- U.S. coronavirus cases near six million as Midwest, schools face outbreaks.
- Manitoba reworks six-figure ad campaign after recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
- Paris to make free COVID-19 tests available in the capital.
- New COVID-19 rules take hold in South Korean capital.
- More infectious mutation of the novel coronavirus found in Indonesia.
- COVID-19 cases in Australia’s hot spot fall to seven-week low.
- Colombia’s coronavirus cases pass 600,000 as country begins to lift lockdown.
U.S. cases of the novel coronavirus are approaching six million as many states in the Midwest report increasing infections, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota have recently reported record one-day increases in new cases, while Montana and Idaho are seeing record numbers of currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Nationally, metrics on new cases, deaths, hospitalizations and the positivity rates of tests are all declining, but there are emerging hot spots in the Midwest.
Many of the new cases in Iowa are in the counties that are home to the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, which are holding some in-person classes. Colleges and universities around the country have seen outbreaks after students returned to campus, forcing some to switch to online-only learning.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday said his state was sending a “SWAT team” to a State University of New York (SUNY) campus in Oneonta, in upstate New York, to contain a COVID-19 outbreak. Fall classes, which started last week at the college, were suspended for two weeks after more than 100 people tested positive for the virus, about three per cent of the total student and faculty population, SUNY chancellor Jim Malatras said.
“We have had reports of several large parties of our students at Oneonta last week, and unfortunately because of those larger gatherings, there were several students who were symptomatic of COVID,” Malatras said.
Across the Midwest, infections have also risen after an annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D., drew more than 365,000 people from across the country from Aug. 7 to 16. The South Dakota health department said 88 cases have been traced to the rally.
More than eight months into the pandemic, the United States continues to struggle with testing. The number of people tested has fallen in recent weeks.
Many health officials and at least 33 states have rejected the new COVID-19 testing guidance issued by the Trump administration last week that said those exposed to the virus and without symptoms may not need testing.
Public health officials believe the United States needs to test more frequently to find asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers to slow the spread of the disease.
The United States leads the world with the most recorded coronavirus infections at more than 5,997,000 cases, followed by Brazil at 3,862,000 and India at 3,621,000.
The U.S. also has the most coronavirus-related deaths in the world at more than 183,000, followed by Brazil at 120,000 and India at 64,000.
What’s happening with coronavirus in Canada
As of 8:15 a.m. ET on Monday, Canada had 127,940 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 113,664 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,154.
After several outbreaks in recent weeks, the Manitoba government is having to alter its six-figure ad campaign to focus more on health precautions, instead of economic recovery.
At one point in July, Manitoba had flattened its infection curve so much that there was only one known active case. That stood in sharp contrast to every other province west of New Brunswick.
The government launched advertisements on billboards, social media and elsewhere with the message: “Ready. Safe. Grow.” The ads, with an estimated budget of $425,000 this year, directed people to a website that contained some health information but focused largely on what businesses could do to land new contracts and get access to support programs.
WATCH | Are schools in Canada ready to reopen?
The landscape changed as COVID-19 clusters broke out in Winnipeg, Brandon and a few Hutterite colonies. By Friday, Manitoba’s active cases had risen to 418.
While some physical billboards have yet to change, electronic ones in recent days have been swapped out to feature a new “Know the Facts” slogan, along with pictures of recently adopted colour codes — red, orange, yellow and green — to denote different levels of restrictions that can be imposed if case numbers rise.
Here’s what’s happening around the world
According to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases is now more than 25.2 million. More than 846,000 people have died, while 16.6 million have recovered.
The Paris local municipality said on Monday that it would look to make free COVID-19 testing available in all of the capital’s 20 districts, or arrondissements, as authorities battle against signs of a re-emergence of the virus in France.
The Paris mayor’s office said in a statement that from Monday onward, there would be three permanent laboratories set up to conduct free COVID-19 tests, as well as two other mobile laboratories that would go around the capital.
Private tuition centres shut for the first time in South Korea’s capital on Monday and traffic was light on the first working day of tighter physical-distancing rules aimed at halting a second wave of novel coronavirus infections.
South Korea took the unprecedented step on Friday of restricting the operation of restaurants, coffee shops and so-called cram schools in the greater Seoul area, with churches, nightclubs and most public schools having already closed.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 238 new cases as of midnight on Sunday, mostly in Seoul and surrounding regions, the 18th day of triple-digit rises in daily infections.
A more infectious mutation of the novel coronavirus has been found in Indonesia, the Jakarta-based Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology said on Sunday, as the Southeast Asian country’s caseload surges.
The “infectious but milder” D614G mutation of the virus has been found in genome sequencing data from samples collected by the institute, deputy director Herawati Sudoyo told Reuters, noting that more study is required to determine whether that was behind the recent rise in cases.
The strain, which the World Health Organization said was identified in February and has been circulating in Europe and the Americas, has also been found in neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia.
The state at the epicentre of Australia’s second wave of COVID-19 infections said on Monday the number of new cases fell to a near two-month low, allowing authorities to detail in a week’s time how stringent lockdown measures will be lifted.
Victoria said it has detected 73 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, the lowest since July 3.
At the same time, the country reported a record daily rise in COVID-19 deaths on Monday, as Victoria said its COVID-19 death toll rose by 41, including 22 fatalities that came from aged care facilities in the weeks leading up to Aug 27. Australia’s previous one-day record for COVID-19 deaths was on Aug. 25 when 25 people died.
In neighbouring New Zealand, schools and businesses reopened in Auckland on Monday after the lifting of a lockdown to contain the resurgence of the coronavirus, but face masks were made mandatory on public transport across the country.
Coronavirus cases in Colombia surpassed 600,000 on Sunday as deaths from the virus approach 19,400, ahead of the end to more than five months of lockdown.
The Andean country has 607,938 confirmed cases of the virus according to the health ministry, with 19,364 reported deaths. Active cases stand at 136,702.
President Ivan Duque declared a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the virus in late March. The measure will end on Monday when the country begins a month-long “selective” quarantine.
Many sectors have already gradually reopened. Under the new measures, restaurants can function at 25 per cent capacity but large events such as concerts remain banned.