Washington, District of Columbia 2020-10-21 16:06:34 –
TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and the first lady tested negative for coronavirus on Wednesday, just hours…
TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and the first lady tested negative for coronavirus on Wednesday, just hours after he abruptly left an event.
The Democrat was speaking at a workforce development event his office organized with Democratic Rep. Donald Norcross at Camden County College when he learned a recent contact had tested positive.
The 63-year-old governor say he has no symptoms and last tested negative on Monday. Murphy spokesperson Mahen Gunaratna says Tammy Murphy also tested negative on Wednesday afternoon. The governor and first lady will quarantine until the end of the weekend and take a test before resuming any in-person events.
The state’s daily coronavirus figures have doubled in the past month, state officials said this week. New Jersey has reported more than 222,000 positive cases and 14,438 confirmed deaths.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Spain reaches 1 million cases of coronavirus
— North Dakota Republican governor calls National Guard to help with test results
— CDC redefines coronavirus close contact, adds brief encounters
— Next up in hunt for COVID-19 vaccine: Testing shots in kids. Pfizer received permission last week to test its vaccine in U.S. kids as young as 12.
— Boston schools will switch to all-remote learning in response to rising coronavirus cases in the city.
— Brazil President overrules own health minister, rejecting purchase of 46 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine tested in Sao Paulo state.
Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is easing restrictions slightly in some coronavirus hot spots in New York City, but adding them in areas along the Pennsylvania border.
The tweaks will mean that schools in parts of Brooklyn and Queens can reopen, with boosted testing efforts, and houses of worship can increase attendance.
New York recorded more than 2,000 new infections in a single day for the first time since mid-May. Cuomo announced the reinstatement of coronavirus restrictions in two upstate counties where the virus is spreading.
MADRID — Spain has become the first western European country to reach more than 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases.
Spain’s health ministry says the total since the start of the pandemic has reached 1,005,295 after reporting 16,973 additional cases in the past 24 hours.
The ministry says the country has 34,366 confirmed deaths. Health experts say the real numbers of infections and deaths are probably much higher because insufficient testing, asymptomatic cases and reporting issues impede the true scale of the outbreak.
Health authorities in charge of health policy in Spain’s regions are tightening restrictions in hopes of stemming the surge.
BOSTON — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says public schools will switch to all-remote learning starting Thursday because of increasing coronavirus cases.
The city’s seven-day average positive test rate is currently 5.7%, up from last week’s rate of 4.5%. There have been two weeks of increased confirmed positive cases across the city.
Walsh says students will remain in remote learning until two full weeks of falling infection rates.
Boston has nearly 19,000 coronavirus cases and 771 confirmed deaths.
Massachusetts has more than 142,000 confirmed cases and 9,537 deaths, the sixth-highest deaths in the nation behind New York (33,000), Texas (17,500), California (17,000), New Jersey (16,225) and Florida (16,000).
BERLIN — Germany Health Minister Jens Spahn has tested positive for the coronavirus and is self-isolating at home.
The health ministry says Spahn is showing “cold symptoms” and people in close contact are being informed.
Germany’s approach to the pandemic has been widely lauded. The 40-year-old Spahn has been ubiquitous throughout, appearing regularly at briefings or events to push the government’s message of adherence to mask regulations, social distancing and hygiene rules.
Spahn regularly wears a mask when it’s not possible to keep a safe distance.
Germany’s numbers have increased in the past weeks. The Robert Koch Institute, the country’s disease control center, says 7,595 new cases were registered on Wednesday. The number of new cases per 100,000 over the last seven days have risen to 51.3.
Germany has recorded 385,907 cases (No. 18 in the world) and 9,849 confirmed deaths (No. 20).
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota’s coronavirus cases are rising so fast, the Republican governor is deploying the National Guard to notify people of positive test results.
Gov. Doug Burgum and the North Dakota Department of Health announced they’re shifting 50 National Guard members who had worked in contract tracing to notify people who test positive. It’s been taking health officials up to three days to notify people after they’ve tested positive, the department said.
Public health officials will no longer notify close contacts of people who tested positive; instead those individuals will be instructed to self-notify close contacts and direct them to the department’s website.
North Dakota’s 1,224 new cases of the coronavirus per 100,000 people in the past two weeks is the highest per capita in the nation, according to data by Johns Hopkins University.
The state’s numbers have prompted questions over how Burgum, a former Microsoft executive up for re-election, has handled the coronavirus. He’s asked citizens to voluntarily wear masks.
Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney, a surgeon, has called for a mask mandate statewide. The mayor says there’s “better compliance if it’s the whole state.”
BERLIN — German states are imposing stricter coronavirus as new infections rise across the country.
The Robert Koch Institute, the country’s disease control center, says 7,595 new cases had been recorded. The number of new cases per 100,000 over the last seven days had climbed to 51.3.
The country’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, announced all students from fifth grade up will wear masks in class when they return from the fall break on Monday.
The measure is expected to remain until at least the Christmas break. The state is also committing 50 million euros ($60 million) to purchase mobile ventilation units for classrooms.
Meanwhile, the southern state of Bavaria announced new restrictions that would kick in if its rate of infection rises to more than 100 per 100,000 residents over seven days. The previous restrictions took effect at rates of 35 per 100,000 and then 50 per 100,000. The state is currently at 54.96 per 100,000 residents over seven days.
The rate in Berlin rose to more than 100 per 100,000 over seven days for the first time on Wednesday, hitting 104.4, according to state health authorities. It announced stronger restrictions earlier in the week.
ROME — The Italian military is mobilizing 200 drive-in test sites operated by armed forces personnel to help combat the surge in coronavirus cases.
The Italian defense ministry announced 1,400 members of the armed forces will have the nationwide sites operational within the next days. It will conduct as many as 30,000 swab tests per day.
By month’s end, laboratories in Italian military hospitals will help speed up test results.
Bucharest, Romania — Romania hit an all-time high Wednesday with 4,848 positive coronavirus cases as authorities carried out a record number of tests.
Romania reported 37,025 coronavirus tests, the highest so far. It added 69 deaths in the last 24 hours.
The rate of infections over the past 14 days passed the threshold of three people per 1,000 in 255 localities nationwide, all of which entered the “red scenario,” according to data from Romania’s Emergency Services Department.
In the red scenario, masks are mandatory in all public venues and restaurants, cafes, theaters and cinemas are closed. Schools are shut down and switch to online learning.
Romania has reported 191,102 coronavirus cases and 6,065 confirmed deaths.
SOFIA, Bulgaria — Bulgaria hit a record level of 1,336 new coronavirus infections, the health ministry reported on Wednesday.
New restrictive measures are starting Thursday with mandatory mask-wearing outdoors. Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said wearing protective masks, along with social distancing and frequent disinfection, will slow the spread of the virus by about 30 percent and help prevent overwhelming the health system.
According to official reports, 71 doctors and other medical staff have tested positive in the past 24 hours, bringing the total of infected medics to 1,622.
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev reportedly cut short a visit to Estonia on Tuesday because of contact with a coronavirus-positive person. Upon his return to Sofia, Radev showed reporters a negative test result and his office announced Wednesday that he tested negative for a second time.
The Balkan nation of 7 million people has 31,863 confirmed cases and 1,019 deaths.
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s military-backed National Command and Operation Center has issued a warning that another lockdown could be imposed to contain COVID-19 deaths if people don’t stop violating social distancing rules.
The announcement on Wednesday came after Pakistan reported reported 660 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours and 19 deaths.
The daily death toll was one of Pakistan’s highest in more than two months. Deaths from COVID-19 have steadily increased since the government lifted its months-long lockdown in August.
Pakistan has reported 324,744 confirmed cases of the virus and 6,692 virus-related deaths since February.
WARSAW — Poland has reported a new record for daily coronavirus cases after conducting a record number of virus tests.
The country on Wednesday reported 10,040 new confirmed cases and 13 deaths, plus another 117 people died of COVID-19 combined with other health issues. There were 60,000 tests performed in 24 hours.
Authorities in large cities are taking steps to turn conference halls into temporary COVID-19 hospitals, and the city of Krakow is planning to reopen a disused hospital to treat coronavirus patients.
Polish lawmakers are debating legislation that would give more funds to medics and temporarily exempt them from legal responsibility for mistakes that take place while treating people for COVID-19.
The country of 38 million has almost 203,000 total reported cases and nearly 3,900 confirmed deaths.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has gone back to his mask-less old ways during his general audience at the Vatican despite surging coronavirus infections across Europe.
Francis shunned a facemask during his Wednesday public audience in the Vatican auditorium, and remained mask-less when he greeted a half-dozen bishops at the end. He shook hands and leaned in to chat privately with each one.
The pope himself donned a facemask in public for the first time during a liturgical service on Tuesday.
Vatican regulations now require facemasks to be worn indoors and out where distancing can’t be “always guaranteed.” The Vatican hasn’t responded to questions about why the pope wasn’t following either Vatican regulations or basic public health measures to prevent COVID-19.
At age 83 and with part of a lung missing from an illness in his 20s, the pope is at high-risk for COVID-19 complications.
GENEVA — The World Health Organization says Europe again reported a new high in the weekly number of coroavirus cases during the pandemic last week, recording more than 927,000 cases.
The U.N. health agency says in its latest global report on the coronavirus that the continent had a 25% spike in confirmed cases last week and was responsible for 38% of all new cases reported worldwide.
France, Britain, Russia, the Czech Republic and Italy were responsible for more than half of new COVID-19 cases in the region.
The WHO report says the number of deaths in Europe also “continues to climb,” and increased by one-third from the previous week.
Slovenia has declared a 30-day state of emergency with a curfew in response to the increasing coronavirus transmission. WHO says Slovenia has reported a total of 164 deaths, including 12 confirmed deaths in the past week.
(This item has been corrected by WHO to indicate 164 total deaths in Slovenia.)
LONDON — The South Yorkshire region of northern England is under the country’s tightest restrictions to curb the coronavirus, joining a densely populated area of the country where the measures have already been imposed.
Sheffield Mayor Dan Jarvis say the Tier 3 restrictions will start Saturday. He says local authorities had struck a deal with the British government on financial support for the area to accompany the measures.
“We all recognize the gravity of the situation and have taken the responsible route to ensure we save lives and livelihoods, and protect our (health service),” Jarvis said.
Under the new rules, pubs have to close, people are barred from mixing with members of other households and travel in and out of the area is discouraged. The measures have caused tension between Britain’s Conservative government and local authorities in northern England, which has the country’s highest infection rates.
On Tuesday the government imposed the same restrictions on Greater Manchester, the U.K.’s second-biggest urban area.
Britain has had Europe’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak, with nearly 44,000 confirmed deaths.
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