SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Hospitalizations from COVID-19 in South Dakota reached new heights for the fourth straight day on Wednesday.
The number of daily new cases also set a record, with 1,270 people testing positive for the virus. The virus has surged in the state and region, sending South Dakota to the nation’s second-worst ranking in new cases per capita over the last two weeks. Johns Hopkins researchers report that one out of roughly every 77 people in the state has tested positive in the last two weeks.
The wave of cases has resulted in 412 people being hospitalized with the virus.
Health officials also reported nine new deaths. October has become the state’s deadliest month of the pandemic, with 189 deaths so far.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— US plans to buy initial antibody doses from Eli Lilly
— Task force member Giroir: Cases, hospitalizations, deaths up in US – not just testing
— President Emmanuel Macron announces second national lockdown in France starting Friday. German officials agreed four-week partial lockdown.
— Belgium and Czech Republic top Europe’s highest number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 citizens, ahead of hotbeds France and Spain.
— Love blossoms amid pandemic for two TikTok creators in Los Angeles, using goofy dance videos, heartfelt vlogs and affirmations.
— Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas doesn’t appear to be containing the coronavirus, reporting nearly 3,400 new cases over just two days.
The state health department’s data showed that the rolling average for new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases was 1,084 a day for the seven days ending Wednesday. That’s 33% higher than the previous record for the seven-day rolling average of 815 for the seven days ending Monday.
The health department said it switched this weekend to a new, automated system that allows new cases to be added to its count more quickly. It said the change accounted for about 1,500 of the 3,369 cases reported since Monday, but even with those cases factored out, the state had a record rolling seven-day average.
The health department said Kansas has had 82,045 cases since the pandemic began.
Kansas had another 106 hospitalizations to bring the pandemic total to 3,752. The state averaged a record 35 new hospitalizations a day over the seven days ending Wednesday.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Areas of Tennessee where people aren’t required to wear masks in public have experienced increases of hospitalized coronavirus patients in recent weeks.
Researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine announced the results of a study. It categorized each Tennessee hospital based on what percentage of its typical patient population lives in counties with a mask requirement.
Republican Gov. Bill Lee is allowing counties to decide whether to require masks rather than making masks a statewide mandate. He has argued it’s a matter of people taking personal responsibility.
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health says it will add nearly 1,000 rapid coronavirus testing sites around the country by the end of the year.
The drugstore chain says it plans to have about 100 sites running this week in 22 states. Customers can usually get results within 30 minutes.
CVS Health says it will provide rapid-result tests at no cost for people who meet the criteria established by the CDC – which include symptoms and contact with someone who has the coronavirus. Those customers must register in advance for the test through the company’s website.
Insurers will pick up the bill for people with coverage who meet the CDC criteria, while a federal government program will pay for the uninsured, the company says.
The test that delivers results in a few days would cost $139 for those who don’t meet the CDC criteria. The company didn’t provide the cost of a rapid test for those who don’t meet the criteria.
The chain plans to start offering the rapid tests in California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas, among other states.
ROME — Italy reached a new daily record of nearly 25,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and added 205 deaths on Wednesday.
Nearly 1,000 people were admitted to hospitals nationwide and 125 more in intensive care.
Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese briefed the Senate on protests following Italy’s latest anti-virus restrictions, which shuttered restaurants and bars at nightfall, closed movie theaters and in some regions imposed overnight curfews.
While daytime protests by restaurant owners and taxi drivers have been largely peaceful, Lamorgese accused a variety of fringe anti-government and virus-negating groups of using the crisis as an excuse for violence, vandalism and looting.
Italy has nearly 590,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and nearly 38,000 deaths, the second highest in Europe after Britain.
MADRID – Authorities in Spain announced more than 19,700 daily confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday.
The Health Ministry says nearly 2,300 coronavirus patients were admitted to hospital in the previous 24 hours. Just over 25% of Spain’s ICU beds are currently occupied by COVID-19 patients, slightly up from Tuesday.
The Murcia region of southeastern Spain announced it will close its borders with neighboring regions, just as four other regions have done this week. Three more regions, including Madrid, were expected to follow suit in coming days.
Spain has 1.1 million cases, the second highest in Europe after France. Another 761 deaths in the past week brought the confirmed death total to more than 35,400.
ANKARA, Turkey —Turkey reported 77 more coronavirus deaths, pushing the death toll past 10,000 deaths.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca reported 2,305 new coronavirus cases, raising the confirmed total to 368,513. Ankara has been reporting only the number of patients being treated for the coronavirus, leading to accusations that it is concealing the true extend of the outbreak.
Koca says 40% of coronavirus cases in Turkey were recording in Istanbul, a city of 16 million.
The minister urged residents to limit their movement and called on employers to offer workers flexible hours or the possibility of working from home. He says there’s no plan to reintroduce lockdowns or to restrict travel to and from the city.
BEIRUT — Lebanon has registered a daily record of 1,850 coronavirus cases.
The Health Ministry says 11.8% of every 100 tests are positive. Partial lockdowns have been implemented on selected localities, but it has failed to curb the spike.
Lebanon’s health sector is reeling under the pressure of the pandemic. The economic crisis was compounded by the massive deadly blast in the capital’s port nearly three months ago. It knocked out three hospitals.
Lebanon has a total of 75,845 confirmed cases and 602 deaths.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. government has agreed to buy initial doses of an experimental COVID-19 antibody drug from Eli Lilly that patients could receive if federal regulators allow it on an emergency basis.
Lilly has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow use of the drug in mild to moderately ill patients, based on partial results from a mid-stage study suggesting it may help them clear the virus sooner. There were hints the drug might help avoid hospitalization, but more study is needed.
Under the agreement, the government will spend $375 million to buy 300,000 vials of the drug. How many doses that would provide is unclear. Each vial contains 70 milligrams and that dose proved ineffective in the early results. It took four times that amount — 2,800 milligrams — to show any effect.
Earlier this week, the government stopped a study of Lilly’s drug in hospitalized patients after it seemed the drug was not helping those more seriously ill patients.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. is also seeking emergency use for its experimental two-antibody treatment. President Donald Trump received it when he was ill with the coronavirus earlier this month.
(This item has been corrected to 300,000 vials in third paragraph.)
BOSTON — Boston’s Logan International Airport has a coronavirus testing site.
The site opened in Terminal E and is operated by health and wellness company XpresSpa Group.
It’s available for airport and airline employees at first but will test travelers in mid-November. The facility will offer three types of tests — quick test that returns results within 15 minutes; a nasal swab test; and a blood antibody test. The company says it will process about 400 tests a day.
It already operates coronavirus testing facilities at Kennedy International Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
GENEVA — Switzerland is closing restaurants and bars earlier and expanding mask-wearing rules following a rise in coronavirus cases.
Government officials say bars and restaurants will close at 11 p.m. and discos will close altogether. Events involving more than 50 people and “sports and cultural leisure activities” with more than 15 people will be banned.
Universities will switch to remote learning on Monday and masks must be worn in busy outdoor locations and high school classes.
President Simonetta Sommaruga says the measures start Thursday because “we have no time to waste.”
There’s been 8,616 confirmed cases reported in the last 24 hours. Overall, Switzerland has more than 135,000 cases and 2,158 deaths in a nation of 8.6 million.
ATHENS, Greece — Greece had a record 1,547 coronavirus cases in the last day and 10 more deaths.
Authorities have gradually increased localized restrictions to curb the outbreak. Four Greek regions are currently at the highest alert of Level 4, which means lockdown-type restrictions. Athens and the second-largest city of Thessaloniki are at Level 3, which means a night-time curfew, compulsory facemasks outdoors and limits on gatherings.
The total confirmed cases in the country of 11 million is nearly 34,300 and 603 deaths
WASHINGTON — A member of the White House coronavirus task force says the increase in U.S. cases isn’t just because of more testing.
Admiral Brett Giroir says the proof of the increase is the uptick in hospitalizations and deaths nationwide from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
President Donald Trump has been saying the U.S. is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic. The president also contends the news media spends too much time focused on the health crisis.
Giroir, who was put in charge of coronavirus testing by Trump, says the nation is at “another critical point” in the response to the pandemic.
He is urging people to keep wearing masks, wash their hands and practice social distancing. Giroir says a safe and effective vaccine is “around the corner.”
JOHANNESBURG — South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has announced he’s in quarantine after contact with a dinner guest who has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The president’s spokesman says the contact occurred at a fundraising dinner of 35 people in Johannesburg last weekend. He says Ramaphosa is not showing any symptoms and the guest who tested positive is getting medical care.
South Africa reported 1,092 new infections and 48 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours. It reported an average of 2.79 cases per 100,000 people for the week ending Tuesday.
PRAGUE — Some Czechs have rallied in Prague to protest the restrictive measures imposed by the government, a day after the nation hit a record 15,663 coronavirus cases.
On Wednesday, a nationwide night curfew will begin and all stores will close on Sundays.
Gatherings of more than two people are banned if not from the same family. However, up to 100 people can still demonstrate if they are divided into separate groups of 20 and all wear face masks.
After some 100 gathered at the Republic Square, police sealed off the crowd. Others who wanted to join the protest had to remain beyond the police cordon.
Some of the protesters were not wearing face masks. One person was detained.
The Czech Republic has 284,033 confirmed cases, with over a half registered in the last two weeks. There’s been more than 2,500 deaths.
BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania set highs for coronavirus cases and deaths in the past day.
The nation recorded 5,343 confirmed and 107 deaths. The number of patients treated in intensive care units stood at 861, also a record.
The Romanian capital and five other counties remain in red zone after the rate of infections exceeded 3 people per 1,000 inhabitants. It requires the closure of bars, restaurants, cinemas, theaters and schools.
Romania has a total of more than 222,500 cases and more than 6,000 deaths.
ZAGREB, Croatia — Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia are reporting daily records of coronavirus cases.
Slovenia registered 2,605 infections and at least seven confirmed deaths in the country of 2 million. Nearly 35% of all tests came back positive in the last 24 hours, health officials say.
Croatia had 2,378 cases and 23 deaths, with Health Minister Vili Beros warning he couldn’t rule out a “collapse” of the health system.
Bosnia announced 1,562 new cases and 34 deaths.
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines closed cemeteries and memorial parks on Wednesday to enforce a ban aimed at preventing the annual influx of millions of Filipinos on All Saints’ Day that could spark coronavirus outbreaks.
The Philippines has been a coronavirus hotspot with more than 375,000 confirmed infections, the second highest in Southeast Asia, and at least 7,114 deaths.
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