Coronavirus: latest news from around the world

What you need to know

  • President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump test positive for Covid-19. Follow all the latest on the news from the White House here.
  • The world is reacting, with global leaders wishing the President and the first lady a swift recovery.
  • Stocks in Europe and US futures fall after Trump’s announcement.
  • Europe battles surge in Covid-19 infections with new restrictions. Paris may follow Madrid into full lockdown next week as the pandemic worsens.

Our live coverage has ended for the night. You can track the latest cases here.

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Colorado has reported its highest hospitalization rate since August due to Covid-19

A sign stands along a walkway calling for students and instructors to avoid the new coronavirus at the Colorado School of Mines Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Golden, Colorado.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said that Covid-19 hospitalizations in the state are the highest since Aug. 9. 

Polis said that there are currently 200 Covid-19 positive patients hospitalized and that state officials continue to be concerned about the upward trend in cases and hospitalizations.

While 200 hospitalizations do not stress the overall hospital capacity, Polis said that the worry is the upward trend. He said that two weeks ago, just 120 people were hospitalized due to the virus. 

Polis continued to encourage residents to wear a mask, avoid large gatherings and wash their hands to prevent the spread of the virus.

MLB reports no Covid-19 cases among players for 33 consecutive days

Manager Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate a 3-0 win with Clayton Kershaw #22 and Brusdar Graterol #48, to eliminate the Milwaukee Brewers after game two of the National League Wild Card Series at Dodger Stadium on October 01, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. 

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association just announced that for 33 consecutive days, no MLB player has tested positive for Covid-19.

Two team staff members did test positive for Covid-19 during this past testing window.

MLB’s postseason began with 16 teams this past Tuesday, with divisional series’ starting next week.

Pelosi on stimulus talks: “We still have significant disagreement in key areas"

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill on October 1.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a letter to colleagues, laid out the major issues still holding up a broader Covid-19 stimulus agreement. 

“Our negotiations with the Administration continue, and I am hopeful that we can reach agreement. However, we still have significant disagreement in key areas,” she said in the letter. 

She said there are “five notable areas of concern” as well as “other areas of disagreement that are part of the discussion, which we continue to work on as well.”

The five areas she said are a priority for democrats include: unemployment insurance, funding for schools and state and local governments, children, testing and tracing, and appropriations.

“We are expecting a response from the White House on these areas and others with more detail. In the meantime, we continue to work on the text to move quickly to facilitate an agreement,” the letter said.

California delays issuing reopening guidelines for theme parks

The monorail passes an entrance gate to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, on March 13.

California is holding off on issuing reopening guidelines for amusement parks and similar attractions for the time being and will reevaluate at a later date. The guidelines had been expected to be released publicly this week.

“Our Blueprint for a Safer Economy is driven by data and science to keep the risk of Covid-19 transmission low, and this upcoming guidance will be no exception,” Heath Secretary Mark Ghaly said in a statement to CNN.
“Given the size and operational complexities of these unique sectors, we are seeking additional input from health, workforce and business stakeholders to finalize this important framework – all leading with science and safety.”

Earlier this week Disney announced the layoffs of 28,000 employees. Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro blamed California in part for its “unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.” 

When asked Thursday if he would bend to pressure and reopen theme parks, Gov. Gavin Newsom was blunt:

More than 700 students test positive for Covid-19 at UK university 

Northumbria University

More than 700 students from Northumbria University in Newcastle, England, have tested positive for Covid-19 and are in self-isolation, with the university saying they could be expelled if they fail to comply.

In a statement to CNN, the university said that as of Friday, at least 770 people had tested positive for Covid-19 –– 78 of them had symptoms. The students as well as their flatmates and any close contacts will now be self-isolating for 14 days. 

“We are supporting all students who are self-isolating, providing them with food and other essential items, as well as welfare support including 24/7 online mental health support and one-to-one support from our wellbeing teams where required which is accessible through multiple channels,” a spokesperson for the university said.

The university also said they are providing laundry, cleaning materials and other support in partnership with campus resources.

“We are making it clear to students that if they break the rules they will be subject to fines from police and disciplinary action by the universities which may include fines, final warnings or expulsion,” the spokesperson said.

The university also said the early detection of these cases was a reflection of the “good access to and availability of testing, as well as rigorous and robust reporting systems.”

“In parts of the UK where universities started term earlier, numbers of student cases surged in induction week, and then reduced,” the spokesperson said.

NFL postpones game after two additional Tennessee Titans players test positive for Covid-19

The Tennessee Titans flag is seen during a game in November 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy tells CNN that two additional Tennessee Titans players have tested positive for Covid-19 this morning.

The two new cases brings the total to 13 within the club – seven players and six staff members. 

The Titans played the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The Vikings have reported zero positive coronavirus cases. 

The NFL postponed the Titans-Pittsburgh Steelers game scheduled for this Sunday to a later, undetermined date.

Health care workers should be at the front of the vaccine line, new report says

Frontline health care workers and those who provide health care facility services should be the first to get vaccinated with any eventual coronavirus vaccine, followed by people at high risk of severe illness because of underlying health conditions, experts advising the federal government said Friday.

Next should come older adults living in congregate settings, like nursing homes, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) committee said in a final report.

But local leaders should also make sure to give priority to vulnerable communities, the independent committee, formed at the request of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said.

That change was added after criticism over the group’s draft report issued last month, which did not mention minority communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

But instead of placing specific minority groups into the proposed phases, the final report notes that “equity is a crosscutting consideration.” 

Within each phase, the committee recommends state, tribal, local and territorial authorities prioritize people in high vulnerability areas, identified by a tool like the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index. The index uses US census variables to identify communities in particular need of disaster support, which the committee says considers the factors that place racial minorities at higher risk of Covid-19.

The third phase proposes vaccination for young adults, children, and those in industries where people may receive some protection but are still at risk of exposure, such as banks and universities. The committee notes vaccination of children will depend on whether a vaccine has been tested in that population. 

The final phase covers anyone who has yet to receive vaccination.

The committee says that there will be inevitable consequences of not prioritizing some groups, but the focus is on saving lives. “The non-trivial effects of an economic downturn or an online semester can at least be partially reversed,” the report states. “Death is an irreversible outcome.”

In addition, the report calls on the US Department of Health and Human Services to plan for the logistics of vaccine distribution, ensure there are no out-of-pocket costs for those being vaccinated, and begin vaccine promotion and education.

Madrid prepares for a new lockdown starting tonight

People wait for trains at Atocha railway station in Madrid on October 2.

The Spanish capital city is getting ready for new coronavirus restrictions to come into effect at 10 p.m. local time tonight.

People in Madrid will be required to stay at home except to go to work, classes, to sit exams, to meet legal obligations or for extreme circumstances.

Bars and restaurants will be forced to reduce their capacity by 50%, offer table service only, and will have to close at 11 p.m with the last entry one hour before closing time.

Shops will slash capacity and will be required to shut at 10 p.m. and will have to close early.

Gatherings will remain restricted to no more than six people, in both public or private spaces.

The move comes after a steady increase in the number of coronavirus infections in the Madrid area over the past couple of months.

Spain has reported 778,607 cases so far, the worst in the European Union. At 31,973 people have died of the virus in Spain.

Breaking: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner test negative for the coronavirus

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump walk off Marine One at the White House on July 26.

Both the President’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner tested negative for the coronavirus Friday morning, a White House official tells CNN.

The President’s youngest son, Barron Trump, has also tested negative for the coronavirus.

Russia records highest new infections rate in months

A medical worker in Moscow exits an ambulance on September 29.

The number of new coronavirus infections in Russia has surpassed 9,000 in the past 24 hours, the first time that’s happened since June 1.

The total number of cases in Russia rose by 9,412, the highest number of cases in one day since May 23, to 1,194,643, according to the country’s anti-coronavirus center.

The national death toll is at 21,077.

Moscow alone reported 2,704 new cases on Friday, according to the capital’s coronavirus headquarters, which is the highest official figures since late May.

Earlier this week, the Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin announced that starting October 5, it will be mandatory for companies to enforce remote working for at least 30% of their staff, school holidays will be longer and citizens over 65 and people with chronic illnesses will be told to isolate.

Sobyanin said Moscow authorities will tighten their control over how anti-coronavirus measures are being observed in the city, according to Russian state media reports on Friday.

“We stepped up inspections not only in retail facilities, but also in cinemas and theatres.,” he told Russia 24 TV channel, according to state news agency TASS.

He added:  

“I gave instructions to enhance control over compliance with sanitary requirements in all areas – construction, industry, trade culture,” Sobyanin said. Authorities will fine organizations and businesses who fail to comply with the demand to transfer some of the staff to remote working, he added.

Donald Trump's positive virus test puts him in the company of Boris Johnson and Jair Bolsonaro

Donald Trump, left, Boris Johnson and Jair Bolsonaro.

US President Donald Trump is not the only leader on the world stage to have contracted coronavirus.

His positive test, announced in the early hours of Friday, puts him in the company of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

Of those, Johnson fell the most gravely ill after he tested positive for the virus at the end of March. He spent a week in hospital, with three nights in intensive care and, on being discharged admitted “things could have gone either way” for him. Even after leaving the hospital, he had to spend time recuperating at his official country residence, Chequers.

Johnson’s illness, at the height of Britain’s first wave of infections, complicated the government’s response, not least because the virus spread through the government’s ranks in Westminster.

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Donald Trump's positive coronavirus test puts him in the company of Boris Johnson and Jair Bolsonaro

Poland registers highest daily infection rise

Poland has reported a record number of confirmed Covid-19 cases for the second straight day. 

The country’s Ministry of Health said Friday that 2,292 infections had been recorded in the past 24 hours, the highest since the pandemic began.

Twenty-six people died from virus, taking the total number of deaths in Poland to 2,570.

On Thursday, the country reported 1,967 cases. In total, 95,773 cases have been reported since the start of the outbreak.

Biden wishes a swift recovery for the Trumps

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leaves an event in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, on September 30.

Following President Trump’s positive coronavirus test, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wished Trump and first lady Melania Trump “a swift recovery.”

Biden is expected to get tested for coronavirus this morning, according to a source familiar with his plans. Trump and Biden shared the debate stage Tuesday night during the first presidential debate.

Trump kept a busy public diary in the pandemic. Putin installed walk-through disinfectant tunnels

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the Kremlin in Moscow on September 23.

Over months of the coronavirus pandemic, US President Donald Trump has kept to a busy schedule, packed with campaign rallies and public events. The contrast with Russian President Vladimir Putin could not be more stark: The authoritarian leader Trump admires so much is living in a bubble.

For most of the pandemic, Putin has been following a strict work-from-home regimen, running the affairs of state largely by videoconference. And the Kremlin has taken extreme measures to guard the health of the man who has run Russia for two decades.

Guarding Putin’s health: Putin’s primary base during the pandemic, according to his press office and extensive state television coverage, has been Novo-Ogaryovo, his residence outside Moscow. As early as April, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov made it clear that new measures had been put in place to protect the president: Everyone meeting with Putin, he said, would be tested for Covid-19, and all appointments with the leader would be held with social distancing in place.

The Kremlin went farther than just social distancing. In June, Peskov confirmed that special disinfectant tunnels had been installed in the Kremlin and at Novo-Ogaryovo as a defense against the spread of the virus. The same month, Putin went ahead with holding a postponed Victory Day parade in the middle of the pandemic. Dozens of WWII veterans who sat next to the president on the stands had to quarantine for two weeks.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting via video conference in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Trump kept a busy schedule during the pandemic. Putin stayed in a bubble

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tests negative

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin attends a hearing in Washington, DC, on September 1.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has had in person meetings with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, tested negative for the virus on Friday morning, according to his spokesperson Monica Crowley. He will continue to be tested daily. 

Cases in England and Wales increase to one in 500 people estimated to have virus

One in 500 people in England and Wales likely have coronavirus, according to the latest estimates from the UK’s Office for National Statistics.

Friday’s report shows “clear evidence of an increase” in recent weeks, with a combined total of 123,000 cases reported from 18 to 24 September in both nations – equivalent to 0.21% of both populations.

The figure does not include people in care homes and hospitals.

In Northern Ireland, 1 in 400 people are estimated to have the virus. 

Infection rates remain highest among teenagers and young adults, and is most prevalent in the north of England and some parts of London.

The latest UK-wide figures show 6,914 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. 

US Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady test negative for Covid-19

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the Republican National Convention in Baltimore on August 26.

Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence tested negative for the coronavirus on Friday morning, according to a statement tweeted by spokesperson Devin O’Malley. 

“Vice President Pence remains in good health and wishes the Trumps well in their recovery,” O’Malley wrote.

Pence was not in close contact with Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s closest aides, a top aide to the VP claims, citing how he’s been on the road mostly this week. Hicks tested positive for the infection.

However, CNN’s Betsy Klein noted that Pence is on camera saying he was in the Oval Office with the President on Tuesday. 

Can nature heal itself? What the pandemic has shown us

In the dark early days of the coronavirus pandemic, when a death toll of 1 million was still unimaginable, there was one bright spot: nature appeared to be healing. With humans under lockdown, stories circulated about unusual animal sightings, like wild goats taking over a town in Wales – and then became a joke about the public’s thirst for signs of regeneration: New Yorkers claimed the return of Elmo to Times Square as proof of a great earthly rebalancing.

The idea of nature resurging offered relief from worries about the pandemic’s human suffering, and hope for the planet: Was nature still capable of healing itself, if just given some alone time?

It’s probably not that simple. Scientists could take years to establish the net impact of the great “anthropause,” as some have dubbed it, on wildlife and the environment, but there are already signs of fallout. Lockdowns have put tourism, some scientific field research, and surveillance of some protected areas on pause. More poachers have come in their place, conservationists in Asia, Africa and the Americas tell CNN.

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A view of the Mopan River in the municipality of Melchor de Mencos, Peten department, 300 km north of Guatemala City, on January 19, 2018. 
Threatened by deforestation and the trafficking of species, the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala will begin to be monitored using satellite technology that is new to Latin America, to curb the destruction of thousands of hectares of forests every year. The system is being developed by the UK Space Agency.

Can nature heal itself? What the pandemic has shown us

Joe Biden will be tested for coronavirus this morning

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden takes part in the first presidential debate in Cleveland on September 29.

In light of President Trump’s positive test, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is expected to get tested for coronavirus this morning, according to a source familiar with his plans.

Earlier this week, President Trump and Biden shared the debate stage during the first presidential debate. The candidates did not shake hands with each other and did not shake hands with the moderator. Neither Biden nor Trump wore masks on stage.

According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, everyone attending the debate at Case Western Reserve University, would undergo testing for Covid-19 and follow other health safety protocols. 

WHO director-general wishes "speedy recovery" for Trump and First Lady

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) director-general, wished President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump a “full and speedy recovery” in a Twitter post on Friday.

In May, Trump announced the decision to withdraw the United States from WHO. The withdrawal, which goes into effect July 6, 2021, has drawn criticism from some bipartisan lawmakers, medical associations, advocacy groups and allies abroad.

Scottish lawmaker urged to resign for traveling hundreds of miles on train after positive virus test

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told Margaret Ferrier, a lawmaker and fellow Scottish National Party (SNP) colleague, to resign after she broke coronavirus rules by traveling from London to Scotland by train after testing positive for Covid-19.

“I’ve spoken to Margaret Ferrier and made clear my view that she should step down” as a member of parliament (MP), Sturgeon, who leads the SNP, said on Twitter Friday.

The party suspended Ferrier on Thursday after it emerged that she traveled to London by train to deliver a speech in parliament while awaiting test results.

In a statement shared on Ferrier’s Twitter account on Thursday, Ferrier said she took a Covid-19 test last Saturday after “experiencing mild symptoms.” She then traveled to London on Monday to attend Parliament.

She traveled back to Scotland on Tuesday, after receiving a positive test result. It was in clear violation of rules that stipulate that people who have tested positive must self-isolate.

Ferrier apologized in the statement and said she had notified the police of her actions.

She is the latest UK official to spark public outrage by appearing to undermine coronavirus restrictions.

Most notably, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s influential advisor Dominic Cummings, breached the UK’s nationwide lockdown in May when he drove some 260 miles across the country to relocate his family while they were self-isolating.

Despite widespread calls for him to resign, Johnson allowed Cummings to keep his position. 

At least 11 tested positive for Covid-19 at US Secret Service center in August, New York Times reports

The US Secret Service was hit with a coronavirus outbreak in August at its training center in Maryland when at least 11 people tested positive for the virus, according to a report by The New York Times.

Some employees at the facility were thought to have contracted the virus during training exercises and at a graduation party at a nearby hotel where they did not practice social distancing, the Times reported Friday, citing officials with knowledge of the matter.

CNN has reached out to the Secret Service for comment.

The agency declined to give the Times specifics of the outbreak at its training center in Laurel, Maryland, but told the newspaper in a statement that it “has taken significant precautions at its training center to protect the health and welfare of its trainees and training staff.”

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New York Times: At least 11 people tested positive in August for Covid-19 at Secret Service training center