November 21 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 7:25 PM ET, Sun November 22, 2020
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11:52 a.m. ET, November 21, 2020

Trump appears to be skipping a G20 session focused on pandemic preparedness

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Donald Trump plays golf at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia on Saturday, November 21.
President Donald Trump plays golf at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia on Saturday, November 21. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

It does not appear President Trump will participate in a side-event at the G20 virtual summit focused on pandemic preparedness.

The event — which is due to begin this hour — will feature remarks from the leaders of Germany, France, South Korea and Argentina.

The goal of the event is to "foster international cooperation and to find solutions that protect people’s lives and livelihoods," the Saudi release says.

Trump has just arrived at his golf course in Virginia and does not appear on the list of speakers at the event.

Trump earlier this morning appeared at the virtual summit. He and the rest of the G20 leaders appeared on small windows on the screen.

11:35 a.m. ET, November 21, 2020

Baltimore high schools cancel 101st annual Thanksgiving football game because of Covid-19

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Two Baltimore County, Maryland, high schools have canceled their long-standing rivalry football game to abide by Covid-19 restrictions, according to a joint statement from the schools. 

The Calvert Hall College High School and Loyola Blakefield teams had played each Thanksgiving morning for 100 years.

But this year's "Turkey Bowl" — what would have been the 101st annual game — has been canceled after Baltimore County officials issued an executive order restricting outdoor gatherings, including high school athletics, the release said. 

"We sincerely regret that this treasured tradition will not be held in 2020," the schools said in the release. " We look forward to resuming this storied rivalry and having you join us in the stands to cheer on two of the finest Catholic institutions in the nation."

This year’s game was scheduled to be played at Calvert Hall’s Paul Angelo Russo Stadium.

11:14 a.m. ET, November 21, 2020

Thanksgiving in Canada could be a cautionary tale for the US

From CNN's Amir Vera

As Americans get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving next week, they can turn to Canada for a cautionary tail.

Canada saw a spike in cases just three weeks after their country celebrated its Thanksgiving holiday on October 12.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia's provincial health officer, said she pleaded with people to keep their gatherings small. She also announced a ban on inviting more than six people into a home.

"Unfortunately, there were a number of events that have happened that have led to quite dramatic increases," she said earlier this month.

One Thanksgiving party with an extended family actually led to 10 Covid-19 infections, including three babies, according to York Region Public Health, a health unit north of Toronto.

The virus also spread to another household, infecting four more people, and to a workplace where two more people were infected with the virus.

Cases like that and other helped fuel the spike in cases.

"I think we need to consider all the celebrations that are coming up whether it's Diwali, or Hanukkah, or Christmas," Henry said, "and look at how we can regroup and focus on our immediate families and making sure we can support each other to do it safely."

11:22 a.m. ET, November 21, 2020

Here's who will receive a Covid-19 vaccine first, according to a CDC immunization expert

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

High-risk groups will receive a coronavirus vaccine first, according to the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. 

People such as health care providers, hospital employees and nursing home residents will be vaccinated before the larger US population, Dr. Jose Romero said to CNN’s Michael Smerconish in an interview. 

“Our focus is on the high-risk groups at this moment,” said Romero, who is also the Arkansas secretary of health.

Romero said people who have been vaccinated will be tracked.

“Every person that gets immunized will get a card, and they will be entered into our vaccine registry database. We will be able to follow them and know who has been vaccinated and what vaccine they need to receive in the second dose,” Romero said.

There is “wiggle room” for different states in deploying a vaccine, Romero said. 

“States may prioritize individuals as they feel important, due to local issues. For the most part, ACIP recommendations are followed, so, I think that states will adhere to the recommendations,” he said.

Romero said he does have some concern that people will not take a vaccine even when it is ready and safe to do so.

“We know that there is some reluctance for accepting a new vaccine among different population groups — it can be as high as 50%, depending on the surveys. … I want to stress that the issue of safety of the vaccine has been paramount throughout the process,” he said. 

Watch more:

11:15 a.m. ET, November 21, 2020

EU Commission leader calls for "global solidarity" on vaccines

From CNN’s Sarah Dean

Olivier Matthys/AP
Olivier Matthys/AP

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for “global solidarity” on coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments during the virtual G20 summit on Saturday.

“Vaccines will help the world overcome the pandemic,” von der Leyen tweeted. “At the G20 summit I called for $4.5 billion to be invested in ACT-Accelerator by the end of 2020,” she said. 

The EU chief appeared alongside world leaders at the virtual G20 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia in a family photo on Saturday. 

The Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is a global collaboration launched to accelerate development, production and equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.

"Covid-19 taught us that we need to step up global preparedness,” von der Leyen added in a tweet. Next year she and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will “convene a Global Health Summit under the Italian G20 Presidency,” she said. 

"We’ll discuss the lessons learned from the crisis to better protect humanity against pandemics,” von der Leyen added.

11:12 a.m. ET, November 21, 2020

Another college football game postponed because of Covid-19 concerns

From CNN's Jabari Jackson

lmson and Florida State will not play their scheduled football game today.

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the game has been postponed after “both teams’ medical personnel were unable to mutually agree on moving forward with the game.” 

The game was originally scheduled to be played at noon local time in Tallahassee, Florida.

Some background: This is the 18th game postponed or canceled as a result of coronavirus health concerns. 

This is also the second straight week college football has lost double-digit games to its schedule. With cases surging around the country, fans should brace for the possibility of more canceled or postponed games.

9:43 a.m. ET, November 21, 2020

These are the low-risk ways to celebrate Thanksgiving, according to the CDC

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released guidance on holiday gatherings and what Americans need to be aware of before traveling, hosting or attending parties — or just gathering with family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Here's a look at what the CDC describes as low-risk holiday activities:

  • The lowest risk for contracting the highly infectious virus or spreading it is simply celebrating Thanksgiving in your own home with members of your household and/or virtually with extended family, the CDC said.
  • People can prepare holiday food for non-household family members — especially those at higher risk of contracting Covid-19, and neighbors — and deliver it without contact. They can also host a virtual dinner as a means of mitigating any risk.
  • Shopping online instead of heading to malls and stores for holiday sales the weekend after Thanksgiving is a safer way of grabbing those deals.
  • The CDC suggests watching sports events, parades or movies from home as another low-risk holiday activity.
9:18 a.m. ET, November 21, 2020

Saudi king to G20 leaders: We must prepare for future pandemics

From CNN’s Sarah El Sirgany in Riyadh 

Members of the media watch on a projected screen at the International Media Centre in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh as Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz gives an address opening the G20 summit on November 21.
Members of the media watch on a projected screen at the International Media Centre in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh as Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz gives an address opening the G20 summit on November 21. Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty Images

This weekend's virtual G20 summit is underway, and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud opened the event by telling leaders they must prepare for any future pandemics.

Addressing the leaders by video conference, King Salman said “although we are optimistic about the progress made in developing vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics tools for Covid-19, we must work to create the conditions for affordable and equitable access to these tools for all peoples. At the same time, we must prepare better for any future pandemic.” 

Saudi Arabia is hosting this year's virtual summit. US President Trump and the rest of the G20 leaders appeared on small windows on the screen with King Salman at the center, and his son Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman right by his side.  

9:01 a.m. ET, November 21, 2020

Thanksgiving is next week. Can we visit family during the pandemic?

From CNN's Katia Hetter

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we asked CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen if it's possible to visit family this holiday season.

Here's what she said: 

No, not the way that we would normally visit family, staying in one another's homes and having holiday dinners around the dining table. That's because Covid-19 is surging all across the country to the point that most communities within the United States are coronavirus hotspots. It is not safe to gather indoors with extended family and friends.

That said, you can still visit family by socializing outdoors. People not in the same household must stay 6 feet apart at all times. Bundle up, like people do when they play outside in winter, and you can do it.

If you do want to get together indoors, the safe way to do this is by everyone quarantining for 14 days and then getting tested. That's going to be very difficult for most people, in which case you should see extended family and friends outdoors only.

I know this is very hard but getting Covid-19 could be worse. So many people have suffered a lot already, and it's during times of stress that we want to be with our loved ones more than ever. Remember that help is coming. There is very promising news about vaccines, and by spring or summer 2021, we could well have a vaccine and better therapeutics. We need to get through this winter.

Wen answered more of our questions about the holidays and the pandemic. You can read up here.