Covid-19 is spreading “at an alarming rate” in eight New York City neighborhoods, the health department said, even as infections statewide receded from the 1,000-case threshold.
New York schools were back in focus as administrators said they don’t trust the city’s handling of the pandemic and demanded the state government take over the largest U.S. education system.
While U.S. infections increased in line with the seven-day average, Utah is coming off its worst week since the outbreak began. Any vaccine is unlikely to fully immunize everyone, former U.S. Food and Drug Administration head Scott Gottlieb said.
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Utah Reports Worst Week Yet (5:10 p.m. NY)
Utah reported more than 1,000 cases for the fourth consecutive day, ending the state’s worst week since the start of the pandemic, according to state health department data.
New infections in Utah surged to record levels this month amid an outbreak in the Midwest and Mountain regions, reaching a peak of 1,411 new cases on Thursday.
The state reported a cumulative 70,615 cases and 453 deaths on Sunday.
Lesotho to Open Border With South Africa (4:25 p.m. NY)
Lesotho will reopen the border with South Africa on Thursday for business people, students, workers and those with medical appointments, Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro said.
People entering the country will be screened for Covid-19 on arrival and those traveling to South Africa will be given certificates, but will have to return within seven days. Majoro said in a broadcast speech on Sunday. Schools, tourism and entertainment will also be allowed to reopen.
South Africa plans to reopen its international borders the same day, Oct. 1.
N.Y.C. Renews Alert on Parts of Brooklyn, Queens (3:45 p.m. NY)
New York City health officials said they’re alarmed at a continuing spike in Covid-19 virus transmission in sections of south Brooklyn and Queens with large Orthodox Jewish communities, on the eve of the Yom Kippur holiday.
Seven of the eight neighborhoods saw increases from the previous report on Saturday, based on preliminary data, the city health department said in a statement.
Mask-wearing compliance in the neighborhoods has been much lower than elsewhere in the city and cases have outpaced the citywide average “at an alarming rate” — more than threefold — over the past 14 days, according to the department.
California Increase Less Than U.S. Average (3:40 p.m. NY)
California reported 4,071 new virus cases on Sunday, an increase of 0.5% from the previous day’s report, along with 55 more deaths. That compares with a 0.7% one-day increase nationwide based on data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.
The state has 802,308 confirmed cases and 15,587 deaths, according to the health department’s website.
Vaccine Likely to be ‘Partially Protective,’ Gottlieb Says (3 p.m. NY)
Coronavirus vaccines now in development are likely to be “partially protective” but won’t prevent everyone who’s inoculated from becoming infected, said Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“The expectation is that this vaccine is going to be partially protective, a lot like the flu vaccine, where for certain people it will provide full immunity, but for other people it’s not going to provide as much protection,” Gottlieb said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“Maybe it will lessen the severity of Covid if they contract the infection. But it’s not going to provide what we call sterile immunity, which means you’re not going to be able to get infected with Covid,” said Gottlieb, who’s on the board of Pfizer Inc., one of the companies running a large-scale vaccine trial.
With those “major outcomes trials” still under way, “we should wait and see what the data ultimately shows,” he said.
Gottlieb said something like 10% to 15% of Americans have been exposed to the coronavirus so far, adding, “there’s a lot of room for it to run.”
N.Y.C. Principals Declare No-Confidence; Demand State School Takeover (2:10 p.m. NY)
The union representing New York City’s school administrators called upon the state to take over the largest U.S. city education system days before it is scheduled to reopen with part-time in-school instruction, saying that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza have failed to ensure appropriate staffing and safe buildings during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Council of School Supervisors & Administrations, representing more than 6,400 school managers, declared a unanimous vote of “no confidence” in the city’s education leadership Sunday, and said de Blasio and Carranza should cede authority to the state to run the system of 1.1 million students and 75,000 teachers.
The mayor’s office and Department of Education spokeswoman Miranda Barbot didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. A hybrid system of in-person and at-home Internet-based instruction is slated to begin for elementary school students Tuesday, with middle and high schools starting Thursday.
Ireland Cases Rise (2:05 p.m. NY)
Ireland recorded 43O new infections on Sunday, the most in five months, with Dublin accounting for around half the cases. The government has reintroduced restrictions in the Irish capital, as well as in a region along the border, to try and curb the spread of the virus.
France Cases Slow (1:59 p.m. NY)
France reported a third daily decline in new cases, falling to 11,123 on Sunday from 14,412 on Saturday. The seven-day average remained above 12,000 for the third day. France reported 27 additional deaths, taking the total to 31,727.
Myanmar Tightens Restrictions (12:40 p.m. NY)
Myanmar has seen a spike in cases this month, prompting the government to order the construction of treatment and quarantine centers in Yangon and Mandalay.
Some 743 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed on Sunday, boosting the Southeast Asian nation’s total to 10,734, the Ministry of Health and Sports said. Fatalities increased by 28 to 226. All but six of the deaths were reported this month.
The government on Monday will further tighten curbs to minimize the movement of people in Yangon Region from one township to another.
Florida Surpasses 700,000 Cases; Deaths Drop (12:11 a.m. NY)
Florida reported 700,564 cases, rising 0.3% compared with an average 0.4% daily increase over the previous seven days. Deaths among residents fell to 7, the lowest since mid-June, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. Total fatalities are 14,032.
On Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis lifted capacity restrictions on restaurants and other businesses. He vowed not to return to closures to curb the state’s easing outbreak.
New York Drops Below 1,000 Cases (11:40 a.m. NY)
New York reported 866 cases, dipping back below the 1,000-case threshold crossed on Saturday amid worries about rising clusters in New York City. The state, the early center of the nation’s Covid-19 outbreak, had not reported that many cases since June.
The 0.2% rise was equal to the average daily increase of the previous seven days. The percentage of positive tests was more than 1% for the second consecutive day. Another six deaths were reported.
Italy Cases Slow (11:27 a.m. NY)
Italy reported 1,766 new cases on Sunday, down from 1,869 on Saturday, with 87,714 daily tests. The country reported 17 deaths, the same as Saturday. Patients in intensive care units rose to 254, from 247 a day earlier. Total cases reported since February increased to 309,870.
U.K. Adds More Than 5,600 Cases (11:23 a.m. NY)
Infections in the U.K. increased by 5,693 after rising by more than 6,000 for the previous four days. Reporting has lagged on the weekends, however. Another 17 people died within 28 days of testing positive.
More than 10 million people have downloaded the National Health Service’s Covid-19 tracking app since Thursday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Twitter.
Spanish Minister Slams Madrid Officials (8:55 a.m. NY)
Health Minister Salvador Illa, of the Socialist-led Spanish government, wants Madrid’s regional administration to take tougher steps to rein in Covid-19 cases. “I have called on them to review the announced measures and follow the recommendations of scientists and health experts,” Illa said on Twitter Sunday. While Illa wants authorities to lock down the entire capital, Madrid’s People’s Party administration has taken a partial approach by restricting movement in areas with the highest infection rates.
Spanish newspapers including El Pais were reporting on Sunday that Illa is looking at ways to take over the response to the virus in Madrid. Spain reported 4,122 new cases on Friday, after seeing 3,471 a day earlier.
French Adamant Against Lockdown (8:05 a.m. NY)
French Health Minister Olivier Veran rejected the idea of a preemptive, three-week lockdown to enable people to spend Christmas together.
“We don’t want to bring the economic, social, cultural, sports and family life of the French people to a complete standstill,” he said on LCI television. “That’s why we take decisions that are adapted to the seriousness of the moment, region by region.”
He said the government still aims for people be able to spend the end-of-year holidays with their families.
No Letup in U.S. Cases (8:00 a.m. NY)
U.S. virus cases increased by 45,444 on Saturday to 7.08 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. The 0.7% rise was in line with the average daily increase over the previous seven days.
An additional 740 deaths nationwide were reported on the day, matching the average increase over the previous week.
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