Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic continues here.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has tested positive for coronavirus, two officials confirmed to CNN.
Meadows traveled with United States President Donald Trump on Sunday and Monday. He was also at the White House election night party on Tuesday and in close contact with members of the President’s family.
White House officials are now alarmed given Meadows has been around other staffers while potentially contagious, one aide says. The White House had invited people to watch the results roll in that night.
At the time, White House communications director Alyssa Farah said there would be temperature checks and precautions taken given the pandemic. Initial plans to hold an event at the Trump Hotel were scrapped because of local restrictions on indoor gatherings and fear there would be significant fines.
The President delivered remarks from the White House press briefing room last night.
CNN's KAITLAN COLLINS REPORTS:
The Illinois Governor's Office announced in a news release Friday that Gov. J.B. Pritzker is quarantining due to possible Covid-19 exposure.
"The Governor's Office was notified this afternoon of a recent exposure to Covid-19 and as result of that possible exposure is currently conducting contact tracing and following all necessary health protocols from IDPH. The exposure was the result of an external meeting with the Governor that took place on Monday in a large conference room in the Governor's Office,” the statement read.
The statement added that the governor was tested and his results will be made public when available.
Illinois set another daily high in new Covid-19 cases Friday with the state’s Department of Public Health reporting 10,376 more infections, topping its previous single-day high of 9,935 set on Thursday.
It marked the first time the state has reported more than 10,000 cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic. The new case numbers bring the state's total to 465,540, according to IDPH.
CNN is tracking Covid-19 cases in the US here:
France has registered a new record number of coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, according to data released by the French Health Ministry on Friday.
The country saw the highest numbers of coronavirus cases for the second day in a row with 60,486 new cases reported on Friday. It had previously seen a record of 58,046 cases on Thursday.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, France has the most Covid-19 cases in Europe after Russia and the third highest fatality count after the UK and Italy.
There are now 28,955 coronavirus patients in hospital in France, and 4,321 in ICU, according to the Health Ministry, and the overall death toll stands at 39,865.
Coronavirus infections could double over the next month as the virus continues to spread across the United States, Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch predicted during an online discussion Friday.
The US recorded more than 121,000 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, the highest single-day total since the pandemic began. Cases have also surpassed 100,000 on Friday.
"I think if caseloads double in the next month, I will not be at all surprised. If it goes more than that I would be somewhat surprised but not completely shocked," Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said during a chat with the Journal of the American Medical Association.
But Lipsitch said he doesn’t like to make predictions because he still believes coronavirus mitigation efforts can work to bring down transmission rates.
"It's not that I don't want to make them, it's that making projections gives the impression that it's not in our hands, that it’s some kind of hurricane where we can stand there, but we can’t do anything about it," he said.
The number of daily cases and how much the virus continues spreading "depends on our responses," Lipsitch added.
At the current pace, the spread will "grow exponentially," he said, because we're "not very close to herd immunity" in most places. In some places, he added, the spread could be slowed somewhat increased immunity.
Lipsitch also said people should expect lockdowns again, and stay-at-home orders, if intensive care units are overloaded.
"I think it really depends on how much capacity has been built up over the time that we've had to prepare, thanks to the intense control measures that were put in place early on in some places, and how much places continue to get overwhelmed," Lipsitch said.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) has granted death row inmate Pervis Payne a temporary reprieve from execution until April 9, 2021, “due to the challenges and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” a statement from the Governor’s office said Friday.
Pervis’ execution, imposed by the Shelby County Criminal Court in 1988, had previously been scheduled to be carried out on December 3, 2020, according to the Governor’s reprieve.
“Governor Lee was right to delay Pervis Payne’s execution due to the Covid-19 crisis. Bringing witnesses into the prison is unsafe for them, the staff, and the prisoners. This additional time will give the Tennessee Legislature the opportunity to pass bi-partisan legislation to allow Mr. Payne’s and others’ claims of intellectual disability to be heard in court," read a statement from Payne's attorney Kelley Henry.
Background: Pervis Payne has been on death row for 32 years. He received two death sentences after he was convicted in 1988 of two counts of first-degree murder for the June 1987 stabbing deaths of 28-year-old Charisse Christopher and her 2-year-old daughter in the Memphis suburb of Millington. Payne also was convicted of assault with intent to commit first-degree murder of Christopher's 3-year-old son, who survived. Payne maintains that he is innocent and went into Christopher's apartment after hearing a cry for help, according to court documents.
His attorney's Friday statement said, "This additional time will also allow us to investigate Mr. Payne’s strong innocence claim, together with the Innocence Project. We are grateful to the 150 faith, legal, legislative, and community groups in Memphis and across the state that support clemency for Mr. Payne. Together with Mr. Payne’s family, we will continue the fight to prove Mr. Payne’s innocence.”
More than 1 million US Covid-19 cases and more than 59,000 deaths could have been prevented by early May if mitigation steps had been implemented two weeks earlier, according to a modeling study published Friday in Science Advances.
Sen Pei, a research scientist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and colleagues built a Covid-19 transmission model that looked at all US counties from February 21 through May 3.
Broad coronavirus transmission control measures were announced March 15, they wrote. The study found that starting interventions such as social distancing and business closures a week earlier, on March 8, led to 600,000 fewer confirmed cases and 32,000 fewer deaths. Beginning such interventions two weeks earlier, on March 1, resulted in more than 1 million fewer confirmed cases and more than 59,000 fewer deaths.
Pei and colleagues wrote that they recognize that protracted shutdowns are a burden, but said it’s vital to balance a return to social and economic activity with avoidance of viral spread. South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand and Germany “have shown that such a balance may be achievable; the strategies adopted in these countries could be used to guide policies in the US and elsewhere.”
“Our results demonstrate the dramatic impact that earlier interventions could have had on the COVID-19 pandemic in the US,” the authors wrote. “Looking forward, the findings underscore the need for continued vigilance when control measures are relaxed.”
And, they write, “rapid detection of increasing case numbers and fast re-implementation of control measures is needed to control rebound outbreaks of COVID-19.”
The researchers note their experiments are based on idealized assumptions. It’s complicated to initiate and implement social distancing rules during an outbreak, and compliance might lag, they write.
But, “given that more effective control of COVID-19 has been maintained to date in countries such as South Korea, New Zealand, Vietnam and Iceland, these cases and deaths could have been averted, not merely postponed.”
The state of Illinois set another daily high reporting for new Covid-19 cases Friday, reporting 10,376 new infections and 49 more deaths.
It joined a number of US states that have broken their records for daily case loads, as the situation worsens across the United States.
Indiana announced 4,714 more cases, its record high and enough to move its overall case count since the start of the pandemic over 200,000.
Ohio reported 5,008 new cases, the highest number recorded in a 24-hour timeframe since the onset of the pandemic in March, according to Governor Mike DeWine.
Maine also set a daily record on Friday with 1,149 new cases, according to state CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah. the state also saw a tripled positivity rate over the last two weeks.
And Pennsylvania added 3,384 new cases, another statewide high.
The figures come as an ensemble forecast by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects another 31,000 people could lose their lives over the next two and a half weeks.
Hospitalizations in New Mexico have shot up by 260% in the last month, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said, and health officials added they expect to run out of general hospital beds "in a matter of days." The daily number of deaths hit a record high this week.
In the Midwest -- where communities have been hit particularly hard and outbreaks are only worsening -- hospitalizations are up "following the region's sharply accelerating case surge," the CDC project said in a Thursday blog post.
"Reported deaths from the Midwest are rising as well, several weeks into that region's case surge," the project said.
Delaware’s state-mandated Covid-19 mitigation efforts and investigations dramatically reduced the number of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths earlier in the year, according to a study published Friday in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Report.
The first Covid-19 case was identified in Delaware on March 11 and the state immediately went to work to manage the pandemic. It started by investigating all identified cases. Nearly two weeks later, Delaware issued a stay-at-home order that lasted through June 1. By April 28 there was a state mask mandate. By May 12, the state started broader contact tracing.
Looking at cases through June, it appears those steps were the right ones. From late April through June, the incidences of Covid-19 declined by 82%, hospitalizations dropped by 88% and mortality fell by 100%.
In that time period there were 9,762 newly confirmed cases, but right after the state’s mask mandate went into effect in late April, Covid-19 cases began to see a steep decline.
Because of limited resources, the state didn’t start wider contact tracing until May, when the Delaware National Guard was activated to help the public health department. When it did, it made a difference. Although, the report found that there were several barriers to finding a wide number of contacts. More than 80% of patients either couldn’t recall contacts or refused to disclose them, but even with these limits, the case numbers further declined.
“Masks are critical for reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission from persons with symptomatic or asymptomatic infection,” the report said. “Early detection, self-isolation, and investigation of Covid-19 cases and self-quarantine of close contacts can be effective in preventing transmission, if contacts are identified and reached soon after exposure.”