October 20 coronavirus news

By Emma Reynolds, Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, October 21, 2020
39 Posts
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11:51 a.m. ET, October 20, 2020

UK Covid-19 death toll 3 times higher than the day before

From CNN's Hilary McGann in London

The UK recorded 241 new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday — more than three times the 80 deaths reported on Monday — according to the government's website. 

In each case, the person died within 28 days of first testing positive for coronavirus, the government explained. 

On Tuesday another 21,331 cases were reported in the UK. 

11:44 a.m. ET, October 20, 2020

CDC "strongly recommends" mask-wearing on public transit

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

People wearing face masks take the subway on September 10 in New York City.
People wearing face masks take the subway on September 10 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Passengers and operators of public transportation – including airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis and ride-shares – should wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, according to interim guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"CDC strongly recommends appropriate masks be worn by all passengers and by all personnel operating the conveyance while on public conveyances," according to the interim guidance on the agency's website, which appears to have been last reviewed on Monday.

People should wear masks that cover both the mouth and nose when waiting or, traveling on, or leaving public transportation, the CDC guidance advises. 

"Conveyance operators transporting people should refuse boarding to anyone not wearing a mask and require all people onboard, whether passengers or employees, to wear masks for the duration of travel," it says – except when eating or in need of medical attention, for instance.

Face masks help prevent people who have COVID-19, including those who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic, from spreading the virus to others," the guidance said.

11:35 a.m. ET, October 20, 2020

2 hospitals updated Covid-19 visitation policies after religious discrimination complaints, HHS says

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

Two hospitals have updated their visitation policies amid the coronavirus pandemic to accommodate designated support persons for people with disabilities, the US Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights announced on Tuesday.

The hospitals — MedStar Health System’s Southern Maryland Hospital Center and Mary Washington Healthcare in Virginia — made these updates to their policies around the same time they resolved separate religious visitation complaints, according to the Office for Civil Rights.

"These two hospitals have also updated their policies to allow for designated support persons to accompany people with disabilities in their hospitals," Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights, said during a phone call with reporters on Tuesday.

"This is a great result. I think we're seeing now that we've learned more and more about this virus, and what is necessary to keep people safe," Severino said. "So we're adapting to the circumstances and accommodating to make sure that nobody is left behind, including persons with disabilities, including persons of faith, and that we treat the whole person — mind body and soul — without sacrificing any one for the other."
11:30 a.m. ET, October 20, 2020

Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Sec. Mnuchin to speak again at 3:00 p.m. today about stimulus package

From CNN's Lauren Fox

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will speak again today at 3 p.m. as the deadline approaches for them to reach an agreement on the stimulus. 

This comes the day after members of the appropriations staff met yesterday to try to put into writing some of the areas where Pelosi and Mnuchin had gotten closer to an agreement.

According to two sources familiar with those talks, they did not go well. Part of the issue is that appropriators feel like they are working without the entire picture of what Pelosi and Mnuchin have actually agreed to.

11:23 a.m. ET, October 20, 2020

Florida reports more than 3,600 new coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Tina Burnside 

Health care workers offer free COVID-19 testing from a Miami-Dade County mobile van outside of an early voting site on Monday, October 19. in Miami.
Health care workers offer free COVID-19 testing from a Miami-Dade County mobile van outside of an early voting site on Monday, October 19. in Miami. Lynne Sladky/AP

The Florida Department of Health is reporting 3,662 new cases of Covid-19 and 86 additional deaths on Tuesday, according to the Florida Department of Health (DOH).

The state now has a total of 760,389 coronavirus cases, DOH data shows. 

The resident death toll now stands at 16,308, DOH data also shows. 

One thing to 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.

11:15 a.m. ET, October 20, 2020

New York City has a test positivity rate of 2.52%, mayor says

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

The percent of people who tested positive for Covid-19 citywide is at 2.52%, under the 5% threshold, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. 

The seven-day rolling average is 1.58%, he said. 

The daily number of people admitted to hospitals for Covid-19 is at 62, under the 200 threshold. The confirmed positivity rate for Covid-19 for those patients is 19.7%

With regard to new reported cases on a seven-day average, with a threshold of 550 cases, NYC reports 496. 

One thing to note: These numbers were released by the citys 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

11:05 a.m. ET, October 20, 2020

New York City reports 0.17% positivity rate in open schools

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a press conference in New York on October 20.
Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a press conference in New York on October 20. NYC Media

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that testing across the city’s public schools have shown “remarkable” results, as he marked a 0.17% percent positivity rating across all open schools.

After more than 16,000 test results have come back from hundreds of schools, only 28 students and staff have tested positive in the entire school system.

The city has a mandatory testing program which tests once a month in every school. The tests were administered between Oct. 9 through Oct. 16 in 377 schools.

“As we have started that testing program we have just seen remarkable results," he said. “This is really extraordinary,” he added.

“The proof is in the results, and these are amazing results,” de Blasio said, adding this really “bodes well for the future of our schools and our ability to fight and overcome this disease.” 

9:38 a.m. ET, October 20, 2020

Stocks open higher

From CNN's Anneken Tappe 

US stocks opened modestly higher on Tuesday. The chance of a stimulus deal before the election is shrinking fast, but at least there still is a chance for now.

Wall Street was propped up by this hope at the start of Monday’s session, too, but by midday began trading lower.

In economic data, both building permits and housing starts for September were as strong as expected.

Here's where things opened:

  • The Dow opened 0.4%, or 105 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 rose 0.5%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite also climbed 0.5%.
9:48 a.m. ET, October 20, 2020

India reports fewer than 50,000 daily Covid-19 cases for first time in 3 months

From CNN’s Manveena Suri

A health worker collects a nasal swab to test for Covid-19 in Hyderabad, India, on October 20.
A health worker collects a nasal swab to test for Covid-19 in Hyderabad, India, on October 20. Mahesh Kumar A./AP

India reported fewer than 50,000 new Covid-19 cases for the first time in three months, according to a statement issued by the country’s health ministry on Tuesday.

A total of at least 46,790 new cases were reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide total to at least 7,597,063 cases.

The last time the country reported figures in that range was on July 28, with 47,703 new cases.

The number of active cases has fallen below 10% at about 748,538, while the number of recovered cases stands at 6,733,328 with the national recovery rate rising to 88.63%.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed the country via a prerecorded message, which comes ahead of the Hindu festive period that began with Navaratri, or “nine nights" on Saturday. Also known as Durja Puja, it ends with Dussehra on Oct. 27. The celebrations coincide with the harvest season and culminate with Diwali, the five-day festival of lights celebrating the triumph of good over evil, on Nov. 14.

He urged citizens to maintain social distancing, personal hygiene and to wear a mask, saying, “Until success is achieved, do not be negligent. Until the vaccine of this pandemic comes, we should not let our fight weaken.”

“Keep in mind, whether it is America or other countries in Europe, the cases of coronavirus were decreasing in these countries but suddenly they have started rising again,” he added.