November 9 coronavirus news

By Emma Reynolds, Zamira Rahim, Jenni Marsh, Joshua Berlinger and Stephanie Halasz, CNN

Updated 1:41 a.m. ET, November 10, 2020
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12:10 p.m. ET, November 9, 2020

New study finds hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work for patients hospitalized with Covid-19

From CNN Health’s Leanna Faulk

Hydroxychloroquine sits on a shelf in a Utah pharmacy on May 20, 2020. 
Hydroxychloroquine sits on a shelf in a Utah pharmacy on May 20, 2020.  George Frey/AFP/Getty Images

Hydroxychloroquine does not work on patients hospitalized with Covid-19, according to research published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). It’s the latest of several studies to find the antimalarial does not work against the coronavirus.

"These findings do not support the use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of Covid-19 among hospitalized adults,” wrote Dr. Wesley Self, of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Department of Emergency Medicine, and colleagues.

The randomized trial involved 479 Covid-19 patients at 34 US hospitals with respiratory illness. Some received hydroxychloroquine and some received a placebo.

The results found strong evidence that hydroxychloroquine is "not beneficial" for adults hospitalized with Covid-19, and "no significant difference between the hydroxychloroquine and placebo groups."

The trial had several limitations, including that it only included hospitalized adults and only one dosage level of hydroxychloroquine. It did not consider whether patients used other therapies, such as azithromycin, zinc or remdesivir.

In a corresponding JAMA editorial, Dr. Michael Saag, a researcher with the Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, noted President Donald Trump’s early support of hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment, and wrote that politicization was an important factor in promoting use of the drug.

"The clear, unambiguous, and compelling lesson from the hydroxychloroquine story for the medical community and the public is that science and politics do not mix," Saag wrote. "The number of articles in the peer-reviewed literature over the last several months that have consistently and convincingly demonstrated the lack of efficacy of a highly hyped 'cure' for COVID-19 represent the consequence of the irresponsible infusion of politics into the world of scientific evidence and discourse."

The US Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine on March 28 after a big push from Trump and his administration, but revoked it on June 15.

11:56 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

NYC could face partial shutdown if trends continue and it hits "full-blown second wave," mayor warns

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says that if Covid-19 trends continue and the city hits a "full blown second wave," it would mean many more restrictions and "even having to shut down parts of our economy again."

He said the city was seeing a "dangerous" rise in Covid-19 positivity, adding "we have one last chance" to stop a second wave.

"God forbid this continued and we had a full-blown second wave, it means a lot more restrictions, it means unfortunately it could mean even having to shut down parts of our economy again which would be horrible for this city, horrible for the livelihoods of people," he added.

When asked about specifics on potential restrictions, he said he could not lay out a timeline and that it would depend on the actions of New Yorkers.

"It could mean having to shut down schools," he warned.

The Mayor said he would "look at" all upcoming holiday events, when asked about the annual Rockefeller Tree Lighting ceremony, and whether any alterations would need to be made. 

The first priority is to avoid large indoor gatherings, he said, adding that there were not many outdoor events scheduled.

The percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 citywide is 2.36%, which is "very worrisome," De Blasio said, adding that the seven-day rolling average of 2.21% was the "highest we've seen in a long time."

He said hospital admissions were still at a manageable level and there was not a problem in schools, but he warned earlier that the city was seeing household and community spread.

"We can fight these back," De Blasio said, but he cautioned that the numbers should "all have us alarmed and ready to act with everything we got."

11:51 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

US edges closer to 10 million milestone, with at least 9,982,000 coronavirus cases

From CNN's Amanda Watts

The United States is edging closer to the grim milestone of 10 million coronavirus cases, with at least 9,982,054 infections reported, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

At least 237,608 people have died in the US from Covid-19. 

So far today, Johns Hopkins has reported 13,899 new cases and 38 further deaths.

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

Track cases in the United States here:

11:24 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

The vaccine news is great for most stocks -- unless you're Zoom

From CNN's Paul R. La Monica

Stocks were already set to soar Monday after Joe Biden was elected 46th US president -- but Wall Street's enthusiasm kicked into an even higher gear after Pfizer and BioNTech announced positive clinical data for their Covid-19 vaccine.

Shares in Pfizer and BioNTech skyrocketed about 15% and 25% respectively.

And so did the stocks of other companies working on vaccines, such as Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Meanwhile, shares of companies that make antibody and antiviral treatments (but not vaccines), including Regeneron, Eli Lilly and Gilead Sciences, were lower.

Drug stocks and biotechs weren't the only companies soaring on the hopeful vaccine news. The prospect of an effective coronavirus vaccine has people dreaming of a return to normalcy, so movie theater chain AMC, concert promoter Live Nation and various retailers also surged.

Yet there were also some notable market losers Monday: companies that have benefited from the work-from-home and stay at home trends.

Video conferencing giant Zoom plunged 15%. So did shares of interactive exercise equipment company Peloton.

Read more:

11:04 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

This might be only place on the planet experiencing over-tourism right now

From CNN's Lilit Marcus

A view of Waitangi, the main port and settlement of the Chatham Islands, New Zealand.
A view of Waitangi, the main port and settlement of the Chatham Islands, New Zealand. Steve Todd/Shutterstock

The coronavirus pandemic has decimated the travel industry, as hotels, restaurants and airlines in destinations around the world find themselves going broke or dramatically cutting back costs as they try to survive.

But there's one place on the planet where there are too many tourists right now: the Chatham Islands.

If you haven't heard of them, you're not the only one.

The remote Pacific Ocean archipelago near the international date line is technically part of New Zealand.

And as New Zealand's borders remain mostly closed and locals are advised to not travel overseas at this time, the Chathams -- about 500 miles east of the country's South Island -- have become 2020's hottest getaway for tourists from New Zealand.

In a typical year, the Chathams -- whose two main populated islands are Chatham Island and Pitt Island -- get about 2,000 tourists. That compares to about 700 full-time residents, most of whom live on Chatham Island, the largest of the archipelago.

But 2020 is no typical year: The Chathams' remoteness usually makes it a part of the country that New Zealanders never get around to visiting. Now, that remoteness is an advantage, with travel-starved Kiwis turning to the islands as a way to feel like they're on a far-off holiday without having to quarantine or take a Covid test.

10:45 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Fauci welcomes vaccine news, as Dow and oil soar

From CNN's Maggie Fox

A patient enrolled in Pfizer's Covid-19 program participates in a vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore on May 4.
A patient enrolled in Pfizer's Covid-19 program participates in a vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore on May 4. University of Maryland School of Medicine/AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci has said the news that Pfizer's candidate vaccine is more than 90% effective bodes well for other Covid-19 vaccines in development.

Pfizer's candidate uses a never-before-approved technology called messenger RNA, or mRNA, to produce an immune response in people who are vaccinated.

“This shows that the mRNA platform actually does work. And there’s another vaccine candidate, Moderna, that’s using the same platform,” Fauci told CNN in a telephone interview.

The US federal government has invested $1.95 billion in Pfizer and partner BioNTech’s vaccine but is not directly working to help its development. 

Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is working with Moderna and other companies to test their experimental vaccines. Four coronavirus vaccines are in advanced, Phase 3 trials in the US now.

Fauci told CNN that Pfizer was able to get results so quickly due to the pandemic being so bad.

“An answer depends on the size of the trial and how many infections there are in the community,” he said Monday.
“This was a trial that was geared to 44,000 people and we are in the middle of a major surge right now. Those two things together make it much more likely that you’ll get an answer quickly, which is what happened. We got an answer quickly.”

US stocks surged at the opening bell in New York on Monday in reaction to the news. The Dow opened up 1,600 points.

Oil prices also skyrocketed, with US crude spiking 11% to $41.22 a barrel.

But some voiced caution over the interim results.

The nonprofit group Public Citizen released a statement on Monday calling for more data.

"The release of preliminary and incomplete clinical trial data by press release to the public is bad science," Michael Carome, director of the group, said in the statement.

10:23 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

China's Tianjin city reports two infections related to frozen food facility

From CNN's Beijing bureau

The Chinese city of Tianjin has reported two Covid-19 cases related to a frozen food storage facility, health officials said at a Monday press conference.

The two infections involve one symptomatic and one asymptomatic case, authorities said, adding that both were "highly related" to cold storage facilities.

According to state-run news agencies, authorities have closed the cold storage facility at Hailian Frozen Food Co. Ltd and are conducting nucleic acid tests on nearby residents.

On Monday, China's National Health Commission issued new guidelines on handling imported cold-chain foods.

It said that all items must undergo "preventive, thorough disinfection" before Chinese officials contact the goods.

9:56 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Europe keeps close eye on mink outbreak

From CNN's Nada Bashir

Live mink are pictured at farmer Stig Sørensen's estate in Bording, Denmark, where all minks will be culled, due to a government order, on November 7.
Live mink are pictured at farmer Stig Sørensen's estate in Bording, Denmark, where all minks will be culled, due to a government order, on November 7. Ole Jensen/Getty Images

European countries are monitoring a coronavirus outbreak on mink farms in Denmark as the continent continues to record significant Covid-19 case numbers.

Denmark

The Scandinavian nation will cull its entire mink population after it discovered evidence that the novel coronavirus had mutated in the animal before being passed on to humans. As of Friday there are 214 confirmed human infections.

The Danish government also announced restrictions for the seven municipalities where the new strain was detected.

There are between 15 million and 17 million mink in Denmark, whereas its human population stands at around 5.5 million. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was tracking the situation in Denmark.

Belgium

Belgium has seen its number of daily coronavirus infections fall by more than 16,000 in the last two weeks, with 6,047 new cases registered on Friday.

The country is also monitoring and testing its mink population weekly following news of Denmark's outbreak.

England

England has banned visitors from Denmark over the mink outbreak. British nationals returning home from the country will be forced to quarantine for two weeks.

The country is currently under a second national lockdown until December 2.

Finland

While parts of Europe are struggling with second wave outbreaks, Finland has gone three weeks without a Covid-19 related death, according to the latest data from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. 

The country last reported a single death on Friday October 16, and it has recorded 356 fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

EU celebrates cross-border success

The European Union has hailed the success of its cross-border Covid-19 contact tracing system.

In a tweet on Sunday, the European Commission highlighted the work of Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, and Spain in using the system to ensure that “their contact and warning apps work across borders.” 

9:29 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Welsh "firebreak" lockdown ends, but its success won't be known for weeks

From Amy Cassidy

Shoppers line up outside a store in Cardiff, Wales, on November 9.
Shoppers line up outside a store in Cardiff, Wales, on November 9. Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Wales’ 17-day “firebreak” lockdown has come to an end as scheduled, with schools, gyms, bars and restaurants allowed to reopen from Monday.

National measures have now come into force instead of the lockdown and people will need a “reasonable excuse” to travel in or out of Wales, including to neighboring England, which entered a month-long nationwide lockdown on November 5.

Mass testing, like the scheme piloted in the English city of Liverpool, is also being considered for Wales. 

After being told to stay at home, people in Wales can now visit one other household and meet in groups of four in bars, pubs and restaurants, which can serve alcohol until 10pm. Small businesses can also reopen and supermarkets can once again sell non-essential items.  

Speaking at a Monday press briefing, First Minister Mark Drakeford admitted it will be “weeks” before we know if the “firebreak” was effective in suppressing the virus, but said there were “tentative positive signs” of success, with the rate of infection falling from 250 cases per 100,000 people to just under 220.
However, hospitalizations continue to rise, he added, with more than 1,400 patients currently being treated for Covid-19. The Merthyr Tydfil area had one of the highest infection rates in the UK last week. Its rate has now fallen from 700 cases per 100,000 to 520, which Drakeford said was still “far too high.” 

Asked whether the Welsh Government should extend the lockdown, Dr. Giri Shankar, from Public Health Wales, told Sky News on Monday: "We have always recognized that it's a balancing act of trying to control the Covid harm versus the non-Covid harms."

"Clearly coronavirus hasn't gone away and once we come out of restrictions it isn't going to be as normal as before, so people still have the duty to comply with the new guidance”, he added.

Wales has reported 59,981 Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began with 2,033 deaths, according to Public Health Wales.