The Latest: COVID-19 spreads more extensively in new study
NEW YORK CITY — The coronavirus can spread more extensively in households than previous research suggests, and kids can transmit it at about the same rate as adults do, according to a new study.
The study shows how important it is for people who test positive to isolate themselves within a home, and for them and everyone else to wear masks when they are in common areas, researchers said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the study Friday. The researchers focused on 101 households in Tennessee and Wisconsin.
In each home, after a person was diagnosed, other household members agreed to undergo nasal swab or saliva tests and kept symptom diaries. Nearly 300 people participated. About 100 were identified as the first to be infected and the other 200 people lived with them.
About 53% of the household members tested positive, and most were diagnosed within five days of the time the first person got sick. Previous studies have estimated the secondary infection rate at around half that.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— U.S. now has 9 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus
— Georgia Gov. Kemp in quarantine after coronavirus exposure
— Virus antibody drug trial paused for safety issue by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
— Kenya joins trial of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine
— European countries want WHO given greater powers to independently investigate outbreaks and compel countries to provide more data,
— For many Latinos, coronavirus deaths loom over Day of the Dead. Some are mourning more than one relative, which underscores the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on communities of color.
— Curious about going to a movie theater in U.S.? A few things to know.
Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
SAO PAULO — Four tourists were arrested on Thursday in Brazil for allegedly falsifying COVID-19 tests in an attempt to reach what some say is the world’s most beautiful beach.
The two men and two women were arrested after landing in Fernando de Noronha, a group of islands offshore northern Brazil, according to a statement posted on the archipelago’s official website. The Brazilians, who took a private jet and arrived Wednesday night, were accused of falsifying documents, using falsified documents and criminal association.
TripAdvisor users rated Fernando de Noronha’s Sancho Bay as the world’s top beach in 2020.
Fernando de Noronha reopened to tourists on Oct. 10, requiring COVID-19 tests that show negative results and administered no earlier than one day before departure. The visitors presented test results that were dated three days prior to their arrival.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Three tigers at a Tennessee zoo are in quarantine after one tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a Friday news release from Zoo Knoxville.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s national veterinary lab confirmed the positive test for Bashir, an 11-year-old male Malayan tiger, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
Two other tigers, 11-year-old male Tanvir and 6-year-old female Arya, are presumed positive while their tests are being processed. All three animals have experienced mild coughing, lethargy and decreased appetite.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota broke its record for new coronavirus infections reported in one day on Friday as 1,560 people tested positive.
The new virus cases brought the number of cases statewide to 13,520, according to the Department of Health. That means that roughly one out of every 65 people currently has an active infection. The state has ranked second in the nation for new cases per person over the last two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. There were about 1,359 new cases per 100,000 people.
The Department of Health also reported 12 new deaths, bringing the tally of COVID-19 deaths to 415 since the pandemic began. October has been the state’s deadliest month as health officials reported 192 of those deaths this month.
The number of hospitalizations declined by 10 people to 403, breaking a run where hospitalizations hit new highs for five days in a row. About 31% of general-care hospital beds and 37% of ICU beds remained available in the state.
BALTIMORE — The U.S. now has 9 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, as infections continue to rise in nearly every state.
It took two weeks to reach the mark from 8 million, the fastest jump of 1 million yet. It had taken more than three weeks for the total to rise from 7 million to 8 million.
Confirmed U.S. cases are on the rise in 47 states. Deaths are up 14% over the past two weeks, averaging more than 800 every day. The virus has now killed more than 229,000 Americans.
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco will temporarily halt the reopening of additional activities and businesses planned for next week because of an increase in coronavirus case rates and hospitalizations, the city’s mayor and health director said Friday.
That includes expanding capacity for indoor dining at restaurants, and at places of worship and museums among other businesses, as cases increase not just in San Francisco but also in California and nationally, said Mayor London Breed and Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax.
San Francisco’s case rate has gone from 3 people per 100,000 to 4 people per 100,000 in the last two weeks, Colfax said, a 25% increase.
“We are still in the midst of a pandemic,” Breed said. “We are tired of COVID-19 but COVID-19 isn’t tired of us.”
The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo reduced the maximum number of people allowed at casual social gatherings from 15 to 10, barred spectators from youth sporting events, closed indoor sports facilities, and ordered businesses to remind customers to wear masks in an effort to stem a rising wave of new coronavirus cases.
The restrictions were announced Friday, on a day when the state Department of Health reported another 482 confirmed cases, and a daily test positivity rate of 3.3%.
She said state data is clear that the spread is being fueled by small, unstructured social gatherings where people let their guard down and stop wearing masks, and not in structured settings such as workplaces and schools. So she told residents to limit their social network to the same 10 people and avoid all nonessential activities, including parties, barbecues, baby showers and similar gatherings.
The goal of the new regulations is to disrupt schools and commerce as little as possible.
Hosts of parties and other gatherings that violate the 10-person limit are subject to a fine of $500 per guest over the limit. Spectators are banned from youth and school sports for two weeks. As of Monday, all skating rinks and indoor sports facilities will be required to close for one week while the state comes up with new safety protocols.
The rules around sports do not apply to colleges or pro teams.
DEWITT TOWNSHIP, Mich. — An entire police department north of Lansing is off duty because of the coronavirus.
DeWitt Township closed the department Wednesday due to some positive cases. Other officers and staff were told to quarantine, township manager Andrew Dymczyk said.
The department’s 18 employees include 15 officers, he said.
“We’ll reevaluate over the next few days,” Dymczyk said. “We’re very grateful for our neighbors helping us. They’ve all been great.”
The township, which has a population of 15,000, said anyone who came in close contact with a member of the police department between Oct. 14 and Oct. 27 should monitor their health.
Police in neighboring communities, as well as state police and Clinton County sheriff’s deputies, were available to respond to calls in DeWitt.
ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and his wife have gone into quarantine after being exposed to someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Spokesman Cody Hall says Kemp and first lady Marty Kemp had a coronavirus test, although he didn’t say if they’d received the results.
Georgia has had more than 350,000 confirmed cases of the virus. More than 7,900 people in the state have died after contracting the virus, according to data from the state Department of Public Health.
NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya has joined the trial of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, which was developed with Oxford University.
The Kenya Medical Research Institute says the first of 40 volunteers have been vaccinated and all are frontline health workers. It says another 360 volunteers will be recruited once the vaccine’s safety is confirmed. All will be monitored for more than a year.
Trials of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been under way in South Africa, Brazil and other countries.
The African government have been outspoken about the need to carry out more vaccine trials on the continent of some 1.3 billion people.
The announcement comes as Kenya’s government says a second surge in coronavirus cases has begun in East Africa’s economic hub.
LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska has added a record 1,605 coronavirus cases, joining several Midwest states with increased caseloads and hospitalizations.
The state’s COVID-19 dashboard shows new hospitalizations reached an all-time high of 528 on Thursday.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Nebraska increased the past two weeks from 724 on Oct. 15 to 891 on Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Nebraska has had 68,150 confirmed cases and 637 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
PHOENIX — Arizona’ reported 1,565 coronavirus cases and 16 more deaths on Friday.
The tallies were reported a day after Gov. Doug Ducey defended his administration’s handling of the outbreak but warned “there is a storm ahead of us.”
The seven-day rolling average for daily cases rose in the past two weeks from 764 on Oct. 15 to 1,082 on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by The Associated Press.
The state Department of Health Services increasing the state’s totals to 244,045 cases and 5,934 deaths.
PRAGUE — The Czech Parliament will extend a state of emergency to Nov. 17 amid a record surge in coronavirus cases.
On Wednesday, the government imposed a nationwide curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. All stores must close on Sundays and employees in state and private companies are recommended to work from home. The government says it won’t reopen elementary schools as planned on Monday because the rising infections.
More than 7,000 people are hospitalized with the coronavirus, putting the health system under pressure.
The Czech Republic has 310,068 total confirmed cases, with 161,050 cases in the last two weeks. The total confirmed deaths stand at 2,862, with the addition of 908 deaths in the last week.
BARCELONA, Spain — Hundreds have gathered in central Barcelona to protest the mandatory closure of bars, restaurants and other businesses in the latest effort to rein in the coronavirus.
Police have used batons to disperse protesters throwing stones and metal fences around Barcelona city hall. Some of the protesters removed their masks and shouted “This is theft! This is a scam!”
The northeastern Catalonia region has imposed some of the strictest measures, including closure of the hospitality industry, a 10 p.m. curfew and a ban on non-essential travel.
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — A study testing an experimental antibody drug for the coronavirus has been paused to investigate a possible safety issue.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said Friday that independent monitors had recommended placing on hold enrollment of the most severely ill patients — those who need intense oxygen treatment or breathing machines — because of a potential safety problem and unfavorable balance of risks and benefits.
The study can continue to test the two-antibody drug combo in hospitalized patients who need little or no extra oxygen. Other studies in mild or moderately ill people also are continuing.
Earlier this month, a study testing a similar drug from Eli Lilly in hospitalized patients was paused and later stopped because the drug didn’t seem to help. Experts say previous testing suggests these antibody drugs may help most when given early in infection.
ROME — Italy added a record 31,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in 24 hours.
Health Ministry official Gianni Rezza says “the epidemic is galloping. The virus is circulating and it’s circulating fast.”
Italy conducted some 215,00 swab tests, its highest one-day total.
Rezza says any improvements from restrictions would take at least two-to-four weeks. This week, Italy closed restaurants, bars and cafes in the evenings and shut down gyms, pools, theaters and cinemas for 30 days.
Italy’s total confirmed cases stand at more than 647,000. With 199 more deaths, the confirmed death toll is more than 38,000.