The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

By Jessie Yeung, Brett McKeehan, Lauren Kent, Rob Picheta, Ed Upright and Hira Humayun, CNN

Updated 12:19 a.m. ET, November 6, 2020
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10:28 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Another 751,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week amid the pandemic

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

The election is yet to be decided, but one thing is certain: the next President will have to deal with both the coronavirus pandemic and America's massive unemployment problem.

Another 751,000 Americans claimed first-time jobless benefits last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the US Labor Department reported Thursday. That's down slightly from the previous week.

Additionally, 362,883 workers who are ineligible for regular state benefits, such as the self-employed or gig workers, claimed aid under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

In total, first-time claims stood at 1.1 million last week without seasonal adjustments.

Continued jobless claims, which count workers who have applied for benefits for at least two weeks in a row, stood at 7.3 million -- slightly down from the previous week.

Read more as this story is updated:

10:12 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Paris to ban overnight food delivery and alcohol sales as crisis deepens in France

From Barbara Wojazer in Paris

A woman rides her bike in the district of St Michel on November 3 in Paris.
A woman rides her bike in the district of St Michel on November 3 in Paris. Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images

Paris will ban all food delivery and takeouts, as well as the sale of alcohol and the outdoor consumption of alcohol between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the French capital's police force said in a Thursday statement. The new restrictions will come into effect on Friday.

Police said the measures are to prevent groups of people from gathering outside restaurants, eateries and stores that sell alcohol -- meetings that are in clear violation of France's health measures aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus.

Across France, concern is growing over hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) capacity. As of Wednesday, 4,080 Covid-19 patients were in intensive care, French health officials said. The last time there was this number of patients in ICU was in late April.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said France had seen a "considerable escalation" in new coronavirus cases. "France accounted for the third-highest number of new cases globally, with more than 275,000 cases reported in the past week (4,200 cases per million population): that is a 27% increase from the previous week," WHO said Tuesday.

10:15 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

NFL’s Texans say player tested positive for Covid-19, prompting team facility to close

From CNN’s Aleks Klosok

A Houston Texans player has tested positive for Covid-19, the football team said on Thursday. The player has immediately self-isolated and contract-tracing has begun.

The team facility will be closed for the day, with all operations to be conducted virtually and the National Football League’s intensive coronavirus protocols to be followed.

“We were informed last night that a Texans player has tested positive for COVID-19. In consultation with the NFL and medical experts, we have made the decision to close the facility and conduct all operations virtually today," said the team in a statement. "The health and safety of our team, as well as our entire staff, are of highest priority.”

The Texans are scheduled to face the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday in Jacksonville, Florida.

9:25 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

UK extends government assistance for businesses until March 2021 amid second lockdown

From Samantha Tapfumaneyi and Mark Thompson

People walk through an empty shopping center in Leeds, England, on November 4.
People walk through an empty shopping center in Leeds, England, on November 4. Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

The UK government will extend government wage assistance for businesses until March next year in light of the worsening coronavirus pandemic and England's second lockdown.

“The government will continue to help pay people’s wages up to 80% of the normal amount” in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, announced the British finance minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday.

Sunak said the government would review the "furlough scheme" policy in January “to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.”

The government’s highest priority is to protect jobs and livelihoods,” Sunak said. “It is a demonstration of the strength of the union and an undeniable truth of this crisis we have only been able to provide this level of economic support because we are a United Kingdom.

“This Treasury is, has been and will always be the Treasury for the whole of the United Kingdom” he added.

The extension to March 2021 will mark one year since the furlough scheme was introduced at the beginning of the UK’s initial coronavirus lockdown.

Meanwhile, the Bank of England is pumping another £150 billion ($195 billion) into the UK economy after warning of a double-dip recession because of the coronavirus pandemic and an uncertain outlook because of Brexit.

England re-entered a national lockdown on Thursday, with restaurants, bars and non-essential businesses closed until December 2. The United Kingdom reported its second-largest daily increase in Covid-19 cases on Wednesday with 25,177 new infections recorded in 24 hours.

8:57 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

The time is now to develop a testing strategy for asymptomatic Covid-19 cases, CDC director says

From CNN's Amir Vera and Christina Maxouris

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, attends a news conference in Atlanta on October 21.
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, attends a news conference in Atlanta on October 21. Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg/Getty Images

As the United States recorded its five highest days of coronavirus cases, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said this is the perfect time to develop a strategy to better detect asymptomatic cases.

"Now is the time to develop a testing strategy to maximize our ability to identify the silent epidemic of asymptomatic COVID-19 infections," Redfield tweeted Wednesday.

By the CDC's estimate, 40% of people with Covid-19 show no symptoms.

Redfield's tweet described a weekend meeting with fellow White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Deborah Birx and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to discuss testing and mitigation efforts in Utah. On Tuesday, Utah was among 21 states that saw their peak seven-day average for new daily cases.

Meanwhile, Dr. Thomas Tsai of the Harvard Global Health Institute told CNN in an email the time to develop a national testing strategy to identify asymptomatic Covid-19 infections passed a few months ago.

“The time to develop a national testing strategy to identify asymptomatic COVID-19 infections was a few months ago, but that ship has sailed," Tsai said. "Now is the time to implement a testing strategy focused on screening of asymptomatic individuals.” 

Track Covid-19 cases in the US here:

8:56 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Austria reports a daily record for Covid-19 cases after entering second lockdown this week

From Nina Avramova in Vienna

Austria reported a daily record of 7,416 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

The country entered its second national lockdown this week, with new restrictions including a curfew between 8pm and 6am and the closure of leisure and culture facilities.

The nation has confirmed 132,515 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, according to the Ministry of the Interior. There have been 1,268 deaths due to the virus. 

7:55 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Five highest single-day coronavirus case totals in the US occurred in the past week

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

The five highest single-day coronavirus case totals in the US have all come within the past seven days, according to CNN's tally based on the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

Wednesday marked the first time cases have reached six figures -- with 102,831 new infections reported -- and it is now the highest single-day reporting since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The US also recorded 1,097 more coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday.

Track Covid-19 cases in the US here:

7:14 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Covid-19 has dangerous knock-on effects for other African health services, says WHO

From Brent Swails in Johannesburg    

A health care professional in Abuja, Nigeria, works on a sample during a community Covid-19 testing campaign on April 15.
A health care professional in Abuja, Nigeria, works on a sample during a community Covid-19 testing campaign on April 15. Kola Sulaimon/AFP/Getty Images

African countries continue to be spared the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic -- with just under two million cases and 43,700 deaths across the continent -- but the World Health Organization’s regional director says she’s very concerned by the knock-on effects on other health services.

Even as countries respond to the pandemic, it is vital that other life-saving services continue to be available to communities,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said during a press briefing on Thursday.

Moeti cited preliminary WHO research that shows an extra 1.32 million children missed their first measles vaccination from January to August compared to last year. Highly contagious, measles is particularly worrying to public health officials who say any dropoff in vaccine drives could easily lead to more outbreaks.

Moeti said the biggest gap in health services came during the three-month lockdown period instituted in several countries.

WHO analysis also shows that in Nigeria there were 310 maternal deaths in health facilities in August -- nearly double the amount recorded in 2019 -- with more than 362,000 pregnant women missing antenatal care between March and August.

Moeti said that as countries have emerged from lockdowns, some delays are being overcome and many routine services, including immunization drives are being restored, urging the work to continue.

“Together, authorities, partners and communities must do more to protect the hard-fought gains made over many years in improving access to care and health outcomes in African countries,” Moeti said.

6:52 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

South Korea will ban the storage of facial images from Covid-19 thermal cameras

From CNN's Yoonjung Seo in Seoul

A thermographic image of passengers is displayed on a screen at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, South Korea, on August 1.
A thermographic image of passengers is displayed on a screen at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, South Korea, on August 1. Jean Chung/Bloomberg/Getty Images

South Korea will ban organizations from storing facial images on thermal cameras that scan for temperatures amid the Covid-19 pandemic, after the government said it found cases of images stored without consent.  

Facial images stored in cameras may result in abuse or misuse of personal information and they could be hacked,” South Korea’s Personal Information Protection Commission Kim Jin-hae said on Thursday.

The new regulation applies to all public and private facilities that have installed thermal cameras, according to government authorities. The storage function should be disabled and, if it cannot be disabled, stored images and personal information must be deleted at least once a day.

Kim asked operators and facilities using thermal cameras to follow the rules while continuing efforts to prevent coronavirus from spreading.