coronavirusblog

The number of new daily coronavirus infections in the U.S. continued to rise this past week, driven by upward trends in nearly half the states that have pushed total cases in the country past 7 million. At the same time, a recent study suggests the vast majority of Americans haven't been exposed, far below what's required to quell the virus's spread through "herd immunity."

Daily cases were largely on a downward trend through August and early September from highs in July, but are now going up again.

Just two days after announcing that they have contracted the coronavirus, Republican Gov. Mike Parson and his wife, Teresa Parson, have reassured Missourians that they still plan to host their annual fall festival next month.

"WE WILL BE PROCEEDING WITH THIS EVENT," the first lady wrote in all caps on Twitter.

Novavax, a vaccine maker in Maryland, is becoming the 10th coronavirus vaccine candidate to enter the final phase of testing, called phase 3.

The trial is taking place in the U.K., where researchers plan to enroll up to 10,000 adults of various ages in the next four to six weeks. Half the participants will get a placebo and half will get the company's vaccine.

At least a quarter of participants will be over the age of 65, the company says, and it will also "prioritize groups that are most affected by COVID-19, including racial and ethnic minorities."

Former leaders at a state-run nursing home for veterans in Holyoke, Mass., are facing criminal neglect charges, after an investigation found their "substantial errors and failures" likely worsened a COVID-19 outbreak that killed at least 76 veterans earlier this year.

Bennett Walsh and David Clinton — who served as the superintendent and medical director, respectively, of the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke when a deadly COVID-19 outbreak struck in the spring – have been indicted on criminal neglect charges, state Attorney General Maura Healey announced on Friday.

Rio de Janeiro's Carnival, known as one of the best spectacles in the world, has been derailed by the coronavirus.

Event organizers announced Thursday evening that the colorful, rhythmic parades of 2021 are postponed indefinitely. It's the first time Carnival has been postponed in more than a century, according to The Associated Press.

Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he is lifting all restrictions on businesses statewide that were imposed to control the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Most significantly, that means restaurants and bars in the state can now operate at full capacity.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and first lady Pamela Northam have tested positive for the coronavirus, the governor's office announced Friday. The couple underwent PCR tests Thursday, after a staff member of the governor's residence was diagnosed.

The governor does not have symptoms, but Pamela Northam "is currently experiencing mild symptoms," a statement from the governor's office says. The Northams will self-isolate for the next 10 days as their health is monitored. Northam will continue to work from the governor's mansion.

The Pac-12 has changed its mind about playing football, voting unanimously to start the 2020 season on Nov. 6.

The reversal by the Pac-12's CEO group on Thursday comes about a month after the conference decided to halt all sports until Jan. 1 at the earliest in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to encourage unemployed New Yorkers to work at polls during the Nov. 3 election and has signed an executive order that relieves people who receive unemployment benefits from having to report part-time income they get from an election board.

Pandemic Sparks New Businesses

Sep 24, 2020

When Derwood Selby found out in March he had lost his job as a food and beverage supervisor at a Philadelphia hotel, his first reaction was relief: He was burned out, and had been itching to move on to something else.

Then, reality hit.

"I started sweating," said Selby, 53. "How the heck was I going to get some money?"

Unemployment benefits bought him some time to think. The state payout, combined with the federal payment of $600 a week, gave Selby enough to pay rent and even start to save a little.

Pregnant women had mountains of concern at the beginning of the pandemic, and doctors didn't have many answers. Now, months after COVID-19 began sweeping across the globe, new studies and CDC reports are out.

While there is still much that is unknown, the picture is beginning to be more clear.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he doesn't trust the Trump administration to deliver a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine because the approval process has become so politicized that its integrity can't be taken for granted.

At a news conference Thursday, Cuomo said state health officials will screen any federally approved vaccines.

In another effort aimed at getting travelers back on planes, United Airlines will begin offering on-the-spot coronavirus testing to some passengers at the airport before they board their flight.

To paraphrase The Wizard of Oz, pay no attention to what's behind the curtain.

Gretchen Goldman, a scientist and mother, recently pulled back the curtain on her own life — and a lot of people paid a lot of attention.

CNN interviewed Goldman, a research director at the Union of Concerned Scientists, to discuss President Trump's choice of David Legates to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

It's what CNN viewers could not see on television that created a sensation.

Several Dutch celebrities are being heavily criticized after announcing they would no longer take part in public efforts to combat COVID-19 and for their apparent support of a conspiracy theory suggesting that the government is using fear of the virus to control the population.

With the hashtag #ikdoenietmeermee ("I no longer participate"), the musicians and influencers, led by 21-year-old rapper and model Famke Louise, posted videos to social media saying they were opting out of campaigns to promote social distancing and the use of face masks.

Enrollment at U.S. community colleges has dropped nearly 8% this fall, newly released figures show, part of an overall decline in undergraduate enrollment as students face a global pandemic and the worst economic recession in decades.

Often, enrollment in higher education spikes in times of high unemployment and recession as students seek additional job skills and postpone entering the workforce. But the pandemic has overturned those traditional calculations, according to preliminary data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, which tracks college enrollment.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, whose mask-wearing habits have been publicly inconsistent and who has declined to issue a statewide mandate for face coverings, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Republican governor's wife, Teresa Parson, has also tested positive.

In a brief video statement, Mike Parson said he is awaiting a second test to confirm the results.

New York's famed Metropolitan Opera announced on Wednesday that the house will remain closed until September 2021.

In a press release, the Met said that it had made its decision to cancel the rest of the 2020-21 season based on the advice of "health officials who advise the Met and Lincoln Center," and keeping in mind the hundreds of performers and staff members required for rehearsals and performances as well as its audiences.

The venerable Sizzler USA family steakhouse chain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing a business environment roiled by COVID-19 restrictions — and saying that not enough has been done to help restaurants survive.

"Our current financial state is a direct consequence of the pandemic's economic impact," Sizzler President Chris Perkins said, "due to long-term indoor dining closures and landlords' refusal to provide necessary rent abatements."

Updated at 1:37 p.m. ET

Amid criticism from Democrats that politics may be guiding decisions at the nation's top health agencies, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration told Congress on Wednesday that a coronavirus vaccine would not be approved until it met "vigorous expectations" for safety and effectiveness.

Chris Anderson, supervisor of elections in Seminole County, Florida, had a stylus problem.

He says it would have cost more than a quarter of a million dollars to purchase enough pens and styluses needed for the county's 328,000 voters. So, his department got creative.

As of now, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization say the primary way the coronavirus spreads is by hitching a ride on respiratory droplets when people are in close contact.

Respiratory droplets form when someone sneezes, coughs, talks or sings, for example. They don't travel far and fall to the ground quickly.

Police have charged a Massachusetts high school student and the youth's parents with allegedly hosting a house party with underage drinking, a gathering that led the town's high school to delay in-person classes by two weeks amid coronavirus concerns.

In a year that's been plenty scary, this much is clear: Pandemic Halloween will be different than regular Halloween. Many traditional ways of celebrating are now considerably more frightful than usual, because now they bring the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 200,000 on Tuesday — reaching what was once the upper limit of some estimates for the pandemic's impact on Americans. Some experts now warn that the toll could nearly double again by the end of 2020.

"I hoped we would be in a better place by now," said Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. "It's an enormous and tragic loss of life."

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

In a speech Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly, President Trump once again sought to blame China for the COVID-19 pandemic and called on Beijing to be punished for its handling of the disease, which has killed nearly 1 million people worldwide – a fifth of them in the United States.

The NFL has fined several head coaches $100,000 for not wearing face masks on the sidelines — a safety precaution that is required at games during the COVID-19 pandemic. The coaches' teams were also punished, with $250,000 fines.

The coaches include Pete Carroll of Seattle, Kyle Shanahan of San Francisco and Vic Fangio of Denver, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. A league source confirmed details about the fines to NPR on Tuesday morning.

After a quiet summer where life largely returned to normal, England now faces new restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in the House of Commons on Tuesday morning that pubs, bars and restaurants in England must close at 10 p.m. He also encouraged people who are able to work from home to do so, reversing a previous government position.

Updated at 6:03 p.m. ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted guidance Friday evening saying that aerosol transmission might be one of the "most common" ways the coronavirus is spreading — and then took the guidance down on Monday.

The now-deleted updates were notable because so far the CDC has stopped short of saying that the virus is airborne.

Visitors are capped at 5,000 a day. Everyone must wear a mask and have their temperature taken. Tickets are digital. Selfies are allowed, but no group photos. And no touching the gleaming white marble.

Those are among the new coronavirus-era rules at India's Taj Mahal, which reopened to tourists at sunrise Monday for the first time in more than six months. The monument shut on March 17, just days before India imposed the world's biggest coronavirus lockdown, when infections were still low in the country.

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