The United States had more than 481,372 new cases of COVID1 last week, setting a new record for the most new cases reported in a week since the pandemic began.
Nearly half the country set records for new COVID-19 cases in a week while five states had a record number of deaths in a week: Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The U.S. reports a new COVID-19 case every 1.26 seconds, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.
Meanwhile, there are more than 43 million coronavirus cases worldwide.
Vice President Mike Pence plans to attend several scheduled events this week, including the final vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme County on Monday, despite several of his aides testing positive for COVID-19.
Some Democrats have criticized his decision, with Montana Sen. Jon Tester calling it “absolutely irresponsible” as parts of the nation, including Washington, fight a surge in the number of cases.
“It sets a terrible, terrible example for the American people,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday.
Meanwhile, in Mexico, health officials said the country’s coronavirus death toll is far higher than previously reported, with 193,170 “excess” deaths through late September. Nearly 140,000 deaths are now judged attributable to COVID-19, about 50,000 more than the country’s official death toll of 89,000.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 8.6 million cases and 225,200 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 42.9 million cases and 1.15 million deaths.
🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.
When will there be a COVID-19 vaccine? Our panel of experts expects at least one COVID-19 vaccine will be approved in the coming months. Then things could really get complicated.
Democrats criticize Mike Pence for not isolating after aides’ positive tests
Senate Democrats on Sunday lodged harsh criticisms at Vice President Mike Pence who plans to preside over the chamber during a vote on Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court on Monday despite several of his top aides contracting COVID-19.
The plans drew harsh criticism from Democrats but Republicans mostly shrugged off Pence coming to Capitol Hill, explaining they were sure the vice president would do so responsibly.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., railed against Pence’s plans and said the visit would put “the health of everyone who works in this building at risk,” noting that Pence should quarantine as CDC guidelines dictate.
– Christal Hayes
Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz tests positive for COVID-19
Wisconsin redshirt freshman quarterback Graham Mertz, who put on a sparkling performance in his starting debut Friday night, has tested positive for COVID-19.
Two people familiar with the situation told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, part of the USA TODAY Network, on Sunday that Mertz has had one positive test. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Mertz completed 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns in the Badgers’ 45-7 victory over Illinois on Friday. Wisconsin is ranked No. 11 in this week’s Amway Coaches Poll. A Wisconsin official declined to comment on Mertz’s status. But a positive test does not necessarily mean he won’t be able to play.
According to Big Ten protocols released last month, athletes who test positive through point of contact (POC) daily testing will require a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the first result.
– Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Mexico health officials acknowledge higher COVID-19 death toll
Mexican health authorities acknowledge the country’s true death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is far higher than previously reported, saying there were 193,170 “excess” deaths this year through Sept. 26.
Of those, 139,153 are now judged to be attributable to COVID-19. Mexico’s official, test-confirmed death toll is about 89,000, but officials previously acknowledged many people didn’t get tested or their tests were mishandled.
Authorities had previously presented an estimated death toll of 103,882, after taking into account mishandled tests. But the Health Department said Sunday they had analyzed databases to come up with the latest figure. The analysis picked up symptoms related to COVID-19 mentioned on death certificates even if they weren’t listed as the cause of death.
UK police to enforce travel ban in effort to slow coronavirus infections
A police force in England says it will try to stop people from leaving Wales, which has started a 17-day lockdown to slow a surging rate of coronavirus infections.
The Gloucestershire Constabulary will patrol routes from Wales and pull over drivers they believe are making long journeys. Travelers without a good excuse will be asked to turn around. If they don’t comply, officers will inform their Welsh counterparts so they can take action because Gloucestershire police don’t have the authority to fine people traveling from Wales, the department said.
The situation illustrates the patchwork of coronavirus restrictions imposed by authorities throughout the U.K., which has Europe’s deadliest coronavirus numbers, with 44,661 confirmed virus deaths. Some 1,756 of those occurred in Wales, which has a population of about 3 million.
Europe: Bulgarian, Polish leaders infected; Spain imposes curfew
Bulgaria’s prime minister joined the list of world leaders to test positive, Spain imposed a nationwide curfew and Russia’s confirmed case total surpassed 1.5 million Sunday as Europe faced difficulties similar to the U.S. in the struggle to control the virus.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov posted a note Sunday on Facebook saying that “after two PCR tests, today I am positive for COVID-19.” He was vague about his symptoms, saying he has a “general indisposition” and will remain at home for treatment.
Borissov wasn’t the only European leader to get infected. Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, Slovenia’s Foreign Minister Anze Logar and the mayor of Istanbul have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to their spokespeople. And Algeria President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is in self-isolation for five days as a precautionary measure.
The Spanish government declared a national state of emergency that includes a curfew from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. starting Sunday night and possibly extending for six months. Police in England say they will try to stop people from leaving Wales, which has started a 17-day lockdown to slow a surging rate of infections. Slovakia is adopting strict limits on movement, Greece officials introduced mandatory wearing of masks everywhere Saturday, and Slovenia shut down non-essential shops, kindergartens and hotels.
COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY
Contributing: The Associated Press