Fri, 12/04/2020 – 14:42
- Bahrain second country to approve COVID vax
- Moderna CEO says 500MM doses likely next year
- More than 10 states broke COVID records yesterday
- Pennsylvania reports more than 11K new cases as outbreak surges
- CCP official claims 600MM vaccine doses are ready to go
- New York hospitalizations top 4K
- Texas reports 4th-straight day of 10K+ new cases
- Delaware issues stay home advisory
- Colo. warns of more than 4.4K COVID deaths this month
- Norway says residents in nursing homes being given vaccine priority
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Update (1540ET): The CDC is again changing up its mask guidelines despite the fact that the “science” is increasingly suggesting that they’re not very effective at preventing the spread of the virus. This time, it’s asking all Americans to wear a mask whenever they’re indoors, outside their own homes.
So, any visits with friends, family, any visits to the store – anywhere they will be indoors – masks should be warn, according to the CDC.
Americans should be wearing a mask indoors whenever they’re outside their own home, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending for the first time as COVID-19 surges across the country.
The new recommendation comes as CDC head Dr. Robert Redfield warns that worsening COVID outbreaks in the months of January and February could create the worst public health crisis we have ever seen.
The recommendation on mask-wearing in all indoor sites came in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report, which cited a high-level transmission of the virus as the ongoing holiday season and colder weather have driven more people indoors.
“Consistent and correct use of face masks is a public health strategy critical to reducing respiratory transmission” of Covid-19, the report stated, adding that this was particularly important “in light of estimates that approximately one half of new infections are transmitted by persons who have no symptoms.”
Face masks are most important in indoor spaces, the advisory said, and outdoors when six feet of separation can’t be maintained. Within households, face masks should also be used when a member is infected or has had recent potential Covid-19 exposure, according to the CDC guidance.
In other news, after Gov Gavin Newsom rolled out new COVID-19 restrictions earlier this week that will likely soon impact the entire state of California as 4 of the state’s 5 ‘zones’ were near their tipping points to trigger the new measures, one local ABC affiliate is reporting that five Bay Area counties are working together to announce tigher restrictions locally as well, ABC News reports.
Five Bay Area counties are coming together to announce tighter restrictions ahead of the state’s planned regional stay-at-home order, multiple sources tell ABC7 News.
Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and the City of Berkeley (which has its own public health department) are holding a press conference at 1 p.m. today. We’ll be streaming the press conference live; check back to watch and read updates.
The six health officers are reportedly planning to move ahead of the state’s timeline, which is to trigger a new, modified stay-at-home order once ICU capacity in a certain region reaches 15%. These health officers believe that at that point, stricter action may be too late, our sources say, and these new restrictions will take effect Sunday.
It’s not yet clear whether these five counties plan to move ahead with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s full proposed restrictions, or if they will only implement some of them.
It’s unclear whether they will also follow the governor’s restrictions, but it looks like pretty soon Bay Area residents will join LA residents in facing even harsher lockdown conditions than the rest of the state.
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Update (1430ET): The tiny gulf state of Bahrain has officially become the second country in the world to grant approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. The NHRA, Bahrain’s national health authority, said vaccines would initially be used on “high risk groups” though it’s unclear how much supply the country has access too, as Bahrain didn’t say how many vaccine doses it has purchased.
“Bahrain has approved the of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that will be used for high-risk groups,” Bahrain’s National Health Regulatory Authority said.
Of course, as Al Jazeera points out, Bahrain’s hot climate will make it difficult to transfer and store Pfizer’s vaccine, which must be stored at extremely cold temperatures.
The UK became the first country earlier this week, a move that was criticized by some as rushed.
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Update (1215ET): One day after Pfizer cut its 2020 vaccine delivery target, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel is saying that Moderna is ‘very comfortable’ with the idea that it will deliver 500MM vaccines in 2021…but to reach 1BN, it will need more resources.
- MODERNA SAYS 1B DOSES IN 2021 WOULD NEED MORE RESOURCES: RTRS
- MODERNA VERY COMFORTABLE IT WILL REACH 500M DOSES IN 2021: RTRS
Pfizer left its 2021 target unchanged, but dropped its 2020 target by 50%. Today, the company said it’s nearly done manufacturing enough doses to meet the new 2020 target.
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Friday marks the end of what has been a brutal week for the US COVID-19 outbreak, with lockdowns imposed by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, followed by California Gov Gavin Newsom’s decision to ratchet up restrictions in four out of five of the official regions (the Bay Area apparently being the lone exception).
Then yesterday, just minutes before the close, Pfizer dropped an unsettling warning about issues with raw materials that cut its delivery target for year-end by 50%.
According to the COVID-19 Tracking Project, the headline number for new daily cases came in at 163k on Thursday, which is slightly lower but roughly in line with the record numbers seen earlier this week.
More than 10 states broke their daily records yesterday, according to the CTP: AK, AR, AZ, DE, IN, MA, ME, NJ, PA, RI, and VT. CTP clarified that while AZ appears to show a higher daily count on Dec. 1, that was actually due to a data backlog from the Thanksgiving holiday week.
Pennsylvania has officially joined the camp of states that are nearing a ‘tipping point’ in terms of the rapidly surging numbers, after reporting 11,406 cases yesterday.
As we wait for Friday’s numbers, which will likely confirm that the past week has been the worst week yet for the US as we near the harsh winter months, expected to trigger what CDC Director Robert Redfield has warned could be the worst health crisis ever.
Outside of the US, the biggest story on Friday appears to be news out of China that the CCP already has 600 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines ready to go. A top CCP official tasked with overseeing China’s vaccination programs offered up the claim during comments to the press on Friday. Remember: Since each patient needs two doses, that would be enough to vaccinate 300 million people, less than a quarter of China’s population. China has already admitted to vaccinating at least 1 million individuals under its “emergency” authorization, pushing international scientific standards to new extremes.
Here’s a roundup of COVID-19 news from overnight:
- New York’s hospitalizations topped 4,000 for the first time since May (Sources: Newswires).
- Texas saw its fourth straight day of 10K+ new virus cases, the longest streak since the peak of the initial outbreak in July (Source: Johns Hopkins).
- Delaware issued a stay-at-home advisory, halting in-person learning at schools, prohibiting winter sports competitions and requiring people to wear masks indoors if mixing with another household.
- Colorado said the virus could kill as many as 4,400 in the state this month (Source: Newswires).
- A Glaxo-backed vaccine showed strong immune response in an early trial (Source: Newswires).
- Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike asked citizens to avoid unnecessary outings and refrain from venturing out as much as possible to help stanch a new surge in coronavirus infections (Source: Bloomberg).
- Residents in nursing homes will be given priority when vaccinations start, Health and Care Services Minister Bent Hoie says in a press conference in Oslo.
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Author: Tyler Durden