Gov. Gavin Newsom of California was quarantined, along with his family, after three of the governor's children were exposed to a state highway patrol officer who later tested positive for the coronavirus.
The entire governor's family – Mr. Newsom; his partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom; and his four children tested negative for the virus Sunday, but will still be separated from others for two weeks, according to state guidelines, his office said.
"We are grateful for all the officers who keep our family safe and for each frontline worker who continues to go to work during this pandemic," the governor said on Twitter.
The Newsoms learned of the exhibit Friday night, the governor's office said. The whole family waited until Sunday to get tested to reduce the likelihood of a false negative result (it can take time for the virus to reach detectable levels after infection). The governor and his partner did not come into direct contact with the officer.
One of Newsom's children was already in quarantine after a classmate tested positive, Politico reported Friday. The governor has been criticized for sending his children back to the classrooms of his private schools, while many public schools in the state remained closed and most families had to adjust to learning at home.
Mr. Newsom has also faced outrage over his recent decision to attend a birthday dinner at a restaurant in the Napa Valley with members of several other households.
With infections and hospitalizations each increasing at an alarming rate in the state, officials announced a curfew last week, and some counties and the state have reimposed sweeping restrictions that they had gradually lifted.
According to a New York Times database, the state has reported an average of 11,802 new cases per day in the past week, a sharp increase from a month ago. The figure exceeds the state's previous peak of just over 10,000 new cases per day at the end of July.
The curfew prohibits almost all Californians from being out of their homes after 10 p.m. until 5 am, except for essential purposes, and is scheduled to last until December 21.
In Los Angeles County, where the indoor dining room has been closed for months and virus cases continue to rise, health officials took an extra step Sunday to close the outdoor dining room "to reduce the possibility of overcrowding and exposure potential ". That order goes into effect on Wednesday, just before Thanksgiving.
An expert committee charged with deciding which Americans should be first in line for a coronavirus vaccine met Monday afternoon to discuss a series of questions before voting – probably in mid-December – on the final recommendations for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
After the group, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, delivers its recommendations, the CDC Director, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, will quickly decide whether the approve. That will be the final step, after a review by the Food and Drug Administration and its own vaccine advisory committee, before the first doses of the vaccine are shipped nationwide.
A subgroup of the committee had already suggested that health care workers, who number about 21 million, should be the first to get vaccinated. On Monday, he recommended including residents of long-term care facilities in that initial group as well. Next would be essential workers, then adults with high-risk medical conditions, and those over 65 years of age.
Some of the questions the committee considered on Monday included:
Whether people who have already had Covid-19 should not get vaccinated until there is a sufficient supply. Dr. Robert Atmar, a committee member and infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said that “at first, when it comes to a vaccine with limited resources, my opinion is that we should try to target as best we can. for those we know are susceptible. ”But another committee member, Dr. Grace Lee, a professor of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, declined, saying that much is still unknown about long-term immunity.
If essential workers like police, firefighters, teachers and transportation workers should be the second group to get the vaccine. "For me, the issue of ethics is very important, very important to this country and clearly favors the core worker pool, "said Dr. Peter Szilagyi, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles, noting that the group included a" high proportion of minority, low-income, and poorly educated workers. ”
The Efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic last spring quickly became politicized, forcing officials and citizens to make the world choose between public health and personal freedom. In the United States, the tension was broken roughly along ideological lines. , with many blue states taking containment measures seriously, and red states less.
In a new analysis, a team of researchers provided some of the earliest evidence of how political division drove behavior. document, published Monday by the journal Nature Human Behavior, found that a measure of partisan hostility, intensity of mistrust, and animosity toward the other side, red or blue, correlated with people's attitudes toward containment policies and how
The findings were based on interviews with more than 2400 adults, conducted once in the summer of 2019 and again in April of this year.
The research team, led by James Druckman, a political scientist at Northwestern University, found that the average Democrat "is more concerned, more likely to have changed behavior, and more supportive of policies to stop the spread of infections than the average Republican," although there were substantial overlaps in attitudes
The research team, which included scientists from the University of Arizona, Stony Bro University ok and the University of Pennsylvania, determined that in the worst affected areas, these differences ceased to shrink. Indeed, concern for personal and family safety mitigated the effect of partisanship, as nearly all responded to the local outbreak.
"These findings have implications for understanding the best way to combat COVID-19," the authors concluded. Given that party hostility underlies party gaps, "legislators will have to devise different strategies to bring the parties together on these issues."
More travelers were screened in airport security checkpoints on Sunday than on any other day since the pandemic took hold in March, a worrying sign that people flying to visit their families for Thanksgiving could increase the spread of the coronavirus.
Just over a million people were screened by the Transportation Security Administration on Sunday, according to federal data released Monday. That number is about half what it was in 2019, but represents a great increase since spring, when fewer than half a million people flew on any given day.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, has been vigorously discouraging vacation travel for fear of a rise in new infections, which have risen in recent weeks as the weather turns colder and more people spend time indoors.
Airlines have said that flying is safe because of the precautions the industry has taken, such as high-quality air filtration. They also point to the relatively few published cases of the coronavirus being spread during a flight. But the science on in-flight safety is far from settled, and travelers would still be at risk of contracting or spreading the virus at airports and once they are at their destination.
The increase in travel during the holidays has been encouraging for airlines. But it won't be enough to offset the deep losses they have suffered during the pandemic. The nation’s largest airlines have collectively reported tens of billions of dollars in losses so far this year, and analysts expect demand to remain weak for a couple of years or more. The industry is hoping that the incoming Biden administration and Congress will give airlines more aid early next year.
When a taxi deposited Mallory Guy in front of an apartment building in Cheonan, South Korea, after a 14-hour flight from Atlanta, a Korean couple was waiting for her with open arms.
It was the first time since she was 7 months old that Ms. Guy, 33, had been in the country where she was born. It was also her first time seeing her birth parents since she was sent to the United States more than three decades ago.
For some adoptees, birth family reunions had become a rite of passage. Then came the pandemic. The pilgrimages back to South Korea dwindled. Many adoptees canceled long-planned meetings after the government's quarantine rules for foreign visitors made the trips too costly and time-consuming.
When Ms. Guy arrived in South Korea in September, she did not know whether she would be allowed to spend the two weeks at her biological parents' home or be forced to stay at a costly government hotel. The South Korean Embassy’s website said only that such decisions were made on a case-by-case basis.
Her parents made Korean food for her and American snacks like peanut butter and jelly. (They also stocked up on milk, because they had heard that Americans love milk.) They even bought her an exercise bike, because she had told them during calls that she enjoyed using her Peloton.
After two weeks of immersion in her parents' home, Ms. Guy took a coronavirus test, as mandated by the government, so she could leave quarantine and explore her home country with her family.
When a testing administrator asked her when she had last left the country for the United States, “I told her 1987, and she looked super-confused.”
The worker asked again, and Ms. Guy confirmed that she understood the question.
After telling her 1987 four more times, Ms. Guy said, “she finally wrote it down.”
Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, a Republican who is campaigning in a high-stakes runoff electio n that could determine control of the Senate, plans to get “back out on the campaign trail” after receiving her second consecutive negative coronavirus test, a campaign spokesman said on Monday.
This comes after Ms. Loeffler's campaign on Sunday said she was isolating “out of an abundance of caution ”after a series of coronavirus tests delivered mixed messages about whether she had contracted the disease.
According to Stephen Lawson, a campaign spokesman, a rapid test Ms. Loeffler took Friday morning came back negative, but a second test she also took that morning – a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test, which is considered more accurate – returned a positive result on Friday evening.
In between her receipt of the two conflicting test results, Ms. Loeffl er attended campaign-related events on Friday, including a rally with Vice President Mike Pence and Senator David Perdue of Georgia, Mr. Lawson said.
Ms. Loeffler, 49, received another P.C.R. test on Saturday morning. But it was “inconclusive,” Mr. Lawson said of the results, which came in Saturday evening. On Sunday afternoon, Mr. Lawson issued another statement saying that the senator’s “previously inconclusive P.C.R. results were retested overnight and the results thankfully came back negative. " The negative result on Monday was also from a P.C.R. test.
He added: “Out of an abundance of caution, she will continue to self-isolate and be retested again to hopefully receive consecutive negative test results. We will share those results as they are made available. She will continue to confer with medical experts and follow C.D.C. guidelines. ”
Ms. Loeffler notified those with whom she had sustained contact while she awaits further test results, he said.
Ms. Loeffler has held recent events with prominent Republicans, including Mr. Pence, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Mr. Perdue, who is also engaged in a runoff election that could determine control of the Senate. On Sunday, a campaign spokesman said Mr. Perdue was remaining at home until he had more details about the health status of Ms. Loeffler.
Mr. Perdue, 70, has encouraged people to wear masks to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. But he has also appeared at rallies where people did not wear masks. A Friday tweet from Ms. Loeffler includes a picture that shows the two senators in an indoor setting without masks.
A spokesman for Mr. Pence, Devin O'Malley, said also on Sunday that “as he awaits a confirmatory test from Senator Loeffler, Vice President Pence is in regular consultation with the White House Medical Unit and will be following CDC guidelines as he has in other circumstances when he has been a close contact. ”
The last time Mr. Pence was deemed a close contact was last month when his chief of staff, Marc Short, tested positive.
Mr. Pence continued to campaign then, with the White House saying that he was performing “essential” duties that exempted him from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines calling for people to quarantine for 14 days after exposure to the virus.
Ms. Loeffler, a businesswoman who is the Senate’s richest member, was temporarily appointed to her Senate seat late last year. She faces the Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, a Democrat, in an election on Jan. 5, when Georgia voters will also decide between Mr. Perdue and his opponent, Jon Ossoff, a Democrat.
IS LAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan announced Monday that schools across the country will close for six weeks beginning Nov. 26 as the government confronts a sharp rise in new coronavirus cases. The positivity rate was 7 percent in the past 24 hours with at least 34 deaths, health officials said, a worrying increase compared to the past several weeks.
Students will continue taking classes from home until Dec. 24, said Shafqat Mahmood, Pakistan's federal education minister, during a news conference in Islamabad on Monday.
“All educational institutions will be opened on Jan. 11, 2021, after reviewing Covid-19 cases situation in the first week of January,” Mr. Mahmood said, noting that winter break for students would begin Dec. 25 and end on Jan. 10.
This is the second time Pakistan has closed schools, resorting to at-home learning back in March and only reopening classrooms in September.
“If we don't make important decisions now, there is a possibility that the spread of the virus will overburden the health care system,” Dr. Faisal Sultan, the special assistant to the Pakistan prime minister on health, said Monday .
Pakistan was spar ed the kind of devastation that crippled other countries this past spring, and officials had expressed optimism that they were prepared for the second wave. But a new wave of infections has now raised concerns about the government’s ability to counter the virus.
To date, there have been more than 376,000 recorded cases of coronavirus and nearly 7,700 deaths, according to a Times database. The current daily average number of new cases in Pakistan stands at 2,557.
After suffering through two b ig outbreaks of the coronavirus, many people in Italy greeted news that a vaccine could be available by early next year with some op timism.
But one of the country's most renowned virologists and Covid-19 experts has provided a reality check about the country's ability to carry out a mass vaccination drive.
He says he hasn't even been able to get a simple flu shot.
“It's a real scandal,” Dr. Massimo Galli, the director of the infectious disease department at the Sacco hospital in Milan, said Sunday on Italian television. He said that while he hoped the country would eventually be able to distribute a coronavirus vaccine to its citizens, the outlook was “ghastly.”
That Dr. Galli, who is 69 and among the most recognizable coronavirus experts in the country, could not get his hands on a simple flu vaccine renewed concerns about a potential lack of preparedness to procure and distribute coronavirus vaccines.
Flu shots are far less common in Italy than in the United States, but Italy's health authorities had urged people to get them this year, both to keep healthy and to allow doctors to focus on Covid-19 patients.
But five months later, flu shots are few and far between, and millions of Italians , including older adults and patients with pre-existing conditions, haven't been able to get them.
Some experts say that Italy's regions, which control health care systems within their borders, placed their orders too late amid enormously hi gh demand in the international marketplace. Regional authorities have instead attributed the shortage to delays by the providers.
In the hard-hit Serio valley in northern Italy, Dr. Mario Sorlini said a much higher than usual number of patients asked to be vaccinated for the flu . But the region only sent him about half the doses he received last year.
"We were the hardest hit province by Covid, and I was only able to do 25 percent of the flu vaccines I have to do," Dr. Sorlini said, adding that if he and his colleagues did not receive the doses before the flu comes, it will be a “disaster on top of a disaster.”
The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday sued a meatpacking plant in Nebraska, alleging that it failed to take measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus among workers and, as a result, also imperiled the surrounding community.
The lawsuit was filed against Noah's Ark Processors, which operates a beef-processing plant in Hastings, Neb. Among the plaintiffs are former plant employees and a local pediatrician who has treated children of meatpacking workers as well as people infected with the coronavirus.
Noah's Ark refused to take precautionary measur is such as implementing physical distancing, distributing appropriate protective gear or conducting testing for the virus, according to the lawsuit. The plant also kept ailing workers on the job and forced them to wear masks soiled with blood, fat and sweat, the suit said.
The meatpacking plant declined to comment.
Often immigrants from Latin America, Asia and Africa, tens of thousands of workers in poultry- and meat-processing plants across the country have fallen ill from the virus and more than 220 have died. They typically toil in cold facilities, standing shoulder to shoulder on production lines and on kill floors.
In Nebraska, Hispanics comprise 11 percent of the population but accounted for 60 percent of coronavirus cases in July, according to data released by the state's health department, because many of them work in the food-processing industry.
Despite legislative advocacy and numerous complaints, local, state and federal authorities have failed to require the establishment of safety standards in Nebraska's meatpacking plants during the pandemic, according to the ACLU, and there has been no significant enforcement action taken against any facility.
The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring that the plant implement four safeguards: physical distancing, clean masks, leave sick and testing. Attorneys with the A.C.L.U. said they hoped that the measures would serve as a baseline for facilities nationwide.
Spencer Amdur, a lawyer with the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said that Noah's Ark had shown “shocking indifference” to its workers by failing to take “common-sense steps.”
“Every plant should be providing these basic protections,” said Mr. Amdur. "Without them, workers and others in the community face imminent and severe harm."
Los Angeles restaurants, many already struggling since indoor dining was disallowed earlier this year, received another blow over the weekend when county health officials announced outdoor dining would also end for three weeks beginning on Wednesday.
While restaurants will still be allowed to do takeout and delivery, the timing of the new restrictions couldn’t be worse. The approaching holiday season is usually the busiest period of the year, when many restaurants make the money they need to survive the leaner months of January and February.
“Nothing will be the same,” the chef David Chang, the founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, which operates Majordomo in Los Angeles, wrote on Twitter. “Even if you survive until spring, it’s 3-5 months before tourism returns and office/corporate business will not come back as before.”
On Monday, restaurant owners and chefs scrambled to cancel Thanksgiving reservations while preparing to once again furlough employees.
The restaurant Castaway in Burbank had 625 reservations for Thanksgiving lunch and dinner, said John Tallichet, the chief executive of Specialty Restaurants Corporation, which had four restaurants offering outside dining in Los Angeles County.
While some of that food will be sold as Thanksgiving meals to go, Mr. Tallichet said much of it will go to the employees he will furlough for three weeks, if not longer. Before the pandemic, Castaway employed 200 people. That number has since dropped to 80 and will fall to around 10 employees as it shifts to a takeout business.
“I’m guessing we’re going to be shut down through the holidays,” he said. “Why allow us to operate for New Year’s and Christmas if they’re concerned now? So we’re taking that food and creating care packages for our employees to take home so at least they have a nice Thanksgiving meal.”
Some restaurant owners were upset about the new restrictions because they had spent thousands of dollars creating outdoor dining areas on sidewalks, parking lots and elsewhere with the belief that they would be allowed to continue serving customers that way.
“These restaurants have invested $30,000 to $50,000 in outdoor heaters and tents, being told all of this is allowable and safe and now they’re told, ‘nope, all of that investment was a waste,’” said Jot Condie, the president and chief executive of the California Restaurant Association, a trade organization representing the industry.
Restaurants all around the country are struggling with changing rules and consumer preferences as coronavirus cases rise. Last Friday, the New York restaurateur Danny Meyer announced that three of his restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern, would close for on-premises dining, but continue to offer takeout meals.
As states struggle to contain the resurgent coronavirus, many officials are laying the blame on people gathering with family and friends. Pero, ¿son las cenas y las barbacoas en el patio trasero realmente el motor que impulsa el actual aumento de infecciones?
Household get-togethers undoubtedly do contribute to community transmission of the virus. But scientists say the available data do not support the contention that they are the main problem, scientists say.
Still, the idea has been repeated so often it has become conventional wisdom, leading to significant restrictions in many states. In dozens of statements over the past weeks, political leaders and public health officials have said that while previous waves of infection could be linked to nursing homes, meatpacking plants or restaurants, the problem now is that unmasked people are sitting too closely in kitchens and living rooms.
Most states don’t collect or report detailed information about the exposure that led to a new infection. But in states where a breakdown is available, long-term care facilities, food processing plants, prisons, health care settings and restaurants and bars are still the leading sources of spread, the data suggest.
The same cannot be said of smaller private gatherings with friends and family. In Colorado, only 81 active cases are attributed to social gatherings, compared with more than 4,000 from correctional centers and jails, 3,300 from colleges and universities, nearly 2,400 from assisted living facilities and 450 from restaurants, bars, casinos and bowling alleys.
“It seems like they’re passing off the responsibility for controlling the outbreak to individuals and individual choices,” said Ellie Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University. “A pandemic is more a failure of the system than the failure of individual choices.”
Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota on Wednesday took the extraordinary step of banning people from different households from meeting indoors or outdoors, even though evidence has consistently shown the outdoors to be relatively safe.
But the executive order allows places of worship, funeral homes and wedding venues — while they are encouraged to hold virtual events — to host as many as 250 people indoors.
Vermont likewise forbade people from meeting neighbors for a socially distanced and masked walk, but permitted them to dine indoors at restaurants before 10 p.m. (On Friday, following public complaints, Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont said people from different households could walk together as long as they wore masks and stayed more than six feet apart.)
These recommendations are unscientific and “bizarre,” said Dr. Ashleigh Tuite, an infectious disease modeler at the University of Toronto.
“If you’re an average person looking at what’s allowed and what’s not allowed, it may not make a lot of sense,” she said. “Puedo reunirme con nueve de mis mejores amigos y sentarme alrededor de una mesa en un restaurante. So why can’t I do that in my house?”