The Latest: China to test city of 9 million amid new cases

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BEIJIJNG – China’s government says all 9 million people in the eastern city of Qingdao will be tested for the coronavirus this week after nine cases linked to a hospital were found.

The announcement Monday broke a string of weeks without any locally transmitted infections reported in China.

The National Health Commission said authorities were investigating the source of the infections found in eight patients at Qingdao’s Municipal Chest Hospital and one family member. The commission said the whole city will be tested within five days.

China, where the pandemic began in December, has reported 4,634 deaths and 85,578 cases, plus nine suspected cases that have yet to be confirmed.

The last reported virus transmissions within China were four patients found on Aug. 15 in the northwestern city of Urumqi in the far western Xinjiang region. All the cases reported since then were in travelers from outside the mainland.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

– Supreme Court nominee Barrett faces Senate despite virus

– Trump insists he’s free of virus, ready for campaign trail

– COVID-19 coverage safety net has plenty of holes in U.S.

– DC charters lead the way on in-school teaching experiment

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– Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

NEW DELHI – India has reported 66,732 new coronavirus cases, driving the country’s overall tally to more than 7.1 million.

The Health Ministry on Monday also reported 816 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities to 109,150.

India is second in the world in number of infections, behind only the U.S., which has reported more than 7.7 million cases.

Maharashtra in the south continues to be the worst-hit Indian state, with over 1.5 million cases. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh are the next four worst-hit states, followed by the Indian capital, New Delhi, according to the Health Ministry.

India has seen the spread of the virus slow down since mid-September, when daily infections touched a record high of 97,894 cases. It’s averaging more than 70,000 cases daily so far this month.

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JAKARTA, Indonesia – Authorities in Indonesia’s capital have moved to ease coronavirus restrictions despite a surge in cases nationwide.

Jakarta previously imposed large-scale social restrictions from April to June, then eased them gradually. The city reimposed strict restrictions last month as the virus spread significantly and overwhelmed its health system.

Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan said Sunday that his administration decided to ease restrictions beginning Monday as the increase in infections had stabilized.

He said people can return to offices with limits on employee numbers, while transport services will run at half capacity. Cinemas, gyms and tourism sites can reopen at a maximum 25% of capacity.

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SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea has confirmed 97 new cases of the coronavirus, a modest uptick from the daily levels reported last week, just as officials ease social distancing restrictions after concluding that transmissions have slowed following a resurgence in mid-August.

The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency Monday brought the national caseload to 24,703, including 433 deaths.

Sixty-three of the new cases came from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country’s 51 million people, where health workers have struggled to track infections tied to various places and groups, including churches, hospitals, schools, workers and troops.

Twenty-nine of the new cases were linked to international arrivals, including 13 passengers from Nepal, most of whom who came to South Korea for a Korean language program.

South Korea relaxed its social distancing guidelines beginning Monday, allowing high-risk businesses like nightclubs and karaoke bars to open as long as they employ preventive measures, such as requiring masks and keeping lists of visitors.

Spectators will also be re-allowed in professional sports, although teams will be initially allowed to only sell 30% of their seats in stadiums.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A “database extract error” resulted in an incorrect inflation of the number of reported COVID-19 cases in Missouri going back over several days, Missouri health officials said Sunday. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said in a news release that it is in the process of migrating all COVID-19 testing and case data into one new consolidated system. Missouri incorrectly reported Saturday on its coronavirus website more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases, more than double the previous single-day record. The agency said Sunday it is working urgently to resolve the issue and will update its website with the correct numbers once that is done. It said the problems with the data were limited to cumulative reporting on its Show Me Strong Covid-19 Public Health Dashboard.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The number of people hospitalized in Arkansas with the coronavirus hit a record-high on Sunday of 576. The Arkansas Department of Health said the number of people hospitalized rose by 22. Hospitalizations from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, reached records levels Tuesday through Friday before dropping by six on Saturday. The health department on Sunday reported 613 new cases for a total of 92,833 confirmed and probable cases. With 17 more deaths, the number of confirmed and probable deaths in the state so far rose to 1,569. Gov. Asa Hutchinson told CNN on Sunday that he was concerned about the increase in hospitalizations. “Right now, we do have capacity,” Hutchinson said, adding that they’re “watching it very carefully and taking it seriously.”

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FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky’s governor says he will be in isolation after a member of his security detail who drove with his family tested positive for the coronavirus.

Gov. Andy Beshear said Sunday that he and his family feel fine and have tested negative for the virus. Beshear’s wife and their two children also will stay isolated.

The governor has stressed the importance of following the advice of health experts to limit the virus’s spread and says that by going into isolation he will be “walking the walk, not just talking the talk.”

Beshear says his family was not in contact with anyone else following the exposure. He says that his family and the state police trooper who accompanied his family all wore facial coverings.

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MIAMI – Florida officials have reported the state’s biggest one-day total of confirmed coronavirus cases since late August, a day after not releasing any pandemic data because of a problem with a private testing laboratory.

The Florida Department of Health said Sunday there were 3,700 new cases in the previous 24 hours and 1,790 for the day before that. It said there were 180 COVID-19 over both days.

Health officials say they received 400,000 previously reported test results late Friday from Helix Laboratory, which prevented them from processing and releasing the daily data report Saturday. Epidemiologists needed to verify results to make sure cases weren’t counted more than once.

Florida has reported 734,491 known cases of coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic and 15,552 deaths.

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