Covid-19 🦠 Newsbites
Ireland imposes strict restrictions to tackle surge in Covid-19 cases

Ireland will move to "Level 5" alert — the country's highest level of coronavirus restrictions — for six weeks to tackle a surge in cases, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced on Monday.

The new restrictions will be imposed starting midnight local time Wednesday, but schools and childcare services will remain open unlike the lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic.

... Under the new restrictions, there should be no social gatherings at homes or in gardens, and restaurants, cafes and bars can only open to provide takeaway services.

At least 18 West Virginia Covid-19 outbreaks linked to church services, governor says
The US Centers for Disease Control has warned that that singing in close proximity can facilitate spread of the coronavirus, and has recommended that organizations "consider temporarily suspending singing, chanting, or shouting during events especially when participants are in close proximity to each other."

A third surge of coronavirus infections has now firmly taken hold across much of the United States.
In Ohio, more people are hospitalized with the coronavirus than at any other time during the pandemic. North Dakota, which is leading the nation in coronavirus cases per capita, reported more than 1,000 cases on Tuesday, the state’s worst daily total yet. And as of Monday, 16 states had added more cases in the prior week than in any other seven-day stretch.

After weeks of spread and warnings in certain areas, a third surge of coronavirus infections has now firmly taken hold across much of the United States.

The latest wave — which is raging most acutely in the Midwest and the West, but is also spreading in various areas around the country — threatens to be the worst of the pandemic yet.

Its arrival comes as cooler weather is forcing people indoors, setting up a grueling winter that will test the discipline of many Americans who have grown weary of wearing masks and turning down invitations to see family and friends. Over the last week, the country has averaged about 59,000 new cases a day, the most since the beginning of August. The daily total could soon surpass 75,687, a record previously set on July 16.

The high case count — which has so far not translated to soaring deaths — in part reflects increased testing. With about one million people tested on many days, the country is getting a far more accurate picture of how widely the virus has spread than it did in the spring. Hospitalizations are on the rise nationwide. And we know that a rise in deaths tends to lag behind a spike in cases.

All 62 residents of a Kansas nursing home caught the virus in two weeks.
At the Andbe Home, a private nursing home in northern Kansas, a single resident tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 7. Two weeks later, all 62 residents have become infected, along with at least 12 staff members, and 10 of the residents have died.

That is how hard, and how fast, the virus can hammer the vulnerable in the rural Great Plains and Mountain West, where the pandemic is now raging. States in the region that were little affected in the spring and summer and tended to see the virus as a distant threat now have some of the highest per capita infection rates in the country.

“It is with great sadness and concern that I announce that we have a full Covid outbreak in our home, despite the precautions we have been taking since March,” Megan Mapes, the administrator of the Andbe Home, wrote Friday on Facebook.

The home has barred all visitors, and residents are isolated in their rooms, Ms. Mapes wrote.