U.S. Surge Intensifies; Texas ICUs Fill Up; Are NYC Daycare Centers a Model for Schools?


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As of 8:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday, the unofficial U.S. COVID-19 tally reached 2,381,369 cases and 121,979 deaths — since Wednesday, up 34,267 (the biggest daily increase in more than 2 months) and 754, respectively.

California is one of the states seeing all-time highs in daily case counts. There were 7,149 new infections since Tuesday — a 69% increase in two days. (CNBC)

As cases in Texas also continue to spike, the mayor of Houston said the city’s hospitals were at 97% ICU capacity. (Newsweek)

The Trump administration is planning to cut funding for 13 coronavirus testing sites, seven of which happen to be in Texas. Houston officials warned of “catastrophic cascading consequences,” and are urging the White House to extend funding. (The Hill, Houston Chronicle)

Turnabout is fair play: New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors from nine coronavirus hotspots — including Texas, Florida and Alabama — some of which had barred visitors from the Northeast when that was the national epicenter. (NBC News)

What’s causing the new surge? Not the Black Lives Matter protests, according to a new study. (CNN)

Non-white people are exempt from a mandatory face mask order in a county in Oregon, making it one of the first counties to exempt people of color from wearing masks to avoid racial profiling. But racial justice advocates say it’s a “lose-lose.” (CNN)

An app originally created to track football fans traveling to a championship game has become a blueprint for digital contact tracing tools in North Dakota. (STAT)

Collectively, the YMCA and the New York City Department of Education have cared for more than 40,000 children since the start of the lockdowns, with few infections among them or their parents. Some say school administrators should look to them for guidance before reopening. (NPR)

The New York City Marathon, scheduled for November, has been cancelled because of the pandemic. (ABC-7 NY)

In Paris, meanwhile, the Eiffel Tower reopened Thursday — but you’d better be in good shape to get to the top. (Reuters)

In other news:

  • Bayer, manufacturer of Roundup weedkiller, agreed to pay $10.9 billion in settlements Wednesday, following thousands of U.S. lawsuits claiming the product causes cancer. The company said it will continue selling the weedkiller, and does not plan to add a cancer warning label. (Reuters)
  • A massive dust plume from the Sahara Desert is traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, and is expected to land in the southeastern U.S. Additional air pollution may aggravate symptoms of COVID-19, experts say. (NBC News)
  • Major flu vaccine manufacturers are ramping up production for next year, planning to boost production by around 10% to accommodate an anticipated surge in vaccine seekers. The CDC bought 7 million doses to distribute to states — 14 times the amount it usually purchases. (Washington Post)
  • Maybe this belongs in the section above, given that lockdown-induced boredom has led many people to take up new hobbies: Salmonella infections linked to backyard poultry so far this year have doubled compared to 2019 at the same time. (CDC)
  • Amanda D’Ambrosio is a reporter on MedPage Today’s enterprise & investigative team. She covers obstetrics-gynecology and other clinical news, and writes features about the U.S. healthcare system. Follow

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