October 22 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Tara John and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, October 23, 2020
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12:13 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

46 million people affected by France's nighttime curfew

From Barbara Wojazer and Gaëlle Fournier in Paris

Street lights illuminate vacant tables and chairs on a restaurant terrace ahead of a curfew in Toulouse, France, on October 19.
Street lights illuminate vacant tables and chairs on a restaurant terrace ahead of a curfew in Toulouse, France, on October 19. Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg/Getty Images

France's nighttime coronavirus curfew will be extended more widely in the country, with 46 million French people affected, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Thursday.

Castex said 38 French administrative areas would be added to the 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, which starts Saturday. French Polynesia and at total of 54 administrative areas will be under the curfew, he added.

The prime minister said the measures are needed because “in France, and in Europe, the second wave is upon us,” adding that the number of deaths will keep increasing.

Violating the curfew could lead to a fine of about $160 for a first offense, and about $1,760 for the second offense.

"These measures are heavy ... but they are being respected," Castex said. “If we do not succeed in collectively curbing the epidemic, we will have to take even stronger measures. We still have time to avoid it, but time is running out.”

12:00 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Italy records at least 16,000 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hours

From Valentina Di Donato in Rome

A medical worker in personal protective equipment sits on the floor of the COVID 3 level Intensive Care Unit for coronavirus cases, at the Casal Palocco hospital, near Rome on October 22.
A medical worker in personal protective equipment sits on the floor of the COVID 3 level Intensive Care Unit for coronavirus cases, at the Casal Palocco hospital, near Rome on October 22. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

Italy reported another daily record with 16,079 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours — up from yesterday's record of 15,199 new cases, according to the Italy's health ministry on Thursday.

The health ministry also reported 136 Covid-related deaths and 66 more patients in intensive care.

“A lockdown can be avoided if quick, urgent and strong measures are taken now," Minister of Health Roberto Speranza said.

The region of Lombardy will begin its coronavirus curfew tonight, with movement prohibited from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m.

11:35 a.m. ET, October 22, 2020

El Paso County in Texas reports a new daily record of Covid-19 cases  

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

El Paso, Texas, county health officials reported a record 1,161 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, according to their daily Covid-19 report.

The rolling seven-day positivity rate average is currently 14.86%.

The report shows that cases began trending upward in the county this month, but they had not surpassed 1,000 until Thursday. There are now a total of 36,025 cases across the county. 

Four additional Covid-19-related fatalities were also reported on Thursday, bringing the death toll in El Paso County to 567, health officials reported.  

The state of Texas has the second highest Covid-19 case count in the US, behind California, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases. 

11:28 a.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Here are the latest coronavirus numbers from New York City

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

People walk through Manhattan, New York on October 21.
People walk through Manhattan, New York on October 21. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The percentage of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in New York City is at 1.77%, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday.

That figure falls under the 5% threshold. The seven-day rolling average is 1.76%, he said. 

The daily number of people admitted to hospitals for Covid-19 is at 103, a jump from 76 yesterday. This is under the 200 threshold. The confirmed positivity rate for Covid-19 for those patients is 24.2%

With regard to new reported cases on a seven-day average, NYC reported 523 cases, also up from yesterday. The threshold is 550 cases.

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.

11:23 a.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Vaccine could be available to "all Americans" by early April, Azar says

From CNN’s Leanna Faulk

Alex Azar, US Health and Human Services secretary, speaks at a Covid-19 briefing in Atlanta on October 21.
Alex Azar, US Health and Human Services secretary, speaks at a Covid-19 briefing in Atlanta on October 21. Alyssa Pointer/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP

A coronavirus vaccine could be available to “all Americans” by early April, according to US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. 

“By the end of January, enough vaccine for all of our seniors as well as our health care workers and first responders,” Azar said in an interview Thursday with “CBS This Morning’s” Anthony Mason. “By the end of March and early April – enough for all Americans.”

Azar said HHS will have enough vaccines authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration to vaccinate “our most vulnerable people” by the end of the year.

11:18 a.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Boston mayor calls suspension of in-person learning "devastating"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on CNN's "Newsroom" on October 22.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on CNN's "Newsroom" on October 22. CNN

After a rise in the coronavirus positivity rate, all Boston public schools are going remote starting today.  

The seven-day coronavirus positivity rate in the city jumped from 4.5% to 5.7% in just one week.  

“We haven’t seen that type of jump since May, quite honestly,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in an interview on CNN.

Special-needs students will be the first to go back to in-person schooling once the city gets to 5% for a two-week consecutive period, Walsh said. The city is looking into setting up at-home services for the students, he said. 

"It was devastating for me to have to close the schools yesterday," Walsh said.

“I feel sad we're at this situation. But we need people to protect themselves. We need people to wear masks, we need people to stop congregating, we need people to take this virus seriously,” he said. “…We're asking people, particularly people under the age of 30, to really look out for each other. You might not be worried about the virus, but you're impacting other people." 

11:00 a.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Portugal reports a record 3,270 new Covid-19 infections

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio

A nurse names people being tested for Covid-19 in Cascais, Portugal, on September 14.
A nurse names people being tested for Covid-19 in Cascais, Portugal, on September 14. Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images

Portuguese health authorities have reported a record 3,270 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday, the highest daily increase since the pandemic first reached the country. 

It is also more than double the highest daily increase seen at the peak of the first wave –1,516 on April 10, according to CNN records. 

Most new infections were reported in the northern part of the country where most industries are concentrated. Earlier on Thursday, three municipalities in Northern Portugal were placed in a partial lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. 

Health authorities in the country also reported an additional 16 fatalities in the past 24 hours, with the death toll from Covid-19 rising to 2,245. 

10:48 a.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Germany will require travelers from the UK to quarantine

From CNN's Christian Streib in London

Germany will require arrivals from the UK to quarantine for 14 days starting Saturday, according to guidance released Thursday by the German Missions in the United Kingdom.

Starting Saturday, Germany will classify the UK as a "COVID high-risk area," with the exception of the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.

"The United Kingdom has been strongly affected by COVID-19," according to the German Missions in the United Kingdom. "Passengers travelling from these high risk areas must therefore undergo a 14-day quarantine upon entering Germany, unless they can provide a COVID-19 test that is no older than 48 hours, or get a test done upon arrival and it is negative. Those who get a test done upon arrival, must undergo quarantine until the result has arrived."

10:44 a.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Southwest Airlines says it will sell every seat 

From CNN’s Pete Muntean and Greg Wallace 

A Southwest Airlines plane prepares to land at McCarran International Airport in Nevada on May 25.
A Southwest Airlines plane prepares to land at McCarran International Airport in Nevada on May 25. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Southwest Airlines is about to sell every seat on board its flights.

The news comes on the heels of the airline announcing record financial losses because of the pandemic.

In a Thursday earnings report, Southwest announced it will no longer limit capacity on flights starting Dec. 1. The change marks an end to Southwest’s pandemic policy and allows it the opportunity to fill planes through the typically busy holiday travel season.

“This practice of effectively keeping middle seats open bridged us from the early days of the pandemic, when we had little knowledge about the behavior of the virus, to now,” Southwest said. “Today, aligned with science-based findings from trusted medical and aviation organizations, we will resume selling all available seats for travel beginning December 1, 2020.”

That leaves Delta Air Lines as the final remaining big four carrier to limit capacity in aircraft cabins. Executives have said that policy will continue until next year. United Airlines and American Airlines have been selling every seat for months.

Alaska Airlines announced Thursday it will extend its policy of blocking middle seats until Jan. 6.

recently-released Defense Department study found that among mask-wearing airplane passengers, the risk of airborne droplet transmission in airplanes is limited due to specialized air flow and filtration systems.