The Latest: CDC says US has seen 300K more deaths than usual


By The Associated Press



NEW YORK — A new government report shows that since the coronavirus pandemic began, the U.S. has seen 300,000 more deaths than it usually would.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been tracking how many deaths have been reported and comparing them with counts seen in other years. Usually, between the beginning of February and the end of September, about 1.9 million deaths are reported. This year, it’s closer to 2.2 million – a 14.5% increase.

The CDC says the coronavirus was involved in about two-thirds of the excess deaths. CDC officials say it’s likely the virus was a factor in many other deaths too. For example, someone with heart attack symptoms may have hesitated to go to a hospital that was busy with coronavirus patients.

The largest segment of the excess deaths, about 95,000, were in elderly people ages 75 to 84. That was 21.5% more than in a normal year. But the biggest relative increase, 26.5%, was in people ages 25 to 44. Deaths in people younger than 25 actually dropped slightly.

Deaths were up for different racial and ethnic groups, but the largest increase – 54% – was among Hispanic Americans.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— AP-NORC poll: Two-thirds of Americans don’t trust Trump much on virus

— CDC: ‘Strong recommendation’ for masks on planes, trains, buses

— Arizona reports more than 1,000 coronavirus cases

— Federal judge considers challenge to CDC order halting evictions of certain renters through the end of year to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

— British PM Johnson imposing strict coronavirus restrictions on Greater Manchester, England’s second-largest urban area, after talks fail on financial support.

— World Series opens Tuesday night with Major League Baseball relieved to reach the championship of a pandemic-delayed season.

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Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said Tuesday she was “disappointed” that Vice President Mike Pence, a Republican, held a campaign rally in Hermon that appeared to exceed the state’s attendance limit for outdoor gatherings.

Pence held the event on Monday to tout President Donald Trump’s reelection bid and promote Maine Republicans. The state limits outdoor gatherings to 100 people. Maine Republican Party Jason Savage said there were between 1,500 and 2,000 people in attendance.

Savage was dismissive of criticism of the event Monday: “I guess we’ll have to call it a ‘peaceful protest.’ Gov. Mills and her pals should be fine then,” Savage said in an e-mail.

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Students at the University of Michigan have been ordered to stay in place for two weeks until Election Day after a surge of coronavirus cases driven by social gatherings on and off campus.

Washtenaw County health officer Jimena Loveluck said Tuesday that the surge is “overwhelming the ability” of local health officials to confront the pandemic.

More than 1,000 students have been infected since the start of fall term, despite limits on the size of gatherings and classes that are mostly held online. Loveluck said cases related to U-M represent 61% of total county cases, compared to just 2% in August.

She said students can attend in-person classes and can leave their residence for exercise, work, food, medical appointments, voting and religious services,.

The order lasts until 7 a.m. on Nov. 3, Election Day. A similar order was enforced in September at Grand Valley State University in Ottawa County.

The restrictions coincide with the delayed start of the Big Ten football season. Michigan plays Minnesota on Saturday and Michigan State on Oct. 31.

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ATLANTA — The CDC is strongly recommending passengers on planes, trains and buses wear masks, but it’s stopping short of requiring it.

The CDC says the coronavirus is still being transmitted in the U.S. and internationally through travel. Those travelers are often in close contact with others, sometimes for several hours. Masks are necessary because travelers may be unable to stay 6 feet apart on planes and buses, CDC says.

It says masks should be worn by all passengers and workers on planes, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis and ride-sharing vehicles.

That includes in airports and at subway and bus stations. All leading U.S. airlines require passengers other than small children to wear masks during flights, but enforcement can be spotty. The Federal Aviation Administration has declined to require masks.

The CDC says it was offering the new recommendations to support state and local health officials and transportation operators who have imposed their own mask rules.

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PHOENIX — Arizona reported more than 1,000 daily coronavirus cases for the second time in a week.

The state Department of Health Services reported 1,040 cases Tuesday and seven more deaths, increasing the statewide totals to 232,937 cases and 5,837 deaths.

The state’s rolling average of daily new cases rose over the past two weeks from 508.6 new cases on Oct. 5 to 835.3 on Oct. 19, according to Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by The Associated Press.

The rolling average of daily deaths dropped from 12 per day to 10 during the same period. The rolling average of Arizona’s positivity rate rose from 6.6% to 8.9%.

Arizona was a national hotspot in July and July.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — The number of people hospitalized in Oklahoma with the coronavirus reached a record high 821.

The number reported by the Oklahoma State Department of Health on Tuesday is 28 more than the previous record of 793 recorded on Friday.

Gov. Kevin Stitt plans to discuss hospital capacity in the state. The health department reported an additional 1,475 cases and 18 deaths.

There’s been a total of 109,548 confirmed cases and 1,191 deaths in Oklahoma.

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SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnian officials say social restrictions might become unavoidable if the population flouts current restrictions, including mask mandates and a ban on large indoor gatherings.

“It would be very difficult to adequately respond to continued sudden spikes in infections because our human resources are limited,” says Goran Cerkez, the assistant health minister in the larger of the country’s two autonomous parts.

Over the past seven days, there’s been an average of 506 cases per day registered in Bosnia, an increase of more than 40% from the average a week earlier. At the same time, several hospitals around the country say their COVID-19 wings are filling up.

The impoverished Balkan nation of 3.5 million record 728 infections on Tuesday, increasing to 35,400 confirmed cases. Bosnia’s total death toll has surpassed 1,000.

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LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he’ll impose the highest level of coronavirus restrictions on the Greater Manchester region, after no deal was reached on a financial package.

Johnson says action was needed to protect the lives of Manchester’s residents and the region’s health care system. The Tier 3 measures mean pubs and businesses must close and people in England’s second-largest city are banned from socializing with other households.

Leaders of the Greater Manchester region have resisted the tough restrictions for days, saying local businesses forced to close would need more financial support from the government.

Mayor Andy Burnham says he asked for an aid package, but the government walked away from the talks.

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MADRID — Spain is poised to become the first country in Europe to surpass the milestone of 1 million officially recorded cases of the new coronavirus.

The Spanish Health Ministry reported Tuesday that authorities have recorded nearly 14,000 new cases, taking the total to 988,322.

At the current rate of infection, Spain is likely to exceed 1 million on Wednesday.

Health experts say the true number of infections is probably much higher. That’s because insufficient testing, asymptomatic cases and other issues mean official counts fail to capture the real scale of the outbreak.

Spain has confirmed 34,210 deaths from the coronavirus.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The number of people hospitalized in Ohio because of the coronavirus has reached 1,154, the department of health reported.

The agency says that’s the highest since July, with 158 on ventilators.

Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine again asked Ohioans to wear masks and stay socially distanced.

The Health Department reported 1,837 confirmed virus cases on Monday, above the 21-day case average of 1,515.

A record 2,178 cases reported on Oct. 15. Ohio has reported more than 183,000 confirmed cases and 5,075 deaths.

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PRAGUE — The Czech Republic’s health minister says more restrictions may be needed after the current measures failed to slow a surge in coronavirus infections.

Health Minister Roman Prymula says the number of people in hospital could reach about 11,000 by Nov. 11, almost a full capacity, and some 3,000 will need intensive care.

He says the government has been acquiring ventilators for the hospitals.

Prymula says nearly 30% of all tests are positive.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in the Czech Republic has risen over the past two weeks from 26.26 cases per 100,000 people on Oct. 5 to 80.76 on Monday.

The country has 180,000 confirmed cases, with 110,000 recorded during the first three weeks of October.

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WASHINGTON — A new poll finds Americans’ trust in the people and institutions giving them information about the coronavirus has fallen across the board.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they don’t trust President Donald Trump much or at all for accurate coronavirus information. That’s according to a poll by USAFacts and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The poll finds that the percentage of people saying they trust COVID-19 information from their state or local governments, the news media, social media and their friends and family has dropped significantly compared to similar questions in April. After Trump, the poll shows only social media has higher distrust levels.

The poll also shows a large chunk of Americans find it hard to know if COVID-19 information is accurate.

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ROME — Pope Francis is presiding over an interfaith peace prayer in Rome, donning a facemask after shunning them in recent weeks despite a surge in coronavirus infections across Italy.

Francis wore a white mask throughout the service Tuesday, except when he delivered his remarks. At 83 and with part of a lung removed in his 20s due to an illness, the pope is at high-risk for COVID-19 complications.

The pope has drawn criticism from even his ardent followers for shunning facemasks during his recent Wednesday general audiences. In the past week, 11 Swiss Guards and a resident of the hotel where Francis lives have tested positive.

The event brought a host of religious leaders despite the pandemic: the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, Patriarch Bartholomew I, was on hand from Istanbul, Turkey. Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu and other Christian leaders traveled from continental Europe and beyond.

All participants wore facemasks and sat apart from one another in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions. Italy recorded 10,874 new cases Tuesday and 89 deaths.

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has reported a single-day record of more than 5,000 coronavirus cases.

Iran’s health ministry reported 322 deaths, pushing the death toll over 31,000. The new cases on Tuesday eclipsed the previous high of 4,830 last week.

Hospitals in the hard-hit capital of Tehran are overflowing. The increase comes after Iranians packed cafes and restaurants at vacation spots during recent national holidays and the re-opening of schools last month.

The government closed museums, libraries, beauty salons, schools and universities in Tehran earlier this month and imposed a mask mandate outdoors.

Iran officials have resisted a total lockdown because they don’t want to further weaken an economy already devastated by unprecedented U.S. sanctions. The Trump administration re-imposed economic sanctions on Iran after withdrawing in 2018 from Tehran’s nuclear accord with world powers.

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, a day after claiming the American people are tired of listening to Dr. Anthony Fauci, insists he gets along him.

However, Trump says the nation’s top infectious disease specialist is not a “team player.”

“He’s a nice guy,” Trump said of Fauci in a telephone interview with “Fox & Friends” from the White House. “The only thing I say is he’s a little bit sometimes not a team player.”

Trump denied the two were “at odds.” Fauci appeared on CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday and said he was concerned Trump might acquire the coronavirus after attending several events, including one at the Rose Garden, with little mask wearing and social distancing.

Trump’s strained relationship with Fauci has political overtones as the president defends his record on the pandemic just two weeks before Election Day. The president heads to a rally Tuesday evening in Erie, Pennsylvania.

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MADRID — Spain’s health minister says the government won’t extend the state of emergency in the Madrid region when it expires on Saturday but may introduce curfews at coronavirus hotspots around the country.

Health Minister Salvador Illa says the partial lockdown in the Madrid area in recent weeks had helped limit community transmission that made it one of Europe’s most significant coronavirus clusters.

However, he noted Madrid’s number of cases is still high. The region has reported more than 29,000 cases in the past two weeks. It’s tally on Tuesday was 354 new cases in 24 hours — Spain’s fourth-highest rate.

Illa says he’s conferring with Spain’s regional governments about targeted curfews as the country approaches the milestone of 1 million officially recorded cases.

“I want to be very clear,” Illa says. “Some very hard weeks are coming.”

By The Associated Press