November 3 coronavirus news

By Zamira Rahim, Lauren Kent, Joshua Berlinger, Brett McKeehan and Emma Reynolds, CNN

Updated 12:22 a.m. ET, November 4, 2020
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2:09 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Pennsylvania reports highest daily increase in Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia and Evan Simko-Bednarski

Pennsylvania reported its highest daily increase of Covid-19 cases to date on election day, according to its health department. 

The state added 2,875 new cases as of midnight, bringing the statewide total to 214,871, the Pennsylvania Department of Health said in a press release.

This is the 29th time the state has reported more than 1,000 new cases of the virus in a day. 

There were 32 additional deaths reported, bringing the total to 8,885, the health department said.

Health Secretary Rachel Levine yesterday emphasized that in-person voting remains safe, and recommended that voters bring a "Covid kit" -- a mask, a pen, and hand sanitizer -- to the polls. She said any voter under quarantine should contact Pennsylvania's Department of State to make voting arrangements. 

1:02 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Maine sees highest single-day jump in Covid-19 cases since start of pandemic

From Anna Sturla

Maine had its highest single-day jump in Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, according to the state's Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state had 127 new cases on Monday -- beating the previous record of 103, which was set on Friday -- according to Maine CDC spokesman Robert Long.

The data is telling us our nation is off-course," Gov. Janet Mills said during a press conference on Monday.

Maine has responded by lowering indoor gathering limits and postponing bar re-openings, among other restrictions, the governor added.

The state's seven-day positivity rate doubled over the past week to 1.06%, according to Mills.

Maine's Department of Health and Human Services reported five new hospitalizations due to Covid-19, with 29 people hospitalized in total.

12:35 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Colorado releases new health order to streamline state's pandemic guidance

From CNN's Gregory Lemos and Leslie Perrot 

A tester prepares to administer a swab test at a drive-in COVID-19 testing site in Federal Heights, Colorado, on October 27.
A tester prepares to administer a swab test at a drive-in COVID-19 testing site in Federal Heights, Colorado, on October 27. David Zalubowski/AP

Colorado's health department released a new public health order on Monday intended to clarify and streamline guidance, according to a news release. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CPDHE) has been communicating the severity and risk of Covid-19 in the state through both a color-coded dial and numbered "Safer at Home" levels.

Now the two systems will be combined and the numbers removed. The change is "intended to be more easily understood by Coloradans already accustomed to ... color-coded warning systems," according to the guidelines.

"We are at a pivotal juncture. We need to change course ... to prevent more Coloradans from getting severely sick," CPDHE Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan said in a statement. "We need everyone to step up."

The state designates color codes by county, according to the CPDHE website. 

The new guidelines:

  • Limit gatherings to 10 people, from no more than two households, while the state is in the lower level Safer at Home color bands.
  • Prevent gatherings altogether when the state is in red, the highest level.
  • Change indoor and outdoor event capacity guidelines when the state is in the orange range of Safer at Home.  
  • Require masks and social distancing on public transportation.

The guidelines, which go into effect at midnight on Tuesday, also designate pre-schools and K-12 schools as "Critical Businesses." 

2:08 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Dubai's PM receives coronavirus vaccine shot

From CNN's Sarah el Sirgany, Mohammed Tawfeeq, and Kareem Khadder

Dubai leader Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid al-Maktoum receives a dose of what is thought to be a coronavirus vaccine that is currently in clinical trials.
Dubai leader Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid al-Maktoum receives a dose of what is thought to be a coronavirus vaccine that is currently in clinical trials. Emirates News Agency

The Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has been given a coronavirus vaccine shot, according to state media.

Al-Maktoum shared a photograph on Twitter, showing him receiving the shot from a medical worker. It is not clear which vaccination shot he was given.

"We wish everyone safety and great health, and we are proud of our teams who have worked relentlessly to make the vaccine available in the UAE," said al-Maktoum on Twitter.

In June, the UAE and China announced the launch of Phase 3 clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine developed by China's state-owned Sinopharm pharmaceutical company. According to UAE state media in June, 31,000 volunteers took the vaccine.

The United Arab Emirates has approved the Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use for frontline workers, according to the country's health minister.

"Studies show that the vaccine is efficient and safe and showed a positive response in generating antibodies," Minister of Health and Prevention Abdul Rahman al-Owais said in September. 

The UAE Ministry of Health reported 1,008 new coronavirus cases and six deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases there to 136,149, and the death toll to 503.

11:53 a.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Italy could run out of intensive care unit beds within weeks

From Sharon Braithwaite

Healthcare workers transfer a COVID-19 patient in a biocontainment stretcher at the emergency room of San Filippo Neri Hospital on October 29 in Rome, Italy.
Healthcare workers transfer a COVID-19 patient in a biocontainment stretcher at the emergency room of San Filippo Neri Hospital on October 29 in Rome, Italy. Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Italy could run out of intensive care unit beds by the end of November, if Covid-19 cases continue to increase at the current rate, the President of the Italian Association of Doctors, Filippo Anelli, said on Monday.

Italian doctors are concerned that "this second wave is not a storm, but a tsunami that could overwhelm the health system," said Anelli, adding that doctors are asking the government to implement more aggressive anti-coronavirus measures. 

The problem today concerns the stability of the health system, because the progressive occupation of places by Covid-19 patients gradually reduces the possibility of guaranteeing care for other patients," Anelli said. "If we go on like this, the situation could get out of hand."

According to the doctors' association, 184 of the country's doctors have died since the start of the pandemic.

Italy has recorded a total of 731,588 coronavirus cases and 39,059 deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

11:41 a.m. ET, November 3, 2020

At least 231,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the US

From CNN's Amanda Watts

There are at least 9,297,353 cases of Covid-19 in the US, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

According to JHU, at least 231,599 people have died of coronavirus in the country to date.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

The US has the highest Covid-19 case count in the world.

CNN is tracking the spread of coronavirus across the US here:

11:06 a.m. ET, November 3, 2020

New York City's coronavirus case numbers are "cause for concern," says mayor

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

NYC Media
NYC Media

New York City's seven-day average of new coronavirus cases is "cause for concern," Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday.

The city recorded 605 new cases on a seven-day average.

"We are watching that very carefully," de Blasio said. "Some of that again is because of a lot more testing, but it's still cause for concern."

The daily number of people admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in New York City is at 83.

Meanwhile, the percentage of people who tested positive for Covid-19 across the city is "clearly aberrant" at 0.38%, Mayor de Blasio said. 

"We've seen that from time to time when surprisingly low number of test results have come in for the day. That can vary by day, that number will change and go upwards as more test results come in," said de Blasio, adding that the truest number is the 7-day rolling average, which is at 1.59%.

New York -- once the epicenter of the pandemic as the largest and densest city in the US -- began gradually reopening in June. 

In total, New York City has recorded 256,881 coronavirus cases, 19,355 confirmed deaths and 4,662 "probable deaths" related to Covid-19, according to figures released Monday by the city's public health agency.

9:54 a.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Brussels’ ICUs have hit maximum capacity as Belgium sees record high patient levels

From CNN's James Frater and Niamh Kennedy 

Intensive care units in the Belgian capital, Brussels, hit maximum capacity on Monday night, meaning all new patients will have to be sent to hospitals in other parts of the country for treatment, the city's health inspectorate has announced.

Brussels is asking all hospitals in the capital to create extra capacity and hopes "to increase the number of beds in ICU by 40% in the coming days, for Covid and non-Covid cases," Inge Neven, Head of the Brussels Health Inspectorate, told CNN.
"We are increasing the beds to 266 for COVID patients," and, "we are able to absorb the new patients at this moment in time ourselves," she said.
Neven added that increasing capacity was a challenge for health authorities.

There are 1,302 patients in intensive care units across Belgium -- a record high. The previous high was during the first wave of coronavirus in the spring, when Belgium reported 1,285 patients in intensive care on April 8.

There are currently 7,231 patients with Covid-19 in hospitals across Belgium -- also a record high.

An average of 586 people have been admitted to hospital each day over the past two weeks.

In the city of Brussels alone there are 1,175 people in hospital with Covid-19 -- 188 of whom are receiving intensive care.

Three coronavirus patients were transferred from Liege in Belgium to German hospitals in Munster and Bonn earlier on Tuesday, the spokesperson for the German Presidency of the EU said on social media. 

Meanwhile, Switzerland's intensive care units could reach capacity in five days, Virginie Massere, the country's head of infection control, warned Tuesday

Massere was speaking after hospitalizations in the country doubled over the past week, according to data from the Swiss Federal Office for Public Health.

"The evolution is rather rapid in the number of people in intensive care," Massere said at a press conference.

There are currently 363 people in intensive care in Switzerland, meaning 45% of the country's ICU beds are full, according to Masserey.

Over the weekend Switzerland recorded 21,926 new cases of coronavirus, according to the Federal Office for Public Health. A further 6,126 new cases were recorded Tuesday.

Masserey said Switzerland was witnessing a "small slowdown in the number of cases" but that it was still too early to see the results of new coronavirus restrictions announced by the government on October 28.

9:33 a.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Washington Post: Deborah Birx calls for "much more aggressive action" to fight Covid-19

From CNN's Veronica Stracqualursi

Dr. Deborah Birx sounded an alarming note about the state of the coronavirus in an internal White House report, warning that the US was entering its "most deadly phase" yet, one that requires "much more aggressive action," according to The Washington Post.

The dire warning from Birx, a member of the White House's coronavirus task force, is at odds with public comments made by President Donald Trump in the closing days of the presidential election campaign. Trump is falsely claiming that the US is "turning the corner" on the pandemic, while pressuring Democratic governors to open their states despite surging cases nationwide.

"We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic ... leading to increasing mortality," Birx wrote Monday, in an internal report obtained by the Post.
"This is not about lockdowns -- It hasn't been about lockdowns since March or April. It's about an aggressive, balanced approach that is not being implemented."

In her report, Birx calls for "much more aggressive action from messaging, to testing, to surging personnel around the country before the crisis point," the Post reported. She notes that the country will see more than 100,000 new cases a day this week, according to the Post.

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