September 10 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, September 11, 2020
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3:53 p.m. ET, September 10, 2020

CDC's ensemble forecast now projects up to 217,000 US Covid-19 deaths by October

From CNN's Ben Tinker

An ensemble forecast published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now projects there will be 205,000 to 217,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by Oct. 3.

Unlike some individual models, the CDC’s ensemble forecast only offers projections a few weeks into the future.

The previous ensemble forecast, published Sept. 3, projected up to 211,000 coronavirus deaths by Sept. 26.

At least 191,444 people have already died from Covid-19 in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

3:57 p.m. ET, September 10, 2020

University of Central Florida places an entire class on quarantine

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

The University of Central Florida has placed an entire class on quarantine after it was reported that a student who had tested positive for Covid-19 attended a class where face coverings were not worn the entire time and the faculty member moved the tables closer and the class ate together, the school’s interim provost Michael D. Johnson said in a statement on Wednesday.

“I cannot emphasize enough how important our health measures are to prevent the spread of Covid-19. If a student tests positive in a face-to-face class, in general we will not need to quarantine the class — as long as everyone has been wearing face coverings and practicing physical distancing. That is how powerful these simple steps are to prevent infection,” Johnson said.

Johnson said that there were numerous reports of faculty members and students not wearing a face covering during class.

“I am concerned — really, shocked — about several reports of faculty members not wearing face coverings during class and advising students that they can take theirs off. Wearing face coverings and practicing physical distancing are critical to preventing the spread of Covid-19,” Johnson said.

UCF reported 75 cases of Covid-19 among students and staff the week of Sept. 5, according to the school’s coronavirus dashboard.

CNN has reached out to UCF to see if additional cases have been identified among the class.

4:13 p.m. ET, September 10, 2020

Adults with Covid-19 about "twice as likely" to say they have dined at a restaurant, CDC study says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Adults who test positive for Covid-19 were approximately twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than were those who test negative, according to a new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, published on Thursday, included data on 314 adults who were tested for Covid-19 in July because they were experiencing symptoms: 154 tested positive and 160 tested negative. The tests were done at 11 different health care facilities across the United States, in California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah and Washington.

The researchers – from the CDC and other institutions – took a close look at how those patients responded to questions about wearing masks and various activities in the community, including whether they recently dined at a restaurant, hung out a bar or went to a gym.

What the study found: The data showed that 42% of the adults who tested positive reported having close contact with at least one person known to have Covid-19, compared with 14% of those who tested negative – and most, 51%, of the close contacts were family members.

The researchers also found that 71% of the adults with Covid-19 and 74% of those who tested negative reported always using a face covering while in public.

There were no significant differences between those who tested positive versus negative when it came to shopping, gathering with fewer than 10 people in a home, going to an office, going to a gym, going to a salon, using public transportation or attending religious gatherings, according to the study.

However, the data showed that people who tested positive were more likely to have reported dining at a restaurant in the two weeks before they started to feel ill.

"Adults with confirmed COVID-19 (case-patients) were approximately twice as likely as were control-participants to have reported dining at a restaurant in the 14 days before becoming ill," the researchers wrote.

"In addition to dining at a restaurant, case-patients were more likely to report going to a bar/coffee shop, but only when the analysis was restricted to participants without close contact with persons with known COVID-19 before illness onset," the researchers added.

As states reopen, the CDC's guidelines for restaurants and bars list dining options from the lowest to the highest risk on the agency's website:

  • Lowest risk: Food service limited to drive-through, delivery, take-out and curbside pick-up.
  • More risk: On-site dining limited to outdoor seating. Seating capacity reduced to allow tables to be spaced at least 6 feet apart.
  • Even more risk: On-site dining with both indoor and outdoor seating. Seating capacity reduced to allow tables to be spaced at least 6 feet apart.
  • Highest risk: On-site dining with both indoor and outdoor seating. Seating capacity not reduced and tables not spaced at least 6 feet apart.

The study's limitations: The study comes with some limitations, including that more research is needed to determine whether similar findings would emerge among a larger group of patients, and the question assessing dining at a restaurant did not distinguish between indoor versus outdoor dining. 

"Reports of exposures in restaurants have been linked to air circulation. Direction, ventilation, and intensity of airflow might affect virus transmission, even if social distancing measures and mask use are implemented according to current guidance," the researchers wrote. "Masks cannot be effectively worn while eating and drinking, whereas shopping and numerous other indoor activities do not preclude mask use."

3:15 p.m. ET, September 10, 2020

The pandemic is causing Americans to skip potentially life-saving medical care

From CNN's Andrea Kane

Almost 41% of US adults avoided getting medical care during the pandemic because of concerns about Covid-19, including 12% who avoided urgent or emergency care and 31% who avoided routine care, according to a new survey of almost 5,000 US adults conducted online during the last week of June.

“These findings align with recent reports that hospital admissions, overall emergency department (ED) visits, and the number of ED visits for heart attack, stroke, and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) crisis have declined since the start of the pandemic, and that excess deaths directly or indirectly related to Covid-19 have increased in 2020 versus prior years,” Mark Czeisler of the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues wrote.

The consequences of delaying or avoiding routine medical care, while less immediate than missing urgent or emergency care, include early detection of new conditions, missed opportunities to manage chronic conditions and missed routine vaccinations.

The survey found that those most likely to skip urgent or emergency care are those who are at increased risk for more severe Covid-19 disease.

For example, almost 23% of people with two or more underlying medical conditions said they skipped emergency care compared to 8% of those without comorbidities. And 23% of Black and 25% of Latino adults skipped emergency care compared to 7% of White adults.

“Increased prevalences of reported urgent or emergency care avoidance among Black adults and Hispanic adults compared with White adults are especially concerning given increased Covid-19-associated mortality among Black adults and Hispanic adults. In the United States, the age-adjusted Covid-19 hospitalization rates are approximately five times higher among Black persons and four times higher among Hispanic persons than are those among White persons,” the researchers wrote. 

The study was published Thursday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly report on death and disease.

2:28 p.m. ET, September 10, 2020

France sets new daily Covid-19 infection record

From Zahid Mahmood and Barbara Wojazer

A health official conducts a Covid-19 test in Rennes, France, on September 7.
A health official conducts a Covid-19 test in Rennes, France, on September 7. Damien Meyer/AFP via Getty Images

France has reported 9,843 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, according to figures from the country’s health agency on Thursday.

This is the largest daily infection increase in France since the pandemic began, eclipsing the previous record of 8,975, which was set last Friday.

The new infections brings the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases to 353,944, as the country’s death toll rose to 30,813.

Testing has gradually increased in the country as authorities aimed to test a million people per week. So far this week, France has carried out 1,081,208 million tests, with 5.4% returning positive results, according to Thursday’s figures.

1:32 p.m. ET, September 10, 2020

More than 190,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

From CNN's Amanda Watts

There are at least 6,373,349 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 191,248 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

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

So far on Thursday, Johns Hopkins has reported 12,084 new cases and 389 reported deaths.

1:27 p.m. ET, September 10, 2020

New York reports a Covid-19 positivity rate under 1% for 34th straight day

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

People relax on socially distant mini-lawns on the rooftop of Pier 17 in the Seaport District of New York City on August 14.
People relax on socially distant mini-lawns on the rooftop of Pier 17 in the Seaport District of New York City on August 14. Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

New York’s percent positivity remains less than 1% for its 34th day, the Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday in a press call. The percent positivity is 0.98% the governor said.

The state has performed more than 9 million Covid-19 tests so far, Cuomo added.

The State Liquor Authority and Police task force did 900 establishments visits yesterday, resulting in 4 violations, Cuomo said, noting compliance has gone up because of enforcement.

12:49 p.m. ET, September 10, 2020

Hahn says he has no regrets about authorizing convalescent plasma

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard and Maggie Fox

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn testifies on Capitol Hill on June 30.
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn testifies on Capitol Hill on June 30. Kevin Dietsch/AFP via Getty Images

US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said on Thursday that he has no regrets about issuing an emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma for Covid-19.

"So, no regrets about that decision?" David Rubenstein, of The Economic Club, asked Hahn during a virtual interview on Thursday.

"None," Hahn replied.

"We authorized convalescent plasma because the totality of evidence was in support of that authorization," Hahn said. "We are continuing to collect data and we very much want data from randomized clinical trials."

Remember: A National Institutes of Health panel said earlier this month that there's no evidence backing the use of convalescent plasma to treat coronavirus patients and that doctors should not treat it as a standard of care until more study has been done.

The statement, which was posted quietly, contradicts the Trump administration's characterization of the treatment as "historic" and a "major advance" and directly refers to last week's emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration. 

1:10 p.m. ET, September 10, 2020

Covid-19 has helped drill down on what should be in the national stockpile, Giroir says

From CNN's Amanda Watts

from Research! America
from Research! America

The Covid-19 pandemic has helped drill down on what needs to be in the national stockpile, Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services, said during a Research! America forum on Thursday.

Speaking to the forum’s host, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Giroir said when he started March 12, “Diagnostics were not emphasized at all. The National Stockpile – it’s not a Trump administration, it's not an Obama administration – it's been a long-standing practice that diagnostics were really not emphasized. I think we see the importance of them now.”

Giroir said, “On March 12th, how many swabs did we have in the stockpile? Well, there were no swabs in the stockpile.”

When they opened up drive-thru testing sites across the US, HHS realized, “We would blow through 80% of the Strategic National Stockpile of personal protective equipment within the first month, and we couldn't really do that.”

HHS needed to change the types of swabs they were using at testing sites and have “more technological breakthroughs.”

“We need to invest over a long-term period of time in diagnostics,” he said.

“And when I talk about that, you know some things are whiz-bang, and some are is just as simple as validating a nose swab instead of a nasal pharyngeal swab,” he explained.

Giroir said in February, March and April, HHS was calling up hospital systems in New York City and asking them questions like: How many ventilators were being used? How many anesthesia machines were used? What’s in the stockpile?

That system needs to be updated.

“There's just a lot of things we're going to have to do over a period of years, that no matter how hard you try in a matter of months, you can't redo that,” he said.

Pandemic preparedness starts today, Giroir said.