Photo: David Zalubowski, AP
O’FALLON, Mo. — The number of people hospitalized for the coronavirus has nearly tripled in areas outside of Missouri’s two largest metropolitan areas since the state reopened for business in mid-June, according to state health department data Tuesday.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ COVID-19 dashboard shows the state’s northwest, southeast, southwest and central regions all reached record highs for virus-related hospitalizations on Monday, based on seven-day averages. All told, Missouri reported 1,094 hospitalizations, five fewer than a day earlier, when statewide hospitalizations peaked.
Excluding the St. Louis and Kansas City areas, hospitalizations have risen 186% in the 3½ months since Republican Gov. Mike Parson allowed Missouri to reopen on June 16. The seven-day average for hospitalizations outstate on June 16 was 161; on Monday it was 461.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
— New York City officials to start issuing fines to people who refuse to wear masks in areas with spikes in the novel coronavirus
— llinois Gov. Pritzker to quarantine 2 weeks after contact with staffer who tested positive
— India vice president tests positive for virus, isolating at home
— How can I volunteer for a COVID-19 vaccine study?
— The coronavirus is infecting a rising number of American children and teens in a trend authorities say appears driven by school re-openings, resumption of sports and play dates.
— University of Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins apologized for not wearing a mask after pictures surfaced online of him shaking hands and sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with people at a recent Rose Garden ceremony.
— Tennessee Titans players, staff test positive for coronavirus; first outbreak in the NFL at Week 4.
Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
LIMA, Peru — Health workers for Peru’s social security system began a 48-hour walkout on Tuesday to demand higher pay and better working conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 9,000 doctors, dentists and pharmacists were taking part, prompting hospitals to suspend consultations and many surgeries, though emergency and intensive care facilities aren’t affected.
Teodoro Quiñones, secretary of the social security doctors union, said the government hasn’t kept its promises to raise salaries or pay bonuses during the pandemic.
Doctors in the public sector earn an average of $985 a month, though most supplement that with other jobs at private hospitals or offices.
The Peruvian Ombudsman’s Office said more than 4,000 health workers lack health, life and occupational risk insurance and don’t have the right to sick leave if they’re diagnosed with the virus.
A total of 166 doctors have reportedly died from COVID-19 in Peru. Overall, the country has reported 32,000 dead and over 808,000 infected.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Businesses in 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties will no longer have to adhere to social distancing guidelines, Gov. Bill Lee announced Tuesday, even though cases of COVID-19 in the state have been persistently high.
The Republican governor said he would lift all virus-related limits on businesses and social gatherings for most of the state. The action, which takes effect Thursday, notably does not apply to Tennessee’s six populous counties with locally run health departments. Sullivan, Knox, Hamilton, Davidson, Madison and Shelby counties can continue implementing their own restrictions.
According to data kept by The Associated Press, there were about 287 new cases per 100,000 people in Tennessee over the past two weeks, which ranks 13th in the country for new cases per capita. The state has seen at least 2,389 virus-released deaths
DENVER — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is encouraging families to register students in online or in-person schools as the state experiences a decline in enrollment during the coronavirus pandemic.
Polis said the decline is based on anecdotal evidence, but it is widespread across the state, with the greatest decrease among preschool to third-grade students. At a news conference Tuesday, Polis and other officials warned about the “major deficit” that children who return to school after taking time off may face.
Other school districts across the U.S. have reported similar trends. Dr. Chris Rogers, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, says school is critical to the healthy development of children and adolescents.
NEW YORK — Alarmed by a spike in coronavirus infections in a few Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, New York City officials will start issuing fines in those areas to people who refuse to wear masks, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
De Blasio said he was sending teams of hundreds of outreach workers and contact tracers to nine Brooklyn and Queens ZIP codes that have seen an upswing in positive COVID-19 tests in hopes of avoiding harsher enforcement measures.
Those workers will be handing out masks but also insisting that people put them on if they are in a place where they could be within 6 feet of other people.
The Democratic mayor warned he could order further crackdowns, including the closing of nonessential businesses and bans on gatherings if things don’t improve. Private schools and child care centers could be closed if people refuse to comply with coronavirus guidelines, de Blasio said.
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota officials say a voter ID event scheduled on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation was postponed due to the coronavirus on Tuesday, a day when the state reported 419 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths.
State Department of Transportation officials have visited several reservations to help tribal members sign up for licenses to become eligible to vote in the Nov. 3 election. A lawsuit settlement in May ended a requirement that tribal residents provide a street address when voting.
The reservation is located on parts of six counties that accounted for 62 new coronavirus cases and one death in Tuesday’s update.
LAS VEGAS — Casino giant MGM Resorts International said it’s teaming with a firm that provided COVID-19 screenings for the National Hockey League playoffs and a health care provider for high-volume events in an optional conference attendee safety plan at its U.S. hotels and casinos.
Company CEO Bill Hornbuckle on Tuesday called the system dubbed “Convene with Confidence” a step toward booking conventions and meetings again.
Almost all 29 MGM Resorts properties around the country have idle conference space and empty convention schedules due to crowd size limits. Event scheduling will depend on local regulations and mandates.
Nevada currently limits gatherings to 50 people.
TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona says a two-week, shelter-in-place recommendation intended to limit the spread of COVID-19 is set to expire Tuesday.
University officials on Monday cited recent COVID-19 testing data that has shown numbers that are headed in the right direction. Officials say the university’s daily positivity rate, which measures community spread, fell to 3.4% on Friday, below the targeted 5%.
University President Robert Robbins says he’s positive about the university’s direction but has raised concerns that students are not following the necessary steps. He warned that the recommendation could be reinstated.
State officials on Tuesday reported 675 additional COVID-19 cases and eight additional deaths.
HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont says the state expects to receive about 1 million new rapid coronavirus tests from the federal government to help keep schools open.
Lamont says next week the state is likely to receive 69,000 tests, which provide results in about 15 minutes. The Democratic governor also says Connecticut will use a new contact tracing phone app developed by Google and Apple.
The program will keep track of people in close contact with a user’s phone. If someone tests positive, that person tells the app, which automatically notifies those people.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a captain has become the first state trooper in Oklahoma to die of coronavirus.
The patrol spokeswoman Sarah Stewart says Capt. Jeffery Sewell of Atoka died Saturday at a hospital in Denison, Texas, where he had been treated for the virus for about three weeks.
The state health department on Tuesday reported 1,025 new virus cases and 11 more deaths, bringing the totals to 86,219 confirmed cases and 1,018 confirmed deaths.
The actual number of cases in Oklahoma is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.
GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala’s government says bars, theaters and its famed archaeological sites can reopen on Thursday after being closed for months because of the coronavirus.
The government says limits on attendance and other measures will be in place for areas where the coronavirus is still spreading at relatively high levels, including Guatemala City and most of the country’s municipalities.
Theaters, gyms and other venues, including restaurants in shopping centers, must limit attendance to one person per 10 square meters. That limit also affects churches, which had earlier been allowed to open.
The Central American nation gradually lifted restrictions in late July, although it only opened its borders and resumed full operations at the international airport less than two weeks ago.
President Alejandro Giammattei recently said he’d tested positive and suffered light symptoms.
Guatemala has recorded 91,000 people cases and 3,238 confirmed deaths.
CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker will quarantine for two weeks after a member of his administration tested positive for the coronavirus.
The staff member had attended events with the first-term Democrat all last week, including in Chicago, Marion and Marseilles. The aide tested positive Monday after feeling symptoms. Pritzker and other administration members tested negative the same day.
Pritzker’s office says the government and the staff member were wearing masks during all interactions. According to his office, Pritzker will remain in isolation for 14 days and conduct news media briefings remotely.
NEW DELHI — India’s Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has tested positive for the coronavirus and will home quarantine.
His office says in a tweet on Tuesday the 71-year-old Naidu is asymptomatic and in good health. His wife, Usha Naidu, has tested negative and is in self-isolation.
Naidu recently attended a session of India’s Parliament that was cut short after more than 20 lawmakers tested positive. India’s Home Minister Amit Shah tested positive last month and recovered in a hospital.
India’s junior Railways Minister Suresh Angadi died last week, nearly two weeks after he was admitted to a New Delhi hospital after testing positive. He was the first federal minister and the fourth Indian lawmaker to succumb to the deadly virus.
India registered 70,589 new cases and 776 more confirmed deaths in the last 24 hours. That pushed the totals to more than 6.1 million cases and more than 96,000 confirmed deaths.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans have suspended in-person activities through Friday after the NFL says three Titans players and five other personnel tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Titans played the Vikings in Minnesota last weekend. The Vikings also are suspending their in-person activities. The league says both teams are working with infectious disease experts to trace contacts and perform more tests.
A person familiar with the situation says all eight test results are confirmed positives, making this the first COVID-19 outbreak of the NFL season in Week 4. The Titans are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. However, the Titans are unable to practice until Saturday at the earliest.
— By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Prof Football Writer.
ATHENS, Greece — Health inspectors in Greece say an emergency docking order for a cruise ship near Athens can be lifted after crew members suspected of the coronavirus tested negative.
The Maltese-flagged Mein Schiff 6, carrying more than 1,500 people, was rerouted and ordered to sail to the port of Piraeus after testing of the crew indicated 12 ship staff were positive but asymptomatic.
Gkikas Magiorkinis, a member of the government’s pandemic expert committee, says all 12 crew members tested negative, using rapid and confirmatory tests, along with 24 people in contact with them.
Officials at the Merchant Marine Ministry say the cruise ship would remain in Piraeus overnight before continuing its journey on Wednesday.
The vessel, operated by TUI Cruises, has 922 passengers and 666 crew. Passengers were given coronavirus tests before boarding.
BERLIN — German leaders are recommending limits on the number of people attending private parties in areas where infections spike.
Chancellor Angela Merkel consulted Tuesday with the governors of Germany’s 16 states on ways to prevent Germany’s infection figures from rising.
Merkel says officials agreed in places where more than 35 new infections per 100,000 residents are recorded in a week, the number of people attending gatherings at public or rented facilities should be limited to 50 and no more than 25 should attend those held in private homes.
Merkel says where infections hit 50 per 100,000 residents, those figures should be cut to 25 and 10, respectively. She stressed that the aim is to act “regionally, specifically and accurately.”
She added a second nationwide shutdown “absolutely must be prevented.”