Coronavirus News: Monday, August 24 – Over 800,000 Deaths, 15 States Report Outbreaks at Colleges

By Anna Breuer on 24 August 2020
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Seattle’s Public Market

The worldwide number of virus cases currently stands at 23.39 million, an increase of almost 262,000 cases in the past 24 hours.  The number of deaths crossed the 800,000 mark over the weekend: Almost 808,753 people have died thus far and 15.9 million have recovered, based on data compiled by Worldometer, a service that aggregates and makes available world statistics.

The United States continues to lead the world in the number of coronavirus cases reported, with 5.84 million as of Monday.  The coronavirus death toll crossed the 180,000 mark over weekend. Officials reported almost 50,000 new infections on Monday.

The first case of Covid-19 in the world was reported in Wuhan in late December , while the first Covid-19 case in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020 in Snohomish County, Washington.  The first death from the novel coronavirus was in China on January 11, 2020.

Although Europe’s initial strategy to combat the spread of the coronavirus worked and, as countries reopened, most kept outbreaks in check, health officials in France, Germany, and Italy each reported the highest number of new cases in a day since the spring.  In each country, the increase in new cases is being driven by young people in the 15-to-24 group.

The top health official for Seattle and King County, Washington, Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, warned that the drop in new coronavirus cases in the area seems to be leveling off again. “We’ve experienced an increasing number of cases and investigations associated with social activities,” he said on Friday during a briefing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report that suggests that child-care centers may reopen in areas where virus levels are low.  The report said that only 52 infections were reported in in child-care centers in Rhode Island where hundreds of centers were allowed to be open.

At least 26 new cases of the coronavirus in three states are being linked to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which took place in South Dakota earlier this month. Last week, health officials in South Dakota reported that a person who worked at a tattoo parlor in Sturgis tested positive for the virus and warned people who might have frequented the shop to get tested.

Fifteen states have so far reported that students at colleges and universities that are now opening for their fall semesters have tested positive.  In Tennessee, the Vanderbilt University athletics program said that multiple members of the football team tested positive for Covid-19. “We are following the university’s protocols and we are working closely with our Public Health Command Center and other health officials who are assessing potential close contacts and advising on additional steps,” the university said in a statement.

Researchers from the Martin-Luther-UniversitätHalle-Wittenberg staged a concert to learn how large events facilitate the spread of the novel coronavirus.  The Restart19 project marshalled some 1,500 volunteers with hand sanitizer, face masks, and tracking devices at a performance of singer Tim Bendzko to help scientists understand how such events can be held safely.  The attendees were “disciplined” in wearing masks and using the hand sanitizer, said the researcher in charge of the study, Stefan Moritz, at a news conference afterwards.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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