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(Reuters) - Wisconsin’s governor on Friday extended a statewide mask mandate despite a legal challenge from conservatives, renewing an emergency health order requiring face coverings in public spaces to curb an alarming surge in COVID-19 infections. Many Republican politicians, led by President Donald Trump, have belittled or criticized face coverings as an infringement of personal freedom. Public health experts say greater social mixing and indoor gatherings as the weather turns colder ahead of the holiday season is fueling a worsening contagion, putting already strained healthcare systems further under siege. His new health order requires everyone to wear masks in enclosed spaces except at home when no one from outside the household is present. Earlier in the day, Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, appealed to Americans to avoid unnecessary travel and limit social gatherings during next week’s Thanksgiving holiday.
Persons: Tony Evers, Evers ’, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, ” Evers, Evers, Deborah Birx, Birx, ” Birx, , “ I’m, Emily Handel, it’s, Kristin Nome, Trump, ” Nome Organizations: Reuters, Democrat, Republican, Democratic, American Association of Retired, Walmart, Shoppers, White, CNN, Pfizer Inc, South, The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics Locations: Wisconsin, “ Wisconsin, United States, COVID, Columbus , Ohio, South Dakota
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. health authorities braced for further increases in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths on Friday, capping a week in which the spread of the novel coronavirus accelerated ahead of next week’s Thanksgiving holiday. FILE PHOTO: A patient arrives outside Maimonides Medical Center, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., November 17, 2020. Daily COVID-19 deaths surpassed the 2,000 mark for the first time since late June on Thursday. THANKSGIVING FEARSU.S. officials have pleaded with the public to avoid unnecessary travel and exercise caution as the winter holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas approach. It now projects 471,000 coronavirus deaths by March 1, up from less than 440,000 in its previous forecast.
Persons: Brendan McDermid, Deborah Birx, ” Birx, Pfizer Inc PFE.N, Alex Azar, ” California’s, Gavin Newsom, Eric Borgerding Organizations: YORK, Medical, REUTERS, Coronavirus, Force, CNN, Pfizer Inc, Pfizer, BioNTech, Health, CBS, U.S . Centers for Disease Control, University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics, Wisconsin Hospital Association, United Locations: COVID, Brooklyn , New York, U.S, Ohio, Minnesota, United States, Wisconsin
CHICAGO (Reuters) - A leading U.S. health official on Friday appealed to Americans to avoid unnecessary travel and limit social gatherings during the Thanksgiving holiday, fearing a further acceleration of the coronavirus pandemic after one of the deadliest weeks in months. A healthcare worker holds a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) informational pamphlet for a resident at a drive-thru testing location in Houston, Texas, U.S., November 20, 2020. “This is faster, it is broader and what worries me - it could be longer,” Birx told CNN. “In South Dakota, we won’t stop or discourage you from thanking God and spending time together this Thanksgiving,” Noem said in a statement on Friday. It now projects 471,000 coronavirus deaths by March 1, up from fewer than 440,000 in its previous forecast.
Persons: Adrees Latif Deborah Birx, ” Birx, , Pfizer Inc PFE.N, Alex Azar, ” California’s, Emily Kandel, “ I’m, ” Kandel, I’m, it’s, Emily Randall, , Kristi Noem, Donald Trump, ” Noem Organizations: CHICAGO, REUTERS, Coronavirus, Force, CNN, Pfizer Inc, Pfizer, BioNTech, Health, South, Republican, University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics Locations: U.S, Houston , Texas, United States, COVID, Ohio, Minnesota, Columbus , Ohio, Illinois, Chicago’s, South Dakota
The face-covering mandate marked the latest in a flurry of new restrictions by state and local officials nationwide to tamp down COVID-19 cases soaring with the onset of winter. “Wisconsin hospitals are overwhelmed and facing staffing shortages,” Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, said in a press release. His state is one of several in the Upper Midwest registering some of the highest rates of positive results from COVID-19 tests. The order, which remains in effect for 60 days, requires everyone to wear masks indoors whenever non-household members are present. “In South Dakota, we won’t stop or discourage you from thanking God and spending time together this Thanksgiving,” Noem said in a statement on Friday.
Persons: Tony Evers, Deborah Birx, Birx, ” Birx, , Pfizer Inc PFE.N, Emily Kandel, “ I’m, ” Kandel, I’m, it’s, Emily Randall, , Kristi Noem, Donald Trump, ” Noem Organizations: Reuters, Wisconsin, White, CNN, Pfizer Inc, Pfizer, BioNTech, South, Republican, The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics Locations: Wisconsin, Midwest, COVID, United States, Ohio, Minnesota, Columbus , Ohio, ” In Illinois, Chicago’s, South Dakota
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