November 11 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Jenni Marsh, Nectar Gan, Stephanie Halasz, Kara Fox, Ed Upright, Emma Reynolds and Roya Wolverson, CNN

Updated 12:15 AM ET, Thu November 12, 2020
30 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:10 p.m. ET, November 11, 2020

West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Illinois report record numbers of Covid-19 cases in single day

From CNN’s Sahar Akbarzai, Taylor Romine and Amanda Watts

People in cars wait in line for COVID-19 testing in Reading, Pennsylvania, outside FirstEnergy Stadium on October 13.
People in cars wait in line for COVID-19 testing in Reading, Pennsylvania, outside FirstEnergy Stadium on October 13. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Illinois set records for their highest number of coronavirus cases reported in a single day so far in the pandemic.

West Virginia reported new 885 cases, according to its Department of Health website, bringing its total number of confirmed and probable cases to 30,201.  

There were seven reported fatalities yesterday, bringing the death toll to 553. The daily percentage of positive tests is 5.90% and the cumulative percent of positive is 3.11%.

Illinois on Wednesday reported its highest daily increase with 12,657 new cases, plus 145 deaths, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). 

As of Tuesday night, 5,042 people in the state were reported to be in hospital with Covid-19, including 951 patients in intensive care units and 404 on ventilators, the IDPH statement said. 

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from November 4-10, 2020 was 13.6%, the statement added. 

Illinois has seen 523,840 total cases, including 10,434 deaths, in 102 counties, according to IDPH.%. 

Pennsylvania announced on Tuesday its highest daily increase in cases at 4,711, according to a Department of Health news release.

Covid-19 cases trended higher in the state over the past several days, with a total of 243,368 infections to date. Pennsylvania also reported 59 new deaths, bringing it to 9,145 deaths linked to the coronavirus.

The Department of Health said it had seen a significant increase in cases among younger age groups, specifically i19- to 24-year-olds.

As of Wednesday, 1,948 people are hospitalized, with 417 people currently in intensive care. Most of those hospitalized are 65 and older, the department said.

CNN is tracking US cases here:

1:33 p.m. ET, November 11, 2020

"We can do this better," say doctors critical of Trump administration's antibody treatment rollout 

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

Doctors from Harvard University have shared serious reservations about the Trump administration’s Covid-19 antibody treatment rollout, in an editorial published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The editorial -- written before the announcement that Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody treatment won emergency use authorization on Monday and would be sent out to clinics as early as this week -- focuses on Regeneron’s treatment. It has not yet been given an emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration. 

Dr. Robert Goldstein, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, said he believed Regeneron is likely to get the nod soon, and what he knows about the rollout plans for both could put a serious strain on the system and potentially worsen inequities in treatment.

Goldstein said doctors still don’t have a lot of detail about which patients best benefit from the treatments. Much of what doctors know comes from news releases. 

We don’t like to practice medicine by press release,” Goldstein told CNN.

News releases may reassure investors, he said, but they leave doctors with too many questions about who to treat -- especially in cases like this one, when treatments are in such limited supply. 

Goldstein is also concerned about how the antibody treatments need to be administered -- in a health care office with space for someone to be infused for an hour and observed for another hour. Many safety net and rural health care systems do not have this kind of capacity, he said.

The editorial’s final concern is that there is no obligation for doctors to document how well the therapy works. 

Goldstein said he understands the US needs to move forward quickly in a public health crisis, especially if treatments can reduce hospitalizations, which reached an all-time high Tuesday.

"But we can do this better," he said. "We know that we can do this better and we should be doing it better."

1:02 p.m. ET, November 11, 2020

"West Wing" actor Richard Schiff tests positive for Covid-19

From Marianne Garvey, CNN

Actors Richard Schiff, right, and Sheila Kelley attend For Your Consideration Event for ABC's 'The Good Doctor' at Sony Pictures Studios on May 22, 2018 in Culver City, California. 
Actors Richard Schiff, right, and Sheila Kelley attend For Your Consideration Event for ABC's 'The Good Doctor' at Sony Pictures Studios on May 22, 2018 in Culver City, California.  JC Olivera/Getty Images

Richard Schiff and his wife Sheila Kelley have both tested positive for Covid-19, the actor revealed on Twitter.

"On Election Day I tested positive for Covid-19. This has been the most bizarre week of our lives," Schiff wrote. "@thesheilakelley is also positive."

"The Good Doctor" and "West Wing" star ended the post with: "This is tough. We are determined to find a way to health again. We root for everyone out there who are struggling with this thing. Love from here."

The couple is currently in isolation at their home in Canada, where "The Good Doctor" is filmed.

Read more on this story here.

12:12 p.m. ET, November 11, 2020

The UK, Italy and Portugal mark grim milestones

From CNN’s Nicola Ruotolo in Rome and Vasco Cotovio in London

Medical workers at a triage check point that was set up to ease the pressure on hospital emergency wards, following a surge in Covid-19 case numbers, in Milan, on Tuesday, November 10.
Medical workers at a triage check point that was set up to ease the pressure on hospital emergency wards, following a surge in Covid-19 case numbers, in Milan, on Tuesday, November 10. Antonio Calanni/AP

The United Kingdom has recorded more than 50,000 deaths from Covid-19, with the British government reporting an additional 595 deaths in the past 24 hours.

The official total death toll in the UK now stands at 50,365.

The country reached the grim milestone as England, where most deaths were reported, completed the first of four weeks of a national lockdown, which came into effect last Thursday.

British authorities also reported 22,950 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, which bring the total number of cases in the UK to 1,256,725.

In Italy more than one million Covid-19 cases have now been recorded, with 32,961 new cases reported on Wednesday.

The total number of cases stands at 1,028,424 according to the Italian ministry of health. 

The country also recorded its highest daily death toll since April today, saying that 623 people had died.

Health authorities in Portugal marked the worst daily increase in its death toll since the pandemic began, with 82 Covid-19 deaths reported in the past 24 hours,

There have been 3,103 fatalities in the country in total, according to the Portuguese Health Directorate. And the second wave is showing no current signs of slowing down, with 4,935 new cases reported on Wednesday.

Portugal introduced a two-week state of emergency on Monday in 121 municipalities which are mostly concentrated around the country's two largest cities, Lisbon and Porto.

In those areas, it's now compulsory to wear a face mask in public, including outside spaces if social distancing is impossible to maintain. A weekday curfew from 11pm and 5am local time is also now in force, with a 1pm-5am curfew in effect on the weekend.

The government said it doesn’t rule out stricter restrictions -- such as closing roads and railways -- if the situation does not improve.

11:59 a.m. ET, November 11, 2020

"Vaccination is not going to be a fairytale ending," says former CDC director

From CNN's Andrea Diaz

Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks during an interview on November 11.
Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks during an interview on November 11. CNN

Even with a vaccine in sight, we're still going to be dealing with Covid-19 through most or all of 2021 and "quite possibly beyond that," the former director of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN Wednesday.

Dr. Tom Frieden, now CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, said that older people and those with underlying health conditions will continue to be at higher risk for severe illness or death from Covid-19, even if a highly effective vaccine comes available soon.

"I think it would be a misguided approach to think 'Well, if we just vaccinate those folks, we'll be OK' because roughly 40 to 50% of all adults in the United States have some underlying condition that puts them at an increased risk and it's somewhat unpredictable who is going to get particularly, ill," Frieden said.
"So, a vaccine is really important, and the news is very encouraging. But vaccination is not going to be a fairytale ending to the pandemic." 

However, Frieden said the pandemic plan from President-elect Joe Biden's team is encouraging.

"The President-elect is clear about three things that we've been lacking so far in this response," said Frieden. "First, base it in science, second, communicate clearly openly, honestly, and third, make sure that we have an approach that is organized, so that it's clear who's in charge, what the role of different parts of government is and how we can minimize deaths while also minimizing harm to education to our societal and economic progress."

 

11:24 a.m. ET, November 11, 2020

UK standards won’t be lowered in race for vaccine, says England's deputy chief medical officer

From Samantha Tapfumaneyi in London

Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Jonathan Van-Tam speaks during a press conference on the coronavirus pandemic  inside 10 Downing Street on November 9, 2020.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Jonathan Van-Tam speaks during a press conference on the coronavirus pandemic inside 10 Downing Street on November 9, 2020. Tolga Akmen/POOL/AFP/Getty Images

England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, has said despite there being an acceleration on a potential Covid-19 vaccine “standards are no lower just because this is a public health emergency,” during a Downing Street news conference on Wednesday.

Van-Tam also said he believes people should not be able to skip the queue for any potential vaccine by paying for it privately. “I don't know of any plans from any manufacturers, and certainly don't have any inkling that we would contemplate that kind of arrangement for the UK. Of course, that is a ministerial decision. It is not a clinicians' decision,” he added.

Van-Tam said he has urged his 78-year-old mother to take a coronavirus vaccine as soon as it is available.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, said phase one of the UK government’s vaccine program is protecting the most vulnerable and the top of the list would be “care home residences and people who work in care homes. This reflects the devastating impact of Covid-19 in our care homes.”

Following care home residence and carers, those who are age 50 and above will be prioritized.

11:00 a.m. ET, November 11, 2020

Overcrowded Italian hospital treats patients in their cars

From CNN's Livia Borghese in Rome

People with suspected cases of Covid-19 are treated in their cars at Cotugno hospital in Naples, Italy, on November 7.
People with suspected cases of Covid-19 are treated in their cars at Cotugno hospital in Naples, Italy, on November 7. IPA/Sipa

People with suspected cases of coronavirus were treated with emergency oxygen inside their cars while waiting to be admitted into an overcrowded hospital in the southern Italian city of Naples over the weekend.

A row of vehicles outside the Cotugno hospital proved a particularly distressing sight for people who had rushed to the hospital on Saturday and Sunday displaying symptoms of the virus.

Marta Cattaneo, spokesperson for the Cotungo hospital told CNN that the lines were nearly “back to normal” on Wednesday. She added that the hospital’s coronavirus unit, which comprises of 290 beds, including 28 for intensive care and 56 for sub-intensive care patients, remained completely full.

Maurizio Di Mauro, the hospital’s director attributed the long lines outside the hospital over the weekend to the fact that people can’t access their general doctors during that time and that a rise in cases across the country had instilled a certain amount of fear in the general population.

“People are scared,” he said. "At the first cough they rush to the hospital, especially over the weekend when they feel lonelier and their GPs are not available.”

Last Wednesday, facing a surge of infections across the country, Italy's government announced that four regions would become coronavirus "red zones," areas where the harshest restrictive measures would be enacted. In those regions, people may only leave home for necessities, health or work.

Seven other regions were also designated "orange zones," banning people from leaving their towns except for work or health reasons. In those area, bars and restaurants have been closed except for delivery and takeout.

The region of Campania, where Naples is located, has been given the less-restrictive designation of “yellow zone."

But in order to fully counter a spike in infections, Di Mauro said that nationwide restrictions should be applied.

“It’s the only way not to vanish the incredible effort that the health workers are doing,” he said.

10:44 a.m. ET, November 11, 2020

Pfizer's CEO sold US $5.6 million in stock the day he announced promising vaccine news

From CNN’s Paul R. La Monica

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla 
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla  Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla filed to sell millions of dollars of his company's stock Monday -- the day the pharmaceutical giant announced positive data about its coronavirus vaccine. 

The company's shares soared after Pfizer and German lab BioNTech said early data suggests the vaccine could be more than 90% effective.

The transaction was part of a regularly scheduled plan set up by Bourla to periodically sell some of his Pfizer shares.

Bourla sold 132,508 Pfizer shares at a price of $41.94, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That works out to proceeds of nearly $5.6 million. 

A Pfizer spokeswoman said in an email to CNN Business that the sale took place because Pfizer shares hit a predetermined price as part of a plan authorized by Bourla on August 19. 

When asked if Pfizer and Bourla thought to cancel the stock sale due to the perception that Bourla might be cashing in on good news, the spokeswoman said that "these are predetermined plans managed through a third-party stock administrator."

Many executives sell stock at predetermined intervals to diversify their portfolios. But they can delay the sales to avoid appearances of capitalizing on one-off events that can boost company's shares.

Bourla told CNN's Sanjay Gupta that he learned of the trial's results Sunday, a day before they were made public.

Shares of Pfizer surged nearly 8% Monday and were flat Tuesday.

BioNTech's stock has rallied even more sharply, rising 15% Monday and another 8% Tuesday. Pfizer's stock fell 1% Wednesday.

10:24 a.m. ET, November 11, 2020

Russia says early data shows its Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine 92% effective

From CNN’s Zahra Ullah in Moscow & CNN Health's Jamie Gumbrecht in Atlanta 

A nurse inoculates a volunteer with Russia's new coronavirus vaccine in a post-registration trials at a Moscow clinic on September 10.
A nurse inoculates a volunteer with Russia's new coronavirus vaccine in a post-registration trials at a Moscow clinic on September 10. Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images

Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said Wednesday that early analysis of data from its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine suggests it is 92% effective.

The interim analysis came after 20 confirmed Covid-19 cases among Phase 3 trial participants who received the vaccine or a placebo, according to a press release from the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). 

The RDIF, which funded vaccine production and is responsible for selling it globally, said more than 20,000 people have received their first dose of the vaccine as part of the Phase 3 trial, and 16,000 participants have received the second dose. 

Russia's announcement follows Pfizer and BioNTech’s announcement on Monday that their Covid-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective. However, Pfizer’s interim analysis was based on more than 90 confirmed coronavirus cases among trial participants. Pfizer said Monday it had enrolled 43,538 participants in its Phase 3 trial and 38,955 volunteers have received a second dose. The vaccines are different; while Pfizer’s is based on a messenger RNA platform, Russia’s is based on an inactivated adenoviral vector. 

According to RDIF’s news release, no unexpected adverse events were identified during the Phase 3 trial. Some who received the Russian vaccine had short-term minor adverse events such as pain at the injection site, flu-like syndrome including fever, weakness, fatigue and headaches. 

The Russian Phase 3 trial will continue for six more months and data from the trial will be published in an international medical journal following a peer review, RDIF said in a statement. 

The RDIF told CNN that Russia will publish clinical trial protocol for Sputnik-V in November and the next interim analysis will be at 39 coronavirus cases. 

Separate from the ongoing Phase 3 trials, in September the vaccine was first administered to a group of volunteers from the “red zones” of Russian hospitals. Ten-thousand vaccinated volunteers, including medics and other high-risk groups, were observed, RDIF said, and “confirmed the vaccine’s efficacy rate of over 90 percent.” 

Russia drew criticism when it announced the world's first approved coronavirus vaccine for public use in August -- even before crucial Phase 3 trials had been completed.  

Results from the first human tests of Sputnik V were published in The Lancet in September. Only 76 people were involved in the trial -- too few to determine if the Russian vaccine was safe and effective. But the peer-reviewed report said there were only mild adverse effects reported and the vaccine triggered an immune response in trial participants.