September 7 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Amy Woodyatt, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, September 8, 2020
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1:37 p.m. ET, September 7, 2020

2020 French Open tennis tournament to be played with fans

From CNN Sports’ Dan Kamal

Court Philippe Chatrier, seen here in May, just got a new retractable roof ahead of the French Open.
Court Philippe Chatrier, seen here in May, just got a new retractable roof ahead of the French Open. Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Despite the rising numbers of coronavirus cases in France, the French Tennis Federation announced Monday the 2020 French Open will be open to fans when play begins later this month. The Grand Slam event was originally scheduled for May but was postponed by the pandemic.

Tournament officials say Roland-Garros, where the tournament is played, will be divided into three zones, with a maximum of 5,000 fans in each of two zones and a maximum of 1,500 in the third.

Seats in the stands will be allocated under strict tournament protocols, with a maximum of four spectators sitting in adjacent seats indoors. Spectators over the age of 11 will be required to wear face coverings. Qualifying rounds will be played behind closed doors between Sept. 21 and 25.

According to tournament director Guy Forget, all players will be tested upon arrival in Paris. They will be approved to play if they test negative when arriving and again 72 hours later. Players will also be tested every five days as long as they remain in contention and must stay in one of two hotels arranged by tournament organizers.

What the numbers look like: French officials have confirmed more than 367,000 cases and more than 30,000 deaths from Covid-19, the seventh-highest number of fatalities caused by coronavirus worldwide according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

1:20 p.m. ET, September 7, 2020

Denmark will restrict public gatherings after spike in Covid-19 cases 

From CNN's Nina Avramova

Public gatherings in Denmark's capital and 17 other municipalities will be capped at 50 people, down from 100, after a rise in coronavirus cases. 

The Danish health ministry called the rise in cases in Copenhagen and surrounding areas "worrying" and said the measures will initially be in place until Sept. 22.

To this date, Denmark has recorded 18,540 Covid-19 cases and 628 deaths from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

12:49 p.m. ET, September 7, 2020

SOON: Trump will hold a news conference

President Trump said he'll hold a "Labor Day News Conference" at 1 p.m. ET today.

In a tweet announcing the event, Trump said the "jobs numbers, and the Economic comeback, are looking GREAT."

Remember: The US job market remains in a deep hole during the ongoing pandemic, and now the recovery is losing some of its momentum.

Employers added 1.4 million jobs in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Job growth at that level marks a slowdown from earlier this summer: Employers added a revised 1.7 million jobs in July and 4.8 million jobs in June.

12:22 p.m. ET, September 7, 2020

World needs to "celebrate the successes where we can" for Covid-19, WHO says

From CNN's Amanda Watts

The world needs to “celebrate the successes where we can” when it comes to Covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, a World Health Organization infectious disease epidemiologist, said during a Friday news briefing.

“We're not out of the woods. We do have a long way to go. The virus has plenty of room to move, but we have tools in place that really work," Van Kerkhove said.

“We need to highlight and support each other in sharing the stories of what has worked,” Van Kerhove added.

She added that while many people may be "tired" of the pandemic, "we will get throught this."

“I think many people — individuals, governments — everyone is tired. And seeing resurgence in many places can be very difficult to handle — mentally, physically — but we will get through this," she said.

12:29 p.m. ET, September 7, 2020

Former Italian prime minister's condition is improving after Covid-19 diagnosis

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac

Italian professor Alberto Zangrillo, personal doctor of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, speaks during a press conference at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, on September 4.
Italian professor Alberto Zangrillo, personal doctor of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, speaks during a press conference at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, on September 4. Piero Cruciatti/AFP/Getty Images

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's condition is improving four days after being admitted to hospital with Covid-19-related pneumonia, the head of the intensive care unit at the San Raffaele Hospital said Monday.

According to Professor Alberto Zangrillo, "The overall clinical picture appears to be improving and is consistent with the haematochemical evidence and the resumption of a robust specific immune response, associated with a reduction in inflammation indices."

11:51 a.m. ET, September 7, 2020

It's highly unlikely that food is a source of Covid-19 transmission, experts say

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

It is highly unlikely that food is a source of Covid-19 transmission, a team of experts on food contaminations says. 

The International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF) looked at the evidence that coronavirus might be carried on food or its packing and found very little. 

“The ICMSF believes that it is highly unlikely that the ingestion of SARS-CoV-2 will result in illness; there is no documented evidence that food is a significant source and/or vehicle for transmission of SARS-CoV-2,” the organization said in a statement. 

While it is possible that people could eat something contaminated with the virus and become infected that way, it’s never been seen to have happened, they said.

“To date, there has not been any evidence that food, food packaging or food handling is a source or important transmission route for SARS-CoV-2 resulting in Covid-19,” they wrote. “There are no foods that should be considered a risk or warrant consideration as a vector for SARS-CoV-2.”  

There have been few reports of the virus being found on food products, ingredients and packaging materials and no evidence that links food or its packaging as a source of cross contact infection. However, it is still prudent to emphasize good food hygiene practices, the group said. 

Some countries have restricted food imports, tested imported products or asked companies to state their products are coronavirus-free, but none of this is necessary, the ICMSF said.  

“The focus for food businesses should be on protecting food workers, consumers and restaurant patrons from becoming infected by person-to-person SARS-CoV-2 spread,” they wrote. 

11:23 a.m. ET, September 7, 2020

UK reports nearly 3,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac

An employee directs members of the public to drive into a coronavirus testing center at Glasgow Airport on August 26 in Glasgow, Scotland.
An employee directs members of the public to drive into a coronavirus testing center at Glasgow Airport on August 26 in Glasgow, Scotland. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Britain has recorded 2,948 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours it said Monday.

It's 40 less cases than the day before which marked the highest daily total since May. 

There have been more than 300,000 total coronavirus cases reported in the UK. 

England on Wednesday placed seven Greek islands under a 14-day quarantine rule, after a spike in cases on those islands. The islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos. Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos have been removed from the nation's exemption list, the ministry of Transport has said. Everyone returning to England will need to quarantine for two weeks as of Wednesday.

"Data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England has indicated a significant risk to UK public health from those islands, leading to Ministers removing them from the current list of travel corridors," a press release read.
10:31 a.m. ET, September 7, 2020

Pfizer and BioNTech approved to start phase 2/3 trial of Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN’s John Bonifield and Frederik Pleitgen

The German regulatory authority, the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, has approved a phase 2/3 clinical trial in Germany of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed by US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech.

“The integration of sites in Europe, and now especially in Germany, is aimed at supporting an approval in Europe," said Ugur Sahin, CEO and cofounder of BioNTech, in a news release on Monday. 

The BNT162b2 mRNA-based vaccine candidate is already in similar large-scale trials in the United States. The trial involves giving the participants two doses of a 30 microgram vaccine – one on the first day and one 28 days later – with participants being followed up for up to two years after they receive the second dose. 

In August, the companies presented "promising" results in early data on safety and immune responses in their ongoing Phase 1/2 study in the United States. Among both younger and older adults in the trial, the companies said the vaccine "was well tolerated with mild to moderate fever in fewer than 20% of the participants." The companies also noted in their news release that seven days after participants were given a second dose of the vaccine at 30 micrograms, the vaccine was able to elicit neutralizing antibodies in younger adults ages 18 to 55, and in older adults ages 65 to 85.

Remember: The data has not yet published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

The companies plan to seek regulatory authorization or approval for the drug as early as October if it is successful in clinical trial testing. They plan to supply up to 100 million doses worldwide by the end of 2020 and 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.

Many infectious disease experts say, however, that it’s highly unlikely Pfizer will have enough data to allow for an emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration in October.

 

9:45 a.m. ET, September 7, 2020

Trump claims, without evidence, he's getting "get VERY high marks in our handling of the Coronavirus"

From CNN's Allie Malloy

President Trump is again claiming, without evidence, that he is “starting to get VERY high marks” in the “handling of the Coronavirus.”

It is unclear what source Trump is using to make the erroneous claim but follows a pattern of Trump’s desperation to stamp an end date on the deadly pandemic before November 3.

 

Some context: According to a new CBS News/YouGov poll, only 21% of voters nationwide said they would immediately seek out a vaccine if one was made available in 2020.

That number is down from 32% in July. 65% said they believed a vaccine announced this year would, by definition, be the product of a "rushed" process. Only 35% would regard it positively, as a "scientific achievement."

Trump announced on Twitter this morning that he'll be holding a news conference later today.