NEW YORK — Alarmed by a spike in coronavirus infections in a few Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, New York City officials will start issuing fines in those areas to people who refuse to wear masks, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
De Blasio said he was sending teams of hundreds of outreach workers and contact tracers to nine Brooklyn and Queens ZIP codes that have seen an upswing in positive COVID-19 tests in hopes of avoiding harsher enforcement measures.
Those workers will be handing out masks but also insisting that people put them on if they are in a place where they could be within 6 feet of other people.
The Democratic mayor warned he could order further crackdowns, including the closing of nonessential businesses and bans on gatherings if things don’t improve. Private schools and child care centers could be closed if people refuse to comply with coronavirus guidelines, de Blasio said.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
— llinois Gov. Pritzker to quarantine 2 weeks after contact with staffer who tested positive
— India vice president tests positive for virus, isolating at home
— How can I volunteer for a COVID-19 vaccine study?
— The coronavirus is infecting a rising number of American children and teens in a trend authorities say appears driven by school re-openings, resumption of sports and play dates.
— University of Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins apologized for not wearing a mask after pictures surfaced online of him shaking hands and sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with people at a recent Rose Garden ceremony.
— Tennessee Titans players, staff test positive for coronavirus; first outbreak in the NFL at Week 4.
Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota officials say a voter ID event scheduled on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation was postponed due to the coronavirus on Tuesday, a day when the state reported 419 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths.
State Department of Transportation officials have visited several reservations to help tribal members sign up for licenses to become eligible to vote in the Nov. 3 election. A lawsuit settlement in May ended a requirement that tribal residents provide a street address when voting.
The reservation is located on parts of six counties that accounted for 62 new coronavirus cases and one death in Tuesday’s update.
LAS VEGAS — Casino giant MGM Resorts International said it’s teaming with a firm that provided COVID-19 screenings for the National Hockey League playoffs and a health care provider for high-volume events in an optional conference attendee safety plan at its U.S. hotels and casinos.
Company CEO Bill Hornbuckle on Tuesday called the system dubbed “Convene with Confidence” a step toward booking conventions and meetings again.
Almost all 29 MGM Resorts properties around the country have idle conference space and empty convention schedules due to crowd size limits. Event scheduling will depend on local regulations and mandates.
Nevada currently limits gatherings to 50 people.
TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona says a two-week, shelter-in-place recommendation intended to limit the spread of COVID-19 is set to expire Tuesday.
University officials on Monday cited recent COVID-19 testing data that has shown numbers that are headed in the right direction. Officials say the university’s daily positivity rate, which measures community spread, fell to 3.4% on Friday, below the targeted 5%.
University President Robert Robbins says he’s positive about the university’s direction but has raised concerns that students are not following the necessary steps. He warned that the recommendation could be reinstated.
State officials on Tuesday reported 675 additional COVID-19 cases and eight additional deaths.
HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont says the state expects to receive about 1 million new rapid coronavirus tests from the federal government to help keep schools open.
Lamont says next week the state is likely to receive 69,000 tests, which provide results in about 15 minutes. The Democratic governor also says Connecticut will use a new contact tracing phone app developed by Google and Apple.
The program will keep track of people in close contact with a user’s phone. If someone tests positive, that person tells the app, which automatically notifies those people.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a captain has become the first state trooper in Oklahoma to die of coronavirus.
The patrol spokeswoman Sarah Stewart says Capt. Jeffery Sewell of Atoka died Saturday at a hospital in Denison, Texas, where he had been treated for the virus for about three weeks.
The state health department on Tuesday reported 1,025 new virus cases and 11 more deaths, bringing the totals to 86,219 confirmed cases and 1,018 confirmed deaths.
The actual number of cases in Oklahoma is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.
GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala’s government says bars, theaters and its famed archaeological sites can reopen on Thursday after being closed for months because of the coronavirus.
The government says limits on attendance and other measures will be in place for areas where the coronavirus is still spreading at relatively high levels, including Guatemala City and most of the country’s municipalities.
Theaters, gyms and other venues, including restaurants in shopping centers, must limit attendance to one person per 10 square meters. That limit also affects churches, which had earlier been allowed to open.
The Central American nation gradually lifted restrictions in late July, although it only opened its borders and resumed full operations at the international airport less than two weeks ago.
President Alejandro Giammattei recently said he’d tested positive and suffered light symptoms.
Guatemala has recorded 91,000 people cases and 3,238 confirmed deaths.
CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker will quarantine for two weeks after a member of his administration tested positive for the coronavirus.
The staff member had attended events with the first-term Democrat all last week, including in Chicago, Marion and Marseilles. The aide tested positive Monday after feeling symptoms. Pritzker and other administration members tested negative the same day.
Pritzker’s office says the government and the staff member were wearing masks during all interactions. According to his office, Pritzker will remain in isolation for 14 days and conduct news media briefings remotely.
NEW DELHI — India’s Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has tested positive for the coronavirus and will home quarantine.
His office says in a tweet on Tuesday the 71-year-old Naidu is asymptomatic and in good health. His wife, Usha Naidu, has tested negative and is in self-isolation.
Naidu recently attended a session of India’s Parliament that was cut short after more than 20 lawmakers tested positive. India’s Home Minister Amit Shah tested positive last month and recovered in a hospital.
India’s junior Railways Minister Suresh Angadi died last week, nearly two weeks after he was admitted to a New Delhi hospital after testing positive. He was the first federal minister and the fourth Indian lawmaker to succumb to the deadly virus.
India registered 70,589 new cases and 776 more confirmed deaths in the last 24 hours. That pushed the totals to more than 6.1 million cases and more than 96,000 confirmed deaths.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans have suspended in-person activities through Friday after the NFL says three Titans players and five other personnel tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Titans played the Vikings in Minnesota last weekend. The Vikings also are suspending their in-person activities. The league says both teams are working with infectious disease experts to trace contacts and perform more tests.
A person familiar with the situation says all eight test results are confirmed positives, making this the first COVID-19 outbreak of the NFL season in Week 4. The Titans are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. However, the Titans are unable to practice until Saturday at the earliest.
— By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Prof Football Writer.
ATHENS, Greece — Health inspectors in Greece say an emergency docking order for a cruise ship near Athens can be lifted after crew members suspected of the coronavirus tested negative.
The Maltese-flagged Mein Schiff 6, carrying more than 1,500 people, was rerouted and ordered to sail to the port of Piraeus after testing of the crew indicated 12 ship staff were positive but asymptomatic.
Gkikas Magiorkinis, a member of the government’s pandemic expert committee, says all 12 crew members tested negative, using rapid and confirmatory tests, along with 24 people in contact with them.
Officials at the Merchant Marine Ministry say the cruise ship would remain in Piraeus overnight before continuing its journey on Wednesday.
The vessel, operated by TUI Cruises, has 922 passengers and 666 crew. Passengers were given coronavirus tests before boarding.
BERLIN — German leaders are recommending limits on the number of people attending private parties in areas where infections spike.
Chancellor Angela Merkel consulted Tuesday with the governors of Germany’s 16 states on ways to prevent Germany’s infection figures from rising.
Merkel says officials agreed in places where more than 35 new infections per 100,000 residents are recorded in a week, the number of people attending gatherings at public or rented facilities should be limited to 50 and no more than 25 should attend those held in private homes.
Merkel says where infections hit 50 per 100,000 residents, those figures should be cut to 25 and 10, respectively. She stressed that the aim is to act “regionally, specifically and accurately.”
She added a second nationwide shutdown “absolutely must be prevented.”
ATKINS, Ark. — An Arkansas school district says its top leader has died from the coronavirus.
The Atkins School District says Superintendent Jody Jenkins died Tuesday due to complications from COVID-19. The district is about 50 miles northwest of Little Rock.
Jenkins announced on Sept. 13 that he had tested positive for the virus and had been hospitalized for the past several days.
Arkansas is requiring schools to be open five days a week for in-person instruction, although they can offer virtual or hybrid options along with the five-day option.
The Arkansas per capita coronavirus rate of 194 per 100,000 residents was the seventh highest in the nation, according to latest White House Coronavirus Task Force report.
Arkansas has more than 82,000 cases and 1,329 confirmed deaths.
St. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa International Airport says it will test passengers for coronavirus in the terminal.
The Florida airport and BayCare Health System will offer voluntary testing for any passenger departing from or arriving at the airport. The tests are open to anyone who has flown, or is flying within three days, and can show proof of travel.
Tampa international CEO Joe Lopano says the trial program will run the month of October with two types of tests for passengers: a $57 rapid antigen swab test and a $125 polymerase swab.
The antigen test looks for coronavirus protein and offer quicker but less accurate results. The polymerase test looks for virus genetic material and take longer for more accurate results.
Airport officials say passengers will be encouraged to take the more expensive swab three days before departure. Results should arrive within 48 hours. The antigen test “offers an added layer of same-day reassurance” for travelers, they say.
Travelers with a positive result are highly encouraged to cancel all travel plans, quarantine and contact a doctor, BayCare officials say. Under law, BayCare is required to report all positive results to the Florida Department of Health.
On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis moved Florida into Phase 3, giving bars and restaurants the green light to operate at full capacity.
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday the move is “very concerning” and could lead to another outbreak. He says in a group setting, “particularly without masks, you’re really asking for trouble.”
Florida has more than 700,000 confirmed cases and 14,200 deaths from the virus.
CANNON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A community near Grand Rapids, Michigan, has turned down thousands of dollars in state and federal aid related to the coronavirus epidemic.
The reason: Cannon Township says it doesn’t need it.
“The way we budget, and we have budgeted, we were ready for COVID … and so we had to respectfully decline to take the money,” said Steve Grimm, the township supervisor.
The township board declined more than $140,000 from the federal government and will accept less than $1,000 from roughly $12,000 offered by the state, WOOD-TV reported.
Cannon Township is in Kent County, which has reported 9,181 confirmed cases and 166 deaths. Overall, Michigan has more than 122,700 cases and 6,731 confirmed deaths.