The Latest: Alabama Gov. Ivey’s chief of staff in quarantine
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s chief of staff is quarantining at home after his wife tested positive for the coronavirus.
Ivey spokeswoman Gina Maiola says Ivey’s Chief of Staff Jo Bonner doesn’t have symptoms but is in quarantine at home. Bonner’s wife took a test after attending a visitation for a funeral last Friday in Mobile where she later learned several other attendees had tested positive. Janee Bonner doesn’t have symptoms of the virus, but the test was positive.
Maiola says Bonner was not with the 75-year-old Republican governor this week and Janee hasn’t been around the governor in several months.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Spain enacts nationwide measures to curb virus
— Paris, Marseille declared at-risk zones
— Bolivia ’s political crisis threatens hospitals and patients
— Spain is facing another surge in coronavirus infections not even two months after beating back the first wave
— False claims and conspiracy theories have dogged efforts to control the pandemic from the beginning. The bad information can pose a particular threat to communities of people of color who already face worse health outcomes.
— Indonesia’ s only vaccine production company has injected the first volunteers with Chinese firm Sinovac’s vaccine candidate in so-called phase 3 clinical trials.
— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
BERLIN — Germany’s disease control center says a study of a previous coronavirus hotspot town indicates there were almost four times as many infections from an outbreak in March.
The Robert Koch Institute says recent blood tests conducted on 2,203 adults in the southwestern town of Kupferzell showed that 7.7% had antibodies for the coronavirus.
In March, about 100 people tested positive for the coronavirus with a swab test and three died following an outbreak linked to a church concert in Kupferzell, population 6,000.
The study’s authors say this indicates more people were exposed to the coronavirus than previously thought and developed antibodies. The authors note many people with the virus show only minimal or no symptoms.
Also, more than a quarter of the people tested who had COVID-19 later showed no antibodies. However, the authors say this doesn’t mean they didn’t have immunity to the virus.
ATHENS, Greece — Greek authorities issued a “strong recommendation” for people to wear masks for a week indoors and outdoors in public areas after returning from areas with high coronavirus cases.
Public gatherings will be limited to 50 people in all areas considered hot spots. A ban on restaurants, bars and nightclubs operating between midnight and 7 a.m. has been extended to cover much of the country, including the greater Athens area, until Aug. 24.
Also, Greek authorities say eight migrants have tested positive for coronavirs in a mainland camp for asylum-seekers in the northeastern Evros area. The Fylakio camp, which has about 200 residents near the Turkish border, was quarantined Friday.
Greece had a record-high 262 new infections on Wednesday. There’s been 6,400 confirmed infections and 221 total deaths.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Some churches in Alaska’s largest city have recently defied the emergency order limiting the size of gatherings to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Alaska Public Media reported the Anchorage health order prohibits indoor gatherings of more than 15 people in public, including religious services.
Anchorage Baptist Temple held in-person services Sunday, about a week after the emergency order took effect. Other churches saying they are not complying with the measure include the Wellspring Ministries and King’s Chapel in Eagle River.
MADRID — Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa has announced a range of new nationwide restrictions to help fight a surge in coronavirus cases.
Illa said after an emergency meeting Friday with leaders of Spain’s autonomous regions that authorities are shutting all discos and night clubs across Spain.
Visits to nursing homes are limited to one person a day for each resident for only one hour. People are prohibited from smoking in public areas if they are unable to keep at least 2 meters (6.5 feet) away from others.
Police will begin cracking down harder on banned night-time street gatherings by young people to drink alcohol. New daily cases in Spain have been steadily climbing since the country on June 21 ended a more than three-month lockdown.
Authorities have officially recorded almost 50,000 cases in the past 14 days, an average of about 3,500 new cases a day.
TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey’s governor says the state will move to a nearly all-mail election this November, following the model it used for the July primary because of the coronavirus.
Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy said during an interview with CNN on Friday that all voters would get a ballot. It’s not clear if people who aren’t registered will get an application to register.
Murphy indicated the only in-person voting will be with provisional ballots. That means if voters want to cast their ballot in person, they’ll have to go to one of a reduced number of polling places and cast a ballot that will be counted only after officials determine the voter didn’t mail in a ballot.
If the July 7 primary model is used, voters can mail back their ballots to county boards of elections, deliver them there in person or use one of five drop boxes across the county.
The development comes a day after President Donald Trump acknowledged he’s starving the United States Postal Service of cash to make it harder to process millions of mailed-in ballots.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Norway officials are recommending masks on public transportation in Oslo.
Health Minister Bent Hoeie says masks must be used in Oslo and in a municipality southwest of the capital starting Monday.
Bergen banned private gatherings of more than 20 people after a local spike in coronavirus cases. Bergen has had 19 news coronavirus cases in the past two weeks.
Nationally, Norway has 261 confirmed deaths related to the virus.
(This item has been corrected to show the ban on gathering of more than 20 people in Bergen, not Oslo.)
PARIS — The head of France’s national health service says Paris and Marseille have been declared at-risk zones for the coronavirus as authorities observe a sharp increase in infections.
Jerome Salomon, speaking on France Inter radio, warned “the situation is deteriorating from week to week” in the country. He says virus clusters emerge every day following family reunions, big parties and other gatherings amid summer holidays.
A government decree issued Friday allows authorities to impose stricter measures in the Paris and Marseille areas.
Salomon says there are “more and more people who tested positive, more and more people arriving in hospitals… we need to react before counting new deaths.”
The national health agency reported 2,669 new infections across on Thursday, putting France’s infection rate per 100,000 people to above 30.
LONDON — Britain has secured 90 million doses of two vaccines being developed to fight COVID-19.
The deals with Novavax, an American biotech company, and Janssen, a Belgian company owned by Johnson & Johnson, mean the U.K. has now acquired the rights to 340 million doses of six different experimental vaccines as the government seeks to hedge its bets on products that are still being tested to see if they are safe and effective.
Kate Bingham, chair of the government’s Vaccines Taskforce, told ITV there was no guarantee any of the vaccines would work “because there have been no vaccines against any human coronavirus.
“So what we’re doing is we’ve chosen six of the most promising vaccines across four different vaccine types and we’re hoping that one of those will work.’’
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Denmark has added Belgium and Malta to its list of European nations where non-essential travels are not recommended as the Scandinavian country has seen a flare-up of coronavirus cases.
The Scandinavian country’s reason for doing so is that both nations have seen more than 30 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants. Danish health officials say the number is 32.5 for Belgium and 31.5 for Malta.
As of Friday midnight, people who travel from Belgium or Malta must self-quarantine upon return.
Denmark earlier has listed Spain, Andorra, Bulgaria, Luxemburg and Romania as countries where non-essential travels are not recommended.
Danes also don’t recommend trips to countries outside Europe with the exception of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Georgia, Japan, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
BERLIN — German authorities in the western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg have established a new coronavirus testing station at a highway rest stop by the French border after noting a strong increase in cases in the neighboring country.
The dpa news agency reported Friday that the center has started testing travelers at the Neuenburg-Ost rest stop, across the border from the French town of Chalampe. Travelers from designated risk areas are required to be tested upon return to Germany, and the center will also test any others who want to be checked.
France reported more than 10,000 new confirmed cases over the past week.
Baden-Wuerttemberg already has test centers at airports in Stuttgart, Friedrichshafen and Baden-Baden, as well as the Stuttgart main train station.
The Neuenburg rest stop center is the first such station outside Bavaria, which has had roadside testing since the end of July. They have generated so much interest that Bavarian officials have reported a backlog of cases, with about 44,000 people not yet informed of their results, including more than 900 who tested positive for COVID-19.
Baden-Wuerttemberg says it expects to be able to inform people within four days of their tests.
SYDNEY — A man in his 20s has become the youngest person to die of the coronavirus in Australia.
He was among 14 new deaths and 372 new infections reported by Victoria state health officials Friday in an outbreak centered in Melbourne, the second-largest city.
And Prime Minister Scott Morrison said 188 elderly people had died over the past week as the virus ripped through aged-care homes in Melbourne. Officials say about 70% of Australia’s 375 virus deaths have been at aged-care facilities.
Morrison said that Australians had high expectations of the services and standards at nursing homes and other facilities like hospitals and schools.
He says, “On the days that the system falls short, on the days that expectations are not met, I’m deeply sorry about that, of course I am.”
He said the country was moving heaven and earth to defeat the virus and it would eventually win.
NEW DELHI — India’s coronavirus death toll overtook Britain to become the fourth-highest in the world with another single-day record increase in cases Friday.
According to the Health Ministry, India reported 1,007 deaths in the past 24 hours. Its total rose to 48,040 deaths, behind the United States, Brazil and Mexico.
India’s confirmed cases reached 2,461,190 with a single-day spike of 64,553 in the past 24 hours. More than 70% of people infected in India have recovered.
The daily increase in newly reported infections was around 15,000 in the first week of July but jumped to more than 50,000 in the first week of August. The ministry cited its testing efforts, with more than 800,000 tests in a single day, taking cumulative tests to more than 26 million.
Health experts say it needs to be higher, given India’s population of 1.4 billion.
India’s two-month lockdown imposed nationwide in late March kept infections low. But it has eased and is now largely being enforced in high-risk areas. The new cases spiked after India reopened shops and manufacturing and allowed hundreds of thousands of migrant workers to return to their homes from coronavirus-hit regions.
Subways, schools and movie theaters remain closed.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea is reporting 103 new coronavirus cases. It is one of the country’s biggest daily jumps in months, and officials are expressing concern that infections are getting out of control in the capital of Seoul and other major cities as Koreans increasingly venture out in public.
The figures released by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday brought the national caseload to 14,873 cases, including 305 deaths.
Eighty-three of the new cases were in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where authorities have struggled to stem transmissions. Infections were also reported in other major cities such as Busan, Gwangju and Ulsan.
Friday’s jump was driven by local transmissions, which health authorities said could worsen because of the increase in travelers during the summer vacation season.
FRESNO, Calif. — A private school in California has been ordered to close after it reopened classrooms in violation of a state health order aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
Fresno County issued a health order Thursday against Immanuel Schools in Reedley. The K-12 school was told to close its classrooms until the county is removed from a state monitoring list for two weeks.
The school has about 600 students and it allowed students into classes Thursday without masks or social distancing. The school’s trustees and superintendent say they believe students’ development will suffer if they can’t be taught on campus.
BEIJING — China has reported another eight cases of locally transmitted coronavirus infections, all in the northwestern region of Xinjiang where the country’s last major outbreak has been largely contained.
Officials said Friday that 22 other new cases were brought from outside the country by Chinese travelers returning home. China has reported a total of 4,634 deaths from COVID-19 among 84,786 cases.
Hong Kong reported 69 new confirmed cases and three deaths over the past 24 hours. The semi-autonomous Chinese city has required masks be worn in all public settings, restricted indoor dining and enacted other social distancing measures to bring down transmissions that now total 4,312 with 66 deaths.