The Latest: Melania Trump says Barron no longer has COVID-19
WASHINGTON — First lady Melania Trump says Barron Trump tested positive at one point for the coronavirus but has subsequently tested negative.
The first lady says in a post on the White House website that “my fear came true” when 14-year-old Barron tested positive for the virus. She says “luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms.”
President Donald Trump announced nearly two weeks ago that he and the first lady had tested positive for the virus. The president ended up going to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment and has since returned to the White House and to the campaign trial, while the first lady quarantined at the White House.
The first lady says that in one way she was glad “the three of us went through this at the same time so we could take care of one another and spend time together.”
The first lady said she’s happy to report she has tested negative and that she hopes to resume her duties as soon as she can, adding that “along with this good news, I want people to know that I understand just how fortunate my family is to have received the kind of care that we did.”
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— French President Macron sets curfew, restores state of emergency
— Spain 1st European Union nation to reach 900,000 virus cases
— World Bank OKs $12B for coronavirus vaccines, tests
— Russian President Vladimir Putin announces regulatory approval for a second coronavirus vaccine after early-stage studies.
— Scientists say among 21 developed countries at start of the coronavirus pandemic, those with early lockdowns, solid national health systems avoided more deaths.
— Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is back in Italy after testing positive for the coronavirus in Portugal.
— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas has reported its largest seven-day increases in both COVID-19-related deaths and new coronavirus cases.
The state Department of Health and Environment said Wednesday that Kansas had another 67 deaths since only Monday, an increase of 8.7%, to bring the total for the pandemic to 838. But it wasn’t clear how many of those fatalities were older and just being reported now as local and state health officials examine death certificates from previous months.
The state also said it had 1,293 new confirmed or probable cases over two days, a 1.9% increase that brought the total for the pandemic to 69,155.
The state averaged 743 new cases a day for the seven days ending Wednesday, surpassing the record of 736 set for the seven days ending Monday.
OMAHA, Neb. — Nebraska officials say Halloween celebrations may need to be tweaked this year because of the coronavirus pandemic as the state continues to set records for the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Gov. Pete Ricketts said Wednesday that he thinks children will still be able to go trick-or-treating for Halloween but people may decide to leave candy on their porches for kids to pick up instead of handing it out themselves this year.
“I think there are ways that we can have Halloween and still do in a way that we can slow the spread of the virus and keep that 6-foot of distance and so forth,” Ricketts said. “We can do this but we have to manage it. It can’t be like it was in the past.”
Ricketts, who eliminated most of the state’s restrictions related to the virus last month, isn’t likely to impose new rules for Halloween, but he encouraged people to follow the recommendations of public health officials who have called traditional trick-or-treating a high risk activity.
In the state’s most populous county, Douglas County health officials said Wednesday that people can reduce the risks associated with trick-or-treating by setting out goodie bags for families to grab while maintaining a safe distance and staying in small groups. Foregoing trick-or-treating altogether in favor of planning scavenger hunts or other activities only with your own family would reduce the risk further.
“I think we want to have a fun Halloween, but we also want to have a safe Halloween,” said Douglas County Health Department Director Adi Pour who recommended that people avoid large indoor parties or big gatherings at haunted houses to limit risks.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga said he tested positive for the coronavirus before he was scheduled to appear Wednesday at a Michigan campaign rally with Vice President Mike Pence.
Huizenga said on Twitter that he took a rapid test and was isolating himself while awaiting results from a second test.
Pence spoke for about an hour outdoors at Lacks Enterprises in Cascade Township, near Grand Rapids. Peter Meijer, a Republican running for Congress, greeted and introduced Pence.
“The road to victory runs right through Michigan,” Pence said.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The White House Coronavirus Task Force says Oklahoma remains in the red zone for newly reported coronavirus cases, which recommends residents wear masks among the ways to slow the virus’ spread.
“Community spread continues in Oklahoma in both rural and urban areas,” according to the task force report released Wednesday by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. “Mitigation efforts should … include mask wearing, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and avoiding crowds in public and social gatherings in private to stop the increasing spread among residents of Oklahoma.”
The health department said there were 749 people hospitalized Wednesday, down from a record high 760 reported Tuesday. There were an additional 1,121 confirmed cases, bringing the total to 102,614 since the pandemic began.
Health officials also reported 13 additional deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the disease, bringing the death toll to 1,132.
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said Wednesday that the statewide mask order will remain in place but tougher restrictions on businesses and crowd sizes aren’t being reinstated despite recent sharp increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and rates of new infections.
The Republican governor said some people were showing disregard for the safety of others, putting the ability of schools to remain open and health of those most at risk in jeopardy.
“Those inactions are costing, just to be blunt, health care costs, lost wages, business failures. Don’t kid yourself, we’re all paying this bill,” Holcomb said. “… Throwing caution to the wind, ultimately ends up costing us all. It is the literal definition of whistling past the graveyard, pretending this isn’t around us.”
Holcomb decided three weeks ago to lift nearly all of Indiana’s restrictions while extending the mask mandate, which was scheduled to expire Saturday. His new order will extend it for a month.
State health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box also announced that she, an adult daughter and young grandson tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday. Box said she wasn’t suffering any COVID-19 symptoms, while her daughter and grandson had mild symptoms.
Holcomb wore a face mask during the online briefing from his Statehouse office for the first time, saying he would be undergoing a coronavirus test later Wednesday and planned to quarantine himself at the governor’s office until he had the results.
AVON, Conn. — Health officials in Connecticut said Wednesday that coronavirus outbreaks at two long-term care centers in the same town have been linked to a resident of one of the facilities and staff who work at both locations. The state Department of Public Health launched an investigation.
Farmington Valley Health District Director Jennifer Kertanis said two dozen residents and 16 staff at the Avon Health Center nursing home in Avon recently tested positive for the virus.
Residence at Brookside spokesperson Ted Doyle said 11 residents and three staff tested positive recently at the assisted living facility about 4 miles (6 kilometers) away.
Kertanis said the outbreak appeared to originate from a Brookside resident who went on an outpatient visit and contracted the virus. Health officials learned of the resident’s positive test on Oct. 1 and said all Brookside residents and staff were tested.
Doyle said two Brookside residents who tested positive died, but one of them was in hospice care and it wasn’t clear what role the coronavirus played in their death.
State Department of Public Health spokesperson Av Harris said the agency is investigating the outbreaks and working with staff at the two centers.
The outbreaks come as Connecticut is seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases. The positive test rate was 2.4% on Tuesday, the highest it has been since June. More than 170 people are hospitalized statewide, also the highest total in several months but far fewer than the peak of nearly 2,000 in the earlier days of the pandemic.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s office says that the Republican is in quarantine after a member of his security detail tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to a statement, Lee had tested negative on Wednesday but he would be in quarantine with first lady Maria Lee.
No other information about the exposure was immediately available.
Along with announcing he’s in quarantine, Lee canceled Wednesday’s in-person COVID-19 briefing. Instead, Lee and Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey will hold a telephone conference call to provide further updates.
PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron announced that 18 million French citizens in nine regions, including in Paris, will have a curfew starting Saturday through Dec. 1.
He also reinstated the state of health emergency for the country, which ended three months ago. The 9 p.m. curfew is aimed at limiting the resurgent coronavirus amid second wave.
Macron says: “Our goal is to curb the virus. We must reduce the number of cases per day to 3,000 or 4,000. Our goal is to reduce private contacts. What is called the curfew is a measure that is appropriate.”
The curfew will apply to the Paris region and to eight others: Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Toulouse, Montpellier, Saint-Etienne.
“We won’t go to restaurants after 9 p.m., we won’t’ see friends, we won’t party, because that’s how to pass on the virus,” Macron says.
Patients with COVID-19 occupy a third of intensive care units nationwide. France has 798,000 confirmed cases and nearly 33,000 deaths.
DES MOINES — Iowa reported 1,217 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours and 11 deaths.
President Donald Trump was expected to visit Des Moines on Wednesday for an airport rally held in a cargo hangar. Iowa’s positivity rate of 18.82% ranks fifth in the nation.
The number of people treated in hospitals for COVID-19 reached a new high of 473. A region of southeast Iowa had only 18% inpatient beds available, according to state data.
Iowa’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate rose in the past two weeks from 16.78% on Sept. 29 to 18.82% on Oct. 13, according information from Johns Hopkins University.
In Iowa, there’s been a total of 101,812 confirmed cases and 1,492 deaths.
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The city of Beverly Hills, California, has banned trick-or-treating this Halloween to try to prevent spread of the coronavirus.
The action was approved as an urgency ordinance by the City Council on Tuesday night.
The ordinance bars trick-or-treaters from going house to house or car to car, which is described as “trunk or treating.”
People may not provide candy or Halloween treats to anyone outside their own household. The city is also banning pedestrians and vehicles from certain streets on Oct. 31, excluding residents.
California has not enacted a statewide restriction on Halloween but is strongly discouraging those activities and urging families to plan alternatives, including virtual celebrations.
MADRID — Spain has become the first European Union nation to reach 900,000 infections after adding more than 11,000 confirmed cases.
Spain’s health ministry say it has confirmed 908,056 infections since the beginning of the pandemic, which is seventh in the world.
France is next in the EU with more than 750,000 cases, although the exact number of cases in each country depends on the amount of testing.
More than 5,000 new cases were diagnosed in Spain between Tuesday and Wednesday, the ministry says.
Spanish authorities have confirmed 33,413 deaths from COVID-19, ranking eighth in the world. Health experts believe the actual number is much higher because of a lack of testing.