Coronavirus update: US sets hospitalization record with 17 states at peak levels; “Wisconsin,” Gov. Tony Evers pleads, “it’s serious!

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The number of U.S. cases for the COVID-19 coronavirus disease climbed above 10.3 million on Wednesday, as hospitalizations set a record with hospitals in the Midwest now fuller than those in the South during the summer peak.

According to the COVID Tracking Project, there are currently 61,694 patients with COVID-19 in US hospitals, surpassing the previous record of 59,940 patients with COVID-19 on April 15, when the northeast was the epicenter of the United States. This is a 40% increase from the number just two weeks ago.

“Seventeen states are at their current peaks of hospitalizations today,” according to the COVID Tracking Project.Hospitals are already on the verge of being overwhelmed in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Officials in many other states warn their health care systems will be dangerously stressed if cases continue to rise.

“We have seen no indication that there is an end in sight to the epidemics in the region,” the COVID Tracking Project said.

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“Every day this virus goes unchecked is a setback for our economic recovery. … Wisconsin is serious! The crisis is urgent.
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– Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers

North Dakota’s COVID dashboard crashed Wednesday morning and Gov. Doug Burnum said the state is now at full capacity and health workers who tested positive but showing no symptoms were allowed to treat patients COVID.

During the peak of spring, when New York and New Jersey were the hotspots, the two were able to send additional health workers from other states to help.

“With so many states experiencing serious epidemics at the same time, it could be more difficult to mobilize frontline worker numbers in areas where health care systems are at risk of failing,” COVID Tracking said Project.

The United States recorded an average of 123,315 cases per day last week, according to a New York Times tracker, a 69% increase from the average two weeks ago. The United States added 139,855 more cases on Tuesday, with infections rising in 49 states and territories.

The United States has already added 1 million new cases in November – just 10 days in the month. With 4% of the world’s population, the United States has the highest number of cases in the world and the highest number of deaths at 240,265, or about a fifth – or 20% – of the global number.

With no communication on the virus from the White House, governors are once again taking matters into their own hands in their states.

Now read:Biden pandemic plan: restore Obamacare, mandatory masks, paid sick leave and free COVID-19 tests

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, ordered bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m., and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, said she would demand masks at indoor gatherings in 25 or more people, progressing to stricter measures after months. to hold on, the AP reported.

In New York City, Governor Andrew Cuomo has set a 10 p.m. curfew for bars, restaurants that serve alcohol and gyms, starting Friday.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, said in a televised address Tuesday night that the death toll in his state could double to 5,000 by January without action now.

“Every day this virus goes unchecked is a setback to our economic recovery,” he said, urging Wisconsinites to stay home and comply with security measures.

“Wisconsin is serious! The crisis is urgent, ”he said.

Against this background, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their clearest message yet on the use of face masks as a preventative measure against the virus. Wwearing a face mask not only protects others from catching the coronavirus – it also protects the wearer, and even the economy, the agency said.

In a science note released Tuesday, the CDC said that while “the masks are primarily intended to reduce the emission of virus-laden droplets,” they “also help reduce the inhalation of these droplets by the wearer. ”

“Experimental and epidemiological data support community masking to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2,” the CDC said. “The prevention advantage of masking stems from the combination of source control and the individual protection of the mask wearer. … Individual benefit increases with the increasing use of masks in the community.

In other words, the more people who wear masks in a community, the less the virus spreads.

In other news:

• Russia has said its accelerated COVID-19 vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V, shows 92% efficacy in a large-scale clinical trial based on an interim analysis of the results, the Wall Street Journal reported. The trial involves 40,000 volunteers and showed no signs of adverse effects among participants, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund, the country’s sovereign wealth fund. The news comes days after Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE said their COVID-19 vaccine candidate was 90% effective in a Phase 3 trial, a much higher benchmark than initially expected.

Don’t miss:Everything you need to know about BioNTech and the married couple behind the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of a global race

Russia on Wednesday recorded a record 432 deaths from COVID-19, bringing its official death toll to 31,593, Reuters reported. Authorities also counted 19,851 new cases on the last day, including 4,477 in the capital Moscow. Russia has the fifth highest number of cases in the world with 1.8 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

• Pfizer Inc. PFE,
-1,59%
and BioNTech SE BNTX,
-2,58%
have agreed to supply 200 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate to the European Union, marking the largest potential vaccine order to date. As part of the deal, the EU has the option to request an additional 100 million doses. Deliveries are expected to begin by the end of 2020, subject to regulatory approval. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “Since the onset of the pandemic, Pfizer’s priority has been to develop a safe and effective vaccine, while simultaneously scaling up our manufacturing to deliver doses before the end of the year,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla .

• A new study has found that most cases of COVID-19 in major US cities come from visits to a handful of places, including gyms, restaurants and hotels. The study, published in the journal Nature, used mobile phone data to map the movements of people, and the authors suggest that the spread can be contained by drastically reducing occupancy in these places. The model “contains concrete indications of what may be cost-effective measures to contain the spread of the disease, while limiting damage to the economy,” says Thiemo Fetzer, an economist at the University of Warwick in Coventry. “This is the sweet spot for politics. ”

• More than 15,000 mink have died in the United States from coronavirus since August, the Guardian reported. Authorities are closely monitoring farms and around a dozen are in quarantine, as experts investigate. The news comes after Denmark said it would slaughter all of its 17 million mink after a mutated strain of the virus, which could pass to humans and weaken future vaccines.

Internal efforts to test and develop drugs for Covid-19

Latest calculations

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide now stands at 51.8 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins, and the death toll is 1.3 million. At least 33.7 million people have recovered from COVID-19.

Brazil has the second highest death toll with 162,802 and is third in cases with 5.7 million.

India is second in cases with 8.6 million and third in deaths with 127,571.

Mexico has the fourth highest death toll with 95,482 and the 10th highest number of cases with 978,531.

The UK has 49,862 deaths, the highest in Europe and the fifth in the world, and 1.2 million cases, the eighth in the world.

China, where the disease was first reported at the end of last year, has recorded 91,737 cases and 4,742 deaths, according to its official figures.

What are companies saying?

• Air Products & Chemicals Inc. APD,
-8,91%
reported lower than expected fiscal fourth quarter profit as the COVID-19 pandemic weighed on results, while revenues exceeded expectations. The industrial gas company’s sales rose 1.6% to $ 2.32 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $ 2.26 billion, as beats in regions of the Americas and the Europe, the Middle East and Africa make up for a failure in Asia. “Around the world, energy transition is at the heart of economic recovery, and our expertise, technology and people place Air Products at the heart of delivering sustainable energy and environmental solutions,” said Managing Director Seifi Ghasemi.

• ConocoPhillips COP,
-0,42%
made an important gas discovery off the coast of Norway. The company said the find was in production license 1009 located 22 miles northwest of the Heidrun field and 150 miles from the coast of Norway in the Norwegian Sea. ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS is the operator of the license with a 65% stake, while PGNiG Upstream Norway AS holds the remaining 35%. “Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery between 50 and 190 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent,” the company said in a statement. “Further assessment will be conducted to determine potential flows, ultimate recovery of reservoir resources and development plans.” Shares have fallen 45% since the start of the year, penalized by the dual effect of falling energy prices and falling demand during the pandemic.

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