By MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1.1 million people worldwide.
Over 41.7 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 8.4 million diagnosed cases and at least 223,051 deaths.
California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 893,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 871,000 cases and over 768,000 cases, respectively.
Nearly 200 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 developed Friday. All times Eastern:
Oct 23, 10:14 am
Poland sees record rise in new cases ahead of nationwide ‘red zone’ restrictions
Poland confirmed 13,632 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the country’s highest figure since the pandemic began.
An additional 153 deaths from COVID-19 were also registered nationwide, down from a peak of 168 a day earlier. The cumulative total now stands at 228,318 cases and 4,172 deaths, according to the Polish Ministry of Health.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that, starting Saturday, the entire nation of 38 million people will be placed in a “red zone” of strict measures aimed at curbing further spread of the novel coronavirus, just short of a lockdown. The measures include wearing masks at all times outdoors, switching all primary schools to remote learning and the closure of restaurants except for takeaway and delivery services.
“We absolutely must cut the means of transmission of infection,” Morawiecki said.
Oct 23, 9:34 am
Halloween still on at the White House, but with ‘extra precautions’
The White House grounds will open to costumed trick-or-treaters on Sunday for the annual Halloween festivities, but with “extra precautions” in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement from the first lady’s office.
All guests are required to wear a face covering and practice social distancing during their visit. All personnel working the event must wear a face covering, while any staff passing out candy will be required to wear gloves. Guest capacity will be limited, with extended event hours.
Social distancing measures will be in place, and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the event route. Each department will utilize a “no-touch approach” when distributing product in their area.
The statement said President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will “greet” trick-or-treaters as they pass by the South Portico of the White House. In previous years, the couple have handed out candy themselves.
Oct 23, 9:11 am
France hits new record of over 41,000 new cases in a day
France confirmed 41,622 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, its highest single-day count since the start of the pandemic.
The country’s public health agency also registered an additional 165 fatalities from COVID-19 in 24 hours. The cumulative total now stands at 999,043 cases with 34,210 deaths.
France has the seventh-highest case count in the world, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
More than 10,000 patients remain hospitalized for COVID-19 across France, including 1,627 in intensive care, according to the public health agency.
COVID-19 patients now take up more than 60% of all intensive care beds in hospitals across the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France, a spokesperson for the regional health agency told ABC News. That figure is up from 59.3% on Tuesday.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced Thursday that a 9 p.m. curfew already in place in Paris and eight other major cities would be extended to cover 54 of the country’s 94 administrative departments. Some 46 million residents will be under the curfew by Saturday night.
Oct 23, 8:16 am
Russia reports over 17,000 new cases for first time
Russia confirmed 17,340 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, setting a new national record, according to the coronavirus response headquarters.
It’s the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic that Russia’s daily case count has surpassed 17,000. The country’s previous record of 16,319 new cases was set on Tuesday.
An additional 283 deaths from COVID-19 were also registered in the last 24 hours, down from a peak of 317 on Wednesday, according to Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters.
Almost a third of the new cases — 5,478 — and nearly 21% of the deaths — 61 — were reported in the capital, Moscow, the epicenter of the country’s outbreak and recent surge.
The cumulative totals now stand at 1,480,646 cases and 25,525 fatalities, according to Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters.
The Eastern European 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, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Oct 23, 7:32 am
A quarter of US hospitals have 80% of ICU beds full, HHS memo says
A quarter of hospitals across the United States have intensive care units that are more than 80% occupied, according to an internal memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was obtained by ABC News on Thursday night.
That figure is up from the summertime peak, when 17-18% of U.S. hospitals had 80% of ICU beds full.
The memo, which is circulated among the highest levels of the federal government and is used to determine daily priorities for the agencies working on a COVID-19 response, said 41 U.S. states and territories are in an upward trajectory of new infections, while five jurisdictions are at a plateau and nine others are in a downward trend.
There were 417,899 new cases confirmed during the period of Oct. 15-21, a 14% increase from the previous week. There were also 5,413 fatalities from COVID-19 recorded during the same period, a 10.6% increase compared with the week prior, according to the memo.
Meanwhile, the national positivity rate for COVID-19 tests increased from 5.1% to 5.8% in week-to-week comparisons, the memo said.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Alaska reached a four-month peak, with the state’s daily average increasing to 8.5 hospitalizations per 100,000 people during the period of Oct. 12-18, compared to 5.9 per 100,000 the previous week. Adults in their 20s and 30s were said to be driving the state’s outbreak, according to the memo.
Idaho’s positivity rate for COVID-19 tests increased to 16.7% during the week ending Oct.14, more than triple the national rate of 5.4% for that time period. The state’s ICU hospitalizations related to COVID-19 reached a record high of 61 patients on Oct. 15, the memo said.
Montana reported 393 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week, more than triple the national average of 117 per 100,000. The state has the third-highest rate of new infections in the country, according to the memo.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in New Mexico increased by 101% in the first half of October. The state reported a 51.9% jump in new cases and a 21.1% increase in new deaths in the week ending Oct. 18, compared to the prior week, the memo said.
Oklahoma saw a record high of 821 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Oct. 20, according to the memo.
In Oregon, cases are at the highest point they have been since the start of the pandemic, the memo said.
South Dakota has the second-highest rate of new cases in the country and the fourth-highest test positivity rate. The test positivity rate is on the rise in 45 counties, suggesting it has not yet peaked. Out of all South Dakota counties, 82% have moderate or high levels of community transmission, with 71% having high levels of community transmission, according to the memo.
Tennessee reported 3,317 new cases on Oct. 19, its highest single-day increase to date. The previous record of 3,314 new cases was reported on July 13.
Texas’ cumulative total of cases surpassed 800,000 on Oct. 13, becoming only the second state in the country to do so.
Oct 23, 6:54 am
US reports over 70,000 new cases for first time since July
There were 71,671 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Thursday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
It’s the highest daily tally the country has reported since mid-July, almost surpassing the national record of more than 77,000 new cases in a single day. The latest case count was also nearly 9,000 more than the previous day.
An additional 856 fatalities from COVID-19 were also registered nationwide Thursday, down by from a peak of 2,666 new deaths in mid-April.
A total of 8,409,312 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 223,051 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 and is now averaging around 60,000 per day.
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