El Paso, Texas, on Saturday surpassed its single-day record for COVID-19 cases as state and local officials are sparring over imposing a lockdown. There were 1,643 cases and 190 delayed results being reported on Saturday, the city of El Paso said.
The cumulative total rose to 48,885 cases, 16,837 of which are currently known to be active. Four additional deaths were reported.
As El Paso has seen cases increase, County Judge Ricardo Samaniego earlier this week implemented a two-week shutdown of non-essential businesses. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a coalition of businesses suing to block Samaniego's order, and officials within the El Paso police department said they would not be enforcing it, according to CBS El Paso affiliate KDBC. Sheriff's deputies, meanwhile, said they would be enforcing the order.
The U.S. is not the only country dealing with a COVID-19 surge. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday a new four-week lockdown, closing pubs and restaurants but keeping schools open. The new measures as the number of cases in the country topped 1 million. Austria also announced a partial lockdown.
European nations imposing new lockdowns as coronavirus cases surge out of control
Several countries across Europe are imposing new national lockdowns as coronavirus infections rise once again. France was among the first to impose new restrictions as cases soared out of control.
El Paso County has record high in COVID-19 cases
El Paso County reported its largest single-day spike in new COVID-19 cases, with 1,643 cases and 190 delayed results being reported on Saturday. The cumulative total rose to 48,885 cases, 16,837 of which are currently known to be active. There were four deaths.
As El Paso has seen cases increase, County Judge Ricardo Samaniego earlier this week implemented a two-week shutdown of non-essential businesses. Under his order, essential services that will remain open include polling sites, schools that provide meal services, child care facilities, grocery stores, pharmacies, post office, government operations and all healthcare office and facilities.
Election services are consider essential. Halloween parties of any kind are not allowed.
But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a coalition of businesses suing to block Samaniego's order, and officials within the El Paso police department said they would not be enforcing it, according to CBS El Paso affiliate KDBC. Sheriff's deputies, meanwhile, said they would be enforcing the order.
"COVID infections are out of control and continue to skyrocket with no end in sight," the sheriff's department said in a statement. "We are hopeful that the citizens of El Paso will understand the seriousness of this issue and voluntarily comply with the Judge's order. Otherwise enforcement action will be taken. "
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces new lockdown measures
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday new lockdown measures for the country, as the number of COVID-19 cases surged past 1 million. "Now is the time to take action because there is no alternative," Johnson said.
While Johnson has so far resisted calls from the Labour Party for a lockdown, he said Saturday that if the National Health Service is overrun, it would be a "disaster." He said the virus is spreading "even faster than the reasonable worst case scenario."
Pubs and restaurants will remain open only for takeout service, Johnson said. Workplaces will close unless there is no way for employees to work from home. Essential shops and schools will be open, unlike the first national lockdown.
"We cannot let this virus damage our children's futures even more than it has already," Johnson said.
The lockdown measure are set to go into effect on Thursday and will last through December 2. At that point, Johnson said, "we'll seek to ease restrictions, going back into the tiered system on a local and a regional basis according to the latest data and trends."
Austria announces 4-week partial lockdown
Austria announced a partial shutdown that will see restaurants and bars closed for four weeks, cultural, sports and leisure activities canceled, and residents asked to stay home after 8 p.m. as the government tries to stem a sharp rise in coronavirus infections.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the restrictions will apply from Tuesday until the end of November. Restaurants and bars will be closed except for deliveries and takeout, and hotels closed to tourists. Companies affected by the shutdown will be compensated with 80% of their revenue from last November, but will have to keep on their employees.
The new restrictions include a curfew telling Austrians to stay at home between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., although they can go out for reasons that include exercising and going to work.
Kurz said the curfew is intended as a "ban on visits" and to prevent private parties that have driven infections. He called for people to work from home where possible. People from a maximum of two households will be allowed to meet.
The chancellor characterized the new restrictions as a "second lockdown," but they are more lenient than the ones Austria applied during the first phase of the pandemic. This time, non-essential shops and hairdressers are to stay open. The government also aims to keep schools and kindergartens open, though Kurz said older high school students and universities will be switched to distance learning.
Travelers to N.Y. must test for virus, nearby states exempted
New York is now requiring travelers from non-neighboring states to test for COVID-19 before and after arrival in the state. The state is scrapping its list that required residents of most states to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in New York.
Instead, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday travelers from all non-neighboring states must test negative twice for COVID-19 before they may stop quarantining.
First, they must test negative for COVID-19 within three days before arriving in New York. Once in New York, they will have to quarantine for three days and then take a second test. If that's negative, they can stop quarantining.
Travelers who decide not to get tested will be required to quarantine for 14 days, the governor said.
Meanwhile, New Yorkers who are out-of-state for less than 24 hours only need to take a coronavirus test within four days of returning to the state.
Cuomo said enforcement would be up to New York airports and county health departments, but didn't lay out exactly how they would do so. The rules don't apply to neighboring states. Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey are also seeing an uptick in cases along with New York. Cuomo said 2,049 people newly tested positive Friday for COVID-19.
2 officials close to Turkish leader test positive
Two top Turkish officials who work closely with Turkey's president have tweeted that they tested positive for the coronavirus.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said Saturday that he had light COVID-19 symptoms and was nearing the end of treatment.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said he, his wife and daughter all tested positive after feeling unwell on Monday. They are being treated in a hospital, and "Thankfully we are a bit better," he said.
Soylu was criticized in April for announcing Turkey's first weekend-long coronavirus lockdown just two hours before it went into effect, leading to scenes of chaos at markets. The president did not accept his resignation.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Saturday reported 75 new deaths from COVID-19 and 2,213 new confirmed cases. The country's death toll in the pandemic now stands at 10,252.
Halloween party shut down in Brooklyn
New York City deputy sheriffs broke up an illegal Halloween party where hundreds of people were crowded inside a warehouse in Brooklyn early Saturday morning, officials said. It happened around 1 a.m., CBS New York reports.
According to investigators, deputies were alerted to a potential mass gathering and watched more than 150 people wearing Halloween costumes enter the warehouse.
The deputies said they heard loud music and saw what were likely security guards controlling access to the party.
When deputies entered the warehouse, they found hundreds of people dancing, drinking and not wearing masks or social distancing. More than 380 people were in violation of emergency orders, authorities said.
The party's organizers, security guards, workers and entertainers face numerous charges including for breaking executive orders signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio that limit indoor gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Cases surge in Maine
Maine's spike in coronavirus cases continued with the rolling average of new daily cases more than doubling since last week from below 30 per day to more than 67 by Oct. 30. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services also reported an additional death Saturday.
Maine has one of the lowest incidences of the disease in the country, but cases have grown in recent days. The state has reported more than 80 new cases of the virus a day for several days after having not even approached those numbers since May.
The state has had 6,668 cases and 147 deaths, the health department reported.
"We are nearing a phase of exponential growth, if we haven't entered it already," Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Nirav Shah tweeted. "It's easy to think you're flying until you hit the ground."
Massachusetts reinstates travel rules
Massachusetts is reinstating quarantine rules for travelers who visit the state from Connecticut and New Jersey.
Visitors from the two states will be required to quarantine for two weeks or have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, Boston.com reported. The decision comes as coronavirus cases are ticking up in New England and around the country.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health tweeted that the new rules go into effect on Saturday. The two states are removed from the Massachusetts "lower risk state list," the department tweeted.
Failure to comply with the rules could result in a $500 fine per day, state officials said. The lower risk state list includes all of the other New England states, except Rhode Island. It also includes New York, Washington, California, Hawaii and the District of Columbia.
U.K.'s Johnson to hold news conference
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to hold a news conference alongside his top scientific advisers Saturday amid anticipation of him announcing a new national lockdown for England to stem a resurgence of the coronavirus.
Scientists warned COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the U.K. could soon surpass the levels seen at the outbreak's spring peak. Johnson's office said the late-afternoon press conference would follow a Cabinet meeting to discuss "the government's coronavirus response."
The meeting came after the Times of London reported that Johnson could announce a month-long lockdown as soon as Monday. The government said early Saturday that no final decision had been made, but Johnson was under growing pressure to act quickly.
N.J. cases top 2,000 for first time since May
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says the second wave of the coronavirus has arrived in his state, CBS New York reports. On Friday, he reported 2,089 new positive cases – rising above 2,000 for the first time since May.
As the weather gets colder, more people are moving their gatherings indoors despite warnings from state health officials who say it's a direct link to the rising number of cases.
"My level of concern is high," Murphy said.
At University Hospital in Newark, COVID hospitalizations have tripled since early last week. The hospital's CEO says there are now 30 patients battling the virus with a growing number needing critical care.
The numbers are also startling within the Hackensack Meridian Health System, says Dr. Daniel Varga. "We're right around 190 today. A week ago, we were at 150. A month ago, we were at 50," Varga said.
He says they're seeing a lot of 18- to 40-year-olds getting sick, but fortunately, not as severely as we saw in the spring, which may be due to lessons learned in the first wave.
"We administer oxygen, both regular and high-flow oxygen early. That tends to keep people off ventilators," Varga said.
Virus misinformation fuels spread in Kansas
The largest county in Kansas has reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases, and the county's health director said the spread of misinformation is a significant factor in the spike in cases.
The Kansas City Star reports that Johnson County health officials confirmed 287 new cases on Friday, along with two additional deaths. That brings the total number of coronavirus deaths in Johnson County to 203.
A statement from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment said community spread is on the rise, putting people at risk for serious complications that can result in hospitalization and death.
Dr. Sanmi Areola, director of the county health department, said the spread of misinformation about ways to combat the virus is proving problematic.
"We are getting into very dangerous territory," Areola said. "Infections are spiking at a very rapid rate."
"This is putting our residents at risk. And rhetoric around herd immunity and deliberate infections, masks don't work, and other inaccurate information, is hurting our efforts to contain the spread of this virus."
Infections are rising nationwide
Some states in the U.S. are doubling down, while others are resisting stricter safety measures as COVID-19 cases rise in 47 states.
ICU beds are 80% full in nearly a quarter of U.S. hospitals, according to a federal government memo obtained by NPR. It's a mounting tragedy that could have been avoided, Michael George reported for "CBS This Morning: Saturday."
A third of the population believes this pandemic is a hoax, "and they believe that it will end next Wednesday," said Dr. Michael Osterholm. "And no public health messaging is having an impact on that population."
In Wisconsin, Democratic Governor Tony Evers can't get the Republican legislature to support safety.
"If we want to do this right and stop it in its tracks, people have to wear a freaking mask," he said.
South Dakota is battling a positivity rate of 46%. California wants to avoid that, and has halted some plans to loosen restrictions.
"You see 20, 30% positivity rates now in other parts of the country, we're at 3.0% over a 14-day period … but we are not taking our eye off the ball. We've got to box this disease in," said Governor Gavin Newsom said.
Oregon, too, is considering clamping down, after the state saw record case numbers this week.
"Oregon's cases are rising, just like the rest of the countries are, and frankly, cases around the globe. The second wave that we've all been worried about is here," said Governor Kate Brown.
Kentucky reports a near-record number of new cases
Kentucky reported a near-record number of new coronavirus cases Friday as the surging outbreak continued sending more people to hospitals, Gov. Andy Beshear said.
"This is a dangerous time. We're moving the wrong way," the Democratic governor said as he urged Kentuckians to wear masks in public to protect themselves and those around them.
Beshear reported 1,941 new COVID-19 cases - the second-highest statewide daily total since the pandemic began - and 15 more virus-related deaths. The state's positivity rate reached 6.19% - the highest level since May 6, he said.
The recent surge has led to rising hospitalizations. On Friday, there were 974 patients hospitalized in Kentucky due to the virus, the governor said, noting the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care rose to 241.
"Remember, the more cases, the more people in the hospital, the more people in the ICU and the more people who die," Beshear said.
Total statewide COVID-19 cases surpassed 105,000, and the virus-related death toll reached at least 1,476.
U.K. could see new lockdown in days
The British government is considering imposing a new national lockdown for England, after its scientific advisers warned that hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus could soon surpass the levels seen at the outbreak's spring peak when daily deaths surpassed 1,000.
London School of Hygiene epidemiologist John Edmunds, a member of the government's scientific advisory group, said Saturday that cases were running "significantly above" a reasonable worst-case scenario drawn up by modelers.
"It is really unthinkable now, unfortunately, that we don't count our deaths in tens of thousands from this wave," Edmunds told the BBC. "The issue is, is that going to be low tens of thousands if we take radical action now or is that going to be the high tens of thousands if we don't?"
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has introduced a system of local restrictions for England based on levels of infection. But scientists say it has not been enough to tame a surge of COVID-19 cases, and Britain is likely to join other European countries such as France, Germany and Belgium in imposing a second lockdown.
The Times of London reported that Johnson could announce a month-long lockdown as soon as Monday, though the government insists no decisions have been made.