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Live Updates: U.S. reports over 73,000 new COVID-19 cases; Wisconsin faces "urgent crisis"

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Some hospitals struggle with COVID-19 care
Some hospitals struggle with COVID-19 care 02:00

The United States has added more than 73,000 new cases to its total coronavirus case count as states nationwide continue to battle a fresh virus surge. 

Wisconsin's governor said his state is facing an "urgent crisis."

"There's no way to sugarcoat it—we are facing an urgent crisis and there is an imminent risk to you, your family members, your friends, your neighbors, and the people you care about," said Governor Tony Evers.

More than 10,000 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19 in his state, and over 5,200 new cases were reported on Tuesday. 

Globally, more than 2 million cases were reported last week, according to the World Health Organization – an exponential increase in a short time not seen since the start of the pandemic. The European region was home to the largest chunk of new cases.

"Although the number of deaths is gradually increasing, the proportion of deaths to cases remains relatively low, compared to the early phase of the pandemic in the spring," the World Health Organization said.

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Early Voting Begins In Swing State Of Wisconsin
Residents wait in line to vote in the Midtown neighborhood on October 20, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Getty Images

Contributing: The Associated Press

 

Connecticut positive rate is highest since early June

The state of Connecticut now has a 4.1% COVID-19 positivity test rate. The state hasn't seen such a high number since June 6, CBS New York reports.

Governor Ned Lamont's administration plans to extend an executive order to allow outdoor dining. The governor says he thinks at this point, "Outdoors is so much safer than indoors."

On Tuesday, Lamont posted video of a crowded establishment in Bridgeport from over the weekend.

Bridgeport's mayor says this was the third violation of COVID executive orders for the unnamed location. He says it has been shut down and needs to appeal to the state to reopen.

 

Official leading vaccine distribution says "no shortcuts" taken on safety

Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration's unprecedented effort to accelerate production and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine, is already producing tens of millions of vaccine doses, even before any vaccine candidate has been proven safe and effective.

The nearly $10 billion program's stated goal is to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to Americans, with the initial doses available by January 2021. 

Retired Lieutenant General Paul Ostrowski, director for supply, production and distribution of Operation Warp Speed, said they are "absolutely" on track to achieve that goal. 

"We are actually going to exceed that expectation," Ostrowski told CBS News senior medical correspondent Dr. Tara Narula. "We will have vaccines, we anticipate, prior to the turn of the new year."

But there won't be 300 million doses prior to the new year, Ostrowski said.

"We will start off with lower amounts and, over time, gradually build to that," he said.

Asked when the general population should expect to be able to get a vaccine, Ostrowski said, "It will probably be a prioritization-based schedule."

"We would expect, that by the first quarter, end of first quarter, early second quarter of next year," he said.

The accelerated timeline of Operation Warp Speed has some Americans concerned about safety. But, Ostrowski said safety is not being compromised.

"We've gone through the same trial process as any other drug or vaccine ever has," he said. "And the amount of FDA oversight and the approval process with the FDA is just like any other drug or any other vaccine."

Read more here

Road to a vaccine: Operation Warp Speed 04:22
 

Massachusetts added to Connecticut's travel advisory

Massachusetts has been added to Connecticut's coronavirus travel advisory. That means anyone going there from Massachusetts must either test negative or quarantine in the state for 14 days, CBS Boston reports.

There are now 40 states and two territories under Connecticut's travel advisory.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo urged residents Tuesday to avoid nonessential travel to Massachusetts as well.

 

U.K. under pressure amid warning hospital cases may triple

The British government is under pressure to develop a national strategy to combat a surge of COVID-19 cases and "rescue Christmas'' as scientists warn that the number of people hospitalized with the disease in the U.K. could almost triple by the end of next month unless something more is done now.

Mark Walport, a former chief scientific officer, said Britain only needs to look across the English Channel to see what's coming. Britain's current measures are similar to those in France and Spain, where authorities are struggling to control the virus.

"With our current measures ... there's little evidence that there is as much social distancing as there was when we clamped down on the first wave and so we know that the risk is significant that cases will continue to grow," Walport told the BBC.

It is "not unrealistic'' that 25,000 people in the U.K. could be hospitalized by the end of November – up from about 9,000 now, he said.

Walport's assessment came as two opposition parties called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to convene a summit of the U.K.'s four nations to develop a coordinated plan for combatting COVID-19. Under the U.K.'s system of devolved government, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have all developed their own rules to fight the pandemic. Meanwhile, Johnson has implement a three-tiered regional strategy to applies only in England. That has a led to a patchwork of regulations.

By Associated Press
 

Denver moves back to Level 3 restrictions

As coronavirus cases continue to rise in Denver, more restrictions will impact restaurants and retail spaces, CBS Denver reports. Colorado's health department has moved the city and county of Denver back to Level 3 restrictions.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock put tighter restrictions in place last week to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Group gatherings were limited to five people, instead of 10, and face coverings were required outdoors. As of last week, Denver was at Safer At Home Level 2 "Concern."

That has now changed because of Denver's 7.3% positivity rate.

"I don't believe this is Denver's failing. It is rather failing by those who still refused to believe in science, and those who do not take it seriously," said Hancock.

The escalation to Level 3 "High Risk" means that all retail and restaurants will be limited to 25% capacity. Large group gatherings will be limited to 75 people. Gyms, fitness centers and yoga studios will operate with 25% capacity or up to 25 people in Level 3. That is a change from previous recommendations, which required gyms and fitness centers to operate virtually or outside with only 10 people.

"To get back to Level 2, we must reduce our positivity rates and hold those numbers for two weeks," said Hancock. 

 

France braces for potential new lockdown

France is bracing for a potential new lockdown as the president prepares a televised address aimed at stopping a fast-rising tide of virus patients filling French hospitals and a growing daily death toll.

French markets opened lower on expectations that President Emmanuel Macron will announce some kind of lockdown Wednesday, though the government has not released details amid ongoing discussions about what measures would be most effective.

Many French doctors are urging a new nationwide lockdown, noting that more than half of intensive care units are now occupied by COVID patients and medical staff are under increasing strain.

Business owners and some politicians are pushing for a compromise, such as local lockdowns in hard-hit areas, or a lockdown that would allow schools to stay open.

France reported 523 virus-related deaths in 24 hours Tuesday, the highest daily tally since April. It is reporting tens of thousands of new infections per day, and more than 380 new cases each week per 100,000 people. 

By Associated Press
 

Virus pushes El Paso and Juarez to the brink

A record surge in coronavirus cases is pushing hospitals to the brink in the border cities of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, confronting health officials in Texas and Mexico with twin disasters in the tightly knit metropolitan area of 3 million people.

Health officials are blaming the spike on family gatherings, multiple generations living in the same household and younger people going out to shop or conduct business.

The crisis – part of a deadly comeback by the virus across nearly the entire U.S. – has created one of the most desperate hot spots in North America and underscored how intricately connected the two cities are economically, geographically and culturally, with lots of people routinely going back and forth across the border to shop or visit with family.

In El Paso, authorities have instructed residents to stay home for two weeks and imposed a 10 p.m. curfew, and they are setting up dozens of hospital beds at a convention center.

Also, the University Medical Center of El Paso erected heated isolation tents to treat coronavirus patients. As of Tuesday, Ryan Mielke, director of public affairs, said the hospital had 195 COVID-19 patients, compared with fewer than three dozen less than a month ago, and "it continues to grow by the day, by the hour."

In Juarez, the Mexican government is sending mobile hospitals, ventilators and doctors, nurses and respiratory specialists. A hospital is being set up inside the gymnasium of the local university to help with the overflow.

Juarez has reported more than 12,000 infections and over 1,100 deaths, but the real numbers are believed to be far higher, because COVID-19 testing is extremely limited. El Paso County recorded about 1,400 new cases Tuesday, just short of the previous day's record of 1,443. The county had 853 patients hospitalized for the virus on Monday, up from 786 a day earlier. 

By Associated Press
 

Indoor dining banned in Chicago

Chicago restaurants will no longer provide indoor dining starting Friday, according to Governor JB Pritzker, who said the region's COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

"Region 11 is now averaging more than twice as many COVID-related hospital admissions per day as it was a month ago, with a positivity rate that has almost doubled since the beginning of October," said Pritzker, CBS Chicago reports. "So, starting on Friday the city, too, will begin operating under our resurgence metrics, with a closure of indoor restaurant and bar service and a restrained gathering cap limit of 25 people."

"We can't ignore what is happening around us – because without action, this could look worse than anything we saw in the spring. So please, no matter where you live, what your politics are, where you work or who you love: Illinois: mask up! And we'll get through this together."  

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady urged those who can afford it to consider eating at restaurants that offer outdoor dining in winter, or regularly get delivery or carryout from local restaurants. 

Even without a ban on indoor dining, Arwady warned that "this is going to be a difficult winter for everybody," with people spending more time indoors, where the virus can spread more easily. 

"I think the more that we can be serious about COVID, and think about also how we can support each other and support small businesses through the winter is going to be crucial," Arwady said.

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