What you need to know about coronavirus on Monday, November 2

The pandemic is undeniably getting worse in the US. At least 31 states reported at least one record-high day of new coronavirus cases in October, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 50,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with the virus.

But while Fauci tells it as it is, Trump continues to downplay the epidemic by lashing out at doctors, disputing science and attacking the press for highlighting rising coronavirus case counts.

“All the stars are aligned in the wrong place” as the country heads indoors in colder weather, Fauci said. “You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”

Fauci has repeatedly told Americans that they can change the trajectory of the virus and save lives if they adhere to mask use, social distancing protocols and other safety precautions — advice the Trump White House blatantly ignores.

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED

Q: Should I wear face shields instead of (or in addition to) face masks?

A: The CDC does not recommend using plastic face shields for everyday activities or as a substitute for face masks. There are a few exceptions, such as for those who are hearing-impaired and rely on lip-reading, or those who have physical or mental health conditions that would be exacerbated by wearing a cloth face mask.

Face shields worn in addition to masks can provide an added layer of protection and can also help people stop touching their faces.

Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY

England joins France and Germany in lockdown

England will go into a second national lockdown on Thursday after spiking infections forced British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to give up on his desire to control the virus through piecemeal local restrictions.

Johnson is expected to tell Parliament on Monday that coronavirus deaths in the winter could be twice as high as during the first wave of the outbreak. But for many, the action came too late — the government’s scientific experts suggested in September more measures were needed.

The Office for National Statistics now estimates that one in 100 people in England had Covid-19 in the week of October 17, compared to one in 2,300 in July and one in 200 at the start of October. The total number of confirmed cases has now surpassed 1 million.

Slovakia tests half its population in one day

Around 2.58 million Slovaks — half the country — were tested on the first day of nationwide coronavirus testing on Saturday. Of those tested, 25,850 — roughly 1% — tested positive for the virus.

The government decided to test everyone in the country after seeing increases in the number of people getting infected. The mass testing operation took place over the weekend across nearly 5,000 testing places. More than 6,000 soldiers and 14,500 health workers were involved.

The ‘dose’ of Covid you get may determine how sick you get

The difference between being asymptomatic, getting mildly
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VBL Therapeutics to Report Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results on November 16

TEL AVIV, Israel, Nov. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — VBL Therapeutics (Nasdaq: VBLT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class treatments for cancer, today announced that it will host a conference call and live audio webcast on Monday, November 16, 2020 at 8:30am Eastern Time to report third quarter ended September 30, 2020 financial results and to provide a corporate update.

About VBL
Vascular Biogenics Ltd., operating as VBL Therapeutics, is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class treatments for areas of unmet need in cancer and immune/inflammatory indications. VBL has developed three platform technologies: a gene-therapy based technology for targeting newly formed blood vessels with focus on cancer, an antibody-based technology targeting MOSPD2 for anti-inflammatory and immuno-oncology applications, and the Lecinoxoids, a family of small-molecules for immune-related indications. VBL’s lead oncology product candidate, ofranergene obadenovec (VB-111), is a first-in-class, targeted anti-cancer gene-therapy agent that is being developed to treat a wide range of solid tumors. It is conveniently administered as an IV infusion once every 6-8 weeks. It has been observed to be well-tolerated in >300 cancer patients and demonstrated activity signals in a VBL-sponsored “all comers” Phase 1 trial as well as in three VBL-sponsored tumor-specific Phase 2 studies. Ofranergene obadenovec is currently being studied in a VBL-sponsored Phase 3 potential registration trial for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

INVESTOR CONTACT:
Michael Rice
LifeSci Advisors, LLC
(646) 597-6979

 

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Indiana may get COVID vaccine by November

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Federal officials have indicated a COVID-19 vaccine could be shipped to Indiana by mid- to late November, Indiana’s health commissioner has said.

The first vaccine is likely to be a two-dose version from Pfizer, Dr. Kristina Box said during a news conference Wednesday. This vaccine requires “ultra-low storage,” meaning it has to be stored at minus 70 degrees. The state is determining where it can store that vaccine as well as identifying vaccination sites, Box said.

A second vaccine from Moderna is expected to arrive in Indiana by mid-December, Box continued, although that vaccine’s timeline is a “rapidly developing situation, so a lot is subject to change.”


“We do not know how much Indiana will receive yet, but we expect the supply to be limited in the beginning,” Box said.

Neither vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and multiple vaccine candidates are still undergoing trials. The Indiana State Department of Health has submitted its plan for distributing a vaccine to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Indiana’s phased approach, healthcare workers and vulnerable individuals will be the first to receive the vaccine. People who can’t work from home, including teachers, food service workers, firefighters and police officers, would be next in line under the plan.

In the third phase, health officials anticipate distributing the vaccine to all other residents. The timeline for doing so was unclear.

“A widely available vaccine to all people of all ages is still months away,” Box said.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said during a gubernatorial debate Tuesday night that he would not support requiring residents to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, but that he wanted to make sure it was quickly made available statewide.

“It shouldn’t be mandated but should be encouraged when it is safe,” Holcomb said. “We want to make sure that we’re ready to rock and roll when it does come to Indiana, getting it out to the front line, getting it out to the most vulnerable, getting it out to our schools and long-term care centers.”

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Casey Smith is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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Honor Band 6 to shake up fitness tracker game on 3 November

Huawei spin-off Honor is set to announce the Honor Band 6 as the latest instalment of its budget fitness tracker range.

The company teased an announcement on Chinese social media site Weibo, claiming its arrival would mark a new era for full-screen wearables.

What that seems to indicate is that we are going to get a bigger screen on its next tracker and it could maybe be planning to switch up the display technology too.

Essential reading: Best fitness trackers to buy right now

The Honor Band 5, which was announced in July last year, featured a 0.95-inch AMOLED touchscreen display with a 240 x 120 resolution.

So we imagine that screen size and resolution will get a sizeable bump up on the Band 6.

Honor Band 6

We know that the likes of Xiaomi and Amazfit have significantly upped their game in the screen department for their budget trackers and Honor may be looking to follow suit by offering something more high grade this time around.

Aside from pointing to some screen improvements, there’s no mention of the kind of fitness tracking features it’ll be packing. The Band 5 offered activity tracking, exercise monitoring, a heart rate monitor support, notifications and introduced an SpO2 monitor.

The Band 5 is currently priced $36.99 putting it firmly in the same budget tracker bracket as the Xiaomi Mi Band 5. The question will be whether Honor will manage to keep that price down with the teased changes they’re set to make.

In terms of a launch, it’s likely that it’s one that will be made available in China first as has been the case previously. It did though eventually make it out into other territories soon after.

We were fans of the Band 5, praising its display and for offering good value for money. We only have a few days to find out what the Honor Band 6 will be capable of and how much it’ll cost to own one.

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Novavax delays U.S. trial of COVID-19 vaccine to November

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a “Vaccine COVID-19” sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

(Reuters) – Novavax Inc on Tuesday delayed the start of a late-stage U.S. trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine by roughly a month to the end of November, citing delays in scaling up the manufacturing process.

The U.S.-based drug developer said data from a separate Phase III trial being conducted in Britain was expected by the first quarter of 2021 and could be the basis for global regulatory approvals although it did not elaborate. Shares of the company rose nearly 3%.

It is not immediately clear whether that could apply in the United States. Novavax did not respond to a request for clarification.

“I think the FDA has generally been loathe to approve vaccines for Americans that haven’t been tested in Americans, historically,” Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel, said on in an interview with the editor of JAMA medical journal on Tuesday.

Data from an early-to-mid stage trial of the vaccine is expected on Friday, the company said. Earlier data had showed the vaccine produced high levels of antibodies against the novel coronavirus.

A handful of companies, including larger rivals Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca Plc, are conducting late-stage trials of their experimental COVID-19 vaccines, though none have reported pivotal data that would be used to seek emergency authorization or approval.

The companies, including Novavax, have already made distribution deals with several countries for the vaccines, once approved.

Novavax in August said it will supply 60 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to the UK from as early as the first quarter of 2021.

The company is also preparing to deliver 100 million doses to the United States by January after it was awarded $1.6 billion for its potential vaccine, and has also signed supply agreements with Canada and Japan.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru and Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Bill Berkrot

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Novavax Delays U.S. Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate to November | Top News

(Reuters) – Novavax Inc on Tuesday delayed the start of a late-stage U.S. trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine by roughly a month to the end of November, citing delays in scaling up the manufacturing process.

The U.S.-based drug developer said data from a separate phase 3 trial being conducted in Britain was expected by the first quarter of 2021 and could be the basis for regulatory approval, sending its shares up 3.4% in early trading.

Data from an early-to-mid stage or phase 2 trial of the vaccine is now expected on Friday, the company said. Early-stage data had showed the vaccine produced high levels of antibodies against the novel coronavirus.

A handful of companies, including larger rivals Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca Plc, have begun testing their vaccines in late-stage trials, though none of them is yet to win regulatory approvals.

Novavax in August said it will supply 60 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine candidate to the UK from as early as the first quarter of 2021.

The company is also preparing to deliver 100 million doses to the United States by January after it was awarded $1.6 billion for its potential vaccine and has also signed supply agreements with Canada and Japan.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Arun Koyyur)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Whoever wins in November is going to have to solve the Covid-19 crisis

This week, we ask the question: What comes next for America and Covid-19? Regardless of who is elected in November, we will still be in the midst of a pandemic and facing multiple challenges in addressing it. Culture clashes over mask-wearing, social distancing and vaccines are just a few. We’ll tackle those in our CNN Digital video discussion, but first we start with public policy. Here, two former public officials — Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Frances Fragos Townsend — come together to tell us what should come next.



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© Provided by CNN


Despite the deep divisions ravaging our country ahead of the presidential elections, many Americans are looking for answers to a common threat — the coronavirus. As the daily number of cases and deaths have risen, we remain in the throes of a pandemic that has killed more than 225,000 of our fellow citizens and torpedoed our economy. Indeed, the US is averaging more than 68,000 new cases a day.

Regardless of whether Trump or Joe Biden wins the election, though, the next president will confront a dual challenge: managing the current pandemic and ensuring that the country and the world are better prepared when the next plague strikes — as it inevitably will.

It is past time for the nation to make the investments we need to prevent, detect and respond quickly to emerging infectious diseases, like the coronavirus, before they sicken Americans and force catastrophic economic shutdowns. That is the main finding of a bipartisan task force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which we were honored to chair.

Here at home, three of the most glaring failures relate to testing, science-based communication and the protection of vulnerable populations.

Nothing has undercut the US response to Covid-19 more than the failure to develop — to this day — a comprehensive nationwide system of testing and tracing that allows public health authorities to rapidly identify infected individuals and their contacts in order to isolate the sick from healthy populations. Without this timely information, authorities are too often flying blind, uncertain of the trajectory of the disease, slow to identify hot spots and unable to stop the spread of the virus through targeted measures that do not require shutting down entire communities and economies.



Sylvia Mathews Burwell wearing a purple shirt


© Jeff Watts/American University
Sylvia Mathews Burwell

The US experience on testing and contact tracing stands in contrast to nations like South Korea, which rapidly ramped up nationwide testing and successfully mobilized an army of contact tracers. The US cannot put itself in this position again.

The success of public health measures like contact tracing, mask-wearing, and social distancing depends on individuals and communities trusting and adhering to advice from medical professionals and scientists, sometimes delivered by elected and other officials. That public trust must be earned and sustained.

Elected US officials, including the President, often have fallen short as communicators in this pandemic. To prevent future pandemics from becoming a political football, public officials at all levels, from the White

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Billions of Dollars for Stem Cell Research Institute On California’s November Ballot

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—In an election year dominated by a chaotic presidential race and splashy statewide ballot initiative campaigns, Californians are being asked to weigh in on the value of stem cell research—again.

Proposition 14 would authorize the state to borrow $5.5 billion to keep financing the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), currently the second-largest funder of stem cell research in the world. Factoring in interest payments, the measure could cost the state roughly $7.8 billion over about 30 years, according to an estimate from the nonpartisan state Legislative Analyst’s Office.

In 2004, voters approved Proposition 71, a $3 billion bond, to be repaid with interest over 30 years. The measure got the state agency up and running and was designed to seed research.

During that first campaign, voters were told research funded by the measure could lead to cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s and other devastating diseases, and that the state could reap millions in royalties from new treatments.

Yet most of those ambitions remain unfulfilled.

“I think the initial promises were a little optimistic,” said Kevin McCormack, CIRM’s senior director of public communications, about how quickly research would yield cures. “You can’t rush this kind of work.”

So advocates are back after 16 years for more research money, and to increase the size of the state agency.

Stem cells hold great potential for medicine because of their ability to develop into different types of cells in the body, and to repair and renew tissue.

When the first bond measure was adopted in 2004, the George W. Bush administration refused to fund stem cell research at the national level because of opposition to the use of one kind of stem cell: human embryonic stem cells. They derive from fertilized eggs, which has made them controversial among politicians who oppose abortion.

Federal funding resumed in 2009, and thus far this year the National Institutes of Health has spent about $321 million on human embryonic stem cell research.

But advocates for Proposition 14 say the ability to do that research is still tenuous. In September, Republican lawmakers sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to cut off those funds once again.

The funding from California’s original bond measure was used to create the new state institute and fund grants to conduct research at California hospitals and universities for diseases such as blood cancer and kidney failure. The money has paid for 90 clinical trials.

A 2019 report from the University of Southern California concluded the center has contributed about $10.7 billion to the California economy, which includes hiring, construction and attracting more research dollars to the state. CIRM funds more than 56,500 jobs, more than half of which are considered high-paying.

Despite the campaign promises, just two treatments developed with some help from CIRM have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the past 13 years, one for leukemia and one for scarring of the bone marrow.

But it’s a bit of a stretch for the institute to take

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6 Reasons to Buy the November Issue of Men’s Health Today

Fitness is about far more than your 5K time or the visibility of your abdominal muscles. At Men’s Health, we’ve long strived to present a more thoughtful and multi-faceted view of male health and fitness.

In this issue, you’ll find all the workouts, gear reviews and insider training hacks you’ve come to expect from MH, alongside a more holistic take on health, too. With our 10-page special, Black Minds Matter, we continue our commitment to raising awareness of men’s mental health issues in various sectors of society by looking at the way in which our health services have failed black men.

We also have six feelgood workouts to boost your mental energy and pump up your well-being, plus 31 tips for fortifying your heart against life’s stresses. That, and more besides.

Zack George: Britain’s Fittest Man

Zack George reached the zenith of his sport, only to see his dream dissolve. It has been an intense and busy year for the UK’s finest CrossFitter. This is how he found triumph in adversity to become stronger than ever – and why you need to get with the programming.

Fighting for Black Minds

Black British men are four times more likely than white men to be hospitalised for poor mental health, and are less likely to seek help before they reach crisis point. The system in place to support them is broken. How do we fix it?

The Best Eco Toys in Wellness

Minimising your environmental footprint needn’t mean trading in your Nike Zooms for hemp slippers. Brands at the sharp end of performance are investing time and energy intro crafting sustainable products. Here’s our pick of the best.

Mood-Boosting Workouts

Stressed out? The body part you need to target in your next workout is the one between your ears. With a little neurological know-how, your training sessions can expel anxiety and add muscle to flagging motivation. Get a lift from these.

New Ways to Pump Up Your Heart

Almost 80% of UK adults struggle with work-related stress, while heart diseases account for more than a quarter of British deaths. That means staying young at heart isn’t just a romantic cliche – it’s a doctor’s order. Our experts have their fingers on the pulse.

Your Daily Bread

Blame bowl food for the demise of the humble sandwich. Thankfully, London’s upper crust is making your staple lunch great again – in flavour and nutritious goodness. Make a meal of it.


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Restrictions at Canada-U.S. border extended into November, outbreak hits three Ontario hospitals

For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.

Canada-U.S.border restrictions extended

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, announced Monday the non-essential travel restrictions between the Canada-U.S. border will remain until Nov. 21.

“Our decisions will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe,” Blair’s tweet reads.

Traditional trick-or-treating not recommended in Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York Region

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, issued a statement on Monday indicating that “traditional door-to-door trick or treating is not recommended” in cities in modified Stage 2 restrictions – Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York Region.

In the statement, Dr. Williams states this is due to the “high transmission” of COVID-19 in these areas.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health recommends “alternative” was to celebrate Halloween in these regions, which include:

  • Encouraging kids to dress up and participate in virtual activities and parties

  • Organizing a Halloween candy hunt with people living in their own household

  • Carving pumpkins

  • Having a movie night or sharing scary stories

  • Decorating front lawns

“It is recommended that you also check with your local municipality or public health unit for any additional advice or restrictions that may be in place,” the statement reads. “It is also critical that families not travel outside of their neighbourhood to celebrate Halloween.”

In order to have a “safe and happy Halloween” in Ontario, Dr. Williams stressed that Ontarios need to avoid gathering with people outside of their household, stay home if feeling at all ill.

For people living outside of the modified Stage 2 regions, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health outlined a number of rules to follow for trick-or-treating.

  • Only go out with members of your household

  • Only trick or treat outside

  • Both trick or treaters and people handing out candy should wear a face covering and a costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering but also should not be worn over a face covering as it may make it difficult to breathe

  • Do not congregate or linger at doorsteps and remember to line up two metres apart if waiting

  • Avoid high-touch surfaces and objects

  • Whether collecting or handing out treats, wash your hands often and thoroughly, or use hand sanitizer

  • Do not leave treats in a bucket or bowl for children to grab and consider using tongs or similar tools to hand out treats

CASES AND OUTBREAKS

Three Toronto hospitals report COVID-19 outbreak

Three Toronto hospitals are reporting COVID-19 outbreaks as confirmed cases in the city continue to rise.

UHN has confirmed that as of Oct. 16,

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