November 25 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:59 a.m. ET, November 27, 2020
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7:25 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

Pennsylvania urges people to stay home in Covid-19 alert sent to cell phones

From CNN’s Anna Sturla

Pennsylvania sent an emergency alert the afternoon before Thanksgiving, urging people to stay home as cases rise.

"COVID-19 rates are rising & hospitals could soon be at capacity," the alert read. 

The alert also urged residents to download the state's contact tracing app, COVID Alert PA.

The alert was the state's first use of the national Wireless Emergency Alert system for the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Gov. Tom Wolf's office.

5:34 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

L.A. County expects hospital bed shortage in 2 to 4 weeks

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Alarming Covid-19 case increases in Los Angeles County could lead to a shortage of both regular hospital beds and intensive care beds within the next two to four weeks if the current trajectory holds.

Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly presented the grim outlook for Los Angeles County, which is mid-surge with 4,311 new cases announced Wednesday. Ghaly estimates that one in every five residents has had Covid-19 and about one in 145 are currently infectious. Nearly 60% of those who are infected are not currently experiencing pronounced symptoms.

Average daily cases climbed 113% during the first two weeks of November, and hospitalizations have increased 70% over the past two weeks.

“What is stretched most thin within both public and private hospitals across Los Angeles County is the availability of staff,” Ghaly said. The county will be able to find flex space within hospitals, using pre- and post-operative space, unused wings, or the emergency department to hold patients, but finding trained staff will be more difficult.

Los Angeles County residents should be prepared to potentially have nonessential surgeries or procedures canceled so that hospitals can make room for additional patients, Ghaly advised. 

“I cannot stress enough how concerning this is, as we know these numbers represent actions that were taken several weeks ago,” said Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis. “Simply put, we need to turn this around immediately, but it will not be easy.”

Despite his concern, Davis has yet to strengthen the health officer orders for the county of about 10 million. Noting that a state order is already in place limiting movement, he said his staff is still working to answer questions and give businesses more time to prepare for further restrictions. 

Note: These numbers were released by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project. 

5:13 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

Texas records more than 14,000 new Covid-19 cases   

From CNN's Raja Razek

Healthcare workers process people waiting in line at a United Memorial Medical Center COVID-19 testing site on November 19 in Houston.
Healthcare workers process people waiting in line at a United Memorial Medical Center COVID-19 testing site on November 19 in Houston. David J. Phillip/AP

Texas reported Wednesday a record 14,648 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 1,130,980, according to the state's Covid-19 dashboard. 

The state also reported 200 new Covid-19-related deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 20,950. 

There are currently 8,585 lab-confirmed Covid-19 patients in Texas hospitals. 

Note: These numbers were released by the Texas Department of Health Services and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN's database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

4:49 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

Younger children will join coronavirus vaccine trials, FDA official says

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

Younger children are likely to be recruited to coronavirus vaccine trials so that any vaccines that are eventually authorized can be used to protect kids, a top US Food and Drug Administration official said.

Right now, children as young as 12 are testing Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. If it looks safe in children that young, regulators will consider testing the vaccine in younger kids, said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

“I suspect that there'll be some discussion about whether there were enough individuals in that age range to allow vaccination of younger individuals. There may or may not be,” Marks said during a web event with Vaccinate Your Family on Tuesday.

With adults and teens, researchers vaccinate half the volunteers with the vaccine and half get a saline shot as placebo, and they wait to see how many people in each group get infected naturally. But with the younger kids, Marks said, doctors may simply look to see if the children develop antibodies, or develop T-cell immunity.

“I suspect those studies will start very, very soon. Because, obviously, after the adult population is vaccinated, and obviously it would be ideally simultaneously, we will start to get children vaccinated particularly children at risk. But ultimately we all need to be vaccinated to stop this cycle of transmission,” Marks said.

4:47 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

Most Americans are still susceptible to Covid-19 infection, study suggests

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Workers at the Judiciary Square Covid-19 testing site get information from people waiting in a line in Washington, DC, on November 18.
Workers at the Judiciary Square Covid-19 testing site get information from people waiting in a line in Washington, DC, on November 18. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

It remains unclear exactly how many people in the United States have had Covid-19, but a new study suggests that most do not appear to have antibodies and are likely susceptible to infection.

Across the country, the prevalence of Covid-19 antibodies appears to range from fewer than 1% to 23%, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine on Tuesday. When someone recovers from Covid-19, their blood plasma can contain antibodies that helped fight the coronavirus that caused their illness — and therefore antibodies serve as clues to a past infection. 

The new study included data from blood serum samples taken from 178,000 people across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Samples were obtained for routine screening or clinical care during four collection periods: July 27 to Aug. 13; Aug. 10 to Aug. 27; Aug. 24 to Sept. 10; and Sept. 7 to Sept. 24.

The researchers — from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Quest Diagnostics, BioReference Laborites and the company ICF Inc. — found that the prevalence of antibodies among those samples ranged from 0% in South Dakota in collection period 2 to 23.3% in New York in collection period 1.

"In nearly all jurisdictions, fewer than 10% of people in the US had evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection," the researchers wrote in the study. SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

"Seroprevalence varied across regions and between metropolitan/nonmetropolitan areas, with estimates as high as 23% in the Northeast and 13% in the South, while estimates in the Midwest and West were less than 10%," the researchers wrote. 

"Seroprevalence was often lowest in older age groups," they wrote. "Our results reinforce the need for continued public health preventive measures, including the use of face masks and social distancing, to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the US." 

For certain states — such as Iowa, Pennsylvania and Tennessee — more people living in metropolitan counties had antibodies. In other states — such as Alabama and Mississippi — people living outside metropolitan areas were more likely to have been infected, according to the study. Changes over time, from collection period 1 to 4, also varied across states. The researchers found that the largest drop in prevalence occurred in New York and North Dakota, while large increases occurred in Georgia and Minnesota.

The study was not designed to produce a nationwide estimate of prevalence. More research is needed to determine whether similar findings would emerge among a larger group of people representative of the general public.

 

4:21 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

Kansas reports more than 5,000 new Covid-19 cases in the past 2 days

From CNN's Kay Jones

Kansas is reporting over 5,000 new Covid-19 cases over the past two days.

According to the latest numbers released by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the 5,738 new cases bring the state's total to at least 147,797. 

KDHE is also reporting 47 new deaths since Monday's report, bringing the state's total to at least 1,503. 

There are 144 new hospitalizations this week, with 1,126 patients currently hospitalized across the state. KDHE shows that 35% of the state's ICU beds are currently available. 

The positivity rate in November is currently at 18.7%, the highest monthly positivity rate since the pandemic began. 

Note: These numbers were released by the state's public health agency and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.   

4:15 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

Pennsylvania surpasses 10,000 Covid-19 deaths

From CNN's Laura Dolan

Pennsylvania announced 144 new Covid-19 deaths, for a total of 10,095 since the start of the pandemic, according to the state's department of health.

Department spokeswoman Maggi Mumma said the increase in deaths was not attributable to reporting delays, but that Tuesdays often saw an increase after lower numbers over the weekend and Mondays.

"This follows a similar trend to previous weeks," Mumma said in an email.

The state also had 6,759 new cases of Covid-19, for a total case count of 327,829. 

Almost 3,900 Pennsylvanians are hospitalized with the virus.

In its latest press release, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reminded residents that masks are required outside the home.

Note: These numbers were released by the state of Pennsylvania, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project. 

4:15 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

Ohio reports more than 10,000 new cases with thousands of results still pending for the day 

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

Medics adminster COVID-19 tests on November 19 at PrimaryOne Health in Columbus, Ohio.
Medics adminster COVID-19 tests on November 19 at PrimaryOne Health in Columbus, Ohio. Joshua A. Bickel/The Columbus Dispatch/USA Today

The state of Ohio is reporting 10,835 new cases on Wednesday and 156 new deaths, according to the state dashboard, though thousands of results are still pending. 

An additional 417 people were hospitalized in the state.

Since the start of the pandemic, Ohio has reported at least 382,743 cases and at least 6,274 deaths. 

The state dashboard notes that the data for Wednesday “is incomplete. Thousands of reports are pending review. Additionally, today’s date included positive test results that were delayed because of technical issues in lab reporting. Please bear with us as we work through the surge in testing.”

Note: These numbers were released by the state’s health agency and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

3:58 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

Florida reports more than 8,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Melissa Alonso  

Vehicles line up as healthcare workers help to check-in people for testing at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing center at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on November 22.
Vehicles line up as healthcare workers help to check-in people for testing at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing center at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on November 22. David Santiago/Miami Herald/AP

Florida health officials reported 8,376 new cases of Covid-19 and 97 resident deaths on Wednesday, according to the Florida Department of Health.  

This is the second consecutive day Florida has reported more than 8,000 cases, CNN's tally shows.  

According to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, there are currently 3,723 people in Florida hospitalized with Covid-19. As of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, 22.03% of intensive care unit beds in the state are available, AHCA data shows.  

The state’s total coronavirus cases stand at 961,676, the health department's data shows. The resident death toll is now at 18,254, and 228 non-resident deaths have been reported, according to the health department.  

Note: These numbers were released by the state’s public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.