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Thirteen States Set Seven-Day Record for New Coronavirus Cases

Thirteen states reported Sunday that they had broken their previous seven-day coronavirus case records.

The states that beat their own records for the most new cases in the seven-day period ending Sunday evening are Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, according to a USA Today analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

Many of those states are now seeing more than 25 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.

In Oklahoma, there have been an average of 1,172 new cases per day over the past week, a jump of 13 percent from the average two weeks ago. Wisconsin has experienced a particularly steep spike with an average of 2,696 new cases per day, 20 percent higher than the average new cases the state logged two weeks earlier.

While metropolitan areas were the first to become hotspots for the coronavirus, midwestern states that fared better during the initial wave of the virus have seen their cases spike in recent months.

Meanwhile, a 25-year-old man from Nevada became the first known American to be infected a second time with the coronavirus, raising concerns about immunity in those who have already had the virus. Several different strains of the coronavirus exist in the U.S.

Trump administration officials have expressed confidence that a coronavirus vaccine will be available to the public by the end of the year. So far, four drugmakers have vaccine trials that have reached late-stage testing under the administration’s coronavirus vaccine program, Operation Warp Speed.

In June, Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor for the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, said that he is “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine for the coronavirus will be available to the American public by the end of the year or early 2021.

The U.S. has seen more than 7.7 million cases and 215,000 deaths from the coronavirus. Worldwide, more than 37.6 million people have contracted the virus, and more than 1 million have died after being infected.

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Heavy drinking is killing women in record numbers, and experts fear a COVID-related spike | Coronavirus

On her last day of consciousness, Misty Luminais Babin held onto hope. “I choose life,” the 38-year-old told her sister, husband and doctor from inside the Ochsner Medical Center ICU.

But her sister, Aimee Luminais Calamusa, knew it was a choice made too late. A former ICU nurse herself, she was trained to recognize signs of the end. Even after draining 3 liters of fluid from Babin’s abdomen, her liver — mottled and scarred by years of heavy drinking — couldn’t keep up. The fluid had started building up in her lungs and she gasped for air. Without oxygen, her other organs began to fail.

“When I left that day, I knew that would be the last time I talked to her, ever,” said Calamusa. “It was really hard to walk out that door.”

Babin died two days later, on June 14 of this year, after a long struggle with alcohol use disorder. Her family said the fight intensified in the last four or five years after a rough breakup, but may have been more stealthy and prevalent than they ever realized.

“None of us knew,” said Calamusa, who wrote a moving and honest obituary in The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate about her sister’s struggles. “She hid it very well. I think she probably has been an addict for a long time. She lost control very quickly.”



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Misty Luminais Babin checked into the hospital a week before she died on June 14, 2020, after struggling with alcohol use disorder for years. Her family scattered her ashes on August 31, 2020, what would have been in 39th birthday, in her “thinking spot,” a quiet place along the Mississippi River. 




With an average of 1,591 alcohol-related deaths from 2011 to 2015, Louisiana is tied for 10th among U.S. states on a per-capita basis when it comes to people succumbing to the disease, according to a recent analysis of death certificates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Across the country, alcohol-related deaths have risen by 51% over a period covering most of the past two decades, according to a study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism published earlier this year.

The most alarming increase was among women. Deaths increased by 85% from 1999 to 2017.

And amid all-time high levels of anxiety and economic uncertainty, public-health experts fear that deaths like Babin’s will spike in the coming years. New data examining how drinking habits have changed during the pandemic showed drinking overall has increased by 14% compared with a year ago. In women, the increase was 17%, according to the peer-reviewed study published Sept. 29 in JAMA Network Open by researchers from the RAND Corporation.

Binge drinking in women, defined as four drinks over two hours, increased by 41% from 2019 to 2020. 

“Drinking by women is sort of overlooked,” said Michael Pollard, author of the JAMA study. “And this points out that it is a real concern. We don’t really have

U.S. COVID-19 Cases Hit Two-Month High, 10 States Report Record Increases | Top News

(Reuters) – New cases of COVID-19 in the United States hit a two-month high on Friday with over 58,000 infections of the new coronavirus reported and hospitalizations in the Midwest at record levels for a fifth day in a row, according to a Reuters analysis.

Ten of the 50 states reported record one-day rises in cases on Friday, including the Midwestern states of Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri and Ohio. Wisconsin and Illinois recorded over 3,000 new cases for a second day in a row – a two-day trend not seen even during the height of the previous outbreak in the spring, according to Reuters data.

The Western states of Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming also reported their biggest one-day jumps in cases, as did Oklahoma and West Virginia.

Nineteen states have seen record increases in new cases so far in October. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2SFLb7o)

Amid the resurgence in cases across the nation, President Donald Trump, who recently contracted COVID-19, is set to resume his re-election campaign on Saturday by addressing supporters from the balcony of the White House.

He is then scheduled to travel on Monday to central Florida to hold his first campaign rally since leaving the hospital.

Trump and his administration have faced criticism for their handling of the pandemic that has claimed over 213,000 lives in the country, as well as for a lax approach to mask-wearing and social distancing in the White House.

There is no federal mandate to wear a mask, and 17 states do not require them, according to a Reuters analysis.

In addition to rising cases, hospitals in several states are straining to handle an influx of patients.

Seven states on Friday reported record numbers of hospitalized COVID-19 patients: Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

In the Midwest, hospitalizations rose to nearly 9,000, continuing a streak of records that began on Monday. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/3lwVO9f)

There are now over 34,000 hospitalized nationally, up 18% in the past two weeks.

While deaths nationally continue to trend downward, the United States is losing on average 700 lives a day. Three states reported a record one-day increase in fatalities on Friday: Arkansas, Missouri and Montana. Health experts caution that deaths are a lagging indicator and usually rise weeks after cases climb.

(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by William Mallard)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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WHO reports record one-day rise in global coronavirus cases amid European outbreak

By Lisa Shumaker

(Reuters) – The World Health Organization reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases on Thursday, with the total rising by 338,779 in 24 hours led by a surge of infections in Europe.

Europe reported 96,996 new cases, the highest total for the region ever recorded by the WHO.

Global deaths rose by 5,514 to a total of 1.05 million.

The previous WHO record for new cases was 330,340 on Oct. 2. The agency reported a record 12,393 deaths on April 17.

As a region, Europe is now reporting more cases than India, Brazil or the United States.

India reported 78,524 new cases, followed by Brazil at 41,906 and the United States with 38,904 new infections, according to the WHO, whose data lags the daily reports by each country.

According to a Reuters analysis of more recent country data, COVID-19 infections are rising in 54 countries, including surges in Argentina, Canada and much of Europe. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/34CabCf)

Infections in the United Kingdom have reached record levels with over 17,000 new cases reported on Thursday.

“We are seeing a definite and sustained increase in cases and admissions to hospital. The trend is clear, and it is very concerning,” said Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director for Public Health England.

France’s new daily COVID-19 infections remained above the record 18,000 threshold for the second day on Thursday with new measures to curb the outbreak expected.

The average number of new infections reported in Belgium has been increasing for seven days straight and Germany reported its biggest daily increase in new cases since April on Thursday.

While India still leads in the globe in most new cases reported per day, new infections are down 20% from its peak.

In the United States, which has the largest total number of cases and deaths in the world, new infections are edging higher along with the most hospitalized COVID-19 patients since early September.

(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker in Chicago, Editing by Franklin Paul, Richard Chang and David Gregorio)

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Coronavirus live updates: Czech Republic sees record rise in cases for 2nd straight day

An internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News on Wednesday night shows that the number of new COVID-19 cases recorded in the United States and the nationwide usage of intensive care units are both on the rise in week-over-week comparisons.

There were 306,965 new cases confirmed during the period of Sept. 30-Oct. 6, a 4.8% increase from the previous week. There were also 4,860 coronavirus-related fatalities recorded during the period of Sept. 30-Oct. 6, a 4.6% decrease compared with the week prior, according to the memo.

Meanwhile, the national positivity rate for COVID-19 tests increased from 4.5% to 5.4% in week-to-week comparisons. Currently, 23% of hospitals across the country have more than 80% of beds full in their intensive care units. That figure was 17-18% during the summertime peak, the memo said.

The memo, which is circulated to the highest levels of the federal government and is used to determine daily priorities for the agencies working on COVID-19 response, shows that 32 U.S. states and territories are in an upward trajectory of infections, while 8 jurisdictions are at a plateau and 16 others are in a downward trend.

In Florida, 75% of ICU beds statewide are occupied. The number of new COVID-19 deaths doubled in Duval County in week-to-week comparisons, while Sumter County recently reported a single-day positivity rate for COVID-19 tests of over 20%, according to the memo.

Kentucky reported its highest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases on Oct. 3. Nearly half of current cases in northern Kentucky are patients younger than 40, and approximately 40% of them are under 30. The total number of COVID-19 hospitalizations has been increasing statewide since the end of September, the memo said.

The seven-day COVID-19 hospitalization rate continues to rise in Minnesota, reaching its highest since June 1 at 9.8 per 100,000 population, according to the memo.

In Ohio, the number of new COVID-19 cases has more than doubled in Muskingum County between the weeks ending Sept. 27 and Oct. 4. Outbreaks have been discovered at four social clubs there, according to the memo.

Wisconsin’s seven-day COVID-19 death rate has increased 139% from Sept. 27 to Oct. 4. The seven-day COVID-19 hospitalization rate also continues to climb, with Wisconsin reporting a peak of 16.4 per 100,000 population on Oct. 4. The state saw a record high of 782 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Oct. 5, more than double the amount a month earlier. As of Oct. 4, 84% of ICU beds statewide were in use. Local health departments in the counties of Fox Valley, Door and Manitowoc report seeing so many new cases that they are unable to conduct tests or

Six U.S. States Report Record COVID Hospitalizations, New Restrictions in Place | Top News

By Gabriella Borter and Lisa Shumaker

(Reuters) – Six states reported record numbers of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, including Wisconsin, where officials on Tuesday issued a new order limiting the size of indoor public gatherings.

The surge of COVID hospitalizations and new cases in some states coincides with U.S. President Donald Trump and several members of his White House staff testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Trump’s doctors on Tuesday said he was not displaying any acute symptoms after he left the Walter Reed Medical Center, where he was treated for three days.

The spike in reported hospitalizations on Monday hit states in the Midwest the hardest, with Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming reporting their highest figures, according to a Reuters tally. Wisconsin has 782 hospitalized coronavirus patients, compared with 433 two weeks ago.

Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services issued a directive that gatherings will be limited to no more than 25% of a room or building’s total occupancy.

“We’re in a crisis right now and need to immediately change our behavior to save lives,” Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said in a statement. “We are continuing to experience a surge in cases and many of our hospitals are overwhelmed, and I believe limiting indoor public gatherings will help slow the spread of this virus.”

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new restrictions as the state has seen new hotspots pop up in and around New York City, the hardest-hit metropolitan area in the United States. Among the “intense” cluster areas that will need to apply the governor’s strictest new shutdown orders are parts of Brooklyn, Queens and parts of Rockland and Orange Counties.

The new restrictions affect houses of worship the most – those in hotspots are now required to operate at 25% of capacity with a maximum of 10 people. Schools are being closed in some areas.

Cuomo said that while the new restrictions are necessary – they were “only as good as they’re enforced, and a lack of enforcement has contributed to this problem.”

“There is no way we didn’t see this coming,” Cuomo said.

The news was better farther north – in Maine the governor outlined the next reopening steps.

Governor Janet Mills said Maine was moving into the fourth stage of restarting the state’s economy, saying that as of Oct. 13, churches, restaurants and cinemas in the state would be allowed to operate at 50% capacity.

In Washington, Republican Trump abruptly ended talks https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL1N2GX0BC with Democrats on an economic stimulus bill to deliver pandemic aid to Americans before the November elections, sending the stock market sliding.

Democratic House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump’s decision shows he is “putting himself first at the expense of the country” with cases rising in the United States. The total number of diagnosed infections is an estimated 7.5 million and more than 210,600 people have died in the pandemic, the highest in the world.

(GRAPHIC: Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus – https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/)

(Reporting by

As cold weather arrives, U.S. states see record increases in COVID-19 cases

By Lisa Shumaker

(Reuters) – Nine U.S. states have reported record increases in COVID-19 cases over the last seven days, mostly in the upper Midwest and West where chilly weather is forcing more activities indoors.

On Saturday alone, four states – Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin – saw record increases in new cases and nationally nearly 49,000 new infections were reported, the highest for a Saturday in seven weeks, according to a Reuters analysis. Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Wyoming also set new records for cases last week.

Daytime highs in many of these states are now in the 50s Fahrenheit (10 Celsius). Health experts have long warned that colder temperatures driving people inside could promote the spread of the virus.

Montana has reported record numbers of new cases for three out of the last four days and also has a record number of COVID-19 patients in its hospitals.

Wisconsin has set records for new cases two out of the last three days and also reported record hospitalizations on Saturday. On average 22% of tests are coming back positive, one of the highest rates in the country. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/33rkCcw)

Wisconsin’s Democratic governor mandated masks on Aug. 1 but Republican lawmakers are backing a lawsuit challenging the requirement.

North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin have the highest new cases per capita in the country. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/33rIFI5)

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson is one of several prominent Republicans who have tested positive for coronavirus since President Donald Trump announced he had contracted the virus.

Because of the surge in cases in the Midwest, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities operated by Aspirus in northern Wisconsin and Michigan are barring most visitors as they did earlier this year.

Bellin Health, which runs a hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin, said last week its emergency department has been past capacity at times and doctors had to place patients in beds in the hallways.

The United States is reporting 42,600 new cases and 700 deaths on average each day, compared with 35,000 cases and 800 deaths in mid-September. Deaths are a lagging indicator and tend to rise several weeks after cases increase.

Kentucky is the first Southern state to report a record increase in cases in several weeks. Governor Andy Beshear said last week was the highest number of cases the state has seen since the pandemic started.

State health experts have not pinpointed the reason for the rise but point to fatigue with COVID-19 precautions and students returning to schools and colleges. Over the last two weeks, Kentucky has reported nearly 11,000 new cases and has seen hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients rise by 20%.

(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker in Chicago; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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As Cold Weather Arrives, U.S. States See Record Increases in COVID-19 Cases | Top News

(Reuters) – Nine U.S. states have reported record increases in COVID-19 cases over the last seven days, mostly in the upper Midwest and West where chilly weather is forcing more activities indoors.

On Saturday alone, four states – Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin – saw record increases in new cases and nationally nearly 49,000 new infections were reported, the highest for a Saturday in seven weeks, according to a Reuters analysis. Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Wyoming also set new records for cases last week.

Daytime highs in many of these states are now in the 50s Fahrenheit (10 Celsius). Health experts have long warned that colder temperatures driving people inside could promote the spread of the virus.

Montana has reported record numbers of new cases for three out of the last four days and also has a record number of COVID-19 patients in its hospitals.

Wisconsin has set records for new cases two out of the last three days and also reported record hospitalizations on Saturday. On average 22% of tests are coming back positive, one of the highest rates in the country. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/33rkCcw)

Wisconsin’s Democratic governor mandated masks on Aug. 1 but Republican lawmakers are backing a lawsuit challenging the requirement.

North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin have the highest new cases per capita in the country. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/33rIFI5)

(GRAPHIC: U.S. states with the biggest COVID-19 outbreaks – https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/USA-OUTBREAK/ygdvzkgknpw/chart.png)

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson is one of several prominent Republicans who have tested positive for coronavirus since President Donald Trump announced he had contracted the virus.

Because of the surge in cases in the Midwest, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities operated by Aspirus in northern Wisconsin and Michigan are barring most visitors as they did earlier this year.

Bellin Health, which runs a hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin, said last week its emergency department has been past capacity at times and doctors had to place patients in beds in the hallways.

The United States is reporting 42,600 new cases and 700 deaths on average each day, compared with 35,000 cases and 800 deaths in mid-September. Deaths are a lagging indicator and tend to rise several weeks after cases increase.

Kentucky is the first Southern state to report a record increase in cases in several weeks. Governor Andy Beshear said last week was the highest number of cases the state has seen since the pandemic started.

State health experts have not pinpointed the reason for the rise but point to fatigue with COVID-19 precautions and students returning to schools and colleges. Over the last two weeks, Kentucky has reported nearly 11,000 new cases and has seen hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients rise by 20%.

(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker in Chicago; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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SD reaches record high coronavirus death toll

South Dakota recorded a record high COVID-19 death toll Thursday with 13 fatalities and 747 new positive virus cases.

According to state epidemiologist Josh Clayton, cities and rural zones are reporting significant clusters of the virus in recent days, the Associated Press reported.

He noted that 245 of the infections reported were backlogged from previous days after a reporting error.

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One large outbreak stemmed from a women’s prison in Pierre, with testing showing positive results for 29 women in one housing unit.

The prison recorded a total of 197 prisoners and staff have tested positive while 110 have recovered.

According to Johns Hopkins University, as of Tuesday, the state’s seven-day average testing positivity rate was 26 percent — the highest in the country.

The record numbers of new cases come as Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemSouth Dakota governor spars with PETA over viral ‘social distancing’ hunting video South Dakota AG issues statement on fatal crash, says ‘I discovered the body’ Authorities confirm South Dakota attorney general involved in fatal crash MORE (R) tweeted late last month, “South Dakota’s #COVID19 spread peaked the latest of just about any state.”

Other states in the Midwest are also reporting record COVID-19 numbers, including Minnesota, Wisconsin and Kansas.

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Flu shot shortages in your areas? Record number of doses are on the way

October is prime time for flu vaccinations, and the U.S. and Europe are gearing up for what experts hope is high demand as countries seek to avoid a “twindemic” with COVID-19.

“There’s considerable concern as we enter the fall and winter months and into the flu season that we’ll have that dreaded overlap” of flu and the coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the U.S. National Institutes of Health said Thursday. He got his own flu shot earlier this week.

A record number of flu vaccine doses are on the way, between 194 million and 198 million for the U.S. alone — seemingly plenty considering last year just under half of adults got vaccinated and there usually are leftovers.

Still, there’s no way to know how many will seek shots this year and some people occasionally are finding drugstores or clinics temporarily out of stock.

Related: The soreness many people feel after getting the flu shot is a sign the body is developing influenza-fighting antibodies.

Be patient: Flu vaccine ships gradually. Less than half has been distributed so far, and the CDC and manufacturers say more is in transit.

“This year I think everyone is wanting to get their vaccine and maybe wanting it earlier than usual,” Dr. Daniel Jernigan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told The Associated Press. “If you’re not able to get your vaccination now, don’t get frustrated” but keep trying.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur, which is supplying nearly 250 million doses worldwide including 80 million for the U.S., says it has shipments staggered into November.

Vaccine maker Seqirus is exploring if it could squeeze out “a limited number of additional doses” to meet high demand, said spokeswoman Polina Miklush.

Brewing flu vaccine is time-consuming. Once production ends for the year, countries can’t simply order more — making for a stressful balancing act as they guess how many people will roll up their sleeves.

Germany usually buys 18 million to 19 million doses, and this year ordered more. As German Health Minister Jens Spahn put it: “If we manage, together, to get the flu vaccination rate so high that all 26 million doses are actually used, then I’d be a very happy health minister.”

Spain purchased extra doses in hopes of vaccinating far more older adults and pregnant women than usual, along with key workers in health facilities and nursing homes.

In contrast, Poland, which last year had 100,000 doses go unused, didn’t anticipate this fall’s high demand and is seeking more.

Related: Cold is easier to distinguish from flu and COVID-19, but symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are very similar.

The good news: The same precautions that help stop spread of the coronavirus — wearing masks, avoiding crowds, washing your hands and keeping your distance — can help block influenza, too.

Winter just ended in the Southern Hemisphere and countries like South Africa, Australia, Argentina and Chile diagnosed hardly any flu thanks to COVID-19 restrictions