Hospitalizations rise in 39 states; Pelosi sets Oct. 20 deadline for relief bill — 6 COVID-19 updates

The U.S. has reported an average of 56,615 new COVID-19 cases daily in the past week, up 30 percent from the average seen two weeks ago, reports The New York Times.

The global COVID-19 case count also surpassed 40 million Oct. 19, driven in part by a resurgence of cases in some parts of Europe, according to The Hill. 

Five other updates:

1. COVID-19 hospitalizations are increasing in 39 states, according to Axios' analysis of data from the COVID Tracking Project and Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard Global Health Institute. Sixteen states are also near or at an all-time high for hospitalizations. However, COVID-19 hospitalization rates are still far lower than record figures seen this spring.

2. Congress must reach a deal on a COVID-19 relief package by Oct. 20 to pass legislation before Election Day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Oct. 18, according to CNBC. The 48-hour deadline comes after months of stalled negotiations over a relief bill ranging from $1.8 trillion to $2.2 trillion. The deadline only relates to passing a package before Election Day, Ms. Pelosi said, which is exactly two weeks after Oct. 20.

3. Hispanic Americans are dying from COVID-19 at higher rates than earlier in the pandemic, a CDC report finds. Researchers analyzed data from 114,411 COVID-19 deaths reported to the National Vital Statistics System and found the percentage of Hispanic decedents rose from 16.3 percent in May to 26.4 percent in August.  

4. Mayor Brandon Whipple of Wichita, Kan., received a death threat tied to COVID-19 mask rules, reports The New York Times. A 59-year-old man was arrested for allegedly plotting to slit the mayor's throat, hang him and turn him into fertilizer, Mr. Whipple said Oct. 17. The case is the latest in a series of threats against officials relating to COVID-19 mandates, and reportedly related to Mr. Whipple's support of a citywide mask rule.

5. New York City has adopted a "micro-cluster strategy" to target COVID-19 block-by-block, reports WCBS-TV. Neighborhoods designated as red zones will receive targeted testing and further enforcement of restrictions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Oct. 17. 

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 8,156,970
Deaths: 219,681
Recovered: 3,234,138

Counts reflect data available as of 8:40 a.m. CDT Oct. 19.

More articles on public health:
COVID Tracking Project: The 3rd surge has likely begun
23 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Oct. 19
The 4 counties that haven't reported a single COVID-19 case

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