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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1:10 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

CDC to roll out cell phone-based monitoring system for Covid-19 vaccine recipients

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Once a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to monitor vaccine recipients for any health problems through text messages and online surveys, as part of a new program called V-SAFE.

"V-SAFE is a new cell phone-based active surveillance program for Covid-19," Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC's Immunization Safety Office, said during a US Food and Drug Administration open meeting on Thursday.

Through V-SAFE, which stands for "vaccine safety assessment for essential workers," health checks can be conducted via text messages and email. This would happen daily in the first week after a person receives the vaccine, and then weekly thereafter for six weeks, according to the CDC's website.

If a vaccine recipient reports any adverse events, the program will help submit a report to the US Department of Health and Human Services' Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System or VAERS.

"It includes active telephone follow-up," Shimabukuro said. It’s a more active way to monitor for adverse events, instead of merely waiting for patients to report them.

Thursday's open meeting was held to discuss the development, authorization and licensure of Covid-19 vaccines in the United States.

12:43 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Massachusetts governor announces $774 million economic recovery plan 

From CNN's Gregory Lemos  

Pool/WCVB
Pool/WCVB

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday the advancement of a $774 million economic recovery plan intended to offer relief to the battered state economy.  

"The plan we believe can help stabilize, in many parts of the Commonwealth, growth that's already started to take place, and hopefully kick-start it in other parts of the states as well," Baker said at a news conference.

While Baker acknowledged the state's offering cannot compare with the size and scope of a federal aid package, he said it seems unlikely, and "we certainly don't believe we can wait."  

Baker said the funds will be invested to get people back to work, assist small businesses, revitalize main streets, foster innovation, and promote housing equity through the state's eviction relief program.  

Baker said there is about $115 million available right away for small businesses and workforce development and an additional $25 million that will be deployed to get people back to work.   

Highlighting their importance to the state's economy, Baker said in 2019, small businesses employed 1.5 million workers and accounted for 45% of the workforce. The initial funds will be deployed to give small businesses capital and technical support through a grant program. Baker said the state will also be offering help to the workforce through reskilling or skilling up.

12:20 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

UK rolling out Covid-19 tests to deliver results in "minutes" to schools and universities

From CNN’s Katharina Krebs and Lauren Kent

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a press conference on October 22.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a press conference on October 22. Pool

 

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Thursday that Britain has begun the roll out of "lateral-flow" tests to schools and universities.

He said the test kits do not require a lab or machine and deliver results within “minutes.” Hancock said that millions of these tests have been purchased and they aim to reduce the disruption that virus control measures create. 

"If we can deliver a mass testing solution so pupils in a bubble don't have to isolate for a fortnight when one in a bubble tests positive, we will not only help control the spread of the virus, we will protect education better and help students and teachers and parents to live their lives much closer to normal," Hancock said.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated at a news conference on Thursday that the UK does not wish to implement another national lockdown and will continue with its regional approach.

Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, said "in some areas” the growth of the virus “has slowed down a bit."

“But overall this is growing, continues to grow, R is above 1 and therefore we should expect to see bigger numbers," Vallance added.

He highlighted England’s northwest, northeast, Yorkshire and Midlands as having the “highest number of people in hospital” but added there is “some possibility of beginning to see a decrease in the rate of increase due to the measures that people are taking."

"London is increasing but at a lower level," Vallance said.

12:25 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Indian officials pledge to provide free Covid-19 vaccines to two states

From CNN’s Manveena Suri

A health worker in an auto-rickshaw collects a swab sample for a coronavirus test outside a commercial centre in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, on September 12.
A health worker in an auto-rickshaw collects a swab sample for a coronavirus test outside a commercial centre in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, on September 12. Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images

The chief minister of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has pledged to provide free Covid-19 vaccines to residents of the state, once a vaccine is available.

“The government of Tamil Nadu will always protect its people in the crusade against coronavirus, which is threatening the world. All people will be vaccinated free of charge once the vaccine has been discovered. The life of every single person of Tamil Nadu is important to the state,” Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said in a tweet on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made similar remarks when speaking at the manifesto launch of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in the eastern state of Bihar, which holds state elections on Oct. 28.

“As and when the vaccine candidates that are currently under various levels of trials in the country get scientific clearances and a go-ahead for production, the people of Bihar will get vaccination for free once the production in India is on a large scale. This is our first poll promise as mentioned in the manifesto,” Sitharaman said at a news conference in Bihar’s capital Patna.

India reported at least 7,706,946 cases of Covid-19 and at least 116,616 people have died from the virus, according to the Indian health ministry.

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

Florida reports its highest daily increase of Covid-19 cases in two months 

From CNN's Tina Burnside 

The Florida Department of Health is reporting 5,557 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, the highest single daily increase in more than two months, according to the department's data.

The last time the state of Florida reported more than 5,000 cases was on Aug. 14 when the state recorded more than 6,300 Covid-19 cases. 

On Thursday, Florida recorded 57 additional deaths, bringing the statewide total to 16,470. 

To date, Florida has recorded a total of 768,091 Covid-19 cases, including resident and non-resident infections. 

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.

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.