The coronavirus continues to disrupt daily life around the globe, with more than 54.5 million people confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 since Chinese officials implemented the first coronavirus lockdown in the city of Wuhan in January.
But on Monday there was potentially good news: Moderna released preliminary data from its vaccine trials, saying its vaccine candidate was more than 94.5% effective at preventing COVID-19. A week earlier, Pfizer said its candidate was more than 90% effective.
News of a potential vaccine comes as the U.S. is repeatedly breaking records. More than 133,000 new cases of the virus were diagnosed Nov. 15, and more than 11 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.3 million people worldwide, including more than 246,000 Americans, have died.
Read the latest updates below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert on the White House’s coronavirus task force, applauded early data from biotechnology company Moderna and pharmaceutical company Pfizer that show their respective coronavirus vaccines are highly effective.
“The data are striking,” Fauci told NBC’s “Today” about the Moderna data, released earlier Monday. “They’re really quite impressive. … Now we have two vaccines that are really quite effective. So I think this is a really strong step forward to where we want to be about getting control of this outbreak.”
Fauci said he expects the Food and Drug Administration to grant emergency use authorizations for the vaccines. “Doses could be available to high-risk individuals by the end of December,” he told NBC.
— Hayley Miller
For the second time this month, there’s promising news from a COVID-19 vaccine candidate: Moderna said Monday its shots provide strong protection, a dash of hope against the grim backdrop of coronavirus surges in the U.S. and around the world.
Moderna said its vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data from the company’s still ongoing study.
A week ago, competitor Pfizer Inc. announced its own COVID-19 vaccine appeared similarly effective — news that puts both companies on track to seek permission within weeks for emergency use in the U.S.
Read more here.
— Hayley Miller
The U.S. has passed 11 million coronavirus cases, with more than 1 million of them added in a week, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
In the week of Nov. 8 to Nov. 14, the U.S. added 1,041,075 coronavirus cases, a new record high. The country recorded 7,723 new deaths in the week.
“Record cases over the past week will be record hospitalizations soon,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned in a tweet. He urged Americans to wear masks when outside the home and limit social interactions to ease the burden on hospitals.
— Liza Hearon
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced new restrictions on Sunday aimed at schools and restaurants, among others, as the state grapples with an exponential increase in coronavirus cases.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ new regulations take effect Wednesday and will run for at least three weeks.
They suspend in-person learning at Michigan high schools and colleges, indoor dining at restaurants and bars, organized sports and group exercise classes and all business at casinos and movie theaters. Gyms can remain open for individual exercise with rigid safety measures, and professional and college athletics can continue.
“In the spring, we listened to public health experts, stomped the curve and saved thousands of lives together,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Now, we must channel that same energy and join forces again to protect our families, front-line workers and small businesses.”
Whitmer’s announcement comes as Michigan last week saw its worst seven-day stretch of illness, with more than 44,000 new COVID-19 cases and 416 deaths.
The governor previously faced attacks from the right for her swift responses to the pandemic and at one point became the target of a kidnapping plot by supporters of President Donald Trump.
The new announcement comes less than two months after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945 — the law Whitmer used to issue pandemic-related emergency orders in the summer and fall after the GOP-controlled state legislature refused to extend existing declarations.
The governor has since relied on the state’s Public Health Code to continue implementing pandemic-related safety protocols and restrictions.
— Sanjana Karanth