- US tops 80k cases for first time
- Global daily cases top 500k
- New record reported in Portugal
- Austria sees record new cases for 4th day
- Brussels imposes new restrictions for 14 days
- Spain, Italy weighing stricter measures to fight outbreak
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The US smashed its previous daily record on Friday when it reported 83,304 new cases, exceeding its prior July 29 peak with just 2 weeks to go before election day.
The new cases brought the US tally to 8,499,132 since the start of the pandemic, while another 945 new deaths reported on Friday once again swung the 7-day average for fatalities in the US to its highest level in at least a month. It brought the US death toll to 224,058, as hospitalizations across the US reach their highest levels in months, as we noted last night.
Globally, cases exceeded 42.3 million and deaths exceeded 1.1. million, as the number of new cases reported globally topped 500,000 for the first time yesterday, driven by rising case numbers in the US, Europe and Russia.
While an outbreak across the Midwest and Mountain West has seen states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Montana report multiple record numbers within the span of a week as their total new confirmed cases climbed to record highs, states across Europe have suffered rising hospitalizations, cases, positivity rates and deaths.
As cases have risen, positivity rates have continued to climb across the US.
In Central Europe, Austria reported record new case numbers on Saturday for the fourth day in a row. Slovenia reported a record 1,963 new cases with an all-time high positivity rate of 27.9%. Another 19 deaths, a record for the tiny Alpine state with a population of 2.1 million, were reported, bringing the total death toll to 235. Poland also suffered its deadliest day yet, with 179 deaths, and 13,628 new cases.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said the pandemic has worsened as a growing number of regional health authorities are struggling to track infections, Merkel said. “We’re not powerless against the virus,” she said. “Our behavior decides how strong and how fast it spreads.”
Of course, a growing body of evidence suggests that the worse an outbreak gets, the harder it is to trace contacts.
In Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is reportedly holding an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Sunday to declare a national “state of alarm”. The Italian government is also expected to approve new COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday as new cases topped 19k on Friday, the highest number yet.
In Brussels, one of the worst hit regions in all of Europe, a new curfew has been imposed, and museums, theaters, cinemas, swimming pools, fitness clubs and other sport venues will have to shut down. Stores will be forced to close at 2000 local time, with the exception of restaurants and takeaway shops.
Brussels and the five Walloon provinces have 14-day incidence rates that are 2x those of the Flemish provinces in the north of Belgium, ranging from 1,262 per 100,000 in Luxembourg to 2,100 per 100,000 in Liege.
Portugal on Saturday reported yet another record, with 3,669 new cases in a day, more than the prior record of 3,270 reported on Thursday. The new cases took Portugal’s total to 116,109. The number of patients in the ICU rose by 23 to 221, still below the peak of 271 ICU patients from April.