The U.S. recorded more than 150,000 new Covid cases on Thursday for the first time since the pandemic took hold in the country roughly nine months ago. The seven-day average of daily new infections now stands at 131,445 — 32% higher than this time last week — according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data. State and local leaders are again imposing tough restrictions in an effort to tamp down spread ahead of the colder holiday season.
Here are some of the biggest developments on Friday:
The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:
- Global cases: More than 52.91 million
- Global deaths: At least 1.29 million
- U.S. cases: More than 10.56 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 242,536
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak tests positive via rapid test
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said on Twitter that he tested positive for Covid-19 via a rapid test and is waiting for the results of his PCR test.
Sisolak said he was not experiencing any symptoms.
"At this time, I am not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. Earlier this week, I felt a little fatigue, which I attributed to my demanding schedule. No other symptoms were experienced," Sisolak said. "Prior to today's test, I received negative results on all previous tests – including my last two regular COVID tests conducted on Monday, Nov. 2 and Friday, Nov. 6. Consistent with guidelines from the CDC and the DHHS, I am isolating and continuing to monitor my symptoms."
Sisolak has canceled all public events. As cases continue to surge in his state, Sisolak asked Nevadans to stay home as much as possible. "There were more than 1,800 new cases identified in Nevada yesterday and cases are growing at a rate of 1.3 percent or 1,402 new cases per day," Sisolak said.
Gov. Cuomo responds to Trump statement that New York won't get vaccine right away
President Donald Trump told reporters that the federal government wouldn't send a coronavirus vaccine to New York right away, claiming New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo "doesn't trust where the vaccine is coming from."
On MSNBC shortly after Trump's comments, Cuomo said, "None of what [Trump] said is true. Surprise, surprise."
"I have been an outspoke opponent to many of Trump's policies over the last four years," he said, adding that Trump lost in New York in the presidential election by a "huge margin" and state prosecutors are also investigating the president for tax fraud.
Cuomo announced in late September that the state would form an independent task force of scientists, doctors and health experts that would review data from every Covid-19 vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That process was established after many questioned whether the White House was attempting to rush the vaccine approval process ahead of the election.
–Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
Oregon orders two-week statewide 'freeze'
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Friday announced a "two-week freeze" across the state to curb an "alarming spike" in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
The new restrictions, which are set to start Wednesday and run through Dec. 2, limits restaurants to takeout service only; limits retailers, grocery stores and pharmacies to 75% capacity; closes gyms, fitness centers and indoor and outdoor event centers; limits attendance at places of worship and requires other businesses to use remote work as much as possible, Brown said at a news briefing.
The new restrictions also limit social gatherings to two households or a maximum of six people, Brown added. She said "some Covid-19 hot-spot counties" will remain in the freeze for longer than two weeks and people should be prepared for that.
"If this all sounds familiar to our Stay Home, Save Lives order I issued back in March, that's because it is," Brown said at a news briefing. "The cycle of this virus is such that we are seeing case rates topping 1,000 per day now and that means our hospitals are headed for some very dark days ahead."
Idaho rolls back reopening, mobilizes state's national guard members
Idaho Gov. Brad Little said he would sign an executive order mobilizing 100 members of the state's national guard to help with Idaho's Covid-19 response and issue a new public health order placing more restrictions on businesses and gatherings.
Groups of more than 10 people, both indoor and outdoor, will be prohibited, but political and religious events are exempt from the order, he said. All residents are asked to work from home if possible, he said. Restaurants, bars and nightclubs can continue to operate, but patrons have to be seated at all times, Little said.
Masks will be required a long-term care facilities, though Idaho doesn't have a statewide mask mandate. Roughly half of the state's population are under a local ordinance requiring masks, but officials are reporting noncompliance with the orders, Little said, urging people to take personal responsibility.
"This does not mean Idaho's economy is on lockdown. Businesses and churches will remain open under the new statewide public health order," he said during a press briefing. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
New York City braces for school closures
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio told parents on Friday to have a plan in place as soon as Monday in case the city decides to close schools for in-person learning, NBC News New York reported.
The mayor said he would close schools if the citywide positivity rate, or the percentage of positive tests, hits an average of 3%. The rate was just over 2.8% on Friday.
On a call with reporters Friday afternoon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the city has the authority to close schools if officials thinks it's appropriate. However, he said officials should consider implementing a school-by-school closing system that would allow some classes to continue.
"The problem is not coming from the schools. It's coming from the bars, the restaurants, the gyms and the living room family spread," Cuomo said. "So if in fact you do close schools, I would urge the mayor and all involved to open them as quickly as possible."
Northeastern states to hold 'emergency summit meeting,' New York's Cuomo says
Six governors representing states in the Northeast will hold an "emergency summit meeting" over the weekend as cases in the area continue to climb, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
While the Democratic governor didn't specify which states would join the call, New York has previously coordinated a working group with New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Cuomo said that he believes the states will "have to be taking additional steps" to curb the virus' spread.
"We want to make sure that we can align policies as much as possible or at least be aware of what the other states' policies are," Cuomo said on a call with reporters.
CDC posts record one-day spike
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a record one-day spike of more than 194,600 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday.
That brings the seven-day average of daily new cases to 132,442, according to the CDC. That single-day record is higher than what third-party researchers like Johns Hopkins University are reporting. Hopkins reported over 153,400 new cases on Thursday.
It's not clear why the CDC's daily tally is so much higher than that of Hopkins for the same day. Several states have experienced reporting glitches in recent days, as cases spike around the country, and some states have reported unusually high numbers of backlogged positive cases that could inflate daily tallies.
A representative for the CDC did not immediately return CNBC's request for comment.
California, Oregon and Washington issue travel advisory
The governors of California, Oregon and Washington issued a joint travel advisory urging people arriving to their states to self-quarantine for 14 days and asking residents to avoid all non-essential, out-of-state trips.
Essential travel includes people who are traveling for "work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety and security," according to a statement from California Gov. Gavin Newsom's office.
The Democratic governors also recommended travelers limit their interactions to only people in their households. However, the travel advisory is voluntary, according to Newsom's office, which told CNBC that the best enforcement is "encouraging others to be respectable and be responsible by taking action. Asking people to do the right thing is the most powerful enforcement tool we have."
— Noah Higgins-Dunn
The TV ad market is on the mend after getting hit by a broader pandemic ad slowdown
In recent days and weeks, media companies including ABC and ESPN parent Disney, Fox, AMC Networks, NBCUniversal parent Comcast, WarnerMedia parent AT&T, ViacomCBS, and Discovery reported earnings that showed television ads improving after hitting a pandemic-related trough in the second quarter.
The record-breaking year for political ads will give companies a boost in the fourth quarter, but some companies warned that macroeconomic factors as the pandemic rages on could impact ad spend again. And it's all happening as TV is enduring a long-term overall slowdown.
Here are some of the big-picture trends the networks shared in their earnings.
Biden advisors push for 'targeted action' to control high-risk areas
Two coronavirus advisors for President-elect Joe Biden pushed back on the idea of a nationwide lockdown of businesses to suppress growing outbreaks.
Dr. Celine Gounder, who sits on Biden's advisory panel and is an infectious disease specialist at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" that "as a group, really the consensus is that we need a more nuanced approach." That means taking more targeted action in specific regions of the country and on businesses where there's a high risk for the virus to spread, such as restaurants, bars and gyms, and aim to keep their schools open for students.
Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former U.S. surgeon general tapped to help lead the group, said national lockdowns were recommended in the spring when scientists didn't know as much about how the disease spreads and people were less fatigued from the pandemic.
"We're not in a place where we're saying, 'Shut the whole country down,"' he said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America," advocating for a more targeted approach.
Study finds Americans would spend more this holiday if Congress can get out stimulus checks
A fresh round of stimulus checks in Americans' bank accounts before the end of the year could provide a welcomed boost to retailers this holiday season, according to a new study.
Assuming no additional government stimulus, 37% of consumers said they are likely to spend less money during the holidays, while only 16% plan to spend more on gifts, the Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery study found. However, assuming there is a $1,200 stimulus payment, the percentage of people planning to spend less falls to 30%, while those planning to dole out more cash on gifts jumps to 22%, according to the poll, which is based on the online responses of 5,002 people from Oct. 1 to Oct. 9.
After the government issued millions of checks to consumers as part of a historic $2 trillion relief package Congress passed in March, consumers were able to shift away from buying only necessities such as groceries and toiletries to splurging on new technology and home improvement items. And many retailers saw a boost. But that temporary jolt has largely faded.
Top Democrats in Congress said earlier this week that a record surge in Covid-19 infections in the U.S. raises the urgency for a fresh relief bill. That aid just might not come soon enough to save the holidays.
Biden advisor says Thanksgiving travel like 'pouring gasoline on a fire'
Dr. Celine Gounder, a member of President-elect Joe Biden's Covid-19 advisory board, urged Americans to avoid traveling over Thanksgiving as the coronavirus continues to rapidly spread nationwide.
"Right now we have a fire blazing and to me traveling and spending time with people over the holidays is sort of like pouring gasoline on a fire," she told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "It's just not a good idea in the middle of a pandemic, especially at this juncture."
The CDC has been warning about the risks of celebrating Thanksgiving this year, saying small household gatherings, especially with people you don't live with, are an important contributor to the rise in Covid-19 cases. The agency said celebrating virtually or with members of your own household poses the lowest risk for spread.
–Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
Dr. Fauci urges Americans to take precautions: ‘It is not futile’
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said "a number of factors" are driving the U.S. outbreak, which continues to grow more severe by the day. He said people growing tired of following public health measures is one cause and urged people to wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash hands frequently and to follow other public health measures.
"If we do the things that are simple public health measures, that soaring will level and start to come down," he said on "CBS This Morning." "You add that to the help of a vaccine, we can turn this around. It is not futile."
Fauci added that "we need to pull more testing into the community" in order to identify people who don't have symptoms but are infected and spreading the virus. Testing has increased substantially across the country, but as infection becomes more prevalent, many epidemiologists say even more testing is needed.
UBS economist says U.S. Covid cases could be near zero in about 6 months
The latest vaccine news have boosted the prospects on the U.S. economy, a UBS economist told CNBC.
UBS had originally projected that the number of coronavirus infections in the U.S. would approach zero by the end of 2021, but the vaccine news has made the bank bring that forecast forward by six months.
"We might get a situation where reported cases of Covid in the United States fall very close to zero in Q2 (second quarter) of next year. That six month difference, that two-quarter difference matters a lot, it means an extra 1 to 1.25 percentage point gain in GDP next year," Seth Carpenter, chief U.S. economist at UBS, told CNBC's Joumanna Bercetche on Thursday.
Dr. Fauci says Covid outbreak in Danish mink farms does not appear to pose a risk to vaccines
White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has said it does not appear the effectiveness of Covid vaccines will be impacted by a mutated version of the disease discovered in Denmark's mink farms.
Earlier this month, the Danish government ordered a mass cull of all 15 million minks in farms nationwide after it was discovered a new coronavirus strain had passed from the animals to humans.
The government later halted that plan after public outrage, but the discovery raised questions about the efficacy of a future vaccine.
"It does not appear, at this point, that that mutation that's been identified in the minks is going to have an impact on vaccines and affect a vaccine-induced response," Fauci said on Thursday, referring to Denmark's outbreak of Covid in mink farms.
"It might have an impact on certain monoclonal antibodies that are developed against the virus, we don't know that yet. But, at first cut, it doesn't look like something that is going to be really a big problem for the vaccines that are currently being used to reduce an immune response."
Musk claims he took four Covid tests: two were positive, two negative
Tesla CEO Elon Musk questioned the efficacy of rapid antigen tests for Covid-19, claiming he took four coronavirus tests on the same day: two showed positive results and the other two were negative.
"Rapid antigen test from BD," may be referring to Becton Dickinson's rapid antigen test, Reuters reported. The company did not respond to a Reuters request for comment late on Thursday.
The company has said it was investigating reports from U.S. nursing homes that its rapid coronavirus testing equipment was producing false-positive results, according to Reuters.