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December 6 coronavirus news

How holiday spirit is surging despite the Covid-19 pandemic

What you need to know

  • The United States reported 1 million Covid-19 cases in the first five days of December, and more than 200,000 daily cases for the fourth consecutive day.
  • Experts say these coming months will be a “worst-case scenario” in the US before we reach the light at the end of the tunnel. 
  • The UK has received its first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, which it approved Wednesday. Other countries, including France and Portugal, plan to begin vaccinations in the coming weeks.

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Florida reports more than 8,000 new Covid-19 cases 

Florida health officials are reporting 8,436 additional coronavirus cases on Sunday, according to the Florida Department of Health (DOH).      

This follows three consecutive days of more than 10,000 cases reported in the state, CNN’s tally shows. 

To date, Florida has recorded a total of 1,058,074 Covid-19 cases statewide, DOH data shows.

There are currently 4,401 people in Florida hospitalized with Covid-19, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. As of 4 p.m., on Saturday, 25.69% of ICU beds in the state are available, Florida’s AHCA data shows.    

There were 96 new Covid-19 related deaths reported on Sunday, bringing the total in the state to 19,423, DOH data shows.  

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

Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for Covid-19, Trump says

Rudy Giuliani arrives for a news conference at Republican National Committee headquarters on Nov. 19.

President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for the coronavirus, Trump announced on Twitter. 

“Get better soon Rudy, we will carry on!!!” Trump wrote Sunday.

While Trump has announced on Twitter that Giuliani has tested positive for coronavirus – Giuliani himself has not publicly commented on it.

CNN has reached out to Giuliani.

Read the tweet:

New York state reports more than 9,500 new coronavirus cases

New York state reported 9,702 new cases of Covid-19, according to a tweet from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The total test positivity rate is 4.71% and as of Dec. 5, 4,442 people are currently hospitalized for the virus.

“Sadly, there were 56 Covid-19 fatalities yesterday,” the tweet said.

To note: These numbers released by the New York Department of Health may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

California reports more than 30,000 new Covid-19 cases

A healthcare worker administers a nasal swab at a Covid-19 testing site in San Francisco, California, on December 1.

More than 30,000 new Covid-19 cases were reported in California Sunday, the highest number of new daily cases ever recorded in the state. 

The 30,075 new cases reported Sunday bring the statewide total to 1,341,700 cases since the pandemic began, according to the California Public Health Department Covid-19 dashboard.

The state also reported 85 new deaths Sunday for a total of 19,876 deaths. 

Hospitalizations are also at an all time high, with 10,624 Covid-19 patients, which is an increase of 338 patients since yesterday, the website showed.

There are 1,567 intensive care unit beds that remain available, according to the website. 

Several regions have reported low ICU bed availability, with the San Joaquin Valley region only having 6.6% of beds available and the Southern California region having 10.3% available, the state’s stay at home order website said.

Daily Covid-19 cases in North Carolina hit record high

North Carolina health officials reported a record 6,438 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).   

This marks the most Covid-19 cases reported in a single day and surpasses the record set Saturday when 6,018 cases were reported, NCDHHS data showed.   

NCDDHS also reported 27 additional Covid-19 deaths on Sunday.  

There are now a total of 394,880 coronavirus cases and 5,543 deaths in North Carolina, NCDHHS reported.   

To note: These numbers were released by the state’s 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. 

More than 281,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

Medical staff members close the zipper of a body bag containing a deceased Covid-19 patient in the intensive care unit of United Memorial Medical Center on November 25 in Houston, Texas.

There are at least 14,634,911 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 281,513 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As of Sunday afternoon, 53,574 new cases and 327 new deaths have been reported in the US since midnight. The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.

More than one million cases were reported in the US within the first five days of December and the last four out of five days saw more than 200,000 new daily Covid-19 cases. 

The last five days also saw the highest hospitalization numbers nationwide since the pandemic began.

South Carolina reports more than 2,000 new Covid-19 cases 

South Carolina health officials reported 2,587 new probable and confirmed Covid-19 cases on Sunday, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).   

This marks the fourth consecutive day the state reports more than 2,000 cases, CNN’s tally showed.  

On Saturday, DHEC reported a record 2,807 additional probable and confirmed Covid-19 cases, CNN reported.  

The total number of probable and confirmed cases in South Carolina stands at 232,099, DHEC data showed.  

The state’s current percent positive rate stands at 21.2%, not including antibody tests, DHEC reported. 

Italy surpasses 60,000 Covid-19 deaths

Health care personnel transport a deceased patient in an intensive care unit on November 18 in Palermo, Italy.

Italy has recorded a total of 60,078 Covid-19 deaths, after the country registered an additional 564 deaths on Sunday, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

Italy now has the sixth highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world, according to John Hopkins University.

The country also recorded 18,887 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 1,728,878.

New Jersey reports more than 6,000 new Covid-19 cases

Healthcare workers administer Covid-19 tests at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey on December 3.

New Jersey reported 6,046 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, marking a new record for the highest new daily case count for the state since the pandemic began, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.

The previous all-time high was recorded on Friday. To date, New Jersey has reported 368,016 total cases of Covid-19, state data showed.

The deaths of 16 more New Jersey residents due to Covid-19 was announced on Sunday, bringing the state’s death toll to 15,485.

There are currently 3,214 hospitalizations with 622 patients in intensive care, according to the state’s Covid-19 data dashboard.

To note: These numbers were released by the state of New Jersey, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

Democratic senator says there could be a stimulus agreement "as early as tomorrow"

Sen. Mark Warner speaks alongside a bipartisan group of Democrat and Republican members of Congress on Capitol Hill on December 1 in Washington, DC.

Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, told CNN there could be an agreement on a stimulus bill as early as Monday. 

Warner, who is part of a bipartisan group of eight senators hashing out a compromise on a stimulus bill, said they are close to an agreement.  

“I think we have got the top line numbers done. We are working right now on language so that we can have – as early as tomorrow – a piece of legislation,” he said.

The Democratic Senator from Virginia says it will be a four-month emergency relief package with a $908 billion price tag.  

The agreement “will give targeted relief for the unemployed; for people in food insecurity; rental assistance; small businesses that have run out of their PP funds and additional funds to those minority businesses that have been extraordinarily hit hard,” Warner said.

“We put additional assistance in finally for broadband, which we all know is an academic necessity and additional dollars around the vaccine distribution; assistance for hospitals,” he added.

Warner predicts, despite the fact that neither Republicans nor Democrats are getting everything they would like in the bill, there will be enough votes to support passage of the measure. 

“I have pretty high assurance that it would get way beyond 60 votes,” he said.

Scientific advisor hopes for a significant decrease in mortality in the elderly by end of January  

Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific advisor for Operation Warp Speed, speaks with CNN on Sunday, December 6.

Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific advisor for Operation Warp Speed, told CNN on Sunday that he is hopeful that by the end of January, there should be a “quite significant” decrease in morbidity and mortality associate with the elderly population.  

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its advisory committee, ACIP, have recommended that the vaccine be used in health care workers and those in long term care facilities, Slaoui said, adding that, unfortunately, about 40 to 50% of deaths are happening in the elderly population in care homes. 

“We should be able to have immunized that full population, and the healthcare workers that take care of them by the end of the month of December or by the middle of the month of January,” he said. 

The vaccine efficacy as it has been seen, he said, “actually starts reasonably quickly” after the first dose and is then maintained further with the second dose. 

“Therefore I’m hopeful that by the end of the month of January, we should already see quite a significant decrease in the mortality and severe morbidity associated in the elderly population” said Slaoui. 

He added that there are many other people who have comorbidities that live outside these facilities and that it will take more time to immunize them. 

“By the month, the middle of the month of March, we should have really covered most of the highly susceptible population, about 100 million people,” Slaoui said.

Operation Warp Speed official praises Biden's plan for Americans to mask up for 100 days

Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific advisor for Operation Warp Speed, told CNN that he thinks President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to ask all Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days in office is a good idea. 

“I think it’s a good idea, it’s never too late,” Slaoui said. “This pandemic is ravaging the country.”

Slaoui said that everyone needs to take precautions, wear masks, wash their hands, keep their distance and “remain aware that this virus is a killer.”  

“We have a vaccine, there is light at the end of the tunnel but we will not all have the vaccine in our arms before May or June so we need to be very cautious and vigilant,” he added.

More background: Biden told CNN on Thursday that he will ask Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days after he takes office, in a sign of how Biden’s approach to the virus will be dramatically different from President Trump’s response.

“Just 100 days to mask, not forever. One hundred days. And I think we’ll see a significant reduction,” Biden said Thursday.

UK to have 4 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by end of year

Specialist Covid-19 vaccine freezers in a secure location, awaiting distribution of the vaccines to the NHS.

Health officials in the United Kingdom expect to have up to 4 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine available by the end of December.

The UK became the first Western country to authorize a Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday, marking a pivotal moment in the global fight against coronavirus.

“We know the first batch of 800,000 [doses] is making its way to the country now… and we are expecting in the low millions, so up to 4 million doses, to be with us by the end of December,” Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers told Sky News on Sunday.

Vaccinations to begin next week: The health official said 50 hospital hubs across the UK have already received their allocation of the vaccine, and that the distribution of the vaccine is “really well underway now.” Covid-19 vaccinations are set to begin on Tuesday in England, Wales and Scotland.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, enough to vaccinate 20 million people or one-third of the UK population.

“Despite the huge complexities, hospitals will kickstart the first phase of the largest scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history from Tuesday. The first tranche of vaccine deliveries will be landing at hospitals by Monday in readiness,” professor Stephen Powis, NHS England’s national medical director, said in a news release on Sunday.

“Robust” authorization process: Cordery also addressed concerns regarding the safety of the jab, saying its “authorization and approval process has been incredibly robust.”

“Yes, it has been shorter than other vaccine approval processes, but that’s because everything all has been thrown at this all in one go, rather than the much more bureaucratic process we’ve been seeing with other vaccine approvals where perhaps the need has been less pressing,” she added.

The head of Britain’s medicines regulator also put out assurances on Sunday, saying the Pfizer/BioNTech jab is “as safe as any general vaccine.”

“My main message is that the safety profile of the Covid-19 vaccine is really no different than any other vaccine – you might have a mild symptom but it will probably disappear in a day or two, and nothing at all of serious nature,” June Raine, head of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), told the BBC.

Raine also explained health officials will carefully monitor people after having the vaccine.

They couldn't say goodbye in person, so ICU patients are using tablets instead

Some hospitals are stocking enough iPads to rival a modest Apple store. But the reason for this reflects a grim reality: They’re being used to connect Covid-19 patients with their families – sometimes, for the last conversation they’ll ever have.

When Dr. Mark Shapiro posted about a patient saying goodbye to his family via an iPad, he wanted to communicate to others the severity of this pandemic.

“As the ICU (intensive care unit) team makes ready, there’s a key step we mustn’t forget,” Shapiro, who is a hospitalist at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in California, wrote on Twitter. “At first he says “No,” but we encourage him. The nurse brings in the iPad. With the last air in his shattered lungs, he says goodbye to his family. Over an internet connection.”

Hospitals have been overwhelmed by the thousands of patients coming in every day after contracting coronavirus. Across the US, there’s been a shortage of hospital supplies for medical staff and beds for patients.

And the contagious nature of the illness has forced hospitals to limit, and often forbid, visitation rights to mitigate its spread. The latest solution has been the implementation of iPad stations and other virtual technology so patients can communicate with their friends and family – often, for the last time.

Read the full story here:

 A nurse stands with a COVID-19 patient during a Zoom video call in a Stamford Hospital intensive care unit (ICU), on April 24, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut.

They couldn't say goodbye in person, so ICU patients are using tablets instead

1 million new coronavirus cases have been added to the US total -- in just 5 days

People come to be tested for Covid-19 at a test site at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey, on December 3.

After the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the United States on January 20, it took almost 100 days to reach 1 million infections. Now, the country has added more than 1 million cases to its grim total in just five days.

From Tuesday to Saturday, 1,000,882 new coronavirus cases were reported in the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, bringing the total to more than 14.5 million confirmed cases and 281,199 deaths from the virus.

The month of November registered frightening peaks in the daily number of new coronavirus cases – reaching 100,000 for the first time, as well as spikes in hospitalizations and deaths. On the second day of December, more than 200,000 new cases were reported for the previous 24 hours.

A grim prognosis: And as the impacts of Thanksgiving travel and gatherings begin to reveal themselves, and hospitals fill to capacity, experts say it is likely to get worse.

“Every single day, thousands more people are getting this virus, and we know that means that in a few days, in a week, hundreds of people are going to be coming to the hospital and hundreds of people are going to die,” Dr. Shirlee Xie, a hospitalist and associate director of hospital medicine for Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis, told CNN’s Ana Cabrera, her voice breaking with emotion.

“I think that sometimes when you hear statistics like that, you become numb to what those numbers mean,” she said. “But for us, the people that are taking care of these patients, every single number is somebody that we have to look at and say, ‘I’m sorry, there’s nothing more I can do for you.’”

More than 100,000 Covid-19 patients have been hospitalized nationwide for the past four days, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

Read the full story here.

South Korea to toughen distancing measures as coronavirus cases continue to rise

Health Minister Park Neung-hoo speaks during a meeting of the Central Disease Control Headquarters at the government complex in Seoul, South Korea, on July 20.

South Korea’s Minister of Health Park Neung-hoo announced the country will raise its social distancing measures from this Tuesday, as the capital city area has entered a “widespread stage.”

South Korea was widely praised as a Covid-19 success story, and had managed to keep the pandemic largely under control.

But there are now more active Covid-19 cases in South Korea than at any other point through the pandemic, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

Pandemic is on the brink of spreading: The Seoul Metropolitan Area will enter the fourth-highest level of social distancing restrictions in a five-level system for three weeks starting on Tuesday at 12 a.m. local time, Park said Sunday.

Park noted that past distancing measures had not yielded a clear result and that the pandemic is at the brink of spreading to the rest of the country.

There are currently 7,873 Covid-19 patients in the country, which has recorded a total of 37,546 cases and 545 deaths since the pandemic began.

Seoul restrictions: From Tuesday in the Seoul Metropolitan Area, gatherings including those at weddings and funerals must not exceed 50 people. Karaoke businesses and gyms must close, and spectators will be banned at sports events.

Hair salons and movie theatres must close after 9 p.m. The government will strongly recommend private businesses transition to work from home so only one-third of workers are in the workplace.

Masks mandatory as Covid-19 hospital beds could run out: In the rest of the country, masks will become mandatory in all indoor facilities, and gatherings must not exceed 100 people. Bars and clubs will be closed, and restaurants will only be allowed to serve takeout and deliveries past 9 p.m.

If the current trend persists, beds dedicated to critical care of Covid-19 patients will run out in about a week, Park said. Park said the health authority will work to secure more critical care beds dedicated to Covid-19 patients from 177 beds currently, to 274 beds by December 15.

“We are no longer recommending refraining from having gatherings. Please cancel all of them and reduce all activity for these three weeks,” Park said.

Tokyo records highest daily spike in Covid-19 cases

Tokyo reported its highest daily increase in Covid-19 infections on Saturday, with 584 new cases, according to Japan’s Health Ministry. 

On Saturday, 2,514 new Covid-19 cases and 32 deaths were registered throughout the country.

The southwestern city of Osaka recorded 399 new cases, its fifth straight day with more than 300 new infections. 

The number of people suffering severe symptoms is rising in Japan, with 520 people currently in intensive care.

There have been 160,810 Covid-19 cases reported in Japan and at least 2,318 people have died of the virus.

Russia reports its highest daily number of new Covid-19 cases

Medical workers wearing protective gear return to their ambulance after transferring a patient suspected of having Covid-19 at a hospital in Kommunarka, outside Moscow, on December 5.

Russia reported 29,039 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, the highest number of cases it has ever reported in a single day, according to data from the country’s coronavirus response center. The previous record was set just a day before with 28,782 cases recorded that day. 

The total number of coronavirus cases reported in Russia as of December 6 is 2,460,770. 

The country reported 457 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall official toll to 43,141.

Russia’s counting methods of Covid-19 deaths have been questioned by independent observers and demographers with CNN previously reporting the numbers could be vastly understated. 

Europe's social safety net is often considered the gold standard. Coronavirus has exposed its holes

Ros Davies is usually busiest at Christmas, building magnificent sets and stages for London’s most sparkling parties and events.

This year, the fairytale is canceled. Davies, a self-employed carpenter hasn’t worked since March because of the pandemic and has no idea when she may do so again.

She’s living in temporary accommodation found for her in the city by St. Mungo’s, a homelessness charity, while a plan to get her into permanent housing is on hold.

“I was hoping to move on and sort my life properly but … here we are,” the 50-year old told CNN Business. “I wouldn’t have believed if you had said a year ago that your job’s going to stop in March and that’s it, you might never work doing that again.”

Davies did some retraining in painting and decorating, but with England just coming out of a second lockdown it hasn’t led to any work. She has gone from regular jobs that paid enough for her to take vacations, to complete reliance on UK social security payments of just over £400 ($530) a month.

Workers falling through the cracks: Coronavirus has revealed gaping holes in European social safety nets that are often seen as the gold standard. While many countries introduced support programs for workers affected by the pandemic, people are falling through the cracks. Most often, those who were already suffering the effects of inequality are hit the hardest — lower-income workers, those in insecure jobs, young people, women and minority ethnic groups.

“Some of the social security systems in Europe are more extensive, better developed [than in the United States],” Michael Spence, a Nobel Laureate and former dean of Stanford Business School, told CNN Business.

He said that during the 2008 financial crisis, pre-existing programs involving governments and businesses helped many European countries avoid too many layoffs.

“But I think in the pandemic economy, the shock’s so big that they kind of overwhelm the systems,” he said. “The systems weren’t built to withstand nearly overnight contractions of 25% in economies.”

Unemployment was up by 2.18 million year on year in the European Union in October 2020, rising from a rate of 6.6% to 7.6%. The UK unemployment rate was an estimated 4.8% in the three months to September, up 0.9 percentage points year on year, and 782,000 jobs were lost between March and October, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Read the full story:

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: Shoppers and commuters around Regent Street on October 13, 2020 in London, England. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said today that the city would move into Tier 2 of the government's new covid-19 risk classification once it hits 100 new daily cases per 100,000 people, which could happen this week. The second or "high" tier of the three-tier system triggers a ban on household mixing, although pubs would remain open. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Europe's social safety net is often considered the gold standard. Coronavirus has exposed its holes

"Just wear the mask": CDC urges

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has urged the public to wear masks as coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths soar across the nation.

 “JUST WEAR THE MASK,” the CDC said on Twitter on Saturday.

“Cover your mouth AND nose,” the agency continued, citing public health precautions it has repeatedly recommended, this time with a new sense of urgency.

 The CDC recommends people stay six feet apart, wash hands and stay home when possible.

“Cases are rising fast,” the agency warned. “If we don’t act together and do what we can to slow the spread, thousands more could die.”

Germany reports 255 new Covid-19 deaths as it struggles to contain the outbreak

Germany reported 255 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases, amid a recent spike in fatalities.

It comes a day after Germany reported a near-high number of coronavirus deaths, with 483 fatalities recorded on Saturday.

The highest number of reported virus-related deaths in the country came on Wednesday, at 487 fatalities. The national death toll stands at 18,722.

On Sunday, Germany recorded 17,767 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the country’s total number of infections to 1,171,322.  

Daily coronavirus fatalities have risen sharply in Germany in recent weeks, as the country struggles to contain an ongoing surge in infections. 

After meeting with state governors this week, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Thursday the extension of restrictive coronavirus measures in the country until January 10, as infection rates throughout the country remain too high to allow re-opening of restaurants, bars and leisure facilities.

United States reports more than 213,000 Covid-19 cases

The United States reported 213,875 new Covid-19 cases and 2,254 virus-related deaths on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

That brings the total number of reported infections nationwide to 14,581,337. At least 281,186 people have died.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

It’s the fourth day in a row that the US has reported more than 200,000 daily Covid-19 cases. More than 1 million new cases were reported in the first five days of December and the country is seeing record high numbers of hospitalizations.

CNN is tracking the US cases here:

South Korea now has more active Covid-19 cases than ever before

A medical staff member wearing protective gear takes samples for the Covid-19 test from a visitor at a testing station in Seoul, South Korea, on November 27.

There are more active Covid-19 cases in South Korea now than at any other point in the pandemic, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

There are currently 7,873 virus patients in the country.

On Sunday, South Korea reported 599 local and 32 imported cases, which were detected the previous day. Of those, 470 were from the Seoul Metropolitan Area.

That brings South Korea’s national total to 37,546 Covid-19 cases and 545 deaths since the pandemic began.

United States sees second highest number of Covid-19 hospitalizations

Nurses care for a Covid-19 positive patient at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, on December 4.

The United States recorded its second-highest number of people currently hospitalized with Covid-19 on Saturday, according to the Covid Tracking Project (CTP).

There were 101,190 people hospitalized with Covid-19 on Saturday, down 86 from Friday’s record high of 101,276 hospitalizations, according to the CTP.

This is the fourth consecutive day that the US has surpassed 100,000 current hospitalizations.

The highest hospitalization numbers according to CTP data are:

December 4: 101,276 December 5: 101,190 December 3: 100,667 December 2: 100,226 December 1: 98,691

The US hits a record 7-day average of new Covid-19 cases as hospitals are further strained

Dr. Megan Ranney

Hospitals across the United States are being put under immense pressure as the nation continues to hit record levels of new Covid-19 cases, adding more than 1 million new cases in the first five days of December.

“We’re seeing day-by-day increasing numbers of patients with Covid-19, both those who are a little bit sick and those who are really sick,” said Dr. Megan Ranney, a CNN medical analyst and director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
“As that happens, our hospitals are filling up, and our workers are getting sick. Our floors are short on techs, on respiratory therapists, on nurses,” said Ranney, adding, “We are on the verge of being in a crisis state.”

Rhode Island’s not alone. More than 101,200 Covid-19 patients were in US hospitals on Friday — a record high, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Hospital systems and health care workers are approaching their breaking points.

Experts fear a potential surge of infections linked to Thanksgiving gatherings that will further stress hospitals and frontline health workers.

Read the full story:

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 30: In an aerial view from a drone, cars are lined up at Dodger Stadium for COVID-19 testing on the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend on November 30, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Health officials in Los Angeles County have issued a new limited stay-at-home order in effect for the next three weeks amid a surge in coronavirus cases. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The US hit a record 7-day average of new Covid-19 cases as hospitals are further strained

The US reports more than 200,000 new Covid-19 cases for the fourth day in a row

The United States has reported more than 200,000 new Covid-19 cases for the fourth day in a row, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As of 8 p.m. ET Saturday, 200,067 new cases and 2,189 deaths had been reported in the US.

A total of 14,567,529 cases and 281,121 deaths have been reported in the country since the pandemic began.

More than 1 million new cases were reported in the first five days of December. 

Here’s a rundown of the US cases in the past four days: 

  • Sat, Dec 5 - 200,067 as of 8 p.m. EST
  • Fri, Dec 4 - 227,885
  • Thu, Dec 3 - 217,664
  • Wed, Dec 2 - 200,055

The majority of California will soon be under a stay-at-home order

Customers dine along Manhattan Beach Blvd. in Manhattan Beach Friday as a lockdown is looming in L.A.County due to the rise in coronavirus cases, on December 4.

Southern California and San Joaquin Valley residents are bracing for a stay-at-home order. Intensive care unit capacity in the two regions has fallen below 15%, triggering a mandate issued by the governor earlier this week that aims to bring down the soaring number of Covid-19 hospitalizations.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced that any region that fell below the 15% ICU capacity threshold would be placed under a stay-at-home order.

The order goes into effect Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PT for the some 27 million people in the regions, which includes Los Angeles and San Diego.

That follows a proactive order issued by six San Francisco Bay Area jurisdictions on Friday for its almost 6 million residents, which also goes into effect Sunday.

Read the full story:

01 california lockdown order december

Tens of millions in California under stay-at-home order starting Sunday night

US tops 1 million cases in first 5 days of December

More than one million new cases of Covid-19 were reported in the United States within the first five days of December, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Here’s a rundown of cases in the past five days:

  • Sat, December 5: 200,067 as of 8 p.m. EST
  • Fri, December 4: 227,885
  • Thur, December 3: 217,664 
  • Wed, December 2: 200,055
  • Tues, December 1: 180,637

California reports more than 25,000 new Covid-19 cases

California has reported a new record high of 25,068 new coronavirus cases on Saturday.

The state also reported that an additional 325 Covid-19 patients are hospitalized. That brings the statewide total to 10,273 people across the state in hospitals.

There are 209 new deaths reported as well today. The state total is now 19,791 deaths.

The statewide 14- day positivity rate has jumped to 7.6%.

Read more

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