Coronavirus (COVID-19) tally as compiled by Johns Hopkins University. (Previous numbers in parentheses.)
Total U.S. confirmed cases: 13,566,283 (13,399,855)
Total U.S. deaths: 268,262 (266,986)
Total global cases: 63,478,019 (62,924,259)
Total global deaths: 1,472,917 (1,462,989)
Deaths rise 63 percent in November
The number of deaths from the coronavirus (COVID-19) rose sharply in November as the nation recorded more than 4 million new cases of the virus.
A ConsumerAffairs analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows there were approximately 39,000 deaths in the last month attributed to the virus, a 63 percent increase over the approximately 24,000 deaths in October.
But November was far from America’s deadliest month. In April, the second month of the pandemic, there were approximately 57,000 deaths from COVID-19.
Spike linked to shopping at big retail stores
Your chances of avoiding the coronavirus are a lot better if you stay out of big-box retail stores. That’s the assessment of El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, who leads a city where cases of the virus have spiked in recent weeks.
“We did a deep dive in our contact tracing for the week of November the 10th through the 16th and found that 55 percent of the positives were coming from shopping at large retailers, what we’d term as the big box stores,” Margo told CBS News.
While state and local officials have wide leeway over restaurants and small retailers, big-box retailers are classified as “essential” under federal guidelines. Margo said local officials don’t have any control over whether these retailers are open or how they operate.
Hospitalizations approach 100,000
A measure of how quickly the coronavirus is spreading is the increasing burden on the nation’s hospitals. The COVID-19 Tracking project at Johns Hopkins University reported a record 93,000 people were being treated for the virus in U.S. hospitals as of Monday.
In the early days of the pandemic, hospitals in New York and New Jersey were nearly overwhelmed. In November, it was hospitals all over the country, particularly in the Midwest, that were bearing a heavy load. Nearly four million of the nation’s 13 million cases were reported last month.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo took the unusual step this week of asking doctors and nurses to come out of retirement to help handle the caseload.
Study suggests COVID-19 arrived last year
The first documented case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was diagnosed in late January, but a new study suggests the virus was present in the U.S. no later than December 2019.
Researchers writing in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases based their findings on a study of blood samples collected by the American Red Cross last December.
The study analyzed residual archived samples from 7,389 routine blood donations from December 13, 2019 to January 17, 2020, from donors in California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin. The study found COVID-19 antibodies in a small number of the samples.
Fed chairman says pandemic-slammed economy needs help
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has told Congress that it needs to act soon to provide more relief for an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic.
In prepared remarks to the Senate Finance Committee, Powell urged Congress to renew some of the provisions of the CARES Act set to expire at the end of the month. He said the economy is only as strong as it is because of the stimulus enacted in the early days of the pandemic.
Powell told lawmakers that the outlook for the economy is “extraordinarily uncertain.” He also said a full economic recovery is unlikely until Americans are confident that it is safe to reengage in a broad range of activities.
Around the nation
Connecticut: Dozens of doctors around the state have signed a letter to Gov. Ted Lamont asking him to take additional steps to slow the coronavirus. Specifically, they’re asking that he close gyms and prohibit indoor dining in the state.
Nevada: Sixteen counties, making up nearly the entire state, have now been flagged as areas where virus cases are rising at a rapid rate. State health officials say the current surge in cases probably does not include the cases that will be reported in the aftermath of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Kentucky: Gov. Andy Beshear said his state is expected to receive its first shipment of a coronavirus vaccine by mid-December. However, the FDA has yet to clear any vaccine for distribution.