NYC Schools to Reopen; California Reaches Record: Virus Update

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New York City public schools will beginreopening on Dec. 7 despite levels of Covid-19 that re-shuttered schools earlier this month. California cases rose to a record, based on a two-week average, after Los Angeles and San Francisco imposed tighter restrictions. Florida neared 1 million infections.

Vaccines are likely to begin rolling out in the U.S. before the end of December, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist,said.

Airlines, laid low by a Covid-19 outbreak that’s decimated passenger demand, will be the workhorses of the attempt toeradicate it, hauling billions of vials to every corner of the globe.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases exceed 62.5 million; deaths near 1.5 million
  • Payrolls in U.S. set totread higher in pandemic slog
  • Covid drugs From Lilly, Regeneronraise concerns over access and timing
  • The pandemic hasbroken shale and left oil markets inOPEC’s hands
  • Decades of gains over U.S. povertyat risk of being wiped out
  • How Covid-19 has turned the spotlight back onobesity: QuickTake

Subscribe to adaily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis teamhere. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

Delaware Outbreak Passes Records (5:56 p.m. NY)

Delaware reported its fourth straight day of cases over 500, as it hit a record average number of infections over seven only days, state data show. The state also reported 211 hospitalizations, a record high. Total cases are now 35,251 and fatalities 770.

Johnson Tries to Win Over U.K. Tories as Covid Revolt Grows (5:33 p.m. NY)

Boris Johnson isbattling to convince his own Conservative Party colleagues to back plans to keep most of England under strict pandemic controls when the national lockdown ends this week.

Johnson wrote to his critics promising concessions in an attempt to persuade them to support the three-tier system of restrictions in a vote on Tuesday, warning that a third national lockdown may be required if the country fails to bring the coronavirus under control.

The prime minister intends to put most of England in the top two tiers of curbs from Dec. 2 to suppress the virus further before loosening the rules in time for families to meet at Christmas.

Florida Nears a Million Cases (5:09 p.m. NY)

Florida is on track to become the third U.S. state to pass 1 million infections, after Texas and California. The state reported 7,363 cases Sunday, for a total 992,660, the Department of Health reported. Another 59 people died, for a total of 18,500 fatalities among residents, the data show.

Cyprus Central Bank Governor Tests Positive (4:26 p.m. NY)

Central Bank of Cyprus Governor Constantinos Herodotou has been tested positive for the Covid-19. “I remain under restriction and will work normally from home, adhering to all relevant protocols,” Herodotou said in a Twitter post.

Airlines Face ‘Mission of the Century’ Distributing Vaccines (4:09 p.m. NY)

Airlines, laid low by a Covid-19 outbreak that’s decimated passenger demand, will be the workhorses of the attempt toeradicate it, hauling billions of vials to every corner of the globe.

“This will be the largest and most complex logistical exercise ever,” said Alexandre de Juniac, chief executive officer of the International Air Transport Association, the industry’s chief lobby. “The world is counting on us.”

California’s Cases Rise, Pushing 14-Day Average to Record (3:22 p.m. NY)

California reported 15,614 new cases, pushing the 14-day average to a record. The total number of infections in the state now stands at almost 1.2 million. Another 32 new deaths were reported, with fatalities at 19,121.

Test positivity reached 6.1%, the highest since the end of August. The state’s two most prominent cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco, imposed new curbs in the past two days as cases surged.

Gottlieb Argues for Shorter Quarantines (2:50 p.m. NY)

Appearing Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Scott Gottlieb said he thought it would be “prudent” if federal health officials reduced the recommended quarantine time from 14 days to 10 or even 7 days for people exposed to those carrying the virus.

Admiral Brett Giroir, an assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, said Nov. 24 that officials are considering shortening that recommendation for people who test negative for the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends people stay home for 14 days after close contact with someone who has Covid-19, even when they feel healthy and test negative.

“What you want are recommendations that are prudent and practical that people are going to follow,” Gottlieb said. “When you have a 14-day quarantine period, that’s such a long period of time that a lot of people aren’t going to follow that anyway.”

A 7-10-day quarantine period, he said, would “capture the vast majority of infections within that time frame. So I think you need to balance the practicality of what you’re recommending with people’s ability and willingness to comply with it.”

France’s Pace of Cases Falls to Lowest in Eight Weeks (2:43 p.m. NY)

France added 9,784 cases, with the seven-day average falling to 11,1182, the lowest since Oct. 2. The rate of positive tests fell to 11.1%, just over half of where it was in early November. The number of patients in intensive care continued to decline from a peak almost two weeks ago. Deaths linked to the virus increased by 198 to 52,325, the smallest daily increase in a month.

New York Positive Rate Rises Above 4% (2:39 p.m. NY)

New York reported 6,723 new cases, down from a spike to over 8,100 two days ago but still at some of the highest levels seen since May. Despite the decline in cases, the state bumped over a 4% positive-test rate for the first time since May. Another 55 people died, the second highest since June. Hospitalizations increased to 3,372.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said he expected the state’s outbreak to get worse in the cold weather and over the holidays. But he repeated that positivity in New York remains among the nation’s lowest.

Though he and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are often at odds, Cuomo praised the mayor’s decision Sunday to begin reopening schools, where the virus is often less widespread than in the surrounding communities.

“It’s literally safer for a child and a teacher to be in a school than in a community,” he said in a conference call with reporters.

NYC Schools to Begin Reopening Despite Virus Level (11:56 a.m. NY)

Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City schools will begin the process of reopening on Dec. 7, despite the 3% positive test rate for Covid-19 he had set for closing the schools.

He said the reopening would begin with pre-kindergarten classes through elementary school. Special education would begin three days later. He said the city “is just not ready” to begin opening middle and high schools.

“There’s less concern about the spread when it comes to younger kids,” de Blasio said in a news conference. “And I feel for all our parents who are feeling so many challenges now.”

He shut the schools on Nov. 19 after the city positive test rate rose above 3%, the level set earlier this year for shuttering schools again.

Italy Outbreak Continues to Slow (11:26 a.m. NY)

Italy reported on Sunday 541 virus deaths on 20,648 new daily cases, in a declining trend compared with the previous day. The number of patients in intensive care units across the country continued to fall for the fourth day, while the total number of hospitalized patients fell for the sixth day.

U.K. Cases, Deaths Moderate (11:17 a.m. NY)

The U.K. reported new cases and deaths that were below the weekly averages as England plans to emerge from a monthlong lockdown on Wednesday. Another 12,155 infections were reported, below the average of more than 16,000 over the past seven days. Deaths rose by 215, less than half the weekly average of 487. Numbers are often lower on the weekends due to reporting delays.

Vaccine in U.S. Likely to Roll Out by Year’s End, Top Doctors Say (9:52 a.m. NY)

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the federal government hopes to quicklyreview and approve requests from two drug makers for emergency approval of their Covid-19 vaccines.

Pfizer Inc. is scheduled to submit an Emergency Use Authorization request on Dec. 10 for the vaccine it developed with Germany’s BioNTech, followed by Moderna on Dec. 18, Adams said.

“We, from a federal perspective, have promised and set everything up so we can quickly review those EUAs and hopefully start sending out vaccines within 24 to 48 hours,” Adams said on “Fox News Sunday.”

On ABC’s “This Week,” the top U.S. infectious diseases specialist Anthony Fauci said vaccines would likely roll out in the middle to end of December. He told Chuck Todd on NBC, however, that “it’s going to be months” for children and pregnant women because vaccine efficacy needs to be established.

German Cases Falling Too Slowly for Christmas, Official Warns (8:40 a.m. NY)

The premier of Germany’s most populous state said cases in the country were falling too slowly, and Christmas celebrations could trigger a new flare up. “So long as we don’t have the vaccine distributed, we need to be careful,” Armin Laschet, leader of the North Rhine-Westphalia region said in an interview with radio station Deutschlandfunk. Laschet also called on Germans not to go skiing this year, even if neighboring Austria decides to keep its resorts open.

U.K. Seeks to Roll Out Vaccination Program By Christmas (7:55 a.m. NY)

The U.K. government hopes to begin rolling out vaccination program before Christmas if regulators arospprove the shots in time, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said. “We hope, subject to the regulatory approvals, to be in a position to be able to have rolled out the vaccine sufficiently by, say, the spring to enable us to have a big change in the way we approach things,” Raab told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.

Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London and a government adviser, said he would be “surprised” if a vaccine becomes available as soon as next week. An announcement that a vaccine has been approved for use could come within the next two weeks, he said.

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson facing a political backlash over strict new coronavirus rules, Openshaw warned the government not to relax pandemic restrictions too soon. “if we take the brakes off at this stage, just when the end is in sight, I think we’ll be making a huge mistake,” he told the BBC

Reported Deaths in Iran Drop to Lowest in a Month (7:05 a.m. NY)

Iran’s daily fatalities from Covid-19 fell for a third day to 389, the lowest single-day death toll in four weeks. The number of daily new cases fell to 12,950 overnight from 13,402 yesterday. The country now has 47,875 deaths in 948,749 known infections.

U.K. to Deploy Army Unit Against Anti-Vaccine Propaganda (6:20 p.m. HK)

A specialist unit of the British Army will be deployed to tackle anti-vaccine propaganda, as Britain prepares to deliver its first injections within days, the Sunday Times reports. Troops are analyzing how British citizens are being targeted online and are gathering evidence of vaccine disinformation from hostile states, including Russia, according to leaked documents seen by the newspaper.

The U.K. has spent 80% more fighting coronavirus compared with the average of other G7 leading economies, according to research by theFinancial Times. Britain is on course for a 90% deeper decline in economic output in 2020 and almost 60% more deaths.

Czech Republic Eases Virus Restrictions as Cases Drop (6:18 p.m. HK)

The Czech Republic willsignificantly ease its lockdown restrictions on Thursday after the spread of the coronavirus slowed in the past two weeks.

The decision, approved at an extraordinary government meeting on Sunday, will allow shops and restaurants to reopen, although limits on the number of customers and opening hours will remain. The cabinet also agreed to scrap the nighttime curfew on Dec. 3.

New Cases in Poland Drops to Lowest in a Month (6:17 p.m. HK)

Poland registered 11,483 new infections in the last 24 hours, the least since Oct. 26, taking the total number of cases in the country of 38 million to 985,075, the Health Ministry said on Sunday. It also reported 283 new deaths, with total Covid-19 fatalities exceeding 17,000. The government, which shut all schools and reduced traffic in shops earlier this month, allowed shopping malls and furniture stores to reopen as of Nov. 28.

— With assistance by Ian Fisher, Sotiris Nikas, Rudy Ruitenberg, Linus Chua, Sara Marley, Veronika Gulyas, Daniele Lepido, Deirdre Hipwell, Naomi Kresge, Colin Keatinge, Christopher Condon, Julia Fioretti, Christopher Jasper, and William Wilkes

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