COVID-19 cases climb in the U.S. and Europe

Oct. 16, 2020

A third COVID-19 spike in the United States continues to intensify, as several European countries take more steps to reverse steep case rises, some of which are at record levels, according to a news report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota.

In other developments, a large international group of scientists pushed back against calls for a herd immunity approach to managing the pandemic. The global total cases of COVID-19 reached almost 39 million cases, and nearly 1.1 million people have died from their infections, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard.

Recently, the United States added almost 60,000 new cases and nearly 1,000 deaths to its totals, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker. The trend shows the start of a third rise in infections, which is coming as the weather cools and more people are gathering indoors. In another key statistic, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose to approximately 900,000 during the last week, signaling a hiring slowdown as the economy struggles with the pandemic, the Associated Press reported.

Tony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and member of the White House coronavirus task force, urged Americans to be cautious during the Thanksgiving holiday, especially with out-of-town visitors who could pose a risk to older relatives or those with underlying health conditions.

"Namely, you may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering unless you're pretty certain that the people that you're dealing with are not infected," said Fauci, who is 79, and said his three children living in other states have decided not to come home for the holiday, due to concerns about putting him at risk.

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