The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Zamira Rahim, Vasco Cotovio, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 1:52 a.m. ET, October 31, 2020
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5:10 p.m. ET, October 30, 2020

Florida becomes third state to surpass 800,000 total Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Haley Brink

Florida has surpassed 800,000 total Covid-19 cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University Covid-19 dashboard, becoming the third state in the US to surpass this mark, behind California and Texas.

There are 5,114 new cases and 72 additional deaths reported so far on Friday, for a total of 800,216 confirmed cases and 16,720 total deaths statewide, according to the dashboard.

California currently has 925,711 total cases and Texas has 920,024 total cases.

4:35 p.m. ET, October 30, 2020

Belgium will go back into lockdown on Sunday night

From CNN's James Frater and Barbara Wojazer

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo gives a press conference in Brussels on October 30.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo gives a press conference in Brussels on October 30. Philip Renaers/Belga/AFP/Getty Images

Against sharply rising coronavirus infections, hospital admissions and deaths, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced Friday that strict new lockdown measures will be imposed on the country for six weeks starting Sunday night.

“There is only one choice, and that is for all of us to support our healthcare sector as much as we can. We have to limit our physical contacts as much as possible," De Croo said at a news conference. "We are going back into a strict lockdown, which has only one purpose: to ensure that our healthcare system does not collapse."

The measures are Belgium’s “last chance if we want to bring this curve down,” he added. They will take effect on Sunday night and will remain in place until Dec. 13.

The new lockdown measures include:

  • Closure of all non-essential stores, but home delivery and collections are allowed.
  • Supermarkets and grocery stores will remain open and De Croo emphasized that “there is no reason to hoard.”
  • Non-medical professions that require close contact such as hairdressers, barbers or beauticians will be forced to close.
  •  Working from home will remain mandatory for those that are able to. Where it’s not possible, masks or ventilation will be mandatory, it these rules are applied then people can continue to work in the office.
  • School holidays will be extended until Nov. 15.
4:16 p.m. ET, October 30, 2020

Hospitalizations from Covid-19 increase across Missouri

From CNN's Kay Jones

Hospitalizations for Covid-19 continue to rise in Missouri, according to the state's Covid-19 dashboard.

The latest dashboard showed 1,612 patients are hospitalized due to the virus with the seven-day average at 1,503. The latest charts showed that 42% of the state's hospital beds are currently available. 

The latest numbers released by the state show 13,158 new positive cases reported this week, for a daily average of 1,880. There are now 180,200 total cases statewide. 

Missouri Health and Senior Services reported 98 deaths over the past seven days, bringing the state's total to 2,925.

To note: These numbers were released by the Missouri Health and Senior Services and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

4:32 p.m. ET, October 30, 2020

US surpasses 9 million coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Haley Brink

Salt Lake County Health Department public health nurse Lee Cherie Booth performs a coronavirus test outside the Salt Lake County Health Department on October 23 in Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake County Health Department public health nurse Lee Cherie Booth performs a coronavirus test outside the Salt Lake County Health Department on October 23 in Salt Lake City. Rick Bowmer/AP

There have been at least 9,007,298 cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 229,293 people have died in the country from coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

This is the fastest the United States has added one million new cases since the pandemic began. 

Here's a look at the progression of cases:

  • Johns Hopkins recorded the first case of coronavirus in the United States on Jan. 21. 
  • 98 days later, on April 28, the US hit 1 million cases
  • 44 days later, on June 11, the US hit 2 million cases
  • 27 days later, on July 8, the US hit 3 million cases
  • 15 days later, on July 23, the US hit 4 million cases
  • 17 days later, on Aug. 9, the US hit 5 million cases
  • 22 days later, on Aug. 31, the US hit 6 million cases
  • 25 days later, on Sept. 25, the US hit 7 million cases
  • 21 days later on Oct. 16, the US hit 8 million cases
  • 14 days later, today, the US hit 9 million cases

 Seven other countries in the world have reported more than 1 million total Covid-19 cases:

  • India has more than 8 million total cases
  • Brazil has more than 5 million total cases
  • Russia, France, Spain, Argentina and Colombia have more than 1 million total cases


3:52 p.m. ET, October 30, 2020

San Francisco pauses planned reopening due to increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations

From CNN's Sarah Moon

A pedestrian passes a boarded up entrance to the Omni San Francisco Hotel on October 21 in San Francisco, California.
A pedestrian passes a boarded up entrance to the Omni San Francisco Hotel on October 21 in San Francisco, California. Noah Berger/AP

San Francisco will temporarily pause the planned reopening of some businesses and activities due to a recent increase of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Mayor London Breed announced in a briefing on Friday.

“We are starting to see a slight uptick in the number of hospitalizations, which puts us in a situation where things could possibly get worse than what they are,” Breed said. “As a result of some changes that we’ve seen in the numbers, what we will have to do as a result is put a pause on some of our reopening efforts that we have planned for next week.”

In a press release, city officials said the reopening pause was due to an uptick of cases and hospitalizations in San Francisco following an increase in cases across the state and nation.

“Today is not unexpected with regard to our pause in reopening,” San Francisco Department of Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said. “As our activity increased, we realize, we know, we expected an increase in infections was likely.”

Colfax added that “this increase is a cause for concern.”

“We want to pause on increasing the capacity of riskier activities because we do not want the virus to get too far ahead of us,” Colfaxm said.

The pause means that the indoor capacity for businesses will remain at 25%, according to Breed. The city had planned to expand the capacity for some indoor businesses to 50% starting next week.

2:41 p.m. ET, October 30, 2020

Herd immunity would entail "so much suffering and death," Fauci says

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

Reaching natural herd immunity in the United states would mean “so much suffering and death in the country, it would be unacceptable,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told SirusXM’s Doctor Radio Reports on Friday.

“We only have 10% or a little bit more of the population that has already been infected, and we have 225,000 deaths,” Fauci said. “If you want to get to a 75% protection, just multiply that and you see how many deaths you have to have to have herd immunity through natural infection.” 

“What you need is a combination of a heavy, heavy element of vaccine-induced protection, together with the protection that those who unfortunately have already been infected have,” Fauci said. “That’s the reason why a vaccine is so important in a much safer approach towards herd immunity.”

Fauci also discussed the importance of “equitable” vaccine distribution.

“Obviously the first ones are going to be health care providers, but then also we're going to have people who are frontline essential workers, and then those who are vulnerable – people with underlying conditions,” Fauci said.

“We know from painful experience with this pandemic that our minority populations, our Latinx and our African Americans, are especially vulnerable because of the prevalence of their underlying conditions,” he said. “You’ve got to access them and get them to be vaccinated, when we get a safe and effective vaccine.”


2:54 p.m. ET, October 30, 2020

MLS club halts all in-person activities following third player testing positive for Covid-19

From CNN’s Cesar Marin

General view of the Banc of California Stadium before the game between the Los Angeles Football Club and the Houston Dynamo on October 28 in Los Angeles, California.
General view of the Banc of California Stadium before the game between the Los Angeles Football Club and the Houston Dynamo on October 28 in Los Angeles, California. Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Football Club revealed on Friday two additional players have tested positive for Covid-19. LAFC now has three players who have tested positive for the virus.

In a Friday statement, the team said the two additional positive tests followed the club’s win over the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, a victory that assured LAFC a spot in the MLS playoffs. 

For precautionary reasons, the club has canceled all in-person activities until further notice.

All three players are self-isolating and are being treated by the team’s medical staff.

Covid-19 had disrupted the MLS season as multiple teams will not be able to play the full 23 games as scheduled. For this reason, qualification for the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs will be determined by points-per-game rather than regular season standings.

12:10 p.m. ET, October 30, 2020

New York City cases trending down heading into Halloween, mayor says

From CNN’s Jonathan Kubiak

A woman wearing a mask looks up at an Upper West Side home decorated for Halloween on October 28 in New York City.
A woman wearing a mask looks up at an Upper West Side home decorated for Halloween on October 28 in New York City. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that the city’s daily Covid-19 case count is better than it was the day prior.

There were 68 new hospital admissions, down from 81 the day before and of these admissions, there was a positivity rate of 18.9% compared to 26% on the prior day. 

New York City also has 514 new cases, down from 532 reported Thursday. This represents a 1.75% overall positivity rate, which is down from what de Blasio called a “striking” figure of 2.7% positive yesterday.

As there is some variation to be expected from day-to-day case counts, the mayor emphasized the importance of the seven-day rolling average in determining spread. This seven-day rate is currently at 1.87%.

Speaking on "The Brian Lehrer Show" on WNYC, de Blasio said that stopping a second wave will “take a lot of discipline and recognizing that we cannot do a lot of the things that we would like to do in the short term but we have to hold the line."

The mayor warned against indoor gatherings for Halloween, urging New Yorkers to wear masks over costumes, stay in small groups, and socially distance during holiday festivities.

11:53 a.m. ET, October 30, 2020

FDA in “early stages” of considering whether to use expanded access to distribute potential Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

The US Food and Drug Administration is in the "early stages" of looking into whether expanded access — a regulatory pathway typically used for investigational drugs — could be used as a way to make a potential Covid-19 vaccine available to the public, an FDA official said on Friday.

"We're still in early stages of considering whether this would be an appropriate mechanism," Dr. Doran Fink, deputy director of the FDA's division of vaccine and related products applications, said during a virtual meeting of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Friday.

Among the regulatory pathways for making a potential Covid-19 vaccine available, emergency use authorization has been the most discussed so far.

"Emergency use authorization is one of those mechanisms and is dependent upon declaration of a public health emergency, which is the situation we're currently in with Covid-19. Expanded access does not require the declaration of a public health emergency but it does have additional requirements for use," Fink said on Friday. "Expanded access is not an approval process."

Some background: If expanded access were to be considered for a potential Covid-19 vaccine, the vaccine manufacturer would need to have an active "investigational new drug" application on file with the FDA. Then the manufacturer would need to "submit a protocol for use of the vaccine under expanded access regulations and would work potentially with public government agencies" to organize and implement the expanded access protocol, Fink said.

Expanded access has been used before for vaccines, Fink added, just not on the massive scale that would be needed for a potential Covid-19 vaccine.

"We do have recent examples of expanded access treatment protocols that have been used to provide vaccine to thousands of individuals or tens of thousands of individuals," Fink said. "One example was to address meningococcal B disease outbreak on several college campuses prior to FDA licensure of meningococcal vaccines, and then more recently, there's been an expanded access protocol for use of non-US-licensed yellow fever vaccine."