Coronavirus News Update – Nov. 10: N.Y. Moves Closer to Second Wave, Biden Forms Virus Taskforce

By Anna Breuer on 10 November 2020
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People in New York dining outdoors earlier in the week

Coronavirus cases surpassed the ten million mark in the United States and 50 million on a global basis. New cases in the United States exceeded 100,000 for the fifth day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.  On Saturday, that figure was 128,000, an all-time high.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city was dangerously close to a second wave of the coronavirus, with over 1,000 new daily cases in recent days.  The spike could mean new restrictions including shutting down indoor dining and, if the seven-day average of the positivity rate climbs above 3%, a shutdown of many non-essential shops and businesses.

President-elect Joseph Biden announced a coronavirus task force with member that include former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who will serve as chairman, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler, and Yale University’s Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, as well as Dr. Rick Bright, a whistleblower who alleged that his early warnings to the Trump Administration about the pandemic were ignored. Bright was ultimately removed from his position.

Pfizer reported that its coronavirus vaccine was shown in an early analysis to be more than 90% effective in protecting people from Covid-19, the company said.  The news was a much-better-than-anticipated result that brings the vaccine closer to obtaining clearance for general use.

The secretary for housing and urban development, Ben Carson, tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the White House East Wing election-night watch party, which had over 400 people present. The president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, also contracted the virus.

Research funded by the National Institutes of Health found that a nasal spray that blocks the coronavirus from invading cells appeared to protect ferrets from contracting the virus. Ferrets contract the virus in a manner similar to humans.

The country club on Long Island that hosted a super-spreader event wedding with 113 guests, more than double what is allowed under current New York State pandemic restrictions, had its liquor license pulled by the state.  Thirty guests tested positive after the event, as did three employees of the North Fork Country Club and one vendor at the wedding.  At least 159 people were exposed to the virus and had to self-quarantine, resulting in the shutdown of several local schools. Governor Andrew Cuomo said that what the country club did was “obnoxious and irresponsible, not to mention illegal.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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