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Saturday December 5th, 2020 8:51PM

The Latest: Italy hits nearly 35,000 new daily virus cases

By The Associated Press
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ROME — Italy registered 34,767 new cases on Saturday, about 2,500 fewer than the previous day.

The government recently put the majority of Italy’s regions under new restrictions, including banning dining at cafes and restaurants in areas where the health care system risked collapse.

Italy has1.3 million total confirmed cases. With 692 more deaths, the known death toll reached 49,261.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Russia reports daily record with nearly 25,000 virus cases

— Calif Gov. Newsom’s child in 14-day quarantine

— Donald Trump Jr. doing ‘very well’ after coronavirus diagnosis this week.

— No. 4 Clemson at Florida State postponed hours before start in Tallahassee, Florida. Medical staff from both schools couldn't agree it was safe to play.

— U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson says he’s ‘out of the woods’ after battling COVID-19.

— Los Angeles County businesses trying to recover from the coronavirus pandemic face new restrictions and the prospect of a shutdown on the horizon.

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Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas will launch a media campaign to encourage more of its residents to wear masks.

The campaign comes months after the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature forced Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly to accept that local officials would set pandemic restrictions. Kelly issued two mandates for people to wear masks in public, including one set to take effect Wednesday, but a law enacted in June allows each of the state’s 105 counties to opt out.

The state has set aside $1.5 million of its federal coronavirus relief funds for television, radio, print and social media ads promoting masks that are set to start before Thanksgiving and run through January or longer.

Kansas added an average of 2,718 per day over the seven-day period that ended Friday, with the state reaching a confirmed total of more than 134,000 cases. There’s been more than 1,400 confirmed deaths.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported Saturday there were 3,162 people hospitalized with coronavirus, the most since May.

A total of 661 coronavirus patients were in intensive care units. The trend in the 14-day rolling average of hospitalized patients per day had increased by nearly 1,900 since the end of September, the department says.

Officials noted again that most of the hospitalized patients and deaths occurred among those 65 or older.

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NEW YORK — The Rockefeller Center ice-skating rink is opening in a limited way and on time for the holidays.

The iconic, sunken rink in midtown Manhattan is welcoming skaters Saturday as part of a tradition dating to the 1930s, according to the Rockefeller Center website. The rink is operating at reduced capacity, with skate time limited to 50 minutes. Masks are required.

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., is doing “very well” in quarantine after becoming infected with the coronavirus.

A spokesman for the younger Trump says he received the positive test result earlier this week, has no symptoms and has been quarantining and following the recommended medical guidelines.

President Trump tweeted Saturday that his son “is doing very well.” Trump Jr. is the latest member of the president’s family to become infected, after the president, first lady and their son Barron.

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PIERRE, South Dakota — Coronavirus infections are ravaging South Dakota, where more than half of tests have come back positive for weeks.

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem won’t issue a mask mandate but suggests smaller gatherings “may be smarter this year.”

Some governors who for months echoed President Donald Trump’s criticism of measures to control the coronavirus are now relenting, including North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who recently ordered the use of masks statewide.

Republican and Democratic governors from several Midwestern states issued a joint video urging people to say home for Thanksgiving and wear masks to slow the spread of the virus until a vaccine is widely available.

Hospitals in many states are running out of beds and are short on nurses, including in the states where governors are reluctant to act.

“We know what will happen. We know that three to four weeks from Thanksgiving, we will see an exacerbation of the outbreaks,” said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.

CDC scientists believe about 40% of infected people don’t have obvious symptoms but can still spread the virus.

The U.S. leads the world with 11.9 million cases and more than 254,000 deaths.

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida — The game between No. 4 Clemson and Florida State has been postponed just hours before kickoff on Saturday. Medical personnel from both schools couldn’t agree it was safe to play in Tallahassee, Florida, amid the pandemic. The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the postponement, although it didn’t detail whether it involved coronavirus issues.

Star Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence missed the past two games after testing positive for the coronavirus. He was to return for his first time since Oct. 24.

There have been 18 postponements this week out of 62 scheduled games. It is the 81st postponement in all of college football this season. It’s believed to be the first postponement on game day.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — One of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s children may have been exposed to the coronavirus at school and is in quarantine.

The child began a 14-day quarantine “from the date of exposure” after the family was told a classmate at the private school had tested positive for the coronavirus, spokesman Nathan Click said in an emailed statement Friday.

The rest of the governor’s family is not quarantining because they weren’t directly exposed. The governor, his wife and all four of their children have tested negative for the virus, Click says.

Newsom had a rapid test this week that was negative and will get a regular test this weekend.

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LOS ANGELES — California is enacting a nighttime curfew Saturday as spiking coronavirus cases threaten to overrun health care systems. The state’s largest county warned that a more drastic lockdown could be imminent.

The new restrictions say people should stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., except for essential errands. The curfew runs through Dec. 21 and covers 41 counties that contain most of the state’s population.

Authorities say the focus is on keeping people from social mixing and drinking — the kinds of activities blamed for causing coronavirus infections to soar after dipping only a few months ago.

Los Angeles County, the state’s largest with about 10 million people, could see a stricter lockdown as early as next week because of soaring cases and hospitalization levels. The county accounts for a quarter of the state’s 40 million residents, but it has about a third of the coronavirus cases and close to 40% of the deaths.

California had a record 13,000 new cases on Thursday and more than 1 million total confirmed cases. The state has 18,653 confirmed deaths, third in the nation behind New York (34,252) and Texas (20,751).

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has shuttered businesses and curtailed travel between its major cities, including the capital of Tehran.

The Iranian Health Ministry says the daily deaths have risen above 430 in the past five days, bringing the death toll past 44,000. The total number of confirmed cases has risen past 840,000.

The new restrictions include Iran’s major cities and will last two weeks but can be automatically extended.

Top Iranian officials initially downplayed the risks posed by the virus outbreak, before recently urging the public to wear masks and avoid unessential travel.

All schools in the capital will close and switch to remote learning. Authorities will close shrines in Tehran and cancel mass prayers in mosques, though it was not immediately clear if the same restrictions would apply in other cities, including the holy city of Mashhad.

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MOSCOW — Russia reported new daily highs in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths on Saturday.

The national coronavirus taskforce says 24,822 new cases were recorded over the past day, the fourth time in a week that a new high has been tallied. It says a record 467 people died of COVID-19.

The surge in infections is straining Russia’s vast but underfunded health care system, with many infected people reportedly forced to search for sparse hospital beds.

Overall, Russia has recorded more than 2,064,000 confirmed cases and 35,778 confirmed deaths.

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka’s Central Bank says the bank's top management, including the governor, will work from home after one of its employees tested positive for COVID-19.

The bank says the move was taken as a precautionary measure. The governor, one deputy governor, seven assistant governors and several other senior officials who had been working at the bank's offices will work from home for two weeks.

It says tests were done on possible contacts of the patient, but all others tested were found to be negative. The bank is located in the heart of the capital, Colombo, where the most cases have been detected in the past week.

Sri Lanka has had an outbreak of the virus following two clusters in Colombo — centered on a garment factory and a fish market.

The confirmed cases from the two clusters grew to 15,764 on Saturday. During the most recent 24-hour period, 435 cases were detected, of which 252 were in Colombo and its suburbs.

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TOKYO — Japan is scaling back on the government-backed “GoTo” campaign to encourage travel and dining out, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases reached a record for the third day straight at 2,418.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the decision at a government panel on coronavirus pandemic measures.

Stressing the need for “utmost caution,” he says the campaign’s travel discounts will no longer apply to hard-hit areas and discounts on eating out will temporarily end.

Japan has never had a total lockdown. It has had fewer than 2,000 confirmed deaths related to the coronavirus. But worries have been growing about a spike in infections over the three-day weekend. Monday is Labor Thanksgiving, a national holiday.

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NEW DELHI — India has reported 46,232 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, with the situation particularly alarming in New Delhi.

Intensive care wards and the capital’s main crematorium are near capacity, and health officials this week found the prevalence of infections in markets much higher than expected. The city has added an average of 6,700 cases each day in recent weeks.

The next two weeks in the post-festival season, including celebrations for the Diwali holiday, are going to be important in determining which way the virus will go. The Health Ministry on Saturday also registered 564 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total confirmed deaths to 132,726.

While the pace of new cases in the country of 1.3 billion appears to be slowing, experts have cautioned that official figures may be offering false hope since many infections are undetected.

The two states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have announced night curfews in at least in eight cities from Saturday. Northern Rajasthan state is also imposing restrictions on the assembly of more than four people during nighttime.

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SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea has reported 386 new cases of the coronavirus in a resurgence that could force authorities to reimpose stronger social distancing restrictions after easing them in October to spur a faltering economy.

The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Saturday brought the national caseload to 30,403 and 503 deaths.

More than 270 of the new cases came from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where health workers have struggled to track transmissions in schools, private tutoring academies and religious facilities.

Infections were also reported in other major cities including Busan, Daejeon, Gwangju and Asan.

South Korea has so far managed to weather its COVID-19 epidemic without major lockdowns, relying instead on an aggressive test-and-quarantine campaign and mask-wearing.

Officials eased distancing measures to the lowest level in October, which allowed high-risk venues such as nightclubs and karaoke bars to reopen and fans to return to professional sports.

But the Korean Society of Infectious Diseases says the country could be reporting more than 1,000 new infections a day in a week or two if social distancing measures aren’t effectively strengthened.

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday announced $135 million in grants and loans to help businesses and workers hurt by new restrictions he imposed through mid-December.

Inslee says businesses can apply for the assistance to help blunt the impact of restrictions that took effect this week, including the closure of fitness facilities and gyms, bowling centers and movie theaters, and the requirement that restaurants and bars provide only outdoor dining and to-go service.

The economic package also includes $20 million in rental assistance and $15 million in utility payment assistance for those with low income. All of the funding is part of federal coronavirus outbreak assistance funds distributed to states.

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