September 8 coronavirus news

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10:57 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

California university confirms nearly 400 Covid-19 cases in growing outbreak

From CNN's Sarah Moon

In this March 18 file photo, students and their parents move their belongings from their dormitories at San Diego State University.
In this March 18 file photo, students and their parents move their belongings from their dormitories at San Diego State University. Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images

San Diego State University (SDSU) in California has confirmed nearly 400 Covid-19 cases among students since the first day of fall semester, according to data from the university’s website.

“On Sept. 6, San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) confirmed additional COVID-19 cases within the on- and off-campus student population, bringing the total of four (4) probable and 396 confirmed cases,” SDSU said on its website.

All in-person instruction was immediately paused last Friday after the university confirmed 120 positive cases, in addition to 64 cases previously reported since the start of fall semester on August 24. 

The university has not received any reports of faculty and staff who have tested positive.

San Diego County is currently in the second tier of the state’s four-tiered reopening system, which represents “substantial” spread of the coronavirus. Under this tier, indoor businesses may reopen with 25% capacity.

10:27 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

Mexico reports nearly 5,500 new Covid-19 cases 

From CNN’s Natalie Gallón in Mexico City

A health worker prepares to collect a swab sample to test a patient for Covid-19 in Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico state on July 13, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A health worker prepares to collect a swab sample to test a patient for Covid-19 in Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico state on July 13, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images

Mexico’s Health Ministry reported 5,351 new Covid-19 infections on Tuesday and 703 new virus-related deaths.

That brings the country’s total number of confirmed cases to 642,860 and at least 68,484 fatalities.

Mexico has reported the world’s fourth-highest number of coronavirus deaths, behind the United States, Brazil and India respectively, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

The country is listed eighth by JHU in terms of the highest total number of coronavirus cases. 

9:57 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

Standards for emergency vaccine approval would be much higher than for convalescent plasma, health expert says

From CNN Health’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Dr. Mark McClellan.
Dr. Mark McClellan. CNN

The US Food and Drug Administration would use a different standard to approve a Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use than it would for a treatment like convalescent plasma, Dr. Mark McClellan, a professor of business, medicine and policy at Duke University said Tuesday.

Standards for emergency use approval of a vaccine would be much higher, said McClellan, a former FDA commissioner.

Convalescent plasma is "a treatment where we've seen it used in many, many other conditions and in literally thousands of patients with serious Covid infections. It’s intended for people who are hospitalized or seriously ill, not for a broad, healthy population,” McClellan said during the Research! America 2020 Summit.

“Because there are not very many safety concerns, it's a different kind of standard.”

McClellan said that the FDA and other agencies have plans in place to ensure transparency in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, including review by an independent advisory committee, data reported from the vaccine makers, review by FDA staff and public discussion.

“The FDA has made clear in its guidance that a vaccine is not going to be approved, even for emergency use, unless there is a clear clinical signal that it meets that standard of effectiveness,” he said. 

9:31 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

Brazil's Federal District governor tests positive for Covid-19

From CNN’s Flora Charner in Atlanta

Brazilian Federal District Gov. Ibaneis Rocha delivers a speech at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil on August 28, 2019.
Brazilian Federal District Gov. Ibaneis Rocha delivers a speech at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil on August 28, 2019. Evaristo/SA/AFP/Getty Images

Ibaneis Rocha, the governor of Brazil’s Federal District where the capital Brasilia is located, has tested positive for Covid-19, CNN affiliate CNN Brasil reported, citing his press team.  

The diagnosis was reported late Tuesday, and according to his press team, Rocha showed mild Covid-19 symptoms. Rocha has a low fever and cough, CNN Brasil reported.  

Rocha will remain isolated at home for the next few days and will continue to work remotely.

It comes as Brazil’s Health Ministry reported 14,279 new Covid-19 infections and 504 new virus-related deaths on Tuesday.

8:53 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

Brazil reports more than 14,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Sharif Paget in Atlanta

Brazil’s Health Ministry reported 14,279 new Covid-19 infections and 504 new virus-related deaths on Tuesday.

That brings the country’s total number of cases to 4,162,073 and raises the death toll to 127,464.

Brazil has recorded the third-highest coronavirus case numbers in the world, behind the United States and India. 

In terms of coronavirus deaths, Brazil has the second-highest number of fatalities, after the US.

  

7:59 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

Trump goes maskless during speech in North Carolina

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump made his third visit to North Carolina in as many weeks on Tuesday, pushing a new end-in-sight message on coronavirus.

Whether the situation on the ground there helps him is an open question; the state still has a mask requirement in place, and many businesses — including bars and movie theaters — remain closed.

But the President did not wear a mask during his speech in Winston-Salem.

And while many supporters visible in stands directly behind Trump were wearing masks, most individuals higher up on the stands away from Trump and most supporters on the ground in front of Trump's podium were not sporting masks.

Before Tuesday's event, the Republican chairman of the local county commission said the President should wear a mask during his speech, a virtually unimaginable prospect for a President who has been mocking his rival for wearing one and who demanded reporters remove their face coverings when asking him questions on Monday.

"The President of the United States sets the example for everybody else. You can hear it: if the President of the United States says I don't have to wear it, I'm not going to wear it. And I can guarantee you that will be done," said David Plyler, the chairman of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners.

Keep reading.

6:55 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

Connecticut adds 4 nearby states to its travel advisory list

From CNN's Jason Kurtz

Gov. Ned Lamont 
Gov. Ned Lamont  CNN

The state of Connecticut has added four states — Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, and West Virginia — to its travel advisory list.

"They have a higher infection rate, which is the criterion we have for whether you can fly in without quarantining or not," Gov. Ned Lamont explained to CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "We're a small state, we're a region that's got a very low infection rate. And so far we've been at less than 1% for over three months. We want to keep it that way."

Amid the Covid-19 global pandemic, Connecticut joined neighboring New York and New Jersey in a regional approach to protecting against the virus. Lamont pointed to air travel as a key component in this strategy.

"They fly into Kennedy [International] Airport, they fly into LaGuardia [Airport,] they drive up here to Connecticut. And it makes sense for us to do this together," the governor told the host of CNN's "The Situation Room." "Obviously Newark International Airport gets people from all over the world. It made good sense for us to do this."

Meanwhile, on the first Tuesday after Labor Day, Lamont noted the challenges facing children as they look to return to the classroom.

"We've opened up our schools. Many of them full-time, some of them on a hybrid basis. These kids hadn't been to school for many months," he said. 

"We're going to do this, but we're going to do it very, very carefully," he said of the educational plan, adding "we're going to walk before we run."

As the number of Covid-19 deaths continues to rise, Lamont assured his state is taking every precaution to keep kids and their teachers safe.

"Look, we're requiring the masks, we've got all the toughest disinfecting standards," he said. "Some of those school districts that are a little more crowded, they only have half days or half classes just to spread people out."

6:34 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

Testing "as many people as possible" key to controlling coronavirus, NIH directors say

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

University Health Sciences Spokane administer COVID-19 tests to students at a mobile testing site on campus, Wednesday, September 2, in Pullman, Washington.
University Health Sciences Spokane administer COVID-19 tests to students at a mobile testing site on campus, Wednesday, September 2, in Pullman, Washington. Geoff Crimmins/The Moscow-Pullman Daily News/AP

Testing “as many people as possible” is vital to helping fight the coronavirus pandemic, 11 directors of some of the various National Institutes of Health said Tuesday.

Their joint blog post contradicts recently changed guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which indicates that not everyone who believes they have been exposed needs to be tested. 

“Get tested if you believe you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19,” the NIH heads write in the blog post. “Testing, particularly of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals, is key to interrupting this spread.”

CDC guidance about testing was changed last month to indicate that not everyone who has been near or with someone with coronavirus needs to be tested. A senior federal health official told CNN this was because of pressure from the Trump administration.

“Unfortunately, there still is a lot of confusion about where to get a test and who should get tested,” the NIH directors said.

“It is becoming clear that for a person to test positive, they have to have a significant amount of the virus in their system. This means that if you have no symptoms but think or were told that you were in contact with a person with COVID-19, you should isolate yourself immediately, call your health care provider, and then get a test.”

Testing is the cornerstone of the basic public health approach for controlling disease outbreaks: contact tracing. “Testing can help people determine if they are infected with SARS-CoV-2 – regardless of whether they have symptoms – and whether they are at risk of spreading the infection to others. Taking measures to prevent the spread of infection will be the most effective strategy for getting us safely back to work and school,” the directors wrote.

Those signing the blog post include the directors of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; the National Library of Medicine; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institute of Mental Health; National Institute on Aging; National Institute of General Medical Sciences; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities; NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research; National Institute of Nursing Research; and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

6:38 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

Arkansas using $4 million to purchase 120,000 antigen tests

From CNN’s Molly Silverman

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Governor Asa Hutchinson Arkansas Governor's office

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced today that Arkansas is using $4 million to purchase 120,000 antigen tests. 

Hutchinson said that the state had joined a multi-state purchasing agreement led by the Rockefeller Foundation partnered with the National Governors Association.

"The Department of Health has worked very diligently with our procurement team to follow up on this commitment and today I am pleased to announce that we are using 4 million dollars to purchase 120,000 antigen tests to be used throughout the state as a result of this multi-state purchasing agreement, that is our commitment. This will not require any state funds since this will be using CARES Act funding already approved for testing," Hutchinson said in the news conference. 

Hutchinson also reported that Arkansas recorded 294 additional Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours. He also said the state has 409 Covid-19 hospitalizations, which is an increase of 10, and nine additional Covid-19 deaths, for a total of 917.

Remember: These numbers were released by the Arkansas public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.