California vaccine review; Hawaii tourism; Wisconsin cases


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Months into the COVID-19 pandemic states are setting records for the most new cases and deaths in a week since the pandemic began.

USA TODAY

Three Western states will partner with California to independently review any FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine before distributing it to the public. 

Washington, Oregon and Nevada joined California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup,” which will review the safety of any coronavirus vaccine.

Meanwhile, Hawaii will welcome visitors from Japan starting Nov. 6. Japanese travelers who provide proof of a negative coronavirus test 72 hours before arriving on the island won’t have to quarantine for 14 days.

A new CDC survey published Tuesday shows that most American adults were wearing masks into the summer months. The use of masks increased from 78% in April to 89% in June. Researchers found that other behaviors, like hand washing and social distancing, either slightly declined or remained the same. 

The survey shows that younger adults from ages 18 to 29 are least likely to follow coronavirus measures. “Lower engagement in mitigation behaviors among younger adults might be one reason for the increased incidence of confirmed COVID-19 cases in this group,” researchers wrote.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 8.7 million cases and more than 226,600 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 43.9 million cases and 1.16 million deaths.

Read this: USA TODAY recently checked back in with some of the dozens of Americans who spoke to us earlier this year after losing jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and found that many have edged closer to financial calamity.

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Wisconsin reports worst day of pandemic yet with 64 deaths

Wisconsin reported its most dismal coronavirus numbers yet Tuesday as state health officials urged residents to leave home only when absolutely necessary and warned the crisis would continue escalating.

The state Department of Health Services reported 5,262 new cases and 64 deaths Tuesday, both records far above any previous daily counts. The death toll now stands at 1,852.

There were 1,385 people hospitalized due to the virus in Wisconsin, including 339 in intensive care units. Both were all-time highs. Hospitalizations have seen rapid, unimpeded growth for the last five weeks, straining short-staffed health care systems across the state.

“This is no longer a slow-motion disaster,” said Gregory Poland, director of the vaccine research group at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “This is a disaster in warp speed. And it’s maddening to me as a physician because a whole lot of people have died and are dying.”

– Sophie Carson, Alison Dirr and Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Dodgers’ Justin Turner left World Series Game 6 with positive COVID test

Minutes after the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their first World Series title since 1988, Major League Baseball announced that third baseman Justin Turner had tested positive for COVID-19.

Fox broke the news on the postgame show following the Dodgers 3-1 win in Game 6 on Tuesday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, and Turner’s positive test was confirmed by commissioner Rob Manfred.

“Obviously we’re concerned when any of our players test positive,” Manfred said. “We learned during the game. He was immediately isolated to prevent spread.”

MLB had not reported a positive test in 57 days, and there was a soft bubble in place for the World Series.

– Jesse Yomtov

Hawaii to allow visitors from Japan with negative tests starting Nov. 6

Starting Nov. 6, Hawaii will allow visitors from Japan to bypass the state’s 14-day quarantine requirement if they test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours of departing for the islands.

But Japanese travelers will still have to spend two weeks in quarantine upon returning home, which will likely limit the number of people taking advantage of the plan.

Hawaii earlier this month implemented a similar testing program for travelers from other parts of the U.S. Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy gets more travelers from Japan than any other foreign country. Before the pandemic, the state would welcome about 5,000 visitors from Japan daily. Those numbers have dwindled to almost none.

NBA union head unsure about season’s potential start in December

With the NBA’s owners proposing to start next season around Christmas, should the players view it as an early holiday present? Or would they like to return the gift?

“I don’t know what I think yet,” Michele Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “We are in the throes of discussing it and in the throes of evaluating what it means in terms of the revenue-related issues that have been raised. Frankly, we’re also spending some time trying to get information on what this means in respect to player health.”

Some of that information varies by team.

The NBA Finals ended on Oct. 11, leaving the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat with just over two months to recover before the proposed start of next season. But eight teams have not played since the NBA suspended the 2019-20 season on March 11 because of the coronavirus outbreak. After the NBA resumed at the quarantined campus near Orlando, six more teams ended their season by mid-August and another eight by late August.

– Mark Medina

White House science office lists ‘ending the COVID-19 pandemic’ as accomplishment

The White House’s science policy office on Tuesday listed “ending the COVID-19 pandemic” among the Trump administration’s first-term accomplishments, as the U.S. breaks records for new coronavirus cases daily.

press release from the Office of Science and Technology Policy lists the “decisive actions to engage scientists and health professionals in academia, industry, and government to understand, treat, and defeat the disease” as a success.

However, the disease has not been defeated, and the White House has signaled they are not going to be able to control it before a vaccine is available.

The U.S. has reported 489,769 COVID-19 cases in the last week, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. It’s another record high since July when the nation saw a peak in cases. 

– Savannah Behrmann

Moving during COVID-19 pandemic could come with a massive pay cut

Though workers may no longer need to put up with tight spaces and high costs to land top work opportunities because of the pandemic, moving from the nation’s hottest job markets could cost them as much as 30%, according to new research Glassdoor shared exclusively with USA TODAY.

Whether they are decamping for a new job or signing on remotely for their current company, where employees clock in will increasingly determine how much they take home, Glassdoor chief economist Andrew Chamberlain told USA TODAY.

“Traditionally, wages almost never fall, but we are in an environment where I am basically predicting that wages will fall for a lot of jobs,” Chamberlain said. “The reason wages never fall is that workers never do things like this. They never pick up and move to radically different cities en masse.”

– Jessica Guynn

COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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