Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

November 2021: Coronavirus Blog Archive

An undated artist rendering of the coronavirus.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
An undated artist rendering of the coronavirus.

New antiviral drugs are coming for COVID. Here's what you need to know
– 11:13 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021

An FDA advisory committee is meeting Tuesday to consider whether to recommend a new antiviral pill for the COVID-19 treatment toolkit.

Take-at-home pills could be a game changer for keeping COVID-19 in check, and helping people recover from early stages of the disease.

"With omicron (variant) breathing down our necks, we need drugs, we need really effective antivirals, and we need more of them," says Carl Dieffenbach, director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who is leading antiviral development. – Pien Huang, NPR

County reports 401 COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths as officials monitor omicron
– 11:09 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 401 new COVID-19 infections and 10 deaths in it latest data, as the state prepares for the Omicron variant.

The Omicron variant has now been detected in Canada after first being identified in South Africa and then in Europe.

Canadian health officials said Sunday that two cases of the variant were detected in Ontario. – City News Service

Highly mutated omicron variant likely already spreading in US
– 11:06 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021

While existing fears over a potential holiday surge in COVID-19 cases were already generating concern, health officials are now sounding the alarm over a new variant.
First detected in South Africa, the omicron variant is believed to have more mutations than previous COVID-19 variants.

That could make it more contagious and possibly more resistant to vaccine immunity, but researchers say much remains to be learned about Omicron. – Maureen Cavanaugh, KPBS Midday Edition co-host and Harrison Patiño, KPBS Midday Edition producer

The omicron variant is cause for concern — but not panic, Biden says
– 12:04 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29, 2021

President Biden said Monday that while travel restrictions imposed on travelers from several southern African nations would slow the entry of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, "it cannot prevent it."

"Sooner or later, we're going to see cases," he said in an address to the American people.
Biden added: "This variant is a cause for concern — not a cause for panic."

He reiterated his plea for Americans to get vaccinated as a way to protect themselves against COVID-19.

"The best protection against this variant or any of the variants out there is getting fully vaccinated and getting a booster shot," he said.

Biden said scientists didn't think that extra measures would be needed to fight the new variant, but he added that his administration was working with vaccine manufacturers to develop vaccines or boosters against omicron if needed. – Brian Naylor, NPR

The World Health Organization warns of very high risk posed by the omicron variant
– 11:59 a.m. Monday, Nov. 29, 2021

The World Health Organization is warning that the new omicron variant of the coronavirus poses a "very high" global risk because of the possibility that it spreads more easily and might resist vaccines and immunity in people who were infected with previous strains.

In a technical brief issued Sunday, the WHO warned its 194 member states that the new variant's numerous mutations "may confer immune escape potential and possibly transmissibility advantage," and as a result "the likelihood of potential further spread of omicron at the global level is high."

It says that the risk to vulnerable populations — especially in countries with low vaccination rates — could be "substantial." – Scott Neuman, NPR

San Diego County's COVID hospitalizations rise slightly
– 11:49 a.m. Monday, Nov. 29, 2021

The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Diego County has increased slightly, rising from 248 to 255, according to the latest state figures.

Of those patients, 76 were in intensive care on Thursday, down from 79 on Wednesday.
The latest figures come one day after the county reported 403 new COVID-19 infections and six additional deaths related to the coronavirus, bringing its cumulative totals to 382,450 cases and 4,325 deaths since the pandemic began. – City News Service

San Diego County reports 232 new COVID-19 cases
– 10:42 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 232 new COVID-19 infections in it latest data, increasing the region's cumulative total to 381,557 since the pandemic began.

Monday's total follows 445 reported Sunday and 676 on Saturday. No new deaths were reported Monday, but the county's death toll rose by 10 from Friday's report to 4,317. The county no longer reports new cases and deaths on weekends.

The number of coronavirus patients in San Diego County hospitals has decreased by eight to 253, in the latest data released by the state. The number of COVID patients in intensive care increased by three to 80. – City News Service

California COVID: Good case numbers but surge threat remains
– 3:27 p.m. Monday, Nov. 22, 2021

California now has one of the lowest coronavirus infection rates in the country, with 1.9% of people testing positive for the disease in the last week as the nation’s most populous state has so far avoided the uptick feared heading into the end-of-year holidays.

Coronavirus hospitalizations in the state have fallen about 14% in the last month — a trend state data models forecast will continue for the next month — but Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday continued to sound the alarm about the potential for another winter spike that could overwhelm hospitals in some areas.

Visiting a coronavirus vaccination clinic in San Francisco, Newsom urged people to wear masks and get COVID shots ahead of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. He pointed to at least 27 states that have seen at least a 10% increase in cases in the past week. – Associated Press

San Diego County reports 260 COVID-19 hospitalizations
– 1:48 p.m. Monday, Nov. 22, 2021

The number of coronavirus patients in San Diego County hospitals has decreased by one to 260, in the latest data released by the state.

The number of COVID patients in intensive care decreased by seven to 77.

San Diego County public health officials reported 539 new cases of COVID-19 and six additional deaths on Friday. The county no longer reports new cases and deaths on weekends. – City News Service

CDC backs expansion of COVID boosters for all adults
– 4:10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, 2021

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is recommending COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all adults.

The announcement came just hours after a vaccine advisory committee voted unanimously to expand Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine boosters to everyone 18 and older.

The experts met Friday afternoon following the Food and Drug Administration's decision to authorize the boosters for all adults. – Scott Hensley, NPR

County of San Diego encourages those eligible to get a booster
– 4:10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, 2021

The county of San Diego is encouraging booster shots for anyone eligible to get one.
Eugene Raiter, a San Diego resident got his booster on Thursday. He said he’s not only gearing up for the holiday season, but also for his 72nd birthday coming up in two weeks.
“This is my back up. I had my two shots already,” Raiter said.

Raiter was one of about 50 seniors scheduled to get their booster shot at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center Thursday.

Paul Downey, president and CEO of Serving Seniors, said they’ve been working throughout the pandemic to make sure seniors have easy access to the vaccine.
They serve about 400 to 500 low income and homeless seniors each day. – Alexandra Rangel, KPBS Reporter

San Diego County reports 342 new COVID-19 cases, 14 deaths
– 3:28 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021

The county Health and Human Services Agency reported 342 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 additional deaths on Wednesday.

Wednesday's data increased the county's cumulative totals to 379,251 infections and 4,301 deaths since the pandemic began.

The number of coronavirus patients in San Diego County hospitals decreased by 16 to 261 Wednesday, and the number of those patients in intensive care increased by five, according to state data.

The number of county residents who have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine is now nearly 2.61 million — or 82.9% of residents 5 and older. More than 2.33 million, or 74.3%, are fully vaccinated. Close to 345,000 San Diegans 18 years of age or older have received a booster dose. – City News Service

CDC panel to discuss expanding COVID booster shots Friday
– 3:28 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021

An influential U.S. advisory panel will discuss expanding eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to all adults Friday, a move that could make the shots available as early as this weekend.

The panel advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in setting vaccination recommendations for U.S. doctors and the general public.

Some cities and states already allow all adults to get boosters of Pfizer's vaccine, but it is not yet official U.S. policy. – Associated Press

San Diego County reports 433 COVID-19 cases, four deaths
– 11:43 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 433 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths in its latest data.

The county Health and Human Services Agency reported 445 infections Saturday and 317 Sunday. The county no longer updates coronavirus numbers on weekends.

Monday's data increased the cumulative statistics to 378,327 infections and 4,284 deaths.
The number of coronavirus patients in San Diego County hospitals has risen by five to 265, and the number of those patients in intensive care decreased by three to 80, according to state data. – City News Service

Pfizer agrees to let other companies make its COVID-19 pill
– 11:13 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021

Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. has signed a deal with a U.N.-backed group to allow other manufacturers to make its experimental COVID-19 pill, a move that could make the treatment available to more than half of the world’s population.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Pfizer said it would grant a license for the antiviral pill to the Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool, which would let generic drug companies produce the pill for use in 95 countries, making up about 53% of the world’s population.

The deal excludes some large countries that have suffered devastating coronavirus outbreaks. For example, while a Brazilian drug company could get a license to make the pill for export to other countries, the medicine could not be made generically for use in Brazil. – Associated Press

A lottery could determine the fate of Biden's vaccine rule for 84 million workers
– 10:27 a.m. Monday, Nov. 15, 2021

In the fight over who has the authority to tell companies what to do when it comes to COVID-19 and workplace safety, a random drawing could play a big role in which side prevails.

A lottery is expected to be held this week to determine which federal appeals court will hear the numerous challenges to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's emergency rule, which set a Jan. 4 deadline for some 84 million private sector workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to regular testing.

More than two dozen Republican states, as well as a number of businesses, industry groups and religious organizations have sued to block the rule, calling it an act of government overreach. The Biden administration asserts it has the authority to act amid an emergency to protect workers from "grave danger" on the job. – Andrea Hsu, NPR

UCSD Researchers among those studying herbs, mushrooms in treating COVID-19
– 4:23 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, 2021

UC San Diego researchers are among those undertaking studies assessing whether medicinal mushrooms and Chinese herbs can provide therapeutic benefit in treating acute COVID-19 infection, it was announced Friday.

Mushrooms and Chinese Herbs for COVID-19 is a multi-center study led by UCSD and UCLA, along with the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. It is among the first to evaluate the medicines using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

"We hope these treatments will reduce the need for hospitalization," said MACH-19 principal investigator Dr. Gordon Saxe, director of research at the Centers for Integrative Health at UCSD School of Medicine. – City News Service

Booster shots now will help prevent winter surge, immunity expert says
– 4:23 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, 2021

California public health officials are ramping up efforts to get booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine into as many eligible adults as possible.

Earlier this week, the state’s public health director urged regional health care providers not to turn down any eligible patients for an additional shot.

The message goes beyond what the CDC recommends, which is to only allow boosters for certain, more vulnerable demographics. – Jade Hindmon, KPBS Midday Edition Co-Host and Harrison Patiño, KPBS Midday Edition Producer

7,000-plus children ages 5 to 11 in San Diego have first dose of COVID-19 vaccine– 2:08 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021

More than 7,000 children ages 5-11 have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday, and starting Thursday, they will be included in the county's overall vaccination rate.

Through Tuesday, a total of 279,293 San Diegans had received a COVID- 19 booster and 7,320 children ages 5 through 11 had received their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine — the only one approved for that age group.

"It's great that San Diegans are getting their booster shots and that parents are vaccinating their children," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. "This will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as we enter the holiday season and into 2022. – City News Service

San Diego County reports 447 new cases of COVID-19
– 10:25 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021

San Diego County has reported 447 new cases of COVID- 19 and no new virus-related deaths in its latest data.

Wednesday's data increased the county's cumulative total to 376,114 cases since the pandemic began, with the death toll remaining at 4,272.

There were 271 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county as of Wednesday, an increase of 33 from Tuesday, according to the latest state figures. Of those, 79 people were in intensive care, up three from the previous day. – City News Service

San Diego County reports 441 new cases of COVID-19, 13 additional deaths
– 10:10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021

San Diego County has reported 441 new cases of COVID- 19 and 13 new virus-related deaths in its latest data.

Tuesday's data increased the county's cumulative total to 375,683 cases since the pandemic began, with the death toll increasing to 4,272.

There were 258 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county as of Tuesday, a decrease of 12 from Monday, according to the latest state figures. Of those, 76 people were in intensive care, down two from the previous day. – City News Service

San Diego County reports 412 new cases of COVID-19, 9 additional deaths
– 1:17 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021

San Diego County reported 412 new cases of COVID-19 and nine new virus-related deaths in its latest data.

Monday's data increased the county's cumulative total to 375,243 cases since the pandemic began, with the death toll increasing to 4,259.

There were 277 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county as of Monday, a decrease of six from Sunday, according to the latest state figures. Of those, 78 people were in intensive care, up two from the previous day. – City News Service

Pfizer asks FDA to OK COVID-19 booster shots for all adults
– 1:09 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021

Pfizer asked U.S. regulators Tuesday to allow boosters of its COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 or older, a step that comes amid concern about the increased spread of the coronavirus with holiday travel and gatherings.

Older Americans and other groups particularly vulnerable to the virus have had access to a third dose of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine since September. But the Food and Drug Administration has said it would move quickly to expand boosters to younger ages if warranted.

Pfizer is submitting early results of a booster study in 10,000 people to make its case that it’s time to further expand the booster campaign. – Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press

San Diego County reports 563 new COVID cases, no additional deaths
– 12:49 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8, 2021

San Diego County reported 563 new cases of COVID-19 and no new virus-related deaths in its latest data.

Sunday's data increased the county's cumulative total to 374,851 cases since the pandemic began, with the death toll remaining at 4,250.

There were 283 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county as of Sunday, an increase of six from Saturday, according to the latest state figures. Of those, 76 people were in intensive care, down one from the previous day.

The number of county residents who have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine is now nearly 2.55 million — or 90.9% of residents 12 and older. More than 2.31 million, or 82.4% of that cohort, are fully vaccinated.

A total of 22,415 new tests were reported to the county on Friday, and the percentage of new positive cases over the past week was 3.1%, according to the county health department. – City News Service

San Diego County reports 407 new COVID-19 cases, no new virus-related deaths
– 6:29 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021

San Diego County reported 407 new cases of COVID-19 and no additional virus-related deaths Tuesday.

Tuesday's data brought the county's cumulative case total to 372,198 since the pandemic began. The overall death toll remains 4,232, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

There were 281 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county as of Tuesday, a decrease of two from Monday. Of these, 80 people were in intensive care, an increase of three from Monday, according to state figures.

A total of 12,114 new tests were reported to the county on Tuesday, and the percentage of new positive cases over the past week was 3.2%, according to the county health department. – City News Service

CDC advisors recommend Pfizer's COVID vaccine for children ages 5 through 11
– 2:46 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021

Children ages 5 through 11 years may soon be able to get a low-dose COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech. Advisors to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously to recommend the shots Tuesday for the approximately 28 million children in this age group.

If the recommendations are endorsed by CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, as expected, children could begin getting their shots within the next several days.

The vaccine is one-third the adult dose and the vaccine would be given in two doses, three weeks apart. The lower dose was chosen to minimize side effects and still produce strong immunity, Pifzer says.

Before the committee vote, at the start of the Tuesday advisory meeting, Walensky called this "a monumental day" as she urged the panel to consider the unprecedented toll that COVID-19 has had on children. The CDC's latest data show that 172 children ages 5-11 have died from COVID-19 and more than 8,300 have been hospitalized. – Joe Neel and Carmel Wroth, NPR

San Diego County reports 455 new COVID-19 cases, 14 more virus-related deaths
– 5:18 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1, 2021

San Diego County Monday reported 455 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 additional virus-related deaths.

Monday's data brought the county's cumulative case total to 371,801 since the pandemic began. The overall death toll stands at 4,232, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

There were 283 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county as of Monday, unchanged from Sunday. Of these, 77 people were in intensive care, a decrease of five from Sunday, according to state figures.

The number of county residents who have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine is now nearly 2.53 million — or 90.2% of residents 12 and older. More than 2.28 million, or 81.5% of that cohort, are fully vaccinated.

A total of 12,115 new tests were reported to the county on Monday, and the percentage of new positive cases over the past week was 3.2%, according to the county health department. – City News Service

The COVID-19 pandemic has now killed 5 million people around the world
– 10:31 a.m. Monday, Nov. 1, 2021

Global deaths from COVID-19 have now surpassed 5 million, according to the data released Monday from Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus tracker.

The U.S. leads the world in the number of confirmed deaths from the virus with more than 745,800 people dead from COVID-19. Brazil (with more than 607,000 deaths) and India (with more than 450,000 deaths) follow the U.S. in the number of lives lost since the start of the pandemic.

Yet another tragic milestone of the pandemic comes just as the U.S. prepares to start vaccinating children between the ages of 5 and 11. – Associated Press

San Diego County reports 449 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths
– 10:27 a.m. Monday, Nov. 1, 2021

San Diego County reported 449 new cases of COVID-19 and no new virus-related deaths in it latest data.

Sunday's data brought the county's cumulative case total to 371,361 since the pandemic began. The overall death toll remains at 4,218, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

There were 283 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county as of Sunday, a decrease of seven from Saturday. Of these, 82 people were in intensive care units, a decrease of three from Saturday, according to state figures. – City News Service