A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1.1 million people worldwide.
Over 44.9 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 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. The criteria for diagnosis -- through clinical means or a lab test -- has also varied from country to country.
The United States is the worst-affected nation, with more than 8.9 million diagnosed cases and at least 228,636 deaths.
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.
2-week shutdown ordered in El Paso as state attorney general pushes back
Just days after issuing a countywide curfew, a judge in El Paso County, Texas, ordered a two-week shutdown of nonessential businesses -- a move that was met with pushback from the state attorney general.
Judge Ricardo Samaniego announced Thursday that beginning at midnight, El Paso County will enter a two-week shutdown of nonessential businesses and services, including tattoo parlors, hair salons, gyms and in-person dining. Essential businesses, including polling sites and schools that provide meals, will remain open, he said.
"Since the inception of this pandemic, El Paso County has never seen this level of infections through our community," Samaniego told reporters at a press briefing Thursday evening. "Our hospitals are at capacity, our medical professionals are overwhelmed and if we don't respond, we will see unprecedented levels of deaths."
The judge said that El Paso had seen a 365.2% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations since the beginning of the month.
Following the announcement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted that Samaniego "has no authority to shut down businesses" and was violating Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order.
"My office is quickly exploring all legal actions," Paxton said.
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo also questioned the new county order.
"The Judge did not consult me and refuses to return my call, so I am seeking clarification from the Attorney General on the new County order, which does not supersede the Governor's orders," Margo said in a statement.
"We must strike a balance of keeping our neighbors safe while not destroying people's abilities to feed their families," he added.
Several community leaders joined Samaniego in supporting the order.
"In recent days it's apparent that stricter measures are necessary to flatten the curve and, bottom line, save lives," Texas state Rep. Cesar Blanco, a Democrat, said at Thursday's briefing. "The status quo, it's no longer working."
There were 937 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in El Paso on Thursday, a new record, University Medical Center CEO Jacob Cintron said.
On Sunday, Samaniego ordered a two-week curfew to limit mobility in the community amid rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and after intensive care units at all area hospitals reached 100% capacity as of Saturday. The curfew has been imposed for 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and trick-or-treat activities on Halloween are not allowed, Samaniego said.
ABC News' Cherise Rudy, Will Gretsky and Timmy Truong contributed to this report.
Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, likely No. 1 NFL pick, tests positive
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the likely No. 1 pick in next year's NFL Draft, has tested positive for COVID-19.
Lawrence's positive test was confirmed by his coach late Thursday.
"Trevor has authorized us this evening to announce that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in isolation," Dabo Swinney said in a statement. "He is doing well with mild symptoms but will not be available for this week’s game against Boston College."
The Tigers are currently the No. 1 team in the nation and are 6-0 on the season. They are a huge favorite over Boston College this weekend.
Lawrence released a statement saying, in part, "I have tested positive for COVID-19, and my symptoms have been relatively mild while I'm following the protocol from Clemson and the ACC. The only thing that hurts is missing an opportunity to be with my teammates this weekend and play the game I love."
The Clemson star was one of the top lobbyists among college players to hold a college football season. He argued the athletes would be less protected if they did not compete and instead stayed at home for remote learning.
"People are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play," he wrote in a tweet on Aug. 9.
Lawrence has been the projected No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft ever since he exploded on the scene as a freshman in leading the Tigers to a national championship in 2018. He was also the offensive MVP of that game.
Swinney has admitted it's unlikely the junior will return for a fourth season. NFL teams are already salivating over the prospect of the 6-foot-6 signal caller joining their rosters.
US sets single-day record for cases
As the U.S. continues to battle a second surge of coronavirus cases, the country has set a new single-day record for cases, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
There were 88,452 cases reported on Thursday, well above the seven-day average of 76,302. The U.S. also tested 1.3 million people.
While cases and hospitalizations continue to surge, deaths have been increasing, but at a slower rate. The death toll on Thursday was 1,049, about 250 more than the seven-day average. The death toll's relative stagnation is likely due to younger people getting sick and better treatment strategies.
US sets new record number of weekly cases
The U.S. has set a new record for the number of weekly cases, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
Thirty-nine states had a rise in hospitalizations this week, the largest increases being in Texas and the upper Midwest, the COVID Tracking Project found.
The U.S. is reporting a record 8.2 million tests, but case growth is outpacing test increases. Forty-seven states as well as Washington, D.C., have seen cases rise faster than tests since Oct. 1, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
ABC News’ Brian Hartman contributed to this report.