Covid-19 Live Updates: France and Germany Announce New Restrictions as Cases Surge in Europe


French President Emmanuel Macron said the country would enact a second nationwide lockdown in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.CreditCredit…Charles Platiau/Reuters

France will reimpose a nationwide lockdown, while Germany will close bars and restaurants and impose other restrictions for a month in a last-ditch effort to protect hospitals from becoming overwhelmed with virus patients as Europe battles a second wave of the pandemic.

For months, European countries have tried to slow the spread of the virus through targeted restrictions aimed at avoiding the tough nationwide lockdowns imposed in the spring. But the measures have not succeeded at halting the surge in cases and hospitalizations, putting more drastic limits on daily life back in play.

This time, though, officials are prioritizing keeping schools and some economic activity open, in stark contrast to the spring, when movement was severely limited across much of Western Europe, and many businesses were ordered to close.

In a televised address on Wednesday evening, President Emmanuel Macron argued that officials had no choice but to impose another lockdown in the face of limited hospital capacity and rising cases across the country.

Mr. Macron stressed that much of Europe was facing a similar situation, “overwhelmed by a second wave that we now know will probably be harder and more deadly than the first.”

As in the spring, most nonessential businesses will close — including bars and restaurants — movement outside the home will be strictly limited, and private and public gatherings will be banned. Universities will pivot to online classes.

Some work sites, including in public services, factories, farms and construction, will remain open. While some people can travel to job sites, working from home will become the norm when possible, he said. Restrictions on retirement home visits and on funerals will not be as strict as in the spring.

“I know the weariness and the feeling of a day with no end,” Mr. Macron said, but he urged the French to remain “united.”

The lockdown will begin Thursday night and be in effect through at least Dec. 1, with financial assistance to affected businesses and tenants, he said.

About two-thirds of France’s population had already been subject to a 9 p.m. curfew announced two weeks ago. Yet cases have continued to rise: France reported 527 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, the country’s highest number since April.

European stocks sank to their lowest levels in months on Wednesday amid the echoes of the early days of the pandemic. The Stoxx Europe 600 index tumbled 3 percent to its lowest level since May. In Britain, the FTSE 100 index also fell more than 2 percent, to its lowest since April. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell 3.53 percent Wednesday, its biggest one-day drop since June 11.


Video player loading
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country will impose new restrictions, including the closure of restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, in an effort to contain increasing coronavirus cases.CreditCredit…Markus Schreiber/Associated Press

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Wednesday that restaurants and bars will have to close their doors to patrons starting Monday. Professional sports teams will play to empty stadiums, while theaters, gyms and cosmetic studios will be shuttered.

The latest restrictions also limit the number of people allowed to meet in public, but supermarkets, stores, schools and day care centers will remain open, Ms. Merkel said.

“Within weeks we will reach the limits of our health system,” Ms. Merkel said at a news conference, after she reached agreement with Germany’s 16 governors on the nationwide measures. “It is completely clear that we must act, and act now, to prevent a national health crisis.”

Ms. Merkel conceded that the restrictions are “burdensome” for a public that has grown increasingly weary of — and rebellious toward — limitations. But she stressed that they were necessary. German hospitals have seen the number of patients double in the past 10 days.

The government will compensate small and midsize businesses affected by the monthlong closures with up to 75 percent of losses, the chancellor said. Financial aid for affected business will be worth up to 10 billion euros.

The German media labeled the restrictions, which are less comprehensive than those imposed in the spring, when schools and most businesses were forced to close, as “lockdown light.”

The heated debate over new restrictions is playing out across Europe. Here’s a look at what’s happening across the rest of the continent:

Portugal on Wednesday made it compulsory for residents to wear a mask outdoors wherever social distancing cannot be guaranteed. The measure, which applies to people age 10 and up, came into force a day after the country registered its second-highest daily rise in cases since the start of the pandemic. Portugal’s government also said it would prohibit people from traveling between municipalities from Oct. 30 until Nov. 3, which will cover a long holiday weekend.

Belgium, which hosts the headquarters of the European Union, now has one of the highest per capita rates of new cases in the world. The Czech Republic, with similar per capita rates, also imposed a nationwide curfew starting Wednesday. Stores, schools and restaurants were closed, while masks were made mandatory in all public places.

In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also facing calls for a new national lockdown. The government’s advisory body, known as SAGE, warned him that the second wave could be more deadly than the first, according to The Telegraph.

The European Union on Wednesday called for improved testing and for better coordination of what has been a patchwork of disparate measures in its member countries. “We’re dealing with two enemies,” Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, said at a news conference. “With the coronavirus itself and corona fatigue.”

Credit…Joel Angel Juarez for The New York Times

Hospitals around the United States are reeling from the spread of the coronavirus, many of them in parts of the country that initially had been spared the worst.

Approaching the eve of the election, President Trump has downplayed the steep rise in cases, attributing much of it to increased testing. But the number of people hospitalized for the virus tells a different story, climbing an estimated 46 percent from a month ago and raising fears about the capacity of regional health care systems to respond to overwhelming demand.

Twenty-six states are at or near record numbers for new infections. More than 500,000 cases have been announced in the past week. No states are seeing sustained declines in case numbers.

And while the escalating case numbers have not been accompanied by a steep rise in deaths, that trend is starting to change. About 800 deaths are now being recorded across the country each day, far fewer than in the spring but up slightly from earlier this month.

In El Paso, where the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 has more than tripled over the past three weeks, doctors at University Medical Center have started airlifting some patients to hospitals as far away as San Antonio while treating others in a field hospital in a nearby parking lot.

Dr. German Hernandez, a nephrologist who has been caring for patients at several hospitals in El Paso, said the situation was so acute that patients on oxygen were being kept in rooms in the trauma area of University Medical Center. He said that could be devastating in the event of a disaster such as the August 2019 mass shooting at a Walmart in the city that left 23 people dead.

“God forbid we have another Aug. 3 shooting because we can’t handle it right now,” Dr. Hernandez said. “We have no buffer.”

Credit…Lauren Justice for The New York Times

A journal that sits in a staff room just off the intensive care unit at a Milwaukee hospital tells the story of the devastating surge of the coronavirus that much of the country is experiencing. In longhand, the nurses and doctors who are tending to desperately ill Covid-19 patients share their thoughts in the journal, as a way to help one another through this.

“It’s just not fair!” one note in the shared diary read this week, as hospitalizations have soared both in this hospital and across the nation. “So over this, and literally nothing makes it better,” the health care worker wrote.

A colleague, overwhelmed by it all, wrote: “Anxiety and depression have been kicking my butt lately.”

On assignment for The New York Times, I spent a morning with Jodie Gord, a nurse manager at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, who put the journal in a room she calls the Zen Den, a place of solace just a few doors down from the chaos of the I.C.U.

During my visit, the unit was a whirl of urgent energy, with scores of medical workers racing to treat about 20 gravely ill people, some of them on ventilators. Staff members went around the room checking oxygen levels and helping some patients move onto their stomachs, a position that can make breathing easier.

As the pandemic has intensified, so has Ms. Gord’s feeling of helplessness as she sees sick patient after sick patient enter the unit. Officials announced 71 coronavirus-related deaths in Wisconsin on Tuesday, a single day record for the state. More than 5,300 new cases were identified statewide, on one of the state’s worst days yet.

“Mentally, I was really going into a dark, slippery slope,” Ms. Gord told me. “In these last two weeks, I really felt it. And I felt it hard. I would be at home and just start crying for no reason.”

In a span of about three hours, two patients in the unit had their oxygen levels drop dangerously low, prompting about half a dozen staff members to rush from bed to bed.

Both patients were stabilized, a bittersweet victory on that morning, which had begun more painfully. Hours earlier, another virus patient, someone who had been in the unit long enough to be well known and beloved by the staff, had died.

As workers rolled a stretcher through the door, the outline of a body visible under a white sheet, tears filled Ms. Gord’s eyes. “I can never do enough,” she said.

Credit…Taylor Glascock for The New York Times

The United States reported a record of more than 500,000 new coronavirus cases over the past week, as states and cities resorted to stricter new measures to contain the virus that is raging across the country, especially the American heartland.

The record was broken Tuesday, even as the Trump administration announced what it called its first-term scientific accomplishments, in a news release that included “ENDING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC,” written in bold, capital letters.

The record reflects how quickly the virus is spreading. It took nearly three months for the first 500,000 coronavirus cases to be tallied in the United States — the first was confirmed on Jan. 21, and the country did not reach the half-million mark until April 11. Testing was severely limited in the early days of the pandemic.

The new restrictions range from a nightly business curfew in Newark, N.J., to a two-week stay-at-home order in El Paso to a halt in indoor dining in Chicago.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, which reported a single-day record Wednesday, announced a day earlier that he was stopping indoor dining and bar service in Chicago, effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

The city joins New York and Wisconsin, states that this month issued restrictions or outright bans on indoor dining in restaurants and bars to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The restrictions have been loudly opposed by a restaurant industry that has been decimated by the pandemic.

Chicago is now averaging more than twice as many coronavirus-related hospital admissions per day as it was a month ago, Mr. Pritzker’s office said, and the share of tests that are coming back positive has almost doubled since the beginning of October.

The U.S. has reported a record daily average of about 73,000 new cases over the past week, an increase of about 40 percent from the average two weeks earlier. Twenty states, including Illinois, have recorded their highest seven-day average of new cases, and three states (Tennessee, Wisconsin and Oklahoma) have set a record seven-day average for deaths. On Tuesday, Oklahoma and Wyoming broke single-day death records and Kentucky reported a new daily cases record.

In Chicago, outdoor service will be allowed if tables are spaced six feet apart; reservations are required, and service shuts down at 11 p.m. All social gatherings in the city will be limited to 25 people or 25 percent of the venue’s capacity, whichever is less.

“We can’t ignore what is happening around us,” Mr. Pritzker said in a statement. “Because without action, this could look worse than anything we saw in the spring.”

Credit…Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

When college students returned to campus this fall, jamming sidewalks and bars in the surrounding communities, many college towns emerged as major coronavirus hot spots.

In many college towns, that’s still true: Washtenaw County, home to the University of Michigan, saw its largest number of confirmed cases of the pandemic this month, despite a stay-at-home order for undergraduates that was meant to squash outbreaks.

In Wisconsin, especially around colleges, new case counts remain stubbornly high, with the virus now spreading to vulnerable populations.

But some college towns have shown progress: After spikes in August and September, reports of new infections at several large universities have slowed markedly.

At Penn State University’s flagship campus in State College, Pa., 10.7 percent of students who were tested in mid-September were positive, according to the campus tracker, while the surrounding Centre County had a 12.1 percent positivity rate around the same time. Those rates have since fallen by more than half: From Oct. 16 to 25, only 4.5 percent of tested students were positive, tracking with the county’s rate of 5 percent.

The number of active coronavirus cases around the Kansas State campus shot up more than 400 percent in early September, a few weeks after students returned for the fall semester. By late September, the school’s test positivity rate, according to its campus dashboard, was 5.41 percent. That dropped to 2.2 percent for tests in mid-October, the most recent figure available.

To the east in Lawrence, the University of Kansas has seen a similar turnaround: the campus positivity rate of nearly 11 percent in early September fell to 1.44 percent in mid-October.

The counties surrounding the two Kansas schools still have higher rates of the virus, however, suggesting that campus outbreaks have spread to surrounding communities.

Americans are divided sharply along partisan lines over whether colleges should have brought students back to campus, according to the Pew Research Center. Those who tend to vote Republican were more than twice as likely as those who support Democrats to say that it was the right decision.

A New York Times survey of more than 1,700 American colleges and universities has found more than 214,000 coronavirus cases tied to campuses, and at least 75 deaths since the pandemic began. The vast majority of those cases have come in the fall.


Credit…Jeff Hanisch/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

The University of Wisconsin brought its ninth-ranked football team to a halt on Wednesday — and canceled Saturday’s game at the University of Nebraska — after at least a dozen players and staff members tested positive for coronavirus.

The university, a member of the Big Ten Conference, said the football program would “pause” for at least seven days.

“We have said from the beginning that the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff members comes first,” Barry Alvarez, the university’s athletic director, said in a statement on Wednesday morning.

Wisconsin said that six players had tested positive, as well as six staff members, including Paul Chryst, the head coach. Mr. Chryst said Wednesday that he was asymptomatic, but that he had received a positive result after taking a P.C.R. test, considered the gold standard of infectious disease diagnostics.

Wisconsin’s game at Nebraska is the first to be canceled this year in the Big Ten, which opened play last week after it announced in August that it would not compete this autumn. The league reversed that decision in September.

The matchup in Lincoln, Neb., will not be rescheduled, Wisconsin officials said, and will be considered a no-contest.

The football team’s outbreak comes as the state as a whole struggles with the virus. More than 217,000 cases have been reported in Wisconsin, where cases have surged in recent weeks, and nearly 2,000 deaths.

In other sports news:

  • The Boston Marathon, which was canceled this year for the first time in its 124-year history, will not take place until the fall of 2021 at the earliest, its organizers said Wednesday. Tom Grilk, chief executive of the Boston Athletic Association, said that focusing on scheduling the race in the fall instead of its usual April date would allow more time to work out details, including a reduction in the field of runners.

Credit…Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Associated Press

Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, emerged from one of the world’s longest and most severe lockdowns on Wednesday, feeling both traumatized and euphoric after weeks of shared sacrifice that brought a deadly second wave of the coronavirus to heel.

It took 111 days, but Melbourne and the surrounding state of Victoria recorded no new infections on Monday, and on Wednesday thousands of stores, cafes, restaurants and beauty salons opened their doors for the first time in months.

“That is an achievement that every single Victorian should be proud of,” said the state’s top official, Daniel Andrews.

The collective exit for a city of five million came suddenly and none too soon — Mr. Andrews had insisted on a very low threshold of cases before lifting the lockdown. It ended a dizzying and lonely experience that many in Melbourne described as an emotional roller coaster with effects on the economy, education and mental health that will linger.

The turnaround since July has been dramatic: Infections at the time were threatening to spiral out of control, hitting a peak of more than 700 a day. Schools, businesses and houses of worship closed. People could not travel more than three miles from home without a permit. They could go outside for only an hour (then two), and for weeks, they faced a nightly curfew.

Now, Victoria has subdued the virus while European countries that had similar caseloads a few months ago — and that ended their lockdowns after overcoming initial waves of infections — are struggling with an explosion of new cases. The hard-won success has allowed people in Melbourne to re-enter their city, Australia’s capital of coffee and culture, even if they are unsure how tense or loose to be.

Shortly after the lockdown lifted at midnight, 20 people (the legal limit for now) ordered drinks and swapped lockdown stories at Cherry Bar, a hole-in-the-wall rock venue.

“It feels surreal,” said Ryan Gribble, 37, who was a regular patron before the pandemic. “It feels like the bar’s shut and only the regulars are left drinking — but it’s actually open.”

“It’s like this tiny little flower that’s just sticking out one petal at a time,” he added.

Credit…Kathleen Flynn/Reuters

The coronavirus has upended the 2020 election season at nearly every turn, emerging as the dominant issue among candidates up and down the ballot, and complicating the way votes are cast across the country, which reported a record number of new cases in the past week. And though more people around the country are casting early ballots to avoid possible exposure on Election Day, election officials have had to temporarily close some early-voting sites after workers at the sites were found to be infected.

A polling site in Fort Worth was shut down on Monday after a test taken by a poll worker on Oct. 21 came back positive. Other workers there went into quarantine and voters were directed to another site. Tarrant County officials said the Fort Worth site would reopen as soon as possible. It was the third time the county has had to scramble to contain exposure at a polling site.

Four workers have tested positive for the virus at an early-voting location in Canyon County, Idaho. Others working there have declined to be tested, but county officials have been sending home anyone who shows symptoms, a county spokesman told the Idaho Reports news website.

And in Ada County, Idaho, where a seven-day average of new case reports is the highest in the state, officials have designated one polling location specifically for voters who have tested positive for Covid-19 to cast their ballots on Nov. 3.

Mask-wearing and social distance requirements for voters and poll workers vary widely across the country. Some workers have been weighing what level of protective equipment to wear on Election Day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published guidance for local elections officials on how to handle sudden virus-driven closures, including suggested language for social media posts imploring voters to take precautions.

At first the coronavirus spread faster and worse in densely populated cities and suburbs, which tend to support Democrats. But the cases reported in rural counties have been growing every month, and those counties tend to vote Republican. Rural counties account for 56 percent of new cases, a New York Times analysis of virus data shows, compared with just 20 percent in March. Some of this shift is happening in states that are heavily Republican overall. But much of it is coming in more closely divided battleground states that could decide the presidential election.

Credit…Mike Blake/Reuters

The companies developing the experimental antibody treatments given to President Trump and Chris Christie shared positive news on Wednesday.

Regeneron announced that its therapy, a cocktail of two powerful antibodies that has been enthusiastically promoted by President Trump since he received it, significantly reduced hospitalizations and other medical visits in an ongoing trial of 799 outpatients with Covid-19.

Earlier in the day its competitor, Eli Lilly, announced that it had reached a $375 million deal with the United States government to provide Americans with its antibody treatment if it is authorized by the F.D.A. The company will provide 300,000 doses over the next two months, and up to 650,000 doses next year.

Regeneron received more than $160 million in federal aid to develop its antibody treatment, and in July signed a $450 million manufacturing deal with the government to supply up to 300,000 doses of its treatment by the end of the year.

Both companies have applied for emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration for their treatments. But if they treatments are authorized for use, they are unlikely to meet the rapidly growing demand. The United States has lately been recording an average of more than 73,000 cases per day.

The therapies will face big distribution challenges, as well. Antibody treatments seem to work best when given early in the course of Covid-19. But getting the antibodies to these early patients will be tricky because they must be infused intravenously in a clinic or hospital.

Under the federal agreements with Eli Lilly and Regeneron, the treatments will be available to Americans free of charge, though health care providers can charge to administer them.

Eli Lilly’s chief executive, David A. Ricks, said on Monday that its treatment, called bamlanivimab, would cost $1,250 in wealthy countries like the United States, but that the company would charge less elsewhere. Mr. Ricks also said it was working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to supply the therapy to low- and middle-income countries.

“What can’t happen, though, is that only the wealthiest countries or people gain access to COVID-19 treatments,” Mr. Ricks said in the statement. “Medicine must be available to patients with the greatest unmet need, not sold to the highest bidder.”

Earlier this month, Mr. Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, said that he had received special access to Eli Lilly’s treatment after he was hospitalized with Covid-19. The company says he was one of a small number of people who received the treatment outside a clinical trial.


Credit…Brittainy Newman/The New York Times

Since the coronavirus pandemic plunged the Metropolitan Transportation Authority into its worst financial crisis, the agency has warned of doomsday cuts, including slashing service in half and scrapping much-needed infrastructure improvements, that would cripple the New York region’s public transit network.

Those measures would inconvenience riders, but they would also deepen the region’s economic crisis. By 2022, the M.T.A.’s plan could cost the region as many as 450,000 jobs, resulting in $50 billion in lost earnings, according to a report by the Rudin Center for Transportation at New York University and Appleseed, an economic analysis firm.

The report comes as the public transit agency confronts a daunting array of challenges.

It is facing a large budget hole after the system emptied of riders, starving the agency of fares. Ridership has plateaued at about 30 percent of pre-pandemic levels as more companies extend work-from-home policies. And any hope for a federal bailout may be contingent on who wins Tuesday’s election.

The N.Y.U. analysis projects that around 25 percent of the riders still using the system would abandon public transit if service is significantly reduced — draining the agency of its already shrinking fare revenue.

“The proposed cutbacks will undermine any recovery for the city and region,” said Mitchell Moss, the director of the Rudin Center for Transportation and author of the report. “It will damage students’ ability to get to school, essential workers to get to their jobs and leave the high-rise towers of Manhattan empty for longer than we can imagine.”

The M.T.A., the largest public transit agency in North America, has projected a staggering $16.2 billion deficit through 2024, though it has not yet divulged a specific plan for how to close the gap if the agency does not receive the outside aid it has been seeking.

For months, the agency has been lobbying for $12 billion in federal aid, after receiving nearly $4 billion from an initial stimulus package. In recent months, transit officials have painted increasingly dire pictures of the system’s future without aid as part of a political strategy to pressure Washington.

But after coronavirus relief talks stalled, transit officials have pinned the system’s future on the outcome of the election and the possibility of an expansive federal aid package should Democrats retake the White House and the Senate.

Elsewhere in the area:

  • In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday said the city was starting a new program to encourage people to shop safely by allowing small businesses to use the space outside of their stores to display merchandise and conduct transactions. He said the new program, modeled after the city’s restaurants initiative that expanded outdoor dining, might be a lifeline for more than 40,000 small businesses struggling amid the pandemic. The seven-day average of the citywide rate of positive coronavirus test results was 1.75 percent, he reported.

  • Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said on Wednesday that some restrictions in Orange County would be eased, allowing the reopening of some businesses that had been shuttered. The county’s “red zone” — the most stringent level of rules in the state’s tiered, three-color system of zoned lockdowns — would become an “orange zone,” he said. That change allows houses of worship to operate at 33 percent capacity or a maximum of 25 people, and outdoor dining to restart. The governor said the county’s “yellow zone” would not be changed. Restrictions in other areas across the state would also not be changed for now, he added. “There has been progress in other areas,” Mr. Cuomo said. “But nothing at this point that would cause us to change any classifications this week.”

Credit…Joel Saget/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The drugmakers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline have vowed to provide 200 million doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine to an international coalition designed to give countries equal access to coronavirus vaccines.

The Sanofi-GSK vaccine candidate is in early stage trials, or Phase 2, with results expected in early December. If safe and effective, Sanofi and GSK hope to make up to one billion doses in 2021, a fifth of which would be distributed to Covax, an international collaboration of governments, global health and philanthropic organizations.

A Sanofi executive, Thomas Triomphe, said in a statement on Wednesday that the partnership would ensure that vaccines “are affordable and accessible to those most at risk, everywhere in the world.”

As dozens of companies race to find a coronavirus vaccines and countries spy on each other to steal such research, scientists have warned that vaccines should be accessible to all, including in countries where testing and tracing systems remain limited.

Sanofi, a French company, announced in July that it had secured an agreement of up to $2.1 billion to supply the United States with 100 million doses of its vaccine candidate. The deal has raised questions about conflicts of interest because Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the chief adviser for President Trump’s coronavirus vaccine program, is a former executive with GSK, the British drugmaker that is Sanofi’s partner. In September, Sanofi secured another deal with the European Union for 300 million doses, and with Canada for 72 million doses.

The Sanofi-GSK vaccine is based on viral proteins, which contain engineered viruses that grow inside insect cells.


A shipping container holding more than six million medical gloves was stolen from a supplier in Florida last weekend, leaving three hospital systems battling the coronavirus pandemic without some of the crucial equipment that they were waiting for.

The gloves, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, were delivered on Friday to Medgluv, the supplier, at its Coral Springs, Fla., office, about 40 miles north of Miami. The gloves had been running 12 days late from the manufacturer in Malaysia, Medgluv’s vice president of sales and marketing, Rick Grimes, said on Tuesday.

The container was parked at Medgluv’s loading dock on a chassis, Mr. Grimes said, waiting to be unloaded the next week. The trucking company had asked Medgluv’s owner if it could be delivered after the business day had ended, which was “a little bit unusual,” he said, though the owner accepted the after-hours delivery because Medgluv had been waiting so long for the products.

On Sunday, according to surveillance footage, a semi truck pulled up to the container along with a white pickup truck. The people in the trucks hooked the container to the truck and drove off, Mr. Grimes said, adding that the operation had taken them “less than six minutes.”

On Tuesday, the Coral Springs Police Department told Mr. Grimes that the container had been found “completely empty” in the Miami area, he said. The police did not respond to a request for comment.

As to who took the gloves, Mr. Grimes said, “that’s the million-dollar question.”

Credit…Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

It has been barely seven months since Newark, New Jersey’s largest city and a short ride from New York by train or car, began suffering disproportionate losses when the pandemic first gripped the region in the spring.

And it is here that the state is getting a glimpse of what could lie ahead this fall and winter as New Jersey struggles to control an alarming uptick in new coronavirus cases statewide.

On Tuesday at 8 p.m., the state’s first new shutdown order since March took hold in the city by order of the mayor, Ras Baraka, a Democrat.

New Jersey’s governor, Philip D. Murphy, has so far avoided the targeted shutdowns that states like New York and Connecticut have begun enforcing to address virus hot spots, but he said he supported the steps Mr. Baraka was taking to tame the outbreak. Mr. Murphy and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York have consulted on the surge in Newark.

“It seems desperate,” Mr. Baraka said at a news conference on Monday, “but it’s a desperate moment.”

“My job right now is to make sure people stay alive,” he added, acknowledging the at least 672 residents who have already died from the virus.

Under the order, restaurants and other nonessential businesses citywide must close to indoor customers at 8 p.m. daily, and parks within the one city ZIP code that encompasses the Ironbound — 07105 — are off limits for sporting events, including youth team practices and games.

Newark’s hair and nail salons may stay open by appointment only, and health clubs must close down for 30 minutes each hour to sanitize equipment.

At University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey’s only public hospital, the number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 has been doubling each week, and 6 percent of tests conducted at its clinic are now coming back positive, said Dr. Shereef Elnahal, the hospital’s chief executive.

Credit…Eric Gay/Associated Press

The Dodgers’ joy over winning the World Series on Tuesday night was overshadowed when Justin Turner, the team’s veteran third baseman, joined his teammates in celebration on the field shortly after learning he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Dodgers had pulled Turner, 35, from the game when they learned of his positive test before the eighth inning, but later he was seen on the field, kissing his wife, holding the World Series trophy, and hugging and talking to teammates — sometimes with a mask, sometimes without. And he took his place at the center of a team photograph, sitting between Manager Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations — none of whom wore a face covering.

Turner’s return to the field, which occurred right in front of Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s commissioner, at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, raised questions about how the league had allowed such a public lapse in its coronavirus protocols and drew widespread criticism from experts in epidemiology.

M.L.B. said on Wednesday afternoon that it would investigate the incident, but placed the blame squarely on Turner, saying he had refused the orders of league security to remain in isolation.

“Turner was placed into isolation for the safety of those around him,” M.L.B. said in a statement.

“However, following the Dodgers’ victory, it is clear that Turner chose to disregard the agreed-upon joint protocols and the instructions he was given regarding the safety and protection of others. While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When M.L.B. Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply.”

According to Dr. John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert and professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, the fact that the team knew to pull Turner from the game should have been sufficient reason to keep him off the field for celebrations, especially as he could have exposed more people to the virus than he had before.

Multiple news media reports said that Turner’s test from Monday had come back “inconclusive” during the second inning of Tuesday’s game. That led the league to expedite processing Turner’s test from Tuesday morning, which came back positive.

“The test result should be back before they started playing,” said Dr. Abraar Karan, a global health researcher at Harvard Medical School. “That’s the whole point of testing to begin with.”

Credit…The Suffolk Times

Health officials on Long Island health officials were scrambling on Wednesday to respond to two coronavirus superspreader events that left 56 people with the virus and nearly 300 in quarantine after attending a wedding and a birthday party.

The birthday party complied with health rules, but the wedding exceeded New York State’s 50-person limit for social gatherings, officials said.

“This kind of blatant disregard for the well-being of others is not only extremely disappointing, it will not be tolerated,” Steven Bellone, the Suffolk County executive, said at a news conference. “If you violate the rules, you’ll be caught and held responsible.”

Ninety-one people attended the wedding, on Oct. 17, officials said. Thirty people — 27 guests, two employees and an outside vendor — later tested positive for the virus, and 156 people wound up in quarantine, officials said.

Mr. Bellone said the venue where the wedding was held, the North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue, would be fined $17,000. And a spokesman for the State Liquor Authority said it had opened an investigation into the matter “upon learning of this allegedly illegal and dangerous event.”

Raluca Pintea, the country club’s general manager, did not respond to requests for comment.

Although the birthday party, which took place in Bellport on Oct. 17, adhered to state restrictions on attendance, inadequate social distancing resulted in 26 guests testing positive and 132 people having to quarantine, officials said.

Mr. Bellone said it was important for county residents to consider the potential harm that even seemingly modest family gatherings could do. “These kinds of superspreader events are a threat to our public health and to our continued economic recovery,” he said.

These there not the first superspreader events in Suffolk this fall. In September, dozens of people tested positive after a high-end Sweet 16 party in Miller Place that the authorities said violated state restrictions.

Source link

Friends, this isn’t the time to be complacent. If you are ready to fight for the soul of this nation, you can start by donating to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris by clicking the button below.


Thank you so much for supporting Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign.

What do you think?


Written by Politixia

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reese Witherspoon could go into a career in politics | Entertainment

31 of the best TV shows to binge-watch on Hulu