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A fall surge of COVID-19 — the one experts warned for months was likely — seems to be in full effect, as the United States surpassed 100,000 new daily cases for the first time on Wednesday.

That staggering number comes less than a week after surpassing more than 9 million confirmed cases, which is more than any other country. 

It also comes two days after Americans went to the polls to elect a president, though the virus wasn’t on most voters’ minds: only 1 in 6 voters cited the pandemic as most important to their vote. Follow election news here. 

Cases are on the rise in the U.S. and across the globe, as numerous other countries tighten restrictions and some prepare for more lockdowns. According to a USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University, the last 1,000,000 coronavirus cases confirmed worldwide were reported in less than 36 hours — a rate of 7.8 cases every second. 

Here’s what to know today:

  • China is suspending entry for most foreign passport holders who reside in Britain, reacting to a new surge of coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom.
  • Denmark’s prime minister said Wednesday that the government wants to slaughter all 15 million minks in Danish farms, to minimize the risk of them re-transmitting the new coronavirus to humans. 
  • A woman who had the coronavirus was shedding the virus for up to 70 days without showing any symptoms, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Cell.
  • As the pandemic surges on across the nation, the NFL and college football continue to feel its effects. Another NFL quarterback is sidelined and another ACC game is postponed.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 9.4 million cases and more than 233,700 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: more than 48 million cases and 1.22 million deaths.

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.

US reports more than 100K cases in one day, breaking single-day count record

Wednesday’s one-day record count of 102,831 was the first U.S. daily total to break 100,000. It translates to an average of more than 70 Americans reporting positive every minute.

In the seven-day period that ended Wednesday, the U.S. reported 629,012 new cases, also a record, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Wednesday. Almost half the states set records for new cases for a seven day period and five states had a record number of deaths in a week.

“The seasonal uptick has been predicted for months,” Dennis Carroll, who led the pandemic unit at the federal Agency for International Development for nearly 15 years, told USA TODAY. “As it stands we’re no better prepared than the spring, meaning widespread closures and shutdowns as we are witnessing in Europe are inevitable.”

– Mike Stucka and John Bacon


R-0 may be the most important scientific term you’ve never heard of when it comes to stopping the coronavirus pandemic.


Woman sheds coronavirus for 70 days without showing symptoms: Case study

A woman who had COVID-19 was shedding the infectious virus for up to 70 days without showing any symptoms, according to a case study published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Cell.

The patient had leukemia and hypogammaglobulinemia, a condition that results in fewer antibodies, making her immunocompromised and more vulnerable to infection.

The infectious virus was located in the woman’s upper respiratory tract for up to 70 days and the virus RNA was observed for up to 150 days past initial diagnosis, according to the report.

Researchers concluded that certain immunocompromised patient may shed infectious virus for longer durations than previously recognized. The woman was treated with convalescent plasma twice before the infection finally cleared.

New Jersey begins releasing inmates who survived COVID-19 spread in prisons

Thousands of people left New Jersey state prisons and halfway houses Wednesday under a law reducing sentences for inmates who served time during the coronavirus pandemic.

State officials said 2,261 inmates were released throughout the day, marking a single-day drop of 15% in the state prison population.

The drastic decline was lawmakers’ response to the coronavirus’s devastation in New Jersey prisons. The death rate inside Garden State prisons was the highest in the nation, according to the nonprofit criminal justice newsroom The Marshall Project.

– Stacey Barchenger, Trenton Bureau

Denmark wants to slaughter 15 million minks over coronavirus fears

Denmark’s prime minister said Wednesday that the government wants to cull all 15 million minks in Danish farms, to minimize the risk of them re-transmitting the new coronavirus to humans.

Mette Frederiksen said a report from a government agency that maps the coronavirus in Denmark has shown a mutation in the virus found in 12 people in the northern part of the country who got infected by minks. Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said half the 783 human COVID-19 cases in northern Denmark ”are related” to mink.

“It is very, very serious,” Frederiksen said. “Thus, the mutated virus in minks can have devastating consequences worldwide.”

Denmark is one of the world’s main mink fur exporters, producing an estimated 17 million furs per year. Kopenhagen Fur, a cooperative of 1,500 Danish breeders, accounts for 40% of the global mink production. Most of its exports go to China and Hong Kong.

China bars entry for residents from Britain as cases rise in United Kingdom

China is suspending entry for most foreign passport holders who reside in Britain, reacting to a new surge of coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom.

The suspension covers those holding visas or residence permits issued prior to Nov. 3, with exceptions for diplomats and some others. Foreign nationals wishing to visit China for emergency needs may apply for special case visas.

The Chinese Embassy in London says the suspension will be “assessed in accordance with the evolving situation and any adjustment will be announced accordingly.”

China has largely contained the spread of coronavirus within the country but continues to record imported cases, including another 20 reported Thursday. Chinese officials require all people arriving in China to undergo two weeks of quarantine.

Two possible COVID-19 vaccines could be ready by December, scientists say

The chair of Britain’s coronavirus vaccine task force says data evaluating the efficacy and safety of the two most advanced candidates should be available in early December.

Kate Bingham told a Parliamentary committee on Wednesday that data on the two vaccine candidates — developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, and Pfizer and BioNTech — should be available by then. After that, the vaccine candidates will need regulatory approval, Bingham says.

“If we get that, we have the possibility of deploying by year end,” she says.

Oxford Vaccine Trial Chief Investigator Andrew Pollard said results from late-stage trials could be presented by then, Reuters reported. The National Health Service in England is preparing to start distributing a possible vaccine before Christmas, just in case one is ready by then.

Louisville-Virginia college football game postponed

Louisville’s football game against Virginia on Saturday has been postponed. 

The Cardinals, who missed nine players in last week’s game against Virginia Tech due to coronavirus-related issues, will not play the Cavaliers this weekend. Instead, the game will be moved to Nov. 14, replacing the Cardinals’ originally scheduled bye week. 

Louisville athletics director Vince Tyra said the football program is dealing with 15 COVID-19 cases with seven more people in quarantine, for 22 virus-related issues total. Ten players have COVID-19, with five more in quarantine. The team’s support staff has had five positive tests, with two more in quarantine. No members of the coaching staff tested positive or are quarantined, Tyra said. 

— Cameron Teague Robinson, Louisville Courier Journal

NFL QB Matthew Stafford returns to COVID-19 list

Matthew Stafford is back on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and this time his stay could cost him at least one start. The Detroit Lions placed the starting quarterback on the list Wednesday for the second time this season.

Stafford first went on the list Aug. 1, as the Lions reported to training camp, but returned three days later with what the team said was a false positive.

The Lions declined Wednesday to specify whether he tested positive for the virus or whether he is in quarantine after being in close contact with a person who had been infected.

It is not clear whether Stafford will be cleared in time to play Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

— Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press

COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY 

Contributing: The Associated Press


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