Daily deaths jump; California 1M; Chicago lockdown

The daily U.S. coronavirus death toll rocketed past 2,000 on Wednesday as weeks of rising infection totals are beginning to translate into fatality numbers not seen since May. In another sign the pandemic is only getting worse, Chicago neared a lockdown.

A fall uptick in cases is now killing Americans almost as quickly as the worst week of the summer surge. After that, deaths will be comparable only to the spring surge, when for more than a week daily deaths averaged over 2,000. 

President Donald Trump and others had brushed aside the current jump in daily infections, saying improved treatments have lessened COVID-19’s deadly impact. And for awhile the average daily death total was well below 1,000.

That was then, this is now. The sheer number of infections has driven hospitalizations to record levels. And in the last two days alone, more than 3,200 deaths have been reported.

Here is today’s latest news: 

  • Face mask mandates are gaining momentum among Republican governors in Iowa, Utah and Ohio.
  • California will soon become the second state to surpass 1 million cases of the coronavirus, which is forcing the state to roll back reopening plans. 
  • New Zealand partially shuts central Auckland over mystery COVID-19 case, The Guardian reports.
  • Ticketmaster is working on a plan to safely allow people to return to concerts in 2021 by verifying if they tested negative for COVID-19 or have been vaccinated, Billboard reported.

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