By MORGAN WINSOR, ERIN SCHUMAKER, IVAN PEREIRA, EMILY SHAPIRO and MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 69.8 million people and killed over 1.5 million worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Here’s how the news is developing Friday. All times Eastern:
Dec 11, 1:11 pm
US sets records for new cases, deaths, hospitalizations
The U.S. has set new records for the most deaths in one week, the highest number of new cases in a week and the most Americans hospitalized in one week, according to ABC News’ analysis of COVID Tracking Project data.
In the past seven days, the U.S. has reported more than 1.4 million COVID-19 cases — roughly equivalent to 142 Americans testing positive for the virus every minute.
Daily case numbers have been on the rise for nearly three months, increasing nationally by 480% since mid-September.
The U.S. broke a hospitalization record again on Thursday, surpassing 107,000 patients, a 6.5% rise from a week earlier. Fifteen states have reported record numbers since Sunday.
With the U.S. is now averaging over 2,300 new coronavirus related deaths a day, more Americans are dying from COVID-19 every day than ever before.
“We are in the timeframe now that probably for the next 60 to 90 days we’re going to have more deaths per day than we had at 9/11 or we had at Pearl Harbor,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said Thursday at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations.
In the 9/ll attacks, almost 3,000 Americans died, and more than 2,400 were killed when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941.
ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos contributed to this report.
Dec 11, 12:30 pm
New York City ending indoor dining
Indoor dining will end Monday in New York City to help stem the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
Outdoor dining and takeout will continue.
Indoor dining accounted for 1.43% of recent spread, said Cuomo, adding that a 74% spike in infections is linked to indoor gatherings at private homes.
Indoor dining capacity could be reduced elsewhere in New York depending on the numbers, the governor said.
Before the governor’s announcement, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he felt “tremendous empathy for restaurant owners.”
“I feel for them,” the mayor added, “but sometimes it’s smart to say, ‘Look, if you take an action now, you can stop much worse things from happening later."”
ABC News’ Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.
Dec 11, 10:56 am
Snow leopard at Louisville Zoo has virus
A snow leopard at the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky has SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories.
Testing is ongoing for two other snow leopards.
“Samples from three snow leopards were taken after they showed signs of respiratory illness,” the Department of Agriculture said. “It is suspected that they acquired the infection from an asymptomatic staff member, despite precautions taken by the zoo.”
All three animals are expected to fully recover.
This is the first snow leopard in the U.S. to test positive for SARS-CoV-2, though there have been confirmed cases in other big cats in zoos and conservations centers.
ABC News’ Stephanie Ebbs contributed to this report.
Dec 11, 7:59 am
HHS secretary says Pfizer vaccine will be approved, vaccinations could start next week
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on ABC News’ Good Morning America Friday morning that COVID-19 vaccinations could come Monday or Tuesday.
He said the Pfizer vaccine will be approved, they are just working out the details and finalizing the fact sheet on allergy warnings.
“We weren’t counting on it in terms of getting to the projections that you and I have talked about about having enough vaccine for the second quarter,” he told George Stephanopoulos. “The Sanofi vaccine could be an important additional technology for later rounds of vaccination as one goes forward later in 2021.”
Azar also said the Food and Drug Administration will proceed with the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
He said 20 million Americans will be vaccinated this month, up to 50 million total in January and the U.S. believes “we could have 100 million vaccinations in arm by the end of February.”
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