- 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
* * *
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.
* * *
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.
Today's update on the numbers:— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) November 15, 2020
Of the 133,202 tests reported yesterday, 3,649 were positive (2.74% of total).
Total hospitalizations are at 1,845.
Sadly, there were 30 COVID fatalities yesterday. pic.twitter.com/8ttDSwLGzW
The positivity rate in the state's hardest-hit areas has notably fallen.
The test positivity rate in the focus areas under NY's Micro-Cluster strategy is 4.05%.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) November 15, 2020
The statewide positivity rate excluding these focus areas is 2.45%.
We continue to take strong action to respond to outbreaks and to stop the spread.
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.
* * *
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.
NEW JERSEY #COVID19 UPDATE:— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) November 15, 2020
➡️4,540 new positive cases
➡️279,274 cumulative total cases
➡️18 new confirmed deaths
➡️14,765 total deaths
These numbers are ALARMING and continue to rise. Take this seriously. Wear a mask. Social distance. Stay safe.
A second wave of #COVID19 is now here.— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) November 15, 2020
As we begin the holiday season, plan accordingly and keep social distancing and safety in mind.
We MUST redouble our efforts and crush the curve like we did last spring. Our lives literally depend on it.
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.
* * *
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.
Our daily update is published. States reported 1.7M tests, 163k cases, and 1,321 deaths. There are 69,455 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/SAD7LOJTDL— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) November 14, 2020
38 states reported over 1k cases. CO, IN, KY, MD, MN, MO, MT, ND, NH, NJ, NV, PA, WV, and UT all set records for detected cases. (5 states did not report cases.) pic.twitter.com/3Gi0ieFO3i— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) November 14, 2020
A CNN chyron announcing the news is going viral.
What a terrifying chyron. pic.twitter.com/UtNPWvJnRc— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) November 15, 2020
As for the 7-day average of reported deaths, since May, only one day - Aug. 4 - saw a higher 7-day number.
The 7-day average of reported deaths has now reached 1100. Since May 25, only August 4 had a higher 7-day average of COVID-19 deaths. pic.twitter.com/oocz5ZzDu8— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) November 14, 2020
Testing continues to climb, but at a slower rate than the growth in cases.
Testing is increasing, though much slower than case growth. pic.twitter.com/poiE2vkY2r— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) November 14, 2020
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.
Today’s indicators are similar to yesterday:— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) November 15, 2020
• 117 patients admitted to the hospital
• 937 new cases
• The test positivity 7-day average is 2.57%
Thankfully, schools will remain open on Monday, but we have to keep fighting back with everything we’ve got.
However, he continued to urge New Yorkers not to travel for the holidays.
I know asking New Yorkers not to travel for the holidays is painful. It’s painful for me, too. But it’s a sacrifice we have to make — and I promise you next year will be better. pic.twitter.com/MewhARVeKQ— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) November 14, 2020
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 North and South Dakota, COVID-19 deaths per million are similar to rates in Michigan back in April - and are likely to continue rising. pic.twitter.com/ouzy50Lgit— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) November 12, 2020
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).
* * *
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.