New York City public schools will remain open until the coronavirus infection rate in the city reaches 3%, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. That might not be for long.
The latest average is at 2.77%, the governor said. “We’ve got a fight ahead to keep them open,” de Blasio said during a Monday press briefing.
Also Monday, Stanford University rebuked Dr. Scott Atlas, a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force and a senior fellow at the university, for his comments about Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s new COVID restrictions.
“Dr. Atlas has expressed views that are inconsistent with the university’s approach in response to the pandemic. Dr. Atlas’s statements reflect his personal views, not those of the Hoover Institution or the university,” the university said on Twitter.
Hawaii and Iowa broadened mask mandates on Monday. Hawaii Gov. David Ige “clarified” the original statewide mask mandate to include all counties in the state require face coverings, except for children under the age of 5 and those with medical conditions. In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered all people ages 2 and older to wear a face mask in indoor spaces that are open to the public.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 11.2 million cases and more than 247,100 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 54.9 million cases and 1.32 million deaths.
🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.
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COVID costs Alaska more than 3,000 oil, gas jobs
Alaska has lost more than 3,000 jobs in the oil and gas industry since January because of the coronavirus pandemic and falling prices, according to the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Experts said that because oil prices are now stagnant, it’s not clear when the jobs may return, Alaska Public Media reported last week. That was coupled with a price war leading to a surplus of oil on the global market. A key benchmark for oil prices then fell into negative territory for the first time.
While predictions are difficult, a significant increase in oil revenue and jobs is not expected soon. “Unless oil prices get back to some very, very high level, I don’t see anything on the horizon that thousands … of jobs are going to get created in Alaska over the next year or two years,” said Mouhcine Guettabi, an economist at the University of Alaska Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research.
Hawaii ‘clarifies’ mask mandate to include all counties
Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Monday signed an emergency proclamation that “clarified” and extended the mask mandate to include everyone in the state.
“All persons in the State shall wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in public” except children under the age of 5 and individuals with disabilities or a medical condition, according to the new order.
Ige’s previous statewide mask mandate caused confusion among health and state officials because of exemptions among the state’s four counties, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
The new order also says businesses “shall” refuse service to people who refuse to wear a face covering. All hotel operators are now required to “adopt a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan for each property.”
‘Good Doctor’ star Richard Schiff hospitalized for COVID
“The Good Doctor” star Richard Schiff, who tweeted last week that he and his wife had tested positive for coronavirus, followed up Monday by reporting that he’s in the hospital being treated for COVID-19.
In a tweet thanking people for “love and support,” “The West Wing” alum said he’s taking remdesivir and steroids, both treatments for the viral illness, and is receiving oxygen. He offers a hopeful prognosis, saying that he’s “showing some improvement every day.”
Schiff’s wife, actress and “Good Doctor” co-star Sheila Kelley, “Is home and doing better but still fairly ill,” wrote the actor, who revealed in his earlier tweet that he learned of his positive diagnosis on Election Day.
In Schiff’s initial coronavirus-related tweet on Nov. 10, the actor called the time since the Election Day diagnoses “the most bizarre week of our lives.” He acknowledged the situation as “tough. We are determined to find a way to health again. We root for everyone out there who are struggling with this thing. Love from here.”
– Bill Keveney
Washington state wedding sparks coronavirus worry
Washington state health officials are asking more than 300 attendees of a wedding this month to quarantine and get tested for COVID-19 after several people tested positive.
The Grant County Health District said in a news release Monday that 17 county residents tested positive and have been linked to two subsequent outbreaks. Officials said they’re alerting the public because it will be difficult to find every person who attended the wedding.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Sunday announced coronavirus restrictions that include a limit of 30 people for ceremonies. As of Monday, there has been a total of 131,500 cases and 2,548 deaths, according to the state Department of Health.
Dow hits record on reignited vaccine hopes
U.S. stocks catapulted to records Monday on news that a second COVID-19 vaccine candidate showed promise, bolstering hopes of an economic recovery even as new infections surged around the world.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 470.63 points, or 1.6%, to finish at a new all-time high of 29,950.44, eclipsing its Feb. 12 record close before the coronavirus pandemic battered the global economy. The S&P 500 added 1.2% to 3,626.91, notching another record. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.8% to 11,924.13, lagging the rest of the market amid lessened interest for tech stocks.
The Dow rose to a record for the first time in nine months after pharmaceutical company Moderna said its vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data. Markets rallied as they did when Pfizer and BioNTech said earlier this month that their potential vaccine had a similar effectiveness rate.
– Jessica Menton
COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY
Contributing: The Associated Press