November 13 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Steve George, Zamira Rahim, Emma Reynolds and Roya Wolverson, CNN

Updated 11:46 a.m. ET, November 14, 2020
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8:38 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

More states shatter daily records as US tops 10.7 million cases and 244,000 deaths

From CNN's Gregory Lemos, Brad Parks, Taylor Romine, Tina Burnside, Nakia McNabb and Hollie Silverman

PCA Cesar Merida walks through a temporary tent set up at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts on November 11.
PCA Cesar Merida walks through a temporary tent set up at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts on November 11. Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Many states are enforcing drastic restrictions as a surge of coronavirus infections and hospitalizations see the pressure mount.

There have now been at least 10,713,452 cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 244,207 people have died  

So far today, Johns Hopkins has reported 160,631 new cases and 1,306 reported deaths.

Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health Friday reported a staggering 15,415 new cases of Covid-19, shattering previous daily case counts. There are also 5,362 people in the hospital, the highest number on record, according to an IDPH news release, with 27 new deaths.  

There have been over half a million cases of Covid-19 in the state and more than 10,000 people have died so far, according to the statement. Illinois is currently running a 14.5% seven-day positivity rate.��

Vermont 

Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced Friday that starting Saturday at 10 p.m., gatherings of households are banned due to "alarming case growth."  

He said that bars and clubs must close by 10 p.m., and restaurants can only do takeout after 10 p.m. All youth recreational sports will be banned for the time being.

Scott said while there will be no enforcement of the ban on multi-household gatherings, he hopes that residents will abide by an honor system. He said that many outbreaks are being traced back to gatherings like parties or Halloween celebrations. The gathering ban will not apply to religious services, he said.  

The restrictions come as the governor announced an additional 84 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, which compares to an average of 25 cases per day last week.

Arkansas

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced on Friday the creation of a Winter Covid-19 Task Force as the state recorded a record 2,312 cases in 24 hours.

Hutchinson said at a news conference that this was because the winter months are expected to pose particular challenges for the state.

He said the state is also seeing a record surge of hospitalizations, at 826. 

Nebraska

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts said rising numbers of hospitalizations have triggered new statewide restrictions. 

The Governor said 905 people were currently hospitalized with Covid-19, which is over 20% of the state’s hospital capacity. ICU capacity is at 27% and ventilator capacity is at 70%. “This is a very serious situation for our hospitals,” said Ricketts.

The new restrictions including limiting elective surgeries, six feet of separation in gyms, bars and restaurants and a mask requirement for close contact businesses. Ricketts said he chose not to mandate masks because, “I am in favor of educating people."

Louisiana

Louisiana topped 200,000 cases, reporting 3,492 new Covid-19 cases Friday for a total of 201,981 cases in the state, according to a tweet from the Department of Health.

The new cases show an increase in all regions of the state as well as all age groups, another tweet said.

The largest increase of cases are in those ages 18 to 29, a 25% increase, and those living in the Acadiana region, a 21% increase, the tweet said. 

New York 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced during a news conference that he and six other northeast governors will have an emergency summit this weekend to discuss potential new Covid-19 restrictions.

“We believe we are going to have to take additional steps and the extent we can share information and align action, we will do that," Cuomo said.

Cuomo used the rules for flying into New York state and the requirement to show a negative test as an example of what could be discussed at the meeting. 

“If you don’t like the policy in New York, you can fly into Connecticut.” Cuomo said. 

Track the spread of the virus in the US:

 

8:35 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

Coronavirus vaccines will be distributed by population, Warp Speed official says

From CNN's Maggie Fox and Lauren Mascarenhas

General Gustave Perna speaks during a press conference at the White House on November 13 in Washington, DC.
General Gustave Perna speaks during a press conference at the White House on November 13 in Washington, DC. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Any eventual coronavirus vaccine will be distributed across US states and territories based on population, a top Operation Warp Speed official said Friday.

“Vaccines will be allocated pro rata by population," General Gustave Perna said at a news conference led by US President Donald Trump in the White House Rose Garden.

Pfizer is expected to apply for emergency use authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration before the end of the month.

“Today, we expect to have tens of millions of doses immediately following EUA, and we will distribute them as soon as the FDA applies the EUA,” Perna said. “We are harnessing the strength of commercial industry and existing vaccine delivery capabilities and infrastructures.”

State health officials have said they have not heard many details from the federal government about how the vaccine distribution will be organized, and they have not received the funding they need to get infrastructure in place.

At the end of the day, our success is going to be judged by the availability of the vaccine as the shots go into arms,” Perna said.

“We are working closely, along with the CDC, the 64 jurisdictions and states, to ensure the vaccine can safely and quickly get to those who need it first. And then we have plans to ensure that it spreads exponentially across our country and that no place is left without a vaccine."

No one at the news conference addressed January's transition could affect distribution.

Pfizer and Moderna will likely seek EUA from the US Food and Drug Administration for their vaccines within the next few weeks and vaccinations could begin in December, Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, said at the briefing.

Pfizer says its vaccine is more than 90% effective, based on early data. Moderna announced this week it had enough coronavirus cases among trial participants to complete its first interim analysis, and Slaoui said that “probably next week we may hear what I hope to be another very good information regarding an efficacious vaccine."

“We plan to have enough vaccine doses available for use in the US population to immunize about 20 million individuals in the month of December, and another 25 to 30 million per month on an ongoing basis from there on,” he said.

Slaoui added that if other vaccines are approved, the number of vaccinations per month could increase.

8:40 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

Cuomo fires back at Trump: "Luckily he won't be here" when the vaccine arrives

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks with CNN on Friday, November 13.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks with CNN on Friday, November 13. CNN

New York's Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo responded to President Trump's threat to delay delivery of a potential vaccine to the Empire State, flatly calling the President's remarks today "untrue." 

"Luckily he won't be here," when the vaccine arrives, said Cuomo of Trump.

Speaking at the White House today, Trump slammed Cuomo for planning a state review process of any vaccine, telling reporters Cuomo “will have to let us know when he’s ready for it because otherwise, we can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t be giving it to its people immediately."

Speaking with CNN's Wolf Blitzer today, Trump defended the statewide approval process saying the goal was to raise trust in the medicine among New Yorkers. 

"We are in a situation now where half the people in the country are saying 'I don't know if I should trust the vaccine,'" said Cuomo. "...If we have a vaccine that people don't trust it won't accomplish anything anyway."

New York's review would be conducted simultaneous to the federal government's approval process, according to Cuomo. There would only be a delay if the approval team, which will be lead by a Nobel Prize laureate found the medicine lacking. 

8:30 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

"Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale," BMJ executive editor writes

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

The British Medical Journal's executive editor says Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption and that was harming public health.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health,” wrote Kamran Abbasi in an editorial published in the journal on Friday.

“The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency – a time when it is even more important to safeguard science,” he wrote.

Abbasi said the UK pandemic response had included:

  • Inappropriate government involvement in scientific advisory groups
  • Delaying and withholding of information
  • Authors of research papers being instructed not to talk to the media
“In the US, President Trump’s government manipulated the Food and Drug Administration to hastily approve unproved drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir,” he wrote. “Globally, people, policies and procurement are being corrupted by political and commercial agendas.”

He called for transparency on competing interests and accountability for decisions.

“Science is a public good. It doesn’t need to be followed blindly, but it does need to be fairly considered,” Abbasi wrote.

He said that suppressing science "by delaying publication, cherry picking favourable research, or gagging scientists" caused deaths by exposing people to unsafe or ineffective interventions and preventing them from benefiting from better ones.

8:28 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

France reports decrease in Covid-19 hospital admissions two weeks into second lockdown

From CNN's Barbara Wojazer in Paris

Doctors care for a Covid-19 patient at Timone Hospital in Marseille, France, on November 13.
Doctors care for a Covid-19 patient at Timone Hospital in Marseille, France, on November 13. Theo Giacometti/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Covid-19 hospital and intensive care unit admissions in France decreased sharply on Friday, according to the country's health agency. 

The French Health Agency reported that the number of patients in hospital for coronavirus only increased by 22 between Thursday and Friday. There was an increase of 736 hospital patients the day before.

The Ministry reported that only three additional ICU beds were taken up by coronavirus patients on Friday. The increase was 95 on Thursday, and has been averaging around 100 per day for several weeks.

France entered its second lockdown two weeks ago on Thursday.

8:14 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

NBA’s Warriors propose innovative plan to bring fans back safely during pandemic

From CNN’s Dan Kamal 

Facade with sign at Chase Center, the new home of the Golden State Warriors NBA basketball team in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco, California, December 5, 2019.
Facade with sign at Chase Center, the new home of the Golden State Warriors NBA basketball team in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco, California, December 5, 2019. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The NBA’s Golden State Warriors have been developing a plan that would allow the team to reopen Chase Center in San Francisco to 50% capacity for the 2020-21 season. 

The team confirmed to CNN Friday that the plan would involve what is considered the most accurate rapid Covid-19 testing for all fans, staff and players, along with strict protocols. 

The plan was recently submitted to San Francisco and California officials for review.

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne was the first to report the news.

Warriors owner Joe Lacob, who has a master's degree in public health, told ESPN he believes his team’s plan, which he says will cost some $30 million, can be a model for all sports franchises and entertainment venues to bring fans back safely.

“I not only want to get this done and show the world how we can do it now; I’m willing to spend the money to do it,” Lacob said. “You cannot sustain this league with no fans. You can do it for a year; we’ll all get by for a year. But suppose we’re in this situation next year. Now we’re talking some serious, serious financial damage to a lot of people.”

California announced in October plans to allow some fans at outdoor sporting events in counties with low infection rates. But San Francisco has been tightening restrictions on indoor activities amid the recent rise in cases. 

"Many venues in other sports have implemented strict protocols to welcome fans back on a partial basis, but adding a testing component – along with strict protocols – to our reopening strategy would help us achieve our number-one priority, which is the health and safety of our fans, staff and players," the Warriors said in a statement.

Sport under pressure: Other sports are also being battered by the virus. A sixth top-25 game was taken off of Saturday's college football schedule. No. 15 Coastal Carolina’s game against Troy was postponed due to a combination of positive Covid-19 tests and injuries in the Troy football program.

The other five games affected include top-ranked Alabama at LSU, No. 5 Texas A&M at Tennessee, No. 12 Georgia at Missouri, No. 24 Auburn at Mississippi State with No. 3 Ohio State at Maryland being the lone game canceled.

Saturday’s Arizona State home football game against Cal was also canceled due to multiple coronavirus cases at Arizona State, including Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards.

7:45 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

Hospitalization rates among Black and Latino people in US about 4 times higher than Whites, says CDC

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

Hospitalization rates are significantly higher among Black, Latino, and Alaska Native or Native American population in the United States compared with Asian and White people, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly Covid-19 surveillance report shows.

The data show that, between March 1 and November 7, the hospitalization rate among the Hispanic or Latino population was 444.6 per 100,000 people. The hospitalization rate among Alaska Natives or Native Americans was 430.9 per 100,000. Among the Black population, it was 412.2 per 100,000.

The hospitalization rates among Asian or Pacific Islanders and Whites were 132.5 and 106.2 per 100,000, respectively, according to the data, which were updated on Friday.

"When examining overall age-adjusted rates by race and ethnicity, the rate for Hispanic or Latino persons was approximately 4.2 times the rate among non-Hispanic White persons," the CDC report said.

Rates for American Indian or Alaska Native people were approximately 4.1 times and Black people 3.9 times the rate among White people.

8:27 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

Massachusetts governor says "innocent acts of small gatherings" driving spread of Covid-19

From CNN’s Melissa Alonso 

Gov. Charlie Baker speaks during a press conference on November 3 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Gov. Charlie Baker speaks during a press conference on November 3 in Boston, Massachusetts. Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said Covid-19 spread is occurring mostly in casual settings among people who know each other.

The innocent acts of small gatherings, is where Covid is finding its greatest opportunities [to] spread," Baker said at a coronavirus briefing Friday. 

Tracing an outbreak: "Most people at work are doing all the right things" and schools have proven to be "relatively safe," said Baker. But he said one cluster of cases, traced back to a youth hockey tournament, was caused by more than 12 hours of socializing among kids and parents, adding that it "wasn't so much the actual act of playing youth hockey that created the very significant cluster across New England.”

"The simple truth is, this expansion of people's social circles, and this desire to get back to something like normal, is a big part of what's driving case growth, and ultimately hospitalizations, not just here in Massachusetts, but across the country," Baker said. 

"People need to change their behavior and get serious," he added. 

##Hotspots#

6:45 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

Walgreens "rapidly expanding" cold storage capacity for potential Covid-19 vaccine 

From CNN Health's Elizabeth Cohen and Samira Said

Retail drug chain Walgreens says it is “rapidly expanding” its ultra-cold storage capabilities to accommodate a potential Pfizer coronavirus vaccine that needs to be stored at around minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 75 degrees Celsius).

Walgreens spokesperson Kelli Teno told CNN the company felt “confident we can support the successful administration of these vaccines once available."

The US Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday it is partnering with large chain pharmacies and networks that represent independent pharmacies to help distribute vaccines once one gets authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration.

"Ultra-cold freezers will be an essential part of [Walgreens’] plan," she said. "We are exploring leveraging a combination of these ultra-cold freezers and dry ice storage solutions to support these medicines."

Dry ice is in short supply in some areas of the country. When asked whether the federal government was helping retailers get dry ice, Teno said she did not think so, adding that Wagreens had relationships with manufacturers and distributors that can provide this.

Paul Ostrowski, Operation Warp Speed’s director of supply, production, and distribution, told CNN Thursday that rural areas and any parts of the country not equipped to receive the vaccine would not receive it.