italy Hits Record As New Curbs Begin (12:11 p.m. NY)

Italy reported a record daily 34,505 cases a few hours before latest restrictions, including a night-time curfew from 10 p.m., become effective. Daily fatalities rose to 445, the highest since early May, according to the health ministry.

Italy targeted the financial capital of Milan and key industrial hubs in the north with a set of tough new restrictions, including restricting people to the cities and towns where they live starting Friday. Bars, restaurants and shops will be closed except for food, pharmacies and other essential businesses in the highest-risk areas. Citizens are asked not to use any private or public transportation if not for health or business reasons.

Chicago Bears Halt Activities (12:09 p.m. NY)

The Chicago Bears have paused all in-person football activities and closed Halas Hall after another player tested positive for Covid-19, according to a statement from the team.

A second offensive lineman tested positive Thursday, after another player was already positive, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Arizona Infections Top 2,000 (11:51 a.m. NY)

Arizona reported more than 2,000 new virus cases for the time since Aug. 1. The state had greatly reduced its Covid-19 count after a summer surge, but last week saw more than 1,000 new cases on six straight days. It reported 2,135 on Thursday, and 28 deaths, which brought the state’s toll to 6,087.

Cases Tick Up on Staten Island (11:48 a.m. NY)

New York City health officials have identified an uptick of cases on Staten Island in two ZIP codes where tests results are exceeding a 3% infection rate, but aren’t imposing restrictions on schools and businesses yet.

Jay Varma, chief health adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio, said there was no specific event or cause that could be traced to the spread of the virus, and its spread has been detected early enough that it doesn’t warrant clamping down on activity.

Citywide hospitalizations dropped slightly to 95, down from 114 the previous day. The seven-day average of newly diagnosed cases stood at 633, above the city’s public-health safety threshold of 550.

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