September 9 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, September 10, 2020
52 Posts
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4:09 p.m. ET, September 9, 2020

Trump administration intends to end Covid-19 screenings of passengers arriving from overseas

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez, Greg Wallace and Pete Muntean

A worker exits a booth as a passenger is tested for Covid-19 at the new testing facility XpresCheck at Newark Liberty International Airport Terminal B on September 8, in Newark, New Jersey.
A worker exits a booth as a passenger is tested for Covid-19 at the new testing facility XpresCheck at Newark Liberty International Airport Terminal B on September 8, in Newark, New Jersey. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

The Trump administration intends to end coronavirus screenings of passengers arriving to the United States from overseasaccording to three officials familiar with the plans. 

The US began conducting enhanced screenings of passengers arriving from Wuhan, China, where there had been coronavirus outbreak, at select airports in January. Over the following months, additional airports began the process of checking passengers from high-risk countries. For a brief period, the screenings resulted in long lines and overcrowded conditions at US airports. 

The administration now appears set to end those screenings, a move first reported by Yahoo News. US Customs and Border Protection deferred to the Department of Homeland Security, which hasn’t returned request for comment. 

A TSA official told CNN that a draft public affairs guidance memo lays out the rationale for ending airport screening — of the 675,000 passengers screened at 15 airports, fewer than 15 had been identified as having COVID-19.

It’s been difficult to measure how effective the screenings were to begin with. Data provided to the House Oversight Committee earlier this year revealed few passengers were stopped in initial screenings of international flights from early coronavirus hotspots outside of China. 

The screenings included questions about medical history, current condition, and contact information for local health authorities. 

4:07 p.m. ET, September 9, 2020

Bars and nightclubs in Miami-Dade won't reopen anytime soon, mayor says

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Calling it a “highly dangerous activity” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said at an afternoon briefing he doesn’t expect bars and nightclubs in his county to open in the foreseeable future.

Bars and nightclubs are "not conducive to maintaining a six-foot separation," Gimenez said. 

 "Those venues are really difficult," said the mayor. Gimenez said he doesn't foresee reopening bars and nightclubs in Miami-Dade "for the foreseeable future and until we get a vaccine." 

 "I just think that that's a highly dangerous activity," said Gimenez.  

Dr. Alina Alonso, the county's health director, says data from other regions shows "bars and discos and so forth have been sites of major, major clusters for Covid-19 so those are high risk areas, the mayor is absolutely right." 

Where things stand: Currently in Miami-Dade County, indoor dining at restaurants is allowed at 50% capacity but bars and nightclubs remain closed.

Gimenez was asked whether strip clubs would also remain closed, to which he responded, "That's something we're going to have to discuss with the medical advisors again" because "it's a little bit different."  

Miami-Dade Deputy Mayor Jennifer Moon elaborated: "Adult entertainment venues developed specific rules that govern how they were operating and they were required to have their customers seated at tables with social distancing and a certain distance from the entertainers," the bars were not open, "and that is not the same as what happens at a nightclub." 

 

4:02 p.m. ET, September 9, 2020

Arkansas to increase Covid-19 testing capacity by 20% through new partnership

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

In this Wednesday, April 1 file photo, nurse Mandy Stuckey administers a Covid-19 test as nurse Tonya green assists at New Life Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
In this Wednesday, April 1 file photo, nurse Mandy Stuckey administers a Covid-19 test as nurse Tonya green assists at New Life Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Thomas Metthe/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/AP

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced that the state's health department has partnered with Baptist Health in order to increase Covid-19 testing capacity by 20%.

“What I've said, probably a month ago, when we started having serious issues with our commercial labs and their production and their reliability on the test, is that we needed to control our own destiny,” Hutchinson said. “And so today, as part of controlling our own destiny, I'm pleased to announce the Department of Health partnership with Baptist Health.”

According to the governor, the department of health will refer 50% of the tests that come in to Baptist Health for its analysis and will provide the personnel to operate the commercially rated lab equipment, which the department of health is providing.

Baptist Health will be operating the equipment 24 hours per day, seven days a week, according to Hutchinson.

The state expects to be operational with the new equipment, which will run over 1,000 tests a day, by Oct. 1.

3:59 p.m. ET, September 9, 2020

West Virginia is "getting worse by the day," governor says

From CNN's Molly Silverman

From Governor Jim Justice/YouTube
From Governor Jim Justice/YouTube

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced today that the state's Covid-19 numbers aren't where they should be. 

"West Virginia, we are absolutely getting worse by the day. And this situation right now is very critical," Justice said at a news conference.

The governor said today's positivity rate is at 7.78%, adding “that’s really bad.”

Justice added that West Virginia has a record high of active Covid-19 cases with at least 2,806 and "the worst reproduction rate, the RT rate is at 1.35. It's the worst in the nation."

The governor called on state residents to do better, as this is a critical time.  

Note: These numbers were released by the West Virginia 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.

3:55 p.m. ET, September 9, 2020

University of Georgia reported more than 1,400 Covid-19 cases last week 

From CNN’s Devon Sayers

Students walk toward the Arch at the University of Georgia on August 20 in Athens, Georgia.
Students walk toward the Arch at the University of Georgia on August 20 in Athens, Georgia. Jen Wolf/Shutterstock

The University of Georgia reported at least 1,417 positive Covid-19 cases were reported to the school for the week of Aug. 31 through Sept. 4, according to a UGA release.

Of the positive cases, 1,402 were students, 14 were staff, and just one was a member of faculty.

The data suggests spread is not happening in classroom settings, according to Dr. Garth Russo, executive director of the University Health Center and chair of UGA’s medical oversight task force, said in the release. 

“With only one faculty member testing positive during this period, we can surmise that the preventive measures the university has taken to control the classroom environment—such as installing HEPA filters, marking off social distancing, installing Plexiglas shields and mandating masks—are working to make our classrooms safe places for students and faculty,” said Russo in the statement.
3:52 p.m. ET, September 9, 2020

Miami-Dade mayor extends county curfew

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez speaks with the news media following a news conference on Monday, Aug. 24, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez speaks with the news media following a news conference on Monday, Aug. 24, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Lynne Sladky/AP

Miami-Dade, Florida, Mayor Carlos Giménez announced Wednesday he is loosening some restrictions in the county after a meeting with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx.

Starting Monday, Miami-Dade's 10 p.m. curfew will be pushed back one hour to 11 p.m., Giménez said. Restaurants and businesses will be allowed to serve customers for the extra hour, he said.

Anyone attending a college or professional sporting event that ends after the curfew should keep their game ticket "in case you get stopped by police when you're heading home," Giménez said.

The University of Miami Hurricanes season opener at Hard Rock Stadium is scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday, with 13,000 socially distanced fans allowed to attend.

Zoos and animal adventure parks, like Zoo Miami and Jungle Island, can open their gates to visitors for outdoor activities starting Monday as well, Giménez said.

Playgrounds in the county will remain closed while baseball and softball will now be allowed, with some restrictions. Other amateur contact sports like football and soccer are still not allowed, the mayor said.

Rental scooters and bikes will also be allowed. Scooter companies have been asked to provide sanitizing supplies at docking stations for customers, Giménez said.

Miami-Dade is down to a 6.46% positivity rate in its 14-day average, according to Giménez.

2:02 p.m. ET, September 9, 2020

White House says AstraZeneca vaccine trial pause is showing that "science is guiding the way"

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez 

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing on September 9 in Washington, DC. 
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing on September 9 in Washington, DC.  Drew Angerer/Getty Images

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during Wednesday’s press briefing that AstraZeneca’s recent pause on a coronavirus vaccine trial showed “science is guiding the way on a vaccine.”

McEnany called their pause “a routine response when you see an adverse effect.”

“And it was one that shows that the science is guiding the way here. And when there was an adverse response that was identified in one individual, AstraZeneca chose to pause that phase three clinical trial. There are still two American vaccines in phase three clinical trials showing great promise, but AstraZeneca, what is happening there is showing that the science is guiding the way on a vaccine,” McEnany continued.

McEnany also said that an end of year coronavirus vaccine is still the goal, despite the pause, and disputed that there was ever an Election Day deadline.

“Our timing is not about the election. It is about saving lives and by the end of the year has always been our goal, but of course a safe and effective vaccine, we will take it as quickly as we can get it,” she said.

1:36 p.m. ET, September 9, 2020

Indoor dining in New York City can resume at the end of the month, governor says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo just announced that indoor dining in New York City can resume on Sept. 30.

Restaurants must operate at 25% capacity and follow strict restrictions, including temperature-checking guests at the door and now allowing bar service.

Here's a look at all of the restrictions, according to Cuomo:

2:13 p.m. ET, September 9, 2020

New York's positive infection rate has remained under 1% for 33 straight days, governor says

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference on Wednesday, September 9.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference on Wednesday, September 9. State of New York

New York’s Covid-19 infection rate remains under 1% for 33 straight days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

New York’s Covid-19 infection rate is 0.91%, Cuomo said. 

The State Liquor Authority has visited over 36,000 establishments and those restaurants have maintained a 99.2% compliance with capacity restrictions, the governor said.

“Rules are only as good as their compliance. And the compliance is only as good as the enforcement,” Cuomo said. 

One thing to note: The numbers listed were released by the state of New York and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.