The Associated Press
4h ago / 5:03 AM UTC
MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Roman Catholic Church announced the cancellation Monday of what’s considered the world’s largest Catholic pilgrimage, for the Virgin of Guadalupe, due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Mexico’s Episcopal Conference said in a statement that the basilica will be closed from December 10-13. The Virgin is celebrated on Dec. 12 and for weeks in advance, pilgrims travel from across Mexico to gather by the millions in Mexico City.
Bishop Salvador Martínez, rector at the basilica, said recently in a video circulated on social media that as many as 15 million pilgrims visit during the first two weeks of December.
The Associated Press
5h ago / 3:36 AM UTC
Montana brings in more than 100 contract health workers
HELENA, Mont. — The Montana governor’s office says more than 100 contracted medical staff have arrived in the state to assist hospitals in responding to the spike in covid-19 cases.
The 110 health care workers are part of an anticipated total of 200 to be deployed in the state before Thanksgiving and who will remain until the end of the year.
The workers, including registered nurses and respiratory therapists, will aid hospitals that are at or near capacity as part of a contract between the state and NuWest, which provides traveling health care workers.
State health officials reported 677 new cases of covid-19 Monday, bringing total confirmed cases to more than 56,000.
6h ago / 2:24 AM UTC
Loeffler has second consecutive negative test, will return to trail, campaign says
U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Georgia, has tested negative for covid-19 after a second PCR test, her campaign said Monday.
Loeffler, who is in a competitive runoff race that could determine the balance of power in Congress, had been quarantining after covid-19 tests in which some tests were negative, another PCR test was positive and another test was inconclusive.
Monday night Loeffler “received her second consecutive negative PCR test result,” campaign spokesperson Stephen Lawson said in a statement. Lawson said Loeffler has no symptoms and feels great. “She looks forward to getting back out on the campaign trail,” the statement says.
PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction, and the tests are considered highly accurate but take longer than some other tests.
7h ago / 1:45 AM UTC
Colorado can order hospitals to transfer or stop seeing more patients
Colorado’s governor on Monday signed an executive order that allows the state health department to order hospitals to stop admitting patients or transfer patients to other facilities.
The executive order granting the authorization to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment lasts for 30 days.
The order says that given the rise in covid-19 cases, the number of people seeking treatment may far exceed capacity and hospitals may need to transfer patients. NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver reports that it gives the state department flexibility and that hospitals in the state have already shown a willingness to transfer patients from one that is overburdened to another facility.
There have been more than 202,000 cases of covid-19 in Colorado, with more than 2,400 deaths, according to state data.
covid exposure sidelines 1,000 Cleveland Clinic staff members
8h ago / 12:38 AM UTC
Kentucky teenage cancer survivor dies from covid-19
Alexa Rose Veit, who was born with special needs and survived a bout with Leukemia in 2019, first began exhibiting symptoms October 26 and underwent a routine covid-19 test, according to a statement from Ballard County Emergency Management Director Travis Holder.
Veit’s symptoms continued to worsen, and she was eventually hospitalized in Nashville, Tennessee, after developing pneumonia. She died November 15, one day after her mother was released from the hospital for covid-19.
Tom Winter and Jonathan Dienst
9h ago / 12:00 AM UTC
Ghislaine Maxwell quarantined in jail after exposure to covid-19
Ghislaine Maxwell, jailed and awaiting trial on charges that she conspired with financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse minors, has been placed into covid-19 quarantine after a staff member who works in her part of Brooklyn’s MDC detention facility tested positive for the virus.
Maxwell has so far tested negative, prosecutors say.
The attorneys disclosed her condition to a federal judge in an update about the conditions of her detention and her access to discovery as she prepares for trial.
They said that Maxwell’s test was last Wednesday, Nov. 18, and she will be quarantined until Wednesday, Dec. 16.
In the filing they told the judge, “during her time in quarantine, the defendant will be housed in the same cell where she was already housed before she was placed in quarantine, and medical staff and psychology staff will continue to check on the defendant every day.”
Maxwell was arrested July 2 in New Hampshire and accused of enticing minors, some as young as 14, to engage in illegal sex acts with Epstein in the mid-1990s, authorities announced at the time.
Maxwell was charged with six counts for acts committed between 1994 and 1997 and then allegedly lying to investigators in 2016. Four counts are related to allegedly helping transport minors for sexual activity and two for perjury, according to the criminal complaint.