November 29 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Brett McKeehan and Eoin McSweeney, CNN

Updated 0559 GMT (1359 HKT) November 30, 2020
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2:37 p.m. ET, November 29, 2020

California reports more than 15,000 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

California reported 15,614 new Covid-19 cases and 32 new deaths on Sunday, bringing the state count to 1,198,934 cases and death toll to 19,121 since the pandemic began, according to figures released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

There were 234,319 new tests reported in the previous 24-hour reporting period, according to CDPH.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate is 6.2%, and the 14 day positivity rate is 6.1%.

2:11 p.m. ET, November 29, 2020

"It’s gonna get worse over the next several weeks," US surgeon general says

From CNN's Leanna Faulk

Healthcare workers are seen at a walk-up Covid-19 testing site, November 24, in San Fernando, California.
Healthcare workers are seen at a walk-up Covid-19 testing site, November 24, in San Fernando, California. Robyn Beck/Getty Images

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said Sunday he expects that the rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations to continue.

“I want to be straight with the American people, it's gonna get worse over the next several weeks,” he said on FOX News Sunday. “The actions that we take in the next several days will determine how bad it is or whether or not we continue to flatten our curve.”

Adams encouraged Americans to continue to wear masks and continue practicing public health measures in order to protect people who are most at risk.

“We are mere weeks away from starting to vaccinate the vulnerable and we can significantly protect people who are at risk for this virus, so hang on just a little bit longer – understand that the science out there has never been stronger to support the wearing of masks,” Adams said. “You shouldn't have to have a mandate to do the right thing, to protect your neighbor, to keep schools open.” 

He added: “Make sure you're washing your hands and make sure again if you've been in a gathering of more than 10 people without your mask on over the last several days, please get tested in the next three to five days.”

 

1:50 p.m. ET, November 29, 2020

US surgeon general says "it’s not too late" to get tested if you gathered for Thanksgiving

From CNN's Leanna Faulk

A nurse prepares to administer a test during a Covid-19 testing and flu shot event at the Tacoma Dome on November 28, in Tacoma, Washington.
A nurse prepares to administer a test during a Covid-19 testing and flu shot event at the Tacoma Dome on November 28, in Tacoma, Washington. David Ryder/Getty Images

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said that people who gathered for Thanksgiving should take measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

“For those who did travel and those who did attend large gatherings, we want you to know it's not too late to take measures to slow the spread of this virus,” he said on Fox News on Sunday.

Adams added: “You can still isolate, you can still get tested in three to five days, you can still take measures that have been proven to help us prevent cases, hospitalizations and deaths.”

1:30 p.m. ET, November 29, 2020

More than 266,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

From CNN’s Kay Jones

Medical staff members tie a tag onto the body bag of a coronavirus victim at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, on November 25.
Medical staff members tie a tag onto the body bag of a coronavirus victim at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, on November 25. Go Nakamura/Getty Images

There have been at least 13,291,126 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 266,357 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University

So far today, Johns Hopkins has reported 46,709 new cases and 310 reported deaths.

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

12:15 p.m. ET, November 29, 2020

Mask mandates are "absolutely key" to keeping schools open, Birx says

From CNN Health’s Leanna Faulk

Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, told CBS’ Margaret Brennan that mask mandates are critical for keeping schools open. 

“Are you asking governors to close the bars to keep schools open, is that your advice?” Brennan asked Birx on “Face the Nation” Sunday. 

“First, what we do know works is mask mandates, mask requirements in states that did those or mayors or counties that did that, we can see a really significant difference in not only cases but hospitalizations and fatalities,” Birx said. “Starting with mask mandates and re-masking requirements – absolutely key.”

Birx also said that the US should close any space where people cannot wear masks.

“The first thing you should do is close spaces where people cannot wear masks and we know where that is,” she said. “That's bars and indoor restaurants – reduce capacity if needed, you may have to even close them.”

 

12:04 p.m. ET, November 29, 2020

Birx says she hopes to begin briefing the Biden team on Monday 

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force told CBS that she hopes to start briefing the Biden-Harris team on Monday.

“Because what’s really critical is we’ve spent that last nine months really developing sophisticated databases that are bringing together information from across the country down to the county level. We can see who’s being admitted, we can see who’s getting sick, we can see where this virus is moving in communities,” she said on "Face the Nation" on Sunday. 

Birx said that the one thing that will be bought to the Biden team in that discussion is to understand how they want to see the data. 

“Data isn’t helpful is it’s not actionable, and each group needs to see it the way it makes them, moves to action,” she said. “That’s why we write the governors report weekly to really ensure every governor understand what we’re seeing and what we think needs to be done.” 

12:15 p.m. ET, November 29, 2020

New York City public schools will begin reopening in-person learning in early December, mayor says

A parent walks their child to school in New York on November 16. New York City public schools grades 3-k, Pre-k, and K-5th grade will begin reopening for in-person learning Dec. 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
A parent walks their child to school in New York on November 16. New York City public schools grades 3-k, Pre-k, and K-5th grade will begin reopening for in-person learning Dec. 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Sarah Blesener/The New York Times/Redux

New York City public schools grades 3-k, Pre-k, and K-5th grade will begin reopening for in-person learning Dec. 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Schools will begin reopening in phases, de Blasio said. 

Students will be tested weekly and parents will be required to sign a consent form for every student that will take in-person classes, de Blasio said.

“It’s less concern about the spread when it comes to younger kids,” de Blasio said.

Nearly 300,000 students are eligible to return to school, according to de Blasio. 

District 75 schools, which provide specialized instruction for students with significant needs, will reopen beginning Dec. 10, de Blasio said

Schools are moving to five-days a week of in-person classes as much as possible, the mayor said.

12:00 p.m. ET, November 29, 2020

White House coronavirus task force member says families who gathered at Thanksgiving should get tested

From CNN's Leanna Faulk

Dr. Deborah Birx speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on November 19.
Dr. Deborah Birx speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on November 19. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

In order to mitigate the spread of the virus, White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx, is encouraging Americans to get tested for Covid-19.

“If you're young and you gathered, you need to be tested about five to 10 days later,” Birz told CBS. “You need to assume that you're infected and not go near your grandparents and aunts and others without a mask.” 

Birx said that people over the age of 65 should get tested immediately if they develop any symptoms. 

“If you're over 65 or you have comorbidities and you gathered at Thanksgiving – if you develop any symptoms, you need to be tested immediately,” Birx said. 

Birx also encouraged families who gathered for Thanksgiving to consider wearing a mask while inside their homes in order to protect their loved ones from possibly contracting the virus.

 

11:45 a.m. ET, November 29, 2020

Maryland reports nearly 2,000 new cases of Covid-19

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Maryland reports 1,999 new cases of Covid-19 and the state has a test positivity rate of 6.53%, according to information on the state’s department of health website. 

The state reported 23 additional deaths on Sunday, the website said. 

To 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 our Covid tracker.