The Latest: Santa Clara outbreak linked to basketball event

Officials say those who tested positive attended the event Nov. 7 and 8 at Courtside Basketball Center in Rocklin. They included 39 middle- and high school players, three coaches and 35 additional contacts.

An additional 17 cases outside Santa Clara County also have been traced to the tournament.

The California Department of Public Health has initiated an enforcement investigation involving the tournament operator.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— US allows emergency COVID-19 vaccine in bid to end pandemic

— As he rails on election, Trump largely mum on toll of virus

— Hours before t he Food and Drug Administration authorized the first COVD-19 vaccine late Friday, a high-ranking White House official told the agency’s chief he could face firing if the vaccine was not cleared by day’s end, two administration officials say.

— Some Americans are now falling sick with COVID-19 after celebrating Thanksgiving with people outside their households. Health officials are warning people not to make the same mistake during this month’s celebrations.

— Drugmakers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline say their potential COVID-19 vaccine won’t be ready until late next year as they seek to improve the shot’s effectiveness in older people.

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Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

The number released Friday is among the highest daily death tolls for the state in recent weeks.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said her prayers are with those who have lost loved ones and she urged people to abide by the state’s public health restrictions.

Officials also reported an additional 1,849 confirmed cases, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to 116,565.

New Mexico is preparing next week to receive its first round of vaccine doses. Officials say they will be delivered to frontline health care workers.

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. has given the final go-ahead to the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine, marking what could be the beginning of the end of an outbreak that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans.

Shots for health workers and nursing home residents are expected to begin in the coming days after the Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized an emergency rollout of what promises to be a strongly protective vaccine from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Initial doses are scarce and rationed as the U.S. joins Britain and several other countries in scrambling to vaccinate as many people as possible ahead of winter. It will take months of work to tamp down the coronavirus that has surged to catastrophic levels in recent weeks and claimed 1.5 million lives globally.

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JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy is proposing what he calls an extraordinary response to revive Alaska’s pandemic-stunted economy.

His proposal outlined Friday includes about $5,000 in direct payments to residents from the state’s oil-wealth fund and an infrastructure plan he said is intended to create jobs. He says Alaskans and businesses are suffering, and now is the time to act.

The state’s economy has been battered by the coronavirusndemic, with tourism and hospitality industries hit hard. North Slope oil prices have been below $50 a barrel for much of the year.

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SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California judge has ordered a 50% reduction in the populations at Orange County jails to protect incarcerated people from a major coronavirus outbreak.

Superior Court Judge Peter Wilson’s decision comes in response to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union that said conditions at the jails violate the state’s constitution and disability discrimination law.

The county has been ordered to file a plan with the court no later than Dec. 31.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes says his department is “evaluating the order, its impacts and our options for appeal.”

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MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s medical safety commission has approved the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the coronavirus.

Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell said Friday that Mexico is the fourth country to do so, behind Britain, Canada and Bahrain.

Mexico is set to receive 250,000 doses of the vaccine, enough for 125,000 people.

López-Gatel has said that front-line health workers will get the shots first. Vaccinations are expected to begin as soon as next week.

López-Gatel says the approval “is of course a reason for hope,” though the initial rounds of shots are not nearly enough for Mexico’s health-care workforce.

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The U.S. Justice Department is supporting Michigan faith-based schools in their court challenge to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s ban on in-person classes in high schools.

The department’s Civil Rights Division filed an argument in favor of three Roman Catholic high schools and the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools. A federal judge in Kalamazoo will hear arguments Monday.

The filing says schools and families have a constitutional right to practice their religion through in-person instruction. It cites a recent U.S. Supreme Court order that barred New York from enforcing certain restrictions on religious services in areas hit hard by the coronavirus.

Michigan’s health department argues the teaching restriction is necessary to control the spread of the coronavirus, especially after Thanksgiving gatherings.

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The U.S. federal agency that provides health care to Native Americans says it’s expecting more than enough coronavirus vaccines to protect all the people working in the hospitals and clinics that it funds.

The Indian Health Service was treated much like a state for distribution purposes. It submitted a plan to vaccinate more than 2 million Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

The agency expects to receive 22,425 doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week and 46,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of the year. Those doses will cover the more than 44,000 people who work at hundreds of facilities that are receiving vaccine allocations through the Indian Health Service.

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UNITED NATIONS — Eight mainly Western nations are accusing North Korea of using the pandemic “to crack down further on the human rights of its own people,” pointing to reports of an uptick in executions related to the coronavirus and strict controls on movements around its capital.

The statement was issued Friday after the U.N. Security Council privately discussed North Korea’s human rights situation. Germany and others had sought an open session but Russia, China and other council members objected.

Seven council members — Germany, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Britain and the United States — joined by Japan criticized North Korea for rights abuses. They also said the North Korean government’s decision “to prioritize its weapons programs” is inevitably worsening the impacts of the pandemic on the North Korean population.”

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas health officials on Friday reported a one-day record of 55 deaths due to COVID-19 and 2,770 new confirmed or probable cases.

“We have once again reached a grave milestone in this pandemic,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement.

“While we may have hope ahead from promising vaccine news, we cannot grow weary over the next few weeks,” he said.

In a statewide address Thursday night, Hutchinson said the state is seeing a surge in cases after Thanksgiving and suggested Arkansans travel less for the coming Christmas holiday and take rapid tests both before and after travel.

The state Department of Health reported a total of 2,875 deaths due to the illness caused by the virus and 181,624 total cases since the pandemic began.

The health department reported 1,059 people hospitalized with the virus.

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WICHITA, Kan. — A Wichita fitness studio’s owner and his business are suing Kansas for compensation for being forced to shut down and reopen with restrictions this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit filed this week in Sedgwick County District Court by Ryan Floyd and Omega Bootcamps Inc. argues that the state used his and the business’ private property “for the benefit of the general public” when it and local officials imposed their restrictions. The lawsuit cites part of the state’s emergency management law that says people can pursue claims for compensation in court if their property is “commandeered or otherwise used” by state or local officials.

The Kansas attorney general’s office declined comment, saying it was reviewing the lawsuit. Gov. Laura Kelly’s office did not immediately respond Friday to a request for comment.