Coronavirus updates: New Jerseys largest city sets curfew starting Tuesday; Los Angeles County reaches 300K cases; Dow drops 650 points – USA TODAY

Los Angeles County reached 300,000 COVID-19 infections and 7,000 deaths on Monday and health officials said the Lakers’ NBA Finals victory on Oct. 11 may have contributed to a spike in cases.

“It is impossible to determine the exact exposures that contributed to this increase,’’ the L.A. County Department of Public Health said. “However, it is highly likely that gatherings to watch and/or celebrate the Lakers, along with any other gatherings that occurred 2-3 weeks ago where people weren’t wearing face coverings and were in close contact with each other, contributed to the rise in L.A. County cases.’’

In Texas, where coronavirus cases are nearing 900,000, according to a USA TODAY analysis, Texas State University on Monday announced it will hold two in-person commencement ceremonies in December. Both ceremonies will be held outdoors with no more than 25% capacity.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 8.7 million cases and 225,700 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 43.5 million cases and 1.2 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.

Birx slams COVID response in Bismark, North Dakota, as ‘deeply unfortunate’

The White House coronavirus response coordinator said Monday that North Dakota’s capital city had the worst COVID-19 protocols she’s seen in her travels around the country after she spent a day looking around.

Dr. Deborah Birx, whose tour has taken her to nearly 40 states, said she found the absence of face coverings and the lack of social distancing in Bismarck “deeply unfortunate” and a danger to public health.

North Dakota continues to rank first in the country for new virus cases per capita in the last two weeks, according to The COVID Tracking Project, and the Bismarck area has in recent months been a hot spot.

‘Highly likely’ Lakers watch parties, celebrations contributed to LA spike

The Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Finals coincided with a spike in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County, and it’s “highly likely” watch parties held by Lakers fans and the victory celebration outside of Staples Center contributed to the spike, the L.A. County Department of Public Health said.  

That has fueled concerns of another potential spike in COVID-19 transmission rates because the Los Angeles Dodgers are one victory away from winning their first World Series title in 32 years.

The Dodgers lead the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. Game 6 will be played Tuesday and if the Dodgers lose, the teams will play Game 7 on Wednesday in Arlington, Texas.

– Josh Peter

New Jersey’s largest city begins new coronavirus curfew starting Tuesday

The mayor of Newark, the largest city in New Jersey, is ordering all nonessential businesses to close by 8 p.m. starting Tuesday. The city is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

 Nail salons, beauty salons and barbershops will be open by appointment only with no customers allowed to wait inside. All sports games and practices have been canceled in the city’s East Ward, which has the highest positivity rate of more than 25%, CBS New York reports.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations is surging in the state. Health officials on Monday reported 948 hospitalizations – the highest since July. Gov. Philip D. Murphy on Saturday extended the state’s Public Health Emergency after health officials reported 1,994 new positive cases, the highest daily total since May 5.

University of Arizona asks students who travel for Thanksgiving not to return to campus

With Halloween and Thanksgiving approaching, the University of Arizona is putting measures in place to prohibit the spread of COVID-19. 

The university is asking all students to fill out a survey on their planned Thanksgiving travel and to schedule a COVID-19 test as close to their travel date as possible to prohibit the transmission of COVID-19. After Thanksgiving, all classes will be held online only and students who travel out of the Tucson area are encouraged to finish the semester remotely. 

University officials are also requiring students to select one of the three following travel options: Students planning to travel for Thanksgiving break can choose to complete the rest of the semester outside of the Tucson area or completely online from their student residence. Students who do not travel for Thanksgiving break are able to complete the semester as is from their student residence.

– Brooke Newman, Arizona Republic

Border city mayor asks Mexico to ban entry by US citizens amid COVID surge

The mayor of Juárez made an urgent plea for help from the Mexican government, asking for medical supplies and to consider banning U.S. citizens from crossing the border. Like in El Paso, Texas, new cases of COVID-19 are surging in Chihuahua state with the epicenter in Juárez, which hit 1,100 deaths over the weekend, state public health officials said.

Travel by U.S. citizens in “indiscriminate crossings at the border in Ciudad Juárez are contributing in an active manner to the expansion of the virus,” Cabada said Friday in a letter to Roberto Velasco Alvarez, director for North America in Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Relations.

The U.S. has restricted nonessential Mexican tourist travel over the land border since March 21, but U.S. residents still are able to go to Mexico.

– Daniel Borunda and Lauren Villagran, El Paso Times

Dow posts worst day in a month as coronavirus counts jump across US

U.S. stocks careened Monday, posting their worst day in a month as a spike in coronavirus cases raised concerns on Wall Street that more woes could be ahead for the still-fragile global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 650.19 points, or 2.3%, to 27,685.38. It was the blue-chip average’s biggest one-day drop since Sept. 3. The S&P 500 slid 1.9% to 3,400.97, its worst day since Sept. 23. The Nasdaq composite slumped 1.6% to 11,358.94.

Coronavirus counts are spiking in much of the U.S. and Europe, which some investors fear could threaten the global economic recovery following a coronavirus-induced U.S. recession this year. 

– Jessica Menton

NIH halts trial of Eli Lilly monoclonal antibody for hospitalized patients

The National Institutes of Health has stopped a trial of a monoclonal antibody being tested in hospitalized patients with advanced COVID-19, deciding that it was unlikely to be of help. A similar trial in patients at an earlier stage of disease will continue, Eli Lilly and Co., which makes the antibody, said late Monday.

The trial was stopped earlier this month because of safety concerns. Lilly said that an analysis showed that the drug, bamlanivimab, was not dangerous, but also unlikely to help advanced patients.

President Donald Trump, who received a different pair of monoclonal antibodies when he was sick with COVID-19, has proclaimed them a “cure” and promised to provide them free to any American who needs them.

The company that makes the drug he took, Regeneron, has requested an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin providing it. Lilly has requested similar authorization for bamlanivimab in recently diagnosed high-risk patients.

– Karen Weintraub

COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY 

Contributing: The Associated Press