October 1 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Steve George, Tara John, Melissa Macaya and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, October 2, 2020
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5:28 p.m. ET, October 1, 2020

Maryland reports no Covid-19 deaths for the first time in 187 days

From CNN's Kay Jones

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks during a press conference on Thursday, October 1.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks during a press conference on Thursday, October 1.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan reported that the state had no coronavirus-related deaths for the first time in 187 days.

Hogan said in a news conference Thursday afternoon that this is the first time since March 28 that the state has not had a Covid-19-related death. 

The statewide positivity rate is now at 2.8%, which is down from a high of 26.91% in April, according to Hogan. He said that all jurisdictions in the state currently have positivity rates under 5%. 

Hogan also announced that indoor visitation will begin in all nursing homes that are not experiencing a current outbreak or have not experienced a positive test in the past 14 days. Hogan said that based on federal guidelines, visitation will not be permitted in local jurisdictions that have a positivity rate over 10%. 

4:25 p.m. ET, October 1, 2020

11 Ohio counties are reporting high Covid-19 spread while cases rise in the state

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Gov. Mike DeWine said despite many Ohioans working hard to keep Covid-19 "in check, unfortunately, we are seeing a rebound in some areas of the state." 

The governor announced 1,327 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday and said the daily positivity rate increased from 3% to 4%. 

"We're watching that, we don't know whether that's a long-term trend or not, we certainly hope it is not," said DeWine.  

Ohio health officials observed that 11 counties had a very high spread, or "red counties," which is more than what the state had in September, DeWine said during a coronavirus briefing on Thursday. 

There were four counties added to the "red" list this week; including Clermont, Hamilton, Muskingum and Richland County.  

DeWine shared several coronavirus cautionary stories, including one of a woman in her 80s who went to a neighboring state to bury her husband and contracted the virus from a funeral director who did not wear a mask; the woman died shortly after.  

Ohio now has 155,314 coronavirus cases and 4,817 deaths, DeWine said.  

5:12 p.m. ET, October 1, 2020

Wisconsin governor announces new public health emergency following "alarming trends" of Covid-19 

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

The Wisconsin Army National Guard administers free Covid-19 tests on Wednesday, September 2 at the Sunnyview Expo Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Army National Guard administers free Covid-19 tests on Wednesday, September 2 at the Sunnyview Expo Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Wm. Glasheen/The Post-Crescent/USA Today

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday a new order that allows out-of-state health care workers to practice in the state following "alarming trends" in coronavirus cases.

“The longer it takes for everyone to take Covid-19 seriously, the longer this virus will linger. Right now we can’t live like we’re back to the way things used to be," Evers said.

The governor urged residents to stay home, wear a mask, and practice social distancing.

Secretary-designee Andrea Palm reported 21 new fatalities Thursday in the state, bringing the number of total deaths to at least 1,348.

Palm said 45 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties “meet the threshold of very high activity” for Covid-19 infections.

This means that there are more than 350 cases per 100,000 people. Palm said 41 counties are showing growing trajectory, an indication that cases are on the rise.

Hospitalizations are increasing: ThedaCare president and CEO Dr. Imran Andrabi said his hospital communities are seeing the increases in Covid-19 infection rates and hospitalizations. He said 95% of hospital beds within his system are full at this point and 250 ThedaCare hospital workers did not show up for work Thursday. Andrabi said the workers are getting sick because people are not wearing masks out in the community.

“This is really a responsibility that we all have to take seriously because if some of us do it and others don’t, it doesn’t work,” Andrabi said.

3:12 p.m. ET, October 1, 2020

Italy records its highest increase in Covid-19 cases since late April

From CNN’s Livia Borghese

Medical staff holds swabs for rapid Covid-19 tests on September 28 in Rome, Italy.
Medical staff holds swabs for rapid Covid-19 tests on September 28 in Rome, Italy. Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse/AP

Italy on Thursday reported the highest daily increase in new coronavirus cases since April 24, figures from the country’s health ministry show.

The country recorded at least 2,548 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of infections to 317,409.

The number of people that have died from coronavirus is at least 35,918 – an additional 24 fatalities were recorded in the past 24 hours. The number of patients admitted to intensive care has also risen by 11, bringing the total to at least 291.

 

3:03 p.m. ET, October 1, 2020

Gilead now to oversee distribution of its Covid-19 drug remdesivir, US officials announce

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

A sign is posted in front of the Gilead Sciences headquarters in Foster City, California.
A sign is posted in front of the Gilead Sciences headquarters in Foster City, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The US Food and Drug Administration has updated its emergency use authorization for the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19.

The agency is no longer requiring remdesivir to be distributed through the US government, officials announced during a call with reporters on Thursday.

Starting on Thursday, the biopharmaceutical company Gilead — the maker of remdesivir — will be responsible for the distribution of the drug in the United States.

"The supply of remdesivir now outweighs demand and there is no need for the federal government to oversee allocation," Dr. John Redd, an official at the US Department of Health and Human Services, said during Thursday's call.

Gilead said in a news release the company is "now meeting real-time demand" for the drug, sold under the brand name Veklury in the United States.

The release also noted that AmerisourceBergen will continue to serve as the sole US distributor of remdesivir through the end of this year and will sell the product directly to hospitals. It costs about $3,200 for a five-day treatment course.

"We feel very confident in supply ramp up and that's what we've been working through all year," Johanna Mercier, chief commercial officer for Gilead Sciences, said during Thursday's call. 

"By the end of the year we will have more than 2 million treatment courses available," Mercier said. "We feel very confident that, even if there was a surge in the epidemic, that we can manage that."

  

2:22 p.m. ET, October 1, 2020

Loss of smell could be a highly reliable indicator of Covid-19 infection, research says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Loss of smell and taste are a strong sign that someone is infected with Covid-19, according to new research published Thursday. 

People who lose either smell or taste should consider self-isolating, even if they have no other symptoms, researchers in Britain said.

“Our findings show that loss of smell and taste is a highly reliable indicator that someone is likely to have Covid-19 and if we are to reduce the spread of this pandemic, it should now be considered by governments globally as a criterion for self-isolation, testing and contact tracing,” Rachel Batterham of University College London and University College London Hospitals, who helped lead the study team, said.

How the study was conducted: The team studied 590 volunteers who experienced a new loss of smell or taste. They tested 567 of them for coronavirus.

Of the 567, 77.6% tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. In total, 80.4% of participants reporting smell loss and 77.8% of those reporting taste loss had a positive test result, the team reported in the journal PLoS Medicine.

Nearly 40% of those who tested positive for antibodies had neither a fever nor a cough.

Batterham and her colleagues also found that participants with a loss of smell alone were nearly three times more likely than patients with just a loss of taste to have Covid-19 antibodies, and participants with a combined loss of smell and taste were four times more likely to have antibodies.

“These findings suggest that a loss of smell is a highly specific symptom of Covid-19, in contrast to a loss of taste, despite their comparable frequency,” the researchers wrote.

The study recruited its volunteers between April 23 and May 14, during the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak in London. It did not include a comparison group of people who did not lose their sense of smell and/or taste.

1:56 p.m. ET, October 1, 2020

27 US states are reporting an uptick in Covid-19 cases. Here's a look at where infections are rising. 

From CNN's Amanda Watts

CNN
CNN

As the United States continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, a majority of states are showing an increase in new cases compared to the previous week.

According to Johns Hopkins University data:

  • 27 states are showing upward trends  
  • 14 states are showing steady trends   
  • states are showing downward trends   

The US is currently averaging 42,785 new Covid-19 cases a day, which is down 1% from last week. The country continues to lead the world in total cases, with more than 7 million coronavirus cases.

Watch CNN's John King break down the latest figures:

12:24 p.m. ET, October 1, 2020

White House on Trump's Wisconsin rallies: "People can choose whether or not to come"

From CNN's Betsy Klein

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a news conference at the White House on October 1 in Washington, DC.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a news conference at the White House on October 1 in Washington, DC. Carolyn Kaster/AP

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was questioned Thursday on the President’s decision to hold rallies in Wisconsin Saturday against recommendations from the White House coronavirus task force regarding social distancing.

“The President believes that people have a First Amendment right to political speech. He is having a rally. People can choose whether or not to come,” McEnany said, adding that there would be “measures to protect rallygoers.”

The Trump campaign told CNN Thursday that “everyone attending will receive a temperature check, be provided a mask they are encouraged to wear and have access to plenty of hand sanitizer.”

The events come as Wisconsin “has continued to see a rapid worsening of the epidemic in the last week,” a September 27 task force report obtained by CNN said. The state has the third highest case rate in the country and has a test positivity rate between 8% and 10%, the seventh highest in the country. 

The task force recommended increased social distancing “to the maximal degree possible.”

“During the intense period of viral surge, large numbers of acutely infected individuals caused exponential growth in infections. Although young adults are the most affected group currently, spread to other age groups is inevitable. To the maximal degree possible, increase social distancing mitigation measures until cases decline, including through supporting local authorities to pass and enforce mitigation measures,” the report said. 

The state also reported a grim new milestone Thursday — 27 people died of Covid-19 Wednesday, according to the state's Covid-19 website. That is the highest death count on record for the state.  

McEnany attacked what she described as “two standards of health in this country: one for Trump supporters and one for everyone else,” railing against social justice protesters.

12:09 p.m. ET, October 1, 2020

Delta may have to furlough about 1,900 pilots if Congress doesn't reach a stimulus deal, CEO says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Delta Air Lines planes are seen through a window at Salt Lake City International Airport on September 15.
Delta Air Lines planes are seen through a window at Salt Lake City International Airport on September 15. George Frey/Bloomberg/Getty Images

American and United Airlines are cutting 32,000 jobs after Congress failed to reach a new deal on federal aid plans. Delta has been able to a delay job cuts for now, but CEO Ed Bastian says they may have to furlough 1,900 pilots in the future if Congress doesn’t reach a stimulus deal.

“If we don't get the support from Congress, we will be required as an industry to furlough tens of thousands of workers,” he told CNN Thursday. “Also very importantly, we're flying to a lot of small cities because of the CARES Act, that we're being provided, that otherwise would lose service.”

Apart from severely impacting jobs in the aviation industry, the pandemic has also impacted the sense of safety among flyers. Delta has already mandated masks on flights and Bastian says the company is also working on offering its flyers rapid tests.

There is a possibility where Delta may require a flyer to first take a rapid Covid-19 test before boarding, he adds, saying it would largely ensure safety and help passengers avoid quarantines upon arriving at their destination.

“The thing that's holding traffic back internationally and you know, in New York, are the quarantine measures. No one is going to be flying to Europe in the spring if they are uncertain whether they can do anything or how long they have to stay or if they are able to enjoy their trip or conduct business. The testing is critical to avoid those quarantines," he said.

Watch: