September 14 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Jack Guy, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, September 15, 2020
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6:27 a.m. ET, September 14, 2020

A 26-year-old American woman is believed to have caused a coronavirus outbreak in Germany

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz and Frederik Pleitgen

A coronavirus testing center is pictured in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in Bavaria, Germany, on September 13.
A coronavirus testing center is pictured in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in Bavaria, Germany, on September 13. Lino Mirgeler/picture alliance/Getty Images

German authorities say a 26-year-old US citizen has caused a spike in coronavirus infections in the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

The unnamed woman had recently returned from a holiday abroad, according to Stephan Scharf, press officer of the District Administrator's Office in the southern German town.

Scharf told CNN he did not know which country she had returned from, but it had not been from the US.

The woman developed Covid-19 symptoms, took a coronavirus test and was told to stay at home to wait for the results, said Scharf, but this did not stop her from going out and socializing.

She has since received a positive test result and is in quarantine, said Scharf.

"We don’t know how many people the assumed spreader infected, although we know she was out being infectious,” Scharf said.

On Friday there were 33 new cases in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

"We did not have so many even during the height of Corona,” Scharf said. “This kind of behavior of course is everything but commendable."

Garmisch-Partenkirchen recorded a seven-day incidence rate of 55 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the latest figures.

German authorities have agreed to reimpose measures in areas where the incidence rate rises above 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

As a result new regulations came into effect in Garmisch-Partenkirchen over the weekend, meaning local pubs and bars have to close at 10 p.m. local time.

Only five people can be at a table indoors, and 10 people outdoors -- half of what it was allowed before. The number of attendees allowed for parties have also been slashed from 200 to 100, Scharf said.

The woman works at the Edelweiss Lodge, a US Armed Forces Recreation Center Resort operated by the US Army, and Scharf told CNN 24 staff members had tested positive for coronavirus.

The US Army Europe Public Affairs Department said in a statement Sunday that the resort would be closed for two weeks starting from Monday.

"As a precaution, additional staff members who had prolonged, direct contact with the positive staff members have also been quarantined. The facility is working with U.S. Army medical professionals and local medical officials to assess the situation and conduct contact tracing," the statement said.
5:55 a.m. ET, September 14, 2020

France's virus cases surged to new heights at the weekend

From CNN's Gaëlle Fournier, Barbara Wojazer and Schams Elwazer

France's daily count of coronavirus infections dipped slightly on Sunday, a day after the country recorded more than 10,000 new cases for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

There were 7,183 new cases on Sunday, according to health authorities, down from Saturday’s record-breaking number of 10,561.

However a nationwide lockdown is not in the French government's "mindset" despite the "clear deterioration" of the coronavirus situation, said Prime Minister Jean Castex in a televised address on Friday.

Castex said he is “particularly worried” to see “a substantial increase in hospitalizations for the first time in a number of weeks."

French Prime Minister Jean Castex visits a manufacturing plant in Montévrain, France, on Monday, September 14.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex visits a manufacturing plant in Montévrain, France, on Monday, September 14. Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

The Prime Minister said a national lockdown should be avoided and gave power to local authorities to impose restrictions instead of the central government.

"Measures should not be decided from Paris," said Castex, explaining that the virus is spreading unevenly.

Marseille, Bordeaux, and Guadeloupe are particularly badly affected, he added. Local authorities have until Monday to present measures to the Prime Minister.

Castex also announced changes to the French government's testing and isolation strategy.

In face of the “significant waiting times" the priority will be to test people showing symptoms, those who were in close contact with coronavirus patients, and healthcare personnel, Castex said.

“France has become the third European country in terms of testing,” he added, with around a million tests per week.

Castex also announced the mandatory isolation period for people with Covid-19 will be reduced from 14 to 7 days, a “period where there is a real risk of contagion," he said.

“Tomorrow depends on you, tomorrow depends on us," said Castex.

5:42 a.m. ET, September 14, 2020

British "rage mums" say they're angered by UK response to coronavirus pandemic

In the US, the term "rage mom" has been used to describe fed-up mothers who are demanding change after months of juggling their roles as teachers, employees, caregivers, and parents with limited support during the pandemic.

And while it's not a movement, the sentiment is also felt in the United Kingdom, one of the countries worst hit by coronavirus.

British "rage mums" say they, like their sisters across the Atlantic, are mobilizing to hold their government to account and make their voices heard.

Watch:

5:12 a.m. ET, September 14, 2020

China says no need to vaccinate entire population against Covid-19 at this stage, only frontline workers

From CNN's Jessie Yeung

Not everyone in China will need to get vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the country's top medical official, as Beijing looks to prioritize frontline workers and high-risk populations in a move that underscores rising confidence among policy-makers of their ability to contain the virus.

"Since the first wave of Covid-19 appeared in Wuhan, China has already survived the impact of Covid-19 several times," Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said at a vaccine summit in the city of Shenzhen on Saturday, according to state-run news agency China News Service.

The question of vaccinating the public was one of balancing "risks and benefits," he added, pointing to factors like cost and potential side effects. There isn't currently a need for mass vaccination at this stage -- though that could change if another serious outbreak takes place, Gao said.

The policy marks China apart from many Western governments, most notably Australia, that have outlined plans to introduce mass public vaccination drives.

Outbreak under control: China's reported virus numbers have stayed low since the spring. There have been a few flare-ups -- clusters in the northeastern Jilin province in May, an outbreak in Beijing in June, and another in the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi in July -- but these were met with immediate lockdown measures and mass testing, and the outbreaks were contained within a few weeks.

Gao cited these brief outbreaks as evidence of China's effective containment measures. "The facts have proven that we have several magic weapons to respond to the epidemic," he said, according to China News Service.

Any potential vaccine would instead be prioritized for those on the front lines, he added: medical workers, Chinese nationals working overseas in virus hostpots, and people working in dense, high-risk environments like restaurants, schools or cleaning services.

Read the full story:

4:42 a.m. ET, September 14, 2020

US reports more than 34,000 new Covid-19 cases

The United States reported 34,450 new Covid-19 infections and 378 virus-related deaths on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

At least 6,520,235 cases, including 194,081 fatalities, have now been recorded in the US.

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:

4:43 a.m. ET, September 14, 2020

Cathay Pacific says it's losing up to $258 million a month as passengers drop nearly 99%

From CNN's Michelle Toh in Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific planes seen parked on the tarmac at Hong Kong International Airport on March 10, 2020. 
Cathay Pacific planes seen parked on the tarmac at Hong Kong International Airport on March 10, 2020.  Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Cathay Pacific Group, the owner of Hong Kong's flagship airline, says it's losing hundreds of millions of dollars a month as the coronavirus pandemic continues to pummel global demand for travel.

The company said Monday that its two main carriers -- Cathay Pacific and regional sister airline Cathay Dragon -- only carried about 36,000 passengers altogether last month, plunging 98.8% compared to the same time a year ago.

While the company has continuously taken steps to cut costs, it is still "burning cash" at a rate of 1.5 billion Hong Kong dollars ($194 million) to 2 billion Hong Kong dollars ($258 million) per month, according to chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam.

“We are weathering the storm for now, but the fact remains that we simply will not survive unless we adapt our airlines for the new travel market," he said in a statement.
"A restructuring will therefore be inevitable to protect the company, the Hong Kong aviation hub, and the livelihoods of as many people as possible."

Cathay was bailed out by Hong Kong's government in June. That helped give the company "time and a platform from which to transform our business and continue to operate in the short term," said Lam. "However, it is an investment that we need to repay."

The company expects a long road back to recovery. Lam noted that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently pushed back its global forecast for an industry rebound "by a year to 2024, demonstrating just how slow a return to pre-pandemic levels will be."

4:17 a.m. ET, September 14, 2020

France reports more than 7,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Schams Elwazer

France’s daily coronavirus infections dipped slightly on Sunday, a day after the country recorded more than 10,000 new cases for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Health authorities said Sunday’s total number of new Covid-19 cases was 7,183, down from Saturday’s high of 10,561.

No lockdown: A nationwide lockdown is not in the French government's "mindset" despite the "clear deterioration" of the coronavirus situation in the country, Prime Minister Jean Castex said during a televised address on Friday.

The Prime Minister said a national lockdown should be avoided and gave power to local authorities to impose restrictions, instead of the central government. 

2:27 a.m. ET, September 14, 2020

Analysis: Trump ignores science at dangerous indoor rally

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

US President Donald Trump offered a glaring new example of his refusal to put medical science before politics with a large indoor rally Sunday night that made a mockery of social distancing, while the pandemic he mismanaged has now claimed more than 194,000 American lives.

The event in Nevada -- his second rally in the state in as many days -- did not only risk the health of those present, thousands of whom were packed together inside a manufacturing facility in defiance of the state's ban on local gatherings of 50 people or more. It also has the potential to turn into a super spreader event that could seed Covid-19 outbreaks in the wider community.

Trump hadn't held an indoor rally in nearly three months, since his last one, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after which the city saw a surge in cases and multiple campaign staffers along with Secret Service agents tested positive for the virus.

The jarring scenes of the indoor event clashed with footage from the first weekend of NFL games that went ahead in cavernous empty stadiums, reflecting how almost alone the President, who might be expected to set an example, is responsible for the most dangerous breaches of his own government's coronavirus recommendations.

Rare precautions: CNN's Brian Stelter reported that major television networks, including CNN, decided not to send their crews and correspondents into the rally for their own safety. It's not unusual for media companies to take steps to shield their employees in war zones abroad, but such precautions are exceedingly rare on home soil.

Read the full analysis:

1:24 a.m. ET, September 14, 2020

Japan reports more than 400 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo

Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike, announced that her government decided to lower its coronavirus rank and loosen voluntary refrainment from large-scale public events, traveling and dining out at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office on September 10.
Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike, announced that her government decided to lower its coronavirus rank and loosen voluntary refrainment from large-scale public events, traveling and dining out at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office on September 10. The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images

Japan recorded 441 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, bringing its total caseload to 76,369, the Japanese Health Ministry announced Monday.

The country also reported three new deaths on Sunday, with its total death toll now at 1,455.

In the capital Tokyo, the total number of infections has surpassed 23,000, with 146 new cases confirmed Sunday, according to the Tokyo metropolitan government.

Easing restrictions: Japan has been grappling with a second wave of infections since July, with more than 1,000 cases recorded daily during its peak in August. But the daily infections have been decreasing in recent weeks, and authorities are planning to ease restrictions.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike plans to end the 10 p.m. closure request on Tuesday for bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in central Tokyo.

The Japanese government has decided to ease the attendance restrictions for events including professional sports games. From September 19, the current restriction limiting the number of attendees in stadiums and large-scale facilities to 5,000 will be scrapped.