Coronavirus updates: COVID-19 surges as a third of US states set records for new cases; Johnson & Johnson pauses vaccine trial
A third of US states report higher numbers of coronavirus cases than ever before.
A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data shows that 16 states set records for new cases in one week. But almost all states are on the rise: 41 states had worse weeks than a week before. An analysis of the data from the COVID tracking project shows that 36 states had a higher rate of people tested positive than the week before.
While data continues to show the virus's reach is not diminishing, the World Health Organization head said it was "scientifically and ethically problematic" to achieve herd immunity through the virus's spread.
"Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it," said WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus on Monday, adding that the strategy is vaccination-based.
However, the search for a vaccine ran into trouble on Monday when Johnson & Johnson abandoned its Phase 3 clinical trial because of an unexplained illness in a participant. It is the second of four large-scale end-stage vaccine trials to be put on hold as Trump pushes for a vaccine by Election Day on November 3.
Some important developments:
A 25-year-old Nevada man becomes the first American to contract COVID-19 twice and raises questions about the level of immunity developed by those infected with the coronavirus.
Just over half of Americans in a recent poll said they are already stocking or storing groceries and other essentials because they fear COVID-19 and possible spikes again after the November 3 elections Riots could come.
Based on their weight, more than 70% of Americans are at increased risk of serious illness when they contract the coronavirus. This emerges from new guidelines from the CDC.
? Today's Numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 7.8 million cases and 215,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. There have been more than 37.8 million confirmed cases and 1 million deaths worldwide.
? ️ Coronavirus Mapping: Track the US outbreak from state to state.
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COVID-19 outbreak infects 11 people in 4 states on family vacation
A 13-year-old girl is believed to have transmitted COVID-19 to family members during a three-week vacation this summer, causing a chain of infection of 11 people in four states, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
Fourteen relatives from five households shared the house from July to August, without physical distance or masks. Six other relatives visited the house during the time but stayed outside and kept 6 feet apart. Neither of these relatives tested positive, the CDC says.
The girl, believed to have passed the virus on to the family, was tested before attending the family vacation as she was exposed during a major outbreak in the distance. However, her rapid antigen test four days after exposure was negative and she had her only symptom, a stuffy nose, two days later.
"This outbreak highlights ... Children and adolescents can serve as sources of COVID-19 outbreaks in families, even if their symptoms are mild," says the CDC.
Amazon Prime Day kicks off the Christmas shopping season (online) amid COVID-19
The nickname of Amazon Prime Day has been "Black Friday in July" for years. Now Amazon is helping to get the holiday shopping season off to a serious start after postponing its annual sales from July to October due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Given that consumers are having a very different experience this coming Christmas shopping season, with constraints on the number of customers in a store at one time and concerns about online orders that are not on time, it is important for retailers to get the season started early.
This year, amid the pandemic, shoppers will get a joint nudge from retailers to stay home for this Thanksgiving Day as more stores close on vacation and more sales make online.
According to a vacation survey conducted by Affirm of 2,000 Americans, 7 in 10 respondents said they are now more likely to buy something for sale than wait for the traditional Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale.
- Kelly Tyko
Here the cases in the USA are increasing
A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data shows that 16 states set records for new cases in a week and 41 states had worse weeks than a week earlier.
Cases from North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wisconsin are managed per person. North Dakota has doubled its case numbers since September 6, and more people died of coronavirus there last month than the rest of the pandemic.
The 16 states that set records for new cases in the past week were Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wisconsin Wyoming. Record deaths have been reported in Kansas, North Dakota and South Dakota.
- Mike Stucka
Johnson & Johnson temporarily stops the vaccination attempt after an unexplained illness
Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine study has been suspended due to an unexplained illness in a volunteer, meaning two of the four vaccine studies in the US are currently on hold.
The clinical phase 3 study was temporarily canceled on Monday, according to the company. It is not known whether the unidentified disease is vaccine-related, but clinical protocols require a pause while they are investigated.
Johnson & Johnson announced Monday that further dosing in the study has been suspended while the participant's disease is being reviewed and assessed by an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board and the company's clinical and safety physicians.
Johnson & Johnson's JNJ-78436735 vaccine is one of four large-scale end-stage COVID-19 vaccine studies in the United States. Another study conducted by AstraZeneca was halted on September 8 after a second participant was diagnosed with a neurological condition.
- Elizabeth Weise and Karen Weintraub
Trump tested negative on "consecutive days," claims WH doc
White House Doctor Sean Conley said Monday that President Donald Trump tested negative for the virus on "consecutive days" but did not disclose which days.
The news comes as Trump heads to Pennsylvania for a rally on Tuesday as he returns to campaign after being hospitalized for COVID-19 earlier this month.
There was no social distancing at Trump's rally in Florida on Monday night, with few people wearing face masks. Trump focused on his administration's handling of the coronavirus.
"Under my leadership, we are delivering a safe vaccine and a speedy recovery that nobody can believe," said Trump. "If you look at our upward path, no country in the world has recovered as we have."
The colleges are changing their spring plans for personal study and graduation
After a rocky start to fall, uncertainty over the next few months of the pandemic has driven universities from coast to coast to overhaul personal learning, spring break and graduation.
Colleges and universities in California, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas, North Carolina, Indiana, Vermont, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Washington state have already announced changes, and more are almost certain to follow.
"That decision (to learn virtually) is the only one we have right now," California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White said in a September 10 press release announcing that the 23rd College system will continue virtual classes into spring. At the time, Cal State was one of the few universities that needed virtual spring classes.
A growing number of colleges have postponed their start times by either a week, a month or, in the case of Middlebury College, Vermont, two months. The college plans to begin its spring semester on March 1st.
- Elinor Aspegren
Health worker Divine Ayong is collecting a coronavirus sample for testing at the Fox Fine Arts Building on the UTEP campus in El Paso, Texas on Sept. 21.
COVID-19 increases waiting times for fast food drive thrus, a study shows
The coronavirus pandemic led to longer waiting times at the fast food drive thru this summer. According to the 2020 annual SeeLevel HX drive-through study, the average drive-through wait time at 10 top fast food restaurants this summer was 5.95 minutes, about 30 seconds longer than a year ago.
At Wendy's, Baconator and Frosty fans waited an average of 5.98 minutes, one minute longer than last summer, according to SeeLevel HX, an Atlanta-based consumer research firm that has been doing the review for 20 years.
The fastest chain was KFC, where customers received their orders in 4.72 minutes. At the far end was Chick-fil-A, where the drivers waited an average of 8.15 minutes, according to SeeLevel HX.
The reason is simple: Chick-Fil-A-Restaurants serve more customers, with testers counting almost three times as many vehicles in the chain lines as the industry average. Both Chick-fil-A and the other chains had more vehicles in line than a year ago, according to SeeLevel HX.
- Jim Weiker, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch
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Contributor: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: COVID News: Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Study; WHO Herd Immunity
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