November 13 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Steve George, Zamira Rahim, Emma Reynolds and Roya Wolverson, CNN

Updated 11:46 a.m. ET, November 14, 2020
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5:06 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

Trump says there will be no lockdown as coronavirus cases increase in the US

From CNN's Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha

President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday, November 13 in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday, November 13 in Washington, DC. Evan Vucci/AP

President Donald Trump vowed that his administration will not enforce a lockdown to curb the increasing cases of coronavirus in the US.

"This administration will not be going to a lockdown," Trump said speaking from the Rose Garden at the White House today.

Instead, he said his administration will remain "very vigilant and very careful."

"We understand the disease. It's a complicated disease but we understand it very well. We ask all Americans to remain vigilant, especially as the weather gets colder and it becomes more difficult to go outside and to have outside gatherings," Trump said.

Some background: The US has added more than half a million new Covid-19 cases since hitting 10 million on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

At this rate, the number should pass 11 million in the next four days, making for the country's fastest addition of another million cases yet, John Hopkins University data show.

November has been crippling for American communities battling Covid-19 spikes in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Experts warn it will likely get worse before it gets better.

For the 10th day in a row, the US reported more than 100,000 infections, and the total since Monday hit 556,961. On Thursday, with its highest daily number yet at more than 153,000 new infections, the country inched closer to what one expert predicted could soon become a devastating reality -- 200,000 cases a day.

Trump also said the federal government won't deliver a possible vaccine to New York state until the governor, Andrew Cuomo, lets the administration "know when he is ready for it."

Cuomo said that New York health officials would review any US-approved coronavirus vaccine, and that he would recommend New Yorkers not be vaccinated until the state-run process is complete.

"So we won't be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so and that pains me to say that," Trump said at an ongoing news conference.

What this is about: Last month, Cuomo called the White House Covid-19 Task Force’s vaccination plan “deeply flawed." Cuomo said he understood that the federal vaccination plan would use pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens as the main distribution point and that was "a very limited distribution mechanism." He later said the plan would disproportionately limit distribution in communities of color.

Cuomo that he would recommend New Yorkers not be vaccinated until a state-run review is complete.

Today, Trump said the US government "can't be delivering it to a state that won't be giving it to its people immediately."

4:33 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

Trudeau warns Christmas could be in jeopardy after holiday season surge

From CNN’s Paula Newton, Virginia Langmaid and Cheri Mossburg

Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, takes off a protective mask during a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Friday, November 6.
Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, takes off a protective mask during a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Friday, November 6. David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Canada’s Thanksgiving blowback continued with tragic consequences Friday as several provinces shattered daily records for new coronavirus cases. 

Canada celebrated its Thanksgiving holiday about a month ago, and it has fueled a widespread surge in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Public health officials warned the healthcare system cannot handle a repeat at Christmas. 

“Reducing your contacts, reducing your gatherings are going to be most important. And what we do in the coming days and weeks will determine what we get to do at Christmas,” pleaded Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a news conference Friday. 

Ontario’s scientific experts warned case numbers and hospitalizations could reach or exceed crisis levels currently plaguing Europe. 

People choosing to travel for the holidays should be flexible and think critically about the risk involved, Johns Hopkins University (JHU) experts said during a briefing on Thursday. 

“Be ready to accept abrupt changes to your travel plan,” said Keri Althoff, professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Do not travel if you feel unwell, if you are awaiting Covid-19 test results, or if you are in quarantine.”

Those considering travel, especially by air, need to take into account the risk of the people they are visiting, said Dr. Amesh Adalja with Hopkins’ Center for Health Security. Adalja suggested treating college students returning home for the winter as “high-risk” due to the lack of at-will testing and contact tracing on some campuses. 

Experts also said that plans should be made for distancing and masking during a get-together, and for how contact-tracing will be conducted if someone tests positive afterward. 

“I think that in general Americans haven’t had to make these kind of risk calculations for a long time; not before the measles vaccine or the advent of penicillin was there some infectious disease threat with every one of their activities,” said Adalja. 

The governors of California, Oregon and Washington have issued a joint advisory urging travelers to avoid non-essential visits. It recommended a 14-day quarantine for travelers and limiting interactions to their immediate household. Residents of the three states are being pressed to stay local as the holiday season looms. 

“COVID-19 does not stop at state lines. As hospitals across the West are stretched to capacity, we must take steps to ensure travelers are not bringing this disease home with them,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “If you do not need to travel, you shouldn’t. This will be hard, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. But the best way to keep your family safe is to stay close to home.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom noted that the state had just become the second after Texas to reach one million Covid-19 cases – "with no signs of the virus slowing down."

2:55 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

El Paso, TX frontline workers call ruling allowing businesses to reopen "a disaster for our health system which is in near collapse" 

From CNN's Gregory Lemos 

A police officer on a bike patrols an empty downtown street amid a surge of coronavirus cases on November 12, in El Paso, Texas.
A police officer on a bike patrols an empty downtown street amid a surge of coronavirus cases on November 12, in El Paso, Texas. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Frontline workers in El Paso, Texas told reporters Friday that a court decision to stop a city shutdown order was "a disaster for our health system, which is in near collapse." 

Texas 8th Court of Appeals ruled Thursday to issue a preliminary injunction on El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego's shutdown order, effectively allowing non-essential businesses to re-open, according to previous CNN reporting. 

"This order is especially a disaster for our health system, which is in near collapse here in El Paso, from the calamity just ripping through our facilities every day," Juan Anchondo, a nurse at Las Palmas Medical Center, said on a Zoom call.  

More patients are dying every day and we aren't able to keep up. Our lives and our families are in jeopardy," he said. 

The call, which was hosted by National Nurses United, included three nurses and an El Paso City Representative.   

Ariana Lucio, an RN at Del Sol Medical Center who works on the Covid-19 unit, said she was "disappointed" and "concerned" Samaniego's order was struck down as the surge in El Paso has already "taken a very emotional and physical toll on the nurses and doctors." 

Idali Cooper, also an RN in El Paso, expressed disappointment, especially given how disproportionally Covid-19 negatively affects people of color.  

"I wanted to express the importance of our voices to be heard as the Hispanic community because we are being affected here. We are the epicenter of what is going on," Cooper said.  

Cooper said she felt the court's preliminary injunction would "have dire consequences for my community or for communities of color." 

Anchondo spoke of an increasing problem of ventilator shortages where nurses were put in the "unthinkable situation of needing to urge a family to approve withdrawal of care" because a ventilator was needed for another patient who had a better chance of survival. 

"This worst case scenario is our current reality here in El Paso Country," Anchondo said.  

A county commissioner told CNN Friday that the court’s ruling was a preliminary injunction of the order and it is expected to rule Friday whether or not to invalidate the order completely or send it back to a lower court to undergo a trial. According to this official, the county will weigh their legal options once the decision is handed down. 

El Paso passed the grim milestone of 70,000 cases Friday, with 70,575 total infections and a seven-day positivity rate of 20.50%, according to the city's Covid-19 dashboard. Texas on Wednesday became the first state to report more than 1 million cases.

2:20 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

St. Louis will run out of intensive care beds in early December if trajectory continues, says official

From CNN’s Amanda Watts 

Registered medical assistant Elaine Lomax handles a nasal swab specimen on April 16, after it was collected at a drive-thru Covid-19 testing site in St. Louis.
Registered medical assistant Elaine Lomax handles a nasal swab specimen on April 16, after it was collected at a drive-thru Covid-19 testing site in St. Louis. Jeff Roberson File/AP

In a sobering news conference on Friday, the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force said if the Covid-19 hospitalization trajectory continues the path it is on right now, the region will run out of ICU capacity in the first week of December. 

Dr. Alex Garza said there were “no safe harbors anymore" and hospitals were "just running out of capacity."

"Patients are coming from all over. Our hospitals are filling up, or are filled. We're having to turn away transfers… We’re getting requests from far, far away to transfer patients to the St. Louis area," he said.

Garza said healthcare workers are “a finite resource, of incredible skilled people.”  

“We are also asking the state to work with our systems emergency managers to start planning for what will happen when the healthcare systems become overwhelmed,” he said.   

Fighting back tears Garza said, “Our healthcare heroes have fought valiantly day after day.” 

“But, we have no reserves. We have no backup, that we can suddenly muster to come in and save the day,” he said. “If we stay on the path that we're on even just two more weeks, we will not have the staff we need to care for patients. It's now just a numbers game.” 

He said the number of people with Covid-19 was "skyrocketing in our region" and the number needing hospitalization "is nearly three times what we described as a sustainable level.” 

The real peak of this pandemic has yet to come,” he warned. 

Garza said the Task Force is calling for stricter policies including a statewide mask mandate “to save lives across the city.”  

1:47 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

Italy reports record 40,000 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours

From CNN's Livia Borghese in Rome

Health workers at Cotugno Hospital carry out pre-triage to a suspected Covid-19 patient on November 12, in Naples, Italy.
Health workers at Cotugno Hospital carry out pre-triage to a suspected Covid-19 patient on November 12, in Naples, Italy. Ivan Romano/Getty Images

Italian authorities have reported more than 40,000 new Covid-19 infections in the past 24 hours, the largest daily increase since the pandemic started. 

There were 40,902 new cases on Friday, data from the Italian Health Ministry showed. The total number of infections in Italy is now at 1,107,303.

Authorities also reported 550 additional deaths from the coronavirus, with the total death toll from the virus rising to 44,139. 

The record in daily infections comes despite the infection rate having decreased slightly, according to the head of the prevention department at the Italian Health ministry, Gianni Rezza. It is the “first sign of the decrease in transmission that could be attributed to the (containment) measures that have been taken,” he said. 

Hospital admissions rise: Rezza said the rising number of people being admitted to hospitals justified “further restrictive measures that need to be taken in those regions that have a higher risk.” An additional 60 patients were admitted to intensive care units across the country, prompting the government to add several regions to its “red zone” list, including Campania and Tuscany. The two regions will see increased anti-coronavirus restrictions come into effect on Sunday. 

In Campania, the Mayor of Naples Luigi Deagistris pre-empted the government announcement and called for help.

“We now require immediate economic help from the government,” he said. As he spoke, anti-lockdown protesters could be seen taking to the streets of Naples. 

The regions of Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Marche, were also moved up in the risk category, going from yellow into orange. Italy now has six regions classified as red zones, nine as orange and five as yellow zones.

12:50 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

Louisiana governor blames Halloween for rise in cases

 From CNN's Tina Burnside 

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced on Friday that he will be releasing some of the highest coronavirus positive numbers the state has seen in quite some time. 

Edwards blamed the recent surge in cases in large part on the lack of mitigation efforts during the Halloween holiday.

For the immediate future, it's going to get really, really tough for the people of Louisiana," Edwards said during a news conference on Friday. 

The Louisiana Department of Health is expected to release the most up to date numbers this afternoon. 

12:42 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

Ireland may take staged approach to easing Covid-19 lockdown, says prime minister

From Katharina Krebs in London

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin says Ireland may take a staged approach to exiting its Covid-19 lockdown after December 1.

In an interview with Ireland’s RTE Radio 1 on Friday, Martin added that the exit plan is still being worked on by the government. 

No definitive decision has yet been made on the hospitality sector operating over the Christmas period and the government plans to give an update on that before the end of November.

“Our sense and my sense from the research we're doing from the public data is that it's not going to be same Christmas as last year, but it is going to be a good Christmas and a meaningful one,” Martin said.

He said that the government would issue advice on international travel during the holiday period towards the end of the month. 

12:37 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

NYC mayor urges state to reevaluate closing bars, restaurants

From CNN’s Jonathan Kubiak 

 Noam Galai/Getty Images
 Noam Galai/Getty Images

As bars, gyms, and restaurants prepare for the first night with a 10pm state-mandated curfew, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the closure of these establishments needs to be “reassessed.” 

“Even though the state makes the ultimate decisions here on the industry issues, I’m very cognizant of the fact that we have to keep people’s livelihoods in mind here,” the mayor said Friday morning on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show. 

“The question is really how we balance the bigger factor,” said the mayor. "I don’t want people to think that [closing] indoor dining and gyms are the magical solution to all of our problems because, in fact, our test-and-trace operation is not showing, you know, the kind of impact from those locales that you have seen in other places around the country; we have something much more generalized here.”

Instead, the mayor suggested that holiday travel will be much more impactful in determining the future of governmental response to the coronavirus. “We talk about restaurants or gyms, but much more decisive will be if we can successfully limit travel and limit indoor gatherings” during the upcoming holiday season."

12:06 p.m. ET, November 13, 2020

Passengers who tested negative for Covid-19 on the Caribbean cruise ship will be allowed to travel home

From CNN's Patrick Oppmann in Havana and Marnie Hunter

Passengers who tested negative for Covid-19 aboard a cruise ship in Barbados will be able to leave the ship and travel home, two passengers told CNN Friday. 

A total of seven SeaDream 1 passengers have tested positive for coronavirus as of Friday morning, according to passengers Gene Sloan and Ben Hewitt. 

Hewitt said the crew informed passengers that everyone who had tested negative twice would be allowed to disembark the ship and fly home Saturday.  

The background: The SeaDream Yacht Club cruise was the first to return to the Caribbean and was meant to demonstrate that increased safety protocols, including regular testing aboard the ship, could allow cruise voyages to take place during the pandemic. 

After one passenger fell ill on Wednesday, the SeaDream 1 was forced to return to Barbados and 53 passengers and 66 crew were tested.

Read the full story here: