October 7 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton and Eliza Mackintosh, CNN

Updated 12:03 a.m. ET, October 8, 2020
26 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:01 p.m. ET, October 7, 2020

Boston delays in-person learning for most students

Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a press conference in Boston on October 7.
Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a press conference in Boston on October 7. From Boston City TV/YouTube

With a city-wide positivity rate just over 4%, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is pausing the school reopening plan. 

Phase three was set to begin on Oct. 15 and will now be pushed back to Oct. 22. That means kindergarten students through third grade students will not begin in-person learning as planned.

Grades four through eight and the high school start dates for in-person learning will be determined at a later date.

Special needs students will be able to return to in-person learning starting tomorrow.

“This decision is based on the guidance of our public health experts and in consultation with state officials in public health and education. It is consistent with our decision to prioritize our highest needs students in this plan,” Walsh said on his verified twitter account.

Walsh addressed residents in a news conference along with superintendent Brenda Cassellius Wednesday.

8:04 p.m. ET, October 7, 2020

Iceland introduces new restrictions as Covid-19 cases surge

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad

People dine at a restaurant in Reykjavík, Iceland, on July 19.
People dine at a restaurant in Reykjavík, Iceland, on July 19. Sigga Ella/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Iceland is introducing new restrictions in the capital Reykjavík and nearby areas amid a surge in Covid-19 cases across the country, the country’s Ministry of Health has announced.

From Wednesday, any activities or services that requires close physical contact, including hair dressers and beauty parlors, are required to close.

Swimming pools and gyms are also being closed, restaurants will be required to close by 9 p.m., and face masks will now be compulsory in shops where the two-meter social distancing rule cannot be observed.

The new rules will be in effect until October 19, the Icelandic Ministry of Health says.

On Monday, the Icelandic government introduced a 20-person gathering restriction and ordered the closure of fitness centers, bars, night-clubs and gaming establishments nationwide until October 19.

Iceland has seen a significant jump in domestic infections in the past two weeks, with 99 new infections confirmed on Tuesday and 87 confirmed on Wednesday. Of particular concern for the health authorities has been the number of people diagnosed with Covid-19 but not in quarantine. Since June 15, only 52% of those who tested positive were already in quarantine, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

There are currently 18 people hospitalized and 4 in intensive care due to Covid-19.

Speaking to the press on Monday, Chief Police Superintendent Víðir Reynisson stressed how important it is for people who become infected to inform the disease tracing team who they’ve been around and where they’ve been. “There is only one way to approach this and that’s through solidarity,” he added

Iceland has had a total of 3,172 confirmed cases and 10 deaths since the pandemic began. The record for new infections was reached on March 24 with 106 confirmed cases for a total population of 364,134.

10:58 a.m. ET, October 7, 2020

Indonesian man escapes from South Korean quarantine facility by digging a hole under a wall

An Indonesian man escaped from quarantine in South Korea by digging a hole underneath a wall of the government quarantine facility one day before he was due to be released, a South Korean health official said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

"There was a case of an Indonesian national escaping his [quarantine] facility in Seoul. He escaped the facility by digging a hole next to a temporary wall on the lobby floor of the government facility building on Oct 4,” Son Young-rae said. 

Son said that the man entered South Korea on a sailor visa and began his quarantine on September 21. He was due to be released on October 5. His Covid-19 result at the time of entry tested negative, and he did not show any abnormal symptoms of coronavirus, Son said.

The South Korean police are currently looking for this person by analyzing security-camera footage.

Son added that additional security cameras have been installed at the quarantine facility after the incident, and more forces have been dispatched.

10:51 a.m. ET, October 7, 2020

Georgia officials warn of "Twindemics" as flu season approaches  

From CNN's Tina Burnside

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks at a news conference in Atlanta on October 7.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks at a news conference in Atlanta on October 7. WSB

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says while the state of Georgia has made great progress in protecting lives from the coronavirus, he is urging all Georgians to continue to protect themselves during the fall and winter seasons. 

During a press conference on Wednesday, both Kemp and Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey said it is more important than ever this year to get a flu shot.

"We are trying to prevent "twindemics" of both Covid and influenza which could be devastating," Toomey said. 

Toomey said they don't know what the presence of influenza could do to a person infected with Covid-19.

Children, the elderly and everyone in between are at risk, Toomey said. "We encourage everyone six months of age and older to get a flu shot." Toomey said. 

Kemp is encouraging all Georgians to wear a mask, watch their distance, wash their hands, and follow guidance from public health officials during the fall and winter seasons. 

10:58 a.m. ET, October 7, 2020

Jordan will impose a weekend lockdown as coronavirus cases reach "unprecedented" levels, government says

Police officers stop a vehicle outside the Grand Husseini Mosque in Amman, Jordan, while enforcing a curfew on August 28.
Police officers stop a vehicle outside the Grand Husseini Mosque in Amman, Jordan, while enforcing a curfew on August 28. Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images

Jordan will impose a strict two-day lockdown every Friday and Saturday “until further notice," as coronavirus cases start reaching “unprecedented” levels, the government said on Tuesday. 

Schools in the country have been suspended and on Wednesday, the Jordanian military will be deployed across the country to help impose the upcoming curfew.

The country was initially commended for its efforts in combating the spread of coronavirus, however over the past week, Jordan has recorded its highest numbers since the beginning of the pandemic with cases breaking 1,800 daily infections on Monday. 

The government’s Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh said that the virus is also starting to put pressure on the country’s medical system, which has so far been able to withstand the number of infections, he told reporters on Tuesday. 

“During the past days, we have witnessed a significant acceleration in the rate of recording infections with the Coronavirus, reaching unprecedented levels, in addition to a remarkable increase in the number of deaths,” Adaileh said. 

“The increase in the number of cases to this extent constitutes a great pressure on our health system, which is still able - thank God - to absorb this level of injuries,” he added. 

The Jordanian government decided against imposing a total lockdown throughout the week to avoid the “difficult” effects it may have on the economy, however, it will continue imposing the two-day weekend lockdowns over the next few weeks.

“This is what we did not hope for, and we constantly warned of it, as it now necessitates making difficult decisions,” Adaileh said. 

Cases began re-surging in August after the virus was largely contained under strict lockdown measures that began in March. The government has since announced what it calls a “new wave” of the pandemic.  

10:06 a.m. ET, October 7, 2020

More than 1,000 people infected with coronavirus from one garment factory in Sri Lanka

From CNN's Eric Cheng and Sandi Sidhu 

More than a thousand people have been infected with Covid-19 after a huge virus outbreak at a garment factory in Sri Lanka's Western Province, says the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva.

In a statement on state-run Sri Lanka News Agency, Silva said that at least 190 new cases had been detected today and linked to Brandix, one of the country’s leading apparel export firms.

This brings the total number so far to 1,022 infections. 

According to a wire published on Sri Lanka's News Agency, all of the employees of the Brandix factory in the town of Minuwangoda have been ordered to report to police stations in 14 designated areas, before 4 p.m. local time on Wednesday.

A police curfew has been imposed "in the Gampaha Police area, Ja-Ela and Kandana Police areas in the Negombo Division with immediate effect," Silva said.

The outbreak is the highest tally in Sri Lanka which had all but stamped out community transmission of the virus until Monday, when the first case was reported. Following the announcement, on Tuesday, the government banned public gatherings including religious events.

Acting Police Chief Chandana Wickremeratne said in a statement on Tuesday that transport services will not operate in affected areas northeast of Sri Lanka, which have been placed under indefinite curfew. 

The areas include the towns of Minuwangoda, near the international airport in Negombo, the coconut growing area of Minuwangoda, and the adjoining town of Veyangoda.

This is the first time since April 30 indefinite curfews have been imposed.

8:58 a.m. ET, October 7, 2020

Billionaires have never been richer despite the pandemic

From CNN's Hanna Ziady

The wealth of the world's billionaires reached a new record high in the middle of the pandemic as a rebound in tech stocks boosted the fortunes of the global elite. 

Billionaire wealth increased to $10.2 trillion at the end of July, up from a previous peak of $8.9 trillion in 2017, according to a report from Swiss bank UBS and PwC. The total number of billionaires has increased by 31 to 2,189 since 2017.

Some billionaires are getting richer much faster than others, however. The pandemic has accelerated a growing divergence in wealth between innovators in technology, healthcare and industry, and entrepreneurs in areas such as entertainment, financial services and real estate, the report said.

That contrasts with most of the past decade "when steady growth and buoyant asset prices lifted billionaire wealth in all sectors," it added. Now, billionaires "on the wrong side" of technological and social trends are becoming relatively less wealthy.

The report comes amid rising concerns that the pandemic is only going to deepen economic inequalities, including in areas such as income, education and healthcare.

Read more findings from the report here:

8:08 a.m. ET, October 7, 2020

Trump's flu claims are false

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová

President Donald Trump, center, leaves Walter Reed medical center in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 5.
President Donald Trump, center, leaves Walter Reed medical center in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 5. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump keeps downplaying the coronavirus even after it killed more than 1 million people around the world and left him hospitalized for three days. He has now claimed Covid-19 is "in most populations far less lethal!!!" than the flu. That's not true. Here are the facts.

In just eight months, Covid-19 has killed more Americans than the flu did during the last five flu seasons combined. 

The novel coronavirus is also much more contagious than the flu. While research shows that someone with the flu infects an average of about 1.28 other people, someone with Covid-19 infects an average of about 2 to 3 other people when mitigation efforts such as stay-at-home orders or masks are not in place.

On top of that, the coronavirus can be spread for many days without symptoms. The incubation period for the flu is much shorter, meaning people are likely to start feeling sick earlier and avoid contact with others. 

There’s also a vaccine available for the flu and experts say the number of flu deaths could be drastically reduced if more people got flu shots. 

Even Facebook has pushed back against the claim by removing a post from Trump about the flu, but it’s unlikely that will have any effect on the President’s approach. His advice to not let the coronavirus "dominate your life" has left loved ones of Covid-19 victims furious. The post was hidden by Twitter for violating its rules about "spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19."

"It not only has dominated the lives of the people we've lost. It's dominated the families of those people. It’s dominated, and it still does, the hospital, the health heroes that were working every day to save my husband, the doctors, and nurses ... it's insulting," Amanda Kloots, wife of Broadway star Nick Cordero, told CNN. Cordero fought the virus for 95 days and died. Cordero and Kloots have a 1-year-old son together.

8:43 a.m. ET, October 7, 2020

Frankfurt bans alcohol in public spaces as part of new coronavirus measures

From Stephanie Halasz

People in Frankfurt, Germany, walk near the Old Opera House on September 28.
People in Frankfurt, Germany, walk near the Old Opera House on September 28. Michael Probst/AP

The city of Frankfurt, Germany has introduced a slew of new social distancing measures and public health restrictions, including an alcohol ban and a curfew, to contain a surge in new coronavirus cases.

Alcohol will no longer be consumed in public spaces, and a curfew will be enforced from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.

Gatherings in public and rented spaces will be limited to 25 people, and only 10 will be allowed to meet in private.

Masks will be mandatory in malls, major shopping streets and at religious ceremonies. Authorities are also considering making them mandatory in upper schools after the autumn holiday.

The fight against corona is a long-distance run. So far, Frankfurt has come through the crisis well. But nothing has been won yet, as rising numbers show," Frankfurt's Mayor Peter Feldmann said in a statement. "We have to react now, otherwise we will gamble away our previous successes."