October 16 coronavirus news

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

Updated 0426 GMT (1226 HKT) October 17, 2020
52 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
6:00 p.m. ET, October 16, 2020

Hispanics and Blacks died from Covid-19 at disproportionately high rates over the summer

From CNN’s Jen Christensen

Hispanics and Black Americans are dying at a disproportionate rate due to Covid-19, a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

The study published Friday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report looked at the shifting demographics of deaths from the pandemic over the summer.

Between May and August, 114,411 Americans lost their lives to Covid-19. Elderly White men were among the largest number of deaths. 

But Black people accounted for nearly 18% of the deaths in this time period, despite making up just 12.5% of the US population. Hispanics accounted for more than 24% of deaths, but make up 18.5% of the population.

The demographics started to shift in the summer. The percentage of Hispanics who died increased from 16% to more than 26% of overall deaths between May and August, while the proportion of those who died who were White or Black decreased.

The CDC said that there was a geographic shift in deaths. The highest concentration of deaths early in the pandemic were in the Northeast, but the numbers shifted West and Southward. The geographic difference, though, can’t account for the increase in the percentage of deaths among the Hispanic community, the CDC said.

Researchers think the pandemic has been harder on the Hispanic community because they may have had a higher exposure to Covid-19 due to their work. Hispanics also are more likely to live in multifamily households or live with many generations in one family, making it hard to social distance.

Nearly a quarter of all the deaths in the pandemic have been in places where people live in group settings at a nursing home or long-term care facilities. Many of those deaths happened early on in the pandemic. But as nursing homes stopped allowing outside visitors and were more aggressively testing residents and isolating those who were sick, those deaths have slowed down and there has been a shift toward younger and noninstitutionalized populations over the course of the pandemic.

To limit the spread of the disease, the CDC continues to recommend people use face coverings, wash their hands frequently, keep physical distance from others and avoid large gatherings.

 

6:34 p.m. ET, October 16, 2020

CVS and Walgreens will help distribute coronavirus vaccines

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Cars line up for a drive-thru coronavirus test at CVS Pharmacy on May 15, in Carver, Massachusetts. 
Cars line up for a drive-thru coronavirus test at CVS Pharmacy on May 15, in Carver, Massachusetts.  Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The federal government has designated CVS and Walgreens to distribute any coronavirus vaccine that eventually gets authorized to long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, Operation Warp Speed officials said Friday.

The two drug chains are best placed to send out mobile units to vaccinate seniors and other vulnerable people on site, Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at the Health and Human Services Department, told reporters in a telephone briefing.

“This is a completely voluntary program on the part of every nursing home. This is an opt in program,” Mango said.

It will be up to the drug chains to figure out how to deliver the vaccines, including cold storage requirements and personal protective equipment. It will also be up to the retailers to collect from Medicare, Medicaid or private insurers for administering the vaccines, which must be provided to people free of charge, officials said.

Mango said the Operation Warp Speed team did not have any idea of how many nursing homes would choose to use the retailers.

Earlier Friday, President Trump said seniors would be the first to get any vaccine. “Seniors will be the first in line for the vaccine. And we will soon be ending this pandemic,” Trump said on a visit to Fort Myers.

6:06 p.m. ET, October 16, 2020

Fauci will be among the first to see Covid-19 vaccine data

From CNN's Maggie Fox 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, will be among the first people to see the data that will tell the country whether one of the experimental coronavirus vaccines being tested actually works to protect against the virus, the National Institutes of Health confirmed Friday.

Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the NIH, which is sponsoring some of the vaccine trials. Those include the vaccines being developed by Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

Four of six vaccines are in advanced, Phase 3 clinical trials and independent advisers known as data and safety monitoring boards or DSMBs are watching the results to see how many volunteers become infected with coronavirus after receiving either the vaccine or a dummy shot. These DSMBs make the decision about whether to stop the trials and share the data with the trial sponsors.

That would be both the company developing the vaccine and, in the case of those sponsored by NIAID, the US government.

“Dr. Fauci as director of NIAID is the designated senior representative of the United States government,” an NIH spokesperson told CNN. “Dr. Fauci does not participate in the DSMB process of developing recommendations regarding a clinical trial. Once the DSMB makes a decision, the DSMB provides the recommendation to not only the study sponsor but also to the US government.”

Fauci’s role was first reported by ProPublica.

One vaccine being developed without the involvement of the federal government is Pfizer’s.

4:59 p.m. ET, October 16, 2020

US surgeon general says Wisconsin's positivity rates are going in the wrong direction 

From CNN’s Raja Razek

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams announces a COVID-19 testing facility in Neenah, Wisconsin on October 16.
US Surgeon General Jerome Adams announces a COVID-19 testing facility in Neenah, Wisconsin on October 16. WLUK

United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned that Wisconsin is a Covid-19 red state, with a rising positivity rate.

"I want you all to be aware that Wisconsin is currently one of our red states. Meaning, your positivity rates are over 10% and going in the wrong direction. Cases are in the red, going in the wrong direction," Adams said.

"It is critical that we actually understand where this virus is circulating so that we could get cases under control and reverse positivity,” he said.

Adams spoke at a news conference announcing a new Covid-19 surge testing location in Neenah, Wisconsin. 

State GOP Sen. Roger Roth, who also spoke at the news conference, said the center will give the people of Northeast Wisconsin greater access to testing for Covid-19.

"We know more testing helps us bend the curve," Roth added. 

3:40 p.m. ET, October 16, 2020

Two-month follow-up period for Covid-19 vaccine candidates should not be curtailed, FDA officials say

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

The US Food and Drug Administration’s two month follow-up requirement for Covid-19 vaccine candidates is necessary to keep people safe and encourage confidence in a vaccine given emergency use authorization, two senior FDA officials said Friday.

“Curtailment of this minimum follow-up could destroy the scientific credibility of the decision to authorize any vaccine for use under an EUA in the United States,” Dr. Marion Gruber, director of the office of vaccines research and review in the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the division that approves vaccines, and Dr. Philip Krause, the deputy director, wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine Friday.

The two-month period will allow for identification and evaluation of adverse reactions to a vaccine, which often emerge about six weeks after a vaccine dose is issued. The follow up period will also allow researchers to begin to understand how long immunity from a vaccine will last.

While the follow-up period is shorter than those included in most vaccine clinical trials, Gruber and Krause say that the “gravity of the current public health emergency and the importance of making a vaccine available as soon as possible,” warrant the decision.

Gruber and Krause noted that evaluation of a Covid-19 vaccine should continue even after emergency use authorization (EUA) is issued, so the trials can yield the data required for full FDA approval. This would mean trial participants who received a placebo, would not be immediately issued the vaccine upon its approval for emergency use.

People who get any vaccine released under an EUA will be told it is not fully approved, Gruber and Krause said. “Use of an investigational vaccine under an EUA would not be subject to the usual informed consent requirements for clinical investigations; nevertheless, vaccine recipients will be provided a fact sheet that describes the investigational nature of the product, the known and potential benefits and risks, available alternatives, and the option to refuse vaccination,” they wrote.

“At stake is public confidence in America’s response to the pandemic, in Covid-19 vaccines, and in vaccines in general, all of which are essential to achieving desired public health outcomes,” they added.

2:49 p.m. ET, October 16, 2020

Global coronavirus deaths surpass 1.1 million

An ambulance carrying bodies of men who died from the coronavirus arrives at a graveyard in New Delhi, India on October 7. The country has the third highest number of coronavirus-related deaths, behind the United States and Brazil.
An ambulance carrying bodies of men who died from the coronavirus arrives at a graveyard in New Delhi, India on October 7. The country has the third highest number of coronavirus-related deaths, behind the United States and Brazil. Pradeep Gaur/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

The number of coronavirus deaths globally surpassed 1.1 million on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University's data. 

There are also 39,081,143 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to the data.

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.