December 1 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Emma Reynolds and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, December 2, 2020
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10:51 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

Japan tops 150,000 Covid-19 cases, record number of people are in intensive care

From CNN's Junko Ogura in Tokyo

Japan surpassed 150,000 Covid-19 cases Wednesday after reporting 2,029 new infections in the past 24 hours, according to the country's Health Ministry.

The nationwide total number of cases now stands at 151,098.

The Health Ministry also added 33 new deaths, bringing the country's death toll to 2,185.

Japan has seen nine straight days of a record-high number of coronavirus patients in intensive care and on respirators, with 493 people on Tuesday, up 21 from the previous day.

Tokyo reported 372 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the capital's total number of infections to 41,311.

Health Minister Norihisa Tamura said on Monday the country is facing "a sense of crisis."

"The number of people in serious condition tends to lag behind new cases. So, the fact that serious ones have increased to nearly 500 means we're facing a sense of crisis," Tamura said.
9:56 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

US nursing home coronavirus cases hit highest peak since the spring, new report shows

From CNN Health’s Lauren Mascarenhas

A resident sits in a wheelchair at an assisted living facility in Boston on September 2, 2020.
A resident sits in a wheelchair at an assisted living facility in Boston on September 2, 2020. Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Nursing homes in the United States recently reported their highest weekly new coronavirus cases since the spring, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) said in a report published Tuesday. The rise correlates with a surge in infections nationwide.

“Our worst fears have come true as COVID runs rampant among the general population, and long term care facilities are powerless to fully prevent it from entering due to its asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL, in a statement.

Nursing homes in the Midwest were particularly hard hit, with a more then 400% increase in weekly cases since mid-September. During the week of Nov. 15, 49% of new nursing home cases were in the Midwest.

Between mid-September and the week of Nov. 15, there was a 177% rise in new weekly nursing home cases nationwide. The rise in cases has been accompanied by a rise in coronavirus deaths in nursing homes.

The report cites data from Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Health experts say that rising community spread of the virus is a good indicator for surges in nursing homes.

“Given the fact that our elderly population is the most vulnerable and the rising level of Covid across the U.S. shows no signs of stopping, it is paramount that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide the highest priority for the vaccine distribution to long term care residents and staff,” Parkinson said.
11:03 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

China has promised millions of coronavirus vaccines to countries globally. And it is ready to deliver them

From CNN's David Culver and Nectar Gan

Inside a gray warehouse at the Shenzhen International Airport in southern China, a row of white chambers sits in a cordoned-off corner, each fitted with a display screen showing the customized temperature inside.

A security worker in face mask, surgical gown and rubber gloves stands guard. Anyone entering this part of the warehouse has to either complete two weeks of quarantine or wear a head-to-toe hazmat suit.

These climate-controlled rooms, totaling an area of 350 square meters (3,767 square feet), are soon to be filled by rows and rows of Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines -- after they receive approval from the country's drug regulators. From there, they'll be loaded onto temperature-controlled compartments of cargo jets and flown to continents around the world.

In the coming months, China will be sending hundreds of millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines to countries that have conducted last-stage trials for its leading candidates. Chinese leaders have also promised a growing list of developing countries priority access to its successful vaccines.

This global campaign presents China an opportunity to repair its image, which was damaged for its initial mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak -- rather than being blamed for the primary spread of the virus it can potentially be esteemed for helping to bring an end to the pandemic.

Read the full story.

7:57 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

US sets record for Covid-19 hospitalizations

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

A medical worker walks outside of the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn on December 1, in New York City.
A medical worker walks outside of the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn on December 1, in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The United States set a record for the number of people currently hospitalized with Covid-19, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

On Tuesday, 98,691 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized, according to CTP. This is the highest number of Covid-19 hospitalizations the nation has ever experienced.

Per CTP, this is more than double the number of hospitalizations reported on Nov. 1, and more than triple the number of hospitalizations reported on Oct. 1.

Today’s count is a more than 60% increase from peaks in the spring and summer, according to CTP data.

According to CTP data, the highest hospitalization numbers are:

  1. Dec. 1: 98,691
  2. Nov. 30: 96,053
  3. Nov. 29: 93,265
  4. Nov. 28: 91,665
  5. Nov. 26: 90,443
7:49 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

Oregon reports highest number of Covid-19 deaths since the pandemic began         

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson

Oregon reported the highest number of deaths in a single day from Covid-19 since the pandemic began, according to a release from the state's Health Authority.

At least 24 deaths from Covid-19 were reported Tuesday, bringing the state's total to 936, according to the state's Heath Authority.

The state recorded 1,233 new cases of Covid-19, both confirmed and presumptive for a total of 76,654 cases, the release said. 

A total of 577 people remain hospitalized, and 111 Covid-19 patients are in intensive care, the release stated. 

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

7:25 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

First shipments of Pfizer vaccine to be delivered on Dec. 15

From CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas and Kristen Holmes

A health worker injects a person during clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine at Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida, on Wednesday, Sept. 9.
A health worker injects a person during clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine at Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida, on Wednesday, Sept. 9. Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The first shipments of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine will be delivered on Dec. 15, according to an Operation Warp Speed document.

The document provided to governors ahead of a call with Vice President Mike Pence and obtained by CNN, also estimates the first shipment of Moderna’s vaccine will be delivered on Dec. 22.

The US Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will meet on Dec. 10 to consider authorizing Pfizer’s vaccine. The document outlines a four-day window between Dec. 11 and Dec. 14 for review by the FDA and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. On Dec. 15, the first doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine will be delivered, according to the outline.

Next, the VRBPAC is scheduled to consider Moderna’s vaccine on Dec. 17. After a four-day review window from Dec. 18 to Dec. 21, the document states that the first shipments of Moderna’s vaccine are estimated to be delivered on Dec. 22.

The document includes a vaccine manufacturing forecast, estimating 22.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 18 million doses of the Moderna vaccine will be manufactured in December.

A list of “essential tasks” is included for governors to complete by Dec. 4, including pre-ordering Pfizer vaccines, enrolling providers in the Covid-19 vaccine program and completing microplans for distribution and administration.

8:17 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

Maine governor is in quarantine after member of protection detail develops Covid-like symptoms

From CNN’s Evan Simko-Bednarski

Maine Gov. Janet Mills speaks at a news conference where she announced new plans for the stay-at-home order and other measures to help combat the coronavirus pandemic, on Tuesday, April 28, in Augusta, Maine.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills speaks at a news conference where she announced new plans for the stay-at-home order and other measures to help combat the coronavirus pandemic, on Tuesday, April 28, in Augusta, Maine. AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced Tuesday that she will begin quarantine after exposure to a member of her protection team believed to have Covid-19.

Mills said in a statement that she has not yet developed any symptoms of the disease.

"I am feeling fine and not experiencing any symptoms whatsoever," Mills said. "But as we have said all along, no one is immune from exposure to this virus.”

A member of Mills' executive protection unit developed Covid-like symptoms Monday, according to the governor's office, and is awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test. The individual was not identified, but Mills' office said that the governor was last in contact with that individual Saturday, when they were both in the same car together.

Mills' office said that both the governor and the member of her protection detail were wearing face masks in the car, and that they were not in the car together for more than 10 minutes.

Mills is scheduled to receive a Covid-19 test on Thursday, and will remain in quarantine until Dec. 12, according to her office.

 

7:06 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

CDC will decrease coronavirus quarantine time

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, informed Vice President Mike Pence and coronavirus task force members on Tuesday that the CDC will soon issue new guidelines reducing the number of days close contacts should quarantine following a suspected exposure, two senior administration officials told CNN.

The new guidelines will recommend close contacts of those infected with coronavirus should quarantine for seven to 10 days after exposure, down from the 14 days currently recommended, the official said. Individuals can end their quarantine after seven days if they receive a negative test, or 10 days without getting tested.

Redfield announced the forthcoming guidelines during a coronavirus task force meeting on Tuesday, the officials said, describing the change as a data-driven decision that has been under review for weeks.

One official said Pence has been pushing the CDC for months to review the guidelines. 

The CDC did not immediately return CNN's request for comment. 

Health experts continued to stress the importance of communicating and implementing mitigation measures to decrease the alarming number of coronavirus cases across the country, the official said. There was no discussion of President Trump getting involved in public messaging around those mitigation measures.

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7:03 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

San Francisco plans new restrictions amid Covid-19 surge

From CNN's Alexandra Meeks

A health care worker administers a test at a Covid-19 testing tent outside a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, on Monday, Nov. 30.
A health care worker administers a test at a Covid-19 testing tent outside a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, on Monday, Nov. 30. David Odisho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Health officials will implement additional rollbacks and restrictions this week to temper the spread of the virus, Public Health Director Grant Colfax said at a news conference Tuesday, warning there is "little time to spare.

"We are going to further reduce the number of people who can gather, especially from multiple households and we will be analyzing the capacity restrictions for indoor shopping and other indoor services," Colfax said. "We are looking at potential travel quarantine orders and some of these orders can be issued as early as tomorrow."

In the past two weeks, San Francisco health officials have taken numerous actions to try and slow the spread by halting indoor dining, closing nonessential businesses, and limiting the capacity at some essential businesses. However, none of these actions have slowed the rate of spread, Colfax said.

As a result, Mayor London Breed said officials are weighing the possibility of closing outdoor dining entirely, a measure that would follow a similar outdoor dining ban that took effect in Los Angeles County last week.

"I want to be clear that unfortunately we can't rule it out," Breed said about halting all outdoor dining. "As soon as we know when or if it happens, we will make sure that we provide as much notification as we can."

In the last three weeks, positive cases in San Francisco have tripled to a higher point than all previous surges in the city, according to latest public health data. On Oct. 22, San Francisco was reporting an average of 34 new cases per day. It is now averaging 140 new cases per day, or about four times more new cases than a month ago.

To date, San Francisco has reported 15,639 total cases and 160 deaths. Covid-19 hospitalizations in the city have doubled over the past 10 days. If this trend continues, the city will experience a hospital bed shortage around Christmas, Colfax warned.

"We are now in the most dangerous periods of this pandemic," Breed added. "We need to do everything we can to stay ahead of our hospitals not being overrun."