School systems in Detroit, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and suburban Minneapolis are giving up on in-person classes, and some governors are reimposing restrictions on bars and restaurants or getting more serious about masks, as the coast-to-coast resurgence of the coronavirus sends deaths, hospitalizations and new infections soaring.
The crisis deepened at hospitals, with the situation so bad in North Dakota that the governor this week said nurses who test positive but have no symptoms can still work. Idaho clinics struggled to handle the deluge of phone calls from patients. And one of Utah's biggest hospital systems is bringing in nearly 200 traveling nurses, some of them from New York City.
The virus is blamed for more than 240,000 deaths and over 10.4 million confirmed infections in the U.S., with the country facing what health experts say will be a dark winter because of disregard for mask-wearing and other precautions, the onset of cold weather and crowded holiday gatherings.
In other developments:
- With a COVID-19 vaccine drawing closer, public health officials across the country are gearing up for the biggest vaccination effort in U.S. history — a monumental undertaking that must distribute hundreds of millions of doses, prioritize who’s first in line and ensure that people who get the initial shot return for the necessary second one.
- Federal health officials have reached an agreement with pharmacies across the U.S. to distribute free coronavirus vaccines after they are approved and become available to the public. The goal eventually is to make getting a COVID-19 vaccine like getting a flu shot.
- Public health experts worry that President Donald Trump’s refusal to take aggressive action on the pandemic or to coordinate with President-elect Joe Biden's team during the final two months of his presidency will only worsen the effects of the virus and hinder the nation’s ability to swiftly distribute a vaccine next year.
- Democrats on Capitol Hill pressed their case Thursday for a $2 trillion COVID relief bill that's a nonstarter for Republicans, who are adamant that spending that much money isn't necessary.
- As Georgia counties prepare for a hand tally of the presidential race, the state's top elections official plans to quarantine after his wife tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said Thursday.
- The surge of new coronavirus cases appears to be slowing in Germany and France, generating hopes that the two European heavyweights are beginning to regain control over the pandemic.
- More than 50 games across major college football have been postponed or canceled since late August, straining the competitive integrity of the sport.
For more summaries and full reports, select from the articles below. Scroll further for the latest virus numbers.
Virus by the numbers
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