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Covid live updates: Latest vaccine news; States report record new case numbers

Get live updates about Covid vaccines and CDC quarantine guidelines. The U.S. death toll continues to rise as some states report record Covid case numbers.
Image: Passengers wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus walk to their train at Wuhan railway station in Wuhan, China's central Hubei province
Passengers wearing face masks walk to their train at a Wuhan train station in China's central Hubei province on Wednesday.Hector Retamal / AFP - Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is finalizing plans to shorten the recommended length of quarantine for those exposed to Covid-19.

Meanwhile, doctors are facing daunting decisions around which patients should be first in line for the two authorized Covid-19 antibody treatments that may help keep high-risk patients out of the hospital. Both are in short supply.

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CDC estimates only eighth of infections counted

A new government report says the U.S. is still missing nearly eight coronavirus infections for every one counted.

By the end of September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculates that as many as 53 million Americans had been infected. That is just under eight times the confirmed cases reported at the time.

Previously, the CDC estimated that one of every 10 infections were being missed.

The latest CDC calculation is meant to give a more accurate picture of how many people actually have caught the virus since the pandemic began. Of the 53 million estimated infections, the CDC says about 45 million were sick at some point and about 2.4 million were hospitalized.

Oklahoma OKs in-school public quarantines for exposed students

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced Wednesday that public schools will be allowed to offer in-school quarantines for students exposed to the virus.

Schools in Mustang became the first in the state to adopt the policy, the department said.

Effective from Nov. 30 through Dec. 23, the policy would allow students to quarantine in school.

Interim State Epidemiologist Dr. Jared Taylor said students who tested positive for COVID-19 and students who had interactions with the infected student would have previously moved to distance learning for 14 days.

Under the new policy, students who are quarantined will be allowed to go to school to take part in virtual classes, but will be kept out of individual classrooms in buildings such as gyms or an auditorium where they would be socially distanced and must wear masks.

San Antonio adopts holiday weekend curfew

Americans travel for Thanksgiving despite Covid-19 warnings, experts predict dire consequences

Wyoming governor tests positive for coronavirus

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday as the state confronts surging caseloads and record-high hospitalizations, his office said in a statement.

Gordon, a Republican former state treasurer who has been governor since last year, has minor symptoms and will continue working remotely, the statement said.

The announcement came nearly a week after Gordon announced new measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus. Those measures did not include a statewide mask mandate, despite pleas from all but one of the state's county health officials, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

During a news conference announcing the measures, Gordon repeatedly called people who have dismissed the seriousness of the pandemic "knuckleheads," the newspaper reported.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Wyoming's sharp rise in coronavirus cases over the last month reflects the surge occurring across much of the United States. According to the Johns Hopkins data, the positivity rate in the state over the last two weeks is 57 percent — the highest in the country.

The World Health Organization says that positivity rates should remain below 5 percent.

80 nursing home patients in West Virginia facility, nearly every resident, test positive for Covid-19

All but five of the 85 residents of a West Virginia nursing home have tested positive for Covid-19, the facility reported on its website Wednesday.

The Stonerise Moundsville facility, which is located in the city of Moundsville, was ordered closed to all visitors by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the local NBC News affiliate WTOV reported.

Members of the West Virginia National Guard have been “on hand to help” with the mass outbreak, the affiliate reported.

West Virginia has recorded more than 43,000 Covid-19 infections and nearly 700 deaths due to the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest NBC News data.

Covid-19 surge triggered by Thanksgiving could further weaken economic recovery

Americans might be gearing up for the holidays, but economists are looking ahead to January, trying to parse a bevy of new data points for clarity on what lies beyond 2020.

The picture is, at best, murky — and there is growing trepidation that an uncontrolled Covid-19 surge triggered by the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend could further weaken a slowing recovery.

“What we’re looking for at the moment is signs of cracks in what has been reasonably good economic growth,” said Gary Schlossberg, global strategist at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

The economic data coming out is vexing even the experts: Some figures indicate continued, albeit more modest, recovery, but others are flashing red. One of the warning signs is weekly jobless claims, which jumped to a higher-than-expected 778,000 last week — the second weekly increase in a row.

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Pennsylvanians receive emergency alert to stay home or at least mask up, keep distance

The state of Pennsylvania sent an emergency phone alert on Wednesday afternoon, urging everyone to stay home or at least adhere to coronavirus protocols this Thanksgiving weekend.

A Public Safety Alert on a cellphone in Pennsylvania advises all to take Covid-19 precautions.NBC News

While phone alerts are normally used to warn about severe weather or a missing child, this late afternoon bulletin pleaded with Keystone State residents to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It was sent to everyone with a cell phone with wireless alerts on in Pennsylvania,"  health department spokesman Nate Wardle told NBC News. "So yes, (it went to) millions."

Air Force nurses spend Thanksgiving fighting war against Covid-19

BISMARCK, N.D. — About 60 Air Force nurses are spending Thanksgiving at short-staffed hospitals across North Dakota as the coronavirus ravages the largely rural state.

Capt. Ronald Golemboski said he never expected to end up here fighting an unseen enemy after serving multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It's always hard,” he said. “But as members of the Department of Defense, we’re tasked to fight all enemies, and that's whoever and wherever they may be -- including this virus.”

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