December 1 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Emma Reynolds and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, December 2, 2020
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2:20 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

CDC advisers are meeting to vote on who will get a Covid-19 vaccine first

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, March 14.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, March 14. Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called an emergency meeting to vote on who they recommend should be the first to get a coronavirus vaccine once one is authorized.

The meeting kicked off at 2 p.m. ET. Officials said they expect the meeting to last until 5 p.m. ET.

What officials have said so far: The CDC has already recommended that the first group — designated as 1a — should include frontline health providers and support personnel. 

The 1a group likely should also include residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, who have been badly hit by the pandemic, the CDC has said.

"Long term care facility residents and staff accounted for 6% of cases and 39% of deaths in the US, despite the fact that long term care facility residents account for less than 1% of the US population," the CDC's Dr. Kathleen Dooling told the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Monday.

There are not going to be enough vaccines for everyone at first, so choices have to be made.

The CDC estimates there are 21 million healthcare personnel, 87 million essential workers, 100 million adults with high-risk medical conditions and 53 million others 65 and older.

The federal government has said 40 million coronavirus vaccine doses could be available by the end of December.

Remember: No Covid-19 vaccine has been approved yet. The US Food and Drug Administration has a meeting scheduled for Dec. 10 to discuss Pfizer’s application for emergency use authorization for it's Covid-19 candidate. The agency has a second meeting on Dec. 17 to consider Moderna's application.

FDA officials say their decisions on the vaccines could come days to weeks after the meetings — it depends on what questions come up.

1:43 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

Pfizer has shipped vaccine doses to its Michigan facility ahead of possible FDA authorization

From CNN's Amanda Sealy

Pfizer headquarters on November 18, in New York City.
Pfizer headquarters on November 18, in New York City. Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress

Pfizer has shipped an undisclosed amount of coronavirus vaccines from its manufacturing facility in Belgium to its US manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in preparation for expected mass shipments later this month.

A Pfizer spokesperson told CNN the shipments from Pfizer Manufacturing Belgium in Puurs were designed to ensure the US would have the appropriate number of doses.

The shipment traveled via Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Nov. 28.

The company declined to elaborate on the details of the shipment.

The spokesperson told CNN “the goal of our supply chain is to get the right number of doses to the right place at the right time."

Before distributing any vaccine, Pfizer must first receive an emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration. A decision on that is expected after an FDA committee meeting on Dec. 10.

 

1:11 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

Iowa reports a decline in Covid-19 hospitalizations, but "we're not out of the woods," governor says

From CNN's Kay Jones

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during a press conference in Johnston, Iowa, on December 1.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during a press conference in Johnston, Iowa, on December 1. Pool/Iowa Public Television

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said today that hospitalizations throughout the state due to Covid-19 have declined after seeing a peak on November 17.

"Even though the progress we are making is reassuring, we're not out of the woods," Reynolds said. 

She said that the first week of November, Iowa had 28,000 new Covid-19 cases and a positivity rate of 32%. The second week saw a positivity rate at 29% with new cases at 30,000 but hospitalizations were climbing at that point. 

Mitigation measures were put in place on both Nov. 10 and Nov. 16, and Reynolds said that cases decreased starting the week of Nov. 15 to 24,210 and a 21% positivity rate.

Hospitalizations peaked on Nov. 17, according to Reynolds, but are starting to go down. She said case numbers and positivity rate were down last week as well, with 14,200 new cases reported at a 15% positivity rate for the week.

Iowa is reporting 1,171 new cases today, bringing the state's total to 230,897. The 14-day positivity rate is at 17.1%, according to the state's dashboard. 

Note: These numbers were released by the state's governor and public health agency and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

12:46 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

An Oklahoma nurse lost her mother and husband to Covid-19 three days apart

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Lizanne Jennings, left, speaks alongside Brayden Jennings during an interview on December 1.
Lizanne Jennings, left, speaks alongside Brayden Jennings during an interview on December 1. CNN

Lizanne Jennings knew it was time to let her husband go. Dennis was suffering in the hospital, sick with Covid-19.

“I leaned down to him and I said, ‘Baby, I'm here.’ I said, ‘You remember our talks?’ And he said, ‘Uh-huh.’ And I said, ‘Are you ready to be at peace?’ He said, ‘Uh-huh.’ And I said, ‘OK.’ I said, ‘Mom's fine she's back at the house. She's going to stay with me.’"

But that was not true. Just three days ago, the Oklahoma intensive care nurse’s mother had already passed after battling Covid-19.

“I knew he would keep fighting if I told him my mom had already died. So I started giving him morphine and Ativan. And I turned him over and rubbed his back and I said, ‘I love you.’ He said, ‘I love you.’ I said ‘you're going to go now, OK? You can finally be at peace.’”

Dennis took his final breath about 30 minutes later, she said.

Now, it’s just her and her two sons.

“I feel like we're both drowning but as we go down we're trying to push the other one back up to take a breath. It didn't have to be this way,” she said. “Everybody talks about it's 0.1 whatever percent. Well, it's 40% of my family that’s gone.”

Speaking through tears, she said they did everything right and yet the virus came into their home and claimed two of her family members. People should “stop being selfish” and “just wear a mask,” she said.

“I couldn't save either one of them,” she said, recounting everything she and her husband had done together. “I’m in a 2,500-square-foot house with a mother-in-law suite and everything he wanted. And I'm alone.”

1:24 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

Pennsylvania reports more than 5,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Sheena Jones

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. 
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.  CDC

Pennsylvania reported 5,676 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, according to a release from the state’s Department of Health.

At least 4,631 people are hospitalized with the virus and 970 patients are in the intensive care unit with Covid-19, the release says. 

 “Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older,” according to the release. 

The statewide percent positivity for the week of Nov. 20 - Nov. 26 is 11.7%. 

Note: These numbers were released by the state’s health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and our Covid tracker.

1:47 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

English Premier League soccer match postponed due to Covid-19

From CNN’s Dan Kamal

A general view of the Newcastle United Training Centre in Newcastle, England, on December 1.
A general view of the Newcastle United Training Centre in Newcastle, England, on December 1. Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Following a Tuesday board meeting, the English Premier League released a statement announcing postponement of the Newcastle at Aston Villa match scheduled Friday because of a significant increase in Covid-19 cases at the Newcastle club.

Newcastle lodged a request to the league to have the game rescheduled after the Public Health England North East (PHE) advised the club’s facilities be closed due to the increase in coronavirus infections.

According to the statement, Newcastle correctly notified PHE regarding a number of positive Covid-19 test results, in accordance with government and Premier League protocols. The Premier League board agreed the club was therefore unable to train and prepare safely and adequately for Friday’s match.

All players and training ground staff will be retested this week, and PHE and league officials will meet again to assess the situation.

The league did not set a new date for the postponed fixture, saying that decision will come in due course.

12:04 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

Moderna's president is optimistic FDA will be supportive of their Covid-19 vaccine candidate

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Nurse Kathe Olmstead prepares a shot that is part of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., in Binghamton, New York, on July 27.
Nurse Kathe Olmstead prepares a shot that is part of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., in Binghamton, New York, on July 27. Hans Pennik/AP

Stephen Hoge, the president of Moderna, told NBC’s Lester Holt Monday that they are “quite optimistic” when it comes to authorization of their Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

“We are quite optimistic, actually, that the vaccine is – the data speaks for itself and they’ll be supportive,” Hoge said in a preview clip from a longer interview, set to air on “Dateline” Thursday night.

The US Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) is scheduled to meet on Dec. 17 to review Moderna’s application for emergency use authorization.

The FDA also has a meeting scheduled Dec. 10 to discuss Pfizer’s application for emergency use authorization for it's Covid-19 candidate.

Once authorized, Hoge said that Moderna would be ready to ship its vaccine quickly.

Like others, he said, Moderna has partnered with Gen. Gus Perna and Operation Warp Speed: “I’ve been told they want trucks rolling within hours, if not a day.”

“So, what we’ve done is we’ve been helping to position the vaccine in the warehouses where they can access it immediately if it’s approved and start distribution,” Hoge said.

When asked by Holt if there was a plan B if the vaccine isn’t approved, Hoge said, “There hasn’t been much of a plan B since about February, you know. We’re all in on this. We hope this vaccine works.”

He added that they are confident in the data, and if FDA comes back with any questions, they will do everything they can do answer them.

12:01 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

New York state reports more than 7,200 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Brian Vitagliano

A National Guard soldier directs an incoming car at coronavirus testing site on November 24 in New York City.
A National Guard soldier directs an incoming car at coronavirus testing site on November 24 in New York City. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

During a teleconference call Tuesday, New Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 7,285 new Covid-19 cases in New York State, with 66 deaths.

The statewide positivity rate excluding “micro-cluster” areas stands at 4.46%. The positivity rate within New York’s “micro-clusters” is 6.27%, he said.

The total hospitalizations are at 3,774. 

“The numbers are going up, we expected the numbers to go up, my projection is that the numbers will continue to go up through the holiday season, Cuomo said during a teleconference Tuesday. 

Note: These numbers were released by New York Governor’s office and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project. 

11:33 a.m. ET, December 1, 2020

Arizona reports more than 10,000 new Covid-19 cases following Thanksgiving lag

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

Cars line up for drive-thru COVID testing at the Mesa Convention Center on November 19 in Mesa, Arizona.
Cars line up for drive-thru COVID testing at the Mesa Convention Center on November 19 in Mesa, Arizona. Patrick Breen/The Republic, U

Arizona reported 10,322 new Covid-19 cases today, according to the state’s data dashboard. However, the state's health department said "this large number of newly reported cases is a result of the extended four-day weekend.” 

"With the long weekend, classification was delayed for a large portion of cases, resulting in much higher numbers than usual," Cara Crist, Director Arizona Department of Health Services, wrote in a blog post.

Remember: As CNN has been warning, many states posted much lower than usual cases/deaths on Thanksgiving, and it has taken them a few days to catalog and report the lag, which is why Arizona’s number is so high. 

Prior to today, the highest single day of new cases in the state was more than 4,800 set on July 1.

Regardless of the holiday delays, Arizona has been experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases in the last few weeks with daily case counts regularly topping 3,000 new Covid-19 cases. 

Arizona has reported a total of 337,139 cases of Covid-19 and 6,687 reported deaths to the disease since the pandemic began.

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.