By MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than one million people worldwide.
Over 38.5 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has varied from country-to-country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.
Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.
The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 7.9 million diagnosed cases and at least 216,903 deaths.
California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 865,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 832,000 cases and over 741,000 cases, respectively.
More than 190 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least 10 of which are in crucial phase three studies. Of those 10 potential vaccines in late-stage trials, there are currently five that will be available in the United States if approved.
Here’s how the news is developing Thursday. All times Eastern:
Oct 15, 6:18 am
Russia reports record daily death toll from COVID-19
Russia registered another 286 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, setting a new record for its daily death tolls from the disease.
The country’s previous record of 244 fatalities was set earlier this week.
An additional 13,754 new cases of COVID-19 were also confirmed in the past day, down from a peak of 14,231 registered the previous day. It’s the first time in seven days that Russia didn’t break its own record for single-day case counts.
The cumulative totals now stand at 1,354,163 confirmed cases and 23,491 deaths, according to Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters.
Russia, a country of 145 million people, has the fourth-highest tally of COVID-19 cases in the world, behind only the United States, India and Brazil.
Oct 15, 5:40 am
US national positivity rate for COVID-19 tests jumps to 6%
The national positivity rate for COVID-19 tests across the United States has jumped from 4.7% to 6% in week-to-week comparisons, according to an internal memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was obtained by ABC News on Wednesday night.
The memo, which is circulated to the highest levels of the federal government and is used to determine daily priorities for the agencies working on COVID-19 response, said 38 U.S. states and territories are in an upward trajectory of new infections, while four jurisdictions are at a plateau and 14 others are in a downward trend.
There were 359,745 new cases confirmed during the period of Oct. 7-Oct. 13, a 17.1% increase from the previous week. There were also 4,962 fatalities from COVID-19 recorded during the same period, a 2.1% decrease compared with the week prior, according to the memo.
Meanwhile, 24% of hospitals nationwide have more than 80% of beds full in their intensive care units. That figure was 17-18% during the summertime peak, the memo said.
In Arizona, 6.71% of the state’s prison population — 2,599 inmates — has tested positive for COVID-19, along with 712 prison staff. At least 17 inmates have died from the disease, according to the memo.
The number of new cases recorded in Washington, D.C., increased by 84% over the past week, after dropping to its lowest levels since July. The nation’s capital reported an average of 81% of its inpatient beds occupied and 74.2% of intensive care unit beds occupied, the memo said.
Idaho’s positivity rate for COVID-19 tests surged to 14.7% for the week ending Oct. 8, twice the national rate during the same period, according to the memo.
Indiana saw a 27.5% week-to-week rise in cases and a 23.4% week-to-week increase in deaths from COVID-19, as of Oct. 11. The state reported three consecutive days of record-high daily case counts from Oct. 8 to Oct. 10. The state’s seven-day COVID-19 hospitalization rate reached a five-month peak at 17.3 per 100,000 population on Oct. 11, the memo said.
Minnesota’s seven-day COVID-19 hospitalization rate also hit a five-month peak at 11.3 per 100,000 population on Oct.11. Minnesota reported a 19% increase in cases between the weeks ending Oct. 4 and Oct. 11, which state health officials said is linked to widespread transmission rather than clustered outbreaks, according to the memo.
Mississippi saw a 22.4% increase in COVID-19 cases in the week ending Oct. 11, compared to the previous week. The seven-day and 14-day averages for new cases continued to rise statewide, reaching levels not seen since early September. State officials are concerned that Mississippi is at the start of a second surge and have estimated that the cause of the increasing spread is sustained community transmission. Six major hospitals in the state were reported to have no more ICU surge capacity, the memo said.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 has devastated the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, with the disease infecting more than 10% of the tribe and killing at least 81 of them, according to the memo.
North Carolina and Tennessee are two of five U.S. states that reported a greater than 50% increase in COVID-19 cases over the past week, the memo said.
COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise across Ohio, with the state’s seven-day rate at 11.9 per 100,000 population on Oct. 11, according to the memo.
Pennsylvania recorded its highest daily case count in six months on Oct. 10 with 1,742 new cases. Multiple counties across the state reported a doubling of new cases during the period of Oct. 5-11, the memo said.
Oct 15, 4:45 am
US reports nearly 60,000 new cases in highest daily count since August
There were 59,494 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Wednesday, the country’s highest daily tally since Aug. 14, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The latest daily tally is up by more than 7,000 from the previous day but still falls under the country’s record set on July 16, when there were 77,255 new cases in a 24-hour-reporting period.
An additional 985 coronavirus-related fatalities were also recorded Wednesday, up by nearly 200 from the previous day but down from a peak of 2,666 new fatalities reported on April 17.
A total of 7,916,532 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 216,903 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.
By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July. The daily tally of new cases has gradually come down since then but has started to climb again in recent weeks.
The number of new COVID-19 cases recorded in the United States increased by double digits in week-over-week comparisons, while the number of new deaths from the disease continued to tick downward slightly, according to an internal memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was obtained by ABC News on Wednesday night.
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.