With health experts concerned Thanksgiving travel and holiday gatherings next week will fuel the spread of the virus, many states and cities are imposing near-lockdowns or other restrictions. California ordered a 10 p.m.-to 5-a.m. curfew starting Saturday, covering 94% of the state’s 40 million residents.
COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are at their highest level since late May, when the Northeast was emerging from the first wave of the crisis. They peaked at about 2,200 a day in late April, when the disease was concentrated around New York City. They are now about 1,300 a day, but the number is misleading because the exposed population is larger now that the virus has spread. A more accurate figure would be deaths per 100,000.
Among those with new positive tests was President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who a spokesman said Friday has no symptoms and has been quarantining since learning of his diagnosis earlier this week.
Pfizer said Friday it is asking U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, setting in motion a process that could make the first, limited shots available as early as next month, with health care workers and other high-risk groups likely to get priority.
In Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has ruled out another shutdown and singled out El Paso county leaders for not enforcing restrictions already in place. The state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, won an appeals court ruling blocking local leaders from shutting down gyms and other nonessential businesses.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, failed to persuade leaders of the GOP-controlled legislature to reject a bill that would limit his administration’s power to deal with the crisis.
At issue is a Senate bill that would ban the state health department from issuing mandatory quarantine orders enforced against people who are not sick or exposed to disease — such as the order announced by the governor Tuesday setting a 10 p.m. curfew.
DeWine said he will veto the bill when it reaches his desk. Republicans in both the House and Senate have enough votes to override the veto if they choose.
In California, the curfew affects 41 of the state’s 58 counties. Its impact will depend heavily on voluntary compliance. Some county sheriffs said they won’t enforce it the rules for people not on essential errands to stay home after 10 p.m.
In Arizona, four Democratic mayors urged Republican Gov. Doug Ducey to impose a statewide requirement for people to wear masks in public. The move came as health officials reported more than 4,000 additional COVID-19 positive test results for the second consecutive day.
Ducey’s chief of staff, Daniel Scarpinato, pushed back on the request, saying the mayors are doing little to enforce their own mask ordinances or ensure that existing safety measures put in place by the governor are being enforced.
—AP stories contributed to this report.