The Latest: WVa Gov. Justice orders masks inside businesses
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice ordered the wearing of masks at all times in businesses and other indoor spaces starting at midnight.
The Republican governor say businesses will need to post signs notifying entrants of the mask requirement under his executive order. Justice urged businesses that encounter patrons not wearing a mask to call the police.
“It’s just silly to be in a public building with strangers walking around without a mask on,” Justice said at a press conference Friday. “Even if you have this macho belief or whatever it may be, it’s silly.”
Justice says public and private schools must use remote instruction from Thanksgiving through Dec. 3. All winter high school sports are postponed until Jan. 11.
On Friday, the state reported 563 coronavirus cases, bringing the total to more than 28,000. West Virginia added 11 deaths to reach 565 confirmed deaths.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Dr. Fauci suggests masks at Thanksgiving gatherings
— Italy reaches daily record of nearly 40,000 coronavirus cases
— States ramp up for biggest vaccination drive in US history
— Governors and other U.S. elected officials show little appetite for imposing the lockdowns and large-scale business closings seen last spring.
— Virus ward doctor runs from dawn to dark in Italy, fears the devastation of the coming winter.
— Many school districts are temporarily shutting down in-person classes as cases rise across U.S.
— Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
WASHINGTON — The White House says President Donald Trump will make remarks in the Rose Garden on Friday about Operation Warp Speed, the effort to get a vaccine to the public quickly and safely.
Trump has avoided public gatherings since Election Day and has declined to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden. Trump received a briefing on Operation Warp Speed on Friday.
The briefing occurred one day after the U.S. set a single-day record of more than 160,000 coronavirus cases.
LISBON, Portugal — Portugal’s new daily coronavirus cases, hospital admissions and deaths have hit new records.
The General Directorate for Health reported 6,653 confirmed cases on Friday, with 2,799 people in hospital and 69 deaths in the previous 24 hours.
Portugal surpassed 200,000 cases in the country of 10.5 million people.
Tighter restrictions on movement, including a weekend curfew from 1 a.m., took effect this week as part of a state of emergency.
Portugal’s 14-day average cases per 100,000 people is 636, according to the European Centre for Disease Control. That’s higher than in neighboring Spain, with 590.
NAPLES, Italy — Italy hit a new high of nearly 41,000 coronavirus cases on Friday.
The regions of Campania and Tuscany were designated red zones, signaling the dire condition of a hospitals struggling with new admissions.
Italy’s new cases reached 650 per 100,000 Italians. Densely populated Campania, which includes Naples, had 4,079 cases. That’s the third-highest daily total behind Lombardy with 10,634 and Piedmont with 5,258, both of which have been red zones since last week. Tuscany added 2,478 cases.
Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris told The Associated Press that ‘’the health system is under massive pressure and on the verge of collapse.’’
Italy has confirmed 1.1 million coronavirus cases. The country reported 550 deaths on Friday, bringing the known death toll to more than 44,000.
O’FALLON, Mo. — St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced strict new regulations to slow the spread of the coronavirus
Page, a Democrat, announced a one-month “Safer at Home” order that starts Tuesday.
St. Louis County residents will stay home except to go to work or school, shop, exercise or for medical care. Residents were advised to establish social groups of 10 or fewer family and friends.
The city of St. Louis, which is not part of the county, separately issued an order Thursday that prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people, effective Saturday.
St. Louis County includes Ferguson and other cities. In-person service at bars and restaurants will be shut down, though carry-out and outside dining will be allowed. Businesses, gyms and places of worship will be reduced to 25% capacity. Those inside must wear masks.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Two members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives confirmed Friday they’ve tested positive for the coronavirus.
Republican state Reps. Kevin Wallace of Wellston and Tammy Townley of Ardmore confirmed in statements to The Associated Press that they tested positive.
The announcement comes just days after a swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol where many lawmakers and families weren’t wearing masks or practicing social distancing.
Wallace says he tested positive before Wednesday’s swearing-in ceremony and took his oath privately, without any other members present. He says he’s asymptomatic and quarantining.
Townley says she previously tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies this summer and was surprised by her positive test.
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Gov. Phil Scott announced new restrictions on social gatherings Friday, with early closing for bars and a ban on multiple household gatherings.
The recent increase in cases comes after Halloween, when people gathered for parties, the Republican governor said.
Many of the state’s clusters were traced back to private gatherings such as baby showers, tailgate parties, deer camps and barbecues “where multiple households are getting together and not wearing masks or staying physically separated for long periods of time,” he said.
The restrictions take effect at 10 p.m. on Saturday, when bars and social clubs will be closed to in-person service but may offer take-out. Restaurants must close to in-person service by 10 p.m. each night. The state is requiring restaurants, gyms, museums, and other establishments to keep a daily log of visitors.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he and the governors of Oregon and Washington have issued travel advisories urging people to quarantine.
A statement from Newsom’s office Friday says the advisories urge against non-essential out-of-state travel. It recommends people quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country and encourages residents to stay local.
California recently surpassed 1 million coronavirus cases.
STORRS, Conn. — The University of Connecticut on Friday placed all dormitories under quarantine at its main campus because of rising coronavirus infections.
School officials say all 5,000 residential students will be tested before leaving for the Thanksgiving break.
UConn placed five more dormitories under full quarantine Friday, adding to the five put under full quarantine on Wednesday, according to Eleanor Daugherty, associate vice president and dean of students.
All other residence halls in Storrs are under a “modified” quarantine, meaning students must stay in their dorms but can attend in-person classes and participate in essential research and clinical activities.
WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci is recommending masks at Thanksgiving gatherings if the coronavirus status of people is unknown.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert told “CBS This Morning” that “even if it’s a very small group, to the extent possible, keep the mask on.”
Fauci says if families have either quarantined or been tested for the coronavirus, it’s not as necessary. But he says it’s wise to take precautions.
“There is community spread right now,” he said. “(People) don’t have symptoms, they don’t know they are infected. So, we need to pull more testing into the community.”
The U.S. set a single-day record of more than 160,000 coronavirus cases on Thursday.
“If you do the things that are simple public health measures, that soaring will level and start to come down,” Fauci said. “You add that to the help of a vaccine, we can turn this around. It is not futile.”
LONDON — Britain’s Office for National Statistics says an estimated 654,000 people in private households in England tested positive for the coronavirus between Oct. 31 and Nov. 6.
The previous week, there were 618,700 positive tests, the agency said. The weekly survey tests thousands of people whether they have coronavirus symptoms or not.
The survey straddled the period ahead of the start of the latest lockdown in England on Nov. 5, which was imposed following a sharp increase in virus infections.
The current lockdown requires pubs, restaurants and stores to remain closed until at least Dec. 2. Unlike the spring lockdown, schools and universities remain open, along with construction sites and factories.
ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s prime minister says the government will provide the coronavirus vaccine, when it becomes available, to all Greeks free of charge.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis made the comments while chairing a ministerial meeting about the government’s vaccination strategy for COVID-19. Greece has seen a resurgence of the virus’s spread that is putting pressure on the country’s health system.
“I insist on the free access of all Greeks to the vaccine, because this government has treated the vaccine as a public good from the start,” Mitsotakis said. “That is why it will be provided free of charge to all, with no exceptions.”
On Thursday, Greece announced a record number of new daily coronavirus deaths and infections, with more than 3,300 new confirmed infections and 50 deaths in this country of 11 million people. Greece currently has more than 66,600 confirmed cases and 959 deaths.
MOSCOW — Coronavirus infections in Russia kept on rising this week, with authorities reporting a record 21,983 new cases on Friday, bringing the country’s total to nearly 1.9 million.
Russia, which has the fifth-highest tally of confirmed cases in the world, has been swept by a rapid resurgence of the outbreak since September. Despite the spike, Russian authorities insist there are no plans to impose a second lockdown or shut down businesses nationwide, even as media report overwhelmed hospitals, inundated doctors and shortages of medicines.
A series of restrictions aimed at curbing the outbreak took effect Friday in Moscow. The city authorities ordered restaurants, bars and nightclubs to close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., told university students to move to online classes, ordered theaters and cinemas to limit capacity to 25% and halted all mass entertainment events.
The restrictions will remain in place until Jan. 15 and will apply to New Year holidays as well, Moscow officials said.
BERLIN — Germany’s disease control center is reporting a new daily record of coronavirus infections as the country nears the halfway point of new lockdown measures.
The Robert Koch Institute says Germany’s states had reported 23,542 daily cases Friday, slightly more than the previous record of 23,399 set on Saturday.
Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold talks with state governors on Monday, the midway point into a series of measures the government has called “lockdown light.”
Germany embarked Nov. 2 on the four-week partial shutdown aimed at flattening a sharp rise in new infections. Restaurants, bars, sports and leisure facilities have closed, but schools and nonessential shops remain open. Officials say it is still too early to tell whether the new measures are having the desired effect.
Merkel on Thursday warned Germans to expect “difficult winter months.” Health Minister Jens Spahn said nobody should be expecting to hold Christmas parties with more than 10 or 15 people.
ZAGREB, Croatia — Croatia reported a record 43 deaths and more than 3,000 coronavirus cases on Friday.
Authorities say 3,056 more people tested positive, placing a burden on the health system.
Croatian officials says they won’t impose a strict lockdown but have limited gatherings and called on the people to wear face masks and respect social distancing.
In neighboring Slovenia, the government tightened its coronavirus lockdown late Thursday, shutting public transport for two weeks, banning socializing outside immediate family and widening quarantine restrictions for people who travel abroad.
Slovenia, home of U.S. first lady Melania Trump, on Friday reported 38 deaths and 1,508 new infections.