October 15 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Angela Dewan, Melissa Mahtani and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, October 16, 2020
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12:39 p.m. ET, October 15, 2020

Pennsylvania adds more than 1,000 Covid-19 cases for 10th day in a row

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

RN Treva Rivers administers a COVID-19 test at the state run free COVID-19 testing site in Reading, Pennsylvania, outside FirstEnergy Stadium on October 13.
RN Treva Rivers administers a COVID-19 test at the state run free COVID-19 testing site in Reading, Pennsylvania, outside FirstEnergy Stadium on October 13. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle/Getty Images

Pennsylvania added nearly 1,600 Covid-19 cases, the state health department reported Thursday, marking the 10th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new cases. 

The state reported an additional 21 new deaths. 

Earlier Thursday, the state said it would be adding an outdoor testing clinic in Ralpho Township, Northumberland County, to contain what health officials say is a “recent rapid increase in Covid-19 cases.”

You can read the full release here.

Note: These numbers 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.

12:10 p.m. ET, October 15, 2020

CDC's ensemble forecast now projects up to 240,000 US Covid-19 deaths by Nov. 7

From CNN's Ben Tinker

An ensemble forecast published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now projects there will be 229,000 to 240,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by Nov. 7.

Unlike some individual models, the CDC’s ensemble forecast only offers projections a few weeks into the future. The previous ensemble forecast, published on Oct. 8, projected up to 233,000 coronavirus deaths by Oct. 30.

At least 217,155 people have already died from Covid-19 in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

12:11 p.m. ET, October 15, 2020

Florida more than doubles its daily death count  

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos  

Health care workers greet people as they arrive at a temporary drive-through COVID-19 testing site at East Orange District Park on October 1 in Orlando, Florida.
Health care workers greet people as they arrive at a temporary drive-through COVID-19 testing site at East Orange District Park on October 1 in Orlando, Florida. Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The Florida Department of Health reported at least 3,356 new cases of Covid-19 and 144 deaths on Thursday, numbers that include both residents and non-residents of the state, according to the Covid-19 dashboard. 

Florida's case numbers jumped by 487 since yesterday, and the death toll more than doubled, with the state reporting 66 deaths Wednesday.

This marks the eleventh day in October that the state's health department has reported at least 2,200 new cases in a single day, CNN's tally shows.   

The state now has a total of 744,988 coronavirus cases, DOH data shows. The Florida death toll now stands at 15,932 DOH data shows.         

Note: These numbers were released by Florida’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    

11:40 a.m. ET, October 15, 2020

NYC mayor: "Very, very, very low" Covid-19 positivity tests in schools

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

NYC Media
NYC Media

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that there continues to be “very, very, very low positivity levels” of Covid-19 in schools.

In particular, he said in Yellow Zones – which are third tier areas of concern, but surrounding the cluster zones with schools that are closed – out of 31,000 tests in the past three weeks, only four were returned positive. This was testing of teachers and staff in the schools. 

“The vast vast majority of schools have continued with no shut down,” he said, of the schools outside the cluster zones. 

11:44 a.m. ET, October 15, 2020

Ryanair cuts flight schedules, blaming EU government restrictions

From CNN's Streisand Neto

Ryanair planes are parked in a stand at Stansted Airport on June 30 in Stansted, United Kingdom.
Ryanair planes are parked in a stand at Stansted Airport on June 30 in Stansted, United Kingdom. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

European low-cost airline Ryanair announced it would significantly reduce its winter schedule Thursday, blaming restrictions imposed by European Union governments.

The airline will operate 40% of its 2019 winter flight schedule, after originally planning 60%. 

In a statement, the airline said air travel to and from Central Europe, the UK, Ireland, Austria, Belgium and Portugal has been heavily curtailed.

“We deeply regret these winter schedule cuts," said Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary. "They have been forced upon us by Government mismanagement of EU air travel.”  

He said the airline would be forced to implement more redundancies, job sharing and unpaid leave as a result of the schedule reduction.

11:33 a.m. ET, October 15, 2020

NFL's Atlanta Falcons shut down practice facility after positive Covid-19 test

From CNN's Martijn Edelman

An Atlanta Falcons helmet sits on the field during training camp at Falcons headquarters in Flowery Branch, Georgia, on July 28, 2014.
An Atlanta Falcons helmet sits on the field during training camp at Falcons headquarters in Flowery Branch, Georgia, on July 28, 2014. Todd Kirkland/Icon SMI/Corbis/Getty Images

Following the announcement of a positive coronavirus test in the organization on Thursday, the Atlanta Falcons will stop all in-person work and will conduct all operations virtually for the day, the team announced in a statement. 

The organization said that the decision was made "out of an abundance of caution" and in consultation with the NFL and medical officials.

The Atlanta Falcons are scheduled to play the Vikings in Minnesota on Sunday.

Read the full statement below:

Atlanta Falcons to Work Virtually Thursday
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – OCTOBER 15, 2020 – Out of an abundance of caution following one new positive test, we have made the decision to stop all in-person work at IBM Performance Field Thursday and will conduct all operations virtually. This decision was made in consultation with the NFL and medical officials. The health and safety of our team is our highest priority.
11:29 a.m. ET, October 15, 2020

NYC mayor says city will know by Sunday whether restrictions should remain

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

NYC Media
NYC Media

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city should get a gauge by Sunday whether they are in “striking range” of pulling off restrictions in cluster areas or whether they need to remain in place.

When asked if “leveling off” in metrics was enough to end the shutdown in cluster zones after two weeks, de Blasio said by Sunday “we will have a good picture of whether we’re in striking range of pulling off the restrictions next week or whether we need more time.” 

“Leveling off is a step in the right direction,” he said, adding that stopping the growth of the infection rate is key to turning it around. 

11:34 a.m. ET, October 15, 2020

NYC mayor says city is at 1.31% positivity

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

The percent of people who tested positive for Covid-19 citywide is at 1.31%, under the 5% threshold, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. 

The seven-day rolling average is 1.49% he said. 

The daily number of people admitted to hospitals for Covid-19 is at 88, under the 200 threshold. The confirmed positivity rate for Covid-19 for those patients is 18.6%

With regard to new reported cases on a seven-day average, with a threshold of 550 cases, NYC reports 499. 

Note: These numbers were released by the city'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

11:12 a.m. ET, October 15, 2020

NYC Mayor: "There does not need to be a second wave"

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

NYC Media
NYC Media

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expanded on what he said is the “the fight we’re waging against a second wave of coronavirus,” noting that the city is seeing a “plateauing” in test results, though there is “more to do.”

“There does not need to be a second wave in NYC, we can stop a second wave in NY if we act decisively now,” he said. “We are seeing a plateauing now of the test results and that is a very good sign, but much much more to do.”

“A second wave would mean a lot shuts down, we go backwards, no one wants that. So we can stop this once and for all in these areas of Brooklyn and Queens where there’s concern and therefore protect the whole city, and that’s what we’re going to do," he added.

He said officials are “flooding the zone” with testing.

Test and Trace head Ted Long said in the last two weeks, more than 17,000 tests have been taken in the clusters. Thirty-two new test sites were built out in the clusters, including 18 in the red zones. A large testing site is open today at the Kew Gardens Hills Branch public library.

The city is also partnering with Medicaid plans, which cover 1.2 million New Yorkers on testing outreach, de Blasio said. 

The Mayor said in terms of enforcement, 1700 inspections were done Wednesday, and 25 summons were issued. 

There have been over 18,000 in the last two weeks with a total of 288 summonses issued, including 11 summonses for $15,000.