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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5:00 a.m. ET, October 30, 2020

US coronavirus cases hit record daily high and experts warn daily death rates will triple by mid-January

From CNN's Susannah Cullinane

Daily Covid-19 cases in the US reached a record high on Thursday, with experts warning that death rates could triple by mid-January.

There were 88,521 new cases of the coronavirus reported in the US on October 29, according to data from Johns Hopkins University -- 9,540 more cases than Wednesday.

In total, there have been 8,944,934 cases and at least 228,656 deaths in the US -- 971 of them on Thursday, JHU data shows.

"This is the hardest point in this pandemic right now -- the next two months," Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said during an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday. "We can't give up our guard right now."

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine says it is most likely that by the middle of January, 2,250 Americans will be dying every day from the coronavirus -- three times more than the current rate.

And it could get much worse.

"If states do not react to rising numbers by re-imposing mandates, cumulative deaths could reach 514,000 by the same date," the IHME said in its latest forecast.

"The fall/winter surge should lead to a daily death toll that is approximately three times higher than now by mid-January. Hospital systems, particularly ICUs, are expected to be under extreme stress in December and January in 18 states."

And hospitals are already under increased strain. As of Thursday, more than 46,000 people were hospitalized, according to the Covid Tracking Project, with all but 11 states seeing a rise in hospitalizations this week.

Read the full story:

5:01 a.m. ET, October 30, 2020

France's economy bounced back in the third quarter

From CNN's Chris Liakos

Parisians enjoy warm weather and outdoor seating at busy cafes and restaurants in Paris, on September 13.
Parisians enjoy warm weather and outdoor seating at busy cafes and restaurants in Paris, on September 13. Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

France’s economy grew 18.2% in the third quarter, stronger than expected after a 13.7% contraction in the second quarter and a recession in the first half of the year, according to the French national statistics agency INSEE.

The jump in economic activity reflects the lifting of coronavirus restrictions in July to September. The French economy was boosted by a sharp rebound in consumer spending. 

But risks remain: France is still far from a full recovery and as the country enters a fresh national lockdown today, there are renewed fears over the country's economic recovery. INSEE said that the economy is still well below the pre-crisis level, shrinking 4.3% year on year. 

Francois Villeroy de Galhau, the Bank of France governor, said on Thursday said that he expects the coronavirus second wave “will trigger another drop in the fourth quarter, though hopefully one that is less severe.”

4:55 a.m. ET, October 30, 2020

Russia reports highest daily jump in new cases

From CNN's Anna Chernova in Moscow 

Medical personnel work at the Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Center, which has been converted into a field hospital for coronavirus patients, in Moscow, Russia, on October 29.
Medical personnel work at the Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Center, which has been converted into a field hospital for coronavirus patients, in Moscow, Russia, on October 29.

Russia reported 18,283 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, the highest single-day increase in infections since the pandemic began. It also reported 355 new virus-related deaths.

The previous daily record had been on Thursday, according to the country’s coronavirus response center.

Friday's figures bring Russia's total to 1,599,976 cases and 27,656 deaths.

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

About 20% of grocery store workers had Covid-19, and most didn't have symptoms, study found

From CNN's Jen Christensen

Grocery store work puts employees at serious risk for infection, a new study found, particularly those who have to interact with customers.

These workers likely became a "significant transmission source" for Covid-19 without even knowing it because most in the study were asymptomatic.

The analysis, published Thursday in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, is the first to demonstrate the significant asymptomatic infection rate, exposure risks and psychological distress grocery workers have felt during the pandemic.

In the study, 20% of the 104 grocery workers tested at a store in Boston in May had positive nasal swab tests.

This was a significantly higher rate of infection than what was seen in the surrounding communities, the researchers said. Workers who dealt with customers were five times as likely to test positive for Covid-19 as colleagues in other positions.

But three out of four of those who tested positive had no symptoms.

Read more:

3:21 a.m. ET, October 30, 2020

Coronavirus fail: How one summer camp's freewheeling approach led to 118 cases

From CNN's Virginia Langmaid and Maggie Fox

Here's what not to do at summer camp.

A single Covid-19 positive camper set off a chain of infection that reached more than three-quarters of students, counselors and staffers at a faith-based retreat in Wisconsin over the summer, health officials reported Thursday.

Camp organizers had tried to prevent just such a superspreading by requiring proof of immunity -- an effort that failed completely, Wisconsin health officials reported in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly health report, the MMWR.

The 152 high school-aged boys from 21 states and territories and foreign countries, counselors and staff were asked to produce negative Covid-19 tests or proof they had been infected and recovered; to self-quarantine at home for a week before traveling to the camp; and to wear masks while traveling.

Once there, the camp organizers seemed to feel free to let the boys loose.

"At the retreat, students and counselors were not required to wear masks or social distance, and students mixed freely. Classes were held in outdoor pavilions with approximately 20 students per class seated less than 6 feet apart at tables," the team, led by Ian Pray of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, wrote.
"Beds in dormitory rooms and yurts were tightly spaced with three to four sets of bunks each, shared bathrooms, and shared common areas."

By the second week of the camp, 24 students were displaying symptoms, and two had tested positive for Covid-19. Still, camp staff did little to contain the spread.

Read more:

2:42 a.m. ET, October 30, 2020

Global Covid-19 cases surpass 45 million 

More than 45 million Covid-19 cases have been recorded worldwide since the pandemic began, according to a tally by John Hopkins University. 

As of Friday, the global total stands at 45,029,008 cases and 1,181,075 virus-related deaths.

CNN is tracking global cases:

4:25 a.m. ET, October 30, 2020

Germany reports record new Covid-19 case numbers for a third straight day

From CNN's Fred Pleitgen in Berlin

Cars line up at the coronavirus testing drive-in station at Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart, Germany, on October 13, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Cars line up at the coronavirus testing drive-in station at Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart, Germany, on October 13, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Thomas Kienzle/AFP/Getty Images

Germany on Friday reported 18,681 new Covid-19 infections in 24 hours, according to the country’s disease control and prevention agency, the Robert Koch Institute.

That marks a fresh highest single-day jump in cases for the third day in a row. The previous highest number had been 16,774 new cases, reported on Thursday.

Germany has now confirmed 499,694 cases and 10,349 virus-related deaths, according to RKI.

2:24 a.m. ET, October 30, 2020

Many counties that hosted Trump rallies had a significant increase in Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Nadia Kounang

A CNN investigation of 17 Trump campaign rallies finds that 14 of the host counties -- 82% of them -- had an increased rate of new Covid-19 cases one month after the rally.

The 17 rallies occurred between August 17 and September 26. CNN evaluated the rate of new daily cases per 100,000 residents at four weeks before the rally, on the rally date, and four weeks after the rally at the county level and at the state level.

Of the 14 host counties that had increased infection rates, eight of the counties had declining rates of infection in the month before the rally. The other six counties already had increasing rates of infection in that preceding month.

CNN's analysis also found that in 10 counties, the new rates of infection were growing faster than the overall rate for the state.

Read more:

1:54 a.m. ET, October 30, 2020

Japan eases travel restrictions for China and 8 other locations

From CNN’s Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo and Sophie Jeong in Hong Kong

Japan eased travel restrictions for China and eight other countries and regions on Friday, according to a news release from the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Japan lowered its travel risk advisory level for China, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand, Brunei and Vietnam from level 3 to level 2 after assessing the infection situation and movement restrictions in each location, along with business needs toward Japan’s economic recovery, according to the release.

The Foreign Ministry also raised the travel risk advisory level for Myanmar and Jordan from level 2 to level 3 on Friday.

The level 3 advisory means the public is advised to cancel any trips to those locations.

The level 2 advisory means the public is advised to avoid unnecessary, non-urgent trips.