November 8 coronavirus news

By Jenni Marsh, Joshua Berlinger, Zamira Rahim, Jaide Timm-Garcia and Roya Wolverson, CNN

Updated 2:53 p.m. ET, November 9, 2020
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11:39 p.m. ET, November 7, 2020

President-elect Biden plans to name a coronavirus task force on Monday

From CNN's Dan Merica and Jeff Zeleny

Dr. Vivek Murthy
Dr. Vivek Murthy Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Joe Biden plans to announce a 12-person coronavirus task force on Monday, two sources with knowledge told CNN.

The task force will be headed by three co-chairs: Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Yale University’s Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.

The announcement, which will come just days after Biden was declared the winner in the presidential election, signals how seriously he plans to focus on the pandemic from the outset of his transition.

Biden is not expected to announce cabinet nominations for weeks and may wait until control of the Senate is clear, the sources said. Biden has potential people in mind for most every top position, but the announcement of the task force underscores the priority he intends to place on that challenge.

11:36 p.m. ET, November 7, 2020

France marks grim milestone of over 40,000 coronavirus deaths

From CNN's From Barbara Wojazer and Jen Deaton

A medical worker wearing a protective protective equipment speaks with a patient at the SNCF "MobilTest" COVID-19 test center at the Gare de Lyon station on November 5, in Paris, France.
A medical worker wearing a protective protective equipment speaks with a patient at the SNCF "MobilTest" COVID-19 test center at the Gare de Lyon station on November 5, in Paris, France. Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images

France's overall coronavirus death toll surpassed 40,000 on Saturday.

The country's total death toll now stands at 40,169 after 306 new deaths were registered in a 24-hour period, according to the French Public Health Agency. France has the world's seventh highest coronavirus fatality count, according to official data from Johns Hopkins University, but that is still only a fraction of the death toll seen in the worst-hit countries: the United States and Brazil. 

This grim milestone comes after France had two consecutive days of record new daily coronavirus cases, with more than 60,000 new coronavirus cases announced on Friday alone. The French Public Health Agency has not yet specified the daily case count for Saturday to reflect the previous 24 hours.

As Europe experiences its second wave of coronavirus cases with winter approaching, French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that his country needs to live with the virus in the longterm.

"When I listen to the scientists, and the Scientific Council, we foresee [living with the virus] at best until next summer," Macron said, speaking during a visit to a health center.

9:28 p.m. ET, November 7, 2020

Dozens of election workers who risked their health during pandemic are now self-quarantining

From CNN's Devan Cole

Election workers risked their health this year to staff polling and ballot counting centers amid the coronavirus pandemic. Now, more than two dozen are self-quarantining after being potentially exposed to other workers who recently tested positive for the virus.

The reported cases underscore lingering concerns about the impact of in-person voting amid a troubling spike in the severity of the pandemic. The fall surge has seen some of the highest days of newly reported Covid-19 cases in the US. On Election Day alone, the US reported about 85,200 cases.

Democrats and public health officials advocated for mail-in ballots in the run-up to the election, urging voters to avoid polling centers to reduce risk of spreading the virus.

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