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What you need to know about coronavirus on Friday, October 30

A version of this story appeared in the October 30 edition of CNN's Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here to receive the need-to-know headlines every weekday.

(CNN)Nearly 90,000 new coronavirus infections were reported in the United States on Thursday, the highest single-day total in the country since the pandemic began. That's equivalent to about one new case every second.

Former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, has warned that the US could cross the 100,000 cases per day threshold sometime in the next couple of weeks -- or maybe even this week.

As the US edges closer toward 9 million total cases, voters are out casting ballots in several swing states where outbreaks are widening -- making it difficult to judge which way they will vote.

President Donald Trump and his rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, went head-to-head in one of those battlegrounds on Thursday, showing their sharply divergent approaches to the virus at dueling rallies in Florida.

One of the perils for Trump in his adopted home state is sliding support among seniors, which has been driven in part by broad disapproval of his handling of the pandemic and the fact that older voters have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, Maeve Reston writes.

In spite of that vulnerability, the President downplayed the fall surge during his huge rally in Tampa -- where there was no social distancing and few supporters wore masks. At one point, Trump told rallygoers: "We know the disease. We social distance. We do all of the things that you have to do. ... If you get close, wear a mask."

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED

Q: Do people in California really eat through their masks?

A: The answer is (obviously) no. But that didn't stop Trump from making the outlandish claim at a campaign rally in Arizona on Wednesday: "In California, you have a special mask. You cannot, under any circumstances, take it off. You have to eat through the mask," the President said. "It's a very complex mechanism. And they don't realize, those germs, they go through it like nothing."

Californians are not required to wear "complex" or "special" masks, as the President claimed on Wednesday; basic face coverings, even homemade ones, are acceptable there. Though Gov. Gavin Newsom has imposed a statewide mask order, Californians are not required to wear masks at all times; they can remove them when at home, when alone in a room outside their home, when outdoors and more than 6 feet from others, and when eating or drinking. And while people can transmit the coronavirus or get infected while wearing masks, face coverings have proven effective in reducing the chances of transmission; they are much better than "nothing."

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WHAT'S IMPORTANT TODAY

Many counties that hosted Trump rallies had a significant increase in coronavirus cases

A CNN investigation of 17 Trump campaign rallies finds that 14 of the host counties -- 82% of them -- had an increased rate of Covid-19 infections one month after the event.

The 17 rallies occurred between August 17 and September 26. Of the host counties that had increased infection rates, eight had declining rates in the preceding month before the rally. The other six counties already had increasing rates of infection.

Europe tried a scalpel on the second wave. Now it's going back to the sledgehammer

Europe is once again the epicenter of the global pandemic, the World Health Organization has said. The continent's whack-a-mole strategy of imposing local lockdowns to squash the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic didn't work. Now it's time to pull out the big guns, Ivana Kottasová writes.

Germany and France both announced new four-week national lockdowns on Wednesday night -- an acknowledgement that their attempts to control the outbreaks through local measures have failed. They followed the Czech Republic and Ireland, which put country-wide restrictions in place earlier this month. Spain and the United Kingdom could be next.

Understaffed and overwhelmed, some Czech hospitals will soon have to turn people away. It's a picture that is being replicated across the continent, as health care systems struggle to keep up with a new surge of patients. The European Union said on Thursday that it will fund patient transfers across borders within the bloc to prevent hospitals from getting overwhelmed.

Taiwan just went 200 days without a locally transmitted Covid-19 case. Here's how they did it

As much of the world struggles to contain new waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, Taiwan just marked its 200th consecutive day without a locally transmitted case of the disease.

Taiwan has never had to enact strict lockdowns. Nor did it resort to drastic restrictions on civil freedoms, like in mainland China. Instead, its response focused on speed. Taiwanese authorities began screening passengers on direct flights from Wuhan, where the virus was first identified, on December 31, 2019 -- back when the virus was mostly the subject of rumors and limited reporting. But Taiwan also has other advantages its counterparts in the West do not, Joshua Berlinger writes.

China's most controlled region is facing the country's biggest coronavirus outbreak in months

Xinjiang, the heavily policed region of western China where the government has been accused of detaining more than a million Muslims, is grappling with a new outbreak of the virus.

While the rest of the country is reporting only a handful of daily cases -- with most of those imported -- Xinjiang has this week recorded dozens of new infections.

It's the country's biggest coronavirus cluster since more than 180 infections were reported in the capital Beijing in June. And it has raised eyebrows, given the heavy surveillance and security prevalent in the region, and the drastic response the government enacted earlier this year.

ON OUR RADAR

TOP TIPS

There are 9.9 million Americans who are not up-to-date on their rent or mortgage payments, and at risk of eviction. Long before Covid-19, the United States was facing a homelessness crisis. Now, as the economic toll of the pandemic weighs on families, many are scrambling to figure out how to obtain or sustain a place they call home.

CNN's Impact Your World has gathered some resources for those facing housing insecurity or homelessness during this time.

TODAY'S PODCAST

"There are other symptoms that I have, so many years after, that I think are resonating with your Covid long-haulers, people who talk about, you know, brain fog, difficulty concentrating ... difficulty making new memories." -- Dr. Craig Spencer, Ebola survivor

Almost exactly six years ago, Dr. Spencer was getting out of the hospital after being treated for Ebola. But his recovery didn't end there. He joins CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta to talk about how his experience could shed light on the long-term effects of Covid-19. Listen Now.

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