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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:

Covid exposure sidelines 1,000 Cleveland Clinic staff members

Kentucky teenage cancer survivor dies from Covid-19

A 15-year-old cancer survivor died from Covid-19 after contracting the virus in October, Kentucky officials said. She was the first school-aged child to die from Covid-19 in the state.

Alexa Rose Veit, who was born with special needs and survived a bout with Leukemia in 2019, first began exhibiting symptoms October 26 and underwent a routine Covid-19 test, according to a statement from Ballard County Emergency Management Director Travis Holder.

Veit’s symptoms continued to worsen, and she was eventually hospitalized in Nashville, Tennessee, after developing pneumonia. She died November 15, one day after her mother was released from the hospital for Covid-19.

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Ghislaine Maxwell quarantined in jail after exposure to Covid-19

Ghislaine Maxwell, jailed and awaiting trial on charges that she conspired with financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse minors, has been placed into Covid-19 quarantine after a staff member who works in her part of Brooklyn’s MDC detention facility tested positive for the virus.

Maxwell has so far tested negative, prosecutors say.

The attorneys disclosed her condition to a federal judge in an update about the conditions of her detention and her access to discovery as she prepares for trial.

They said that Maxwell’s test was last Wednesday, Nov. 18,  and she will be quarantined until Wednesday, Dec. 16.

In the filing they told the judge, “during her time in quarantine, the defendant will be housed in the same cell where she was already housed before she was placed in quarantine, and medical staff and psychology staff will continue to check  on the defendant every day.”

Maxwell was arrested July 2 in New Hampshire and accused of enticing minors, some as young as 14, to engage in illegal sex acts with Epstein in the mid-1990s, authorities announced at the time.

Maxwell was charged with six counts for acts committed between 1994 and 1997 and then allegedly lying to investigators in 2016. Four counts are related to allegedly helping transport minors for sexual activity and two for perjury, according  to the criminal complaint.

Minnesota Vikings player placed on Covid-19 reserve list

Fort Lauderdale bar shuts down after violating Covid-19 safety guidance

A south Florida bar announced on Sunday that it would be temporarily shutting down just two days after reopening due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Wharf Fort Lauderdale had been issued a citation from Broward County officials and a warning from Fort Lauderdale officials on Saturday afternoon after they were found to be in violation of the county’s Covid-19 safety guidance, a city of Fort Lauderdale spokesperson, Mike Jachles, told NBC News. 

Photos and videos posted on social media show dozens of patrons without masks crowding around the bar at the Wharf Fort Lauderdale, which shut down in mid-March at the height of the pandemic. 

Patrons crowd around the bar at The Wharf Fort Lauderdale, in a photo verified by local officials, which announced on Sunday it would be temporarily shutting down.via Twitter

“Unfortunately, due to the statewide spike in cases and local regulations, we will temporarily be shutting down,” the Wharf Fort Lauderdale said in a statement on its Twitter account. “We will reopen when we are able to provide the proper experience for you at our beautiful outdoor venue.” 

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Steve Geller told NBC News affiliate WTVJ that he was pleased by the bar’s decision to shut down, noting he was worried the venue was creating a superspreader event. 

“All businesses are responsible for what goes on inside their business, and bars are especially heavily regulated by the State and local authorities,” Geller said in a statement to WTVJ. “Bars and other business owners need to understand that they must enforce our Emergency Orders.”

Broward County has reported more than 100,000 cases and more than 1,600 deaths due to Covid-19.

Boris Johnson hopes most vulnerable Britons will be vaccinated by Easter

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday he hoped most Britons at high risk from the coronavirus would be vaccinated against the disease by Easter.

"We should be able to inoculate, I believe on the evidence I'm seeing, the vast majority of the people who need the most protection by Easter," Johnson said at a news conference. 

The prime minister stressed, however, that that hope was entirely hypothetical and it depended on whether Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency independently decided that the vaccines worked and were safe. 

Johnson said the government would not force people to have vaccinations. 

"That's not the way we do things in this country," he said. 

But he stressed that his government thought the vaccination was a good idea. 

“I totally reject the propaganda of the anti-vaxxers. They are wrong," he said. "Everybody should get a vaccine as soon as it is available."

Reuters contributed to this report.

2 members of Kansas City fire department die from Covid-19

Two members of the Kansas City Fire Department died over the weekend from Covid-19, officials said. 

Capt. Robert Rocha, 60, a 29-year-veteran of the department, died early Saturday morning. Scott Davidson, 45, an 18-year-veteran of the department who had served as a paramedic and most recently as a communications specialist, died on Sunday

Officials thanked them for their service and extended condolences to both of their families.

“KCFD first responders continue to put their lives on the line daily in service to our City as this pandemic rages on,”the department's chief, Donna Lake, said. “My request to all is to follow the guidance to protect yourself and your family from the virus.”

Three Kansas City Fire Department first responders have died from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, the department said in a press release

White House will proceed with holiday parties despite official guidance

WASHINGTON — Public health officials are sounding alarms and urging Americans not to travel and limit gatherings this holiday season amid a new surge in coronavirus cases.

But that isn't stopping the White House from planning a host of festivities, including holiday parties, which kicked off Monday with the arrival of the White House Christmas tree.

“Attending the parties will be a very personal choice,” said Stephanie Grisham, First Lady Melania Trump's spokeswoman and chief of staff. “It is a longstanding tradition for people to visit and enjoy the cheer and iconic décor of the annual White House Christmas celebrations."

The decision to move forward with indoor events and other gatherings comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, top White House advisers and public health professionals across the nation have been pleading with Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving or spend the holiday with people from outside of their households.

Grisham said the White House would be taking precautions to provide "the safest environment possible” for attendees at events. That includes smaller guest lists, requiring masks, encouraging social distancing on the White House grounds and hand sanitizer stations placed throughout the State Floor.

“Guests will enjoy food individually plated by chefs at plexiglass-protected food stations. All passed beverages will be covered. All service staff will wear masks and gloves to comply with food safety guidelines," she said.