September 1 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020
74 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
8:14 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

Maryland will allow indoor theaters and outdoor venues to reopen Friday with capacity restrictions

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan Maryland Governor's office

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan today announced that Maryland will begin to move into stage three of the "Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery," with additional gradual reopenings starting Friday.

As part of the state’s initial entry into this stage, indoor theaters for live performances or movies, will be allowed to reopen to the general public at 50% capacity, or 100 people per auditorium, whichever is less, along with appropriate health and safety protocols, a release from Hogan’s office said.

Outdoor venues for live performances and outdoor movie theaters will also be able to reopen to the general public at 50% capacity, or 250 people, whichever is less, Hogan said.

Capacity for retail establishments and religious facilities will be allowed to increase from 50 to 75%, according to the release.

7:17 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

CDC moves to halt most rental evictions through the end of 2020

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

Tami Chappell/AFP/Getty Images
Tami Chappell/AFP/Getty Images

In an extraordinary move, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is moving to temporarily halt most evictions for Americans struggling to pay their rent due to the pandemic, in a step that’s broader than eviction protections already in place.

But senior administration officials say renters will have to prove a number of things before qualifying, and will still have to pay back any missed rent payments.

The move comes after negotiations on further coronavirus aid have been stalled on Capitol Hill as Republicans and Democrats refuse to budge on topline numbers for what a new relief package would cost.

In a phone call with reporters on Tuesday, officials, speaking on background, said the order will apply to Americans who qualified for direct payments under the CARES Act.

People will also have to prove that they’ve taken “best efforts possible to seek government assistance to make their rental payments,” they will have to “declare that they are unable to pay rent due to Covid financial hardship,” and must show they “will likely become homeless or move into congregate housing settings if they are evicted.”

Landlords will still be able to remove tenants for “committing criminal acts, threatening the health and safety of other residents, damaging property or other health and safety considerations,” an official added.

Renters will have to fill out several forms, found on the CDC’s website, and give them directly to their landlords to qualify for the program.

“This will be a declaration presented to the landlord, if that landlord approaches a tenant with an intent to evict,” an official said. Because the move is federally mandated, it “would become a criminal offence” if the landlord chose to ignore the declaration. But it could still end up in courts, possibly leading to legal actions that could show up on background checks or credit reports.

“To the extent that there is a dispute between the landlord and the renter about whether or not an eviction protection is in place here, it can be filed, and that would be for the local courts, which are not federal to adjudicate,” an official said.

Officials did not answer questions about how that legal action could impact credit or future housing options. 

Under the CARES Act, only renters in federally-backed rental units were protected from eviction. “This covers any rental unit in United States, so long as the renter meets those requirements, where they've demonstrated that they are at risk of becoming evicted,” an official said. There’s also currently a moratorium on evictions for federally-backed, single family home mortgages.

But, “it is not an invitation to stop paying rent,” another official cautioned. “The order makes clear that a renter who cannot pay his or her full rent should pay an amount that is not unduly burdensome, and as close to payment as possible.”

“We want to be clear that those who benefit from this assistance, are still obligated to pay any accrued rent or housing payments in accordance with their lease or contract,” a senior administration official said.

As for why the move is being made by the CDC, an official says “the CDC director has authority to take measures that he's reasonably necessary to mitigate the spread of communicable disease.”

“Congress has delegated broad authority to HHS, the Surgeon General and CDC, to take reasonable efforts to combat the spread of communicable diseases, and frankly I think it makes sense for those authorities abroad because we don't know for any given situation or scenario what steps will be needed to stop the spread,” an administration official said. “I think, in this particular order, the CDC has made a very compelling case that it is quite problematic at this particular time. It's focused on this particular pandemic, which is obviously the uniquely powerful grasp in the nation's entire history in terms of the effect it's had that for a bunch of reasons in particular, that the home has been sort of the focal point of people social distancing and building, sort of a safe space themselves over the past few months, and also the fact that if people get kicked out, they may end up in overcrowded congregated living facilities or homeless shelters, and that is a potential recipe for a big spread of COVID-19.”

Asked why that authority wasn’t being used to enact a federal mask mandate, officials refused to answer because the question didn’t “have to do with the call at hand.”

Deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern said the action “means that people struggling to pay rent due to the coronavirus will not have to worry about being evicted and risk further spreading of or exposure to the disease due to economic hardship,” and attacked Democrats on the hill.

7:03 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

New Covid-19 study reveals more about possible risks to pregnant women

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard


Researchers are learning more about what pregnant women may experience if they are infected with the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. 

Pregnant and recently pregnant women who are diagnosed with Covid-19 in the hospital appear to be less likely to have symptoms of fever and muscle pain but more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit, according to a new paper published in the BMJ medical journal on Tuesday. 

The study also found pregnant women with Covid-19 are at increased risk of delivering preterm, but preterm birth rates were not high, and more study is needed.

  "We found that one in 10 pregnant or recently pregnant women who are attending or admitted to hospital for any reason are diagnosed as having suspected or confirmed covid-19, although the rates vary," the researchers — from various institutions in Europe and China — wrote in the paper. 

More on the study: The researchers reviewed 77 studies on Covid-19 in pregnant and recently pregnant women, published from Dec. 1 and June 26. 

Collectively, those studies included data on 13,118 pregnant and recently pregnant women with Covid-19, and 83,486 non-pregnant women of reproductive age who also had Covid-19. 

"The covid-19 related symptoms of fever and myalgia manifest less often in pregnant and recently pregnant women than in nonpregnant women of reproductive age," the researchers wrote.

"Pregnant or recently pregnant women with covid-19 seem to be at increased risk of requiring admission to an intensive care unit or invasive ventilation," they wrote. "Increased maternal age, high body mass index, and pre-existing comorbidities might be associated with severe disease."

The researchers also found in those studies that pregnant women with Covid-19 are at increased risk of delivering preterm and their babies being admitted to the neonatal unit, although overall rates of spontaneous preterm births were not high. Also, stillbirth and neonatal death rates were low, the researchers found. 

Limitations of the study: The paper had some limitations, including that the studies used in the review primarily reported on pregnant women who required visits to the hospital and not many studies reported outcomes by trimester. 

 "Reviews such as this can only be as good as the studies they summarise and it is important to note that a high proportion of the included studies have a substantial risk of bias," Dr. Marian Knight, professor of maternal and child population health at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, said in a statement distributed by the UK-based Science Media Centre on Tuesday. 

 "It is also important to recognise that, whilst this review reports high preterm birth rates, a number of women affected by COVID-19 in pregnancy are still pregnant, and thus are not included in the study data. This may make preterm birth rates appear artificially high," Knight said in part. "Nevertheless, some pregnant women affected by COVID-19 may have a subsequent preterm birth and preventing infection remains essential."

6:45 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

New research finds it could take a month for Covid-19 patients to clear the virus

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

Covid-19 patients may need to wait over a month before being retested to know whether they have cleared the virus, and one in five negative test results could be false, according to research published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal.

Dr. Francesco Venturelli of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and colleagues studied 1,162 patients in the Reggio Emilia Province of Italy who tested positive for Covid-19 using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Patients were retested around 15 days after their first test, 14 days after their second and 9 days after their third. The researchers set these time intervals in accordance with European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

About 60.6% of the patients who recovered tested negative for Covid-19 by their first follow-up test. Another test confirmed that negative result in just 78.7% of these patients, which the team says suggests about one in five negative tests are false negatives. They say this could mean that many are still shedding the virus after testing negative and unknowingly passing it on to others. 

The researchers determined a patient had cleared the virus once they tested negative on two consecutive PCR tests. Overall, it took about 30 days from diagnosis and 36 days from the onset of symptoms for patients to clear the virus.

It took slightly longer for older patients and those with more severe disease to clear the virus. The length of time increased from 35 days for those under 50 years old to 38 days for those over 80. Non-hospitalized patients took about 33 days, while hospitalized patients took about 38 days.

By 34 days after patients first noticed symptoms, nearly 87% of them tested negative.  This suggests patients may need to wait a month or longer to determine whether they have truly cleared the virus, the researchers said.

The team notes that understanding the timing of viral clearance is key to determining testing strategies and ensuring people don’t have to spend unnecessary time in isolation. The say that postponing the follow-up testing of those who are no longer experiencing illness or symptoms could increase the efficiency and performance of testing strategies.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises Americans that they don’t need a second coronavirus test. “Unless your illness required hospitalization, you can return to normal activities (e.g., work or school) after the passage of 10 days from the onset of symptoms and 24 hours from when any fever has subsided on its own (without the aid of any fever-reducing medications),” it advises.

6:38 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

Brazil reports more than 40,000 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours

From Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo

Doctors monitor patients infected with coronavirus, at the Municipal campaign hospital at Rio Centro convention centre, west of Rio De Janerio, Brazil on August 27.
Doctors monitor patients infected with coronavirus, at the Municipal campaign hospital at Rio Centro convention centre, west of Rio De Janerio, Brazil on August 27. Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Brazil’s Health Ministry has reported 42,659 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases in the country to at least 3,950,931.

The ministry also reported 1,215 new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, raising the country’s death toll to 122,596.

Brazil officially entered into recession on Tuesday, with a historic 9.7% fall in GDP in the second quarter compared to the first three months of the year, according to data from the country's Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

Brazil continues to trail only the United States in terms of the highest number of coronavirus infections and deaths in the world, according to data held by Johns Hopkins University.

6:29 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

NYC mayor says he is ruling out any further delays on students returning to school

From CNN's Laura Ly

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio CNN

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN's Jim Acosta Tuesday evening that he is ruling out any further delays on students returning to school in the nation’s largest school district.

“It's going to happen. We have again the agreement with all the key labor unions. We have the PPE and the cleaning supplies in place already. We're doing the final run-throughs on the buildings. We are ready,” De Blasio said.

De Blasio added that the majority of NYC parents support in-person learning over remote learning, and that in-person learning also offers students mental health and nutrition support that they wouldn’t typically receive in a remote setting.

While De Blasio maintained that the goal remains to get students back in school safely, he reiterated that they will monitor infection data and adjust their policies accordingly.

If the city’s positivity rate rises above 3%, the NYC school system would be closed, the mayor said. 

The latest data from New York City officials reported that the city’s positivity rate as of August 30 was 1.33%.

6:22 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

Rhode Island governor unveils dedicated Covid-19 testing structure for K-12 students

From CNN's Slover Morrison

Rhode Island Governor's office
Rhode Island Governor's office

Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo revealed to the media today her extensive coronavirus testing plan to reopen schools to in-person learning. Nearly every school district in Rhode Island will reopen on Sept. 14 to in-person learning except for the Providence and Central Falls school districts. 

The governor stated, "Providence and Central Falls, their cases were a little bit higher, so they’re going to start with partial in-person. They can’t go full in-person, so they’re starting with partial in-person, and Providence and Central Falls we’re going to reassess in about a month to see if they also might be able to go back in-person for all kids."

More on the plan: The reopening process will not be all at once on Sept. 14, but instead slowly increase the number of students in the schools until Oct. 13. Parents who continue to use at-home learning services after Oct. 13 are permitted to do so, and the school will provide an at-home learning experience for them. If students or faculty feel sick, they are not permitted to go to the school that day and must get tested before returning. 

 "To ensure rapid testing for our school communities we are creating a separate dedicated testing structure for K-12 students and staff at public and private schools. So, through this system which we’re setting up which is above and beyond our existing testing system, we will have the daily capacity to run 4,000 what they call PCR tests which are the highest quality, most accurate tests with results being delivered to you within 48 hours, and on top of that 1,200 rapid tests," Raimondo said.

To use this service, parents or faculty of the schools will need to call a special hotline in order to schedule an appointment with one of these new testing sites. Currently there are a dozen sites planned but that number may increase if necessary throughout the school year, the governor said.

Citizens were also instructed that even if their rapid tests turned out negative, they would still need to wait for results from the PCR test before returning to school or work. This is because PCR test are more accurate than rapid tests but take more time to process.

Schools are also required to establish isolation rooms where those who feel sick during the school day can go to wait to be picked up or relieved from school. Schools are required to these establish isolation room before being permitted to reopen. 

6:02 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

University of South Carolina reports over 1,000 active cases of Covid-19

From CNN’s Annie Grayer

College students eat dinner at the Longstreet Theatre at the University of South Carolina on August 10, in Columbia, South Carolina. Students began moving back to campus housing August 9.
College students eat dinner at the Longstreet Theatre at the University of South Carolina on August 10, in Columbia, South Carolina. Students began moving back to campus housing August 9. Sean Rayford/Getty Images/FILE

At least 1,017 students at the University of South Carolina currently have Covid-19, according to the university’s latest update to its dashboard, making it one of the highest case counts recorded at a college so far. 

The university crossed the 1,000 active case mark on Aug.. 29 when it reported at least 302 cases in a single day. The overall current case load, including employees, is approximately 1,026.

Despite the climbing active case count and the fact that 60% of the university’s designated quarantine space is in use, according to its dashboard, the school still lists its alert level as “low.”

5:54 p.m. ET, September 1, 2020

San Francisco to relax some Covid-19 restrictions on businesses

From CNN's Sarah Moon

In this May 27, file photo, closed businesses are seen in downtown San Francisco.
In this May 27, file photo, closed businesses are seen in downtown San Francisco. Ben Margot/AP/FILE

San Francisco officials announced plans to relax restrictions on businesses under the state’s new four-tiered coronavirus reopening system. The new system allows businesses, shopping malls and churches to begin reopening under a new timeline.

At a news conference, Mayor London Breed said San Francisco, California, is now in the second level of four tiers where coronavirus risk is considered “substantial."

The classification allows hair salons, nail salons, and massage parlors to resume operations outdoors on Tuesday, according to Breed, and outdoor gyms will be allowed to reopen as early as Sept. 9.   

Breed also announced the immediate reopening of indoor shopping malls in the city. 

“They can reopen because we are no longer on the state’s watch list,” said Breed.

Next steps: Starting mid-September, San Francisco plans to reopen hotels, outdoor movie theaters, outdoor family entertainment such as mini-golf, outdoor tour buses and boats, indoor museums, zoos, and aquariums. Houses of worship will be able to allow individual prayers indoors and outdoor services for up to 50 people, Breed said.

The mayor said she hopes to reopen more indoor business sectors by the end of this month.