Editor’s note: This is a live account of COVID-19 updates from Sunday, Oct. 25, as the day unfolded. It is no longer being updated. Click here to see all the most recent news about the pandemic, and click here to find additional resources. 

With an apparent outbreak of the coronavirus infecting senior aides of Vice President Mike Pence, a top White House official declared Sunday: “We’re not going to control the pandemic.”

Mark Meadows, chief of staff to President Donald Trump, when pressed to explain why the pandemic cannot be reined in, told CNN’s “State of the Union” the government is now focused on getting effective therapeutics and vaccines to market. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign quickly seized on Meadows’ remarks, saying in a statement the Trump administration had effectively waved “the white flag of defeat” for combatting the virus.

Sunday’s developments emerged as the daily U.S. coronavirus caseload reached a record 83,757 on Friday.

In Washington, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Washington state hit 649 on Saturday, according to state health officials. The state’s Department of Health (DOH) no longer reports new deaths on the weekend. The state’s totals are 102,913 cases and 2,296 deaths, according to DOH data as of 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

Throughout Sunday, on this page, we’ll post updates on the pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world. Updates from Saturday are here, and all our coronavirus coverage can be found here.

Health systems are being strained by latest surge in COVID-19 cases

The pandemic is putting new strain on local health systems, prompting plans for makeshift medical centers and new talk of rationing care in some states.

In Texas, authorities are scrambling to shore up resources in El Paso, where covid-19 hospitalizations have nearly quadrupled to almost 800 in less than three weeks. In Utah, the state hospital association warned that if current trends hold, it will soon have to ask the governor to invoke “crisis standards of care” – a triage system that, for example, favors younger patients.

“It’s an extreme situation, because this means that all your contingency planning has been exhausted,” said Greg Bell, president of the Utah Hospital Association.

New reported infections nationwide surpassed 80,000 for the first time Friday and again Saturday as hospitalizations push past 40,000 and daily death tolls begin to climb. This new wave of infections, expected to intensify as winter draws closer, is spread wider than the spring surge that devastated East Coast states and the summer wave that slammed the South and the Southwest. 

Read more from the Washington Post.

—Washington Post

State confirms 649 new COVID-19 cases and 22 new hospitalizations

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Washington state rose by 649 cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases statewide to 102,913 to date, according to Washington's Department of Health.

The DOH also reported on its website Sunday that the total number of hospitalizations rose by 22 cases to 8,280, according to the latest data as of 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

State health officials do not post new death cases on weekends. The total number of COVID-19 deaths was 2,296 cases based on data through Thursday night.

—Lewis Kamb

'We're not going to control the pandemic,' White House chief of staff says

In an interview Sunday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN's ”State of the Union" that the government was focused on getting effective therapeutics and vaccines to market rather than reining in the pandemic.

“We’re not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas,” Meadows said on CNN. He added: “We are making efforts to contain it.”

Democrat Joe Biden said in a statement that Meadows was effectively waving “the white flag of defeat” and “a candid acknowledgement of what President Trump’s strategy has clearly been from the beginning of this crisis.”

Read more from the Associated Press.

—Associated Press

COVID-19 cases are surging across the U.S.

The latest data shows the coronavirus pandemic is far from over: About half of U.S. states have seen their highest daily infection numbers so far at some point in October, and the country as a whole came very close to back-to-back record daily infection rates on Friday and Saturday.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that 83,718 new cases were reported Saturday, just shy of the 83,757 infections reported Friday. Before that, the most cases reported in the United States on a single day had been 77,362, on July 16.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which federal health officials have used as a source for their pandemic projections, currently forecasts that the U.S. COVID-19 death toll could exceed 318,000 by Jan. 1.

Read more from the Associated Press.

—Associated Press

AP source: NFL fines Titans $350,000 over season's first COVID-19 outbreak

The NFL has fined the Tennessee Titans $350,000 for violating protocols leading to the league’s first COVID-19 outbreak during the season, a person familiar with the discipline told The Associated Press.

The NFL found the Titans failed to wear masks at all times and were “insufficiently clear” to players about not meeting or working out once the facility closed.

Read more here.

—The Associated Press

Italy puts new restrictions on gyms, restaurants and theaters

Italy’s leader imposed at least a month of new restrictions across the country Sunday to fight rising coronavirus infections, shutting down gyms, pools and movie theaters, putting an early curfew on cafes and restaurants and mandating that people keep wearing masks outdoors.

Worried about crippling Italy’s stagnant economy, especially after 10 weeks of a severe lockdown earlier in the pandemic, Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte opted against another heavy nationwide lockdown. The new decree goes into effect Monday and lasts until Nov. 24.

A day earlier, Italy surpassed a half million confirmed coronavirus cases since February, when it became the first country in Europe stricken by the pandemic. The last two days have seen daily new infections creep close to 20,000 and Italy still has Europe’s second-highest virus death toll after Britain, at 37,210 people.

Read more here.

—The Associated Press

Pence aides have coronavirus, but he'll campaign

Vice President Mike Pence will continue an aggressive campaign schedule this week despite an apparent coronavirus outbreak among his senior aides, according to the White House.

Pence has tested negative Sunday and will not quarantine, a spokesman said. He is scheduled to hold a rally Sunday afternoon in North Carolina.

Read the full Associated Press story here via www.seattletimes.com.

—Mike Lindblom