The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The country’s largest county begins a new shutdown

White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx on Nov. 29 said she is concerned about a spike in coronavirus infections after Thanksgiving week. (Video: Reuters)
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Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States, entered a new shutdown Monday, hoping to slow its worst-ever surge of the coronavirus. The stay-at-home order bans nearly all public gatherings and prohibits people in different households from getting together, even in private. While it’s less severe than the statewide shutdown in March, Los Angeles’s order is the strictest in California.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) warned that intensive care units in the state are already two-thirds full and could fill up by mid-December. If the trends continue, Newsom said, California would need to take “dramatic — arguably, drastic — action,” including wider stay-at-home orders for the hardest-hit regions.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Scott Atlas, President Trump’s pandemic adviser who embraced a controversial strategy of urging Americans to return to work and school with little restriction and spent months feuding with the White House coronavirus task force’s other doctors, resigned on Monday.
  • An advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is scheduled to meet Tuesday to weigh in on which groups of people should be eligible to receive the first doses of the coronavirus vaccines that may win federal regulatory approval next month.
  • Biotechnology company Moderna, one of the leaders in the race for a coronavirus vaccine, announced that it would file Monday for regulatory clearance for a vaccine that the company said was 94 percent effective at preventing illness in a 30,000-person clinical trial.
  • U.S. stocks delivered a record-breaking November, driven by promising vaccine news, the formal start of the White House transition and the selection of Janet L. Yellen to head up the Treasury Department.
  • New York officials are directing hospitals to initiate emergency measures, including identifying retired health-care workers who could return to duty, as officials try to beat back a rise in hospitalizations statewide.
  • The cascading effects of the pandemic on jobs, wages and profits have pushed 700,000 more people into poverty in the United Kingdom, a London-based think tank found.
  • The United States has reported more than 13.5 million coronavirus cases and at least 267,000 fatalities since February.

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