COVID Live Updates: U.S. surpasses 280,000 deaths, 10,000+ reported since Dec. 1

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The U.S. surpassed yet another grim milestone in the battle against coronavirus Saturday, more than 280,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.

It was just this week, on December 1, that the U.S. surpassed 270,000 deaths.

Hospitalizations are on the rise in at least 40 states and nearly every region in the U.S. is seeing a rapid increase in cases.

What to know about coronavirus:
Where to get tested in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
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How coronavirus changed the New York region
Do you have coronavirus symptoms?

Here are more of today's headlines:



NJ police shut down 2 after-hours clubs
Police in New Jersey's largest city shut down two illegal clubs. Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale said one of the clubs operated inside Akimekedo Restaurant on Main Street in Paterson. The restaurant would turn into an after-hours club selling alcohol without a license and with a DJ playing loud music, Speziale said.

Trump: Rudy Giuliani "has tested positive for the China Virus"
President Donald Trump tweeted that his personal lawyer and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani has COVID-19.



NY hospitalizations up, positivity rate drops slightly
There are 4,442 patients being treated for COVID-19 in New York hospitals, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday. That's up from 4,318 from the day before. Additionally, New York reported 9,702 new positive cases and a statewide daily positive rate of 4.71%, down slights from the previous day's 4.99%. Cuomo also announced 56 more deaths.

Member of Gov. Lamont's staff tests positive for COVID-19
A member of Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont's staff is in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus, Lamont's chief of staff announced. Lamont was close to the staff member as recently as Thursday but does not meet the criteria for close contact as outlined by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chief of staff Paul Mounds said in a statement late Saturday. Lamont, a Democrat, is feeling well but will undergo regularly scheduled testing in the coming days, Mounds said. The governor has no public events this weekend.

2 countries welcome travelers with COVID 'immunity passports' despite WHO guidance
Amid the pandemic, Hungary has shut its doors to almost everyone, even its European neighbors. Unless, they've had COVID-19.

It's not the place you'd expect to find such a novel exception to otherwise tough entry rules. The policy, which came into force in early September, opens the door to visitors who can provide evidence that they've recovered from COVID-19 -- proof of both a positive and negative test in the past six months.

Iceland has plans for a similar policy beginning next week -- and it already gives citizens who have previously been infected permission to ignore the nationwide mask mandate.

New Jersey latest
Gov. Phil Murphy announced Sunday that more than 6,000 new COVID cases were reported to make for a total of 368,016 cases statewide.

An additional 16 deaths were reported, for a total of 15,485 in the state.


UK gears up for huge vaccination plan watched by the world
The coronavirus vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech was being sent to hospitals across the U.K. in super-cold containers on Sunday, two days ahead of the kickoff of Britain's biggest-ever immunization program, one being closely watched around the world.

Around 800,000 doses of the vaccine are expected to be in place for the start of the rollout on Tuesday, a day that British Health Secretary Matt Hancock has reportedly dubbed as "V-Day," a nod to triumphs in World War II.

1 million new coronavirus cases added to US total in only 5 days
After the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the United States on January 20, it took almost 100 days to reach 1 million infections. Now, the country has added more than 1 million cases to its grim total in just five days.

From Tuesday to Saturday, 1,000,882 new coronavirus cases were reported in the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, bringing the total to more than 14.5 million confirmed cases and 281,199 deaths from the virus.

COVID vaccine timeline: Key dates to know about FDA authorization, distribution
The next few weeks will likely see a lot of action as U.S. regulators assess COVID-19 vaccines and state officials get ready to start giving the shots to people. Shots for at most 20 million people are expected by year's end.

Click here for a timeline of what happened and what to expect in the coming days.

Restaurant owner shares her frustration over dining ban after film crew sets up craft services next door
The owner of a California restaurant expressed her anger and frustration over Los Angeles County's outdoor dining ban in an emotional video.

Angela Marsden, the owner of Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill, posted a video on social media after she saw production tents and tables set up in a parking lot just a few feet from the outdoor dining area she's not allowed to use. People involved in the television production crew were seen dining under the tents.

Wearing a winter scarf 'simply cannot replace a mask' in fight against coronavirus
The impending winter weather can bring about new COVID-19 pandemic challenges, from indoor gatherings to mask-wearing.

Medical experts are now warning of winter mask safety, reminding everyone that wearing a scarf simply cannot replace a mask. Scarves might be too loose, or the material too thin, to prevent the spread of potentially-infected droplets, doctors said.

54% of Americans know someone who has died or been hospitalized: Survey
The majority of Americans now know someone who has died from COVID-19 or been hospitalized because of the symptoms. The number has climbed to 54% according to the Pew Research Institute. The number is up from 20% in May. The survey also asked about masks. More than seven in 10 people are bothered by others who don't wear a mask in public.

Russia begins distributing COVID-19 vaccine
While many Americans anticipate the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, Russians are already receiving doses after the launch of an anti-COVID vaccination program. ABC News reporter Patrick Reevell reported that authorities have said vaccinations would begin Saturday in 70 medical facilities across Moscow. It was unclear exactly how many individuals would be getting the vaccine.

'Parents are desperate.' Zoom Santas are cashing in
Although some Santas are suiting up behind plexiglass or waving to children from snow globe setups, virtual calls from the North Pole's famous pair are entertaining families with personalization and intimacy in spite of some technical difficulties. It's also a way for Santas to still earn a paycheck.
Know your NYC COVID Zone
You can find your COVID zone at NYC.gov/covidzone.



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