November 10 coronavirus news

By Zamira Rahim, Stephanie Halasz, Ben Westcott, Steve George, Emma Reynolds, CNN

Updated 0504 GMT (1304 HKT) November 11, 2020
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7:45 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Chicago updates travel order with color-coded tier system for each state

From CNN's Bill Kirkos and Kay Jones

Chicago Public Health
Chicago Public Health

Chicago has updated its Executive Travel Order to a new color-coded tiered system, effective from 12:01 a.m. on Friday.

“As of today, Chicago's travel order includes 43 states and Puerto Rico. But we are introducing a new tiered risk level,” Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.  

Arwady said states will be designated red, orange or yellow, signifying the level of concern with travel both to and from those areas. 

  • Red: Outbreaks worse than Chicago (60 cases per 100,000 people per day).
  • Orange: Outbreaks not as bad as Chicago but still more than 15 cases per 100,000 people per day.
  • Yellow: The few remaining states with fewer than 15 cases per 100,000 per day. 

The advice is to avoid travel to states coded red. Anyone coming in from those states is required to quarantine for 14 days. Orange states are also a significant concern and the advice is to avoid traveling to them, Arwady said. Those traveling from orange states will need to quarantine for 14 days or have a negative test result no more than 72 hours before arrival. Travel from yellow states does not require quarantine but Chicago is “recommending avoiding non-essential travel.” 

The goal of this travel order is to protect Chicago," Arwady said on Tuesday.

The average number of new Chicago cases per day is at 1,686 and the positivity rate in the city is 13%. “One month ago, we were adding 426 cases per day,” she said. “One month later we're at more than four times that.” 

The list will be updated every two weeks based on state and Chicago case averages. Thirteen states are currently red, and 32 states and Puerto Rico are orange.

State view: Meanwhile, Illinois reached a “critical milestone” of more than 100,000 Covid-19 tests taken in 24 hours, Governor JB Pritzker announced at a news conference Tuesday. Pritzker said Illinois was the first state in the Midwest to reach daily testing numbers in the six digits. 

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said the state has now performed around 8.5 million tests, with free mobile testing sites set up in numerous towns and cities.

7:27 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Nearly a dozen counties in California tighten Covid restrictions amid surge in new cases

From CNN's Alexandra Meeks

Health Secretary Mark Ghaly
Health Secretary Mark Ghaly Randall Benton/AP/FILE

San Diego and 10 other California counties were forced to move back into more restrictive tiers of the state’s coronavirus reopening system Tuesday as rates of infection continue to increase statewide, Health Secretary Mark Ghaly has announced.

Sacramento, San Diego and Stanislaus are moving back into the most restrictive, purple tier -- which requires the closure of many non-essential indoor businesses -- joining counties including Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Monterey and Sonoma.

“If things stay the way they are, between this week and next week, over half of California's counties will have moved into a more restrictive tier,” Ghaly said. “That is certainly an indication that we're concerned and that we have to keep a close watch on what's happening.”

Amador, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Placer and Santa Cruz are moving into the second-most restrictive red tier, which indicates substantial spread of infection. Counties in rural parts of the state, including Modoc, Siskiyou, and Trinity, are moving backward to the orange tier, which shows a moderate infection rate.

California’s reopening system: There are four tiers based on metrics including case rate and test positivity. Before moving forward, counties must remain in a tier for at least three weeks and must meet the next tier's criteria for two consecutive weeks. 

“I implore all Californians to sort of look in the mirror and ask what you can do differently,” Ghaly said. “How much more can you keep your mask on? How much more can you work within your own communities or your own family members to plan events in a lower risk? Each of those efforts makes a difference.”

California's seven-day average of new cases is 6,078, according to state data. The 14-day test positivity rate stands at 3.7%.

7:10 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

New Jersey Governor warns of "grave situation" as new restrictions introduced

From CNN's Evan Simko-Bednarski and Mirna Alsharif

People wait in a line to get tested for Covid-19 at an urgent care clinic in Newark, New Jersey, on October 26.
People wait in a line to get tested for Covid-19 at an urgent care clinic in Newark, New Jersey, on October 26. Seth Wenig/AP/FILE

New Jersey is facing a “grave situation” along with most US states, said Governor Philip Murphy on Tuesday as the state introduced new restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of the virus.

The state reported 3,877 new Covid-19 cases and 21 additional deaths, according to its data dashboard. 

“This is a grave situation as it is probably right now in most American states,” Murphy said during an interview on WKYW radio Tuesday. “New Jersey paid an enormous price early on and we were able to battle through that, but we are clearly not out of the woods.”

The new policies, which go into effect Thursday, include:

  • Restrictions on indoor dining after 10 p.m.
  • A ban on bar seating in restaurants
  • Limitations on interstate sporting events

Murphy said the tendency of restaurants to turn into de facto clubs at night was thought to be fueling the state's Covid-19 resurgence. 

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka signed an executive order on Tuesday enacting additional measures, including a curfew in “hot zones,” to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the city, according to a news release

“Newark’s test positivity rate is at 19%, while New Jersey’s is at 7.74% -- more than double," said Baraka in a statement. “Stricter measures are required in the city’s hotspots in order to contain the virus and limit the spread. I know we are all tired, but the virus is not, therefore we must remain vigilant and do what is necessary to get this under control and save lives.” 

The new measures, effective immediately, include:

  • All sports shall cease for two weeks with weekly testing after that
  • Indoor/outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people
  • No visitation allowed at long-term health care facilities for two weeks
  • Religious services: attendance restricted to 25% capacity
  • Restaurants/businesses/offices: Reservations limited to 10 people

Two weeks ago, the city imposed restrictions such as requiring non-essential businesses to close at 8 p.m. and salons to be open by appointment only as cases continued to climb.

As of November 9, the city has reported a total of 12,779 positive cases and 677 deaths.

6:54 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Former CDC acting director hopeful about pandemic response under new leadership

From CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Dr. Richard Besser said he was optimistic knowing “that politics will follow public health" under President Elect Joe Biden.
Dr. Richard Besser said he was optimistic knowing “that politics will follow public health" under President Elect Joe Biden. Credit: Aspen Institute

Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acting director Dr. Richard Besser said Tuesday that he was optimistic that the pandemic response will soon be under new federal leadership, noting that in the meantime, states need to step up.

President-elect Joe Biden has named a new coronavirus advisory board to help with the pandemic response as he transitions into the presidency.

Besser said he was optimistic knowing “that politics will follow public health, instead of public health being told to change their recommendations to suit politics.” 

“I really see their role being this bridge during this period, so that following inauguration, CDC, FDA [Food and Drug Administration], NIH [National Institutes of Health] can be back in their roles of leading this and driving this and being supported by politics,” he said during an interview hosted by the nonprofit Aspen Institute.

Besser, who heads the health-focused Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said he was glad to see that those appointed to the advisory board are prioritizing equity.

“To hear the Vice President-elect talking about the importance of equity, not being something on the side, but being central to how you think about this response -- to me, that's huge,” he said.

Besser said that the challenge will be getting through a difficult winter with the coronavirus response still led by the Trump administration.

“I hope that governors now of both red and blue states step up, mandate masks, look to see what they can do within their own states, recognizing that the federal response and unified federal response is still several months away,” he said. “There are tens of thousands of lives that could be saved if states drive this forward and do the right thing.”

Read more about Biden's advisory board here:

6:39 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

70% of Covid-19 outbreaks linked to private gatherings, bars and restaurants, says Minnesota governor

From CNN's Kay Jones and Gregory Lemos  

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced new restrictions in the state to help fight "a significant surge of coronavirus cases."
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced new restrictions in the state to help fight "a significant surge of coronavirus cases." Credit: WCCO

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said that more than 70% of the state's outbreaks between June and November were linked to weddings, private social gatherings, and late nights at bars and restaurants. 

His comments came as he announced new restrictions across the state in a news conference Tuesday to help fight "a significant surge of coronavirus cases."

The new restrictions include:

  • Social gatherings indoors or outdoors will be restricted to 10 people
  • Gatherings limited to three households or fewer
  • A phased approach for wedding, funeral and similar receptions, leading to a 25-person cap in December
  • Receptions and similar events cannot take place between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.
  • Bars and restaurants will be at 50% capacity or no more than 150 total
  • Counter service will be closed for seating
  • The restrictions go into place at 10 p.m. Friday local time

Walz said three of the most significant sources of Minnesota's Covid outbreaks were:

  • Social gatherings
  • Celebrations and receptions
  • Bars and restaurants
“Most young people are taking great precautions to protect themselves and their community,” Walz said during the news conference. “Most bars and restaurants have done a great job responding to the pandemic and keeping their customers and employees safe. But this virus is spreading like wildfire, and every gathering place is now more dangerous than it was a month ago.”

Walz said that there would be no change to religious services, saying that data has not shown a connection between services and the increased outbreaks. 

Minnesota reported 4,904 new cases Tuesday and 23 new deaths. It has a positivity rate above 10% and 2,698 people have died in total, with more than half of those deaths being in long-term care facilities.  

6:24 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Vaccine could be available to average Americans by April, says Fauci

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman and Naomi Thomas


Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has predicted average Americans will be able to get vaccinated by April.

He told CNN's Jake Tapper on Tuesday that ordinary families could have access to a vaccine within the first quarter next year.

“We have a lot of people in this country who may not want to get vaccinated right away,” Fauci said. “That's why we were talking that it might take well into the second and third quarter to finally get people to be convinced to get vaccinated.”

He said that many may be persuaded by Pfizer's announcement on Monday that its Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective, according to early data.

“I believe the incentive to get vaccinated will be greatly enhanced by the degree of efficacy. When you hear something is 90 to 95% effective, it makes it much more likely that someone would want to get vaccinated,” he said.

US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in an interview on NBC’s Today earlier Tuesday that he anticipated being able to vaccinate most vulnerable Americans by the end of December and all Americans by the end of March to early April. 

“The timeline is Pfizer will be producing and delivering to us approximately 20 million doses of vaccine each month, starting at the end of this month in November,” he said, adding that Moderna is also already producing its vaccine candidate. 

6:08 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Utah, Illinois and Montana break coronavirus records

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin and Amanda Watts

Salt Lake County Health Department public health nurses look on during coronavirus testing outside the Salt Lake County Health Department in Salt Lake City on Friday, October 23.
Salt Lake County Health Department public health nurses look on during coronavirus testing outside the Salt Lake County Health Department in Salt Lake City on Friday, October 23. Rick Bowmer/AP/FILE

Utah, Illinois and Montana all broke records on Tuesday as cases in the United States top 10.2 million and deaths exceed 239,000.

Illinois reported its highest number of new Covid-19 cases with 12,623 infections, plus 79 more deaths, its Department of Public Health said in a statement on Tuesday. 

It is the fifth state in the US to surpass 500,000 cumulative Covid-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University, with 511,183 confirmed.

Utah hit record highs for its seven-day case average and test positivity percentage, according to its data dashboard. 

The state's new case average, which has been climbing since the start of October, hit 2,554. The percentage of positive tests hit 21.86% after climbing since October 11, where it had been holding steady at approximately 14%.

This weekend, Utah Governor Gary Herbert issued a declaration of a state of emergency and statewide mask mandate. Utah has reported 137,385 Covid-19 cases in total.

Montana announced 1,101 new Covid-19 cases Tuesday -- a record high for the state since the pandemic began, its data dashboard shows.

The state’s previous record daily record of 1,013 new cases was set on November 5, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

The Montana Department of Health said the state has had 41,151 Covid-19 cases and 462 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

5:52 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Virginia Governor "concerned" over rise in Covid-19 cases

CNN’s Nakia McNabb

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam warned the Pfizer vaccine was 'not a magic bullet.'
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam warned the Pfizer vaccine was 'not a magic bullet.' Credit: Pool

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said he was concerned over the rise in Covid-19 cases heading into the holiday season, particularly in the southwest of the state.

Northam said the state positivity rate was 6.2%, with 1,435 new cases, while southwest Virginia was seeing 9% of tests coming back positive.

“We continue to be concerned about southwest Virginia, which has rising cases, community spread and fewer hospitals than other regions of our state,” said the governor.

Northam said the state's Department of Health was focusing a communications campaign in that region to emphasize the importance of avoiding indoor gatherings, washing hands and adhering to Virginia’s face covering mandate.

He announced that Virginia has signed contracts with three labs to participate in the state’s new One Lab network -- a system that will allow the state to increase testing capacity by an extra 7,000 tests per day by the end of the year.

Northam said the Pfizer vaccine was good news but “not a magic bullet." 

“Any approved vaccination will still take months to distribute. Virginia, like other states has spent months already preparing plans for how to equitably distribute a vaccination. When a vaccine is ready, one that is safe and effective, we will be ready in Virginia,” added the governor.
5:40 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Humans began virus back-and-forth on mink farms, Dutch study shows

From CNN Health’s Maggie Fox

Workers wearing personal protective equipment prepare to clean and disinfect a mink company  in Ospel, Netherlands, on July 10.
Workers wearing personal protective equipment prepare to clean and disinfect a mink company in Ospel, Netherlands, on July 10. Robin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images/FILE

Humans carried coronavirus onto mink farms in the Netherlands, starting a viral back and forth that ended up with 68% of fur farm workers and their associates infected, researchers reported Tuesday.

They said it was “imperative” that the fur trade should not fuel further spread of the virus into the human population, noting that densely packed conditions on such farms are ripe for amplifying the virus in ways that could help it mutate.

A team in the Netherlands ran whole genome analyses of virus samples taken from animals and people on 16 mink farms in the country -- looking at the full genetic sequence of the virus for clues about where it may have come from, how it spread and whether it was mutating.

“We conclude that the virus was initially introduced from humans and has since evolved, most likely reflecting widespread circulation among mink in the beginning of the infection period several weeks prior to detection,” the team wrote in their report, published in the journal Science.

“Despite enhanced biosecurity, early warning surveillance and immediate culling of infected farms, transmission occurred between mink farms in three big transmission clusters with unknown modes of transmission. Sixty-eight percent of the tested mink farm residents, employees and/or contacts had evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection,” they added.

People infected the animals, and the animals infected people, they found. The virus has not yet spread from the farms into the wider community and no troubling mutations have turned up so far, they added.

Danish authorities have seen spread on mink farms and mutations that are not necessarily harmful, but whose significance is not yet fully understood.

“It is imperative that fur production and trading sector should not become a reservoir for future spillover of SARS-CoV-2 to humans,” the Dutch researchers wrote.