As of Monday, Florida has recorded the third-highest total number of coronavirus cases in the U.S., with more than 700,000, and the fifth-highest number of virus-linked deaths at more than 14,000.
Florida was one of the hot spots during the early summer, but has seen a sharp decline in new cases in recent weeks. Public health experts have warned that the upcoming flu season coupled with the coronavirus crisis could lead to a spike in hospitalizations.
“Now’s the time actually to double down a bit,” Fauci said Monday. “And I don’t mean close. … We’re not talking about shutting anything down. We’re talking about commonsense-type of public health measures that we have been talking about all along.”
― Hayley Miller
Thousands of university students across the U.K. will only be allowed to return home to their families at Christmas if the public follows the new coronavirus lockdown rules, a senior government minister has said.
The British government is under pressure to guarantee young people are not confined to their campuses over the festive period because of COVID-19 outbreaks at their universities.
Thousands of students are currently self-isolating in their rooms following a surge in cases at institutions in cities including Glasgow, Manchester and Edinburgh, HuffPost UK reports.
Culture minister Oliver Dowden told Sky News: “I very much want students to be able to go home at Christmas, and if we all pull together and observe these new rules, we follow the guidance, then we will be able to get to a point where that should be possible.”
More than 17 million people – a quarter of the U.K. population – are now under tougher coronavirus restrictions after new measures were introduced on Sunday.
Britain recorded 5,693 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, down on the 6,042 reported a day earlier, data published on the government’s website showed.
— Ned Simons and James Martin
Two Nobel Prize-winning economists have called for a nation-wide “Advent lockdown” in France to “save” the traditional year-end holiday period.
Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee, two economists who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2019, say the economic cost of a pre-emptive lockdown from Dec. 1 to Dec. 20 would be less than canceling traditional year-end celebrations.
As part of their plan, people would be encouraged to do Christmas shopping in November, while the final two weeks of school would be taught remotely, reports HuffPost France.
The aim would be to limit contamination during traditional family gatherings by reducing virus transmission in the weeks before the year-end break.
Writing in France’s Le Monde Newspaper, Duflo and Banerjee say the measures would also reduce the likelihood of more drastic lockdowns after the holiday period.
France’s health minister has downplayed a national pre-emptive lockdown before Christmas and instead said he will continue to monitor data on a day-to-day basis.
— James Martin
The United Nations’ failure to bring countries together to contain the coronavirus — which has claimed nearly 1 million lives globally — prompted renewed calls for the world body to undergo reforms.
“The pandemic is a clear test of international cooperation — a test we have essentially failed,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said last week in the first-ever virtual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.
There is a “disconnect between leadership and power,” he told world leaders and warned that in the 21st century’s interconnected world, “solidarity is self-interest.” “If we fail to grasp that fact, everyone loses,” he said.
The General Assembly highlighted the growing inequality between rich and poor countries and the escalating difficulty of getting the U.N.’s 193 member nations to agree on major issues — let alone unite on reforms.
Tensions were on display at a U.N. Security Council meeting when the U.S. and China — two of the council’s five veto-wielding permanent members — accused each other of mishandling and politicizing the coronavirus.
Read more from The Associated Press here.
— Hayley Miller
Florida moved to reopen all restaurants in the state on Friday, while New York City will move to allow permanent outdoor dining.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the reopenings on Friday, allowing all restaurants in the state to open immediately and at full capacity. The order also prevents cities and counties from ordering restaurants to close without citing economic or health reasons for doing so. The announcement came the same day Florida surpassed 14,000 deaths from the coronavirus.
Also on Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that outdoor dining ― which allows restaurants to serve customers on sidewalks or curbs ― would remain a permanent fixture, WNYC reported.
“I want us to go for the gold here,” de Blasio said. ” I really want us to take this model and make it a part of the life of New York City for years and generations to come … I really think it’s going to help restaurants survive.”
New York City, once the epicenter in the United States for the virus, has seen a steady drop in daily cases.
— Sebastian Murdock
For more on the pandemic, go here.