6 Things to Know: Pandemic Changing Thanksgiving Plans, Florida Man Saves Dog From Gator

It’s Monday, November 23rd - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day

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It’s Monday, November 23rd - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.

No. 1 - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention upgraded cruise ship travel to the highest possible risk level for spreading COVID-19 – weeks after the agency gave cruises the green light to set sail.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country, the CDC raised the travel risk for cruises to level 4, recommending that all people avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises. Nearly a month earlier, the CDC lifted its eight-month no-sail order for cruises across the country, replacing it with a less restrictive "Conditional Sailing Order." The order established a framework that aimed to help the industry implement safety measures that would enable it to resume operations in U.S. waters in a phased approach. Before companies are able to restart passenger operations in any commercial form, the companies will face tests from the CDC on how safe their protocols are, the agency said.

No. 2 - A downtown Fort Lauderdale bar announced it would once again close its doors due to the recent rise in coronavirus cases across Florida - two days after reopening.

In an Instagram post on Sunday, the Wharf of Fort Lauderdale said it would be "shutting down", citing the statewide spike in coronavirus cases and local social distancing measures. In statement, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Steve Geller said he was pleased by the Wharf's decision. According to the mayor, the bar was creating a superspreader event, serving people who were not wearing masks.

No. 3 - British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca on Monday said an interim analysis of clinical trials showed its coronavirus vaccine has an average efficacy of 70% in protecting against the virus.

It comes after a string of encouraging vaccine results in recent weeks, following late-stage trial readouts from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Both Pfizer and Moderna reported preliminary results showing that their respective COVID vaccines were around 95% effective. It is hoped a COVID vaccine could help to bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 1.3 million lives worldwide.

No. 4 - As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the state, many people are rethinking how they will celebrate Thanksgiving.

Some have scaled down their plans because of the pandemic, and others are thinking about those in need. Families stopped by the Las Olas Chabad Jewish Center to pick up turkeys for Thanksgiving, as people made plans to help others this holiday. South Florida will be in the holiday spirit with Thanksgiving coming this Thursday and you can click here for a list of locations around the area where you can get free turkeys or Thanksgiving meals ahead of the holiday.

No. 5 - A man was caught on camera jumping into a pond to save his small dog from an alligator's grip near Estero.

NBC affiliate WBBH-TV reported that the man, Richard Wilbanks, was sitting in his lawn chair when the gator emerged and latched onto his new puppy Gunner before dragging it into the water. Both him and the dog were okay after the incident. The rescue was caught on camera because of a wildlife surveillance project being run by the non-profit fStop Foundation in collaboration with the Florida Wildlife Federation.

No. 6 - Weatherwise, South Florida may feel more like the summer months than the holidays to start the week, but relief could be coming by the time the turkey is ready. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.

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