November 24 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Kara Fox, Antonia Mortensen, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, November 25, 2020
45 Posts
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12:39 p.m. ET, November 24, 2020

US could distribute Covid-19 vaccine "soon after" Dec. 10, HHS secretary says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks during an Operation Warp Speed briefing on November 24.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks during an Operation Warp Speed briefing on November 24. HHS & DoD

The United States could start distributing doses of a Covid-19 vaccine "soon after" Dec. 10, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday.

The US Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will meet on that date in December to discuss Pfizer and BioNTech’s application for an emergency use authorization for their coronavirus vaccine.

"If all goes well, we could be distributing vaccine soon after Dec. 10," Azar said during an Operation Warp Speed briefing on Tuesday. 

"We believe we can distribute vaccine to all 64 jurisdictions within 24 hours of FDA authorization. Then we hope administration could begin as soon as the product arrives," Azar said. "One of the private sector partners we've enlisted, CVS Health, has said that they expect to be vaccinating residents of nursing homes — one of the top priority groups — within 48 hours after FDA authorization."

12:25 p.m. ET, November 24, 2020

Kentucky is "being overwhelmed" by Covid-19, governor says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during an interview on November 24.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during an interview on November 24. CNN

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says the state is “being overwhelmed” by coronavirus.

“It’s overwhelming our contact tracing and our best defenses. Take our long-term care facilities: We are testing our workers there three times a week, but we still can't keep Covid out of those facilities because the community spread is so high,” Beshear said in an interview with CNN’s Kate Bolduan.

The governor said that one veterans home in the state has had 27 deaths just in the past month.

After Beshear halted in-person learning last week, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined a federal lawsuit against the governor’s executive order.

“We're at war with this virus and we have two choices: to surrender and take the fatalities, or to fight back. So we are throwing our best punch in a limited period of time, really about over three weeks. We are addressing the main areas where Covid-19 is spreading or could be amplified, especially after the Thanksgiving holiday, in ways that could be deadly,” Beshear said. 

“I have a 10 and 11-year-old, who do so much better in in-person classes, but we don't think about their teachers, about people we're asking to walk into those classrooms every day when we're on fire with Covid in virtually every one of their communities. We're just trying to do the right thing,” he added. 
11:54 a.m. ET, November 24, 2020

Wyoming governor's office closed due to Covid-19 case

From CNN’s Jessica Jordan

The Wyoming governor’s office will be closed for a deep cleaning after an employee in the office tested positive for Covid-19 according to a news release.

Gov. Gordon Mark Gordan was not in close contact with the employee and is not required to quarantine. Governor Gordan will work remotely out of an "abundance of caution," the release goes on to say. 

11:40 a.m. ET, November 24, 2020

The Dow just hit 30,000 

From CNN’s Chris Isidore

A person walks past the New York Stock Exchange on November 16 in New York City.
A person walks past the New York Stock Exchange on November 16 in New York City. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

The Dow crossed the 30,000 mark for the first time in trading Tuesday morning.

With uncertainty about the outcome of the presidential election lifted and new hopes that a Covid-19 vaccine could soon be available, the market is on a roll once again.

The average began tracking the most powerful corporate stocks in 1896, and it has served as a broad measure of the market's health through 22 presidents, 24 recessions, a Great Depression and two global pandemics.

Along the way, it also weathered at least two stock market crashes and innumerable rallies, corrections, bull and bear markets. 

But the last three years have been more of a roller coaster ride. The Dow and the S&P 500 both closed lower in 2018, marking the worst year for blue chip stocks in a decade. 

The market bounced back with gains in 2019 but then a massive sell-off in February and March brought an end to history's longest bull market, as the coronavirus pandemic hit stateside. That plunge included the three largest one-day point drops on record in the course of only six trading days in mid-March.

Fortunately for equity investors, the bear market turned out to be short-lived. With the Federal Reserve and Congress providing economic relief, the blue chip indexes have recaptured all of their earlier losses, and then some, since that March sell-off.

 

 

11:41 a.m. ET, November 24, 2020

NYC's health commissioner: "It is not too late to cancel your travel plans"

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York City’s Department of Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi speaks during a news conference in New York on November 24.
New York City’s Department of Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi speaks during a news conference in New York on November 24. NYC Media

New York City’s Department of Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi has a simple message to New Yorkers this holiday season, "stay safe, stay home."

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday morning, Chokshi said:

"It is not too late to cancel your travel plans," and added that "now is the moment to make a difference in this next wave of the pandemic," as Covid-19 cases rise across the city and US.

"Do not travel this holiday season if it can be at all avoided," Choksi continued. "Please be cautious and stick to your core groups of family members and select friends," he added.

Chokshi urged individuals to stay connected despite the restrictions, and encouraged those to reach out to friends and family that may be struggling this particular season.

The health commissioner's comments come as New York City reports 1,476 new Covid-19 cases on a seven-day average, which continues to surpass the city set threshold of 550 cases.

“We have to do everything we can to turn this around,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said today.

11:17 a.m. ET, November 24, 2020

The pandemic could be stopped if at least 70% of people wore face masks in public, new analysis finds

From CNN's Leanna Faulk

People wait in line to the enter CityMD in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn on November 23 in New York City.
People wait in line to the enter CityMD in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn on November 23 in New York City. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

An article published Tuesday by the American Institute of Physics affirmed that the consistent use of face masks is an effective method to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

"The results suggest that the consistent use of efficient face masks, such as surgical masks, could lead to the eradication of the pandemic if at least 70% of the residents use such masks in public consistently," wrote Sanjay Kumar, an investigator with the Department of Engineering at the National University of Singapore. "Even less efficient cloth masks could also slow the spread if worn consistently."

The article, published in the Institute's Physics of Fluids journal, reviewed a series of studies exploring a face mask’s ability to protect people against the virus that causes Covid-19, and how the design of specific face masks affect the way this works.

"The research suggested the face coverings could essentially reduce the forward distance traveled by a virus-laden droplet and thus has a great potential to provide personal protection against airborne infection," the article says.

Investigators found that face masks made of hybrid polymer materials are effective at filtering particles while simultaneously cooling the face. 

"There could be some relation between breathing resistance and the flow resistance of the face mask which will need to be studied for a face mask-wearing interval," co-author Heow Pueh Lee said in an accompanying news release.

"Also, the environmental condition in the compartmental space within the face mask will need to be more accurately quantified using miniaturized sensors and the development of human replicas for such studies," Lee added.

The studies reviewed for the article reveal that the longer a mask is worn, the more effective it will be. The researchers also examined the importance of thermal comfort and how humid temperatures affect the compliance of the use of the face mask.

"There were reported incidence of skin rashes, increased heat stress, sweating, and discomfort due to prolonged wearing of a facemask in hot and humid conditions," the article said.

"Polymer-based nanofibers with large surface area-to-volume ratio have shown great potential for use in facemasks to achieve both high filtration efficiency and sufficient air permeability."

 

10:50 a.m. ET, November 24, 2020

Pope Francis criticizes people who refuse to wear masks

From CNN’s Delia Gallagher

Pope Francis delivers his homily during a Holy Mass on November 22 at St. Peter's Basilica in The Vatican.
Pope Francis delivers his homily during a Holy Mass on November 22 at St. Peter's Basilica in The Vatican. Vincenzo Pinto/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis has harshly criticized people who refuse to wear masks or who protest against coronavirus restrictions saying they move in "their own little world of interests."

Francis, who has himself been criticized for not wearing a mask in public, made the comments in his new book, 'Let Us Dream: A Path to a Better Future,' published Monday.

He wrote:

"Some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions - as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom!"
"You'll never find such people protesting the death of George Floyd or joining a demonstration because there are shantytowns where children lack water or education or because there are whole families who have lost their income." 
"You won't find them protesting that the astonishing amounts spent on the arms trade could be used to feed the whole of the human race and school every child." 
"On such matters they would never protest; they are incapable of moving outside of their own little world of interests."

While the Pope praised the reaction of many governments in tackling Covid-19, he criticized those governments who ignored the severity of the pandemic.

"Some governments have shrugged off the painful evidence of mounting deaths with inevitable, grievous consequences," he wrote.

Francis also warned that lockdown and social distancing has created "digital overexposure" and opportunities for on-line abuse.

"Social distancing has made some more vulnerable to online grooming and other kinds of abuse that as a community we should be watching out for and reporting" he writes.

The book is a wide-ranging reflection on his vision of a post-coronavirus world and was written together with papal biographer Austen Ivereigh during the summer of 2020.

10:38 a.m. ET, November 24, 2020

61% of Americans changed their Thanksgiving plans due to Covid-19 spikes, new poll finds

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

Sixty one percent of Americans have changed their Thanksgiving plans due to recent spikes in Covid-19 cases, according to new poll results released Tuesday by Axios-Ipsos.

The most common changes reported were seeing only immediate household members and having a smaller dinner than originally planned, according to the poll, which was based on a nationally representative sample of 1,002 US adults and conducted between November 20 and 23.

One in ten Americans – 9% – say they no longer plan to celebrate the holiday at all.

Democrats were more likely to report changing their plans than Republicans: 75% and 49%, respectively. Democrats were more likely to say they now planned to stay home with their immediate household. Among Republicans who changed plans, slightly more said they were getting together with a smaller group compared to their immediate household.

Sixty four percent of those in the poll said that seeing family or friends was a large or moderate risk; 76% said this about traveling.

The poll also saw some changes in personal behaviors. Seventy-two percent of respondents said that dining at a restaurant was a large to moderate risk, up from 68% in Axios-Ipsos’ results last week. Fewer people reported actually going out to eat: 33% compared with 40% last week.

Three-quarters of respondents said that spending more time indoors in public places as it gets colder is risky.

The number of Americans wearing a mask at all times when they leave their home has reached a new high of 72%. While this isn’t a significant change from last week, it shows “a steady upward trend from the past few months, when it hovered in the mid-60% range.”

10:47 a.m. ET, November 24, 2020

Arizona reports more than 4,500 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

Cars line up for drive-thru COVID testing at Mesa Convention Center on November 19 in Phoenix.
Cars line up for drive-thru COVID testing at Mesa Convention Center on November 19 in Phoenix. Patrick Breen/The Republic/USA Today Network

Arizona reported 4,544 new Covid-19 cases today, according to the state’s data dashboard

This is the third-highest new case count for the state. The highest ever daily new case count is 4,877 set on July 1.

Arizona has been experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks with daily case counts regularly topping 3,000. 

Arizona has reported 306,868 cases of Covid-19 and 6,515 of deaths to the disease since the pandemic began.

One thing to note: Some of these numbers were released by the Arizona Department of Health Services and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN's database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project