This Week in Coronavirus: November 13 to November 19

Here’s our recap of the past week in the coronavirus pandemic from our tracking, policy analysis, polling, and journalism.

As we head into the week of Thanksgiving, the U.S. saw an increase of over 1.1 million cases and about 7,300 deaths.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, talked to KHN Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal about whether it was safe to travel over the holidays, how to survive the coming winter months, whether Americans can trust the vaccine approval process, and how hard it is when people insist that the coronavirus crisis is “fake news.” A column is available at and in The New York Times. Listen to full audio of the interview here.

More states are enacting measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus as cases surge across the country. A Policy Watch post finds thirty-one states have imposed new restrictions since the beginning of November.

Meanwhile as hopes of successful coronavirus vaccines rise, states have been submitting vaccine distribution plans to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An analysis of these plans reveal that states are in various stages of preparedness. While some have been working on the issues for several months, others started much more recently. The challenges for states include persuading people that the vaccines are safe, effective and needed, determining who gets immunized first, and lining up providers to deliver the injections.

At the start of this week, KFF President and CEO Drew Altman analyzed election 2020 exit polls and wrote about a key coronavirus pandemic challenge facing President-elect Biden. “Exit polls show that when President Trump accused Democrats of exaggerating the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic his supporters believed him…It leaves the Biden administration with a massive public re-education challenge in red America and among Trump supporters in every state,” he writes.

Here are the latest coronavirus stats from KFF’s tracking resources:

Global Cases and Deaths: Total cases worldwide reached 56.9 million this week – with an increase of over 4 million new confirmed cases in the past seven days. There were over 66,000 new confirmed deaths worldwide, bringing the total for confirmed deaths past 1.3 million.

U.S. Cases and Deaths: Total confirmed cases in the U.S. passed 11.7 million this week. There was an increase of over 1.1 million confirmed cases between November 12 and November 19. Approximately 9,300 confirmed deaths in the past week brought the total in the United States to 252,500.

State Social Distancing Actions (includes Washington D.C.) that went into effect this week:

Extensions: AK, CO, GA, HI, MO, WY

New Restrictions: AR, CA, IN, IA, KY, MI, MT, NH, NJ, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, RI, WA

New Face Covering Requirement: MT, NH, OK

Enhanced Face Covering Requirement: HI, MS

The latest KFF COVID-19 resources:

  • States Are Getting Ready to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines. What Do Their Plans Tell Us So Far? (News Release, Issue Brief)
  • Vaccine Coverage, Pricing, and Reimbursement in the U.S. (Issue Brief)
  • The Exit Polls Show The Need To Confront COVID-19 Denial in Red America (Perspective)
  • With COVID-19 Cases Surging Again, States Are Taking Action, Though Current Efforts May Not Be Enough to Stop the Spread (Policy Watch)
  • Dec. 3 Web Briefing: What Happens Once There is a COVID-19 Vaccine? Key Challenges to Vaccinating America (Event)
  • Updated: Cost-Sharing Waivers and Premium Relief by Private Plans in Response to COVID-19 (Issue Brief)
  • Updated: At-Home SARS-CoV-2 Testing: What Are the Options? (Interactive)
  • Updated: A Look at Online Platforms for Contraceptive and STI Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Issue Brief)
  • COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker – Updated as of November 19 (Interactive)
  • State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus (Interactive)
  • New Results Show 95% Efficacy For Pfizer-BioNTech Coronavirus Vaccine, No Serious Side Effects; Developing Nations To Argue For Patent Suspensions Of Vaccines At WTO Meeting (KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report)

The latest KHN COVID-19 stories:

  • Government-Funded Scientists Laid the Groundwork for Billion-Dollar Vaccines (KFF, Scientific American)
  • Long-Term Care Workers, Grieving and Under Siege, Brace for COVID’s Next Round (KHN, CNN)
  • Anger After North Dakota Governor Asks COVID-Positive Health Staff to Stay on Job (KHN, The Guardian)
  • Public Health Programs See Surge in Students Amid Pandemic (KHN, AP)
  • Homeless Shelters Grapple With COVID Safety as Cold Creeps In (KHN)
  • Facebook Live: Helping COVID’s Secondary Victims: Grieving Families and Friends (KHN)
  • Lost on the Frontline: New This Week (KHN, The Guardian)
  • As Broad Shutdowns Return, Weary Californians Ask ‘Is This the Best We Can Do?’ (KHN)
  • Take It From an Expert: Fauci’s Hierarchy of Safety During COVID (KHN, New York Times)
  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: What Would Dr. Fauci Do? (KHN)
  • Trump’s Lame-Duck Status Leaves Governors to Wing It on COVID (KHN, Lee Enterprises)
  • Fear of Flying Is a COVID-Era Conundrum (KHN, US News)
  • People Proving to Be Weakest Link for Apps Tracking COVID Exposure (KHN)
  • These Front-Line Workers Could Have Retired. They Risked Their Lives Instead. (KHN, The Guardian)
  • States’ Face-Covering Mandates Leave Gaps in Protection (KHN, Los Angeles Times)
  • Surging LA (CHL)

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