September 9 coronavirus news

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6:30 a.m. ET, September 9, 2020

Czech Republic reimposes indoor mask requirement from Thursday

From CNN’s Richard Allen Greene and Ivana Kottasova

The Czech Republic will require people to wear masks indoors as of Thursday, Health Minister Adam Vojtech announced on Twitter Wednesday, citing the "worsening epidemiological situation" in the country. 

"As of tomorrow we are reinstating the requirement to wear masks in interior spaces in buildings throughout the Czech Republic. Further details will be sent out today," Vojtech tweeted. 

The central European country has recorded 29,887 cases of Covid-19 and 441 deaths, as of Wednesday morning, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. 

6:29 a.m. ET, September 9, 2020

App for frontline doctors could help discover Covid-19 treatments faster

 From CNN's Ryan Prior

In the trenches of the fight against coronavirus, Dr. Raghav Tirupathi often has little time to think and no textbook to follow while treating patients with Covid-19.

That's why the infectious disease specialist in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, finds himself increasingly turning for guidance to Cure ID, an app developed by the US Food and Drug Administration, which enables doctors to consult with each other across hospitals, academic disciplines and international borders.

He uses many of the established treatments -- the antiviral drug remdesivir, the corticosteroid dexamethasone, and convalescent plasma.

But in the minutiae of a patient's given situation and with treatment guidelines regularly updated, the Cure ID app is vital for him to compare notes with other doctors about which drugs to administer, and in what order.

"Things happen quickly and we can't afford to think about phases," said Tirupathi, who practices in a rural community hospital. "They reassure me that I'm not the only one doing it. We use Cure to justify what we are doing in our institution."

He's one of thousands of doctors sharing information via an app the US government agency hopes will spur new cures for hundreds of difficult-to-treat diseases.

Read the full story here:

5:43 a.m. ET, September 9, 2020

So your child has a Covid-19 symptom. What do you do now?

From CNN's Jen Rose Smith

Less than two weeks after school started, Savannah Gardiner's 8-year-old son woke her up at 4 a.m. complaining of an upset stomach, nausea and a sore throat. By the next morning, her two youngest children, ages 3 and 6, had lost their voices.

"They just feel miserable," said Gardiner, a full-time student and mother-of-four in Lehi, Utah. "Every family gets sick at the beginning of the school year, but this year is different. You have to second-guess every symptom."

After spending the summer exchanging worried texts with other parents in the community, Gardiner knew how important it was to safeguard her kids' classmates against infection. She decided to keep all four children at home. 

They attend Kids Village, a private school in the nearby city of Orem, Utah. The school's precautions during the Covid-19 pandemic include daily temperature checks and mandatory masks. 

"You can't send your kid to school with any symptoms whatsoever, even if it's allergies, because everyone assumes they've got the 'rona," said Gardiner. "I think this is just going to be the new normal. We're going to have to adapt how they're learning, and how often they're going to be able to go to school."

Gardiner did the right thing, according to Crystal Fingulin, school nurse at Glenridge Middle School in Orlando, Florida. Caring for symptomatic kids at home helps ensure they're healthy, Fingulin said. It's also one of the most impactful things parents can do to keep the school year running smoothly.

Read the full story here:

4:42 a.m. ET, September 9, 2020

France sees an increase of Covid-19 patients in intensive care

From CNN's Pierre Bairin in Paris

France is reporting an increase of people seriously ill with coronavirus, and intensive care unit (ICU) beds in the southern French city of Marseille are almost full, according to health authorities.

Marseille city hospitals said during a telephone press conference today that 23 of 27 dedicated Covid-19 ICU beds are currently occupied, leaving only four ICU beds available. There are plans to add an extra 17 ICU beds for coronavirus patients within two weeks, they said.

The Marseille region has a total of 165 ICU beds and there is capacity to move patients from the city – where most cases are located – to other hospitals in the region, a spokesperson for the region told CNN.

The region of Marseille has 91 Covid-19 patients ICUs -- an increase of 42 people on the previous week, according to figures from the regional health authority for Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

Countrywide, the French Health Authority reported 574 people in ICU as of Tuesday. The number had not been this high since early July. There has also been an increase in the number of people admitted to hospital.

The French Health Authority said the number of people testing positive in the country has steadily increased since mid-August, with a positivity rate of 5.2% as of Tuesday.

3:07 a.m. ET, September 9, 2020

Japan reports more than 500 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Junko Ogura in Tokyo

Japan confirmed 515 new Covid-19 cases and 16 new virus-related deaths on Tuesday, according to the country's Health Ministry.

The total number of reported cases in Japan now stands at 73,438, including at least 1,406 fatalities.

The ministry said 202 patients are critically ill with the virus.

There were 170 new Covid-19 cases reported in Tokyo on Tuesday. The total number of infections in the capital has reached at least 22,019, and 21 patients are in serious condition, the government said.

1:52 a.m. ET, September 9, 2020

US needs 200 million Covid-19 tests a month, new report recommends

From CNN Health’s Maggie Fox

The United States needs to perform as many as 200 million coronavirus tests every month well into next year if there’s to be any chance of controlling the pandemic, experts said in a new report released today.

That is way beyond current capacity, but new, fast tests are being developed and once they reach the market, it should be possible, according to the report from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy.

“Our analysis shows that the US will likely need very large numbers of all types of Covid-19 tests well into 2021 to contain outbreaks while returning toward normal activity, with a particular need for more screening tests that have very fast turnaround times,” the report reads.
“Testing capacity and test capabilities are improving, but further steps are needed by government, businesses, and manufacturers to close the gaps.”

Adm. Brett Giroir, the testing lead for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has said repeatedly that the US cannot test its way out of the pandemic. But the report from the team of experts says much more testing is vital.

“At present infection rates, a basic screening strategy will require approximately 200 million tests each month for students and staff at the nation’s primary and secondary schools and residents and staff at nursing homes for them to open safely and in stages,” wrote the team.

“But fewer than 30 million Covid-19 tests are now reported monthly in the United States. Even if infection rates decline, the testing needed in just schools and nursing homes exceeds the nation’s entire capacity now.”

1:31 a.m. ET, September 9, 2020

US reports more than 26,000 Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Tina Burnside

The United States reported 26,169 new Covid-19 infections and 434 virus-related deaths on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

At least 6,326,791 cases, including 189,642 fatalities, have now been recorded in the US, JHU said.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

CNN is tracking US cases here:

12:48 a.m. ET, September 9, 2020

The pandemic is jeopardizing decades of work in reducing preventable childhood deaths, new report finds

From CNN Health’s Shelby Lin Erdman

Preventable deaths in children under 5 were at the lowest number on record in 2019, according to a new report by United Nations agencies and the World Bank, released on Tuesday.

They found that there were just over 5 million preventable deaths last year, down from 12.5 million in 1990.

But the coronavirus pandemic is threatening to undermine those gains made in reducing deaths among children and young adolescents.

The report on mortality estimates comes from UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the World Bank Group.

“We must not let the Covid-19 pandemic turn back remarkable progress for our children and future generations,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

Recent surveys by UNICEF and WHO have found the pandemic is disrupting child and maternal healthcare services worldwide, including prenatal and post-natal care, vaccinations and check-ups due to fewer resources and a fear of contracting Covid-19.

“The global community has come too far towards eliminating preventable child deaths to allow the COVID-19 pandemic to stop us in our tracks,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a news release. 
“When children are denied access to health services because the system is overrun, and when women are afraid to give birth at the hospital for fear of infection, they, too, may become casualties of COVID-19,” Fore said. 

She added that millions of young children, especially newborns, could die "without urgent investments to re-start disrupted health systems and services."

Out of 77 countries surveyed by UNICEF over the summer, 68% reported disruptions in childhood checkups and vaccinations. A WHO survey of 105 countries also found 52% reported interruptions in medical services for sick kids and 51% reported disruptions in malnutrition programs.

These kinds of services are critical for preventing newborn and child deaths, WHO said.

Read the full story:

11:31 p.m. ET, September 8, 2020

LA County bans trick-or-treating due to coronavirus

From CNN's Sarah Moon

Trick-or-treating will not be allowed in Los Angeles County this Halloween due to the risk of spreading the coronavirus, according to new guidance from the local health department.

“Door to door trick or treating is not allowed because it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors especially in neighborhoods that are popular with trick or treaters,” the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a news release.

“Trunk or treating” events where children trick-or-treat from cars are also not allowed. 

Under the guidance, gatherings or parties with non-household members are prohibited even when conducted outdoors. Carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted house attractions are also prohibited.

The county’s public health department is encouraging alternative ways to celebrate Halloween this year, including online parties and car parades that comply with public health orders. Individuals must remain in their vehicles during these drive-thru events.

As the nation’s most populous county with over 10 million residents, Los Angeles County remains in the first tier of the state’s four-tiered reopening system.

To date, Los Angeles County has reported a total of 249,241 Covid-19 cases and 6,036 deaths.