Daily U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations surpassed 45,000 for the first time since mid-August this week as the autumn pandemic surge continued unabated
Two "superspreader" events in New York, a wedding and birthday party, left 56 people infected with the virus and nearly 300 in quarantine. Long Island officials said the wedding violated the state's 50-person limit while the birthday party did not.
"These kinds of superspreader events are a threat to our public health and to our continued economic recovery," Steve Bellone, Suffolk County county executive, said at a news conference.
On Twitter, Bellone added, "This type of blatant disregard for the wellbeing of others is not only extremely disappointing - it will not be tolerated."
Globally, India surpassed 8 million coronavirus cases on Thursday, moving closer to surpassing the U.S. for the most infections in the world.
While India's daily infections have dropped to their lowest level this week, health experts are worried that a major Hindu festival and winter will increase the spread of the virus. The Health Ministry reported 49,881 infections and 517 fatalities in the past 24 hours, raising the country's death toll to 120,527.
????Today's numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 8.8million cases and more than 227,600deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 44.4million cases and 1.17million deaths. A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Tuesday shows 20 states set records for new cases in a week, while three states (Nebraska, Tennessee and Wyoming) had a record number of deaths in a week.
????️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.
This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.
Wisconsin may run out of ICU beds in as little as 2 weeks if cases continue to rise
The state of Wisconsin is on track to run out of ICU beds and, more importantly, the nurses to staff them, in as little as two weeks if the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 does not drop.
On Tuesday, when the state reported a record 5,200 positive cases, only 187 of the state's 1,469 intensive care unit beds were available. Of the patients in ICUs, 319 were being treated for COVID-19.
Given the trajectory of new cases, the number of COVID-19 patients being treated could double in two to six weeks, said Bill Melms, chief medical officer for Marshfield Clinic Health System.
"There is nothing magical about this math," Melms said. "Every single positive increases the probability or likelihood of having another patient who is hospitalized."
- Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
2021 Boston Marathon moved to fall due to COVID-19
The 2021 Boston Marathon will not be held in April.
The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) announced Wednesday afternoon that the 125th Boston Marathon, traditionally held on the third Monday in April - Patriots' Day - will be postponed until at least the fall of 2021.
"By shifting our focus to a fall date, we can continue to work with stakeholders to adjust the in-person experience for runners and supporters alike. Prioritizing the safety of participants, volunteers, spectators, and community members, we continue to assess all elements of the race including a potential reduced field size or weekend date," said Tom Grilk, CEO of the athletic association, in a prepared statement.
The 2020 Boston Marathon was held virtually in September after being canceled in April.
- Metrowest Daily News Staff Report
Houston Texans close team facility after player tests positive
The Houston Texans are closing down their team facility Wednesday after a player tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced.
Backup offensive guard Max Scharping was the player who tested positive, the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson reports. The Texans said in a statement Wednesday that he self-isolated and the Infection Response Team began working with the NFL to perform contact tracing, in accordance with league protocols. The facility was closed for a deep cleaning.
"We are in close consultation with the NFL, as well as our team of independent doctors and specialists, and will follow their guidance regarding our scheduled bye week operations. The health and safety of our team, as well as our entire staff, are of highest priority," the team's statement read.
The Texans are on their bye week after a 35-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday dropped the team to 1-6 on the season.
- Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz
Few Black Americans interested in participating in clinical trials
Black Americans distrust the government so much they're not participating in large numbers in COVID-19 clinical trials, and many say they won't get a COVID-19 vaccine - at least not until many others get it. Although the first two, large clinical trials of candidate vaccines have managed to include about 3,000 Black participants each, it hasn't been easy. And later trials might have even more trouble.
Polls show that among racial and ethnic groups, Black Americans are the most hesitant to get a vaccine once one becomes available, and their skepticism is rising fast. In one September survey, only 32% of Black adults said they would get a vaccine, down from 54% in May.
Alexandre White, a historian of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said mistrust needs to be addressed urgently. "We're seeing a deeply uncoordinated strategy," he said.
- Karen Weintraub
COVID-19 cases are surging: An American dies every 107 seconds
The U.S. set a record this week for new coronavirus cases over a seven-day period with more than 500,000 infections. An American is testing positive every 1.2 seconds. Daily deaths are also climbing - one of us is dying every 107 seconds, according to Johns Hopkins data. And daily hospitalizations have been rising steadily for more than a month, from 28,608 on Sept. 20 to more than 44,000 on Tuesday.
"There's no way to sugarcoat it: We are facing an urgent crisis, and there is an imminent risk to you, your family members, your friends, your neighbors and the people you care about," said Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, whose state is seeing one of the nation's worst outbreaks.
As winter approaches, America is facing a crucial fork in the road, said Melissa Nolan, an infectious disease expert and professor at the University of South Carolina.
"We might see a larger surge due to the pandemic fatigue Americans are experiencing," Nolan told USA TODAY. "Americans are tired of adhering to public health guidelines and getting tested."
- John Bacon
CVS Health to add nearly 1K more rapid coronavirus testing sites by end of year
CVS Health announced Wednesday that it will add nearly 1,000 rapid COVID-19 testing sites throughout the country by the end of the year. The company said about 100 testing sites will be running this week in 22 states, including California, Arizona, Florida and New Jersey.
The tests will be free for people who meet the CDC's criteria, which includes symptoms and contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. People with insurance can get tested at no cost. A federal program will pay for people without insurance, the company said.
Customers must register on their website in advance to schedule an appointment.
Indiana could get some COVID vaccine next month, state health official says
The first people in Indiana to receive the first coronavirus vaccine could be immunized as early as November, state health officials said Wednesday.
Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said that federal officials have told her a vaccine could be shipped to the state by mid to late November. Under the state's vaccination plan, health care workers would be the first to receive it.
The Food and Drug Administration at this point has yet to approve any of the multiple vaccine candidates undergoing trials.
Pfizer's vaccine will likely be the first available in the state sometime in mid to late November, followed by Moderna's in December, Box said, though she also acknowledged that the vaccine timeline is a "rapidly developing situation, so a lot is subject to change."
- Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star
'COVID toes' could last days to months after initial infection, report finds
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital found that some COVID-19 longhaulers had skin conditions ranging from rashes to "COVID toes" last from days to weeks to months, according to a report released Thursday.
COVID toes, pernio-like lesions characterized by redness and swelling in the hands and feet, lasted a median of 15 days in patients with suspected COVID-19 and 10 days in lab-confirmed cases. However, six patients had toe symptoms last at least 60 days and two lasted longer than 130 days.
Among 224 suspected cases and 90 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, the median duration of skin symptoms was 12 days. Some rashes and hives lasted as long as 28 days.
"This data adds to our knowledge about the long-term effects of COVID-19 in different organ systems," said Dr. Esther Freeman, director of Global Health Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital. "The skin is potentially a visible window into inflammation that could be going on in the body."
- Adrianna Rodriguez
California Gov. Gavin Newsom won't budge on reopening theme parks
As California theme park operators and employees pleaded for the state to allow the parks to reopen with coronavirus precautions, Gov. Gavin Newsom gave them a firm answer on Tuesday: No.
Though Disney and Universal parks have been open again since the summer in Florida, Newsom said California would not budge on its recently issued guidelines that require counties to achieve a low rate of infection before large theme parks such as Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and Knott's Berry Farm could reopen.
"We as a state are going to be driven by data and science," Newsom said at a news conference Tuesday. "And we're going to be driven by public health first."
California classifies its counties in four tiers of coronavirus spread: purple, red, orange and yellow. Purple indicates the highest spread, yellow the lowest. Orange County, the home of Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, is in the red tier, the second-highest. Los Angeles County, home of Universal Studios Hollywood, is in the purple tier.
- Curtis Tate
Boeing reports $449M loss, plans to to cut 7,000 more jobs
Boeing will cut more jobs as it continues to bleed money and its revenue fades during a pandemic that has smothered demand for new airline planes.
The company said Wednesday that it expects to cut its workforce to about 130,000 people by the end of next year, or 30,000 fewer than it began with in 2020. That is a far deeper cut to its workforce than the 19,000 jobs the company said it planned to trim just three months ago.
Boeing Co. talked about the more severe job cuts on the same day it reported a $449 million loss for the third quarter, a swing from the $1.17 billion it earned in the same period last year. The loss was still not as bad as feared.
COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY
In your inbox: Stay up to date with the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic from the USA TODAY Network. Sign up for the daily Coronavirus Watch newsletter.
Tips for coping: Every Saturday and Tuesday we'll be in your inbox, offering you a virtual hug and a little bit of solace in these difficult times. Sign up for Staying Apart, Together.
On Facebook: A lot is still unknown about the coronavirus. But what we do know, we're sharing with you. Join our Facebook group, Coronavirus Watch, to receive daily updates in your feed and chat with others in the community about COVID-19.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID news: Wisconsin low on ICU beds; CVS rapid testing; US cases