October 16 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Zamira Rahim and Nick Thompson, CNN

Updated 0426 GMT (1226 HKT) October 17, 2020
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2:03 p.m. ET, October 16, 2020

US surpasses 8 million coronavirus cases

From CNN's Amanda Watts 

Transparent social distancing bubble tents are set up for diners outside a restaurant in Manhattan, New York on October 13.
Transparent social distancing bubble tents are set up for diners outside a restaurant in Manhattan, New York on October 13. Liao Pan/China News Service/Getty Images

There have been at least 8,008,402 cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 218,097 people have died from the virus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Johns Hopkins recorded the first case of coronavirus in the US on Jan. 21. Here's a breakdown of other milestones:

  • 98 days later, on April 28, the US hit 1 million cases
  • 44 days later, on June 11, the US hit 2 million cases
  • 27 days later, on July 8, the US hit 3 million cases
  • 15 days later, on July 23, the US hit 4 million cases
  • 17 days later, on Aug. 9, the US hit 5 million cases
  • 22 days later, on Aug. 31, the US hit 6 million cases
  • 25 days later, on Sept. 25, the US hit 7 million cases
  • 21 days later, on Oct.16, the US hit 8 million cases

 Only three other countries in the world have reported over 1 million total Covid-19 cases:

  • India has more than 7 million total cases
  • Brazil has over 5 million total cases
  • Russia has over 1 million total cases
1:59 p.m. ET, October 16, 2020

Boston Symphony Orchestra cancels remaining 2020-21 season through spring

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia and Rob Frehse

Andris Nelsons conducts a joint concert of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Germany's visiting Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra on Oct. 31, 2019, at Symphony Hall in Boston.
Andris Nelsons conducts a joint concert of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Germany's visiting Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra on Oct. 31, 2019, at Symphony Hall in Boston. Elise Amendola/AP

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is canceling its 2020 Holiday Pops series in December and the remaining 2020-21 season through winter and spring months, as performances continue to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

"One of the silver linings that has come out of this challenging period is the creation of a new library of audio and video material that we’ve created to help our music community get through this difficult time and the forced hiatus from the live concert experience,” a joint statement from Boston Symphony Orchestra leadership said.

"All of us at the BSO and Boston Pops will continue to persevere and look forward to the time when we can welcome our dear music community, as well as newcomers, back to the hall to revel in the live concert experience like never before,” the statement said.

 

1:13 p.m. ET, October 16, 2020

Missouri reports more than 10,000 new Covid-19 cases in the past week

From CNN's Kay Jones

Missouri has reported more than 10,000 Covid-19 cases over the past seven days, the state's Health Department shows.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, at least 10,910 people have tested positive during that time period – that's a 18.3% positivity rate.

As of Friday morning, there have been at least 152,571 total cases statewide. 

The state is also reporting at least 62 new deaths over the past seven days for a total of at least 2,459 since the beginning of the pandemic.

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.

12:46 p.m. ET, October 16, 2020

Tennessee governor wants to suspend accountability measures for schools this year

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee speaks on protecting Americas seniors from the COVID-19 pandemic in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on April 30.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee speaks on protecting Americas seniors from the COVID-19 pandemic in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on April 30. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and state education officials want to remove "negative consequences for schools" tied to student assessments this year and continue student testing, as scheduled, despite the pandemic, Lee announced Friday.  

Tennessee tests all students in grades 3-11 to assess comprehension of math, language arts, social studies and science, according to the state's Department of Education website

"We will keep this year’s assessments in place to ensure an accurate picture of where our students are and what supports are needed to regain learning loss and get them back on the path to success,” Lee said in a statement. 

The Tennessee Department of Education has an accountability system for districts and schools based on graduation rates, state test scores and other metrics, according to its website said. Lee wants that system to be suspended this year, he said.   

"We want to take off burdens for teachers and districts and schools, so that they can do the incredible work" of assessing students and filling in gaps, Lee said during a media call Friday. 

Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn revealed that US Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos "sent a letter to all state chiefs a few weeks ago, in that letter she indicated in no uncertain terms that there would not be waivers for assessment."  

"We have federal obligations to test kids and there are [sic] significant federal funding attached to those federal obligations. We certainly don't need to be putting federal funds at risk," Lee said. 

The governor said he will work with "elected officials on a solution for this school year that preserves our strong foundations while ensuring that every teacher feels supported." 

11:51 a.m. ET, October 16, 2020

Indianapolis Colts report 4 Covid-19 tests were false positives

From CNN's Homero DeLaFuente

After closing their practice facility on Friday morning due to several positive tests for Covid-19, the Indianapolis Colts announced the four positive samples were re-tested and have been confirmed negative. 

In a statement the team said they will open the practice facility this afternoon under the league’s intensive protocol and will continue preparation for Sunday’s game against Cincinnati. 

Read the full statement:

11:51 a.m. ET, October 16, 2020

UK prime minister says situation in Manchester "worsens with each passing day"

From CNN's Sebastian Shukla

People walk on Market Street in Manchester, England, on October 15.
People walk on Market Street in Manchester, England, on October 15. PA/Sipa

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the rise of coronavirus cases in Greater Manchester is “grave” and “worsens with each passing day.”

Speaking at a press conference from Downing Street on Friday, the Prime Minister said cases in Greater Manchester have doubled in the past nine days and high infection rates are being seen across age groups. There were 690 per 100,000 cases in the 16- to 29-year-old bracket and 224 per 100,000 in the over 60 category. 

Johnson added that if the present trends continue, in the next two weeks there “will be more COVID patients in ICU than at the peak of the first wave.” 

He urged the mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, to “reconsider his position” and “engage constructively” with the government. 

The Prime Minister did make signs of an ultimatum, saying “if an agreement cannot be reached, I will need to intervene in order to protect Manchester’s hospitals and save the lives of Manchester’s residents.”

11:31 a.m. ET, October 16, 2020

Texas governor sends resources to Amarillo area to help with increase of Covid-19 hospitalizations

From CNN's Kay Jones

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Friday morning that the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Division of Emergency Management have added resources to the Amarillo area to help combat the spread of the virus.

The Amarillo Public Health Department says the area currently stands at level red, which means to use extreme caution. The city says through their Covid-19 dashboard that hospital capacity in the region is "stressed".

The resources coming from the state will assist hospitals in Amarillo, Lubbock and the surrounding areas, according to a statement from the governor's office.

At least 171 medical personnel have deployed to the communities with an additional 100 arriving by Sunday. The release says that DSHS is sending 100 IV pumps, 56 ventilators, and 25 oxygen concentrators. 

"As the Amarillo and Lubbock communities see a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations, the State of Texas is providing support to hospitals throughout these two regions," Abbott said in the statement. "The additional medical personnel, supplies, and PPE surged to the Panhandle and South Plains will help these communities care for patients and contain the spread of this virus."

The city's Covid-19 dashboard shows that there are at least 78,996 total cases in Randall and Potter counties. 

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.

A closer look at the numbers:

11:13 a.m. ET, October 16, 2020

MLB reports no new Covid-19 cases as season nears World Series 

From CNN's Homero DeLaFuente

With the World Series set to begin on Tuesday, October 20, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have jointly announced no new positive Covid-19 results among at least 5,026 tests taken the past week ending Oct. 15.

This marks 47 straight days and 55 of the past 56 with no new positives among players.

Cumulatively, there have been 169,143 tests administered during monitoring testing, with at least 91 positive results – a positivity rate of 0.05%. Of the 91 positives, 57 were players while the other 34 were staff members.

As for the playoff action, in the ALCS the Tampa Bay Rays hold a three-games-to-two lead over the Houston Astros. The series is being played in San Diego’s Petco Park.

In the NLCS, the Atlanta Braves hold a three-games-to-one lead over the L.A. Dodgers, with the series being played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The Texas Rangers' newly opened home field will also serve as site for the 2020 World Series.

11:43 a.m. ET, October 16, 2020

WHO Europe Director “very worried” about second wave but national lockdowns must be last resort

From CNN’s Sarah Dean

The World Health Organization's Europe Director, Hans Kluge, during an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson on October 16.
The World Health Organization's Europe Director, Hans Kluge, during an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson on October 16. CNN

The World Health Organization's Europe Director, Hans Kluge, said he is “very worried” about the second wave in Europe, but warned against imposing national lockdowns as cases surge in the region. 

Instead Kluge told CNN mask-wearing, together with strict control on social gatherings, could save around 281,000 lives in Europe over six months.

“The national lockdown is the last resort,” Kluge said, explaining that in March it was the default position but now “we know much better”.

New cases of the coronavirus are accelerating rapidly in much of Europe, and now far exceed the rise in new cases in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the World Health Organization. The five European countries currently most affected by the pandemic are France, the UK, Russia, Spain and the Netherlands.

Kluge said WHO Europe is calling for “local, targeted, proportional measures” that involve engaging with communities and avoiding collateral damage socially and economically. 

The idea of short, sharp "circuit breaker" lockdowns has been mooted in some countries, including the UK. Kluge said government’s should consider their social impact, including mental health and domestic violence before implementing, and the two or three week time period should be used to “buy time” to get an effective track and trace system in place.