More on the restrictions being introduced in US states.
Michigan’s largest school district will suspend in-person classes next week, joining other districts shifting to online classes with the surge of coronavirus cases.
Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says he can’t ignore a climbing infection rate that reached nearly 5% last week. The suspension will last until 11 January.
Vitti faced criticism from some teachers and activists for offering an in-person option for the district’s roughly 50,000 students. He said families deserved choices.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer plans to speak about the coronavirus later Thursday. In a separate event, officials from major hospitals plan to speak about the impact of rising coronavirus cases.
The state reported 6,008 new infections Wednesday and 42 more deaths.
UK confirms record new cases
Britain hit a new daily high of 33,470 confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday.
That’s an increase of 10,520 more positives reported Wednesday and pushed the total number of cases in the UK to nearly 1.3 million, AP reports.
Britain on Wednesday reported 595 deaths, raising the death toll to more than 50,000.
The government has imposed a one-month national lockdown on England through 2 December.
Chicago has issued new Covid-19 restrictions, including limiting social gatherings to 10 people, in hopes of combating the surge in cases ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is urging people to stay home except for essentials, like work or getting groceries. The restrictions take effect Monday.
Lightfoot said Thursday the city must work to counteract the rapid rise of Covid-19 cases, including canceling traditional Thanksgiving plans to gather with friends and family.
A month ago, Chicago reported 500 daily cases on average. The city is now averaging roughly 1,900 daily cases.
US tops 140,000 daily cases, again breaking world record
As the US confirms 143,231 coronavirus cases in 24 hours, Dr. Anthony Fauci says he doesn’t believe the United States will need to go into lockdown to fight the coronavirus if people double down on wearing masks and social distancing.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert says “the cavalry is coming” in the form of vaccines. He says, “Help is really on the way.”
Fauci told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday that vaccines being developed “are going to have a major positive impact” if they prove to be safe and effective. He says they may be deployed in December and early into next year. He says he hopes by April, May and June “the ordinary citizen should be able to get” a vaccine.
In the meantime, Fauci says there are fundamental things Americans can do to stem the spread of the deadly virus. They include “universal” wearing of masks, avoiding crowds, keeping social distance and washing hands. He says that sounds simple against a very difficult challenge but “it really does make a difference.”
Fauci’s message echoes that of President-elect Joe Biden, who this week signaled strongly that fighting the raging pandemic will be the immediate priority of his new administration.
The US leads the world with more than 241,000 deaths and 10 million coronavirus cases.
Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic with me, Helen Sullivan.
As the world confirmed a record 666,053 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, according to Johns Hopkins University, the French prime minister, Jean Castex, said there would be no easing of a second Covid-19 lockdown in France for at least two weeks, with the number of people in hospital infected by the coronavirus now higher than at the peak of the first wave.
Castex said that one in four deaths in the country were due to the virus and that while the R number was now below 1, it was too early to contemplate relaxing measures.
Here are the key developments from the last few hours:
- Portugal announced an expansion of a nightly curfew and weekend lockdown already in place across more than 100 municipalities to a further 77 areas as it scrambles to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
- The UK government said a further 563 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Thursday, bringing the official tally to 50,928. However, separate figures from the UK’s statistics agencies, which take into account all deaths where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate, put the death toll at almost 67,000.
- The Chicago mayor, Lori Lightfoot, issued a 30-day advisory telling residents to stay at home and not to have visitors in the home, including for Thanksgiving. If residents travel out of the state, they must quarantine for 14 days or submit a negative virus test, she said.
- Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government has agreed to extend Covid-19 restrictions for between one and two weeks, falling short of stricter measures demanded by Irish nationalist parties. The five-party power-sharing executive agreed the reopening of cafes and close-contact services such as hairdressers will be delayed by a week and the reopening of bars and restaurants serving alcohol will be delayed by two weeks.
- Italy recorded 636 Covid-related deaths over the past 24 hours – its highest daily figure since 6 April. The number of new infections also rose by more than 5,000 compared with Wednesday – up from 32,961 to 37,978. The northern region of Lombardy remains the hardest-hit area.
- Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus has risen above 40,000 after 457 more fatalities were recorded in the past 24 hours. The number of people who have died from Covid in Iran, which has the highest death count in the Middle East, now stands at 40,121.
- A senior health department official in Delhi has said that Diwali, starting on 14 November, could be “a super spreader event”. India has so far reported about 8.6 million coronavirus infections – the world’s second highest after the US – and 127,571 deaths. But overall, it has been adding fewer cases daily since a mid-September peak, and its fatality figure of 92 per million people is well below the world’s tally of 160 and the US’s 711.
- A controversial French professor who touts the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment – without evidence, scientists say – is to appear before a disciplinary panel charged with ethics breaches. Marseille-based Didier Raoult is accused by his peers of spreading false information about the benefits of the drug, which has been trumpeted by the US and Brazilian presidents, Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro.
- Russia, Croatia, Greece were among countries to report respective daily records in the number of infections.
- Germany is seeing tentative signs that a surge in coronavirus infections may be easing, officials said today. “The curve is flattening,” said Lothar Wieler, who heads the country’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). He said it showed anti-transmission measures were working but warned there was still scope for the situation to deteriorate in coming weeks.