November 10 coronavirus news

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

Updated 0504 GMT (1304 HKT) November 11, 2020
36 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
4:23 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Iowa hospital capacity "at risk" as state reports more than 21,000 Covid-19 cases in seven days 

From CNN's Gregory Lemos 

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Iowa Public Broadcasting

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds told reporters Tuesday that capacity was "at risk" in the state's healthcare system following a surge in Covid-19 cases. 

Reynolds said there have been more than 21,000 new cases in the past week and the percentage of people testing positive is more than 19%, with 1,131 patients in hospital. 

The overall increase patient volume is stressing our health care system and it is putting capacity at risk," Reynolds said.  

While there are surge plans in place and there are still beds available, the governor said staffing had become "increasingly challenging." 

"This situation has the potential to impact any Iowan who may need care for any reason," Reynolds said. "We don't want anyone to be turned away from our hospitals." 

She said 42% of new cases were among 14 to 18-year-olds.  

Reynolds said she had signed a proclamation, which goes into effect Tuesday at midnight, extending the public health emergency for 30 days and imposing new restrictions.

The restrictions:

  • Indoor gatherings limited to 25 people
  • Outdoor gatherings limited to 100 unless everyone wears mask
  • Groups attending events limited to eight people (unless one household)
  • Distance must be maintained between groups
  • These rules apply to all bars and restaurants
  • Bar and restaurant employees and patrons must wear masks
  • Masks must be worn by providers and clients in personal services
  • Spectators at indoor youth sporting events limited to two per athlete
4:07 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Fauci says he hopes Trump is not planning to fire him

From CNN Health’s Lauren Mascarenhas


Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday that he hopes US President Trump is not planning to fire him.

Trump recently suggested that he might fire Fauci after the election. Asked by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell whether he is concerned that the President may pressure the National Institutes of Health director to fire him, Fauci said, “I hope not.”

He said that would not help with the common goal: “No matter who you are, regardless of what administration, we all want this pandemic to end.”

“My entire activity, every minute of my life right now, is devoted to trying to end this pandemic, so I would hope that I'm allowed to continue to do that, because I think I do it well,” Fauci said. “I've been doing it for many, many years, and I've done it under many different circumstances.”

He said he attended a “good meeting” of the White House coronavirus task force on Monday and was now “focusing like a laser beam on the job I have of ending this epidemic and really preserving the health and the welfare of the American public.”

He said the Pfizer vaccine, along with continued public health measures, has the potential to end the pandemic.

“The vaccine is a very, very important tool in ending this pandemic both domestically and internationally,” Fauci told Mitchell.  

If the vaccine is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use, Fauci said he believes doses will be available for “highest priority” people by December. 

He said he hoped that a vaccine will be given to everyone who wants and needs it “after a reasonable period of time.”

Fauci said that “a vaccine that has this potential, this together with the continuation of the public health measures, really should get us out of this very difficult situation we're into.”

He said he trusted Pfizer and the FDA to make the right decision.

“If they look at this data, and they say, ‘This data is solid. Let's go ahead and approve it,’ I promise you… I will take the vaccine, and I will recommend that my family take the vaccine.”

Fauci said Eli Lilly's antibody treatment was an “important first step in the development and distribution of interventions that are given early in the course of disease.”

“We need more of those interventions that prevent people from going in the hospital,” Fauci added.

3:48 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

US Surgeon General says cases are rising but vaccine news shows "finish line is in sight"

From CNN’s Amanda Watts


US Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned that cases were rising across the country on Tuesday -- but he said the news about a potential vaccine showed the “finish line is in sight.”

Adams, who spoke in South Dakota on Tuesday, said that “unfortunately we know right now the cases are going up across the nation -- they're rising particularly quickly here in South Dakota.” 

“But there's hope,” Adams said. “Great news yesterday out of Pfizer, that we have a vaccine candidate that right now looks like it's 90% effective, and that's important because I know people are fatigued.”  

Adams said it “seems like it's been going on for forever.”

“But the fact is, a finish line is in sight. We have one candidate right now, that has results showing 90% effectiveness. And we have several other candidates that may soon be coming across the finish line.” 

“Our intention, our hope, that we will start injecting people with vaccinations, before the end of this year, before the end of 2020,” he added. 

The mask debate: Despite South Dakota not having a statewide mask mandate, residents should do the right thing and wear a mask, Adams said.  

“You don't have a mask mandate here,” he said. “But what I would say to the people of South Dakota is, you really shouldn't need a mandate to do the right thing for your community, for your family, and for your friends.”

“There's been a lot of politics around the wearing of masks. As many of you know, even I have changed my position on masks, but that's because the science has changed.”  

He said that masks were “one of the most effective tools we have” in preventing asymptomatic spread of coronavirus.

3:34 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Pennsylvania reports highest daily increase in Covid-19 cases with 4,361

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

People wait in line for COVID-19 testing outside of the FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, Pennsylvania, on October 13.
People wait in line for COVID-19 testing outside of the FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, Pennsylvania, on October 13. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Pennsylvania again broke its record for new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, reporting an additional 4,361 in a news release Tuesday. 

The state also added 62 new deaths, according to the department of health release. Pennsylvania has now reported 238,657 cases and 9,086 deaths.

There are 1,827 coronavirus patients in state hospitals, with 393 of them in intensive care. 

Behind the numbers: Mask-wearing is mandatory in Pennsylvania outside the home. The state has seen significant increases in the number of Covid-19 cases among younger age groups, particularly 19 to 24-year-olds, according to the department.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf commended President-elect Joe Biden and his coronavirus task force in a statement Tuesday.

“It is reassuring to see President-elect Biden take this virus seriously and move forward with a task force that is focused on science and reality,” Wolf said. 

The governor praised Biden for “the team he has put together to lead the country out of this very difficult period,” which Wolf said included some of the country's most respected public health experts, including two Philadelphia-area physicians.

“We need leadership that is consistent and committed to ending this pandemic, to saving lives and livelihoods, and to making decisions based on facts and science,” Wolf said.

3:37 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Lower dose of antibody will work fine, Operation Warp Speed official says

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

Eli Lilly, AbCellera, and NIAID have worked together to create an antibody they think may help treat Covid-19.
Eli Lilly, AbCellera, and NIAID have worked together to create an antibody they think may help treat Covid-19. Courtesy Eli Lilly and Company

A lower dose of Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody treatment will work just fine to help coronavirus patients, a top government official said Tuesday.

Dr. Janet Woodcock said she was confident that the dose to be distributed to Covid-19 patients will be enough to help them.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a 700 milligram dose -- the lowest dose given to patients in a trial used as the basis for the EUA.

The results of the trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in October, showed that patients on all doses were less likely to need hospital treatment and had fewer symptoms than patients given placebos. But it also showed patients given a middle dose of 2,800 mg cleared the virus more quickly than those given higher or lower doses.

Woodcock, a former top FDA official who is now therapeutics lead for Operation Warp Speed, said that did not matter.

She told a news conference that the dose level was the FDA’s decision, but said that the study showed that patients had fewer hospitalizations at every level.

“Most people can clear the virus on their own, and giving them additional antibodies isn’t doing very much, because they are going to make their own antibody and clear the virus,” Woodcock said. “Amongst those who are not clearing the virus at each level, each one of these doses that was tested reduced the virus spread very rapidly.”

The goal with these treatments is to stop the progression of the disease, Woodcock said. Intervening early with monoclonal antibodies should keep patients out of hospital. 

“The lower dose is a rational choice in this situation because you don’t want to give more of a drug than you need,” Woodcock said. “All drugs have side effects, and adverse effects, and so forth, and so getting the lowest dose that actually gets the job done is a very important thing. I think you probably could go lower, frankly.” 

3:01 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

US expects "challenges" distributing antibody treatment

From CNN's Jen Christensen and Andrea Diaz

Eli Lilly 
Eli Lilly 

The US government anticipates “challenges” in distributing Eli Lilly and Company’s cutting-edge Covid-19 monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab, Dr. Janet Woodcock, therapeutics lead for Operation Warp Speed, said Tuesday. 

The therapy was given emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration on Monday.

The drug doesn’t come in pill form but requires an IV infusion over an hour, with another hour needed afterwards to observe the patient for poor reactions. The government requires it to be given to patients in settings where they can be monitored and emergency drugs are available.

“We anticipate that initially, there'll be challenges for the healthcare system in administering IV infusions to infected patients,” Woodcock said during a news conference with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense.

Woodcock said Lilly and HHS have been making plans to help set up infusion centers and that distribution will require multiple different solutions.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said that distribution will begin this week and the treatment will be free of charge.

Getting new therapeutics like this to patients has the potential to save thousands of lives and significantly reduce the disease's burden on our healthcare system,” Azar said at the briefing.

The US government has a contract for 300,000 doses of the therapy through December with the option to purchase another 650,000 through next June. There are 80,000 doses currently available, Azar said.

How the treatment will be allocated: A HHS Public Health Emergency dashboard shows where the first shipments are going. States with the most confirmed Covid-19 patients, and those with the most hospitalized patients, will be given priority.  

Bamlanivimab will be allocated in two phases, Dr. John Redd of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday. 

In phase one, states and territories will allocate the antibody treatment to hospitals and hospital-affiliated locations, Redd said. Phase two will include more outpatient sites. 

The treatment will also be allocated in phase one to the Department of Defense, the Veterans Health Administration, the Indian Health Service, the Bureau of Prison and the Department of State.

2:43 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Estonia recommends canceling Christmas parties due to coronavirus

From CNN's James Frater in London

Estonia has recommended canceling "all joint events," including Christmas parties, as part of coronavirus measures that take effect from Thursday, according to a government statement. 

"Celebrating Christmas with family is, of course, allowed," the statement added, noting that the cancelation recommendations apply to all events attended by people who are not in daily contact.

Some of Europe's Christmas markets have been canceled, while others will go ahead:

  • Cologne, Germany -- canceled
  • All of Belgium -- canceled
  • Viennese Christmas Dream market in Austria -- going ahead
  • Strasbourg Christmas Market in France -- going ahead
  • Basel Christmas Market in Switzerland -- going ahead

New Estonian measures also include mandatory face coverings in public places and a recommendation for all employees to work remotely, if possible. 

“In addition, in the current situation, we consider it necessary to tighten restrictions in commercial establishments and catering and entertainment establishments so that we could control the spread of the virus," said Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.

From Monday, November 16, bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues must close at midnight and can have a maximum of 10 people per group.

The Health Board of Estonia reported 128 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours on Monday, bringing its total to 6,376 cases. The country has recorded 76 deaths since the pandemic began.  

2:24 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

Restaurants, gyms and cafes account for large majority of Covid-19 cases in cities, modeling study finds

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

A closed restaurant stands in New York City on October 15.
A closed restaurant stands in New York City on October 15. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A small minority of places people frequent account for a large majority of coronavirus infections in big cities, according to a new modeling study.

The study, published in the journal Nature on Tuesday, suggests that reducing maximum occupancy in such places -- including restaurants, gyms, cafes and hotels -- can substantially slow the spread of illness.

"Our model predicts that capping points-of-interest at 20% of maximum occupancy can reduce the infections by more than 80%, but we only lose around 40% of the visits when compared to a fully reopening with usual maximum occupancy," Jure Leskovec, an author of the study and associate professor of computer science at Stanford University, said during a news briefing on Tuesday.

The model also found significant racial and socioeconomic disparities in infections.

The researchers from Stanford University and Northwestern University used cellphone location data to model the potential spread of Covid-19 within 10 of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington DC. The data, representing the hourly movements of 98 million people, included mobility patterns from March to May.

The researchers examined Covid-19 case counts for each area and how often people traveled to "points of interest" including grocery stores, fitness centers, cafes, snack bars, doctor's offices, religious establishments, hotels, motels and restaurants. 

"On average across metro areas, full-service restaurants, gyms, hotels, cafes, religious organizations, and limited-service restaurants produced the largest predicted increases in infections when reopened," the researchers wrote in their study.

The model predicted that "infections are happening very unevenly -- that there are about 10% of points of interest that account for over 80% of all infections, and these are places that are smaller, more crowded and people dwell there longer," Leskovec said at the briefing.

The model showed that people living in areas with the lowest income, based on Census data, were more likely to be infected -- partly because of places in their areas tending to be smaller, leading to crowding.

"Our model predicts that one visit to a grocery store is twice more dangerous for a lower-income individual compared to a higher-income individual," Leskovec said. "This is because of grocery stores visited by lower-income individuals have on average 60% more people by square foot, and visitors stay there 17% longer."  

The study comes with limitations, including that the model is a simulation -- not a real-life experiment -- and the data is based on 10 metropolitan areas and does not capture all places someone could frequent.

1:55 p.m. ET, November 10, 2020

NYC Mayor says positivity rate increase is "very worrisome"

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a press briefing in New York City on November 10.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a press briefing in New York City on November 10. NYC Media

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the continued increase in the percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 was “very worrisome.”

The positivity rate was up 2.8% Tuesday, with a seven-day rolling average of 2.31%, which de Blasio said was “not someplace we want to be.” 

If the seven-day average goes above 3%, schools will go remote for a period, he said. If it continues climbing, some businesses could face “full scale closures,” or “limits on hours.”

"We can turn this back, but this is a warning sign if ever I’ve seen one that we have some work to do quickly to make sure the city stays safe and we do not have that second wave," de Blasio said.

“We believe we can still fight back the second wave,” he added later.

The mayor said one area of “tremendous concern” was new cases on a seven-day average. NYC had set a threshold of 550 cases, which it has “far surpassed” with 795, de Blasio said.

While some of the extra cases is indicative of more testing, “some of it obviously indicates a problem,” he said.

“We have not had major events or major gatherings be the cause … of spread that we’ve been able to identify," added de Blasio.

Dr. Jay Varma, health advisor to the city, said about 5% of cases were associated with gatherings, and around 10% were due to travel.

For more than half, “we don’t have a way to directly attribute the source of infection and that’s a concern,” Varma said.