Covid-19 Updates: Global Death Toll Surpasses 800,000


Global virus deaths surpass 800,000, with South and Central American countries seeing large tallies.

The global death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 800,000 on Saturday, according to data compiled by The New York Times, as new infections flared in Europe and high numbers of deaths were recorded across the United States, India, South Africa and most of Latin America.

Since the pandemic began, the countries with the highest number of deaths per capita have largely been concentrated in Europe, with countries including Belgium, Britain, Italy and the independent enclave of San Marino within it, and Spain all reporting more than 50 deaths per 100,000 people.

But in the past week, nine out of the 10 countries with the most deaths per capita have been in South and Central America or the Caribbean, according to The Times database. Of those, Brazil, Mexico and Peru have also seen total death counts that rank in the top 10 over all, with Brazil and Mexico having recorded the second and third most deaths globally, behind the United States.

New mortality figures in Bolivia reviewed by The Times suggest that the real death toll there is nearly five times the official tally, indicating that the country has had one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks. About 20,000 more people — in a country of only about 11 million — have died since June than in past years, according to a Times analysis of data from Bolivia’s Civil Registry.

The rally ended last Sunday, but health officials warn that it will take time before the extent of associated outbreaks can be measured, as it can take days for symptoms to appear in people who have been infected.

Ms. Ehresmann said on Friday that she expected to see more cases recorded as additional information about the outbreak and subsequent contact tracing became available.

On Saturday, officials in South Dakota announced more than 250 new cases, a single-day record for the state. The seven-day rolling average in South Dakota is approaching its high point from this spring after setting a single-day record today with 251 new cases announced. And neighboring North Dakota is reporting cases at its highest levels during the pandemic.

Despite the recent rise of coronavirus infections in Germany, 4,000 people lined up to watch the singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko on Saturday in the eastern city of Leipzig.

Struggling to salvage some normalcy — and revenue — from a crippling pandemic, more than a third of the country’s 5,000 campuses are trying limited openings, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. There are strict rules: No parties. Mandated coronavirus tests or routine self-checks for symptoms. No setting foot into public spaces without masks.

But outbreaks at dozens of colleges have underscored the limitations of any college to control the behavior of young people who are paying for the privilege to attend classes.

Recent videos from several campuses — such as the University of North Georgia — have shown scores or hundreds of students gathering without masks or social distance. On Wednesday, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill moved undergraduates to remote instruction after at least 177 students tested positive, largely in clusters linked to dormitories, sororities and fraternities.

Residence hall advisers are the front line in dorms. Students started arriving over the past week at Cornell University, and Jason Chang, a 24-year-old doctoral student who oversees undergraduates in his dorm, has been overwhelmed with violations of distancing rules.

“Constant insanity and madness,” Mr. Chang said. “That’s been my life this week.”

Penalties can run to suspensions and expulsions from campus housing, but education officials say it is generally not in the nature of colleges and universities to function like police states.

Many university officials seem to be relying on students to report one another to enforce coronavirus restrictions. Some colleges are advertising hotlines where students can anonymously report unsafe behavior.

A recent TikTok video that has more than 3.4 million views captured the spirit of self-enforcement, with two young men warning that they would rather tell on their classmates than be sent home. “I will rat you out,” one emphatically warns, adding: “I’m not doing Khan Academy from home. I refuse. And I hate the cops.”

A big wedding in New York State is blocked at the last minute.

A couple who planned to hold a wedding with 175 guests in western New York State on Saturday had to postpone it after a federal appeals court judge blocked the event, responding to a legal challenge by the state government over the crowd’s expected size.

The ruling, issued on Friday, came two weeks after a lower court said weddings at venues in the state that also function as restaurants where indoor dining is allowed were not subject to a 50-person cap on gatherings that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo imposed to help fight the coronavirus.

The lower court ruling opened the door for such wedding venues to host parties of more than 50 people under the same rules that apply to restaurants. Those rules now limit indoor service to half a restaurant’s typical capacity.

The lower court’s decision was prompted by a lawsuit filed by two couples who had booked weddings at the Arrowhead Golf Club in Akron, N.Y., about a half-hour’s drive northeast of Buffalo. One of the couples was married the day the ruling was issued. The other was to be married this weekend.

State officials, who have argued in court filings that weddings pose a greater public health risk than indoor dining and are potential “super-spreader” events, immediately appealed the ruling.

On Friday, Judge Denny Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted state lawyers’ emergency request to halt the second wedding until a panel of judges could consider their arguments more fully.

The final design for the event still bows to the dangers of the pandemic. Much of the convention will take place online, and attendees of the in-person segment will be instructed to wear masks and observe social distancing.

But Republican operatives have said that the decision to preserve the in-person segment was choreographed to contrast with the fully-online Democratic convention and drum up enthusiasm from voters about Mr. Trump’s nomination.

“Waving the middle finger to public health guidelines, the ‘political establishment’ and the ‘mainstream media’ in the form of an in-person roll call amid the pandemic is a great way to invigorate his hard-core base,” said Lucy Caldwell, a Republican strategist.

On the first day of school in Camden County, Ga., local Facebook groups were buzzing with rumors that a teacher had tested positive. The next day, a warning went out to school administrators: Keep teachers quiet.

“Staff who test positive are not to notify any other staff members, parents of their students or any other person/entity that they may have exposed them,” Jon Miller, the district’s deputy superintendent, wrote in a confidential email on Aug. 5.

In the weeks since, parents, students and teachers in the community have heard by word of mouth of more positive cases linked to district schools. Some parents said they had been called by local officials and told that their children should quarantine.

But even as fears of an outbreak have grown, the district has not publicly confirmed a single case, either to the local community or to The New York Times.

As schools in parts of the country have reopened classrooms amid a still-raging pandemic, some districts have sent weekly — and in some cases daily — reports to families and updated online dashboards with the latest positive test results and quarantine counts. Others districts have been silent, sometimes citing privacy concerns.

State notification polices also vary widely. Officials in Colorado and North Carolina are reporting which schools have had positive cases, while Louisiana, which had not previously identified specific schools with outbreaks, said this week that it was creating a new system to “efficiently report relevant Covid-19 data in schools for greater public visibility.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Oklahoma does not require school districts to report Covid-19 cases to health departments. Tennessee this week backed away from a previous commitment by the governor to report the number of cases linked to schools, and is providing information only by county.

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Reporting was contributed by Livia Albeck-Ripka, Julia Calderone, Choe Sang-Hun, Emily Cochrane, Ron DePasquale, Conor Dougherty, Nicholas Fandos, Marie Fazio, Gillian Friedman, Anemona Hartocollis, Shawn Hubler, Annie Karni, Anatoly Kurmanaev, Dan Levin, Zach Montague, Allison McCann, Elisabetta Povoledo, Christopher F. Schuetze, Ed Shanahan, María Silvia Trigo and Sameer Yasir.


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