Elaine Swann, lifestyle expert and founder of The Swann School of Protocol, explains how to turn down a social gathering politely during the pandemic.


A second vaccine maker will file for emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after more data from its clinical trial showed its vaccine candidate to be above 94% effective.

Moderna said it expects the FDA’s advisory committee to discuss its vaccine on Dec. 17, a week after it meets to discuss Pfizer’s.

The good news, however, comes as a stay-at-home order in Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous, begins Monday and runs through Dec. 20.

Ten million residents are being asked to stay home “as much as possible” and prohibited from gathering publicly and privately with people outside of their households, except for religious services and protests.

The order goes into effect a day after California reported more than 7,400 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, the highest number during the pandemic.

Here’s what to know Monday:

  • New York City’s public schools will start offering in-person classes on Dec. 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday, changing course after closing them just weeks ago.
  • The first shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was flown from Belgium to the U.S. on Friday in preparation for distribution upon authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
  • England hospitals could receive the first batch as early as the week of Dec. 7, according to The Guardian.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 13.3million cases and over 266,800deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 62.8million cases and 1.46million deaths.

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.


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Moderna to apply for FDA authorization for COVID-19 vaccine

Biotech company Moderna will apply Monday for an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after receiving more good news about the safety and effectiveness of its candidate COVID-19 vaccine.

It will be the second vaccine maker to request authorization from the federal government, following similarly positive results for Pfizer and its German collaborator BioNTech’s candidate vaccine.

Moderna’s latest findings, according to a company press release, showed that of 196 people in the clinical trial who caught COVID-19, 185 of them had received the placebo, while only 11 received the active vaccine. That works out to an effectiveness rate above 94%.

Of the 30 participants who suffered severe disease, all were in the placebo group, suggesting that the vaccine prevents both mild and serious disease. One placebo recipient died.

– Karen Weintraub

England cases dropped by 30% in lockdown, study says

COVID-19 cases in England have dropped roughly 30% since the United Kingdom entered its second national lockdown, a new study says.

Since the U.K. entered its second lockdown more than three weeks ago, the infection rate has dropped down to around 1% after it had been around 1.3% before the lockdown, the study says.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson instituted the new lockdown order earlier this month, closing all nonessential businesses, bars and restaurants. The restrictions are set to end at the beginning of December and be replaced with a regional tiered system of restrictions.

NYC drops COVID testing benchmark, will begin reopening schools

New York City’s public schools will start offering in-person classes on Dec. 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday. Most preschool, 3-K programs and elementary schools are expected to start that date, followed by schools that provide special education on Dec. 10. No date was revealed for middle and high school classes.

Hybrid learning was shut down Nov. 19 after the citywide rate of coronavirus tests exceeded a 3% benchmark agreed to by the mayor and the teachers’ union.

The mayor said the benchmark will be scrapped in favor of a focus on testing at schools. The city will also move toward providing in-person classes five days per week and phase out the hybrid model for the 1.1 million-student district, the mayor said.

“We are convinced we can keep schools safe and do it in a sustainable manner,” de Blasio said. “This will be the model for the duration. This will take us through until we have a vaccine.”

– John Bacon

California sets daily record for COVID-19 hospitalizations

California broke a record Sunday with more than 7,400 coronavirus hospitalizations as counties statewide prepared for stricter COVID-19 restrictions to take effect amid surging cases and Thanksgiving travel.

As of Sunday, California has recorded nearly 1.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases. The state reported around 15,600 new cases on Saturday. There have been 19,121 virus-related deaths in California during the pandemic.

The state reported 7,415 coronavirus hospitalizations on Sunday, citing the most recently available data from the previous day. More than 1,700 of those patients are in intensive care units. The new total hospitalizations breaks the state’s previous record of 7,170 in July.

– Palm Springs Desert Sun

Oregon nurse placed on leave after TikTok video

An oncology nurse in Oregon has been placed on administrative leave after posting a video on social media showing disregard for COVID-19 restrictions.

In the video, uploaded Friday to TikTok, the nurse, identified by Salem Health hospital officials as Ashley Grames, says she doesn’t wear a mask in public outside of work, continues to travel and allows her children to have playdates.

An investigation is pending while Grames is on leave. Salem Health officials addressed the video on Facebook, calling it a “cavalier disregard for the seriousness of the pandemic.”

– Virginia Barreda, Salem Statesman Journal

Nevada surpasses 150K COVID-19 cases

Nevada health officials say the number of confirmed coronavirus cases statewide has surpassed 150,000. The state’s coronavirus dashboard on Sunday reported 150,527 cases of COVID-19 since the outset of the pandemic, with more than 2,100 related deaths.

Concerned by the virus’ continued spread, Gov. Steve Sisolak on Nov. 22 announced the state’s most expansive mask mandate to date and reduced the capacity at casinos, restaurants, bars and many other businesses from 50% to 25%.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warns again of deadly winter

Dr. Anthony Fauci issued another warning to the nation Sunday to wear masks, social distance and dismiss the urge to gather for the holidays – or face a winter of staggering infections, hospitalizations and even deaths.

He blamed holiday travel and families gathering in advance of Thanksgiving for the latest round of dismal statistics.

“What we expect unfortunately as we go for the next couple of weeks into December, that we might see a surge superimposed upon that surge we are already in,” Fauci said on “Meet the Press.” “I don’t want to frighten people, except to say it is not too late at all for us to do something about this.”

COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY

Contributing: The Associated Press


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