Friday November 27th, 2020 4:21AM

The Latest: SKorea sees biggest daily case jump in 70 days

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea has reported its biggest daily jump in COVID-19 cases in 70 days as the government began imposing fines for people who fail to wear masks in public.

The 191 cases added to the country’s caseload Friday represented the sixth consecutive day of over 100 and the highest daily increase since Sept. 4.

Most of the cases were from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where officials have struggled to stem transmissions tied to various places, including hospitals, nursing homes, churches, schools, restaurants and offices.

The steady spread of the virus has alarmed government officials, who eased social distancing measures to the lowest level since October to soften the pandemic’s shock on the economy.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said the government could “seriously consider” tightening social distancing again.

South Korea has so far weathered its outbreak without major lockdowns, relying on an aggressive test-and-quarantine program and mask-wearing behaviors of the public.

From Friday, officials started to impose fines of up to 100,000 won ($90) for people who fail to properly wear masks in public transport and a wide range of venues, including hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, nightclubs, karaoke bars, religious and sports facilities and at gatherings of more than 500 people.



— Dr. Fauci: Keep wearing masks, stay socially distant to avoid lockdown

— White House Coronavirus Task Force recommends masks for Oklahoma surge

— Missouri Gov. Parsons loosens school quarantine rules; allows exposed kids

— School systems in Detroit, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and suburban Minneapolis are giving up on in-person classes. Some governors are re-imposing restrictions on bars and restaurants or getting more serious about masks.

— New research confirms fever and symptom checks miss many coronavirus infections.

— Surge of coronavirus cases appears to be slowing in Germany and France, but still straining hospitals.

— Follow AP’s coverage at and



OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and his wife, Trudi, on Thursday urged the state’s residents to forego gatherings and holiday travel plans as COVID-19 cases spike across the state, and the governor said further measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus will be announced in the coming days.

Inslee’s remarks come just two days after state and county health officials warned of an acceleration of coronavirus cases, and pleaded with the public to take the pandemic more seriously heading into the winter holidays.

On Tuesday, state health officer Kathy Lofy said cases have been steadily increasing since September, but that the most dramatic increases have occurred over the past two weeks.

She said cases are rising among all age groups, indicating that transmission is widespread.


ANCHORAGE, Alaska — U.S. Rep. Don Young announced Thursday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, a day after the 87-year-old won his 25th term in the U.S. House.

Young, the longest-ever Republican to serve in the House, made the announcement on Twitter.

“I am feeling strong, following proper protocols, working from home in Alaska and ask for privacy at this time,” Young wrote in a tweet. “May God Bless Alaska.”

A message sent to his spokesman wasn’t immediately returned.

“My friend and colleague Congressman Don Young is a fighter. I’m glad to hear he’s doing well and will be praying for his health and recovery, along with all those impacted by #COVID19,” Alaska’s senior U.S. senator, Lisa Murkowski, said in a tweet.

The diagnosis came after Young initially downplayed the seriousness of the virus at the onset, claiming it was overblown and fueled by the media. Last March, Young spoke to a group of senior citizens, referring to the coronavirus as the “beer virus.”

Young’s positive test came after he was campaigning for re-election in Alaska, which is experiencing a surge of cases. Alaska has had over 20,000 cases, including 477 new cases reported Thursday. There have been 96 deaths.


LOS ANGELES -- California has become the second state to record 1 million confirmed coronavirus infections. Texas reached the mark earlier this week.

Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed Thursday that California surpassed the grim milestone. It comes nearly 10 months after the first cases were confirmed in the most populous state.

California was the first in the nation to implement a statewide stay-at-home order on its nearly 40 million residents in March.

After spiking in the summer, the rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases in California declined markedly into the fall but now is surging again, like much of the nation. This week, 11 counties had rates high enough that state restrictions were re-imposed on certain businesses and activities.


BEIJING — China’s government says it has helped facilitate the return home of more than 70,000 Chinese nationals from 92 foreign countries between the start of the coronavirus pandemic and Nov. 10.

Deputy Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui said some had returned home aboard chartered flights while others deployed separate means.

While local transmissions have been largely eliminated, the country remains on guard over imported cases, with Luo saying a rise of about 45 percent in infections detected at ports of entry had been recorded since September.

Most recently, China suspended five inbound international flights after significant numbers of COVID-19 sufferers were reported among the passengers.

About 3,600 total imported cases have been recorded among China’s total of 86,307 cases reported since coronarivus was first detected late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Just eight new cases were reported by the National Health Commission on Friday, all of them imported. China has reported a total of 4,634 deaths from COVID-19.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico on Thursday marked its highest daily count of confirmed COVID-19 cases and one of the highest daily death counts since the pandemic began.

Health officials reported an additional 1,753 cases to push the statewide tally to more than 60,770. Eighteen deaths were reported to push the total to 1,176.

“New Mexico has never been in a bigger crisis,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a tweet. She is scheduled Friday to address the situation and is expected to announce new public health restrictions aimed to curbing spread.

The state has been struggling in recent weeks, and health care officials have warned that many hospitals already are at or near capacity and that the current pace will be unsustainable as beds are filled and staff are stretched thin.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alabama has about six weeks to spend almost $1 billion in remaining coronavirus relief funds or the money will revert to Washington, D.C., prompting concerns from advocacy groups the state will leave money on the table that could be used to help hurting Alabamians.

States have until Dec. 30 to spend their share of CARES Act dollars or the money must be returned. Alabama has so far spent about $850 million of its $1.7 billion allocation, according to a dashboard maintained by the state Department of Finance.

“We’re in the same situation as all the other states,” said Rep. Steve Clouse, who heads the House General Fund budget committee. Clouse said he is concerned the state might have as much as $400 million unspent by the end of the year, and added the state may not have a choice but to send the money back unless Congress extends the deadline.

More than 80 organizations, including advocacy groups for low-income families and people with disabilities, sent Republican Gov. Kay Ivey a letter suggesting ways to use the money. The groups noted Alabama was one of the poorest states in the country, with 800,000 residents living in poverty “before this pandemic devastated the economy.”

“These CARES Act funds provide our best hope to ensure the economic downturn does not force these families into long term, catastrophic conditions that will impact generations to come,” said the letter signed by Alabama Arise, Alabama Appleseed and other organizations.


JERUSALEM -- Pfizer and BioNTech say they have reached a deal to supply eight million doses of their new coronavirus vaccine to Israel next year.

The companies announced the deal in a joint statement late Thursday. The deal, whose financial terms were not disclosed, is subject to clinical success and regulatory approval of the vaccine.

The two companies said this week, based on early and incomplete test results, their COVID-19 vaccine may be 90% effective. They hope to seek FDA approval later this month.

“Our goal remains to create a global supply of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine for many people around the world, as quickly as we can,” added Sean Marett, chief business and chief commericial officer at BioNTech.

The vaccines, which are administered in two doses, would be enough to treat almost half of Israel’s 9 million people.

Israel’s health minister, Yuli Edelstein, says the first vaccines are to arrive in January, with deliveries throughout the year. He says the deal will make Israel one of the first countries to offer the vaccine to its citizens.

Israel is also seeking vaccines from other sources and developing a vaccine of its own.


TOPEKA, Kan. - Public health officials in two of Kansas’ most populous counties have tightened restrictions on gatherings, and public schools in the state’s capital city have scrapped at least two weeks of in-person classes in favor online learning amid a statewide surge in coronavirus cases.

In Shawnee County, home to the state capital of Topeka, gatherings will be limited to 10 people whether they are held indoors or outdoors, starting Friday. An order from Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino, the county’s health officer, dropped the limits from 25 for indoor gatherings and 45 for outdoor gatherings and said bars and restaurants that can hold 100 or more people must operate at 50% of their capacities.

The limit on gatherings also will drop Friday to 15 from 45 in neighboring Douglas County, home to the main University of Kansas campus under an order issued by the county health officer, Dr. Thomas Marcellino.

With their orders, at least seven of the state’s 105 counties have issued more restrictive rules this week.

The Topeka public school district, with about 13,000 students and 2,400 staff, announced that it would suspend in-person classes for at least two weeks, starting Monday. The district, one of the largest in the state, had students splitting four days a week between in-person and online classes, with online classes Wednesdays.


BOSTON — Health officials in Massachusetts say confirmed coronavirus deaths have surpassed 10,000, and they’re cautioning that the actual toll is likely much higher because of fatalities not attributed to COVID-19.

Massachusetts has the sixth-highest death toll in the nation behind New York, Texas, California, New Jersey and Florida.

Massachusetts’ pandemic nightmare began in late February, when a cluster of cases blamed on a conference at a Boston hotel organized by the Biogen biotech company seeded not just the state but the nation with the virus.

As of Thursday, the state — a Northeast hot spot — also had 174,953 confirmed cases, with 661 people currently hospitalized.

The biggest caseloads and death counts have been in and around Boston, in places where the Black and Latinx populations are largest, including Lawrence, Chelsea, Everett and Revere. But worrisome rates of infection increasingly have been reported around the state.


ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday how the state will allocate about $70 million in federal aid as the state braces for months of rising coronavirus cases, including $20 million for personal protective equipment.

Maryland already is exceeding the state’s goal of a 90-day supply of PPE for the most critical resources, Hogan said, and he encouraged local governments to use the remaining federal funds to increase their stockpiles of equipment, especially gloves, gowns and masks.

“Unfortunately, we have more tough times ahead of us and it’s likely going to get worse before it gets better, but we truly are all in this together, and if we all do our part to rise to this challenge and to meet this moment we will get through this together,” the Republican governor said at a news conference.

Other allocations announced by the governor include: $15 million for the state’s labor department to ramp unemployment insurance staffing to help residents, $10 million for rental housing assistance for low-income residents, $10 million for syringes and supplies for distributing a vaccine when it becomes available and $10 million for food banks.

The state also is allocating $2 million to increase call capacity at the Maryland Department of Human Services and extend its hours, another $2 million for foster care assistance and $1 million for a wastewater sampling program to detect COVID-19 outbreaks in vulnerable populations like public housing or correctional facilities.


NORRISTOWN, Pa. -- Don’t you dare close the schools.

That’s the impassioned message that dozens of parents and school administrators are sending to public health officials in Pennsylvania’s third-most populous county.

The Montgomery County Board of Health had been scheduled to vote Thursday on a proposed order mandating that all public and private K-12 schools in the offer fully virtual instruction for at least two weeks, and potentially for longer, because of a surge in virus cases.

The board delayed a vote after pushback from parents and school administrators.

Parents and school administrators denounced the proposal during the board’s public Zoom meeting, saying online-only education can’t meet children’s educational, social and emotional needs. Parents of special education students, in particular, said their children suffered when schools shut down in the spring.


JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi reported 1,271 confirmed coronavirus cases and 17 deaths on Thursday.

The state health department says Mississippi has a confirmed total of 130,600 cases and at least 3,514 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers says Mississippi has requested 183,000 doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and partner BioNTech.

Vaccine candidates are still in the trial phase and have not been approved. They must be safe and effective before approval for use by the Food and Drug Administration.


PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon tallied 1,122 new confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, shattering its previous record as coronavirus continues to spread rapidly statewide.

The previous daily record was 988 on Saturday. Multnomah County, home to Portland, had 350 cases on Thursday.

State health officials attributed some of the new cases this week to at least five Halloween parties, including one that had 100 guests.

Several major hospitals in Portland are now curtailing elective surgeries amid the surge. State health data shows that about 20% of intensive care unit beds remain free statewide and 290 people are hospitalized with the virus.


CHICAGO — Chicago has issued new COVID-19 restrictions, including limiting social gatherings to 10 people, in hopes of combating the surge in cases ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is urging people to stay home except for essentials, like work or getting groceries. The restrictions take effect Monday.

Lightfoot said Thursday the city must work to counteract the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases, including canceling traditional Thanksgiving plans to gather with friends and family.

A month ago, Chicago reported 500 daily cases on average. The city is now averaging roughly 1,900 daily cases.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Health - Senior Health, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2020
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Justice Dept.: 'Poor judgment' used in Epstein plea deal
A Justice Department report has found former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta exercised “poor judgment” in handling an investigation into wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein when he was a top federal prosecutor in Florida
10:07PM ( 11 minutes ago )
States ramp up for biggest vaccination effort in US history
With a COVID-19 vaccine drawing closer, public health officials across the country are gearing up for the biggest vaccination effort in U.S. history
9:48PM ( 31 minutes ago )
The Latest: SKorea sees biggest daily case jump in 70 days
 South Korea has reported its biggest daily jump in COVID-19 cases in 70 days as the government began imposing fines for people who fail to wear masks in public
9:40PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump, stewing over election loss, silent as virus surges
President Donald Trump has publicly disengaged from the battle against the coronavirus at a time when the disease is tearing across the United States at an alarming pace
8:18PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Obama troubled by GOP 'going along with' Trump
Former President Barack Obama says he’s troubled by the Republican officials who are “going along with” President Donald Trump’s baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud
7:41PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: California 2nd state to see 1 million infections
California has become the second state to record 1 million confirmed coronavirus infections
7:30PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Chicago to impose new coronavirus restrictions
Chicago has issued new COVID-19 restrictions, including limiting social gatherings to 10 people, in hopes of combating the surge in cases ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday
5:07PM ( 5 hours ago )
California Senate sweepstakes: Who gets Kamala Harris' job?
Sen. Kamala Harris' ascendancy to the vice presidency next year has left California with a tantalizing question: Who will replace her in the Senate
4:57PM ( 5 hours ago )
Top central bankers: Economy needs help despite vaccine news
The world's top central bankers are saying their economies will still need support despite good news about early stages of vaccine development against COVID-19 which is still the chief threat to the economy
3:57PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Feds announce COVID-19 vaccine agreement with drug stores
Federal health officials have reached an agreement with pharmacies across the U.S. to distribute free coronavirus vaccines after they are approved and become available to the public
3:52PM ( 6 hours ago )
Signs of hope in Germany, France but virus strains hospitals
The surge of new coronavirus cases appears to be slowing in Germany and France, generating hopes that the two European heavyweights are beginning to regain control over the pandemic
2:21PM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest: Missouri governor loosens school quarantine rule
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced new guidance aimed at keeping more kids, teachers and staff in school, even those who have been exposed to the coronavirus
2:02PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Health
Angels hire Braves' Perry Minasian as new general manager
Perry Minasian has been named the Los Angeles Angels’ general manager
7:25PM ( 2 hours ago )
White separatist who spewed racial hatred dead at 82
Tom Metzger, the notorious former Ku Klux Klan leader who rose to prominence in the 1980s while promoting white separatism and stoking racial violence, has died at age 82
7:20PM ( 3 hours ago )
As virus cases rise, Southwest sees slower travel recovery
A new report from Southwest Airlines indicates that the rise in COVID-19 cases around the country is cutting into travel bookings
5:44PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business
Mutual of Omaha replaces Indian chief logo with African lion
Months after announcing it would abandon its longtime Indian chief head corporate logo, Mutual of Omaha has unveiled a new logo depicting an African lion
12:20PM ( 10 hours ago )
Germany sees slightly better tax income, more business aid
The German government’s tax income this year is expected to be a bit higher than previously forecast after the economy, Europe’s biggest, performed relatively well in the third quarter
10:20AM ( 12 hours ago )
New device puts music in your head — no headphones required
It's a concept straight out of a sci-fi film — music and sounds beamed straight into your head, no headphones required
9:04AM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Aid group helping French nursing homes as virus deaths jump
Aid group Doctors Without Borders is recruiting emergency help for French nursing homes, where more people with the coronavirus have died so far in November than reported in the previous five months combined
8:20PM ( 1 day ago )
Nursing home COVID-19 cases rise four-fold in surge states
The Trump administration has tried to erect a protective shield around nursing homes, but coronavirus cases are surging within facilities in states hard hit by the latest wave of COVID-19
3:20PM ( 4 days ago )
'I cry every day': Virus hits French nursing homes anew
Virus pressure is mounting at French nursing homes where more than 400 people with COVID-19 have died in the past week
10:05AM ( 6 days ago )
AP Health - Senior Health
To help economy, bank proposes tax on working from home
A new report says white collar staff reaping the financial benefits of working from home should be taxed to help other workers who aren’t getting the same advantages
11:14AM ( 11 hours ago )
Stocks ease lower on Wall Street, except for technology
Stocks are easing lower in early trading on Wall Street Thursday, a day after major indexes briefly flirted with all-time highs before closing mixed
9:54AM ( 12 hours ago )
709,000 seek US jobless aid as pandemic escalates
The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 709,000, the fourth straight drop and a sign that the job market is slowly healing
9:18AM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Italian hospitals face breaking point in fall virus surge
Dr. Luca Cabrini was certain his hospital in Italy's Lombardy province would reach its breaking point with 300 COVID-19 patients
4:59AM ( 17 hours ago )
UN agency: Iran uranium stockpile still violates atomic deal
The U.N.’s atomic watchdog agency says Iran continues to increase its stockpile of low-enriched uranium far beyond the limits set in a landmark nuclear deal with world powers and to enrich it to a greater purity than permitted
5:54PM ( 1 day ago )
Rally fades on Wall Street, pulling indexes below records
Stocks closed mostly higher on Wednesday, helped by big technology stocks, but news of tighter restrictions in New York State dented an earlier rally
5:11PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Industries
Asian shares mostly higher as focus shifts to virus recovery
Shares are mostly higher in Asia after a powerful worldwide rally spurred by hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine will help the global economy return to normal
10:41PM ( 1 day ago )
Global rally slows, but optimism over vaccine remains high
A worldwide stock market rally slowed down on Tuesday even as optimism remains high that the global economy may be on track for a return to normal
4:16PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: UN peacekeeping chief tests positive in Europe
The United Nations peacekeeping chief has tested positive for the coronavirus
3:11PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Health Care
Justice Dept.: 'Poor judgment' used in Epstein plea deal
A Justice Department report has found former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta exercised “poor judgment” in handling an investigation into wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein when he was a top federal prosecutor in Florida
10:07PM ( 15 minutes ago )
States ramp up for biggest vaccination effort in US history
With a COVID-19 vaccine drawing closer, public health officials across the country are gearing up for the biggest vaccination effort in U.S. history
9:48PM ( 35 minutes ago )
The Latest: Pennsylvania judge sides with Trump campaign
A Pennsylvania judge has sided with President Donald Trump’s campaign and ordered counties not to count a small number of mail-in or absentee ballots for which the voter didn’t submit valid identification within six days after the Nov. 3 election
9:28PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Braves' Freeman wins NL MVP, White Sox slugger Abreu gets AL
Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has easily won the NL MVP award, topping off a trying year that saw him become ill with the coronavirus
9:28PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Virus surge: Schools abandon classes, states retreat
School systems in Detroit, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and suburban Minneapolis are giving up on in-person classes, and some governors are reimposing restrictions on bars and restaurants or getting more serious about masks
9:10PM ( 1 hour ago )