October 27 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Ivana Kottasová, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 2:23 a.m. ET, October 28, 2020
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6:21 a.m. ET, October 27, 2020

In just a week, the fall coronavirus surge added nearly half a million cases to the US total

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe and Jen Christensen

Motorists line up for Covid-19 tests at the University of Texas El Paso on October 23.
Motorists line up for Covid-19 tests at the University of Texas El Paso on October 23. Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

In just one week, the fall surge in United States Covid-19 infections added nearly half a million cases to the national total.

Since October 20, 489,769 new cases have been reported, bringing the US total to more than 8.7 million reported cases since the pandemic began. And the week has been marked by daunting coronavirus records and upticks.

The fall resurgence has led some local and state officials to rein in their reopening plans, as hospitalization numbers increase and states report case records. Building on already high case counts, health experts have warned this rise could be worse than any the US has seen before.

"We've never really had waves in the sense of up and then down to a good baseline," Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday in a Yahoo Finance Interview. "It's been up and wavering up and down, until now we're at the highest baseline we've ever been -- which is really quite precarious."

At 69,967 new cases per day, the seven-day average of new cases is at the highest levels since the pandemic began, with the national death toll rising to 225,720, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

And state numbers are worrisome too: 37 States are reporting 10% more new cases compared to last week, and 21 states saw their highest seven-day averages on Sunday.

Read more about how coronavirus is impacting the US:

6:16 a.m. ET, October 27, 2020

Russia imposes a nationwide mask mandate in new set of coronavirus restrictions 

From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina in Moscow

Passengers wear face masks at a metro station in Moscow, Russia, on October 23.
Passengers wear face masks at a metro station in Moscow, Russia, on October 23. Evgeny Odinokov/Sputnik/AP

Russia is introducing a nationwide mask mandate starting Wednesday as daily increases in Covid-19 cases remain high.

According to a decree published by Russia’s health and consumer rights regulator, Rospotrebnadzor, on Tuesday, citizens across the country must wear masks in public spaces, public transport, parking lots and elevators.

Rospotrebnadzor is also limiting opening hours for “entertainment venues,” including bars and restaurants, which will only be able to open between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.

On Tuesday, Russia reported 16,550 Covid-19 cases and its highest number of deaths within a 24-hour period, with 320 fatalities.

4:04 a.m. ET, October 27, 2020

Analysis: Trump takes Supreme Court victory lap while deceiving nation over worsening pandemic

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

President Donald Trump applauds new Supreme Court Associate Justice Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she was sworn-in during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 26.
President Donald Trump applauds new Supreme Court Associate Justice Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she was sworn-in during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 26. Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Sipa USA

President Donald Trump claimed a place in history Monday when Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation secured a dominant conservative majority on the Supreme Court, but the pomp of his victory lap could not disguise the reality of a pandemic that has placed his presidency in deep peril a week before the election.

A glittering ceremony on a crisp fall night at the White House carried deep political overtones that will only exacerbate the fury of Democrats who feel Republican maneuvering stole two Supreme Court seats. It will also inexorably drag the court further into toxic political combat that has already tainted its reputation for non-partisanship.

The event went ahead despite another Covid-19 hotspot in the White House, this time with Vice President Mike Pence's staff. It framed Trump, smiling, alongside a new justice beholden to him for a lifetime appointment after the President warned he may contest an election he has already declared unfair in the Supreme Court.

The next week or so will tell whether the party at the White House was a valedictory moment of glory for a President heading into the wilderness or heralds a much bigger celebration for a second White House term next week.

The ceremony came at the end of a day in which Trump swept through Pennsylvania -- the key swing state that could be the kingmaker in the event of a close election in which he is currently trailing Democrat Joe Biden on the electoral map.

He only mentioned the pandemic to mislead the country about the fast worsening emergency that has killed 225,000 Americans, as hospitals fill up and many states mark their highest new caseloads. He hopes his pageantry alongside Barrett on Monday night will motivate conservatives and spark a huge base turnout, though it could also provide more moderate voters, especially women, with another reason to spurn him.

Read the full analysis:

3:34 a.m. ET, October 27, 2020

Half of all US adults say colleges that brought students back to campus made the right decision, study finds

From CNN's Simret Aklilu

Students walk through the campus at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, on August 24.
Students walk through the campus at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, on August 24. Cheney Orr/Bloomberg/Getty Images

As US colleges and universities deal with coronavirus outbreaks, the question of whether these institutions made the right decision in bringing students back on campus continues to be a topic of national conversation.

Now, a new report from the Pew Research Center is shedding light on how some Americans feel about this issue.

About 50% of adults said that it was the right decision to bring students back for in-person instruction while 48% said it was the wrong decision, according to the survey, which was published on Monday.

The survey also found that there were deep partisan divides among respondents, with 74% of Republicans and Republican leaners were more likely to say that bringing students back was the right course of action compared to 29% of Democrats and Democratic leaners.

Overall, the American public continues to have negative views of how colleges and universities are doing these days -- similar to 2018 trends, according to Pew.

This year, 56% of Americans expressed that higher education was going in the wrong direction compared to the 41% who said it was going in the right direction, according to the survey.

Read the full story:

2:46 a.m. ET, October 27, 2020

India sees another drop in new Covid-19 cases, reports lower daily count than US 

From CNN's Manveena Suri in New Delhi and Chandler Thornton in Hong Kong

India on Tuesday reported 36,470 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, its lowest increase since July 17.

This marks the ninth consecutive day the country has reported fewer than 60,000 new cases. 

In contrast, the United States reported 66,784 new cases in the past 24 hours, nearly double India's daily count.

India's total number of confirmed cases now stands at 7,946,429, according to the health ministry, of which 90% have recovered.

The country’s death toll stands at 119,502, up 488 from the previous day.

India saw its highest daily increase on September 17, when it reported 97,894 new cases -- the biggest global rise reported in a single day.

Reopening phase: The recent drop comes as the country began lifting coronavirus restrictions last month.

On September 1, India began "Unlock 4.” Metro travel was allowed to restart from September 7, and the limit on social gatherings in enclosed spaces was raised to a maximum of 200 people from October 15.

Since October 15, schools and other educational institutes in several parts of the country such as Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have also reopened in a graded manner.  

The decision on what and when to reopen is made by state governments.

##Reopening

2:11 a.m. ET, October 27, 2020

Giving up control of the virus is dangerous, WHO Director General says

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a daily press briefing on Covid-19 virus at the WHO headquaters in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 9.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a daily press briefing on Covid-19 virus at the WHO headquaters in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 9. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said giving up on control of the coronavirus is dangerous and called for an end to the politicization of Covid-19 at a news briefing in Geneva on Monday.

“Science continues to tell us the truth about this virus, how to contain it, suppress it and stop it from returning and how to save lives among those it reaches,” Tedros said.  

Many countries and cities have followed the science, he said, and been able to suppress the virus and minimize deaths. "Quick and deliberate leadership helps to suppress it,” he said.  

"What will save lives is science, solutions and solidarity," Tedros said. 

On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN the US is "not going to control" the coronavirus pandemic. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas," Meadows told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union."  

Tedros said countries can do both and pointed out that many European nations have done so.

“We should not give up and that’s why we are saying -- although we agree with the Chief of Staff that ... protecting the vulnerable is important,” Tedros said.

“But giving up on control is dangerous and control should also be part of the strategy,” Tedros added. Governments and citizens should both do their share, otherwise “this virus is dangerous. If it’s let go freely, it can create havoc,” he said. 

This is especially the case when there isn’t a vaccine or therapeutics at hand, Tedros said.

2:23 a.m. ET, October 28, 2020

US reports more than 66,700 Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Joe Sutton

The United States reported 66,784 new Covid-19 cases and 477 deaths on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

There are now at least 8,702,750 reported Covid-19 infections and at least 225,706 people have died from the virus in the country.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

The US is reporting the most number of cases the country has seen to date. The seven-day average of daily new cases reached an all-time high of 68,767 on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The previous record of 67,293 was set July 22.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Monday that the country is facing another cycle of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it may be the hardest yet.

"I think we're right now at the cusp of what's going to be exponential spread in parts of the country," Gottlieb said on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Read more on the US' coronavirus surge:

1:15 a.m. ET, October 27, 2020

Analysis: The feared pre-election Covid surge is here

Analysis from CNN's Zachary B. Wolf

A Covid-19 state drive-through testing site is seen at the University of Texas at El Paso, on October 26.
A Covid-19 state drive-through testing site is seen at the University of Texas at El Paso, on October 26. Briana Sanchez/El Paso Times/Imagn/USA Today

It's E-7 to the Covid election. There are staggering numbers to report on both American voters and American Covid patients as the country hurtles toward an election and into a Covid surge.

Covid infections, 7-day average: 68,767. It's the most infections the US has ever had in that time period. Full stats.

Frightening state-specific Covid stories: 

Utah ICUs may have to ration care.

In El Paso, they're moving Covid patients to a children's hospital after calling for additional refrigeration at morgues.

The spike in infections is not from testing -- Trump continues to say (like he did in Pennsylvania today) the spike is because of increased testing. That's either a lie or ignorance. How could it be ignorance at this point? CNN's fact check here.

Stunning admission -- White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said on CNN's State of the Union the White House isn't even trying to contain Covid at this point. They're just waiting for a vaccine. Watch it.

Mandate masks - First Dr. Anthony Fauci over the weekend and now former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb have called for more consideration of a national mask mandate

Vaccine timeline -- Expect a vaccine in December, but no wide availability 'til next spring. That's been a pretty consistent guess from experts.

Political timeline -- Reminder: President Donald Trump will be in office for more than two months after Election Day so, regardless of what voters choose, there's unlikely to be forceful Covid leadership at the national level during this fall surge.

So will it be a mandate for masks or a mandate against requiring them? We'll see.

Read the full analysis:

12:33 a.m. ET, October 27, 2020

Victoria Premier urges vigilance: "When you let your guard down, this virus will take advantage of you"

From CNN's Angus Watson and Chandler Thornton

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews leaves after speaking at a news conference on October 26, in Melbourne, Australia.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews leaves after speaking at a news conference on October 26, in Melbourne, Australia. Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images

The premier of Australia's Victoria state is calling on residents to remain vigilant as the state eases coronavirus restrictions.

Victoria reported no new Covid-19 cases and deaths for the second consecutive day on Tuesday.

When you let your guard down, this virus will take advantage of you," Daniel Andrews said in a news conference Tuesday.

"It's based on where we've come from and where we are now, and the fact that there's always more virus out there than you know. Because not everybody gets tested. And not everybody who does get tested gets tested as quickly as they should," Andrews added.

Tuesday is the first time since March 5 and 6 that the state has reported no new cases for two days in a row, the premier said.

"Masks are an important part of this now. They won't be there forever. They are uncomfortable. It's not a permanent setting, but it will be there for so long as the health team are really clear with us that this does play a role," Andrews said.

People in Melbourne will be allowed to leave their homes but will be restricted to a 25 kilometer (15 mile) limit and only visiting other households once per day.

Two adults can visit another home with children as dependents, Andrews added.