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Coronavirus Live Updates: Cruise Companies Cancel Trips Through End Of 2020

Read the latest updates below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)

U.S. Sets Record For COVID-19 Cases Amid Election Battle — 11/5/20, 6:30 a.m. ET

States around the country set all-time highs Wednesday and the U.S. set another record for daily confirmed coronavirus cases as the country awaited results of the presidential race, the AP reports.

In the time until President Donald Trump’s term expires on Jan. 20, 100,000 more Americans will likely die from the virus if the country doesn’t change strategy, said Dr. Robert Murphy, executive director of the Institute for Global Health at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Daily new confirmed deaths are at a record 7-day average of 86,352, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Deaths are up to an average of 846 a day.

“Regardless of the outcome of the election, everyone in America needs to buckle down,” said Dr. Susan Bailey, president of the American Medical Association.

— Liza Hearon

Cruise Companies Cancel Trips Through End Of Year — 11/3/20, 6:45 a.m. ET

Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings and Carnival Corp. will cancel most cruises through the end of the year, the companies said Monday.

The companies had already suspended cruises through Nov. 30 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Today reported.

The cancellations follow a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Framework for Conditional Sailing Order,” issued Friday. It stipulates that cruises sailing in U.S. waters would first need to do simulation sailings with no paying passengers on board to show compliance with CDC standards.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, some cruises have restarted in Asia and Europe with COVID-19 protocols, but ocean cruises have yet to restart in U.S. waters.

Cruise ships were vectors for the spread of the coronavirus in the early days of the pandemic with several outbreaks on board ships. Hundreds of passengers were quarantined off Japan for weeks on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

— Liza Hearon

Record Number Of U.S. Children Diagnosed With COVID-19 Last Week — 11/3/20, 5:40 a.m. ET

More than 61,000 children were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the week ending Oct. 29, the highest number since the pandemic began, the American Academy of Pediatrics said Monday.

While it appears at this time that severe illness due to the coronavirus is rare among children, there’s a need to research the long-term impacts on children, including on mental and physical health, the academy said.

Children represented 11.1% of cases in states that reported their cases by age. The report found that, in October, the Western states of Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Utah reported the greatest rises in the number of children with the coronavirus. Overall, the percentage of pediatric cases nationwide has crept up, from around 2% in mid-April.

“It just keeps going from horrible to even worse,” said Dr. Greg Demuri, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, NBC News reported.

The U.S. has reported about 9.3 million cases of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, with more than 231,000 deaths.

— Liza Hearon

WHO Indirectly Helped China Whitewash Its Early Failures In Handling Outbreak: NYT — 11/2/20, 7:45 a.m. ET

The World Health Organization may have botched its early investigation into the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic by bending to pressure from China, indirectly helping the country whitewash its initial failures in handling the outbreak, The New York Times reported Monday.

Though the WHO has led the world on COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccine science, its quiet concessions to China have created a geopolitical divide: European leaders wants to reform the organization in light of its recent blunders while U.S. President Donald Trump has essentially abandoned it, withdrawing the U.S. from the group in May.

Meanwhile, the world ― with perhaps, the exception of China ― remains in the dark about the virus’s origins, which could be key to curbing its spread, preventing future outbreaks and shaping the global response to pandemics. Many scientists now doubt the initial theory that the outbreak began in a wet market in Wuhan, though evidence suggests the virus passed naturally from animals to humans, according to the Times.

Read more here.

— Hayley Miller

WHO Chief Self-Quarantines After Exposure To COVID-19 — 11/2/20, 5:45 a.m. ET

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, said Sunday that he will self-quarantine after being identified as a contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

He said that he is well and without symptoms but will work from home in line with WHO protocols. The WHO director-general has been at the forefront of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Also on Sunday, Geneva, where the WHO is headquartered, declared a fresh state of emergency and imposed tougher lockdown restrictions than the rest of Switzerland, closing all bars, restaurants and non-essential shops. The Geneva region, which includes about 500,000 people, has recorded more than 1,000 new cases a day recently.

— Liza Hearon

COVID-19 Surge Ahead Of Election Day Creates Concerns For Polling Places — 11/01/2020, 3:10 p.m. ET

A surge in coronavirus cases across the country, including in key presidential battleground states, is creating mounting health and logistical concerns for voters, poll workers and political parties ahead of Election Day.

Iowa election official Joel Miller said he is concerned about contracting the virus after spending hours this week assisting voters. He said he was worried about the virus spreading at polling places Tuesday, noting that voters cannot be required to wear masks.

“Heck yes I’m concerned,” Miller said. “I’m going to have 500 people working on Tuesday. I don’t want it on my conscience that somebody caught COVID at a polling place and got sick. … It could happen. It could happen to me.”

Read more from The Associated Press.

― Hayley Miller

Boris Johnson Announces New National Lockdown For England — 10/31/20, 4:05 p.m. ET

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday that England will return to a lockdown next week as COVID-19 cases in the country are quickly rising.

The new lockdown will begin Thursday and last until Dec. 2.

Nonessential retail, leisure, and entertainment businesses will be closed. Restaurants, bars, and pubs will be allowed to offer take-out and delivery only.

Schools, including universities, will stay open, as will workplaces, where working from home is impossible — like those in the manufacturing and construction sectors.

Johnson said that people may only leave home for specific reasons, including education, work, outdoor recreation, medical appointments, shopping for essentials, and providing care for vulnerable people. 

“No one wants to be imposing these kinds of measures anywhere,” said Johnson. But, he added, “no responsible prime minister can ignore” the rising numbers.

— Hilary Hanson

Boris Johnson Expected To Announce New National Lockdown For England — 10/31/20, 10:20 a.m.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce Saturday that England will return into a lockdown next week as COVID-19 cases are soaring.

“Unlike the first wave, where we had a national lockdown which protected huge swathes of society, this outbreak is now running riot across all age groups,”   Calum Semple, a professor and member of Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies said on BBC Radio 4 Today ahead of the announcement.

Semple noted that women between the ages of 20 and 40 were were three to four times likely as men in the same age group to end up in the hospital because of their increased likelihood of working in hospitality, retail or educational fields where they could be exposed.

The expected lockdown could last until Dec. 1.

— Hilary Hanson

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Says He’s Under Quarantine After Potential COVID-19 Exposure — 10/30/20, 3:30 p.m. ET

Brian Kemp, the Republican governor of Georgia, announced Friday that he and his wife, Marty Kemp, were quarantining after “direct exposure within the last 48 hours to an individual who recently tested positive” for the coronavirus. 

Kemp — who earlier in the pandemic was criticized by President Trump for allowing the reopening of some businesses in the state too quickly — also announced Friday that he was extending the state’s COVID-19 emergency order into December.

According to a statement from Kemp’s office, the governor was not “currently experiencing any symptoms.”

Georgia has reported more than 350,000 cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began. More than 7,900 people in the state have died from the virus to date.

— Dominique Mosbergen

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Hit New Record With Nearly 90,000 New Infections In 1 Day — 10/30/2020, 10:35 a.m. ET

The United States has set yet another grim milestone as the deadly coronavirus continues to surge throughout the country.

John Hopkins University reported more than 88,000 new U.S. cases of the coronavirus in the past day, surpassing the previous record of 80,000 cases on Wednesday. The university on Thursday also recorded 982 deaths in the country, which is leading the world’s death toll with nearly 230,000 deaths. Experts have warned that by the end of the year, the number of deaths in the United States could double to 400,000.

President Donald Trump, who has downplayed the pandemic from the start, continued to dig his heels into falsehoods earlier this week when he inaccurately claimed that the United States is “rounding the turn” even as nationwide cases of COVID-19 continue to shatter records.

— Sebastian Murdock 

Boston Mayor Encourages All Residents To Take Coronavirus Test — 10/30/20, 6:30 a.m. ET

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Thursday encouraged all residents of his city to take a coronavirus test under a new program called “Get The Test Boston.”

City workers will receive one paid hour every 14 days to get tested during their normal work hours, Walsh said. Several city businesses such as the Boston Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics have committed to ensuring their employees get tested.

Coronavirus cases have been rising in Boston, with the city’s positivity rate rising to 7.8% on Saturday compared with 6.2% the previous week.

The Massachusetts health department reported more than 1,000 new cases in the state for a fifth consecutive day on Wednesday.

— Liza Hearon

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