September 15 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes, Zamira Rahim and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, September 16, 2020
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3:26 a.m. ET, September 15, 2020

US reports more than 33,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

The United States reported 33,826 new Covid-19 infections and 418 virus-related deaths on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

At least 6,554,820 cases, including 194,536 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:

3:20 a.m. ET, September 15, 2020

Covid-19 study suggests to screen recovering athletes for heart inflammation before they return to play

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard and Jen Christensen

As athletes recover from Covid-19, taking images of their hearts to screen for inflammation may help doctors determine when it could be safe to get back in the game, new research suggests.

The small study -- conducted by researchers at Ohio State University -- found in cardiac magnetic resonance images, or MRIs, that among 26 of the university's competitive athletes who were recovering from Covid-19, four showed signs of inflammation of the heart muscle, called myocarditis.

"Our objective was to investigate the use of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging in competitive athletes recovered from COVID-19 to detect myocardial inflammation that would identify high-risk athletes for return to competitive play," the researchers wrote in a research letter published in the journal JAMA Cardiology on Friday.

The researchers performed cardiac magnetic resonance imaging on 26 competitive athletes referred to the university's sports medicine clinic after testing for Covid-19 between June and August. The athletes were involved in football, soccer, lacrosse, basketball and track -- and none had illness severe enough to require hospitalization.

Only 12 athletes reported having mild symptoms, such as sore throat, shortness of breath or fever, while others did not show any symptoms, according to the study. The cardiac imaging was performed after each athlete quarantined for at least 11 days.

The imaging showed that four athletes, or 15%, had findings consistent with myocarditis and eight additional athletes, or 30.8%, had signs of prior myocardial injury. It's unclear from this study if this inflammation will resolve itself or produce lasting damage.

Read the full story:

2:49 a.m. ET, September 15, 2020

Covid-19 cases among Florida children jumped 26% in a month since schools reopened

From CNN's Rosa Flores, Denise Royal and Sara Weisfeldt

Since many Florida public schools opened their doors about a month ago, the number of children under 18 who have contracted Covid-19 statewide has jumped 26%, state data show.

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to push for in-person instruction across the Sunshine State. Even though his administration has released county-level data that indicates the 26% jump, it has not released school-level Covid-19 data for all K-12 public schools, which CNN began asking the state Department of Health for on August 31.

On September 2 -- nearly two weeks ago -- state officials said by email the data would be released in the coming days and weeks. But still, the state hasn't provided this key information.

Lack of data: To deal with this information gap, some school districts have created their own Covid-19 data dashboards or released coronavirus case numbers on social media pages or their websites. While useful in those jurisdictions, the overall result is a patchwork of data that varies in completeness and timeliness by district at a time when students, parents, teachers and administrators are making tough decisions about whether to opt for virtual or in-person learning

It's a problem that reverberates across the US as the White House and federal agencies come down hard in favor of reopening school but often fail to give reliable information to those on the front lines.

Read the full story:

2:02 a.m. ET, September 15, 2020

Coronavirus pandemic has set the world back by decades, report finds

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

Microsoft principle founder Bill Gates participates in a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington, in Washington, DC on June 24, 2019.
Microsoft principle founder Bill Gates participates in a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington, in Washington, DC on June 24, 2019. Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Covid-19 pandemic has stopped, and in many cases reversed, progress towards achieving the United Nations' sustainable development goals, according to the fourth annual Goalkeepers Report, published Monday from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

“The first three years, we were able to report the steady and gradual progress towards those goals,” Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and co-chair of the foundation, told reporters. “Every single one of the goals was moving in the right direction,” he added.
“Of course, this year is different. It’s unique. The Covid-19 pandemic not only stopped progress, but it pushed us backwards, and that varied quite a bit by different areas,” he said. 

The 2020 Goalkeepers report analyzes the damage that the pandemic has done and is doing to health, economies “and virtually everything else,” and argues the world must work together to overcome it. 

Setback in vaccinations: Vaccinations reached over 80% of the world’s children and prevented more than 2 million deaths in 2019. Because of Covid-19, vaccine coverage in 2020 is dropping to levels last seen in the 1990s, the report says. 

“In other words, we’ve been set back about 25 years in about 25 weeks,” it says.

Coronavirus vaccines won’t end the pandemic unless they are equitably allocated. A model from Northeastern University, which is included in the report, shows that 61% of deaths could be averted if a vaccine was distributed to all countries proportional to population. If vaccines go to high income countries first, deaths will be cut by only 33%.

Plunged into poverty: The pandemic has pushed almost 37 million people below the extreme poverty line in 2020, with the extreme poverty rate going up by 7% in just a few months, according to the report. Some 68 million people have fallen below the poverty line in lower-middle-income countries, the report says.

1:28 a.m. ET, September 15, 2020

Trump indoor rally site fined $3,000 for violating state coronavirus guidelines

From CNN's Caroline Kelly, Eric Fiegel and Andy Rose

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing in Henderson, Nevada, on September 13.
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally at Xtreme Manufacturing in Henderson, Nevada, on September 13. Andrew Harnik/AP

The Nevada company that hosted an indoor campaign rally for President Donald Trump attended by thousands of people will face a fine of $3,000 for violating state coronavirus guidelines banning large gatherings.

Sunday's rally in Henderson, Nevada -- which was held inside a facility owned by Xtreme Manufacturing -- was expected to violate the state's restriction on gatherings of 50 people or more. Attendees at the rally were not required to wear masks, and there was little social distancing. The city of Henderson had warned Xtreme Manufacturing that it would be violating the regulations if the rally proceeded.

"During the event, a compliance officer observed six violations of the directives and the City's Business Operations Division has issued a Business License Notice of Violation to Xtreme Manufacturing and assessed a penalty of $3,000," Kathleen Richards, senior public information officer for the city of Henderson, told CNN in a statement Monday.

Richards added that the company "has 30 calendar days to respond to the notice and pay the penalty or dispute the notice of violation."

12:57 a.m. ET, September 15, 2020

Australia's Victoria State reports no new Covid-19 deaths for the first time in two months

From CNN's Samantha Beech, Angus Watson Chandler Thornton

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on September 14.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on September 14.  Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

The Australian state of Victoria reported zero new coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, according to its Department of Health and Human Services, the first time in two months since infections surged in July.

"Yesterday there were 42 new cases reported and 0 lives lost. Our thoughts are with all affected. The 14 day rolling average & number of cases with unknown source are down from yesterday as we move toward COVID Normal," the DHHS tweeted on Tuesday.

New phase of reopening: Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews announced that regional Victoria would enter the third phase of its reopening on Wednesday. The state capital Melbourne, however, will remain under lockdown restrictions until September 28.

"Having reached a 14-day average of 3.6 and with no mystery cases, regional Victoria has reached the necessary 'trigger point' in our road map - meaning our public health experts have advised we can take this next step," Andrews said in a statement Tuesday.

In the third phase of reopening, the government will allow "household bubbles," where one household can choose another household to visit with up to five visitors.

The third phase will also allow for outdoor and non-contact sports, and up to 10 people will be allowed for public gatherings. The third phase will also allow for regional travel and businesses to reopen with proper social distancing measures, Andrews said.

12:17 a.m. ET, September 15, 2020

Michigan State University fraternities and sororities ordered to quarantine

From CNN's Taylor Romine and Allen Kim

In this April 7, 2016 file photo, students walk on campus at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.
In this April 7, 2016 file photo, students walk on campus at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Shutterstock

Local health officials have ordered a number of Michigan State University fraternities and sororities to quarantine for two weeks following hundreds of reported cases in the area.

In an emergency order issued on Monday, Ingham County Health Department listed 30 addresses in East Lansing, Michigan, that will be required to quarantine from Monday until September 28. 

"Through case investigation, the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) has identified congregate housing in the city of East Lansing as a risk factor," Linda Vail, a health officer for the Ingham County Health Department, wrote in the order. "The health department has identified several fraternity and sorority houses, and several large rental houses with known cases or exposure to COVID-19."

Surging infections: The decision comes after at least 342 people affiliated with the university have tested positive for Covid-19 since August 24, the health department said

Ingham County experienced a 52% increase in total case count since August 24, with one third of Ingham County cases since the pandemic started being reported in the past three weeks. The majority of all new cases reported come from students at Michigan State University.

Read the full story here.

12:42 a.m. ET, September 15, 2020

Japan's reports lowest daily case count in two months

From CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki

People cross an intersection in front of Shibuya Station amid the coronavirus outbreak in Tokyo, on September 10.
People cross an intersection in front of Shibuya Station amid the coronavirus outbreak in Tokyo, on September 10. Lyu Shaowei/China News Service/Getty Images

Japan recorded 270 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, the lowest daily spike since July 13 before the country was hit by a second wave of infections, according to the Health Ministry.

Nine new deaths were also recorded Monday, bringing the total death toll to 1,464, with the total caseload at 76,670, the Health Ministry said.

Eighty new cases were recorded in Tokyo on Monday, marking the first time the capital's daily new infections fell below 100 in eight days, according to the Tokyo metropolitan government. The city has reported a total of 23,083 cases.

As daily infections drop, authorities are planning to ease restrictions. In central Tokyo, the 10 p.m. closure request for bars and restaurants that serve alcohol will end today.

10:30 p.m. ET, September 14, 2020

CDC has been in "trench warfare" with US administration, infectious disease specialist says

From CNN Health’s Lauren Mascarenhas

CDC headquarters is seen on October 13, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia
CDC headquarters is seen on October 13, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

The people responsible for a weekly report released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been in “trench warfare” with Washington officials over the report’s scientific integrity, infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner said Monday. 

Schaffner said he was “very disturbed” by the news that Trump-appointed officials at the Department of Health and Human Services pushed the CDC to change its weekly science reports so they would not undermine President Donald Trump’s political messages.

“I've since learned that the people who run that program, who put out that bulletin, have been in trench warfare with the folks in Washington,” Schaffner told CNN. “They have struggled and succeeded, I think, in maintaining the scientific integrity of those reports, but that struggle continues.”

Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who spent a brief time at CDC and who often works closely with the agency, added that it’s “totally inappropriate” for Washington to try to influence the report, but the American people can still trust the information they are getting from the CDC.

“We can trust what we're getting. These are professional people,” said Schaffner. “They're just working on behalf of the American people.”