U.S. adds more than 50,000 COVID-19 cases for 3rd time in a week; deaths rise

Oct. 8 (UPI) — For the third time in the past week, the United States has added more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases — a level that was surpassed only three times during the entire month of September.

There were about 50,300 new cases nationally on Tuesday, according to updated data from Johns Hopkins University. There were also more than 900 new deaths, the most in a week.

There were just three days in September that added more than 50,000 cases — and a steady downward trajectory in new cases since mid-July now appears to have leveled off, and may even now be on the incline, Johns Hopkins data illustrates.

Since the start of the outbreak, there have been 7.56 million U.S. cases and 212,100 deaths, the data shows.

Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said an experimental antibody treatment could be widely available soon. It’s the same antibody “cocktail” used to treat President Donald Trump last week after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Speaking at a Goldman Sachs Healthcare virtual event, Azar said the department’s effort to quickly develop an effective vaccine, Operation Warp Speed, is also tapping that same urgency for antibody-based therapeutics.

He said “tens or hundreds of thousands of doses” of an antibody cocktail now being developed by Regeneron could be available by fall pending Food and Drug Administration approval.

Regeneron said Wednesday it’s requested emergency use authorization for the treatment, REGN-COV2.

In Wisconsin, a record-high number of patients were hospitalized Wednesday. Officials also said at least two prison inmates have died — the first in the state’s correctional system. Medical examiners said they died last month at a facility in Waupun, Wis.

The male inmates were 63 and 62 years old. Officials said they died at a prison where an outbreak last month infected at least 89 people.

Authorities said they’re using all available resources to “mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our institutions” and treat those who have tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

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