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Nov 15, 2020 at 5:33 pm ET

Washington, Michigan Impose New Covid-19 Restrictions, Halting Indoor Dining

The governors of Washington and Michigan on Sunday announced new sweeping restraints on daily life to fight rapidly rising Covid-19 numbers in their states, including a halt to indoor dining and sharp restrictions on indoor social gatherings.

Average daily infections in Washington have hit new records, topping 2,000 a day over the weekend, more than double the daily cases at the start of the month, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said.

香蕉视频苹果下载“Three weeks we were in a relatively stable position, and there was good reason to hope that this surge would not be something catastrophic,” Mr. Inslee said. “Boom. It just hit us like bricks.”

“This is an explosive situation that we’re in,” he added.

香蕉视频苹果下载The Washington state restrictions, which begin Monday at 11:59 p.m. and last four weeks, prohibit indoor social gatherings with people from other households—unless attendees meet certain quarantine or testing standards.

香蕉视频苹果下载Mr. Inslee also stopped indoor service at restaurants and bars, and restricted outdoor dining to tables of five people. Indoor operations were halted at gyms, bowling alleys, museums, zoos, aquariums and movie theaters, while religious services are limited to 25% of indoor capacity or 200 people, whichever is less. Weddings and funerals can take place, but indoor receptions of any size are prohibited.

Later Sunday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a three-week pause in that state’s reopening starting Wednesday, including stopping indoor dining at restaurants and bars and closing theaters, ice skating rinks and a number of other recreational venues. The order also limited home gatherings to two households at any one time.

Michigan's order also temporarily stops in-person classes for high schools and colleges.

The number of confirmed cases is rising significantly in all but a few states, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. The Midwest in particular is seeing a major surge.

香蕉视频苹果下载Ms. Whitmer made a plea for people to call off holiday gatherings with extended family and friends. “If you are considering spending Thanksgiving with people outside of your household, I urge you to reconsider,” she said.

Mr. Inslee said Washington state will commit $50 million in aid to help affected businesses.

Mr. Inslee and Ms. Whitmer, both Democrats, are among many governors who in recent days have imposed new measures as the U.S. faces a third surge of the virus. Many policy makers are, for now, taking more surgical approaches, such as targeting household gatherings or bars, in hopes of avoiding broader lockdowns.

“We’re trying to avoid that,” Mr. Inslee said of a full lockdown, noting that Sunday’s order was less restrictive than the stay-at-home order he imposed in March.

His new measures target restrictions in environments where people tend to be in close quarters or unmasked, he said. The goal is to reduce the rate that cases are increasing, he said.

“We hope that it succeeds,” he said. “If it doesn't we’ll have to look at other alternatives.”

Nov 15, 2020 at 3:14 pm ET

Cuomo Says New York Is Prepared to Receive Vaccine, Pushing Back Against Trump’s Criticism

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent much of the weekend pushing back against President Donald Trump, who said on Friday that a shipment of a new Covid-19 vaccine wouldn’t arrive in New York until the state authorizes the vaccine.

Mr. Trump took aim at the Democratic governor in a Rose Garden news conference Friday announcing that a Covid-19 vaccine would be widely available as soon as April. He said Mr. Cuomo “wants to take his time on the vaccine. He doesn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from,” adding: “We won’t be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so and that pains me to say that.”

Mr. Cuomo has said New York is one of seven states to develop its own process for evaluating the vaccine’s effectiveness, using an independent panel of experts. Mr. Cuomo has said that people don’t trust the federal government and the president has “politicized the health process of this nation.”

On Saturday, Mr. Cuomo said Mr. Trump's remarks were a bullying tactic and vowed to get any vaccine to New Yorkers as quickly as possible.

“I'm going to tell the truth, and I'm going to protect the people of this state, and New Yorkers don't back down to bullies,” Mr. Cuomo said.

On Sunday, speaking at Riverside Church in Manhattan, Mr. Cuomo said the Covid-19 pandemic is a “low tide” for America, showing a lack of trust in government, deep inequalities and health disparities for people of color. Existing health disparities, Mr. Cuomo said, made it more likely that Black Americans would die from Covid-19.

香蕉视频苹果下载The state will mobilize an army to vaccinate all residents fairly and equitably, Mr. Cuomo said.

Nov 15, 2020 at 5:11 am ET

Coronavirus Hospitalizations Hit Record as U.S. Adds 166,555 Cases

The U.S. registered its second-highest number of newly reported coronavirus infections as a surge in cases brought the national total close to 11 million and put a record number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals.

The 166,555 new infections reported Saturday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, were second to the record number reported the day earlier. Saturday’s caseload brought the country’s total to 10.9 million.

The number of people hospitalized with Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has reached 69,455, according to the Covid Tracking Project. That included a record of 13,341 people in intensive care units.

Nearly 1,300 people died of the disease on Saturday in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins data. The daily death toll has averaged over 1,000 for the past seven days, according to the data.

香蕉视频苹果下载The U.S. has added more than 100,000 cases a day for the past 12 days. States in the Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska and the Dakotas, are being hit particularly hard.

In Kentucky, two dozen veterans died in an outbreak at a state-run nursing home as the state had a record number of new infections.

Nov 14, 2020 at 3:04 pm ET

Kentucky Veterans Home Records 24th Virus Fatality as State’s Cases Hit Record

Two dozen veterans have died in a Covid-19 outbreak at a Kentucky state-run nursing home, as the state set a new record for its highest daily total of coronavirus infections.

香蕉视频苹果下载Gov. Andy Beshear said Friday that Thomson-Hood Veterans Center had recorded its 24th Covid-19 fatality. He made the announcement the same day the state registered a record 3,164 cases.

香蕉视频苹果下载Thomson-Hood Veterans Center, a state-owned long-term nursing care facility in the Lexington area, has experienced over 85 infections among residents, 48 of whom have recovered. There have been 65 infections among the center’s staff. More than 50 have recuperated.

香蕉视频苹果下载The veterans center’s deaths recall the pandemic’s early days when nursing homes and assisted-living facilities experienced some of the worst outbreaks. From the pandemic’s start early this year to June, nursing homes reported nearly 32,000 resident deaths linked to the coronavirus, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

To date, it is estimated that over 65,000 American nursing-home residents have died of Covid-19. Overall, the U.S. death toll is over 245,000.

“We are still battling,” Thomson-Hood Veterans Center said Friday on Facebook. “Keep praying for our incredible, warrior staff and our precious veterans.”

At a news conference Friday, Mr. Beshear urged residents to follow a statewide mask mandate that he enacted via executive order. The mandate survived a legal challenge from Kentucky businesses, whose lawsuit was rejected by the state Supreme Court on Thursday.

香蕉视频苹果下载“It’s the toughest spot we’ve been in thus far,” Mr. Beshear said. “You must do your part,” he said.

For most of the pandemic, Kentucky has recorded well below 1,000 Covid-19 cases a day until October, according to an analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. In the past 14 days, average daily cases have surged to nearly 2,000.

“C’mon, team Kentucky, let’s not have another day of 3,000 plus cases, 20 plus deaths. Too many of us are hurting, too many of us are dying. We have to beat this virus,” Mr. Beshear said.

Nov 14, 2020 at 1:27 pm ET

Austria Declares Nationwide Lockdown as Europe Grapples With Virus Surge

香蕉视频苹果下载Austria declared a new hard lockdown, similar to the one in the spring, as Covid-19 infections have continued to grow despite a partial shutdown announced two weeks ago, highlighting Europe’s struggle to get the second wave of the pandemic under control.

香蕉视频苹果下载Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Saturday all nonessential shops, beauty parlors and hairdressers would close from Tuesday until Dec. 6. People will be allowed to go to work only if absolutely necessary, to get food and necessities, to care for a relative or to exercise alone outside.

Austria went further than some other European countries hit hard香蕉视频苹果下载 by the pandemic in largely closing schools, which will again shift to remote learning. Parents who have to work and have no other option to watch their children will be able to leave them in schools or day care, Mr. Kurz said.

香蕉视频苹果下载Austria’s shift to a stringent lockdown highlights how governments in Europe are struggling to contain the second wave of infections that has swept over the continent this fall.

香蕉视频苹果下载European governments had tried to contain the virus with lighter restrictions that weighed less on the economy. They ramped up testing to crack down on local outbreaks. Some countries set curfews to curb nightlife. But months after authorities flattened the curve of coronavirus infections across Europe by imposing some of the Western world’s toughest restrictions, infections again surged in October, leading many countries to impose tighter restrictions.

France, which emerged as one of the epicenters of the second wave, in late October announced a tough second lockdown after targeted measures failed to keep the virus under control when life resumed after the summer break.

香蕉视频苹果下载Germany, where infections had been rising less sharply than in some neighboring countries, ordered a partial shutdown for the month of November, but officials have hinted that measures could be extended.

Belgium late Friday extended its lockdown for another two weeks, while allowing schools to reopen with reduced capacity on Monday. Belgium’s infection and hospitalization rate continues to drop, with the country currently ranking sixth in Europe after having ranked first in late October. Authorities on Saturday said they would resume testing nonsymptomatic patients on Nov. 23 after a spike in infections last month overwhelmed the nation’s testing capacity.

香蕉视频苹果下载In Austria, Mr. Kurz said a strict lockdown was the only way to bring down infections fast and prevent the country’s health system from collapsing in the weeks to come. Some hospitals were already showing signs of strain.

香蕉视频苹果下载“Even if no one wishes such a second lockdown, such a lockdown is the only thing that we know can really work,” Mr. Kurz told reporters, pointing to other countries such as Israel, which he said had managed to get spiraling infections back under control with hard measures. “There is no alternative.”

香蕉视频苹果下载Measures announced two weeks ago, which included a nightly curfew and limiting restaurants to takeaway service, hadn’t yielded a dramatic decline in infections, Mr. Kurz said. He appealed to all Austrians to respect the rules of the new lockdowns to help make it as short as possible and for life to gradually resume soon.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her weekly podcast Saturday again warned of a tough winter ahead. “The virus will determine our lives still for quite a while,” she said.

香蕉视频苹果下载Ms. Merkel is set to meet with the premiers of Germany’s 16 states Monday to take stock of how the partial lockdown has worked so far.

香蕉视频苹果下载In Russia, authorities reported a record daily increase in coronavirus cases in the country and warned that the healthcare system is straining. Russia recorded 22,702 new infections on Saturday, pushing the national tally to close to two million, with more than 32,000 deaths.

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Friday that less than 20% of beds for coronavirus patients were currently free, with some regions having less than 10% capacity. “The situation with coronavirus infection today is very tense,” he said in an interview on state television.

With the Russian economy battered by a combination of earlier quarantine measures and low oil prices, Russian President Vladimir Putin ruled out a new national lockdown.

But local authorities have increasingly introduced new restrictions to combat the spread. On Friday night, Moscow closed restaurants and nightclubs between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. until mid-January, and the city’s mayor said new limitations might be added in the coming days.