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New York Hotspots Hit 6.5% Positivity, Alarming Officials and Fueling New Tensions on Schools

NYC hotspots hit 6.5%Twenty ZIP codes considered to be "areas of concern" in New York state given alarming increases in COVID cases now are averaging a 6.5 percent positivity rate, a full percentage point increase overnight, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

They now account for 26 percent of all statewide cases the last two weeks, despite representing just 6 percent of New York's total population.

Cuomo once again called on local governments in New York City, home to half of those ZIP codes, and in Rockland and Orange counties to aggressively executive compliance and test-and-trace strategies, warning of potential consequences New Yorkers have experienced all too painfully already over the last year.

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U.S. coronavirus cases rise month-over-month in 27 states in September, led by Wisconsin

COVID-19 cases up in 27 statesNew cases of COVID-19 rose in 27 out of 50 U.S. states in September compared with August, led by an increase of 111% in Wisconsin, according to a Reuters analysis.

The Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin all saw cases surge more than 50% month-over-month, as did Montana, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. here

Illinois had the smallest increase among the 27 states with rising cases, up 5% month-over-month. The only Midwest states where cases fell were Ohio and Indiana. here

The United States reported 1.18 million new cases in September compared with 1.41 million in August. Overall, cases in the country reached 7.26 million compared with 6.05 million at the end of August, an increase of 19%.

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Study Finds ‘Single Largest Driver’ of Coronavirus Misinformation: Trump

Study finds Trump Single largest dissinformation sourceOf the flood of misinformation, conspiracy theories and falsehoods seeding the internet on the coronavirus, one common thread stands out: President Trump.

That is the conclusion of researchers at Cornell University who analyzed 38 million articles about the pandemic in English-language media around the world. Mentions of Mr. Trump made up nearly 38 percent of the overall “misinformation conversation,” making the president the largest driver of the “infodemic” — falsehoods involving the pandemic.

The study, to be released Thursday, is the first comprehensive examination of coronavirus misinformation in traditional and online media.

“The biggest surprise was that the president of the United States was the single largest driver of misinformation around Covid,” said Sarah Evanega, the director of the Cornell Alliance for Science and the study’s lead author. “That’s concerning in that there are real-world dire health implications.”

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White House Blocked C.D.C. Order to Keep Cruise Ships Docked

WH blocked CDC ruling to keep cruise ships docked

The White House has blocked a new order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep cruise ships docked until mid-February, a step that would have displeased the politically powerful tourism industry in the crucial swing state of Florida.

The current “no sail” policy, which was originally put in place in April and later extended, is set to expire on Wednesday. Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the C.D.C., had recommended the extension, worried that cruise ships could become viral hot spots, as they did at the beginning of the pandemic.

But at a meeting of the coronavirus task force on Tuesday, Dr. Redfield’s plan was overruled, according to a senior federal health official who was not authorized to comment and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The administration will instead allow the ships to sail after Oct. 31, the date the industry had already agreed to in its own, voluntary plan. The rejection of the C.D.C.’s plan was first reported by Axios.

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Coronavirus: Global Covid-19 death toll passes one million

Covid deaths pass 1 million globally

The number of people worldwide who have died with Covid-19 has passed one million, researchers say, with many regions still reporting surging numbers of new infections.

The tally by Johns Hopkins University shows that deaths in the US, Brazil and India make up nearly half that total.

Experts caution that the true figure is probably much higher.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called it a "mind-numbing" figure and "an agonising milestone".

"Yet we must never lose sight of each and every individual life," he said in a video message.

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CDC director takes aim at Trump's Covid adviser: 'Everything he says is false'

Scott Atlas advises Trump; has no experience or knowledge of virusesThe director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was overheard on a phone conversation aboard a commercial flight saying a lead member of Donald Trump’s coronavirus taskforce has been spreading misinformation about the pandemic.

Robert Redfield was overheard by an employee of NBC News on a flight from Atlanta to Washington. According to NBC, Redfield criticized Scott Atlas, a radiologist and Fox News talking head added to the taskforce last month.

“Everything he says is false,” Redfield said about Atlas, NBC reported. Redfield later confirmed he had been talking about Atlas.

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Positive COVID-19 test rates top 25% in some U.S. Midwest states

States in midwest top 25% testing positiveThe number of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 is topping 25% in several states in the U.S. Midwest as cases and hospitalizations also surge in the region, according to a Reuters analysis.

North Dakota’s positive test rate has averaged 30% over the past seven days compared with 6% the prior week. The positivity rate has risen to 26% in South Dakota, up from 17% the previous week, according to the analysis using testing data from The COVID Tracking Project.

Minnesota and Montana are averaging 7% of tests coming back positive, but Montana’s positivity rate rose on Sunday to 20%, according to the analysis.

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