All 50 states had more new COVID-19 cases in the latest week than in the week before, an analysis Tuesday of Johns Hopkins University data shows. And 45 states had a higher rate of people testing positive than the week before, an analysis of COVID Tracking Project data shows.
The Midwest may be leading the gloomy charge.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz plans to announce new COVID-19 restrictions Tuesday amid a surge in statewide infections, possibly including stricter rules for bars and restaurants. In Illinois, stricter coronavirus restrictions will go into effect Wednesday for some suburban counties.
In North Dakota, where hospitals are at full capacity, health care workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 but are not showing symptoms are being allowed to continue to work. Gov. Doug Burgum announced the move Monday, saying hospital administrators had requested it to alleviate a staffing crunch.
Some major developments:
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 10.1 million cases and more than 238,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: almost 51 million cases and 1.26 million deaths.
🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.
📰What we’re reading: A COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be authorized before the end of the year, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to throw away your mask anytime soon.
This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.
Coronavirus death rates are significantly higher in Tennessee counties that do not require residents to wear masks, according to new Vanderbilt research that highlights concerns about the state’s county-by-county approach to masks and will likely increase pressure on the governor to enact a statewide mandate.
The new research, released on Tuesday morning by the Vanderbilt Department of Health Policy, found counties that never adopted a mask mandate have recorded about four deaths per 100,000 residents as of the first week in October. Counties with mandates have recorded about one or two deaths per 100,000 residents, depending on how early they enacted the mandate.
However, not all of this difference can be attributed exclusively to masks. In counties with mask mandates, residents may be taking more care to protect themselves with hand washing and social distancing, which would contribute to a lower death rate independent of the mask mandate.
– Brett Kelman, Nashville Tennessean
Texas has had more COVID-19 infections and deaths among incarcerated people and staff than any other state in the country, according to a new report from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.
At least 231 people have died from COVID-19 in Texas prisons and jails, including both incarcerated people and staff, according to the report. People in Texas prisons are testing positive for the coronavirus at a rate 490% higher than for the state of Texas as a whole.
“The data in this report … shows the urgency of taking steps to reduce the risks of additional COVID deaths in Texas prisons and jails,” Michele Deitch, the study’s lead author, said in a statement.
About 80% of people who died from COVID-19 in county jails in Texas were pretrial and not convicted of a crime, the report found. About 58% of the people who died from COVID-19 in Texas prisons were eligible for parole at the time of their death, and nine died in prison who were approved for parole but not yet released.
A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Monday shows 32 states set records for new cases in a seven-day period while four states had a record number of deaths in a week. Stunningly, all 50 states saw a rise in new infections.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and other experts have credited improved treatment for tamping down death totals – although the rolling seven-day average for daily deaths continues to hover at close to 1,000. That is down from almost 1,500 per day in May. But almost 60,000 new hospitalizations were reported Monday, continuing a steady climb that has seen them more than double since Sept. 20.
– Mike Stucka
Now is the time to start telling America straight-up what to expect from the COVID-19 vaccine, more than a dozen public health and medical experts told USA TODAY. That includes warning that a COVID-19 vaccine likely won’t be 100% effective, getting it will make a substantial number of people “feel like crud” for a day or two, and two shots will be required, not just one.
The Department of Health and Human Services says multiple government agencies are working with Operation Warp Speed and other groups on a robust public health information campaign that focuses on vaccine safety, efficacy.
“This needed to happen yesterday. It’s like watching a train wreck happen,” said Daniel Salmon, director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
– Elizabeth Weise
Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Utah Governor’s Mansion on Monday as Gov. Gary Herbert’s statewide mask mandate went into effect, an effort to help combat the state’s boom in new coronavirus cases.
The crowd waved signs with slogans such as “stop the tyranny” and describing Herbert as a “dictator.” Protester Ken Whetstone told The Deseret News that more people would have protested, but they were intimidated by “big government.” Herbert also banned extracurricular activities and casual social gatherings among those of different households, citing the severe strain the increasing coronavirus caseload has put on hospitals.
“If everybody who’s not happy with the mask mandate and the limit of 10 people gathering, if everyone that was unhappy with that came out to protest, this street would be full,” Whetstone said.
Spain plans to inoculate at least 10 million of the country’s 47 million people by May using the vaccine being developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech. Health Minister Salvador Illa told public broadcaster TVE he expects the country will receive the first doses from Pfizer in early 2021, adding that the vaccination would be free.
Illa said he would counter with scientific arguments people who are against vaccinating. The country’s polling institute, CIS, says 43% of Spaniards are wary of receiving the vaccine. “We are going to be very clear and convincing against people who tell lies and who play with anti-science,” Illa said.
Pfizer said Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine may be 90% effective, based on early and incomplete test results that nevertheless fueled widespread optimism.
One in every 17 COVID-19 patients could be diagnosed with a mental health issue for the first time, a study of U.S. health records suggests. The appearance of anxiety, depression or insomnia is about double the risk from most other illnesses, the University of Oxford researchers say.
“Survivors of COVID-19 appear to be at increased risk of psychiatric sequelae, and a psychiatric diagnosis might be an independent risk factor for COVID-19,” the study’s authors say in The Lancet Psychiatry. “Although preliminary, our findings have implications for clinical services, and prospective cohort studies are warranted.”
The study also found that psychiatric patients were 65% more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 – possibly a function of their physical health or drugs prescribed to treat disorders, the researchers said.
To help flatten the curve of COVID-19 in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis announced he has extended the state’s mask mandate for another 30 days. He urged Coloradans to buckle down in the coming few weeks by avoiding social interactions outside of their households, washing their hands and wearing a mask.
“Let’s stop this bloodshed,” Polis added. “All that’s being asked of you is cancelling your social plans outside of your home for the next few weeks.”
Despite the fact that Colorado is experiencing its highest rates of infection and hospitalization due to the virus, Polis said the state is likely in the final sprint of its COVID-19 marathon after promising vaccine news was released Monday.
– Erin Udell, Fort Collins Coloradoan
In more good news for the fight against COVID-19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late Monday authorized use of a drug that appears to protect infected people at high risk from getting very sick. The FDA issued an emergency use authorization to drug-maker Lilly for bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody that mimics the immune system’s response to infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.
“The data is very solid,” said Dr. Daniel Griffin, head of Infectious Disease at ProHEALTH, an independent, physician-led healthcare organization.
The drug is similar to a pair of antibodies made by Regeneron that President Donald Trump has said “cured” him of COVID-19. Regeneron has also applied for FDA authorization for its drug, REGN-COV2.
FDA’s emergency authorization was based on data from a study of the drug in 465 people who had COVID-19 but weren’t hospitalized. Some patients got the drug, some got a placebo. Most patients in both groups had cleared the virus from their system within 11 days.
– Elizabeth Weise and Karen Weintraub
Israel will soon offer coronavirus testing at its main international airport, something authorities hope will speed the revival of air travel.
Passengers at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv will be able to pay around $13 for a test and get results within 14 hours, with faster testing methods on offer in the coming weeks. Authorities say labs at the airport will be able to process 20,000 tests per day. Passengers can register starting Thursday and the testing booths open Sunday.
Israel is gradually emerging from its second nationwide lockdown since the pandemic began. The country has reported nearly 320,000 cases, including 2,674 deaths.
An earlier lockdown last spring largely succeeded in containing the outbreak, but cases surged over the summer after authorities reopened too quickly. At one point, Israel, with a population of just 9 million, had one of the world’s worst outbreaks on a per capita basis.
COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY
Contributing: The Associated Press