Samara Heisz/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1.1 million people worldwide.Over 41.7 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has varied from country to country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 8.4 million diagnosed cases and at least 223,051 deaths.California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 893,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 871,000 cases and over 768,000 cases, respectively.Nearly 200 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least 10 of which are in crucial phase three studies. Of those 10 potential vaccines in late-stage trials, there are currently five that will be available in the United States if approved.Here’s how the news is developing Friday. All times Eastern:Oct 23, 6:54 amUS reports over 70,000 new cases for first time since JulyThere were 71,671 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Thursday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.It’s the highest daily tally the country has reported since mid-July, almost surpassing the national record of more than 77,000 new cases in a single day. The latest case count was also nearly 9,000 more than the previous day.An additional 856 fatalities from COVID-19 were also registered nationwide Thursday, down by from a peak of 2,666 new deaths in mid-April.A total of 8,409,312 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 223,051 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July.The daily tally of new cases has gradually come down since then but has started to climb again in recent weeks and is now averaging around 60,000 per day.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Mayor Jay Gillian Dear Friends,I’m sad to report on the passing of four citizens who served our country and community in many ways. I want to take a moment to pay tribute to Father Edmond Speitel, Fred Hoffman, Judy Kolea and Bob Wilent.Father Speitel touched many lives as pastor at St. Frances in our St. Damien Parish here in Ocean City, and that’s how many of us know him. He was a World War II veteran before his ordination, and he returned to combat as a chaplain in Vietnam. His military career was just a small part of his six decades of dedication to God, church, veterans and all the people of his parish.An educator, athlete, coach and proud father, Fred was a member of the Ocean City Board of Education and a long-time advocate for local youth. He volunteered with many community organizations and was a familiar face in the north end of town. Fred was never afraid to speak his mind, but he always was respectful of everybody in the community. I sat with Fred on the school board, and I’m grateful to have learned many things from him. I know I’m a better public servant because of him.Judy was a member of the Ocean City Yacht Club, Ocean City Republican Club and local volunteer whose family remains an important part of the community. There are a lot of folks on the lagoons who fondly remember days and nights spent with Judy and family.I want to echo City Council’s tribute to Bob from last night. Bob owned and operated a home improvement business in town with a reputation for service and fairness. He was an active social member of the local VFW post and a good friend to many people in town.These are examples of the many people in Ocean City who make a difference in our lives through their everyday actions. I hope you all will join Michele and me in extending condolences and prayers to the families and friends of these four members of our community.Grand marshal Barbara Eden will lead the annual Doo Dah Parade down Asbury Avenue and the Boardwalk on Saturday starting at noon rain or shine. She’ll be back to host the Mr. Mature America Pageant at 7 p.m. Saturday, and tickets are still available. See more information on these and all our upcoming events .I hope you all have a great weekend.Warm regards,Mayor Jay A. Gillian