- Toronto places of worship face severe restrictions
- US-Canada border closure extended through Dec. 21
- AZ-Oxford vaccine offers protection for up to six months
- Wyoming limits gathering size
- Dr. Birx wants to stay on
- 3 players for NY Giants test positive
- 2 Shanghai residents test positive
- US sees record new cases; 1MN+ cases in a week
- Hungary may sidestep EU drug regulations
- UK sets up mass vaccination stations
- WHO warns remdesivir ineffective in treating COVID
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Update (1440ET): As case numbers in Canada continue to accelerate, Toronto on Friday announced that places of worship will face severe restrictions.
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Update (1150ET): As we head into the afternoon, another headline just hit on the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine saying data from the trial suggests it can grant immunity for up to six months.
Following last night's White House COVID task force meeting, Dr. Deborah Birx is reportedly lobbying to try and stay on in her current role during a Biden Administration (unrelatedly, recent reports also claimed the Merrick Garland is on Biden's short-list for the AG job).
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday that he would extend the border closure between the US and Canada to Dec. 21. Essential cross-border workers and truck drivers are still allowed (commerce has continued with little interruption) since Canada relies on US farmers to grow most of its food. Canada also warned of an incipient surge in cases.
NJ health commissioner said Friday that she sees a vaccine available in the state by late December. Meanwhile, the number of occupied hospital beds across the US rose to new highs.
Finally, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida announced on Twitter Friday that he has tested positive for COVID, but he is experiencing few, if any, symptoms.
After several negative tests, I learned I was positive for COVID-19 this AM. I’m feeling good & experiencing very mild symptoms. I’ll be working from home until it’s safe for me to return to DC. I remind everyone to be careful & do the right things to protect yourselves & others.— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) November 20, 2020
Wear a mask. Socially distance. Quarantine if you come in contact with someone positive like I did. We will beat this together, but we all must be responsible. I want to thank all the incredible health care workers who are working around the clock to care for patients.— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) November 20, 2020
And Wyoming has responded to a surge in cases by imposing new restrictions on indoor and outdoor public gatherings with exceptions for "faith-based" meetings.
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Update (1020ET): 3 players for the NY Giants have tested positive for COVID-19, according to media reports, creating more disruption for the NFL schedule ahead of a key week for the NFL's schedule.
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The US reported more than 180k new cases on Thursday for the first time ever, marking a new record just ahead of a holiday week as the CDC urges the 50 million Americans planning to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday to just stay home.
According to the COVID tracking project, the US recorded more than 1 million new COVID-19 cases over the past week, leaving the US on track to post the biggest weekly jump in new cases yet...just one week before Thanksgiving.
As COVID mortality surges, deaths per million people in the US are the highest in South Dakota and North Dakota. Of course, their overall numbers remain relatively small compared to other states.
While all 50 states are seeing their outbreaks continue to grow, the midwest is reporting the most new cases daily.
Over the past couple of weeks, hospitalizations in the US have nearly doubled, helping to push the mortality rate higher.
In terms of vaccine news, Pfizer is applying for an emergency use authorizations from the FDA as was widely expected, while one of China's top vaccine makers just claimed that a million Chinese have already been vaccinated.
Here's some more COVID-19 news from overnight and Friday morning:
England’s Covid infection rate continued to rise, with one in 80 people having the disease in the week to November 14, according to Office for National Statistics figures published Friday. However, the pace has leveled off in recent weeks. There were an estimated 38,900 new cases per day in the latest week, down from almost 48,000 in the previous seven days (Source: Bloomberg).
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban indicated that his government may sidestep the European Union’s drugs regulator to accelerate the authorization of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine (Source: Bloomberg).
California Governor Newsom issued a 22:00-05:00 curfew and stay at home order for purple tier counties which will last for 4 weeks and affect over 90% of the state's population from Saturday (Source: Newswires).
WHO warned last night that it woundn't recommend Gilead's remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19, in a major blow to what was once touted as a revolutionary therapeutic (Source: Newswires).
UK will set up dozens of mass vaccination centers once a vaccine is approved to immunize people against the virus. (Source: the Telegraph).