coronavirus

The U.S. recorded 88,521 new coronavirus cases Thursday, more than any other day in the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly a thousand people died from the disease in the U.S. on Thursday, pushing the total to 228,696 lives lost.

In the past week, the U.S. has blown past record levels of infection that were seen in the summer, when new cases topped 77,000 in July. Since last Thursday, the U.S. has posted more than 80,000 cases on several days.

KU Med Resumes Clinical Trials For COVID-19 Vaccine

Oct 30, 2020

The University of Kansas Medical Center has resumed Phase III clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine that was halted last month after an enrollee in the United Kingdom developed an adverse reaction.

“We literally just got released by the FDA on Friday and then yesterday we got released from the IRB [Institutional Review Board], so we couldn’t start actually enrolling until today,” said Dr. Mario Castro, vice chair for clinical and translational research at KU Med and a co-principal investigator for the local trials.

As coronavirus cases rise swiftly around the country, surpassing both the spring and summer surges, health officials brace for a coming wave of hospitalizations and deaths. Knowing which hospitals in which communities are reaching capacity could be key to an effective response to the growing crisis. That information is gathered by the federal government — but not shared openly with the public.

The U.S. economy grew at a record pace during the last three months, according to the last major economic report before the election.

Not many people are popping champagne corks, though, because GDP also shrank at a record pace during the previous three months. Despite the strong rebound in July, August and September, the economy has not yet recovered from the damage done by the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated on Oct. 30 at 9:32 p.m.

This story was co-reported by Iowa Public Radio News, the Center for Public Integrity and NPR.

The New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Waterloo. The senior high school in Fort Dodge. The Masonic Temple in Council Bluffs.

Eli Lilly has struck a deal with the federal government to provide 300,000 doses of a drug that's designed to keep people infected with COVID-19 out of the hospital. The cost per dose: $1,250.

The federal government plans to distribute the 300,000 doses at no cost, but that doesn't mean treatment will be free.

A member of Congress, who has led efforts to investigate alleged coronavirus scams, is calling for the federal government to crack down on an unproven treatment for COVID-19. Widespread sales of that purported treatment - a drug known as thymosin alpha-1 - were first identified by an NPR investigation earlier this month.

Updated Wednesday 10:25 a.m. ET

Coronavirus cases are rising precipitously in the U.S., and have now surpassed the high levels logged in the summer when daily new cases hovered above 65,000 on average for nearly two weeks.

After a dip in new cases in September, the country now is logging an average of nearly 72,000 new cases a day, and health experts worry this surge could last longer and grip more of the country than in the spring or summer. And the average daily case count has climbed 41% over the past two weeks, according to an NPR analysis.

Colorado is among the states experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. In August, the state logged about 2,000 new cases a week. Last week, that number jumped to more than 8,000.

The state's Democratic governor, Jared Polis, warns that the situation could worsen in the coming months.

With new coronavirus cases on the rise, residents of El Paso, Texas, nestled on the U.S-Mexico border, are encouraged to stay home for two weeks as a judge imposes a mandatory curfew.

Noting that area hospitals are overrun and the positivity rate of residents has ballooned since the beginning of the month, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said he was "left with no choice" but to impose a countywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Even as the companies enlisted by the government's Operation Warp Speed project to develop COVID-19 vaccines say they're making quick progress, details of their lucrative federal contracts have been slow to emerge.

The U.S. recorded 71,671 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the most in one day since the outbreak hit alarming heights in July, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. One day earlier, around 63,000 new cases had been reported.

The U.S. also recorded 856 deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, raising the death toll to more than 223,000 people lost to the pandemic.

Nursing homes have been overwhelmed by the coronavirus. Residents account for more than a quarter of all COVID-19 deaths nationwide. The industry says that facilities have also been overwhelmed by costs, and they're asking for billions in aid from the federal government.

But recent studies suggest that for-profit ownership may have endangered residents by skimping on care, while funneling cash to owners and investors.

When Darius Settles died from COVID-19 on the Fourth of July, his family and the city of Nashville, Tenn., were shocked. Even the mayor noted the passing of a 30-year-old without any underlying conditions — one of the city's youngest fatalities at that point.

In the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, the hardest hit areas were big cities, from Seattle to New York. But now, eight months after the crisis hit the U.S, new cases are surging in some small towns and rural areas around the country.

Colorado is among more than a dozen states that set a seven-day record for positive COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

In mid-March, Karla Monterroso flew home to Alameda, Calif. after a hiking trip in Utah's Zion National Park. Four days later she began to develop a bad, dry cough. Her lungs felt sticky.

The fevers that persisted for the next nine weeks grew so high — 100.4, 101.2, 101.7, 102.3 — that on the worst night, she was in the shower on all fours, ice cold water running down her back, willing her temperature to go down.

Updated Oct. 26 at 6:11 p.m. ET

Two new peer-reviewed studies are showing a sharp drop in mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The drop is seen in all groups, including older patients and those with underlying conditions, suggesting that physicians are getting better at helping patients survive their illness.

WICHITA, Kansas — Kansas’ teacher shortage finally shows signs of shrinking.

But districts still can’t find enough educators to keep schools running under coronavirus safety demands.

Medical research was an early casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After cases began emerging worldwide, thousands of clinical trials unrelated to COVID-19 were paused or canceled amid fears that participants would be infected. But now some researchers are finding ways to carry on in spite of the coronavirus.

The U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico will stay closed to nonessential travel for at least another month.

Bill Blair, Canada's public safety minister, tweeted on Monday, "We are extending non-essential travel restrictions with the United States until November 21st, 2020. Our decisions will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe."

The world hit a new benchmark in the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday, surpassing 40 million coronavirus infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. With the flu season looming, the rate of new cases in the U.S. and other countries is rising at rates not seen in months.

People are getting the results of coronavirus tests in the U.S. faster than they were in the spring, but testing still takes far too long to help with effective disease control measures such as contact tracing and quarantining, according to the results of a large national survey.

Updated at 3:16 p.m. ET

The U.S. budget deficit soared to a record $3.1 trillion, following a massive surge in government spending aimed at containing the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

The deficit for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 was more than triple that of fiscal 2019 and easily eclipsed the previous record of $1.4 trillion recorded in 2009.

Pfizer, the apparent front-runner in developing a COVID-19 vaccine for the United States, says its results won't be ready until mid-November at the earliest. That dims any lingering expectation that there could be a vaccine by Election Day, as President Trump has asserted.

Updated at 1 pm, to include comment from the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services

Even the most effective, safest coronavirus vaccine won't work to curb the spread of the virus unless a large number of people get immunized. And getting a vaccine from the manufacturers all the way into people's arms requires complex logistics — and will take many months.

Wells Fargo has fired more than 100 employees, saying they personally defrauded a coronavirus relief program from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

In a memo sent Wednesday and obtained by NPR, the company said it had identified employees that it believes made false representations in applying for relief funds through the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

The employees' actions were outside of their work responsibilities, the company said.

 

On the outskirts of Rantoul, in east-central Illinois, about 100 migrant farmworkers are living at an old hotel in a sleepy part of town.

The tools of the Internet, and a bit of public embarrassment, can go a long way in drawing attention to a cause.

Front-line workers at grocery and retail stores have used them effectively during the pandemic. Eight out of every nine American workers don't have a union to represent them in workplace disputes. So thousands of them have been flocking to the nonprofit website Coworker.org in their fight for a fairer workplace.

Fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits have been a problem for a long time, and states have set up systems to try to prevent such fraud. But lost in that effort is arguably a bigger problem: Some of those systems have hurt millions of innocent people, keeping the benefits they deserve in limbo.

They're people like Sevy Guasch, who lost his job as a food and beverage manager at a Marriott hotel near San Jose, Calif. In March, he applied for unemployment benefits. He went online, entered his information, and waited. And waited.

During this pandemic, people in the United States are dying at rates unparalleled elsewhere in the world.

A new report in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that in the past five months, per capita deaths in the U.S., both from COVID-19 and other causes, have been far greater than in 18 other high-income countries.

"It's shocking. It's horrible," says Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a professor of health policy and medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the authors of the study.

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