The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

By Jessie Yeung, Brett McKeehan, Lauren Kent, Rob Picheta, Ed Upright and Hira Humayun, CNN

Updated 12:19 a.m. ET, November 6, 2020
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8:36 p.m. ET, November 5, 2020

New Jersey Governor says he won't rule out another Covid-19 shutdown

From Lauren DelValle

From Washington Post Live
From Washington Post Live

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy outlined what possible new Covid-19 restrictions could look like while not ruling out another shutdown in the northeastern US state, during an on-camera interview with the Washington Post.

Murphy said that the restrictions he is evaluating include sports-related tournaments in other US states, bars, and the possibility of closing non-essential businesses at a certain time.

“We got a number of bartenders who have showed up as of late testing positive so we're looking at our bar policy,” Murphy said. Some communities have put a stoppage time on non-essential businesses, which he said the state was looking into.

When asked during the interview if a shutdown similar to some European countries could be coming, Murphy said he wouldn't rule it out. 

"We have to leave everything on the table. There's just no other responsible way to answer that. Again, I hope it can be a combination of palatable but effective steps. On the one hand, with surgical strikes, on the other hand, such that we can contain any second wave, but also keep our businesses even if at modest capacities open," he said.

This comes as New Jersey reported 2,104 new positive cases of Covid-19 and a positivity rating of 7.74% from tests done Sunday November 1. Murphy called the uptick in positivity rating “unacceptable.”

There are 1,224 people currently hospitalized due to Covid-19 in New Jersey. The number of hospitalizations has nearly tripled since seven weeks ago when the rolling average was 420 people. There were 12 new lab reported deaths due to the virus in the state, according to the New Jersey Covid-19 dashboard.

Murphy also announced that New Jersey has traced 36 total Covid-19 cases to in-school transmission since schools opened roughly two months ago.

Ahead of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Murphy urged New Jersey residents not to travel out of the state unless it is for work, school, worship or essential travel.

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.

8:33 p.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Covid-19 cases close 4 NFL facilities Thursday

Four National Football League (NFL) teams closed their facilities Thursday after learning of a positive Covid-19 test related to each.

The following are statements form the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans and Chicago Bears:

Chiefs:

“The club was notified this morning that a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is self-quarantining, under the team's medical care, and contact tracing is taking place. The team is now in the NFL's Intensive Protocol and working closely with the league and medical experts.

“The health and safety of our players, coaches and staff members remains our number one priority.

“The Chiefs will hold practice this morning and then out of precaution, the facilities will be closed this afternoon and meetings will be held virtually.

“We'll continue to monitor the situation and take any appropriate action necessary to protect the team and those around us.

“The team will continue its preparation to play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.”

Colts:

“This morning, we were informed that a member of the Colts staff has tested positive for COVID-19. The team is in the process of contact tracing and has entered the NFL's intensive protocol. The individual has self-quarantined and is under the care of team doctors. The Colts will conduct today's scheduled practice at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, but all meetings will be held virtually and away from the practice facility. We are working closely with the NFL, its medical staff and our team doctors.”

 

Texans:

“We were informed last night that a Texans player has tested positive for COVID-19. In consultation with the NFL and medical experts, we have made the decision to close the facility and conduct all operations virtually today. The player immediately self-isolated and contact tracing has begun. We will follow the NFL’s intensive protocols and guidance regarding the team’s operations. The health and safety of our team, as well as our entire staff, are of highest priority.”

 

Bears:

After learning Thursday that another player tested positive for the coronavirus, the Bears closed Halas Hall and released the following statement: 

"This morning we were notified that another Bears player has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the club has decided to pause all in-person football activities and close Halas Hall. Today's practice has been canceled and all meetings will be conducted virtually. The player who tested positive and all close contacts have been contacted and have already begun self-isolation. We will continue to work closely with the NFL medical experts and follow the league's intensive protocol. The health and safety of our team, players and staff are the highest priority."

The Bears are scheduled to play the Titans Sunday in Tennessee. It's unclear how Thursday's events will affect that game.

8:33 p.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Antibody treatment trial in UK hospitalized patients can continue, monitoring committee says

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

An independent data monitoring committee reviewed safety and efficacy data from Regeneron’s Covid-19 antibody therapy trial in the UK and recommended the trial continue recruiting volunteers, according to a letter from the committee.

The committee said it had reviewed the records for 15,545 total patients in what is known as the RECOVERY trial, one of the world’s largest efforts to determine what treatments may help hospitalized patients with Covid-19.

That review included 325 patients in the part of the trial evaluating whether Regeneron’s antibody therapy helps patients more than placebo.

In October, a separate Regeneron trial in the US put a hold on enrolling patients who needed mechanical ventilation or high-flow oxygen. Regeneron said that trial’s data-monitoring committee made the recommendation "based on a potential safety signal and an unfavorable risk/benefit profile at this time." That trial is still enrolling patients that don’t need extra oxygen or need only low-flow oxygen. 

Regeneron has multiple trials underway. 

The company has a trial testing if its therapy could prevent new infections. Another trial is looking at the impact the treatment has on mild to moderate cases. That trial is the basis for the company’s submission to the US Food and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization, which it submitted in October. 

There are at least 79 monoclonal antibody treatments for Covid-19 under investigation.

8:33 p.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Louisiana extends its statewide mask mandate

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, right, speaks during a press conference on November 5.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, right, speaks during a press conference on November 5. From John Bel Edwards/Facebook

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) announced Thursday that he will be signing a new executive order keeping Louisiana in Phase 3, with the same Covid-19 mitigation measures in place, including the statewide mask mandate. The order will be in place for 28 days, until December 4, the Governor said.

Louisiana reported 740 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday for a total of 185,825 cases in the state and 20 additional Covid-19 related deaths, for a total of 5,766 deaths, the Governor said.

I’m waiting for that day, anxiously awaiting the day, when I can come up and say we’ve registered zero deaths in the previous 24 hours - that day hasn't happened," Edwards said.

The Governor said while Louisiana currently has the 44th highest rate of Covid-19 cases in the country, “it is not because we have improved our standing -- it's because of deterioration of other states’ standing and the increase in cases that they’ve had elsewhere.”

The state’s concerns include an increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations, with 636 hospitalizations reported Thursday, the most since September 18, according to Edwards.

Both the Governor and Louisiana’s interim assistant secretary of the Office of Public Health, Dr. Joseph Kanter, said many recent outbreaks in the state have been coming from small gatherings of people “letting their guards down.”

6:44 p.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Air Force-Army football game called off due to Covid-19

Falcon Stadium is seen on October 31 at Air Force Academy, Colorado.
Falcon Stadium is seen on October 31 at Air Force Academy, Colorado. David Zalubowski/AP

The US Air Force Academy has announced their football game at Army, scheduled for this Saturday, has been postponed due to Covid-19 cases at the Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The school issued statement cited "upward trends" of coronavirus cases on campus and "in the surrounding community" as reasons to call off the contest.

No make-up date was announced as the two service academies try to reschedule the game. 

"We are disappointed to postpone this game, but the health and safety of our cadets, staff and the community continues to be our No. 1 priority at the Academy," Air Force Director of Athletics Nathan Pine said. "Due to the upward trends in our Covid numbers across the campus, we have paused all intercollegiate team activities."

Earlier on Thursday, Navy announced the postponement of their Saturday game against Tulsa due to positive Covid-19 cases at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

6:03 p.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Colorado and Utah see highest number of daily Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Gisela Crespo and Claudia Dominguez

A Salt Lake County Health Department public health nurse performs a coronavirus test outside the Salt Lake County Health Department on November 3 in Salt Lake City.
A Salt Lake County Health Department public health nurse performs a coronavirus test outside the Salt Lake County Health Department on November 3 in Salt Lake City. Rick Bowmer/AP

Colorado reported 3,369 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, the highest daily count since the pandemic began, Governor Jared Polis said during a news conference.

The state also reported the highest number of hospitalizations, with 894 patients currently in the hospital for the virus.

"We have now surpassed the hospitalization level we had in March and April and we need to do better, getting back to what we know works. You know it, I know it, we just need to do it," Polis said.

The governor urged Coloradans to wear masks and avoid gatherings with people outside of their households.

According to the governor, Colorado has reported 121,000 coronavirus cases to date and 2,158 total deaths.

Utah also reported its largest single daily increase in new Covid-19 cases with 2,807 new cases on Thursday according to Utah State Epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) said the report was “grim news and it’s discouraging” and that Utahns would see higher numbers in the upcoming days and weeks, warning that “we'll continue to see this dramatic increase, unless we modify and change our behavior.”

When asked if he would consider closing businesses to curb the spread, Herbert said, “We don't want to close down the economy… we think that's maybe the wrong direction to go. Maybe some modifications of behavior that need to take place to keep those businesses open.”

Utah has a total of 124,292 confirmed coronavirus cases and 632 deaths according to Utah’s Department of Health.

As more states see record-high numbers of daily Covid-19 cases, the United States reported its highest number of new coronavirus infections in a single day -- 102,831 on Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The state-level numbers were released by the Colorado governor’s office and Utah Department of Health respectively and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN's database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project

6:01 p.m. ET, November 5, 2020

CDC’s ensemble forecast projects up to 266,000 US Covid-19 deaths by November 28

From CNN Health’s Ben Tinker

An ensemble forecast published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now projects there will be 250,000 to 266,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by November 28.

Unlike some individual models, the CDC’s ensemble forecast only offers projections a few weeks into the future. The previous ensemble forecast, published October 29, projected up to 256,000 coronavirus deaths by November 21.

At least 234,300 people have already died from Covid-19 in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Track Covid-19 cases in the US here:

5:40 p.m. ET, November 5, 2020

French Health Minister says second wave of Covid-19 is "brutal"

From Barbara Wojazer

French Health Minister Olivier Veran speaks during his weekly press conference on the Covid-19 pandemic in Paris on November 5.
French Health Minister Olivier Veran speaks during his weekly press conference on the Covid-19 pandemic in Paris on November 5. Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

The second wave of coronavirus is already severely hitting France, the country’s Health Minister Olivier Véran warned Thursday.

“The second wave is already upon us, and it is brutal,” Véran told journalists at a press conference.

France surpassed another record on Thursday, with 58,046 new cases of the virus registered in 24 hours, according to numbers published by the National Health Agency.

France is “the European country that has the highest number of cases: 1.6 million,” the Director of the Health Agency Jérôme Salomon said during the same press conference.

If the virus keeps spreading at this rate, “the second wave could be worse and longer” than the first wave, Véran said, adding that it could take “until mid-December” to stabilize.

The Health Minister urged French people to respect lockdown measures, otherwise “we will see, as early as mid-November, a high risk of saturation” of hospitals.

The number of patients hospitalized for coronavirus has increased by 892 in 24 hours, for a total of 28,403 on Thursday, according to health agency numbers and 4,221 coronavirus patients are in intensive care units.

The coronavirus death toll in France currently stands at 39,037 according to the health agency.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said France accounted for the third-highest number of new cases globally. "With more than 275,000 cases reported in the past week (4,200 cases per million population): that is a 27% increase from the previous week," WHO said Tuesday.

5:05 p.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Minks appear to be ‘reservoir’ for coronavirus, WHO official says

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite and Simon Cullen

Minks are seen at a farm in Gjol, Denmark on October 9.
Minks are seen at a farm in Gjol, Denmark on October 9. Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty Images

A World Health Organization (WHO) official has praised Denmark’s decision to cull the country’s herd of mink, saying the animals appear to be a good reservoir for coronavirus and have infected people with a mutated strain.

“It seems that mink are susceptible to the virus and quite good at becoming a reservoir for the virus,” Catherine Smallwood, a senior emergency officer at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe said Thursday. 

“So there is a risk of course that this mink population could contribute in some way to the transmission of the virus from minks into humans and onwards from humans to humans.”

She said the transmission of Covid-19 from humans to animals and back to humans is not new. However, she said Danish researchers had tracked mutations of the virus in the mink.

“We're of course very interested in this specific variant and then the genetic changes that are being reported, and we need to understand more about it but it doesn't change right now what's going on, epidemiologically.”

On Wednesday, the Danish Prime Minister announced the findings of the research and that all mink would be culled. 

WHO European regional director Hans Kluge on Thursday described the decision as “commendable,” especially given the economic impact it will have.