People who are in quarantine or sick with COVID-19 are allowed to vote in person for the U.S. elections on Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Voters have the right to vote, regardless of whether they are sick or in quarantine,” the CDC’s recently updated guidelines say. But you should let poll workers know that you are sick or in quarantine, the agency said. Voters should also wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart from others and wash their hands before and after voting.
Meanwhile, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, warned top officials Monday that the country is entering the “most deadly phase of this pandemic … leading to increasing mortality,” according to a report obtained by the Washington Post.
Birx’s warning contradicts President Donald Trump’s message that the U.S. is “rounding the turn” on the coronavirus. The U.S. will likely see more than 100,000 new cases a day this week, Birx said.
Here’s what to know today:
Germany and the U.K. announced plans Tuesday to expand virus testing as European countries battled rapidly increasing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. Twenty-one states set records for new cases in a week, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Monday, with five states reporting a record number of deaths: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Over 61,000 new child COVID-19 cases were reported this week – the highest since the pandemic began, according to a report released Monday.
Today is Election Day but an estimated 100 million ballots were already cast before the first poll site opened, partly because voters took precautions against COVID-19 community spread.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 9.3 million cases and 232,100 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: more than 47.4 million cases and 1.2 million deaths.
🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.
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Coronavirus cases hit new daily highs this week in Russia, and Germany and the U.K. announced plans Tuesday to expand virus testing as European countries battled rapidly increasing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.
Nations reintroduced restrictions to try to get ahead of a virus that has caused more than 1.2 million deaths around the globe, over 270,000 of them in Europe, according to Johns Hopkins University, and is straining health care systems.
New measures took effect Tuesday in Austria, Greece and Sweden, following a partial shutdown imposed in Germany on Monday and tighter rules in Italy, France, Kosovo and Croatia. England faces a near-total lockdown starting Thursday, although schools and universities will stay open.
Infections spiked in Russia, where authorities reported 18,648 new cases Tuesday. It was the fifth straight day of more than 18,000 confirmed new cases, compared to the country’s daily record of over 11,000 in the spring.
Russia has the world’s fourth-highest reported coronavirus caseload with over 1.6 million people confirmed infected, including more than 28,000 who have died in the pandemic.
Wisconsin health officials reported a record 5,771 new coronavirus cases and 52 more deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, along with a testing positivity rate tracking ever higher.
Hospitalizations rose by 247 in the state, which for weeks has ranked as one of the nation’s worst hot spots for the virus. The state’s daily average of new cases has risen by 44% over the past two weeks, making it fourth-worst in the country for new cases per capita, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University.
The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Wisconsin had risen over the past two weeks to 14.72% as of Monday.
Wisconsin has recorded 2,102 deaths from the virus.
Kentucky’s coronavirus-related deaths surpassed 1,500 on Tuesday as the COVID-19 surge continued with the sixth-highest number of daily virus cases reported in the state, Gov. Andy Beshear said.
The state posted 11 virus-related deaths, raising Kentucky’s death toll to at least 1,503, he said.
“That is a grim milestone,” Beshear said at a news conference. “And it appears that we are going to lose a significant number of additional Kentuckians unless we pick it up, unless we do better.”
The Democratic governor also stressed the need to wear masks in public and to follow social distancing and other health guidelines.
Beshear reported 1,795 new virus cases statewide Tuesday, increasing the total number of cases to more than 111,000 since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, virus-related hospitalizations in Kentucky continued to rise, with 1,037, the governor said. The state’s positivity rate was 6.24%.
Former U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, the Republican candidate for Indiana attorney general, has tested positive for COVID-19 after developing “some symptoms,” his campaign announced Tuesday.
Rokita faces Democratic candidate Jonathan Weinzapfel in Tuesday’s statewide election. Rokita had been quarantining with his family after he was informed “by a person unconnected to any campaign activities that he was exposed to COVID-19,” Rokita’s campaign said in a statement.
The campaign said Rokita “just recently tested positive after developing some symptoms” and is doing well and working from home. Rokita planned to watch Tuesday’s election returns there with his family.
The cruise industry has jettisoned hopes of restarting operations this year.
Days after Carnival and Norwegian extended a halt on cruises through the end of the year, the group that represents cruise lines said Tuesday that its members have agreed to extend the suspension of U.S. sailing operations for the rest of 2020. The announcement comes just days after the U.S. government effectively lifted its no-sail order despite a global spike in coronavirus infections.
Cruise Lines International Association – which includes cruise giants Princess, Carnival and Royal Caribbean – said that its members have voluntarily opted to maintain the current suspension of cruise operations in the U.S. through the end of the year.
Members “will use the remainder of the year to prepare for the implementation of extensive measures to address COVID-19 safety” with the guidance of public health experts and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the association said.
The Big Ten college football game between No. 11 Wisconsin and Purdue has been canceled as COVID-19 positive cases increase around the Badgers’ football program. The game will not be rescheduled and is declared no contest.
This is the second consecutive game cancellation for Wisconsin. The Badgers didn’t play at Nebraska last week. In order to qualify for the Big Ten championship game, teams need to play at least six games during the eight-game regular season.
Wisconsin would have to avoid another cancellation to qualify to play in the title game.
“I share in the disappointment of our student-athletes and staff,” Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said. “We have seen a level of improvement in our testing numbers, but not enough to give us confidence to resume normal activities and play our game on Saturday.”
►In El Paso, the UTEP football team’s struggle to get on the field took another blow, as Florida International announced it would not be able to play the Miners on Saturday.
This is the third time an opponent has postponed a game against UTEP in the last four weeks and this game will be the least likely to be rescheduled under Conference USA’s stated goal of prioritizing division games for the two weeks in December set aside for makeup games.
– Mike Carmin and Bret Bloomquist
The United States reported 586,641 new cases in a week ending Monday, breaking records for the ninth day in a row.
A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows 21 states set records of new cases in a week while five states had a record number of deaths: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Forty states had more cases in the latest week than in the week before and a higher rate of positive tests, an analysis of COVID Tracking Project data shows.
The world reached 47 million coronavirus cases Tuesday. The last 1 million cases were reported within 57 hours.
Even though nearly 100 million ballots from early voting have already been cast, Americans are still heading to the polls to vote in-person on Election Day despite COVID-19 cases surging in most parts of the country.
Henry Monreal, 75, was the first in line at Fire Station No. 7 in El Paso, Texas. The suffering brought on by COVID-19, in his city and the rest of the country, has motivated him to cast his ballot.
“People are reflecting on the pandemic,” he said. “People are losing their jobs. They need help.”
Immunocompromised Alejandro Guzman Stein, 67, planned to vote by mail this year but returned to his home in Miami last week to find his absentee ballot never arrived.
That’s why he made the trip to the Miami-Dade County Auditorium on Tuesday to cast his vote – a bottle of hand sanitizer in his pocket, a mask over his nose and mouth, a scratched-up visor covering his face. Stein said he took the risk because of a sense of responsibility ingrained in him by his parents.
“This is life or death for me,” he said. “I wanted to vote by mail. But I had to come. It’s more than a right. It’s a duty.”
A polling place in Sebastian, Florida was shut down Tuesday after the elections supervisor’s office learned a person with COVID-19 had walked through the building at some point in the last few days.
– Alan Gomez, USA TODAY and Aaron Bedoya, El Paso Times
Artificial intelligence technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology can detect virus infection in a COVID-19 patient using a voice recording of their cough, according to a report published Tuesday in the IEEE Open Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology.
The technology detected 99.9% of COVID-19 cases in groups of 25 people where five people tested positive, and 95% of groups with three positives. Overall, researchers were able to detect 98.5% COVID-19 positives from a forced-cough recording, including 100% of asymptomatic cases.
The study organized a 1 to 10 ratio of positive cases to control subjects, comprising of 2,660 people who were COVID-19 positive. Participants from all of over the world provided a voice recording of them coughing on an average of three times and filled out a questionnaire about symptoms and diagnosis.
“This non-invasive, free, real-time pre-screening tool my prove to have a great potential to complement current efforts to contain the disease in low-infected areas as well as to mitigate the impact in high-infected areas, where unconscious asymptomatics may spread the virus,” researchers said.
While children represent only 11.1% of all coronavirus cases in the United States, that number is steadily growing, according to a report released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. A look at its findings:
Over 61,000 new child COVID-19 cases were reported this week – the highest since the pandemic began.
Nearly 200,000 new child COVID-19 cases were reported from Oct. 1 to Oct. 29.
Over 853,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.
Forty-nine states, New York City, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam provided age distributions of reported cases. Texas reported age distribution for only 6% of cases, Massachusetts only reported cases added in the past two weeks, and the state of New York does not provide age distribution.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said the federal government is requiring states to share residents’ personal information as part of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. But the Democratic governor said he will not take part in the plan as the information can be used to track undocumented immigrants.
“The data use agreement says the information will be used by CDC, HHS, and other federal partners,” Cuomo said during a conference call.
He added, “Why would you possibly need a person’s driver’s license number or Social Security number or passport number before they receive a vaccine? Why? There is no legitimate health reason. This is just another example of them trying to extort the state of New York to get information at DHS and ICE to deport people.”
El Paso hospitals reached a record number of COVID-19 patients Monday as intensive care units hit overcapacity, officials said.
The growing hospitalizations occurred amid continuing confusion, debate and legal wrangling over El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego’s ordered shutdown of nonessential businesses.
As of Monday morning, there were 978 people hospitalized for COVID-19, including 273 in intensive care and 234 on ventilators, city-county public health officials said.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID news: CDC says sick people can vote in person; Birx warning