September 22 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Tara John, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, September 23, 2020
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3:32 p.m. ET, September 22, 2020

North Carolina can open large outdoor venues at 7% capacity if stable Covid-19 trends continue, governor says

From CNN’s Gisela Crespo

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks during a press conference on September 22.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks during a press conference on September 22. Governor Roy Cooper/Facebook

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday announced that large outdoor venues will be allowed to open at 7% capacity starting October 2 if stable Covid-19 trends continue. 

"Because of our continued stability, we plan to take another step toward Phase 3 in the coming days if our progress holds," Cooper said during a news briefing. 

The state defines large venues as those with the capacity of seating more than 10,000 people, according to a news release. Cooper said during the news briefing today's announcement will allow these facilities to start putting safety measures in place. 

State and health officials will continue monitoring trends over the next week to decide if other restrictions can be eased. The current executive order that allowed North Carolina to move to a 2.5 reopening phase is set to expire on October 2nd. 

Cooper said the state has reported 195,549 laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases to date, and at least 3,286 deaths. The state reported 1,168 new cases since yesterday, Cooper added. 

One thing to note: The numbers below were released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

3:02 p.m. ET, September 22, 2020

National Institutes of Health to expand Covid-19 convalescent plasma trials

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

The National Institutes of Health is expanding trials of convalescent plasma to treat Covid-19, according to an agency announcement Tuesday. The trials are receiving $48 million through Operation Warp Speed.

The trials are enrolling hospitalized patients in two randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials at sites around the country.

Convalescent plasma is the blood product that is taken from volunteers who have recovered from Covid-19. That plasma has antibodies — proteins the body naturally produces to fight against a threat like a virus — that can help stimulate an immune response in someone who is sick.

“The evidence on convalescent plasma as a treatment for severe cases of COVID-19 is promising but incomplete. We need to carry out rigorous randomized control clinical trials to determine how this therapy can improve outcomes,” NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said in a press release. “While the world waits for an effective vaccine, it is vital that we simultaneously expand the options for available treatments for those currently suffering from the worst effects of this disease.”

In the trials, volunteers will be randomly assigned to receive standard care or the plasma treatment. Scientists will then compare the results to see if the treatment is effective. Results should be available in the fall.

Some background on this: In August, the US Food and Drug Administration announced emergency authorization for the treatment. The authorization was based on early observational studies that showed the therapy held some promise. These two trials are considered the gold standard that should provide definitive evidence if the treatment works against Covid-19.

So far, 105,802 patients who have recovered from Covid-19 have donated their plasma and 83,610 Covid-19 patients have been treated with this approach in the US, according to Mayo Clinic’s 

2:30 p.m. ET, September 22, 2020

Detroit woman who survived Covid-19 after a month in a coma says she's still experiencing challenges

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Heather-Elizabeth Brown — a 35-year-old Detroit area police chaplain who survived Covid-19 after spending a month in a coma — said she is still experiencing challenges related to the virus, even though she did not have any preexisting conditions before she was diagnosed.

"I would say that the after-effects when it comes to breathing and when it comes to energy are two of the biggest struggles that I have," Brown told CNN's Brianna Keilar.

Brown said that she does breathing exercises because her "breath support" isn't there. She said simple activities like getting up stairs and walking to her car "winds" her.

Brown added that her energy levels have also been impacted.

"The fatigue factor is also a really big part of the after-effects of this disease. I find that I can't get through a whole day without having to stop and lie down and rest just because I'm absolutely exhausted from doing every day simple tasks," she said.

She is currently undergoing therapies as she deals with post-coronavirus health struggles.

Her message to people about coronavirus is this: "I absolutely want people to know that Covid is a real disease. It's not fake. It's not made-up. It's not a conspiracy. It is something that is communicable and it is something that can be very dangerous .... I didn't have preexisting conditions, and I still ended up on a ventilator for 31 days, and I was very close to losing my life."

Brown also urges people to continue to social distance, wear masks and practice proper hygiene "in order to make sure we protect ourselves as much as possible, but also protect the rest of the people in our community who may be more vulnerable."

Watch here:

2:09 p.m. ET, September 22, 2020

Most people show symptoms at some point during Covid-19 infection, research shows

From CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Most people with coronavirus develop symptoms at some point during infection, according to research published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine. The researchers found some evidence suggesting those who show no symptoms may be less likely to pass it on to their close contacts.

Diana Buitrago-Garcia, of the University of Bern in Switzerland, and colleagues reviewed 94 studies of people diagnosed with Covid-19 between March and June of this year.

In 79 studies from a range of settings, they found 20% of people did not show any symptoms during the course of Covid-19 infection. The researchers note that differences and potential biases among the studies limit the certainty of that estimate.

In seven studies with defined populations of people who received coronavirus screening and follow up, 31% showed no symptoms. These populations included health care workers, a village in Italy, blood donors and those evacuated from a setting where coronavirus transmission was confirmed.

The researchers also found that those who had contact with asymptomatic people with Covid-19 were less likely to contract the virus than those who had contact with coronavirus-positive people who did show symptoms.

The researchers noteed that social distancing measures are important, since transmission can and does occur from people without symptoms and those who have yet to develop symptoms. They also emphasized the importance of testing and contact tracing.

1:00 p.m. ET, September 22, 2020

NFL reports no new Covid-19 cases among players

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

The National Football League and the NFL Players Association report no new Covid-19 cases among the league’s 2,438 players from Sept. 13 to 19, according to testing results released Tuesday.

There were five new confirmed positive test results among 5,407 team personnel tested during the same timeframe. 

Individuals who test positive are immediately isolated, not permitted access club facilities, or have direct contact with players or personnel.

12:35 p.m. ET, September 22, 2020

Vaccinating whole world against Covid-19 won't happen until 2024, manufacturer says

From CNN's John Bonifield

Adar Poonawalla, CEO and executive director of the Serum Institute of India, speaks during an interview on September 22.
Adar Poonawalla, CEO and executive director of the Serum Institute of India, speaks during an interview on September 22. CNN

India's Serum Institute, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, says it will take until 2024 for the whole world to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. 

"Realistically, for the whole world, for everyone on this planet – or at least 90% – to get it, it's going to be at least 2024," Adar Poonawalla, CEO and executive director of the Serum Institute of India, told CNN.

Poonawalla said some of the challenges of getting vaccines from the point of research and approval to administering them to patients include scaling up manufacturing of the vaccines and raising billions of dollars to fund procurement of the necessary doses. 

He said administering the vaccines in certain complex geographies and countries is also a challenge.

The Serum Institute of India is working with five Covid-19 vaccine developers and is gearing up to make hundreds of millions of doses. But even then, the vaccine supply will only go so far in the short term.

Take India, for example, with a population of 1.4 billion.

"By July, August next year, even if we were to produce 400 million does, they're still going to struggle to vaccinate everyone using those doses,” Poonawalla said.

12:23 p.m. ET, September 22, 2020

More than 200,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

A casket carrying the body of Lola M. Simmons is placed into a hearse following the funeral service at the Denley Drive Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas on July 30.
A casket carrying the body of Lola M. Simmons is placed into a hearse following the funeral service at the Denley Drive Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas on July 30. Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

The United States has surpassed 200,000 deaths from coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.  

The first death from coronavirus in the US was reported on Feb. 29.  

Fifty four days later, on April 23, the US reported 50,000 deaths from Covid-19. Just 29 days later, on May 23, the nation crossed 100,000 deaths. 

It took 65 days to reach 150,000 deaths on July 28. It has taken 55 days to reach 200,000 deaths. 

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta remembers those who have died from coronavirus:


12:52 p.m. ET, September 22, 2020

People at any age with underlying conditions are in the risk group for serious disease, Fauci says

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

It isn’t just the elderly who are at risk of serious illness when infected with the novel coronavirus. Younger people with underlying conditions are also in that high risk category, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta during the CITIZEN by CNN event on Tuesday.

“It isn’t just the elderly and those with underlying conditions,” Fauci said. “Because it can be serious in young people.”

Quantitatively, “for sure,” it’s much less serious as a group in young people, he said, but it is important to remember that there are many people in all age groups who have underlying conditions.

“And if you look at the two groups that are at risk for serious conditions, it’s the elderly and people at any age with underlying conditions,” he said. “Underlining any age.”

If you’re a younger person with an underlying condition such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension or heart disease, “You are in the risk category for a serious disease,” he said.

The people with underlying conditions make up a substantial proportion of the population, Fauci said.

“So, don’t just think the elderly are the problem,” he said. “True, people with underlying conditions, but those are not just isolated to the elderly. There are plenty of younger people who have underlying conditions that put them at risk.”

Fauci's comments come a day after President Trump falsely claimed the virus affects "nobody young."

"We now know the disease; we didn't know it. Now we know it — it affects elderly people with heart problems and other problems. If they have other problems, that's what it really affects. In some states, it affects thousands of people, nobody young. Below the age of 18, like, nobody," Trump said at a rally in Swanton, Ohio, last night.


10:43 a.m. ET, September 22, 2020

New York adds 5 states to quarantine list

From CNN's Melanie Schuman

New York has added five states to its quarantine list meaning persons traveling from these states should now quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Those states are:

  • Arizona
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • Rhode Island 
  • Wyoming

New Jersey and Connecticut work in lockstep with New York and it is expected those states will announce the same additions to their quarantine lists.

Some context: The metric used to determine which states are added or removed is an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 over a seven-day rolling average of an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate on a rolling average.

New York remains under one percent positivity rate at 0.89%, according to a press release from the governor’s office. 

There were an additional 754 cases identified Monday and three deaths.

Remember: That number were released by the state’s 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.