November 16 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton and Sebastian Shukla, CNN

Updated 11:00 p.m. ET, November 16, 2020
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1:36 a.m. ET, November 16, 2020

US reports more than 133,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Alta Spells

The United States reported 133,045 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the 13th consecutive day it has recorded more than 100,000 new infections, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

An additional 616 coronavirus-related deaths were also reported Sunday.

The US has now recorded at least 11,036,935 Covid-19 cases, including 246,214 fatalities.

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

CNN is tracking US Covid-19 cases:

2:18 a.m. ET, November 16, 2020

Johnson & Johnson starts new two-dose Covid vaccine trial in Britain

From CNN Health’s Maggie Fox

A logo sign outside of facility occupied by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, in Somerville, New Jersey on May 31, 2015.
A logo sign outside of facility occupied by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, in Somerville, New Jersey on May 31, 2015. Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa USA

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine arm Janssen Pharmaceuticals is starting a new, advanced Phase 3 trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine in Britain, which uses two doses instead of just one to see if that protects people better against infection.

Most of the coronavirus vaccines in late-stage clinical trials around the world require two doses for full protection, including leading candidates being developed by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Novavax. Janssen’s was the lone single-dose vaccine in Phase 3 trials in the US and Britain.

“They realized now that two doses give you slightly better immunity,” Kate Bingham, a biotechnology expert who is head of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, told reporters in a briefing.

Where will the trial be rolled out: Up to 30,000 people will be enrolled in the new global trial, with participants in Belgium, Colombia, France, Germany, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, the company said in a statement.

“In order to evaluate the efficacy of Janssen’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, clinical trial sites in countries and areas with high incidence of Covid-19 and the ability to achieve a rapid initiation were selected.”

Two doses: Volunteers will get two shots, 57 days apart, or placebos. The first volunteer was scheduled to be vaccinated in Britain Monday.

“While a potentially effective single-dose preventive Covid-19 vaccine with a good safety profile would have significant benefits, particularly in a pandemic setting, Janssen’s Covid-19 vaccine program has been designed to be extremely thorough and driven by science. As such, we are investigating multiple doses and dosing regimens to evaluate their long-term efficacy,” the company said.

Janssen’s Phase 3 trial paused for two weeks in the US over safety concerns but resumed in October.

12:02 a.m. ET, November 16, 2020

Oregon reports 868 new cases as 2-week "social freeze" is set to begin Wednesday

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

Gov. Kate Brown speaks in Portland, Oregon, on November 10.
Gov. Kate Brown speaks in Portland, Oregon, on November 10. Cathy Cheney/Pool/AP

Oregon reported 868 new cases of coronavirus Sunday as the state prepares for a two-week "social freeze" starting this Wednesday.

The new cases reported by the Oregon Health Authority come after the state saw more than 1,000 new daily cases the previous three days.

On Sunday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown took to Twitter to praise Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee for announcing new restrictions in the neighboring state.

"COVID-19 does not stop at the I-5 bridge," Brown tweeted. "Thanks to Governor Inslee for taking bold action today. Now we need Congress to step up to provide relief. If we all work together, we can save thousands of lives."

Oregon has reported a total of 56,880 cases since the pandemic began.

Tightening restrictions: Brown announced the statewide "social freeze" on Saturday amid surging cases. The measures will limit social gatherings to a maximum of six people and two households, ban in-person dining in restaurants and bars, and limit faith-based events to a maximum of 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

Retail locations and grocery stores will have to operate at 75% capacity, while gyms and recreation facilities will be closed. However, the new measures do not apply to businesses like barber shops and salons, or childcare and K-12 schools. 

11:23 p.m. ET, November 15, 2020

South Australia links growing Covid outbreak to hotel quarantine

From CNN's Angus Watson in Sydney

A Covid-19 cluster in the Australian state of South Australia has grown to 17 cases, all believed to be linked to a leak from the state’s hotel quarantine system, according to health authorities. 

This the first local outbreak in South Australia since April, when the state introduced a hard border policy. Currently 600 passengers are permitted to arrive on international flights in state capital Adelaide each week, but they must undergo a 14-day quarantine in a designated hotel. 

On Sunday, Chief Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said that the "medi-hotel" where one infected person worked is where "we're considering the source to be."

Multiple schools and a fast food restaurant in Adelaide have been closed, and contact tracing is underway.

"It is a very, very dangerous situation we’re in, in South Australia at the moment,” the state's Premier Steven Marshall said. “It's really going to require the cooperation of every single citizen for us to get on top of it."

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said Monday that South Australia should not reinstate a hard border as a reaction to the outbreak. 

"Having these strong testing, tracing and isolation systems are absolutely critical and South Australia, on all the evidence, does have exactly that," he said.

The states of Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory now require arrivals from South Australia to undergo mandatory 14-day self-quarantine.

10:39 p.m. ET, November 15, 2020

Trump coronavirus adviser urges Michigan to "rise up" against new Covid-19 measures

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc and Jeremy Diamond

White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas speaks on Covid-19 testing in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 28.
White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas speaks on Covid-19 testing in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 28. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Scott Atlas criticized Michigan's new Covid-19 restrictions in a tweet shortly after they were announced Sunday evening, urging people to "rise up" against the new public health measures.

"The only way this stops is if people rise up," Atlas said. "You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters #StepUp"

His message -- which runs counter to the consensus of public health officials -- is likely to fuel new tension between the White House and Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whom federal and state officials announced last month was the target of an alleged domestic terrorism kidnapping plot.

Responding to Atlas' tweet Sunday evening, Whitmer told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "We know that the White House likes to single us out here in Michigan, me out in particular. I'm not going to be bullied into not following reputable scientists and medical professionals."
Instead, Whitmer said, she consults "people that actually have studied and are well respected worldwide on these issues, not the -- not the individual that is doing the President's bidding on this one."

Whitmer announced in a news conference earlier Sunday that Michigan will begin a "three-week pause targeting indoor social gatherings and other group activities" to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

Read more:

9:06 p.m. ET, November 15, 2020

Thousands of cars form lines to collect food in Texas

From CNN's Melissa Alonso and Susannah Cullinane

Thousands of people lined up for groceries at a food bank distribution event in Dallas, Texas, this weekend, with organizers saying the Covid-19 pandemic has increased need in the city.

North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) distributed more than 600,000 pounds of food for about 25,000 people on Saturday, according to spokeswoman Anna Kuruan. There were 7,280 turkeys distributed to families, Kuruan told CNN.

Photos provided by NTFB show thousands of cars lined up for NTFB's Drive-Thru Mobile Pantry at Fair Park. Kuruan said the need for food "has certainly increased" with the pandemic, with Texas last week becoming the first US state to report 1 million cases of coronavirus.

Read more:

6:55 a.m. ET, November 16, 2020

British prime minister is self-quarantining after Covid-19 exposure

From CNN's Radina Gigova and Max Foster

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street on November 10 in London, England.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street on November 10 in London, England. Leon Neal/Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is self-quarantining after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19, a Downing Street spokesperson said Sunday.

"The prime minister has today been notified by NHS Test and Trace that he is required to self-isolate as a contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19," the spokesperson said. 

"The prime minister will follow the rules and is self-isolating," the spokesperson added. "He will carry on working from Downing Street, including on leading the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic."

"The PM is well and does not have any symptoms of Covid-19," the spokesperson said. 

Johnson met with a small group of MPs in No. 10 on Thursday morning, including Lee Anderson, the MP for Ashfield, Downing Street said. Anderson subsequently developed Covid-19 symptoms and has now tested positive.

11:04 p.m. ET, November 15, 2020

States enact more Covid-19 rules as the US hits 11 million cases

From CNN's Holly Yan, Madeline Holcombe and Dakin Andone

This aerial view shows cars lined up at the Dodger Stadium parking lot for Covid-19 testing with the Los Angeles skyline in the distance, on November 14.
This aerial view shows cars lined up at the Dodger Stadium parking lot for Covid-19 testing with the Los Angeles skyline in the distance, on November 14. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The United States surpassed 11 million coronavirus cases on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, as states across the country moved to enact restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

The latest milestone comes just six days after the US recorded 10 million cases, per Johns Hopkins data. It was the fastest the US has added one million new cases since the pandemic began.

At least 45 states have reported more new infections this past week compared to the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins University.

"We have this firestorm of coronavirus all across the country," emergency medicine physician Dr. Leana Wen said. "It's not one or two hotspots, the entire country is a hotspot of coronavirus infection."

Even Wyoming is getting hit hard. On Saturday, the state set new records for Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths, with 202 hospitalizations and 17 new deaths reported in one day.

Nationwide, more than 246,000 people have died -- including 1,266 new deaths reported on Saturday alone.

And while some officials toughen their restrictions, some say changing behavior is more important than shutting down.

Read the full story:

11:04 p.m. ET, November 15, 2020

Washington state enacts new restrictions, months after it was first in the US to confront Covid-19

From CNN's  Dakin Andone

A sign for curbside pickup is shown outside the Cascadia Grill, in downtown Olympia, Washington, on November 15.
A sign for curbside pickup is shown outside the Cascadia Grill, in downtown Olympia, Washington, on November 15. Ted S. Warren/AP

Washington state on Sunday announced new coronavirus restrictions, months after suffering the country's first major outbreaks.

"We are today in a more dangerous position than we were in March, when our first stay-at-home order was issued," Gov. Jay Inslee said in a news conference. Most of the measures go into effect Monday at midnight and extend through December 14.
"The time has come to reinstate some of the restrictions on activities statewide to preserve our well-being and to save lives," he said.

What the restrictions mean: Indoor social gatherings with people from outside the home are prohibited, unless participants quarantine for 14 days prior, or quarantine for seven days before the gathering and receive a negative Covid-19 test result no more than 48 hours prior. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to five people.

Restaurants and bars will be limited to outdoors with capacity limits and to-go service, Inslee said. In-store retail stores, including grocery stores, are limited to 25% capacity.

Religious services will also be limited to 25% of indoor capacity or 200 people, whichever is less, Inslee said. Performances by choirs, bands and ensembles are also prohibited. The order allows for solo performances, but Inslee said it's "too risky" for indoor choirs.

Additionally, indoor service at gyms will be prohibited, along with bowling alleys, museums and movie theaters, among others businesses.

The new restrictions will not impact childcare and K-12 schools, Inslee said. School districts that are currently holding in-person learning do not need to close, unless local officials make that determination.

Rising cases: The new restrictions are a reflection of the drastic rise in cases seen not only in Washington state but across the country. And they further underscore the threat of the ongoing fall surge many states are struggling to control.

As of Sunday night, the state had more than 130,000 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 2,500 people have died.

Read more: