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COVID-19 Update, November 16: The Second Breakthrough

For the second Monday in a row, there's excellent news on the horizon, with the announcement of the Moderna vaccine. The bad news is the coronavirus is raging, unchecked, through the country. Can people be persuaded to hunker down and do the right thing if there's an end in sight to the pandemic?

The latest:

Another Monday, another breakthrough. The Moderna vaccine is nearly 95% effective and doesn't require the deep-freeze treatment on which the Pfizer vaccine depends: tinyurl.com/y5pzh29c.

Half a dozen states and the District of Columbia plan an extra layer of scrutiny for the vaccines: tinyurl.com/y3omnmfb.

The US sets another awful new record, with 184,000 new COVID-19 cases on Friday: tinyurl.com/y5e24sr8. The number drops slightly on Saturday to 166, 355: tinyurl.com/yydx9tfl. Overall, the country reports one million new cases in a single week: tinyurl.com/y5gxhzu2.

More than 1,000 Americans are dying daily from COVID-10: tinyurl.com/y2qzarw5. Long lines and testing delays reveal a country unprepared for the coronavirus' second wave: tinyurl.com/y66rvzr5. Yet, as the coronavirus spreads, Americans remain divided about how to respond: tinyurl.com/y45yujef.

President-elect BIden urges President Trump to counter the pandemic with "a robust and immediate federal response:" tinyurl.com/yyw7xh7o. Biden's chief of staff warns that Trump's refusal to facilitate the transition process between administrations could hamper the delivery of the vaccine: tinyurl.com/y5bojr6s. The secretary of health and human services says he's waiting on the General Services Administration to formally recognize Biden's victory: tinyurl.com/y6roxcxj.

Governors in New Mexico, Oregon, Idaho, and elsewhere issue stringent new restrictions to rein in the coronavirus: tinyurl.com/y4ydcgmk.

The president has decided not to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to New York: tinyurl.com/y2k29ymw.

SpaceX designer Elon Musk is told by NASA to isolate after a positive COVID-19 test; actually he has had four, proving the relative uselessness of rapid coronavirus testing: tinyurl.com/yyrmgf7w.

New rule: If you shop at Costco and are medically exempt from wearing a face mask, you'll have to wear a face shield instead: tinyurl.com/yxr45g5v.

Inside the film/TV industry's onerous attempts at working in a pandemic: tinyurl.com/y5wcxfuq.

Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has slowed down philanthropic giving to not-for-profit theatres: tinyurl.com/y67ngbpw.

Food for thought:

A look at the COVID-19 task force assembled by the president-elect: tinyurl.com/y2te4h8e.

How to avoid a surprise bill for your COVID-19 test: tinyurl.com/y677k376.

A scientist behind the Pfizer vaccine says that it attacks the coronavirus on several levels: tinyurl.com/y6yehkff.

Around the country:

In Florida:

The state reports 6,993 new COVID-19 cases on Friday; about one in 25 people have now been infected: tinyurl.com/y3mc2ssp. The number drops to 4,544 on Saturday: tinyurl.com/y45u2zo5. On Sunday, the state reports 10,105 cases, the biggest single-day jump since July: tinyurl.com/yyccwxp6.

South Florida hospitals see a 44% increase in COVID-19 patients in the last two weeks: tinyurl.com/yxujctak.

In Illinois:

The daily COVID-19 case rate reaches 15,000 for the first time: tinyurl.com/y35cgko8.

The R&B singer Jeremih is hospitalized with COVID-19, put on a ventilator: tinyurl.com/y3q9bo2d.

In Indiana:

The state reports 8,451 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, a new record: tinyurl.com/y4gjk4j6.

In Kansas:

In the face of rising news of COVID-19 cases, some churches are abandoning in-person services: tinyurl.com/y4h66csf.

In Massachusetts:

The state sets up a field hospital in Worcester to deal with surging COVID-19 cases: tinyurl.com/y6nzupuk.

New COVID-19 cases rise alarmingly on Friday, reaching 2,674: tinyurl.com/y2dcm36u.

Having endured the first wave, the state's hospitals say they are better prepared for the second: tinyurl.com/y4ogrmsv.

In Michigan:

The governor imposes a three-week "pause" to slow down the pandemic: tinyurl.com/y4fslk8o. For her efforts, she gets Dr. Scott Atlas calling on residents of the state to "rise up" against the restrictions: tinyurl.com/yywgrcjd.

In Minnesota:

The state experiences a record 1,424 COVID-19 hospitalizations: tinyurl.com/yyvqu4uu. On Saturday, it reports a record 8,703 new infections: tinyurl.com/yysoon2z.

The state's senate majority leader tests positive for COVID-19; it's the third case in the GOP caucus since a post-election meeting held last month: tinyurl.com/y4namlbt.

In Missouri:

People from Kansas and Missouri communities without mask mandates (and hospitals with ICUs) are crowding Kansas City hospitals: tinyurl.com/y55nqeey.

On Saturday, the state adds 6,346 new COVID-19 cases, its biggest one-day total yet: tinyurl.com/y62n52f3.

Public health directors in the Kansas City metro area urge people to stay at home: tinyurl.com/y4vcye9h.

In Nevada:

The governor tests positive for COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y3j6f3fr.

Hospitals in Reno typically get two to four patients in the ER each day; in the last week, the daily number has jumped to 25 - 30: tinyurl.com/yyx5wfjg. A medical center in Reno converts its parking garage into an impromptu hospital to deal with the overflow: tinyurl.com/y3ulubts.

The state 2,269 new COVID-19 cases, its highest daily total so far: tinyurl.com/yxonjhra.

In New Jersey:

The governor tightens indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor gathers to 100: tinyurl.com/yyzuuqrk.

In New York:

The Minutes, the Broadway play that had its March 2020 opening canceled and subsequently rescheduled for March 2021, will now open in March 2022: tinyurl.com/y4u88kku.

Thomas Schumacher, chairman of The Broadway League, foresees a slow road back to prosperity: tinyurl.com/yyfng6qy.

How Buffalo's cultural institutions are being tested by the pandemic: tinyurl.com/y26qqw2q.

More than two million New Yorkers will lose their unemployment benefits unless Congress gets real and acts on a stimulus bill: tinyurl.com/yy7f3glp.

In Ohio:

The state records 8,701 new COVID-19 cases on Friday: tinyurl.com/y3ba6j34. The numbers drop to 7,853 on Sunday: tinyurl.com/y32wxfhj.

In Oregon:

The governor issues a two-week "freeze" that closes gyms, museums, pools, movie theaters, and zoos and limits restaurants and bars to take-out: tinyurl.com/y6rcg8g3.

In Texas:

The state reaches one million COVID-19 cases: tinyurl.com/y2qrkqxj.

Houston approves a multi-million-dollar relief fund for local musicians and venues: tinyurl.com/y59vea6d.

In Washington State:

The governor orders sweeping new restrictions on indoor gatherings, restaurants, bars, and gyms, calling November 15 "the most dangerous public health day in our state's history:" tinyurl.com/y3csscy4.

In Wyoming:

New COVID-19 cases surge and hospitals are running out of beds. The governor, admitting that his coronavirus policies have failed, and more restrictions are coming. "We've relied on people to be responsible and they're being irresponsible," he said. "If I can't rely on you, we're going to have to do something else." tinyurl.com/yxccelbz.

Around the world:

In Germany:

Officials warn that months of lockdown may be necessary to prevent days with 50,000 new COVID-19 infections: tinyurl.com/y6jw4vsw.

In Israel:

Chorus members at the Israeli Opera face pandemic-related layoffs: tinyurl.com/y4tugukn.

In Mexico:

The country passes the one-million-case mark, with 100,000 dead: tinyurl.com/y4sx97mz.

In the UK:

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and four Conservative members of Parliament self-isolating after taking a meeting with a colleague who later tested positive for COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y33yhj67.

Losses:

Lynn Kellogg Simpers, a prominent member of the original cast of the musical Hair: tinyurl.com/y6xg9mw3.

For your entertainment:

It's Yannick Week at the Metropolitan Opera streaming service, featuring productions conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the company's music director: tinyurl.com/y2f8tkdy.

For your pleasure:

Sharon D. Clarke, at the 2019 Olivier Awards, performs "Lot's Wife," from Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's Caroline, or Change: tinyurl.com/y2ulxdqs.

That's all for today. Stay safe. Better days are coming. -- DB

To receive your LSA copies at home (no charge), please email LSA@plasa.org or go to www.ezsubscription.com/lsa/mysubscription.

Previous LSA COVID-19 Updates: plasa.me/lsacovid19resources.


(16 November 2020)

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