Coronavirus: U.S. tops 120,000 new cases on Thursday, a single-day record; Maine tightens mask mandate

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The U.S. recorded 121,888 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, the highest single-day increase to date and taking the national total to 9.61 million. New deaths totaled 1,210, bringing the total to 234,944.

Wednesday was the first time nationwide new cases have topped 100,000 on a single day, and pushed the seven-day average of daily new infections to a record 89,858. Countries around the world are battling against resurging outbreaks as winter temperatures set in and pandemic-fatigued people move indoors.

Here are some of the biggest developments Thursday:

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 48.7 million  
  • Global deaths: At least 1.23 million
  • U.S. cases: More than 9.6 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 234,944

U.S. reports record 121,888 new coronavirus cases on Thursday

The U.S. recorded 121,888 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, the highest single-day increase to date and taking the national total to over 9.61 million. New deaths totaled 1,210, bringing the total to 234,944.

Nationwide cases had topped 100,000 for the first time in a single day on Wednesday, with 102,831 new cases confirmed.

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Rhode Island issues stay-at-home advisory to curb outbreak

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced a handful of new restrictions on businesses and residents intended to curb the state's growing Covid-19 outbreaks, NBC 10 News reported.

Beginning Sunday, a new stay-at-home advisory will impose curfew on residents — 10 p.m. on weekdays and 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday — for the next two weeks. Businesses, including restaurants, bars, gyms, recreational facilities and personal services, must also close at those times.

Indoor venues will be limited to 50% capacity or 125 people total, and outdoor venues will be limited to 66% capacity with a max of 150 people. The state will require everyone to wear a face covering when they're around people they don't share a home with, even in outdoor areas.

Rhode Island was one of 22 states that hit a record seven-day average in daily new cases on Wednesday. The state is reporting an average of 454 new cases per day, a more than 12% increase compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

—Noah Higgins-Dunn

Fed holds interest rates near zero, says economy is still below pre-pandemic levels

The Federal Reserve held short-term borrowing rates near zero, characterizing the economy as growing but still well below pre-pandemic levels, CNBC's Jeff Cox reports.

The Fed cut its benchmark interest rate to a range between 0%-0.25% seven months ago, and reaffirmed that target at its latest meeting.

"Economic activity and employment have continued to recover but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year," the central bank's statement said.

—Sara Salinas

Many Medicare beneficiaries say they are open to getting early vaccine, experimental treatments

More than half of Medicare beneficiaries say they are either "very" or "somewhat" comfortable getting a Covid-19 vaccine if one becomes available this winter, according to a recent survey by eHealth.

If a vaccine is approved in the next few months, it would likely be through so-called emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. In October, a federal rule was adopted to allow Medicare to fully cover the cost of an inoculation sanctioned via that route. Without the change, beneficiaries would only get coverage if the vaccine went through the full, lengthy approval process for new biologics.

Meanwhile, 40% of survey respondents said they would want the option to use experimental or unproven treatments if they come down with the virus. Another 23% said they would not and 37% were unsure.

—Sarah O'Brien

Maine tightens mask mandate amid climbing cases

Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced a new executive order on face masks that strengthens a previous mandate already in place, requiring people to wear a face-covering in public regardless of their ability to physically distance.

Owners of all indoor public settings must visibly notify people that they're required to wear a face-covering and may deny them entry for non-compliance, according to a statement from the governor's office.

Maine was one of 22 states that hit a record seven-day average in daily new cases on Wednesday, reporting roughly 98 cases per day, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That's a near 90% increase compared with a week ago.

"Maine is experiencing widespread community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19," Dr. Nirav D. Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement. "Wearing face coverings and staying at least six feet away from others when out in public are ways that every person in Maine can limit potential spread of the virus to help make their communities and homes safer."

—Noah Higgins-Dunn

Health official warns people to remain 'on alert' for potential of virus spread after Hurricane Eta

People who are displaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Eta should remain "on alert" since the coronavirus could spread in shelters or crowded spaces, a top Pan American Health Organization top health official warned.

"Let us not forget that these circumstances do not improve conditions, but rather they make us be at high risk, Dr. Ciro Ugarte, PAHO'S director of health emergencies, said through a translator during a press briefing. "And for this reason the whole of the population needs to be on alert, especially when we have situations where physical distancing is difficult."

The hurricane hit the shores of Nicaragua Tuesday night, bearing down devastating winds and rains that destroyed rooftops, caused rivers to overflow and left at least three people dead in the region, the Associated Press reported. Guillermo González, director of the country's emergency management agency, said that 10,000 people were placed in shelters in Bilwi and an equal number in smaller towns in surrounding regions.

—Noah Higgins-Dunn

Sony says launch day sales of new PS5 game console online only

PlayStation 5
Sony

Sony said its new game console won't be sold in retail stores due to the ongoing spread of the coronvirus.

The PS5 launches on Nov. 12 and will be available to order online. Sony said it's an effort to avoid people lining up outside retail stores for the highly-anticipated release. People who already pre-ordered the console can schedule a time to pick it up at a retailer.

—Todd Haselton

Dow opens more than 300 points higher, extending post-election rally

U.S. stocks opened higher amid hopes the U.S. presidential election would soon be determined, reports CNBC's Fred Imbert and Pippa Stevens.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 384 points, or 1.4%, higher. The S&P 500 climbed 1.6% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.8%.

—Melodie Warner 

U.S. weekly jobless claims trend lower, remain above pre-pandemic levels

First-time claims for unemployment insurance continued to trend lower last week, though the total remained well above what was considered normal before the coronavirus pandemic and was slightly higher than Wall Street estimates, reports CNBC's Jeff Cox.

The Labor Department reported 751,000 U.S. workers filed for benefits, compared with 758,000 the week before. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting 741,000.

Claims have been trending lower since the late-March peak of 6.9 million. The pre-pandemic peak was 695,000 in October 1982.

—Melodie Warner 

Regeneron beats quarterly revenue estimates

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals topped analysts' third-quarter revenue estimates as the easing of pandemic lockdowns boosted demand for the company's eye drug Eylea, Reuters reports.

Sales of Eylea, its macular degeneration drug, rose to $2.10 billion, topping estimates of $1.75 billion, Reuters said, as consumers began to reschedule medical procedures that they put off during the initial surge in Covid-19 cases.

The drugmaker is also awaiting U.S. approval for emergency authorization use of its experimental Covid-19 treatment.

Terri Cullen

Airbnb will reportedly make IPO filing next week, braving Covid-19 surge

Airbnb

Airbnb plans to file for its initial public offering as early next week, Reuters reported, despite the alarming surge of Covid-19 cases nationwide.

The IPO filing will shed light on how the U.S. home rental company has reinvented itself after the pandemic forced it to shift focus from city apartments to holiday home rentals, according to the wire service.

Airbnb has seen demand surge as vacationers avoid hotels so they can feel more comfortable practicing social distancing when on vacation, Reuters said.

Terri Cullen

U.S. reports record 100,000 daily new coronavirus cases

Jeffery Pettyjohn, a signal light maintainer for the MTA, is administered a COVID-19 test on October 30, 2020 in New York City.
David Dee Delgado | Getty Images

The number of new daily coronavirus cases reported in the U.S. topped 100,000 for the time Wednesday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

JHU data showed 102,831 new Covid-19 infections were recorded, up from 91,530 cases the day before.

JHU data showed 1,097 deaths were recorded Wednesday, lower than the 1,134 deaths reported the previous day. In total, the coronavirus has caused 233,734 fatalities in the U.S.

The grim milestone comes amid a surging number of hospitalizations due to resurging outbreaks in many states.

Holly Ellyatt

Coronavirus vaccine maker AstraZeneca set to release trial data by year-end

U.K. drugmaker AstraZeneca expects data on its experimental coronavirus vaccine to be available by the end of this year.

"Results from late-stage trials are anticipated later this year, depending on the rate of infection within the communities where the clinical trials are being conducted. Data readouts will be submitted to regulators and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals," AstraZeneca said as it released its latest earnings.

The vaccine candidate, which is being developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford, is in late-stage clinical trials in the U.K., Brazil, South Africa and the U.S., involving around 23,000 participants.

Holly Ellyatt

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