November 14 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Brad Lendon and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 0027 GMT (0827 HKT) November 23, 2020
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11:00 a.m. ET, November 14, 2020

Northwest Syria reports record increase in coronavirus cases as ICU beds fill

From Eyad Kourdi in Gaziantep, Turkey

Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib reported a record increase of 525 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the Idlib Health Directorate said in a statement on Saturday.

Earlier this month, the health directorate said beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the region were filled to 83% capacity, and asked the World Health Organization to prevent a "catastrophe" by taking responsibility of "saving the lives of 3 million people in northwest Syria."

Syria has so far recorded a total of 23,829 coronavirus cases based on cumulative number from local medical authorities in the northeast, northwest, and regime-held areas of the country.

11:40 a.m. ET, November 14, 2020

Iran to impose stricter coronavirus restrictions from next Saturday

From CNN's Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran

People shop at the Tajrish Bazaar market in Tehran, Iran, on November 1.
People shop at the Tajrish Bazaar market in Tehran, Iran, on November 1. Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

Iran will impose stricter Covid-19 restrictions in more than 100 towns and cities in the country from next Saturday for two weeks after seeing a recent surge of coronavirus infections, deputy health minister Alireza Raisi said on Saturday on state TV after a meeting led by President Hassan Rouhani.

The new measures -- classified as "red" -- include non-essential businesses and services to be shut, according to Raisi.

The mandatory wearing of masks in public will continue in the capital Tehran, he added.

The announcement comes as Iran on Saturday reported 11,203 new cases of coronavirus in the past day -- one of the highest daily increase in infections, the country’s health ministry spokesperson Sima Sadat Lari said on state TV.

The health ministry also reported 452 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the overall death count in the country to 41,034.

Of the 11,203 new cases reported, 2,509 have been hospitalized.

A total of 5,642 patients are currently in critical condition in ICU across the country, according to the health ministry.

10:39 a.m. ET, November 14, 2020

Georgia's Secretary of State tests negative for Covid-19

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

Brynn Anderson/AP
Brynn Anderson/AP

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger tested negative for Covid-19, according to a spokesman in his office.

“The Secretary of State’s test came back negative. His leadership lead will quarantine for ten day and be actively engaged with county management throughout the recount process, Raffensperger's spokesman, Walter Jones, said in a statement.

Raffensperger is in quarantine after his wife tested positive for Covid-19, a spokesperson in his office told CNN on Thursday.

9:30 a.m. ET, November 14, 2020

Two dozen people died of Covid-19 in a Kentucky veterans center as infections in the community surged

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

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Google

At least 24 veterans have died of Covid-19 and more than 80 have been infected since an outbreak last month at Kentucky's Thomson-Hood Veterans Center, the state's governor said Friday.

Of the total 86 infections in the Wilmore facility, 48 veterans have now recovered, five are in the hospital and nine are being treated within the center, Gov. Andy Beshear said during a news conference.

About 63 staff members also tested positive and 52 have since recovered. Eleven of those cases are still active, Beshear said.

Communities hard hit: Assisted living communities and nursing homes across the country have been ravaged by the virus since the pandemic's start. And as community infections began to soar again at the beginning of fall, the number of cases within those facilities' walls climbed as well.

report released earlier this month by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living found that more than 40% of new Covid-19 cases in nursing homes were from Midwest states that had seen spikes in community spread.

And as numbers in nursing homes rise, experts fear that will lead to an increasing number of deaths, AHCA/NCAL said in a news release accompanying the report.

A countrywide resurgence, then an outbreak: The Kentucky veterans center was able to avoid an outbreak for months, screening employees and veterans daily since March and conducting immediate testing for anyone who was showing symptoms.

But amid a Covid-19 resurgence across American communities in October and an explosion of new cases in Kentucky, the virus seeped into the center and spread like wildfire.

"It started with three veterans and seven staff members, which quickly turned into a larger outbreak," the governor said earlier this week. The rate of positive tests now appears to be declining, he said.

In a statement posted on their Facebook page Monday, the center said, "We are still battling."

"Keep praying for our incredible, warrior staff and our precious veterans," it said. "We are heartbroken over our losses. Please wear your masks and make smart, safe choices as you go about your daily lives. What we do out in the community matters."

Read the full story.

9:21 a.m. ET, November 14, 2020

Poland reports record coronavirus deaths

From CNN’s Duarte Mendonca and Artur Osinski

Poland reported a record high 548 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, the health ministry said on Twitter.

There have been 10,045 deaths in the country, the highest in eastern Europe, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

JHU also reported 25,571 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to 691,118.

 

8:03 a.m. ET, November 14, 2020

It's 8 a.m. in New York. Here’s the latest on the pandemic

More than 53 million cases of Covid-19 have been recorded worldwide. On Friday, the US reported 184,514 Covid-19 cases in its worst day of the pandemic, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. This is the highest number of cases reported in a single day in the country since the pandemic began, and continues a four-day streak of record-breaking totals.  

The US has surpassed 10.7 million cases and 244,000 deaths, according to JHU. 

Covid-19 hospitalizations set a new record across the US: The United States has more people hospitalized with Covid-19 than ever before, according to the Covid Tracking Project (CTP). There were 68,516 current hospitalizations reported on Friday across the entire US, according to CTP. The seven-day average for current hospitalizations is now 62,123, which is up 20.01% from last week. 

Coronavirus pandemic is “national security threat,” Biden Covid-19 board member says: The coronavirus pandemic is a national security threat and President Donald Trump is exacerbating it by refusing to cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, Dr. Celine Gounder, a Biden Transition Covid-19 Board member, said Friday.

Recovering Covid-19 patients struggle to return to normal after hospital discharge, study finds: Surviving Covid-19 is hard enough for those who get severely ill from the disease, but returning to normal is a struggle, too, according to research that found survivors were likely to face health and financial hardships even months later.

Russia reports more than 22,000 new cases of coronavirus for the first time: On Saturday, Russia reported 22,702 new Covid-19 cases, the highest number of infections it has reported in a single day since the start of the pandemic, according to data from the country’s coronavirus response center.

Poland reports record coronavirus deaths: Poland reported a record high 548 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, the health ministry said on Twitter.

There have been 10,045 deaths in the country according to Johns Hopkins University data -- the highest in eastern Europe, while JHU also reported 25,571 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to 691,118.

South Korea's president asks public for cooperation amid Covid-19 surge: South Korea's President Moon Jae-in urged the public on Friday to cooperate in curbing the growing number of Covid-19 cases. South Korea, which was initially lauded has having kept the pandemic under control, diagnosed 166 local and 39 imported cases on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 28,338.

7:47 a.m. ET, November 14, 2020

South Korea's president asks public for cooperation amid Covid-19 surge

From CNN’s Jake Kwon in Seoul

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the 21st National Assembly term in Seoul, South Korea, on July 16.
South Korea's President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the 21st National Assembly term in Seoul, South Korea, on July 16. Jung Yeon-Je/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in urged the public on Friday to cooperate in curbing the growing number of Covid-19 cases.

The health authority and local governments must respond in full force. Public cooperation is desperately needed too,” he wrote in a post on Twitter.
Though it is still within the control of our disease prevention system, it is a precarious and a worrisome situation.”

South Korea diagnosed 166 local and 39 imported cases on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 28,338. This is the highest daily increase since early September.

Four more deaths have also been reported, bringing the total death toll to 492.

The country -- with its combination of widespread testing, aggressive contact tracing, stern public health measures, strict quarantine regime and digital technology -- has been widely revered as a success story when it comes to stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

South Korea's Health Ministry said it is monitoring the trend and will review whether safety measures need to be strengthened.

7:10 a.m. ET, November 14, 2020

Recovering Covid-19 patients struggle to return to normal after hospital discharge, study finds

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman and Jacqueline Howard

A patient is transported inside the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, on November 11.
A patient is transported inside the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, on November 11. Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

Surviving Covid-19 is hard enough for those who get severely ill from the disease, but returning to normal is a struggle, too, according to new research that found survivors were likely to face health and financial hardships even months later.

A team of scientists led by Dr. Vineet Chopra of the University of Michigan Health System looked at 488 Covid-19 patients treated and released from hospitals in Michigan. They surveyed them about two months after their release, between March 16 and July 1.

Lasting effects beyond hospitalization: A third of the survivors reported ongoing health issues, such as cough, new or worsening conditions and persistent loss of taste or smell, the researchers reported this week in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Nearly half said they were "emotionally affected" by their illness and a small number, 28, sought mental health care after discharge.

Financial impact: Another 36% reported "at least a mild financial impact from their hospitalization." Of those employed before their illness, 40% said they either lost their job or were too sick to return to work. Just over a quarter of those who returned to work reported reduced hours or modified responsibilities.

"For most patients who survived, ongoing morbidity, including the inability to return to normal activities, physical and emotional symptoms, and financial loss, was common," Chopra's team wrote.

"These data confirm that the toll of Covid-19 extends well beyond hospitalization," the study concluded.

Read the full story:

6:13 a.m. ET, November 14, 2020

A couple got married in a hospital parking lot after the groom recovered from Covid-19

From CNN's Alaa Elassar

Antionette Brown and Henry Bell got married after Bell survived Covid-19.
Antionette Brown and Henry Bell got married after Bell survived Covid-19. HCA Healthcare's Orange Park Medical Center

When Antionette Brown first saw Henry Bell at a nightclub 14 years ago, she knew he was the one. Although they never married, they commonly referred to each other as husband and wife during that span.

Nothing tore them apart -- not even when Bell nearly died after being hospitalized with Covid-19 for nearly two months.

So one day before he was released from HCA Healthcare's Orange Park Medical Center in Florida, they finally decided to tie the knot in the hospital parking lot surrounded by the health care workers who helped save Bell's life.

"It was wonderful," Brown, 48, told CNN. "Me and my husband went home to start a new life, and thank God for life and all the staff and doctors that made this happen. It will be a day to remember forever."

A difficult journey: Bell arrived at the hospital on September 13 after experiencing coronavirus symptoms and was immediately placed on a ventilator. After weeks in the ICU, Brown was forced to decide between placing Bell in a hospice or giving him a tracheostomy, a procedure that involves creating an opening in the neck to place a tube into a person's windpipe so they can breathe.

When doctors momentarily stopped sedating him so he could help make the decision by squeezing once for a tracheostomy or twice for no, Bell says he didn't have to think about it for a second.

"There was no decision to make," Bell, 63, told CNN. "I wanted to live. I chose life."

Bell says he was sedated for most of the time he was in the hospital. He has no recollection of what happened or what he went through. But he does remember that the moment he woke up, he wanted to make Brown his wife.

"When I was aware and I saw her, all I wanted to do was marry her," he said. "I could not talk, so I acted as if I was putting a ring to propose to her."

The couple married on November 5. Doctors and nurses helped Bell get to the alter, where he was able to stand for the longest time since being hospitalized.

"We are touched and honored that Henry and Antionette wanted our caregivers present for their wedding," said Dr. Bradley Shumaker, chief medical officer at Orange Park.

Read the full story.