December 2 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, December 3, 2020
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11:03 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 in a wheelchair at an assisted living facility in Boston, on Sept. 2.
A resident in a wheelchair at an assisted living facility in Boston, on Sept. 2. 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.

8:27 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

US sets record for Covid-19 hospitalizations

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

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
11:04 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 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 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 obtained by CNN on Tuesday.

The document, provided to governors ahead of a call with the Vice President Monday, also estimated the first shipment of Moderna's vaccine will be delivered on Dec. 22.

Those distribution dates are contingent upon a decision by the US Food and Drug Administration to authorize each vaccine for emergency use. Pfizer submitted an application to the FDA on Nov. 20, and Moderna submitted an application on Nov. 30.

The FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, a panel of independent experts, will meet on Dec. 10 to review Pfizer's data and make a recommendation to the FDA about whether to authorize the vaccine.

The document outlined a four-day window between Dec. 11 and Dec. 14 for review by the FDA and CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which makes recommendations about who should receive the vaccine first. 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 stated that the first shipments of Moderna's vaccine are estimated to be delivered on Dec. 22.

The document included a vaccine manufacturing forecast, estimating 22.5 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine and 18 million doses of the Moderna vaccine will be produced in December.

A list of "essential tasks" was 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.

8:21 p.m. ET, December 1, 2020

CDC will decrease coronavirus quarantine time from to 7-10 days

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

The Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, informed Vice President Mike Pence and White House Coronavirus Task Force members on Tuesday that the CDC will soon issue new guidelines reducing the number of days close contacts should quarantine following exposure to a Covid-19 positive individual, two senior administration officials told CNN.

The new guidelines will recommend close contacts of those infected with the 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.

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