Washington, Michigan Impose Tough New COVID-19 Restrictions; US Tops 11 Million Cases: Live Updates

Summary:

  • NYC 7-day positivity rate hits 2.77%
  • US tops 11 million cases
  • Wash. Gov Jay Inslee announces restrictions to help slow the spread of COVID
  • Mich. imposes tough new restrictions
  • NY cases top 3,600, highest daily print since the spring
  • NJ sees 2nd straight COVID record
  • NYC schools to stay open
  • US suffers 10th day of 100k+ new cases
  •  38 states report 1k+ new cases
  • Austria orders mandatory COVID tests
  • Germans will live with "considerable restrictions" for months
  • Tokyo reports another 350+ new cases as Japan's outbreak worsens

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Update (1830ET): It's been an eventful afternoon for coronavirus news. As th US surpassed 11 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced strict new social distancing restrictions that will shut down  bars, restaurants, gyms and other non-essential businesses for at least 3 weeks.

Meanwhile, Retail and grocery stores must limit occupancy to 25 percent, and malls are required to keep food court seating closed. Personal services, including barbershops and salons, will also be limited to 25% capacity.

"Today, Sunday, November 15, 2020, is the most dangerous public health day in the last 100 years of our state's history," Inslee said during a news conference. "A pandemic is raging in our state. Left unchecked, it will assuredly result in grossly overburdened hospitals and morgues; and keep people from obtaining routine by necessary medical treatment for non-COVID conditions."

Other measures, like limiting outdoor dining to parties of 5 or under, along with requiring people to work from home if possible, were added to the proposal.

In Michigan, meanwhile, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer warned during a press briefing that her state could see as many as 1,000 fatalities a week in the coming months if something isn't done. Starting Monday, she closed schools, colleges, sports games and other non-essential functions for three weeks.

Finally, the US topped 11 million cases on Sunday, one week after topping the 10 million mark.

 

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Update (1415ET): New York Gov Andrew Cuomo just confirmed another 3,649 new cases, while total hospitalizations are just below 1,850.

The 3,650 or so new cases is the highest daily number since the spring.

The positivity rate in the state's hardest-hit areas has notably fallen.

Earlier, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that school wouldn't be cancelled on Monday, as the COVID situation in the city and state improved over the weekend.

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Update (1315ET): For the second day in a row, New Jersey has reported a record number of new cases - 4,540, to be exact - an "ALARMING" new trend as the Garden State struggles to fend off the latest wave of COVID-19 infections.

Murphy also declared that "the second wave of COVID is now here," an indication that more restrictions might be to come. Earlier this month, Murphy imposed restrictions on when certain businesses can operate along with strict new social distancing requirements.

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The US exceeded 100k newly confirmed COVID-19 cases for the tenth straight day on Saturday. Although they came in below Friday's record, new cases exceeded 160k on Saturday, leaving the 7-day average at a record high, while deaths exceeded 1,300, topping 1,000 for the fifth straight day.

One major development in the the US this weekend: All 50 states are officially back in expansionary territory after Vermont saw the virus's rate of spread climb back above 1. Over the last 24 hours, 38 of 50 states reported more than 1,000 new cases, as the virus outbreak explodes, along with hospitalizations. Even deaths, which had remained surprisingly subdued as infection rates climbed in September and October, are starting to creep upward.

A CNN chyron announcing the news is going viral.

As for the 7-day average of reported deaths, since May, only one day - Aug. 4 - saw a higher 7-day number.

Testing continues to climb, but at a slower rate than the growth in cases.

Perhaps the biggest news in the US Sunday morning was NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio declaring that, contrary to his comments on Friday, when he warned parents to be ready for schools to close as soon as Monday, schools instead will remain open.

However, he continued to urge New Yorkers not to travel for the holidays.

In Europe, Austria just revealed that it's taking a cue from nearby Slovakia's mandatory testing programs, one of the most ambitious COVID-19 eradication methods in Europe; Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced Sunday that the country would move ahead with plans to test its entire population, which is roughly double the size of Slovakia's.

A few notable highlights: North Dakota and South Dakota are seeing rates of spread similar to Michigan back in April.

In Europe's biggest economy, Germany,  Economy Minister Peter Altmaier warned that Germans will need to live with "considerable restrictions" against the spread of the virus for at least the next four to five months.

Globally, new cases topped 54 million, the latest global milestone since deaths topped 1.3 million a couple of days ago.

As far as the biggest western countries go, Europe generally continues to outpace the US.

Here's some more COVID-19 news from Sunday morning and overnight:

Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s antitrust commissioner, said she’s been told that a “working relation” tested positive for coronavirus, according to a post on her Twitter account. Vestager has herself been tested, is in quarantine and will work from home in the coming week, she said in the post (Source: Bloomberg).

Malaysia recorded an 8.4% increase in new cases to 1,208. The capital city of Kuala Lumpur topped the list with 469 infections, overtaking the top post from Sabah state. There were three new deaths. Malaysia has been struggling to contain a new wave of cases that emerged in late September. The government has recently tightened movement controls in all almost the states in the country. New cases have topped 1,000 since Friday (Source: Bloomberg).

Tokyo reported 352 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, topping the 300 mark for a fourth consecutive day, the first such streak since early August. Japan confirmed 1,704 new cases on Friday, topping the previous record high of 1,660 marked a day earlier, with health experts warning of a possible "third wave" of infections as the winter season approaches (Source: Nikkei).

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Finally, NBC News has published a report warning that widely reported side-effects caused by the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer could create unexpected problems for distribution. Like with the flu shot, the vaccine can cause muscle soreness, fatigue and other symptoms.