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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10:57 p.m. ET, October 21, 2020

The UK reported a highest single-day increase in new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday

From CNN’s Sarah Dean in London

The United Kingdom recorded 26,688 new coronavirus infections in 24 hours, according to the government's Covid-19 dashboard Wednesday -- the highest daily increase in cases since the pandemic began.

A total of nearly 790,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease in the UK.

Authorities also reported 191 new Covid-19 fatalities on Wednesday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 58,164.

The UK is currently one of many European countries battling a second wave of the pandemic, and it appears to be among the hardest hit. The higher numbers also may be due to the fact that more testing is being carried out now compared to the first wave of the pandemic in the UK. 

10:18 p.m. ET, October 21, 2020

Spain has now surpassed 1 million Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Claudia Rebaza in London

Spain topped 1 million Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, according to data released by the country’s Health Ministry.

Spanish authorities say a total of 1,005,295 of Covid-19 cases have now been diagnosed since the pandemic began. At least 34,366 people have died.

Another 16,973 new cases and 156 deaths were added to the tally Tuesday.

CNN is tracking worldwide cases:

10:12 p.m. ET, October 21, 2020

A Covid-19 vaccine should be available in "next couple of months," NIH director says

From CNN Health’s Shelby Lin Erdman

The United States should have a viable vaccine against the coronavirus in the “next couple of months,” Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said Wednesday.

Collins said it’s “truly breathtaking” that a Covid-19 vaccine will have been developed in under a year given that it can take a decade to create a successful vaccine. 

“We are on the path towards having, I believe, a very good likelihood, and within the next couple of months of having at least one vaccine directed against SARS CoV-2 that will be found to be safe and effective in Phase 3 trials of tens of thousands of individuals,” Collins said during the closing session of the Milken Institute 2020 Global Conference, which is sponsored by the former banker Michael Milken’s think tank.

Collins told the Milken panel that the development of therapeutics for Covid-19 is also moving along. Some of those include the antiviral drugs remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone, both of which were used to treat President Donald Trump after he was diagnosed with Covid-19.

11:18 p.m. ET, October 21, 2020

Ireland imposes strictest coronavirus lockdown in Europe  

From CNN’s Maria Fleet in Atlanta

A pedestrian wearing a face mask walks past a pub in Dublin on October 19.
A pedestrian wearing a face mask walks past a pub in Dublin on October 19. Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Ireland has now moved to “Level 5” measures — in what is now Europe’s strictest coronavirus lockdown. 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the restrictions on Monday when the country’s case count topped 50,000. The restrictions are set to be in place for six weeks to deal with the “deteriorating situation with the disease across the country.”  

Martin tweeted late Wednesday, “This evening, as we think about the next six weeks of increased restrictions at Level 5, we just need to remember that we are doing this to protect our families and the most vulnerable in our communities. We will come through it and we will see each other again. #LockdownEve.”

Under the new measures, people are asked to work from home, unless providing an essential service. Social gatherings at homes and gardens are prohibited, but people will be allowed to exercise in parks close their homes. Schools, childcare services and “essential retail” services will remain open under the restrictions. Bars and restaurants are allowed to be open only for take-away and delivery service during the period.   

Ireland recorded an increase of nearly 2,000 new cases last week over the week before, prompting the government to impose the stringent measures.


8:57 p.m. ET, October 21, 2020

Covid-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in several states, and Wisconsin is now using an overflow facility

From CNN's Steve Almasy, Christina Maxouris and Jason Hanna

With the number of people with Covid-19 being admitted to hospitals rising, several states are looking at their supply of beds.

On Wednesday, an overflow medical facility set up at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis received its first patient.

"We are thankful to have this facility available to Wisconsinites and our hospitals, but also saddened that this is where Wisconsin is at today," Gov. Tony Evers said. "Folks, please stay home. Help us protect our communities from this highly contagious virus and avoid further strain on our hospitals."

The facility will take patients who meet specific criteria, and doctors and nurses there can give remdesivir and oxygen treatment, according to the governor's statement.

The seven-day average for the number of people in the hospital has risen from 749 two weeks ago to 1,098 as of Tuesday, according to data from the state health department.

Wisconsin is not alone in rising numbers. Over the past two weeks, 42 states have seen hospitalizations increase by more than 5%, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

Ten states recorded their highest number of Covid-19 hospitalizations Tuesday: Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin, according to the researchers.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said Wednesday the hospitalizations in his state are rising and still disproportionately affecting elderly residents and those at long-term care facilities.

He said the state will use National Guard troops to work with staff members at those facilities to help them do things such as screen employees and administer tests "so that the facility staff members can rightly focus on what they do best and that's caring directly for the residents."

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