Christianna Silva

Two COVID-19 vaccines are moving toward an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, and both have been found to be more than 94% effective. Yet despite progress on the vaccine front, misinformation continues to spread, fueling doubts among skeptics who may decide not to take the vaccine at all.

Just 10 days after closing New York City's schools because of rising coronavirus cases, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that the nation's largest school district will begin a phased reopening next week.

On Dec. 7, buildings will reopen for elementary school students and on Dec. 10, District 75, which serves students with disabilities, will reopen.

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the nation, Los Angeles County has announced a new stay-at-home order that places new restrictions on businesses and gatherings but does not ban them altogether.

Friday's announcement came on a day when the number of new cases reached 205,000 nationwide — a figure believed to be higher, in part, due to delays in reporting caused by the Thanksgiving holiday. More than 4,500 of those cases were reported in Los Angeles County, along with 24 deaths.

Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed, says that some Americans could start receiving a COVID-19 vaccine by the second week of December.

Cases of COVID-19 are rising at an alarming rate in nearly every state as the nation approaches Thanksgiving.

The cumulative case count passed 12 million on Saturday, six days after the previous million mark was crossed, which was six days after the previous million.

Journalist John Yang volunteered to take part in a Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial not for "great altruistic reasons," but because he wanted to get a vaccine sooner rather than later.

"It started off with self-interest — I wanted to get the vaccine sooner," Yang, special correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, tells NPR's All Things Considered. "Then when I found out that it was the Moderna trial, a new technology, one that has never been approved for a human vaccine before, I got sort of excited. It sort of piqued the science nerd in me."

Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber will become the first Black woman to serve as brigade commander at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

It's the top leadership post for midshipmen — in civilian terms, the equivalent of a student body president — and she is the 16th woman to serve in the position in the 44 years women have been allowed to attend the Naval Academy.

Poised to take over the role as leader of 4,400 midshipmen next semester, Barber told NPR's All Things Considered that there was a time when she had no desire to attend the Naval Academy.

The COVID-19 crisis in the U.S. is getting worse by nearly every metric. On Friday alone, there were more than 184,000 new confirmed cases and 1,400 deaths, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported. Hospitals are reaching capacity.

Hospitals are nearing capacity in North and South Dakota, two states where coronavirus has hit disproportionately hard for their small population size and where cases continue to rise daily.

Dr. Taison Bell, the director of the medical intensive care unit at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, was doing rounds in the COVID-19 ICU, caring for about 20 patients, when he noticed that his unit was full almost entirely of Black and Latinx people, despite the fact that Charlottesville is 70% white.

Bell, who grew up just an hour away from the hospital, says he "just couldn't escape the thought of this virus disproportionately killing people in my community."

On Sunday and Monday, families across Mexico, the U.S. and elsewhere are observing Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday that celebrates the lives and honors the memory of those who've passed on.

And each year, the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago has a special exhibition for the holiday.

But the coronavirus pandemic has made the usual programming impossible. This year, the museum is going virtual, with a Day of the Dead exhibition that pays tribute to the people in Mexico, the U.S. and around the world who have died of COVID-19.

As cold weather envelops Illinois, the state is experiencing a massive upsurge in coronavirus cases, part of a trend across Midwest states.

Ambassador John Bolton, who worked as national security adviser to President Trump from 2018 to 2019, told NPR's All Things Considered that he does not believe the United States is safer today than it was four years ago.

"I think unfortunately it's not safer, which is not to say that there haven't been some important positive decisions made and some important accomplishments," he said, including withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and from a Cold War-era nuclear arms control treaty with Russia.

The fires in Washington are largely under control now, but the state has been experiencing dangerous, even deadly, wildfires for years, something Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee says are only made worse by climate change.

Months after dropping out of the Democratic presidential primaries, Pete Buttigieg is back with a warning: America, he says, is facing a crisis of trust. And he says building that trust, in both American institutions and fellow citizens, is the only way to address the other challenges facing the country.

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., called trust one of his "rules of the road" during his presidential campaign.

New Yorkers have been watching with alarm as COVID-19 cases have begun to climb in the city, particularly in areas that Governor Andrew Cuomo has called hotspots, several of which are in predominantly Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn and Queens.

Joseph Castro is going to start his new job as the chancellor of California State University at a tumultuous time.

The Glass Fire has prompted the evacuation of thousands of residents in California's Napa and Sonoma counties and caused the destruction of dozens of buildings.

Since igniting in the wine country on early Sunday, wind-fueled flames have engulfed 48,440 acres and consumed more than 50 homes and buildings, according to CalFire. As of late Wednesday morning, the fire was only 2% contained.

Yvette Gentry will become the third police chief in the city of Louisville, Ky., since the police killing of Breonna Taylor in March.

After serving in the department for two decades — including time as a deputy police chief — Gentry retired in 2014. She will be the first Black woman to lead the department and will serve on an interim basis.

With COVID-19 continuing to spread, and millions of Americans still out of work, one of the nation's most urgent problems has only grown worse: hunger.

After a Kentucky grand jury declined to charge any officers with the actual shooting of Breonna Taylor, protesters now want to see the court transcripts that led to this decision — and so does Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat who previously served as the state's attorney general.

Chris Anderson, supervisor of elections in Seminole County, Florida, had a stylus problem.

He says it would have cost more than a quarter of a million dollars to purchase enough pens and styluses needed for the county's 328,000 voters. So, his department got creative.

Since it was first popularized by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in the 1920s, fascism, and accusations of it, have been a common theme in American political discourse.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking states to have a plan in place to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as late October — but that doesn't mean an effective treatment will be ready quite so soon.

In separate interviews Thursday with NPR, the chief scientific adviser to the Trump administration's vaccine development effort and the former director of the CDC's office of public health preparedness cautioned that an effective vaccine is likely still months away.

Across the country, colleges and universities are struggling to decide how to teach students in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some schools have turned to remote learning; some have attempted to reopen campus with various precautions in place. Others are trying a mix of both.

For the municipalities that are host to colleges and universities, these decisions can be costly. Whether it's curtailing the spread of the virus in their communities, or losing the typical influx of student spending that arrives each fall, these cities and towns are bracing for a challenge.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is continuing to investigate the police shooting of Jacob Blake days after he was shot seven times in front of his three sons by a police officer in Kenosha, Wis. He was left paralyzed from the waist down.

A new show, called "Love in the Time of Corona," is a series of interwoven stories about people in quarantine trying to find love and stay connected. And the cast are actual couples, families or friends, in real life, who have been quarantining together during the pandemic.

Students in Los Angeles went back to school this week online. The Los Angeles Unified School District is planning for in-person classes to resume at some point during the 2020-21 school year, which will mean school nurses and licensed vocational nurses will be key to ensuring COVID-19 doesn't spread.

The U.S. Postal Service is suddenly at the center of a political firestorm.

The government agency — which doesn't receive taxpayer funding — is hemorrhaging money. House Democrats included $25 billion for the Postal Service in a coronavirus relief package in May but are far from reaching agreement with Republicans.

And last week President Trump said he opposes that extra funding for the Postal Service because he wants to make it harder to expand voting by mail.

Much to the dismay of college sports fans, the coronavirus pandemic has caused the Big Ten and Pac-12 athletic conferences to put their fall sports schedules on hold.

Pages