COVID Live Updates: Philadelphia announces sweeping new restrictions amid surge in coronavirus

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Philadelphia leaders have announced sweeping new restrictions as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the city.

Some of the restrictions include: no indoor dining, outdoor dining is allowed -- but only for household members, indoor gatherings are prohibited -- both public and private, employees must work from home unless not possible, retail stores can only have 5 people inside per 1,000 square feet, sports -- including youth, school and community -- are prohibited, and there will be closures of theaters, bowling alleys, museums, libraries, casinos and gyms.

Schools will also be impacted. Colleges and universities and high schools will be online only. Elementary and middle schools will allow in-person learning while day care and child care facilities are allowed to continue in-person learning.

Additionally, religious institutions are encouraged to hold services online and no more than 5% occupancy per 1,000 square feet are allowed.

The restrictions will take effect for Philadelphia on Friday, November 20 and will last through January 1, 2021.

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Here are more of today's headlines:



NJ school district turns to all-remote learning next week
As a precautionary measure, Mount Olive School District will shutter its schools for seven weeks beginning November 23. All grade levels will be taught remotely with the exception of students in specialized programs who will continue with daily in-person instruction.

The move comes as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rises in New Jersey and Morris County at a similar rate as the virus' peak in April and May.

Mount Olive's closure, which begins the Monday before Thanksgiving and is set to end the day after Martin Luther King Day on January 19, covers a time period when school districts traditionally see cold and flu cases spike, in part due to close contact during holiday gatherings and travel.

NYC tourism takes a hit
The city attracted nearly 67 million visitors last year, but according to the New York Times, the city's tourism promotion agency now projects a rebound in visitors won't begin until the middle of next year.

It's also projected that tourism rates won't return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025

Gov. Lamont tests negative
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said he tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday but is self-isolating at his Greenwich home after his chief spokesperson tested positive last Friday.

He met virtually with the regions' governors Sunday, and they agreed future steps are "not a matter of lockdown, not a matter of shutdown." Instead, further restrictions will target where the spread is occurring.

More restrictions in California
The governor of California has pulled the 'emergency brake' and is imposing new restrictions on businesses amid a spike in coronavirus cases.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that 40 California counties have moved back to a more restrictive reopening tier as the state's coronavirus cases continue to spike. The governor said California's COVID-19 cases have doubled in the last ten days, the largest the state has seen since the pandemic broke out in March.

Newsom says he is also assessing the usefulness of a curfew. They are looking closely at Massachusetts and Virginia and a number of cities to see if curfews have been successful at reducing transmission. Click here for more details.

New restrictions in Philly
Philadelphia leaders have announced sweeping new restrictions as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the city. Click here for full details.

At least 1 million children have tested positive for COVID in the USA
As of Nov. 12, over 1 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. Children represented 11.5% of all cases in states reporting cases by age.

The number of new child COVID-19 cases reported this week, nearly 112,000, is by far the highest weekly increase since the pandemic began. At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association collaborated to collect and share all publicly available data from states on child COVID-19 cases.

United Airlines COVID testing pilot program
Passengers traveling from Newark to London will be the first to take part in United Airlines' free COVID testing pilot program.

The first-of-its-kind program aims to guarantee everyone over the age of 2 on the flight is COVID-free before takeoff. The airline will use rapid tests at Newark Airport's onsite testing facility.

Passengers on the transatlantic flight will have to take the test three hours before departure.

NJ MVC Office closes due to employee with COVID
A New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission office closes due to an employee contracting COVID-19. Rahway Licensing Center is closed due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19, and will reopen Tuesday, November 24.


NJ reduces capacity for indoor, outdoor gatherings
As coronavirus numbers continue to rise in New Jersey, officials hope to stop the spread with a series of restrictive measures including new limits on both indoor and outdoor gatherings. Governor Phil Murphy announced that indoor gathering capacity has been lowered from 25 to 10 starting on Tuesday. Starting next week, outdoor gatherings will allow 150 people maximum, down from 500. There are some exceptions, including religious gatherings.

Moderna says its vaccine may be 94.5% effective
Moderna is revealing very good efficacy data in their late-stage Phase 3 trial. The interim analysis shows Moderna's vaccine could be up to 94.5% effective. The company plans to ask the FDA for authorization "in the coming weeks" after safety data is available. This puts them on track with Pfizer to possibly have FDA emergency use authorization by the end of the year.
This is more good news in the race for a vaccine. Last week, Pfizer said its vaccine is "more than 90% effective." However, the results do not mean that Moderna's vaccine is more effective than Pfizer's. These are not apples to apples comparisons because of small differences in the underlying trials, and these early efficacy numbers could change as more data accumulates.

NYC schools will remain open
New York City schools will be open on Tuesday as the city positivity rate remains below the 3% threshold, Mayor de Blasio said.

Here comes Santa Claus - with face masks and plexiglass
Santa Claus is coming to the mall - just don't try to sit on his lap. Despite the pandemic - and the fact that Santa's age and weight put him at high risk for severe illness from the coronavirus - mall owners are going ahead with plans to bring him back this year. But they are doing all they can to keep the jolly old man safe, including banning kids from sitting on his knee, no matter if they've been naughty or nice.

Mount Vernon stay-at-home advisory takes effect
Mount Vernon has issued a stay-at-home advisory amid surging COVID-19 cases, with the new guidelines taking effect Monday. The city has experienced a double-digit increase in daily coronavirus cases, with a total of 84 new cases so far in November. As of Saturday, the total number of cases is 124. Residents are strongly advised to stay home unless traveling for work, school, or essential items. The Mount Vernon COVID taskforce will continue to enforce social distancing regulations and say they will shut down businesses that fail to follow proper guidelines.

Woman warning of COVID-19 after 6 relatives, including parents, die of virus
El Paso, Texas, has been one of the cities hit hardest by COVID-19, and now a woman who lives there has a warning for everyone after losing six family members to the virus since May. Bonnie Soria Najera shared her story in an interview with "Good Morning America," explaining that her uncle was the sixth relative to die of the virus. Najera said what her family has experienced began on May 15, when her mom tested positive and went to the hospital. After her mother was admitted, Najera didn't see her again.

65 COVID-19 cases, with 1 cluster, among World Health Organization Geneva staff, email shows
The World Health Organization has recorded 65 cases of the coronavirus among staff based at its headquarters, including at least one cluster of infections, an internal email obtained by The Associated Press shows, despite the agency's public assertions that there has been no transmission at the Geneva site. The revelation comes amid a surge of cases in Europe, host country Switzerland, and the city of Geneva, in particular, and the email said about half of the infections were in people who had been working from home. But 32 were in staff who had been working on-premises at the headquarters building, indicating that the health agency's strict hygiene, screening and other prevention measures were not sufficient to spare it from the pandemic.

NCAA in talks with Indianapolis to host all of March Madness
The NCAA announced Monday it plans to hold the entire 2021 men's college basketball tournament in one geographic location to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 and is in talks with Indianapolis to be the host city. The Final Four is already set to be held in Indianapolis next April and the NCAA has its headquarters in the Indiana capital.

Know your NYC COVID Zone

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


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