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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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27 veterans die in outbreak at Illinois VA home

LASALLE, Ill. — State officials are investigating a coronavirus outbreak at a veterans nursing home in rural Illinois that has infected nearly 200 residents and staff and killed 27 veterans.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office and the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs are attempting to determine what caused the outbreak at the state-run LaSalle Veterans Home in LaSalle, about 90 miles southwest of Chicago.

The department on Tuesday requested an independent probe into the facility, which was the focus of a state Senate committee virtual hearing on the outbreak.

The current outbreak was identified in late October when a staff member and a resident tested positive for the virus. Since the beginning of November, two-thirds of residents and employees have tested positive, according to the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

Colorado governor to quarantine after exposure

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis will quarantine after he was exposed to someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus illness Covid-19, he announced Wednesday night.

Polis said he has tested negative but will be re-tested in the coming days.

Polis, a Democrat, has repeatedly raised alarms about the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Colorado, and this week urged people to be safe in their Thanksgiving celebrations, saying they would have to live with their conscience if someone becomes ill or worse.

The person who tested positive was not identified by the governor.

'West Wing' actor Richard Schiff on his Covid-19 fight

Missouri cracking down on restaurants that break pandemic rules

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s two largest metropolitan areas are cracking down on restaurants that violate rules designed to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Kansas City’s authorities found two dozen bars and restaurants in violation of the city’s new pandemic restrictions after a weekend sweep of 185 establishments. Previously, the city relied primarily on complaints to enforce the rules.

The new rules limit bars and restaurants to 50% capacity and require closing by 10 p.m..

Meanwhile, officials in St. Louis County have sent certified letters to three dozen bars and businesses ordering them to cease indoor service or face lawsuits or criminal charges.

Nation's Report Card student assessment pushed to 2022

School tests known as "the nation's report card" won't be done until 2022 because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

James Woodworth, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, said Wednesday that trying to do the assessments, which are mandated by law to be done every two years, in 2021 could be a waste.

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in disruptions to education across the country. Woodworth said that delaying the National Assessment of Educational Progress collections would give the situation time to stabilize. Trying and failing to collect the data in 2021 could waste tens of millions of dollars, he said.

Denver mayor apologizes for Thanksgiving travel after urging people to stay home

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Wednesday apologized after traveling for Thanksgiving after urging others to stay home if possible.

Hancock said that his wife and daughter are in Mississippi where his daughter had recently taken a job.

"As the holiday approached, I decided it would be safer for me to travel to see them than to have two family members travel back to Denver," Hancock, a Democrat, said in a statement.

The mayor said his family had canceled their traditional multi-household Thanksgiving celebration, but he also said his own actions are rightly scrutinized and he apologized to anyone offended.

Covid-19 cases have been rising all over the country, including in Colorado where officials have warned of a steep increase. Health experts also are bracing for a rise in cases due to holiday travel and gatherings. 

Read the full story here.

Malls make big changes to entice in-person shoppers

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.