The new coronavirus restrictions in Chicago will take effect Friday for two weeks as the country’s third largest city battles an outbreak of COVID-19 infections.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot Thursday ad a 10 p.m. curfew for all non-essential businesses and bars and breweries ordered without a food license to shut down domestic service.
Meanwhile, in Louisiana, more high school football fans will be allowed to attend games at outdoor stadiums in select parishes starting Friday. Stadiums will be allowed to have crowds at 50% capacity in parishes where less than 5% of coronavirus tests have been positive in the past two weeks, Governor John Bel Edwards said Thursday.
Also on Thursday, Wyoming became one of the last states to reach 10,000 cases, with half of its infections reported last month, according to USA TODAY analysis. Only New Hampshire (9,994), Maine (6,063) and Vermont (1,987) had fewer than 10,000 cases as of Thursday night.
Here’s what you need to know today:
- The United States reported more than 71,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The last time daily cases exceeded 71,000 was during the July summer surge.
- President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden bitterly argued over the pandemic on Thursday in the second and final debate. Trump claimed the virus would “go away” while Biden warned of a “dark winter”.
- Pfizer is the only leading pharmaceutical company to produce a vaccine against the coronavirus to allow miners to enter the trails. The company recently lowered the age for participation to 16, with the goal of including at least 3,000 older teens.
- The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved remdesivir, an antiviral drug, as a treatment for patients with COVID-19 who need to be hospitalized.
📈 Numbers of the day: The United States reported more than 8.4 million cases and 223,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. World totals: 41.7 million cases and 1.1 million dead.
🗺️ Coronavirus mapping: Track the American epidemic in your state.
When will there be a COVID vaccine? In general, scientists and public health experts say a COVID-19 vaccine could be approved no earlier than December, but that doesn’t mean it will be widely available to most Americans. The federal government is developing a distribution plan that would first deliver the vaccine to various populations, such as essential workers, those most vulnerable to COVID-19, and the elderly. See what the USA TODAY Panel of Experts has to say.
Why people of color are dying from COVID-19: Communities of color have disproportionately more cases, more hospitalizations, worse outcomes and more deaths. Why? USA TODAY reporters found systemic racism to be the common pre-existing condition: pollution, poor health care, overcrowded housing, high-risk jobs, and prejudice. Deadly discrimination. Read The Backstory behind this series.
This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates delivered to your inbox, subscribe to The daily briefing bulletin.
U.S. Reports 71K New COVID-19 Cases Daily
For the first time since the end of July, when cases were on the rise, the United States on Thursday recorded more than 71,000 new cases of COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The grim toll comes as 12 states set new case records in one week, according to USA TODAY analysis: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming, as well as Guam.
The new record of cases could be the product of the seasonality of the virus, pandemic fatigue and a return to schools and universities, said Bob Bednarczyk, assistant professor of global health and epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health. Emory University.
“I think it’s really a number of factors that come together,” he said. “And what worries me is that they’re starting to come together in a perfect storm.”
President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden clashed fiercely over the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday in the second and final debate. Trump argued that his administration saved lives and handled the crisis well. He dismissed questions about the current spike in cases raging across the country.
“We are turning the corner, we are turning the corner,” Trump said. “It’s going away.”
Biden lambasted Trump for refusing to take responsibility for 220,000 American deaths and said that should disqualify him from the presidency. Biden said his administration would encourage everyone to wear masks, invest in rapid testing for COVID-19 and create national standards to reopen schools and other institutions.
“We’re about to enter a gloomy winter … but he doesn’t have a clear plan,” Biden added, challenging Trump’s optimistic predictions that a vaccine would be ready within weeks.
After months of testing its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in adults, Pfizer recently lowered the age of participation to 16, with a target to include at least 3,000 older adolescents. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital on Thursday ushered in an even younger group, vaccinating its first two college kids.
Pfizer is the only major pharmaceutical company to allow minors to participate in a vaccine trial.
Some pediatric vaccine experts say drugmakers and federal regulators should wait until vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective in adults before moving on to children, while others say it’s immoral not to not involve children in testing as early as possible.
– Karen Weintraub
FDA approves remdesivir as treatment for COVID-19 hospital patients
The Food and Drug Administration Thursday has approved the antiviral drug remdesivir as a treatment for patients with COVID-19 who need to be hospitalized.
As an antiviral drug, remdesivir works to stop the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the drug’s maker, Gilead. Previously cleared by the FDA for emergency use to treat COVID-19, the drug is now the first and only COVID-19 treatment approved in the United States, Gilead said in a statement.
The drug is also known by its brand name Veklury.
New York’s popular winter attractions announce opening plans
If you thought the 2020 vacation was going to be “bah humbug” in New York, think again.
There will be a decorated holiday tree in Bryant Park in Manhattan when its annual Bank of America Winter Village in Bryant Park opens on October 30, along with the ice rink and holiday shops, reports the Rockland / Westchester Journal News, which is part of the USA TODAY Network.
Organizers have cut things down to be safe during the coronavirus pandemic, so there will be fewer vendors, with more space between the wider aisles throughout the park; there will be no extravagant tree-lighting ceremony as in the past.
All visitors will be required to wear masks, except when eating.
– Karen Croke, Rockland / Westchester Journal News
2020 NBA Draft to take place virtually from ESPN headquarters
When the NBA holds its 2020 draft next month, there won’t be a parade of the top picks, dressed in their best (and sometimes most outrageous) costumes, shaking hands with Commissioner Adam Silver when their names are called out.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the November 18 event will originate from ESPN Studios in Bristol, Connecticut and take place virtually. Money and Assistant Commissioner Mark Tatum will still be on hand to announce the selections for the first and second rounds, but players will only appear via a video link.
The project was originally scheduled for June 25, but has been postponed due to the pandemic. It had previously been postponed to October 15.
– Steve Gardner
Southwest Airlines to begin middle seat on planes in December
Southwest Airlines goes no longer limits the number of seats for sale on each flight, joining rivals American and United. The new policy, which means the middle seats will once again be occupied on high-demand flights, will take effect on December 1, after Thanksgiving but before the Christmas and New Years travel season.
The airline has limited the number of seats on sale for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wooing nervous travelers. American and United have been filling flights for months, with United executives calling the stranded middle seats a marketing ploy rather than a security measure.
“This practice of effectively keeping the middle seats open brought us closer to the early days of the pandemic, when we had little knowledge about the behavior of the virus, until now,” the airline said in a statement Thursday. “Today, aligned with science Based on findings from trusted medical and aviation organizations, we will resume sales of all seats available for travel from December 1, 2020.”
– Dawn Gilbertson
United States Coronavirus Resources TODAY
Contribute: The Associated Press