For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic reached the United States, the nation recorded more than 100,000 confirmed new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The nation is experiencing a resurgence of coronavirus cases, especially across the Midwest and the so-called Great Plains region that spans large parts of the central and western U.S. The COVID Tracking Project, an effort sponsored by The Atlantic magazine, also recorded more than 50,000 hospitalizations across the U.S. for a second consecutive day Wednesday.
Currently the U.S. has more than 9.4 million coronavirus infections and more than 233,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
The pandemic is also sweeping across Europe for a second time.
In Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has unveiled a new three-tiered system that will impose varying degrees of restrictions to blunt a resurgence of COVID-19 in his country.
The system splits Italy’s 20 regions into three colored zones -- red, orange and yellow -- with red indicating the most restricted areas and yellow the least restricted. Conte said the northern regions of Lombardy and Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta, and the Calabria region to the south, will be placed in the red zone, under which people will not be allowed to leave their homes except for work or medical reasons.
The regions of Puglia and the southern island of Sicily have been designated orange, or medium. Residents in the orange zone can move freely within their towns or cities, but cannot leave them, while bars and restaurants are limited to delivery and takeout service.
All of Italy is under a 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew, while museums and shopping centers are closed on the weekend and high school classes switch from in-person to online.
The new restrictions take effect Friday and will remain in place until Dec. 3. Italy joins Britain, Germany and Belgium in imposing strict lockdowns to halt the virus’ spread.
The continent’s latest outbreak is not only affecting its people. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced Wednesday that the government will have to destroy 15 million minks in the country to minimize the risk of them re-transmitting COVID-19 to humans.
Frederiksen said a report from the government agency that maps the coronavirus has identified a mutation in the virus from 12 people who were infected. Denmark is one of the world’s largest producers of mink furs.