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What you need to know about coronavirus on Thursday, November 5

Posted November 5, 2020 7:32 a.m. EST

— While the US election has dominated attention, the pandemic shows no sign of slowing down. The US recorded more than 100,000 Covid-19 cases for the first time on Wednesday, in what experts say is the worst coronavirus surge yet.

But there's little appetite for more shutdowns in the US, Holly Yan reports. Instead, governors and mayors have looked at alternative measures, imposing mask mandates in most states, enacting curfews and clamping down on crowd sizes. Officials are still worried about what's to come. The Thanksgiving holiday is now just weeks away, and experts fear Americans will let their guard down and help fuel an already rampant spread of the virus.

Despite the terrible toll coronavirus has wrought on the planet, the economic pain of Covid-19 is bringing existing social tensions to boiling point. In Europe, lawmakers and some citizens have chafed against renewed lockdowns. Violent protests erupted last week in Italy over government restrictions aimed at quelling a second wave of Covid-19.

Now a number of experts are floating mass testing as a lockdown alternative and a way to control the spread of disease. Slovakia tested two-thirds of its population in two days in a bid to avoid shuttering its economy. Tomorrow, everyone in Liverpool will be tested to help "quickly identify people who have the virus and reduce transmission substantially," the English city's mayor Joe Anderson said.

"However, it is important to realize that just because someone tests negative it does not mean that they will necessarily be free from infection a few days later," Mike Tildesley, a UK government scientific adviser, told CNN. "So any mass testing strategy needs to be carried out at regular intervals (every few days) in order to be an effective strategy and to allow some lockdown measures to be relaxed."

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED

Q: Why have I not caught the flu this year?

A: It's due to the coronavirus precautions we have been taking, CNN Medical Analyst and emergency physician Dr. Leana S. Wen said in an interview. "The same precautions that protect us against coronavirus also protect against cold, flus and respiratory pathogens," she said. These include social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands more.

"In the past, it might have been acceptable to be sneezing and cough a little and still go to work or school, and now that would not be acceptable," she said. "That reduces the risk of transmission, too."

Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you're facing: +1 347-322-0415.

WHAT'S IMPORTANT TODAY

European countries scale up Covid-19 restrictions amid record cases

England has re-entered a national lockdown, following other European nations that have taken drastic steps to counter a surge in Covid-19 cases. Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic all reported their highest single-day tallies this week. Greece announced a three-week national lockdown starting Saturday after seeing 10,000 new cases in five days.

The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is already putting European hospitals under severe strain. On Wednesday, France saw the highest number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care since April. Switzerland is deploying its army to help manage a growing number of Covid-19 hospitalizations.

Denmark will kill all its farmed mink

Denmark, the world's largest producer of mink furs, plans to cull up to 17 million mink in the country to contain a mutated form of novel coronavirus. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Wednesday the decision had been made with a "heavy heart," but it was necessary based on health officials' guidance, CNN's James Frater reports. 

Statens Serum Institut, the Danish authority that deals with infectious diseases, found five cases of the virus in mink farms and 12 examples in humans that showed reduced sensitivity to antibodies, Frederiksen said. Allowing the virus to spread could potentially limit the effectiveness of future vaccines.

India's capital experiencing third wave as Covid-19 cases soar

New Delhi is experiencing a third wave of Covid-19 cases, according to the Indian capital's chief minister. The city reported 6,842 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday -- its highest 24-hour rise in Covid-19 infections for the second day in a row, according to New Delhi Health Department.

This comes after 23 passengers on an Air India flight from New Delhi to Wuhan, China, tested positive for Covid-19, Hubei Province's Health Commission said Tuesday. India has been hit hard by the spread of Covid-19, with more than 8.3 million cases and 124,315 related deaths.

ON OUR RADAR

New Jersey releases more than 2,200 eligible inmates under nation's first public health crisis sentencing lawIndonesia wants to vaccinate 9 million people with China's experimental vaccine in late December The UK economy is heading back into recessionSouth Korea approves single test which can detect both Covid-19 and seasonal flu

TOP TIPS

How to improve communication while wearing a mask

Facial expressions are the primary way people exhibit emotion and decipher the feelings of others. Happiness, sadness, surprise, disgust and fear can be communicated through facial expressions alone. But when part of the face is masked, it becomes more difficult to recognize these cues.

Here are some ways to improve communication when wearing a face covering.

TODAY'S PODCAST

"Much of Europe tried a scalpel to avoid a second wave, and it failed. Now, it's going back to the sledgehammer. Strict country-wide lockdowns are back in place to limit social interactions." -- CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta

In today's episode, Dr. Gupta and CNN's London-based reporter Salma Abdelaziz trace the months of controversy that led to the beginning of England's second national lockdown today. Listen Now.

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