December 5 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brett McKeehan and Eoin McSweeney, CNN

Updated 0546 GMT (1346 HKT) December 6, 2020
25 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
3:18 p.m. ET, December 5, 2020

California reports more than 25,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

California has reported a new record high of 25,068 new coronavirus cases on Saturday.

The state also reported that an additional 325 Covid-19 patients are hospitalized. That brings the statewide total to 10,273 people across the state in hospitals.

There are 209 new deaths reported as well today. The state total is now 19,791 deaths.

The statewide 14- day positivity rate has jumped to 7.6%.

3:46 p.m. ET, December 5, 2020

Dr. Sanjay Gupta fact-checks coronavirus vaccine myths

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt


One of the challenges with a Covid-19 vaccine is debunking misinformation that comes along with it.

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta has cleared up some common misconceptions:

The platform for the vaccine was designed in two days. Isn't that too rushed? 

“It's remarkable how fast the vaccine was developed. But it was more like taking the code, the genetic code, and plucking out a piece of that code that will be used to make the vaccine,” Gupta explained.

He also noted that research on the technology for mRNA vaccines began decades ago.

“A lot of the scientific development around this has been ongoing for some time," he said.

Do I need the vaccine if I’ve had Covid-19?

You should still get a vaccine even if you’ve been infected with the coronavirus, Gupta said.

While you likely did develop antibodies, “we don't know how long that sort of protection lasts,” he said. 

Will getting a Covid-19 vaccine infect me with the virus?

You are not actually receiving any of the coronavirus with this vaccine, Gupta said. 

“In this case, you're just giving the genetic code for a portion of the virus. As a result, you're not actually giving any virus — certainly no live virus at all in the vaccine — and you really can't get infected,” he said. 


1:09 p.m. ET, December 5, 2020

Pennsylvania breaks daily Covid-19 case count record again

From CNN’s Taylor Romine

A healthcare worker administers a Covid-19 test at the William Penn Highway Park & Ride on December 2 in Easton, Pennsylvania.
A healthcare worker administers a Covid-19 test at the William Penn Highway Park & Ride on December 2 in Easton, Pennsylvania. Matt Smith/Shutterstock

Pennsylvania has reported another record day of new Covid-19 cases, recording 12,884 additional cases, according to the state's health department.

This is the highest daily increase of Covid-19 cases in the state since the pandemic started, breaking Friday’s record of 11,763 cases. To date, 411,484 cases have been recorded in Pennsylvania.

The state is also reporting an additional 149 deaths, bringing the state’s Covid-19 death toll to 11,262.

The statewide positivity rate was recorded at 14.4% from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3, the health department said. 

To 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.

12:06 p.m. ET, December 5, 2020

Vaccine scientist says Americans should not wait to get the Covid-19 vaccine once it's available to them

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Dr. Peter Hotez speaks with CNN on Saturday, December 5.
Dr. Peter Hotez speaks with CNN on Saturday, December 5. CNN

Dr. Peter Hotez, dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said that Americans should get the coronavirus vaccine once it is made available to them. 

Through studies with the City University of New York, he said that 70-80% of the population would need to be vaccinated for it to be effective in society as a whole.

While scientists do not know how long the timeframe of a vaccine’s protection will be, Hotez said not to let that delay you.  

“Get the vaccine, and if later on, if it turns out that the length of protection is not very long, we can get a third dose of the vaccine or possibly boost it with another vaccine. Right now, focus on saving your life, because these vaccines will keep you out of the hospital and the ICU,” Hotez told CNN.

Hotez also said that people should wear masks even after they get vaccinated. 

“There's still going to be a lot of virus circulating, and so people still could be shedding virus,” he said. "People will still need face masks and social distancing for a period of time. But with every passing month, as more and more of the US population gets vaccinated, things will be better.”


11:50 a.m. ET, December 5, 2020

Russia Covid-19 cases hit new daily record

From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina

Russia reported 28,782 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, the highest number of cases it has ever reported in a single day, according to data from the country’s coronavirus response center.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Russia as of Dec. 5 is 2,431,731. 

The country reported 508 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall official toll to 42,684. 

Russia’s counting methods of Covid-19 deaths have been questioned by independent observers and demographers with CNN previously reporting the numbers could be vastly understated. 

On vaccines: Vaccination centers across Moscow started to distribute Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine on Saturday.  

The vaccine, developed by Russian scientists, still hasn't completed Phase 3 of human trials. 

"Civil vaccination has started at 70 points in Moscow today. We work from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week," Natalya Nikolaevna Kuzenkova, chief doctor of Moscow's Hospital 68, told CNN. 

"Since our hospital took part in the post-registration trials, this vaccine is not new for us. We have vaccinated a fairly large number of the population during these studies, and all of our doctors and nurses know how to work with this vaccine," she said.

11:04 a.m. ET, December 5, 2020

Southern California region could face stay-at-home order due to strain on health care system

From CNN’s Alta Spells

Pedestrians cross a street in downtown Los Angeles, on Thursday, December 3.
Pedestrians cross a street in downtown Los Angeles, on Thursday, December 3. David Swanson/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Southern California counties could face a stay-at-home order after the percentage of available intensive care unit beds in the region dropped below 15%, the threshold set by new measure announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this week. 

On Friday night, the percentage of available ICU beds in the Southern California region dropped to 13.1%, according to data released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Newsom divided California into five regions in order to best monitor and regulate Covid-19 in the state: Northern California, Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.

The Southern California Region includes 11 counties: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. 

The new Regional Stay Home Order, which is aimed at stopping the Covid-19 surge and preventing overwhelming regional ICU capacity in the state, "prohibits private gatherings of any size, closes sector operations except for critical infrastructure and retail, and requires 100% masking and physical distancing in all others," among other things according to the order.

9:26 a.m. ET, December 5, 2020

NFL charging ahead with Super Bowl dreams as Covid-19 threatens to derail path to Tampa

From CNN's Calum Trenaman

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III rushes the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III rushes the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire / USA Today Sports

Super Bowl LV is scheduled to take place in Tampa, Florida on Feb. 7, but right now the NFL's path threatens to be derailed by a global pandemic running wild in the US.

According to Johns Hopkins University's tally, there have been over 14 million cases of coronavirus in the US and more than 270,000 people have died.

An update from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) on Friday projected more than 500,000 Americans could die from the coronavirus by April.

Every loss has a ripple effect, devastating families and communities.

Professional sports leagues, including the NFL, have had to make tough choices, balancing the need to keep their players safe and bring in revenue.

"It's not about whether or not guys want to play," said Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III this week after Wednesday's 19-14 defeat by the Pittsburgh Steelers. "It's about whether or not our safety is actually being taken into account. I can't say much more than that."

Read more:

8:42 a.m. ET, December 5, 2020

Kansas man pens powerful obituary after losing father to Covid-19

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

Courtney Farr says one of the hardest parts of losing his father to Covid-19 earlier this week was knowing he wasn't surrounded by his loved ones in his last moments.

"When my mother passed away about two years ago, I was able to sit with her ... and I was able to hold her hand and caress her face, I was able to be present with her," Farr told CNN Friday night. "And I was able to comfort her the same way that she had comforted me so many times in my life.

"With my father, we couldn't do that, because he was in isolation," Farr said.

He says his family was able to say goodbye to his father, Marvin James Farr, virtually, the morning before he died.

"I'm glad I got to see him one last time, to tell him how much I loved him, how much he mattered to me. But in that moment, what you want to be able to do is you want to be able to reach out and hold his hand, to touch him, to spend as much time with him as you can."

Farr's story echoes the experiences of thousands of other families across the US who have had to say a final goodbye to parents, siblings and other family members through a device because of Covid-19 isolation protocols.

Read more:

8:16 a.m. ET, December 5, 2020

As hospitals start to max out, medical workers beg officials for new Covid-19 mandates

From CNN's Holly Yan

Dr. Cleavon Gilman wants a temporary stay-at-home order. Without it, he says, "the virus will implement its own shutdown."
Dr. Cleavon Gilman wants a temporary stay-at-home order. Without it, he says, "the virus will implement its own shutdown." Dr. Cleavon Gilman

Across the US, the numbers of daily Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths just reached all-time highs.

And the crisis is only going to get worse.

"The reality is, December and January and February are going to be rough times," said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Cleavon Gilman served in the Iraq War, but he said that doesn't compare to the battle he's fighting as an emergency room physician in Arizona.

"This pandemic is a lot worse than being in Iraq just because when you're in a war zone, you can leave that war zone. You can fly out of Iraq; you're OK here in the United States," the Yuma doctor said.

Now Gilman and other health care workers are pleading for more public safety rules -- such as mask mandates or stay-at-home orders -- to prevent hospitals from bursting past capacity.

"You can't overwhelm a hospital and expect that care is not going to be compromised as a result," Gilman said.

Read more: