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As virus numbers surge, precautions proving a tough sell

In Belgrade, Serbia, mourners gathered to pay respects to a Serbian Orthodox Church cleric who died of COVID-19 just three weeks after he presided over the funeral of another cleric who died of the virus. In both cases, many of the mourners did not wear masks or practice social distancing.

California is imposing a nighttime curfew as its coronavirus figures soar, but the state will lean heavily on voluntary compliance as sheriffs of some counties say they wont enforce it. What officials call a limited stay-at-home order requires people who are not on essential errands to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting Saturday. The order will last until Dec. 21 but could be extended if disease trends do not improve.

The tug-of-war between what protects the public from the coronavirus and what helps the economy is on clear display in Nevada, where Gov. Steve Sisolak is both imploring residents to stay home and encouraging out-of-state visitors to come to Las Vegas to spend their money.

THE NUMBERS: The numbers of new COVID-19 infections are climbing at a staggering pace that seems to only be picking up speed. On Saturday, just six days after reporting that the number of people in the United States to contract the virus had reached 11 million, researchers from Johns Hopkins University reported the total had reached the 12 million mark. Deaths are rising as well and are inching closer to the dire totals seen in the spring. On Thursday, the daily death toll exceeded 2,000, the first time that has happened since early May.

ICYMI: The number of coronavirus infections and deaths are surging around the globe. In Russia, for example, the national coronavirus task force said on Saturday that 24,822 new cases were recorded over the past day. And as a signal that the surge is far from over, the taskforce said that Saturday marked the fourth time in a week that a new high has been tallied.

QUOTABLE: “We’re supposed to be modeling for our constituents and for our residents in our state,” said Arkansas state Sen. Stephanie Flowers, a Democrat in the majority-Republican Legislature who proposed a rule requiring senators to wear a mask or risk losing their per diem payments. “You’ve got the governor asking everyone to wear a mask and socially distance. It’s not like I’m asking for something nobody has heard of.”
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