Overnight Health Care: US shatters single day COVID record with over 100,000 cases | Pelosi announces COVID-19 testing expansion for House | Two states to require masks in public at all times

Overnight Health Care: US shatters single day COVID record with over 100,000 cases | Pelosi announces COVID-19 testing expansion for House | Two states to require masks in public at all times
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Welcome to Thursday's Overnight Health Care.

We still don't know who won the presidential election, but one thing we know for sure is that coronavirus cases are surging. The pandemic is becoming increasingly difficult to handle, and will be even if there's a new president. 

We'll start with numbers: 


A grim milestone: The US passed 100,000 coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time

In a sign of the tough winter ahead, the United States on Wednesday recorded more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time during the pandemic. 

The exact total was more than 103,000 cases on Wednesday, according to the COVID Tracking Project. 

While President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE has downplayed the rising cases by saying they are simply due to more people being tested, the number of hospitalizations is also rising, a sign that the outbreak is also worsening.

There are about 52,000 people currently in the hospital with coronavirus, according to the COVID Tracking Project. That number continues to rise every day, given that it lags behind cases. 

There were also more than 1,100 deaths on Wednesday. Deaths tend to increase behind cases and hospitalizations. 

Tough outlook: The rising numbers are a sign of how severe the outbreak is in the United States, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon as the weather gets colder and people move indoors, where the virus spreads more easily. 


Many people are also tired of following restrictions, worrying experts further about the months to come, including upcoming holiday gatherings. 

Read more here

Pelosi announces COVID-19 testing expansion for House

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Biden unveils virus plan and urges patience | Fauci says it's 'liberating' working under Biden | House to move quickly on COVID-19 relief Overnight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 On The Money: Pelosi says House will move immediately on COVID-19 relief | Biden faces backlash over debt | 900,000 more Americans file for unemployment benefits MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that the House will soon proceed with an expansion of COVID-19 testing due to the Air Force providing up to 2,000 tests for the entire Congress.

Pelosi made the announcement during a Democratic leadership call on the same day that D.C. Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserInauguration parties lose the glitz and glamour in 2021 Biden's inauguration unprecedented in US history Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration MORE unveiled new rules requiring travelers to the nation's capital to test negative for COVID-19 before and after arrival.

The Air Force will provide the COVID-19 tests for Congress at no additional cost for the next six weeks, according to a senior Democratic aide. The aide added that a longer-term solution is being discussed.

Flashback: More than a dozen other House members have tested positive for COVID-19, including Reps. Mike BostMichael (Mike) J. BostMORE (R-Ill.), Salud CarbajalSalud CarbajalCapitol riots spark fear of Trump's military powers in final days House Democrats push Biden's Pentagon pick on civilian control of military GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-Calif.), Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisMcCarthy supports Cheney remaining in leadership amid calls for her to step down More than half of House GOP commits to vote for resolution calling for Cheney to step down from leadership GOP divided over Liz Cheney's future MORE, (R-Ill.), Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartEPA sued over plans to give Florida authority over managing wetlands, waterways Bottom line READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results MORE (R-Fla.), Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamWe lost in November — we're proud we didn't take corporate PAC money Chamber of Commerce slams GOP effort to challenge Biden's win Coalition of 7 conservative House Republicans says they won't challenge election results MORE (D-S.C.), Neal DunnNeal Patrick DunnOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Fla.), Morgan GriffithHoward (Morgan) Morgan GriffithDemocrats to levy fines on maskless lawmakers on House floor READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Chip Roy challenges seating of House members from six presidential battleground states MORE (R-Va.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Jahana HayesJahana HayesCongress ends its year under shadow of COVID-19 It's time to secure our digital sidewalks Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet MORE (D-Conn.), Mike KellyGeorge (Mike) Joseph KellyREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Here are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results On The Money: Congress passes bill to avert shutdown as coronavirus talks drag into weekend | Federal Reserve fight imperils relief talks MORE (R-Pa.), Ben McAdams (D-Utah), Dan MeuserDaniel (Dan) MeuserREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results MORE (R-Pa.) and Tom RiceHugh (Tom) Thompson RiceUpton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? Rice explains his surprise vote to impeach: 'This utter failure is inexcusable' MORE (R-S.C.).

Read more here.

Two states to require masks in public at all times, regardless of distance from others

Maine Gov. Janet MillsJanet MillsStates expecting fewer vaccine doses than promised: report Overnight Health Care: US shatters single day COVID record with over 100,000 cases | Pelosi announces COVID-19 testing expansion for House | Two states to require masks in public at all times Two states to require masks in public at all times, regardless of distance from others MORE (D) and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) issued a stricter mask mandates this week as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the nation.

Mills issued her order on Thursday, requiring Mainers to wear masks in public spaces at all times, regardless of distance from others.

Previously, under the governor’s executive order, people were not required to wear masks in public if they could stay at least six feet away from others. 

Under the order, which took effect the same day it was issued, masks are required within indoor spaces “accessible to the public” including restaurants, grocery stores and houses of worship, and in outdoor spaces, like playgrounds, sidewalks and parking lots, regardless of distance from others.

“We have recorded yet another day of record-high case numbers. This deadly and dangerous virus is spreading all across our state,” Mills said in a statement.


Baker issued a similar order earlier this week, requiring people “wear face coverings in all public places, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others” and “whether indoors or outdoors.”

What’s next: More states might follow as COVID-19 cases increase across the country.

Read more here.

DC to require negative coronavirus test, eliminates quarantine for visitors

Out-of-state visitors to the District of Columbia will have to provide a negative COVID-19 test, but will no longer have to quarantine upon arrival, according to updated travel restrictions announced Thursday.

Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said the city is changing its current requirement of a 14-day mandatory quarantine for travelers, which had been in place since July. Instead, they must test negative within 72 hours of traveling, and then obtain another test 3 to 5 days after arrival.

The city won't be strictly enforcing the new rules-- they're meant to be a tool to help private institutions manage travelers. 


Under the previous rules, anyone coming from a "high risk" state was required to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in the city.

As coronavirus cases have spiked across the country, more states have been added, and the order now applies to people from 42 states. 

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoThree National Guardsmen killed after military helicopter crash in New York New York City reschedules 23,000 vaccination appointments due to supply issues Pence delivers coronavirus task force report to Biden MORE (D) instituted a similar measure for the Empire State, requiring that visitors receive a negative test before they enter the state and test negative again four days after arrival. 

The announcement comes as Bowser and city officials have been urging people to avoid traveling for Thanksgiving and hosting large groups of out-of-state visitors. The new policy would seemingly make travel easier, though Bowser said there is no contradiction with previous messaging.

Read more here.

On the intersection of coronavirus and the economy: Fed chair Powell says 'concerning' rise in COVID-19 cases could hinder economic recovery

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that surging coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Europe pose a troubling obstacle to the economic recovery. 


Powell told reporters during a Thursday press conference that “the recent rise in new COVID-19 cases both here in the United States and abroad is particularly concerning” to the central bank and dangerous to the fragile U.S. economy.

“As we have emphasized throughout the pandemic the outlook for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain, and will depend in large part on the success of efforts to keep the virus in check,” Powell said after the Fed announced it would keep interest rates near zero. 

“All of us have a role to play in our nation's response to the pandemic. Following the advice of public health professionals to keep appropriate social distances and to wear masks in public will help get the economy back to full strength,” he added.

Big picture: Powell, other top Fed officials, and economists across the public and private sectors have said since the beginning of the pandemic that the U.S. economy would be unable to fully recover until COVID-19 is adequately controlled. 

Read more here

What we’re reading

A new item on your medical bill: The ‘COVID’ fee (The New York Times)

Pharma experts weigh in on the next four years of drug pricing policy (STAT)

Coming abortion fight could threaten birth control, too (Kaiser Health News)

Mammograms fell sharply in early pandemic months, study finds (The 19th

State by state

Illinois Reports Record-High Daily Case Count as State Reaches Grim Milestone (NBC 5)

Florida adds more than 6,000 coronavirus cases Thursday (Tampa Bay Times)

Utah coronavirus cases, hospitalizations shatter records, with 2,807 new infections Thursday (Salt Lake Tribune)

Op-eds in The Hill 

Vaccine race creates blind spots