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Nov. 23 Coronavirus updates: Positive cases spread in sports, Ohio reports 11,000 new cases

November 23 news about the coronavirus pandemic. Ohio reported 11,000 more cases as multiple members of the Baltimore Ravens tested positive.
Image: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brazil
Medical workers take care of a patient at the intensive care unit in a hospital in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on Nov. 19. Diego Vara / Reuters

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Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday late-stage trials of its Covid-19 vaccine, developed in conjunction with U.K.'s University of Oxford, have shown it to be “highly effective.”

The results are the third promising vaccine breakthrough in the fight against the coronavirus. Earlier this month, Pfizer and Moderna reported preliminary results from late-stage trials, showing that their vaccine candidates were almost 95 percent effective.

The latest Covid-19 data and coverage:

Malaysia to shut some factories of world's biggest latex glove maker

Medical workers at a Top Glove hostel under enhanced lockdown in Klang, Malaysia on Nov. 18. Lim Huey Teng / Reuters

Malaysia will close some factories of the world’s largest maker of latex gloves in stages as it moves to screen employees for Covid-19 after more than 2,000 workers tested positive, authorities said.

Top Glove has racked up record profits this year on sky-rocketing demand for its products and protective gear, thanks to the pandemic.

But 28 factory buildings will be shut in phases after 2,453 workers tested positive for the virus, from 5,767 screened, the country's director-general of health Noor Hisham Abdullah said on Monday. The cases are the country’s largest active cluster and its second largest since the start of the pandemic.

The government put up barbed wire fences in front of the workers’ hostels on Tuesday, with checkpoints that were guarded by police and army personnel. 

Top Glove has around 16,000 employees and runs 47 factories across Malaysia, Thailand, China and Vietnam, with 36 of them producing gloves. Europe and North America are its biggest markets.

Spain's King Felipe in quarantine after close contact with Covid-19 case

Spain's King Felipe delivers a speech at the Reconquista hotel in Oviedo, Spain on Oct. 16. Andres Ballesteros / Reuters file

Spain’s King Felipe VI started 10 days of quarantine on Monday after coming into close contact with someone who later tested positive for Covid-19, a Royal House source said.

The king, 52, has cancelled his public appearances during the quarantine period after the person tested positive on Monday, one day after they were in close contact, the source added.

Queen Letizia and their two daughters will continue their royal activities, the source said.

Spain, one of the epicenters of the early outbreak in Europe, has registered more than 1.58 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, western Europe’s second highest tally after France, and 43,131 deaths.

Australian airline boss wants 'vaccine passport' for travelers

The Qantas check in area is seen empty at Sydney International Airport in the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic on March 19. Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images

The boss of Australia’s largest airline said Monday that once a coronavirus vaccine becomes widely available, it may require passengers to use it before they can travel abroad.

Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said he’s been talking to his counterparts at other airlines around the world about the possibility of a “vaccination passport” for overseas travelers.

“We are looking at changing the terms and conditions to say for international travelers that we will ask people to have the vaccination before they get on the aircraft,” Joyce told Australia’s Network Nine television.

Australia has imposed some of the most severe border restrictions in the world since the pandemic began, closing its borders to most international visitors. The country has weathered the pandemic, with nearly 28,000 cases and just over 900 deaths since pandemic began, fewer than many other nations of its size.

NFL will require all players to wear masks on sidelines

Players in the National Football League must wear masks on the sidelines unless they have their helmet on and are preparing to enter the game, the league said Monday as it unveiled an enhanced set of Covid-19 protocols.

In a memo distributed to teams, the NFL also outlined increased safety regulations for play-callers and said post-game interactions between players and staff would be limited.

Players that failed to comply would be subject to discipline, the league said.

The league added that the maximum number of players permitted to travel to road games would be reduced to 62 and access to club facilities would be limited for non-essential personnel. All members of a team's traveling party must wear N95 or KN95 masks on team planes and buses, it said.

Mexico’s Roman Catholic Church cancels world’s largest Catholic pilgrimage

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Roman Catholic Church announced the cancellation Monday of what’s considered the world’s largest Catholic pilgrimage, for the Virgin of Guadalupe, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mexico’s Episcopal Conference said in a statement that the basilica will be closed from December 10-13. The Virgin is celebrated on Dec. 12 and for weeks in advance, pilgrims travel from across Mexico to gather by the millions in Mexico City.

Bishop Salvador Martínez, rector at the basilica, said recently in a video circulated on social media that as many as 15 million pilgrims visit during the first two weeks of December.

Facts over fear: How long will a vaccine be effective

Montana brings in more than 100 contract health workers

HELENA, Mont. — The Montana governor’s office says more than 100 contracted medical staff have arrived in the state to assist hospitals in responding to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

The 110 health care workers are part of an anticipated total of 200 to be deployed in the state before Thanksgiving and who will remain until the end of the year.

The workers, including registered nurses and respiratory therapists, will aid hospitals that are at or near capacity as part of a contract between the state and NuWest, which provides traveling health care workers.

State health officials reported 677 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, bringing total confirmed cases to more than 56,000.

Loeffler has second consecutive negative test, will return to trail, campaign says

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Georgia, has tested negative for Covid-19 after a second PCR test, her campaign said Monday.

Loeffler, who is in a competitive runoff race that could determine the balance of power in Congress, had been quarantining after Covid-19 tests in which some tests were negative, another PCR test was positive and another test was inconclusive.

Monday night Loeffler "received her second consecutive negative PCR test result," campaign spokesperson Stephen Lawson said in a statement. Lawson said Loeffler has no symptoms and feels great. "She looks forward to getting back out on the campaign trail," the statement says.

PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction, and the tests are considered highly accurate but take longer than some other tests.

L.A. mayor warns city could be out of hospital beds by Christmas

Colorado can order hospitals to transfer or stop seeing more patients

Colorado's governor on Monday signed an executive order that allows the state health department to order hospitals to stop admitting patients or transfer patients to other facilities.

The executive order granting the authorization to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment lasts for 30 days.

The order says that given the rise in Covid-19 cases, the number of people seeking treatment may far exceed capacity and hospitals may need to transfer patients. NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver reports that it gives the state department flexibility and that hospitals in the state have already shown a willingness to transfer patients from one that is overburdened to another facility.

There have been more than 202,000 cases of Covid-19 in Colorado, with more than 2,400 deaths, according to state data. 

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