COVID Live Updates: NYC headed toward more restrictions, Cuomo says

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- If New York City's COVID-19 positivity rate surpasses three percent the city would become an orange zone in accordance with the state's COVID-19 micro-cluster strategy, Gov. Cuomo said Wednesday.

That would mean the city's schools would be closed to in-person learning.

If that happened, schools would have to close for at least four days and Cuomo said officials would have to design a "different formula" for the city's schools to "test out" and re-open due to the number of students that would need to be tested.

What to know about coronavirus:
Where to get tested in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
Coronavirus by zip code - New York City
How coronavirus changed the New York region
Do you have coronavirus symptoms?
NYC COVID-19 positivity rate tracker

Here are more of today's headlines:



Member of Gov. Lamont's security detail tests positive
A member of Gov. Ned Lamont's security team has tested positive for COVID-19, according to test results that came back Wednesday. The member of the security detail has immediately entered self-isolation.

Lamont remains in self-quarantine at his private residence following exposure to a member of his senior staff last week.

Regional governors encourage college students to get tested
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Delaware Governor John Carney, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker today announced they will encourage residential colleges and universities in their respective states to provide testing for all students traveling home for Thanksgiving break to the maximum extent possible before they leave campus. Any student who tests positive will be encouraged to isolate on campus before they can travel or detail arrangements of their safe travel home with the local department of health.

United States surpasses 250k confirmed COVID-19 deaths
The United States surpassed 250,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday evening, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University.

Cuomo's Thanksgiving warning
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is offering some personal advice for all New Yorkers on Thanksgiving: Don't be a turkey. On Wednesday, Cuomo warned that his personal theory is there will be a "tremendous spike" of COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving. He said this is not based on scientific data, but it is his personal theory. He urged families to show love this holiday season by not seeing each other.

NYC schools to close Thursday
New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza released a letter announcing schools would be closed on Thursday. "Beginning Thursday, November 19, all school buildings will be closed, and all learning will proceed remotely for all students, until further notice," the letter read. "You will hear from your principal shortly about next steps for you and your student. Please note that this is a temporary closure, and school buildings will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so." New York City has reached the 3% testing positivity 7-day average threshold.

Pandemic won't stop NORAD from tracking Santa
Children of the world can rest easy. The global pandemic won't stop them from tracking Santa Claus' progress as he delivers gifts around the globe on Christmas Eve. The North American Aerospace Defense Command has announced that NORAD will track Santa on Dec. 24, just as it has done for 65 years. But there will be some changes: Not every child will be able to get through to a volunteer at NORAD's call center to check on Santa's whereabouts, as they have in years before.

Delta Air Lines to keep blocking middle seats through March 2021
Delta Air Lines said on Wednesday it will keep middle seats empty on its flights through March, an extension of the social distancing policy it put in place at the start of the pandemic. Delta maintains it is the only US airline to keep blocking middle seats on its flights. The move comes as other airlines are ending similar policies, gearing up for a potential onslaught of air travelers during the busy holiday rush.

Demand for testing surges ahead of Thanksgiving
Hospitals across the country are being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, as testing centers also see an influx of people looking to get tested ahead of the holidays. Dr. Anthony Fauci says while it's important to get tested, he's urging Americans to forgo gathering for Thanksgiving this year to stop the spread. More than 2 million Americans have tested positive this month, making November the worst month of the pandemic yet. More and more states are now imposing restrictions. Los Angeles has implemented a 10 p.m. curfew, while Montana and Iowa now have mask mandates. It's a move at least a dozen states are resisting.

Hospitals across US lack beds or equipment to treat COVID-19 patients
More Americans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 than ever before. As more than 73,000 people across the country are hospitalized for the virus, health care professionals are saying they've reached the brink, with no beds or equipment left to treat the overwhelming influx of patients.

US sees highest daily COVID-19 death toll in 6 months
At least 1,707 new COVID-19 deaths were reported Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That's the highest daily death toll since May 14.

Europe has half of world's 4 million new COVID cases but sees hope
Europe made up almost half of the world's 4 million new coronavirus cases last week but recorded a nearly 10% fall in infections compared to the week before, thanks in part to strict government lockdown measures that have fanned some discontent, the World Health Organization reported Wednesday.

Pfizer releases new results of COVID-19 efficacy
Pfizer is taking the next step forward with its vaccine as it applies for emergency FDA approval. The final results from their phase 3 analysis found the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective. The pharmaceutical company completed its safety review of the much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine. Last week, Pfizer announced its vaccine appears to be more than 90% effective. The FDA advisory committee is set to meet for three days next month and could approve the vaccine as early as December 10.

FDA authorizes first at-home, rapid COVID test
FDA has issued an emergency use authorization for the first at-home rapid test for COVID-19. The Lucira COVID-19 All-In-One Test Kit is authorized for use at home or point of care in a doctor's office but only with a prescription. FDA says the molecular test "works by swirling the self-collected sample swab in a vial that is then placed in the test unit. In 30 minutes or less, the results can be read directly from the test unit's light-up display that shows whether a person is positive or negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus."

Know your NYC COVID Zone
You can find your COVID zone at NYC.gov/covidzone.



MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE


CDC updated Thanksgiving guidelines
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut out-of-state travelers information
New CDC guidelines on masks
New York City Positivity Tracker
How coronavirus changed the New York region
Do you have coronavirus symptoms?

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