The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton and Eoin McSweeney, CNN

Updated 2057 GMT (0457 HKT) November 28, 2020
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1:32 a.m. ET, November 28, 2020

More than 13 million coronavirus cases have been recorded in the US

From CNN's Alta Spells

A total of at least 13,088,821 Covid-19 cases, including 264,858 deaths, have been reported in the United States during the pandemic so far, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

On Friday, JHU reported 205,557 new cases and 1,404 new deaths nationwide.

Remember: As CNN previously reported, at least 20 states did not report Covid-19 numbers on Thursday, so Friday's number consists of reporting from both days in some cases.

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

CNN's live tracker:

12:50 a.m. ET, November 28, 2020

Should you quarantine after Thanksgiving? Yes, CNN's Dr. Leana Wen explains

From CNN's Faye Chiu

Thanksgiving is over. Many people celebrated with just their household unit, but many others did not. In fact, up to 50 million Americans are traveling over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to the American Automobile Association, or AAA.

We talked to CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen about her recommendations on how to keep safe after people return from holiday festivities.

First and foremost, anyone who traveled to visit with family and friends or hosted guests outside their immediate household unit should quarantine, Wen advised.

Taking action to protect others around you will help mitigate the spread of Covid-19, especially with Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's just around the corner.

CNN: Many people took a risk and got together with loved ones for Thanksgiving. Why are you recommending that these people quarantine after they return?

Dr. Leana Wen: Coronavirus is surging all across the country, and there are hotspots in so many areas. Anyone who traveled to another part of the country and got together with other people could be at risk for contracting Covid-19. When they return to their home communities, they could spread it -- to people in their households and to friends, colleagues and any other people around them.

We are facing an impending calamity. Many hospitals are already at the brink. ICUs are full. We all need to do our part and flatten the curve again. And that means knowing when we are at risk to others around us. If you've traveled, and have seen other people, you could pose a risk to your community.

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12:08 a.m. ET, November 28, 2020

More than two dozen Covid-19 cases were traced to youth basketball at a gym, health officials say

From CNN's Stella Chan and Jason Hanna

More than two dozen people have tested positive for Covid-19 after participating in youth basketball tournaments this month at a gym in Northern California, county health officials said.

Those infected were involved in tournaments Nov. 7-8 at the Courtside Basketball Center in Rocklin, Placer County health officials said this week.

The tournaments took place despite the state's pandemic-related prohibition against youth sports competitions, the county said. Although youth training and conditioning are allowed with distancing and other restrictions, competitions and tournaments are not.

"Unfortunately, Courtside Basketball Center has not been responsive to our outreach over many months," the county's interim health officer, Dr. Rob Oldham, told CNN affiliate KCRA.

The Courtside Basketball Center did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

Read more:

11:30 p.m. ET, November 27, 2020

Australia’s former Covid-19 epicenter goes 29 days with no new infections

From CNN's Pauline Lockwood

People enjoy the weather at St. Kilda beach on Nov. 27, in Melbourne, Australia.
People enjoy the weather at St. Kilda beach on Nov. 27, in Melbourne, Australia. Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

The Australian state of Victoria -- once the country’s Covid-19 epicenter -- has gone 29 days with no new infections, the state’s Department of Health announced on Saturday. 

There are also currently no active cases of Covid-19 in the state. 

“All Victorians should feel proud for getting us to this point, but now is not the time to be complacent,” the state’s Department of Health said in a statement on Friday when Victoria reached the symbolic 28-day mark. 

The Department of Health stressed that the fight against Covid-19 is not over in the state as “coronavirus fragments have been detected in a wastewater sample.”

"A real risk remains with arriving interstate travelers or the emergence of new local cases.”
“Our fight against Covid-19 is not over. There are still significant outbreaks happening around the world and we do not yet have an effective vaccine,” the statement says.
9:03 p.m. ET, November 27, 2020

Los Angeles County issues new stay-at-home order and bans all gatherings as Covid-19 cases surge

From CNN's Sarah Moon

All public and private gatherings with people outside a single household will be prohibited for three weeks in Los Angeles County starting Monday to curb an unprecedented spread of coronavirus, the Department of Public Health announced in a news release.

“As new Covid-19 cases remain at alarming levels and the number of people hospitalized continue to increase, a temporary Los Angeles County health officer order will be issued to require additional safety measures across sectors,” the county's health department said Friday. 

The order comes days after the county reported a record number of new Covid-19 infections, the highest number of deaths in months, and increased hospitalizations.

County health officials are urging all residents to stay home as much as possible and to wear face coverings when they are outside, even when exercising at parks and beaches.

While beaches, trails, and parks remain open, only gatherings from a single household will be allowed. Under the new order, playgrounds and cardrooms will also be closed.

According to the news release, the maximum occupancy for essential businesses will be reduced to 30%. Occupancy will be shrink to 20% for nonessential businesses, personal care services, and libraries. Businesses operating outdoors, including fitness centers, zoos, botanical gardens, and batting cages, will be reduced to 50% maximum capacity.

The new health order will be in effect until Dec. 20.

Voluntary compliance: The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement to CNN that it will not enforce the order.

“Since the first Stay at Home Order was issued in March of this year, we have focused on education and voluntary compliance, with enforcement measures being an extreme last resort,” the statement said. 
“We trust in the community and rely on people to assess risk and take precautions as appropriate,” they added.
7:29 p.m. ET, November 27, 2020

CDC Covid-19 vaccine advisers call emergency meeting to discuss distribution

From CNN’s John Bonifield and Maggie Fox

Advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called an emergency meeting for Tuesday to vote on who they recommend should be the first to get a coronavirus vaccine once one is authorized.

The CDC's Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices wants to have advice out to the public ahead of any decision from the US Food and Drug Administration about emergency authorization of a vaccine, ACIP chair Dr. Jose Romero told CNN.

"We are meeting because the FDA, the Operation Warp Speed, have asked states and other jurisdictions to please submit their plans on Friday of this coming week," Romero said.
"We foresee imminent authorization if this vaccine is shown to be effective and safe in the near future and we want to be at the point where we are providing appropriate guidance to the states and jurisdictions for the use of these vaccines," said Romero, who is Secretary for Health for the Arkansas Department of Health.
"This is not something that is being rushed. We have already discussed the groups within the first tier. We are simply going over the data once again and having a vote primarily on the first tier group 1a -- healthcare providers and the people in the long term, congregate facilities."

ACIP met on Monday to discuss the priority groups for receiving any vaccine that may get emergency use authorization from the FDA. The CDC has already recommended that the first group -- designated as 1a -- should include frontline health providers and support personnel.

Read the full story:

8:23 p.m. ET, November 27, 2020

FDA intends to make vaccine authorization decision within a few weeks after Dec. 10 meeting

From CNN's Elizabeth Cohen

The US Food and Drug Administration intends to make a decision about authorizing Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine within a few weeks of a key meeting scheduled for Dec. 10, according to an agency official. 

"It will be a matter of weeks. It could be from days to weeks,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said Wednesday. "It's possible it could be within days, but our goal is to make sure it's certainly within a few weeks.”

“I can't give you an exact date that we're going to have an emergency use authorization issued because we have to do it right. Obviously we're going to be working to do it as quickly as we possibly can," Marks added during the event sponsored by the group Vaccinate Your Family.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, a panel of independent experts, is scheduled to meet Dec. 10 to discuss Pfizer’s application for emergency use authorization.

So far, Pfizer is the only company to apply for an EUA from the FDA. The submission to the FDA was based on results from the Phase 3 clinical trial of Pfizer's vaccine, which began in the United States on July 27 and enrolled more than 43,000 volunteers.

The final analysis from the trial found the coronavirus vaccine was 95% effective in preventing infections, even in older adults, and caused no serious safety concerns, Pfizer and BioNTech said.

The vaccine cannot be shipped until the FDA issues an EUA, according to a presentation by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Marks' timeline varies from one offered Thursday by President Donald Trump. “The vaccines are being delivered literally -- they’ll start in the next week or the week after,” Trump said in a virtual Thanksgiving address to US troops.

Vaccinations will begin in the US "towards the latter part of December,” according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

8:10 p.m. ET, November 27, 2020

Holiday season starts under pall of more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Ray Sanchez and Christina Maxouris

America enters the somber holiday weekend following a Thanksgiving Day that saw more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases and 1,200 deaths -- skyrocketing numbers given that 20 states did not report data.

Traditionally the start of a time of shopping and giving, the final days of November have seen record highs in the worsening pandemic -- surpassing previous surges and showing no signs of slowing down in the precarious winter months.

The US on Friday marked the 25th day in a row with more than 100,000 new cases, including cases from states that didn't report on the holiday. Hospitalizations hit a new high Thursday -- for the 17th consecutive day -- with more than 90,400 Covid-19 patients nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

The country's death toll since the pandemic's start is now more than 264,000. And nearly another 60,000 people could lose their lives over the next three weeks, according to an ensemble forecast published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week.

The number of daily deaths will likely double in the next 10 days, prolonging a sense of loss and isolation in a season traditionally spent with family and friends.

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