Tuesday, September 22, 2020

"Covid-19 Pandemic Updates 9/22/20"

By David Leonhardt

"The fall surge is here: Public health experts have long been worried that the end of the summer - as some students returned to school and the weather cooled - would bring a surge in coronavirus cases. That surge appears to have begun. The number of new daily confirmed cases in the U.S. has jumped more than 15 percent in the past 10 days. It is the sharpest increase since the late spring, and it has arrived just before the official start of autumn, which is today.

Unlike the earlier summer surge in the U.S., this spike also coincides with a rising number of cases in other affluent countries, like Canada and much of Europe. The increases appeared to play a role in yesterday’s stock-market decline, as investors feared the need for new lockdowns.

In Britain today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to to announce new restrictions on nightlife. In the Czech Republic yesterday, the health minister resigned. In Madrid, the authorities imposed new restrictions on almost one million residents. Across Europe, officials are hoping that these targeted restrictions will reduce new cases - and allow them to avoid imposing full lockdowns again.
The U.S. continues to be among the most vulnerable countries, because it never crushed the spread of the virus after the original outbreak. (In the chart above, you can see how much higher the red line, for the U.S., has been than the other lines since April.)

Coming weeks may bring new problems, too: The cooler fall weather will start to complicate outdoor socializing. “And if pandemic-fatigued families travel to spend the holidays together, it will get worse in late fall and winter,” The Times’s Jeneen Interlandi wrote in an article previewing the rest of the year.

There has been one big piece of good news. People infected today are roughly 30 percent to 50 percent less likely to die than those in the early spring, Ashish Jha, the dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, estimates. Still, the death toll is horrific. Today, the number of confirmed U.S. deaths will most likely surpass 200,000.

In other virus developments:
• An officer at the National Institutes of Health will leave the job after a report in The Daily Beast revealed that he had been attacking the agency and one of its leaders, Dr. Anthony Fauci, in pseudonymous posts on a right-wing website.

• Almost 90,0000 pre-K students and children with disabilities in New York City returned to classrooms yesterday.

• The organization that runs a major college-admission test - the ACT - closed more than 500 testing centers this past weekend because of the virus or the recent wildfires. The closures left many students unable to take the test."

SEP 22, 2020 12:31 AM ET:
 Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak 
The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 31,290,000 
people, according to official counts, including 6,880,636 Americans.

      SEP 22, 2020 12:31 AM ET: 
Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count
Updated 9/22/20, 3:23 AM ET
Click image for larger size.

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