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A second vaccine maker will file for emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after more data from its clinical trial showed its vaccine candidate to be above 94% effective.
Moderna said it expects the FDA's advisory committee to discuss its vaccine on Dec. 17, a week after it meets to discuss Pfizer's.
The good news, however, comes as a stay-at-home order in Los Angeles County, the nation's most populous, begins Monday and runs through Dec. 20.
Ten million residents are being asked to stay home "as much as possible" and prohibited from gathering publicly and privately with people outside of their households, except for religious services and protests.
The order goes into effect a day after California reported more than 7,400 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, the highest number during the pandemic.
Here's what to know Monday:
By the end of June 2021, 100% of Americans who want a COVID vaccine will have it at that time, Lt. Gen. Paul A. Ostrowski of Operation Warp Speed told MSNBC Monday afternoon, according to a tweet from NBC News reporter Gary Grumbach. "We'll have over 300 million doses available to the American public before then," Ostrowski said.
New York City's public schools will start offering in-person classes on Dec. 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday, changing course after closing them just weeks ago.
A CDC panel is scheduled to meet Tuesday to vote on who will have access to the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
📈 Today's numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 13.5 million cases and over 268,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 63.1 million cases and 1.46 million deaths.
🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.
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Nevada COVID-19 surge threatens hospital capacity statewide
Nevada health officials reported 1,642 new coronavirus cases and eight additional deaths on Monday, warning that the statewide surge shows few signs of slowing as the deadliest month of the pandemic comes to a close.
Nevada has reported 152,169 confirmed cases and 2,144 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Officials said the positivity rate, as measured by dividing new cases reported over the last 14 days by test encounters, had reached a record-high of 17.3% on Monday. Hospitalizations also peaked with 1,545 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment.
Throughout the state, 76% of staffed hospital beds are occupied. In southern Nye County, all 25 staffed beds are occupied and in northern Churchill County, the hospital has 30 patients but only 28 beds.
Healthcare facilities in northern Nevada “are now showing signs of serious strain,” the Nevada Hospital Association wrote in a daily bulletin.
St. Louis area in ‘crisis mode’ as virus surges
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page warned area residents Monday that the county is in “crisis mode” as COVID-19 cases keep rising and hospitals strain to treat new patients.
Page said area hospitals could run out of intensive care beds sometime this week and the National Guard could be asked to help with response to the pandemic.
“We are in a crisis mode and the virus is winning,” Page said.
On Sunday, the St. Louis region had 994 COVID-19 hospitalizations, with an average of 660 new cases per day. Area hospitals were using 77% of the total staffed beds and 89% of their intensive care beds, according to the St. Louis County Department of Public Health.
Statewide, Missouri reported 2,498 COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Friday, with 27% of inpatient beds still available, the latest hospitalization data available on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.
San Francisco 49ers to play 2 'home' games in Arizona
The San Francisco 49ers will play two home games at the Arizona Cardinals' State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, after Santa Clara County in California issued a three-week ban on contact sports.
The 49ers will host the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 7 and the Washington Football Team on Dec. 13, the team announced in a release.
“The Cardinals organization, State Farm Stadium and League officials have been supportive and accommodating as we work through the many logistical issues involved in relocating NFL games,” the 49ers said.
Santa Clara County announced new rules Saturday that include a three-week ban on practices and games for contact sports starting Monday.
The team also has one remaining home game: a Week 17 date with the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 3. It is unclear whether the 49ers will be able to host that game in Santa Clara.
– Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY, and the Associated Press
CDC panel to meet on vaccine prioritization
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention panel is scheduled to meet Tuesday to vote on how to allocate the first supplies of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The meeting on who gets the first doses comes as at least two vaccine makers have filed for emergency use authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The chairman of the CDC's Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices, Dr. Jose Romero, told CNN the group was meeting to ready their recommendation on who gets the first shots before the FDA authorizes any vaccine candidate.
When a vaccine is available, it will be in short supply and rationed by the federal government. Front-line health care workers are expected to be among the first people to get vaccinated.
Rhode Island hospitals are at capacity
Hospitals in Rhode Island reached capacity Monday, forcing the state to rely on field hospitals to treat patients sick with COVID-19.
An emergency alert sent to phones across the state Monday morning read, "Hospitals at capacity due to COVID. Help the frontline by staying home as much as possible for the next two weeks."
The state built two field hospitals to meet the demand for beds; one is in Cranston and the other is at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.
Rhode Island also entered a two-week statewide pause on Monday, closing bars and gyms and limiting social and religious gatherings, indoor dining and retail businesses.
– Jack Perry, The Providence Journal
UK expected to authorize Pfizer vaccine use 'within days,' reports say
The U.K.'s National Health Service is expected to OK the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, The Guardian and Telegraph reported.
The Telegraph, citing unnamed sources, reported Monday that the vaccine could get regulatory approval this week and that hospitals have "been told to be ready to deploy a vaccine from as early as Wednesday." The Guardian, also citing unnamed hospital sources, reported Friday that authorization was expected "within days," and hospitals could receive their first doses as soon as Dec. 7.
In the U.S., an FDA advisory committee is expected to meet in early December to discuss Pfizer's and its German collaborator BioNTech's vaccine, and authorization is expected to a few days after.
Vaccine prospects may already be boosting spending, economy
Stan Novak, of Valencia, California, has been hunkering down this year, spending little beyond the bare essentials. But after a flurry of positive news reports this month about COVID-19 vaccines, Novak ventured out to department stores on a recent weekend and splurged on new sneakers, sports and T-shirts, and a tablet.
“I felt better about everything,” Novak, 75, said. Prospects around the vaccine candidates already seem to be providing at least a modest lift to consumer and business confidence and spending – and the broader economy – amid an otherwise bleak winter outlook.
“I think people are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and they’re starting to let loose the reins of consumption,” says Jacob Oubina, senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets.
– Paul Davidson
No surprise: 'Pandemic' is Merriam-Webster's word of the year
In what a Merriam-Webster editor admitted "probably isn't a big shock," "pandemic" was dubbed the word of the year in 2020, the popular dictionary company announced Monday.
“Often the big news story has a technical word that's associated with it and in this case, the word pandemic is not just technical but has become general. It's probably the word by which we'll refer to this period in the future,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster.
Searches for "pandemic" started to tick up in January and spiked in February, Merriam-Webster said. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, causing the a 115,806% spike in lookups compared to 2019.
Police: 400 people at illegal 'club' in New York City
Police in New York City busted an illegal party over the weekend where around 400 people gathered in violation of city and state limits on gatherings amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Four people were charged for organizing the Manhattan event early Saturday, including operating a "bottle club" without a liquor license, the New York City Sheriff's Office tweeted.
England cases dropped by 30% in lockdown, study says
COVID-19 cases in England have dropped roughly 30% since entering its second national lockdown, a new study says.
Since England entered its second lockdown more than three weeks ago, the infection rate has dropped down to around 1% after it had been around 1.3% before the lockdown, the study says.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson instituted the new lockdown order earlier this month, closing all nonessential businesses, bars and restaurants. The restrictions are set to end at the beginning of December and be replaced with a regional tiered system of restrictions.
NYC drops COVID testing benchmark, will begin reopening schools
New York City's public schools will start offering in-person classes on Dec. 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday. Most preschool, 3-K programs and elementary schools are expected to start that date, followed by schools that provide special education on Dec. 10. No date was revealed for middle and high school classes.
Hybrid learning was shut down Nov. 19 after the citywide rate of coronavirus tests exceeded a 3% benchmark agreed to by the mayor and the teachers' union.
The mayor said the benchmark will be scrapped in favor of a focus on testing at schools. The city will also move toward providing in-person classes five days per week and phase out the hybrid model for the 1.1 million-student district, the mayor said.
"We are convinced we can keep schools safe and do it in a sustainable manner," de Blasio said. "This will be the model for the duration. This will take us through until we have a vaccine."
– John Bacon
Oregon nurse placed on leave after TikTok video
An oncology nurse in Oregon has been placed on administrative leave after posting a video on social media showing disregard for COVID-19 restrictions.
In the video, uploaded Friday to TikTok, the nurse, identified by Salem Health hospital officials as Ashley Grames, says she doesn't wear a mask in public outside of work, continues to travel and allows her children to have playdates.
An investigation is pending while Grames is on leave. Salem Health officials addressed the video on Facebook, calling it a "cavalier disregard for the seriousness of the pandemic."
– Virginia Barreda, Salem Statesman Journal
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Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID news: Moderna vaccine FDA; Pfizer vaccine; UK; Merriam-Webster