September 3 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Amy Woodyatt, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:07 a.m. ET, September 4, 2020
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1:09 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

New prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine surged in March and April, research shows

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

A Salvadoran Health Ministry worker shows a package of bottles of HydroxyChloroquine pills to be distributed in hospitals in San Salvador on April 21 amid the coronavirus outbreak.
A Salvadoran Health Ministry worker shows a package of bottles of HydroxyChloroquine pills to be distributed in hospitals in San Salvador on April 21 amid the coronavirus outbreak. Yuri Cortez/AFP/Get

The number of US prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were significantly higher in March and April than in the same period in 2019, and the providers prescribing them were different, according to new research published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Thursday. 

The drugs are typically used to treat autoimmune diseases and to prevent malaria, but early in the pandemic, were touted by President Trump and others as a possible Covid-19 treatment. On March 20, the US Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the drugs to treat Covid-19. The EUA was rescinded on June 15.

To identify differences in prescriptions for these drugs, researchers looked at prescriptions dispensed through US outpatient retail pharmacies from January to June 2019 and 2020. “The overall estimated number of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine prescriptions dispensed in March and April 2020 increased from 819,906 in 2019 to 1,312,859 in 2020,” said the authors. 

New prescriptions — defined as those dispensed to a patient without a history of prescription for the medications in the last 12 months — went from 30,737 in March 2019 to 222,382 in March 2020, and from 31,748 in April 2019 to 106,184 in April 2020.

The prescribers of the drugs also changed. New prescriptions by specialists who didn’t typically prescribe these medications increased from 1,143 in February 2020 to 75,569 in March 2020 — an 80-fold increase from March 2019. In March and April 2020, 54% of new prescriptions were written by primary care prescribers.

There was a 16-fold increase in new hydroxychloroquine prescriptions for adult men, which the authors said was notable because historically, women are more likely to be receive those prescriptions.

By May and June of 2020, the numbers of new prescriptions and those from non-routine prescribers were declining and approaching 2019 numbers, the authors wrote.

“These declines might have been influenced by publication of additional studies indicating that the medications were not found to be effective for treatment of COVID-19 and by FDA safety warning,” the researchers wrote.

“If prescribing or prescribed these drugs, providers and patients should be familiar with the potential for drug interactions and adverse events associated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine use,” the authors wrote.

12:43 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Delaware extends state of emergency due to Covid-19

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

Delaware Gov. John Carney announced the extension of the state of emergency declaration in the state to combat the spread of Covid-19 and urged residents to "stay vigilant" during Labor Day weekend.

“Delawareans have made real sacrifices to flatten the COVID-19 curve, and keep their families, friends and neighbors healthy. But if we hope to get more children in school, and more Delawareans back to work, we need to stay vigilant, especially this Labor Day weekend. Wear a face covering and avoid large gatherings. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Keep your distance from others outside your household. We’re beating COVID-19, but this fight isn’t over," Carney said in a statement
12:36 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

New York state casinos and NYC malls can reopen next week

From CNN's Brian Vitagliano

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wearing a protective mask attends during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23 in New York City.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wearing a protective mask attends during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23 in New York City. Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that casinos can reopen on Wednesday, on the condition they have enhanced air filtration systems installed.

They are allowed to have a 25% max capacity, and the capacity will be monitored at the door with the New York State gaming commission taking the lead as the enforcement agency.

Table games won’t be allowed on the casino floors unless they can figure out how to put physical barriers between players and dealers, until barriers are approved by the gaming commission, table games are not allowed, according to the governor. There will no beverage service allowed on the gaming floor. 

Shopping malls in New York City are also permitted to reopen on Wednesday with a 50% capacity, as long as they too have enhanced air filtration devices installed. Masks and social distancing will be required as well. 

Cuomo announced the state conducted 88,000 tests on Wednesday with 898 positive tests recorded, bringing the positivity rate to .99%. There were at least seven Covid-19 deaths reported on Wednesday. 

Cuomo said the Covid-19 news out of Western New York is, “not good news,” with positivity rate reaching 1.9%. 

"This is truly a serious situation and I hope the people of Western New York takes it as seriously as they should, the scale doesn’t lie in the morning," Cuomo said.
12:26 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Stocks tumble one day after hitting record high

From CNN's Anneken Tappe

The Nasdaq Composite tumbled nearly 5% and the Dow fell 700 points — or 2.6% — on Thursday

The S&P was down 3.4%.

Stocks tumbled just one day after hitting a record high. The Nasdaq had climbed above 12,000 points for the first time in history Wednesday.

So what's happening? Well for one, the Nasdaq has been outperforming the other two major stock indexes — the Dow and the S&P 500 — for months, so investors might just be taking making some adjustments after Wednesday's record highs. The Nasdaq remains up nearly 30% in 2020, far outpacing its counterparts. 

But there are also technical reasons for Thursday's decline. As US-China relations sour, investors are moving money out of tech, which could get hit the hardest from a potential increase in tariffs.

The Big Tech companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft, all of which are part of the Nasdaq, have become the safe-haven investment of the summer. But investors have beginning to wonder when the rally will run out of steam, either because of increased regulation or because the economy as a whole picks up enough to void the need for safety picks altogether.

12:11 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

At least 100 people in Cuba have died from Covid-19

From CNN’s Patrick Oppmann in Havana

At least 100 people have died in Cuba from the coronavirus, the country's top epidemiologist said Thursday.

In a briefing, Dr. Alfredo Duran Garcia reported two new coronavirus related deaths and 88 new cases of the virus.

To date, Cuba has reported 4,214 cases of the coronavirus.

Earlier the Cuban government said the spread of the virus was under control and had begun to reopen the communist-run island. 

But after additional outbreaks in Havana, the Cuban government earlier this month shut down travel to and from the Cuban capital and instituted a nightly curfew.

11:43 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020

More than half of Ohio State's quarantine and isolation beds are in use, school says

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Ohio State University reported a total of 269 new cases of coronavirus in students on Monday, according to the most recent data available on the school’s dashboard.

The university has reported a total of at least 882 cases since mid-August, and averaged a positivity rate of 4.5% for the last week.  

The school has 165 quarantine and isolation beds left available out of a total of 414, the dashboard shows. So far, 198 isolation beds are in use, as are an additional 98 quarantine beds. 

Remember: The school updates its data for 24 hour periods when the complete testing set is available, meaning the latest reported data can lag.  

11:38 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020

CNN and "Sesame Street" to host town hall on going back to school amid the pandemic

From CNN's Melissa Mahtani

As families try to navigate going back to school during the coronavirus pandemic, "Sesame Street" and CNN are teaming up for the "The ABCs of Back to School, A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Families."

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and anchor Erica Hill will moderate the 60-minute special scheduled to air on CNN on Saturday Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. ET.

They will be joined by Sesame Street Muppets and school-aged children in a variety of learning environments, with Elmo going to preschool during the week, Big Bird in hybrid learning and Rosita fully remote. The trio will be joined by Abby Cadabby and her brother Rudy, Super Grover and other friends from Sesame Street.

Parents can send in their questions below, along with their full names and phone numbers.

11:44 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Decision to have indoor dining in NYC will be made this month, mayor says

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to reporters after visiting New Bridges Elementary School to observe pandemic-related safety procedures, in the Brooklyn borough of New York on August 19.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to reporters after visiting New Bridges Elementary School to observe pandemic-related safety procedures, in the Brooklyn borough of New York on August 19. John Minchillo/AP

A decision to have indoor dining in New York City will be made in September, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday adding that the decision could come as soon as tomorrow.

The mayor made the comment during Thursday’s Covid-19 press conference as reporters asked the mayor about a lawsuit filed by city officials to allow limited indoor dining.

“I said this week we will come to a decision in the next day and definitely in the month of September and give guidance based on all the facts and data,” de Blasio said.

11:36 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Fauci "sticks by" his encouragement to return to in-person teaching in schools, he says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Source: CNN
Source: CNN

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN's Jim Sciutto on Thursday that he "sticks by" what he has said previously about reopening schools and encouraging in-person teaching.

"Obviously it isn't all black and white. It isn't all yes or no. But in general, if you're in a situation, in a green zone, where you have a very low level of infection and test positivity then in general you can open the schools with impunity as long as you're heads up and you have a plan of knowing what to do when you see children who are infected," Fauci said on Thursday. 

"When you get into the yellow zone and the red zone, it becomes different. You have to do certain mitigations when you're in the yellow zone and in the red zone, it does become problematic," Fauci said, adding that parents and teachers with underlying conditions may have to make different decisions than those who are otherwise healthy. 

"I think you have to respect the concerns of people who have underlying conditions," Fauci said. "If someone really is concerned, you have to respect the fact that they may not want to be there — but for others who are generally healthy and don't have underlying conditions, I would encourage them to go and begin the in-person teaching."