The Wider World

Mask mandate on Wednesday

A STATEWIDE mandate requiring the wearing of face covering in indoor spaces goes into effect on Wednesday and will last through Jan. 15 (Pexels/Cottonbor)

Tomorrow will be “Wear a Mask Wednesday.” For the next month, the State of California is imposing an order requiring the wearing of face coverings in indoor public locations such as restaurants, stores, bars, and gymnasiums.

The mandate will run until Jan. 15. The intent is to provide additional protection against transmission of the coronavirus, which is surging across the state and nation. A combination of cool weather – driving people indoors – and holiday crowding from shopping and celebrating – may be the force behind the spikes both in new cases and deaths.

Public health officials aren’t expecting 100 percent compliance. “Even a 10 percent increase in indoor masking can reduce case transmission significantly,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health and human services secretary, told The New York Times.

New York State has enacted a similar mandate, also effective on Wednesday.

COVID deaths in U.S. reach 800,000

100, 000 NEW CASES of coronavirus are reported daily in the U.S. (Shutterstock),

Spurred in part by the emergence of new variants, the coronavirus pandemic has now claimed the lives of 800,000 Americans.

According to USA Today, public health leaders now believe it’s likely the toll will eventually reach 1 million or higher. “There is no question that we will reach 1 million deaths sooner than later,” said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency specialist who works at a New York City hospital.

COVID-19 is now on a pace of 100,000 new cases every day. Most of the cases and fatalities are among the unvaccinated. So far, over 200 million Americans have received a vaccine.

Sports: Curry breaks NBA three-point record

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors became the all-time leader in three-point shots on Tuesday, hitting his 2,974th trey in a game against the New York Knicks. He surpassed the record set by Ray Allen.  The Warriors won the game, 105-96. Curry finished the game with 22 points.

Weather: Rain departs, but not for long

The rain that flooded streets and slowed traffic in the West Orange County area will be gone by Wednesday, but partly cloudy conditions will keep the temperature low. The daytime high will be 58 with an overnight low of 41. Thursday will be slightly warmer at 60(46) but there’s a 20 percent chance of rain. Sun will return over the weekend with daytime highs in the mid-60s.

Finance: Winning streak broken on Wall Street

After seven consecutive days of growth, the stock markets turned downward on Tuesday after a disappointing report on inflation. The Labor Department said that wholesale prices increased 9.6 percent in November and all three major exchanges turned red. The S&P 500 dropped 34.88 points to 4,634.09, the Dow declined 106.77 to 35,544.18 and the Nasdaq closed at 15,247.64, down 175.74 points.

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