December 6 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Jenni Marsh and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, December 7, 2020
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3:14 p.m. ET, December 6, 2020

California reports more than 30,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Hollie Silverman and Chuck Johnston

A healthcare worker administers a nasal swab at a Covid-19 testing site in San Francisco, California, on December 1.
A healthcare worker administers a nasal swab at a Covid-19 testing site in San Francisco, California, on December 1. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

More than 30,000 new Covid-19 cases were reported in California Sunday, the highest number of new daily cases ever recorded in the state. 

The 30,075 new cases reported Sunday bring the statewide total to 1,341,700 cases since the pandemic began, according to the California Public Health Department Covid-19 dashboard.

The state also reported 85 new deaths Sunday for a total of 19,876 deaths. 

Hospitalizations are also at an all time high, with 10,624 Covid-19 patients, which is an increase of 338 patients since yesterday, the website showed.

There are 1,567 intensive care unit beds that remain available, according to the website. 

Several regions have reported low ICU bed availability, with the San Joaquin Valley region only having 6.6% of beds available and the Southern California region having 10.3% available, the state's stay at home order website said.

2:05 p.m. ET, December 6, 2020

Daily Covid-19 cases in North Carolina hit record high

From CNN's Melissa Alonso   

North Carolina health officials reported a record 6,438 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).   

This marks the most Covid-19 cases reported in a single day and surpasses the record set Saturday when 6,018 cases were reported, NCDHHS data showed.   

NCDDHS also reported 27 additional Covid-19 deaths on Sunday.  

There are now a total of 394,880 coronavirus cases and 5,543 deaths in North Carolina, NCDHHS reported.   

To note: These numbers were released by the state's public health agency and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project. 

3:04 p.m. ET, December 6, 2020

More than 281,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

From CNN's Hollie Silverman   

Medical staff members close the zipper of a body bag containing a deceased Covid-19 patient in the intensive care unit of United Memorial Medical Center on November 25 in Houston, Texas.
Medical staff members close the zipper of a body bag containing a deceased Covid-19 patient in the intensive care unit of United Memorial Medical Center on November 25 in Houston, Texas. Go Nakamura/Getty Images

There are at least 14,634,911 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 281,513 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As of Sunday afternoon, 53,574 new cases and 327 new deaths have been reported in the US since midnight. The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.

More than one million cases were reported in the US within the first five days of December and the last four out of five days saw more than 200,000 new daily Covid-19 cases. 

The last five days also saw the highest hospitalization numbers nationwide since the pandemic began.

1:09 p.m. ET, December 6, 2020

South Carolina reports more than 2,000 new Covid-19 cases 

From CNN's Melissa Alonso    

South Carolina health officials reported 2,587 new probable and confirmed Covid-19 cases on Sunday, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).   

This marks the fourth consecutive day the state reports more than 2,000 cases, CNN's tally showed.  

On Saturday, DHEC reported a record 2,807 additional probable and confirmed Covid-19 cases, CNN reported.  

The total number of probable and confirmed cases in South Carolina stands at 232,099, DHEC data showed.  

The state's current percent positive rate stands at 21.2%, not including antibody tests, DHEC reported. 

 

3:10 p.m. ET, December 6, 2020

Italy surpasses 60,000 Covid-19 deaths

From CNN's Mia Alberti

Health care personnel transport a deceased patient in an intensive care unit on November 18 in Palermo, Italy.
Health care personnel transport a deceased patient in an intensive care unit on November 18 in Palermo, Italy. Lorenzo Palizzolo/Getty Images

Italy has recorded a total of 60,078 Covid-19 deaths, after the country registered an additional 564 deaths on Sunday, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

Italy now has the sixth highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world, according to John Hopkins University.

The country also recorded 18,887 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 1,728,878.

11:32 a.m. ET, December 6, 2020

New Jersey reports more than 6,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Laura Ly

Healthcare workers administer Covid-19 tests at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey on December 3.
Healthcare workers administer Covid-19 tests at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey on December 3. David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

New Jersey reported 6,046 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, marking a new record for the highest new daily case count for the state since the pandemic began, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.

The previous all-time high was recorded on Friday. To date, New Jersey has reported 368,016 total cases of Covid-19, state data showed.

The deaths of 16 more New Jersey residents due to Covid-19 was announced on Sunday, bringing the state’s death toll to 15,485.

There are currently 3,214 hospitalizations with 622 patients in intensive care, according to the state’s Covid-19 data dashboard.

To note: These numbers were released by the state of New Jersey, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

10:50 a.m. ET, December 6, 2020

Democratic senator says there could be a stimulus agreement "as early as tomorrow"

From CNN's Lindy Royce 

Sen. Mark Warner speaks alongside a bipartisan group of Democrat and Republican members of Congress on Capitol Hill on December 1 in Washington, DC.
Sen. Mark Warner speaks alongside a bipartisan group of Democrat and Republican members of Congress on Capitol Hill on December 1 in Washington, DC. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, told CNN there could be an agreement on a stimulus bill as early as Monday. 

Warner, who is part of a bipartisan group of eight senators hashing out a compromise on a stimulus bill, said they are close to an agreement.  

“I think we have got the top line numbers done. We are working right now on language so that we can have – as early as tomorrow – a piece of legislation," he said.

The Democratic Senator from Virginia says it will be a four-month emergency relief package with a $908 billion price tag.  

The agreement “will give targeted relief for the unemployed; for people in food insecurity; rental assistance; small businesses that have run out of their PP funds and additional funds to those minority businesses that have been extraordinarily hit hard,” Warner said.

“We put additional assistance in finally for broadband, which we all know is an academic necessity and additional dollars around the vaccine distribution; assistance for hospitals," he added.

Warner predicts, despite the fact that neither Republicans nor Democrats are getting everything they would like in the bill, there will be enough votes to support passage of the measure. 

“I have pretty high assurance that it would get way beyond 60 votes," he said.

10:56 a.m. ET, December 6, 2020

Scientific advisor hopes for a significant decrease in mortality in the elderly by end of January  

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific advisor for Operation Warp Speed, speaks with CNN on Sunday, December 6.
Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific advisor for Operation Warp Speed, speaks with CNN on Sunday, December 6. CNN

Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific advisor for Operation Warp Speed, told CNN on Sunday that he is hopeful that by the end of January, there should be a “quite significant” decrease in morbidity and mortality associate with the elderly population.  

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its advisory committee, ACIP, have recommended that the vaccine be used in health care workers and those in long term care facilities, Slaoui said, adding that, unfortunately, about 40 to 50% of deaths are happening in the elderly population in care homes. 

“We should be able to have immunized that full population, and the healthcare workers that take care of them by the end of the month of December or by the middle of the month of January,” he said. 

The vaccine efficacy as it has been seen, he said, “actually starts reasonably quickly” after the first dose and is then maintained further with the second dose. 

“Therefore I’m hopeful that by the end of the month of January, we should already see quite a significant decrease in the mortality and severe morbidity associated in the elderly population” said Slaoui. 

He added that there are many other people who have comorbidities that live outside these facilities and that it will take more time to immunize them. 

“By the month, the middle of the month of March, we should have really covered most of the highly susceptible population, about 100 million people,” Slaoui said.

10:04 a.m. ET, December 6, 2020

Operation Warp Speed official praises Biden's plan for Americans to mask up for 100 days

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific advisor for Operation Warp Speed, told CNN that he thinks President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to ask all Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days in office is a good idea. 

“I think it’s a good idea, it’s never too late,” Slaoui said. “This pandemic is ravaging the country.”

Slaoui said that everyone needs to take precautions, wear masks, wash their hands, keep their distance and “remain aware that this virus is a killer.”  

“We have a vaccine, there is light at the end of the tunnel but we will not all have the vaccine in our arms before May or June so we need to be very cautious and vigilant,” he added.

More background: Biden told CNN on Thursday that he will ask Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days after he takes office, in a sign of how Biden's approach to the virus will be dramatically different from President Trump's response.

"Just 100 days to mask, not forever. One hundred days. And I think we'll see a significant reduction," Biden said Thursday.