October 12 coronavirus news

By Adam Renton and Steve George, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, October 13, 2020
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7:43 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

Covid-19 in the US is "on a trajectory of getting worse," Fauci warns

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

CNN
CNN

Dr. Anthony Fauci , the nation's leading infectious disease expert, hopes the latest data on a rising number of Covid-19 cases and projections of more deaths "jolt" the American public into reality, he told CNN's Jake Tapper Monday. 

The latest data show that 31 states in America are seeing an upward trend of new Covid-19 cases — and the pandemic could get worse, as the latest forecast of the widely-used model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington projects another 181,000 deaths in the United States by February. 

"I hope these numbers that you're quoting, which are absolutely correct numbers, jolt the American public into the realization that we really cannot let this happen — because it's on a trajectory of getting worse and worse. And that's the worst possible thing that can happen as we get into the cooler months," said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

"I think that people think that when we talk about public health, that we're talking about shutting down. Let's get that off the table. We are not talking about shutting down. We're talking about simple public health measures, as simple as they sound, are really quite effective — and that's what we say over and over again. Universal wearing of masks. Keep physical distance. Above all, avoid crowds and congregate settings," Fauci said.

He added: "Wash your hands as often as you can. Try to do things outdoors much more preferably than indoors. If we just do those five things, Jake — we don't have to do anything more complicated than that — and you would have a major impact on preventing surges, or even turning surges around that are ongoing." 

Watch here:

 

4:36 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

SEC football game postponed due to Covid-19 cases at Vanderbilt University

From CNN's Cesar Marin

Vanderbilt Commodores helmets are seen during a football game at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee, on November 25, 2017.
Vanderbilt Commodores helmets are seen during a football game at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee, on November 25, 2017. Tim Gangloff/Cal Sport Media/AP

Vanderbilt University announced on Monday that due to the quarantining of individuals with positive tests and those designated as close contacts, the Commodores’ game against Missouri scheduled for Oct. 17 will be postponed.

This is the first postponement of the Southeastern Conference’s 10-game football season.

“While we share in the disappointment that this Saturday’s game will be postponed, our program is deeply appreciative of the tireless efforts put forth by student-athletes, university officials, conference administrators and medical experts who have risen to the challenge of helping us navigate these unprecedented circumstances,” said head coach Derek Mason in a statement on the school’s website.

The decision is consistent with SEC Covid-19 management requirements, which includes a minimum threshold of at least 53 scholarship student-athletes available to participate.

The game has been tentatively rescheduled to Dec. 12.

7:44 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

Reopening schools is not "one size fits all," Fauci says

From CNN's Andrea Kane

CNN
CNN

Some schools can safely reopen for in-person classes, while doing so at others could lead to an outbreak of infections, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper on “The Lead” Monday. 

It all depends on the level of community spread and, regardless, schools need to have a plan in place. 

“You really can reopen the schools and get going with the schools. You've just got to be careful, and you've got to have a plan. That's another thing that often gets misinterpreted — when people say, ‘Well, you want to shut down all the schools.’ No, not at all — if done correctly and carefully,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.    

“The thing that seems to be constant throughout that is that when schools are prepared, when they have a plan, when everyone is universally wearing masks, when they're testing people in a surveillance way to get people who are infected out of the system, [and] they know what to do when they're confronted with a person a child or older students who gets infected — it can work,” he said. 

Fauci was commenting on a study out of Brown University that found schools may not be hotbeds of infection. Brown’s data show that 0.13% of students and 0.24% of staff were infected in the last two weeks of September. 

As for how often schools should be tested, Fauci said, “It's not one size fits all.” 

“If you are in a green or a dark green zone with a level of infection that’s extraordinarily low, you probably can be less stringent in what you do in surveillance and even in other types of mitigation. If you're in an orange or in a red zone, where it really is likely that you're going to wind up getting infections because of the level in the community, you may have to do that more often,” he said. 

Watch here:

2:50 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

West Virginia governor announces a rise in Covid-19 cases among the elderly

From CNN’s Nakia McNabb

Governor Jim Justice/Youtube
Governor Jim Justice/Youtube

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said the only way the state is going to be able to stop the spread of Covid-19 is “to identify those who are absolute spreaders, the more we test the more we find."

During a news conference Monday, Justice said Covid-19 has continued to be a deadly virus for the elderly in West Virginia. He reported nine deaths over the weekend, all over the age of 70.

“So what does it tell us? It tells us this killer pandemic attacks the elderly the worst. It tells us that absolutely in Kanawha County, we still have many issues as we do have throughout our state. It tells us what we've said over and over, that we are an elderly state. It tells us that we are a state that abounds in chronic, different types of illnesses, whether they be diabetes or they be obesity, or they be lung disorders from years of work in the coal mines. Now, the bottom line is, we've got to be able to keep it away from these people,” Justice said. 

Justice said Berkeley, Doddridge, Harrison, Barbour, Upshur and Randolph counties have seen an uptick in cases, which has increased the need for testing in that cluster as well as across the state.

 

2:26 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

Wisconsin judge declines lawsuit to overturn governor's mask mandate

From CNN's Omar Jimenez and Kay Jones

This July 30 image shows Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers in Madison, Wisconsin.
This July 30 image shows Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin Department of Health Services via AP

A circuit court judge has denied a lawsuit against Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to overturn a mask mandate in the state, according to a court filing obtained by CNN. 

Three people had sued to challenge Evers' authority to issue the order, declaring a public health emergency. They said in the filing that he "exceeded his statutory authority" by declaring an emergency three different times in relation to the Covid-19 health crisis. 

By state law, the governor is allowed to issue a public health emergency for up to 60 days, unless extended by the state legislature. In his ruling, Judge R. Michael Waterman said that the statute does not prohibit Evers from declaring successive states of emergency and that it allows for a declaration if it has been determined by the governor that a public health emergency exists. 

Waterman also said in his ruling that if the legislature "is unconvinced that a state of emergency does exist," then they have the power to terminate it. He wrote that the legislature has declined to end the state of emergency. 

He said that a temporary injunction against the order would affect everyone in the state and goes beyond the private interest of the plaintiffs. 

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty said in a statement posted on Twitter that they "look forward to making an appeal on this critical constitutional matter."

2:20 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

Research shows early data on Covid-19 in schools better than expected

From CNN's Elizabeth Stuart

Emily Oster, a professor of economics at Brown University, speaks during an interview on October 12.
Emily Oster, a professor of economics at Brown University, speaks during an interview on October 12. CNN

Early data from the Covid-19 School Response Dashboard shows that schools don’t appear to be the major spreaders of Covid-19 that experts once feared. 

On reopening of K-12 schools, data taken from the last two weeks of September from more than 200,000 students attending school in-person from 47 states found an infection rate of 0.13% among students and 0.24% among staff. The dashboard is operated by Brown University and the School Superintendents Association. 

“I think that one thing is that the rates we're seeing is fairly low, lower than what we're seeing generally in the community,” Emily Oster, a professor of economics at Brown University told CNN on Monday. 

“It looks like some people get Covid elsewhere and they're at school, so it's not that there's no Covid, but rates are low compared to what people would expect,” Oster said. 

Oster said her team is looking into which mitigation factors are working, including wearing masks, social distancing, and home screening temperature checks. 

“Those are the kinds of things I think we can learn from this data which will help other schools reopen more safely,” Oster told King. 

There is currently no federal attempt to systematically map how Covid-19 is spreading across schools in the US, so Oster and her team have had to pioneer their own method of self-reporting from schools. 

“I think our team feels like there should be somebody else doing this,” she said. “I'm sort of hoping as we grow this, maybe there will be more input from the government, but I think so far we haven't seen that, which is why we're doing it.” 

1:48 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

Texas sends resources to El Paso to help combat Covid-19 spike

From CNN's Kay Jones

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott visits Lake Jackson, Texas on September 29.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott visits Lake Jackson, Texas on September 29. Marie D. De Jesús/Houston Chronicle via AP

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced today that state resources are being sent to El Paso to help support hospitals in the area as Covid-19 cases rise.

In a news release, Abbott said that 75 medical personnel, including nurses and respiratory therapists, are being sent to El Paso, joining the 169 personnel previously sent there. 

The Department of State Health Services is also working with staffing agencies to "ensure personnel are available to be deployed to regions seeing an increase" in hospitalizations due to Covid-19. 

"It is vital that Texas communities seeing an uptick in hospitalizations have the resources they need to combat COVID-19," Abbott said in the release. "This surge in medical personnel and PPE will help support El Paso's hospitals and first responders as we mitigate the spread of this virus."

The El Paso Department of Public Health announced 424 new coronavirus cases on Monday. They have reported a total of 28,934 cases since the pandemic started.

There are 313 people hospitalized in the region with Covid-19 and 89 are in intensive care units. 

One thing to note: These numbers were released by the public health agency in El Paso, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

 

1:23 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

More than 214,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

There are at least 7,772,099 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 214,882 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

So far on Monday, Johns Hopkins has recorded 9,553 new cases and 114 reported deaths.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

 

12:27 p.m. ET, October 12, 2020

Cruises now canceled through November

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

The Carnival Liberty — a Carnival Cruise Line ship — leaves Port Canaveral in Florida on March 9.
The Carnival Liberty — a Carnival Cruise Line ship — leaves Port Canaveral in Florida on March 9. Joe Burbank/The Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service/Getty Images

Carnival Cruise Line is canceling the remaining cruises for its six ships operating from PortMiami and Port Canaveral in Florida for November, the cruise line announced in a statement Monday.  

The US Centers for Disease Control and and Prevention extended its no-sail order for cruise operations until Oct. 31, making a November restart for cruises not "feasible," the statement said. 

Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean, also headquartered in Miami, Florida, announced said this month they were canceling November sailing as well, the cruise lines announced respectively.   

Carnival cruises that are currently scheduled for December out of Miami and Port Canaveral will remain in place, but guests currently booked on those trips can voluntarily cancel their reservation for a refund or credit, the statement said.  

"Carnival continues to work on protocols and procedures that would allow for the resumption of cruise operations, with a gradual, phased-in approach, designating Miami and Port Canaveral as the first two homeports for embarkations," Carnival said.  

Carnival also canceled five cruises scheduled to operate from Sydney, Australia from Jan. 16 through Feb. 8, 2021, the statement said.  

Read Carnival's tweet to its customers: