September 3 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Amy Woodyatt, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:07 a.m. ET, September 4, 2020
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12:36 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

New York state casinos and NYC malls can reopen next week

From CNN's Brian Vitagliano

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wearing a protective mask attends during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23 in New York City.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wearing a protective mask attends during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23 in New York City. Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that casinos can reopen on Wednesday, on the condition they have enhanced air filtration systems installed.

They are allowed to have a 25% max capacity, and the capacity will be monitored at the door with the New York State gaming commission taking the lead as the enforcement agency.

Table games won’t be allowed on the casino floors unless they can figure out how to put physical barriers between players and dealers, until barriers are approved by the gaming commission, table games are not allowed, according to the governor. There will no beverage service allowed on the gaming floor. 

Shopping malls in New York City are also permitted to reopen on Wednesday with a 50% capacity, as long as they too have enhanced air filtration devices installed. Masks and social distancing will be required as well. 

Cuomo announced the state conducted 88,000 tests on Wednesday with 898 positive tests recorded, bringing the positivity rate to .99%. There were at least seven Covid-19 deaths reported on Wednesday. 

Cuomo said the Covid-19 news out of Western New York is, “not good news,” with positivity rate reaching 1.9%. 

"This is truly a serious situation and I hope the people of Western New York takes it as seriously as they should, the scale doesn’t lie in the morning," Cuomo said.
12:26 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Stocks tumble one day after hitting record high

From CNN's Anneken Tappe

The Nasdaq Composite tumbled nearly 5% and the Dow fell 700 points — or 2.6% — on Thursday

The S&P was down 3.4%.

Stocks tumbled just one day after hitting a record high. The Nasdaq had climbed above 12,000 points for the first time in history Wednesday.

So what's happening? Well for one, the Nasdaq has been outperforming the other two major stock indexes — the Dow and the S&P 500 — for months, so investors might just be taking making some adjustments after Wednesday's record highs. The Nasdaq remains up nearly 30% in 2020, far outpacing its counterparts. 

But there are also technical reasons for Thursday's decline. As US-China relations sour, investors are moving money out of tech, which could get hit the hardest from a potential increase in tariffs.

The Big Tech companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft, all of which are part of the Nasdaq, have become the safe-haven investment of the summer. But investors have beginning to wonder when the rally will run out of steam, either because of increased regulation or because the economy as a whole picks up enough to void the need for safety picks altogether.

12:11 p.m. ET, September 3, 2020

At least 100 people in Cuba have died from Covid-19

From CNN’s Patrick Oppmann in Havana

At least 100 people have died in Cuba from the coronavirus, the country's top epidemiologist said Thursday.

In a briefing, Dr. Alfredo Duran Garcia reported two new coronavirus related deaths and 88 new cases of the virus.

To date, Cuba has reported 4,214 cases of the coronavirus.

Earlier the Cuban government said the spread of the virus was under control and had begun to reopen the communist-run island. 

But after additional outbreaks in Havana, the Cuban government earlier this month shut down travel to and from the Cuban capital and instituted a nightly curfew.

11:43 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020

More than half of Ohio State's quarantine and isolation beds are in use, school says

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Ohio State University reported a total of 269 new cases of coronavirus in students on Monday, according to the most recent data available on the school’s dashboard.

The university has reported a total of at least 882 cases since mid-August, and averaged a positivity rate of 4.5% for the last week.  

The school has 165 quarantine and isolation beds left available out of a total of 414, the dashboard shows. So far, 198 isolation beds are in use, as are an additional 98 quarantine beds. 

Remember: The school updates its data for 24 hour periods when the complete testing set is available, meaning the latest reported data can lag.  

11:38 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020

CNN and "Sesame Street" to host town hall on going back to school amid the pandemic

From CNN's Melissa Mahtani

As families try to navigate going back to school during the coronavirus pandemic, "Sesame Street" and CNN are teaming up for the "The ABCs of Back to School, A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Families."

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and anchor Erica Hill will moderate the 60-minute special scheduled to air on CNN on Saturday Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. ET.

They will be joined by Sesame Street Muppets and school-aged children in a variety of learning environments, with Elmo going to preschool during the week, Big Bird in hybrid learning and Rosita fully remote. The trio will be joined by Abby Cadabby and her brother Rudy, Super Grover and other friends from Sesame Street.

Parents can send in their questions below, along with their full names and phone numbers.

11:44 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Decision to have indoor dining in NYC will be made this month, mayor says

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to reporters after visiting New Bridges Elementary School to observe pandemic-related safety procedures, in the Brooklyn borough of New York on August 19.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to reporters after visiting New Bridges Elementary School to observe pandemic-related safety procedures, in the Brooklyn borough of New York on August 19. John Minchillo/AP

A decision to have indoor dining in New York City will be made in September, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday adding that the decision could come as soon as tomorrow.

The mayor made the comment during Thursday’s Covid-19 press conference as reporters asked the mayor about a lawsuit filed by city officials to allow limited indoor dining.

“I said this week we will come to a decision in the next day and definitely in the month of September and give guidance based on all the facts and data,” de Blasio said.

11:36 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Fauci "sticks by" his encouragement to return to in-person teaching in schools, he says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Source: CNN
Source: CNN

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN's Jim Sciutto on Thursday that he "sticks by" what he has said previously about reopening schools and encouraging in-person teaching.

"Obviously it isn't all black and white. It isn't all yes or no. But in general, if you're in a situation, in a green zone, where you have a very low level of infection and test positivity then in general you can open the schools with impunity as long as you're heads up and you have a plan of knowing what to do when you see children who are infected," Fauci said on Thursday. 

"When you get into the yellow zone and the red zone, it becomes different. You have to do certain mitigations when you're in the yellow zone and in the red zone, it does become problematic," Fauci said, adding that parents and teachers with underlying conditions may have to make different decisions than those who are otherwise healthy. 

"I think you have to respect the concerns of people who have underlying conditions," Fauci said. "If someone really is concerned, you have to respect the fact that they may not want to be there — but for others who are generally healthy and don't have underlying conditions, I would encourage them to go and begin the in-person teaching."

WATCH:

11:44 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020

"We should be testing people under certain circumstances who are without symptoms," Fauci says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Source: CNN
Source: CNN

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recent update to its testing guidelines "was clearly open to misinterpretation" and people who have been exposed to Covid-19 over a prolonged period of time should get tested whether they show symptoms or not, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases, told CNN's Jim Sciutto.

The CDC last week changed its Covid-19 testing guidelines to say some people without symptoms may not need to be tested, even if they've been in close contact with someone known to have the virus. 

"The CDC has now clarified that that sentence in a vacuum, the way it read, gave the impression — which was clearly open to misinterpretation — that that means that they're not concerned about community spread and that they're not concerned about testing people who are without symptoms," Fauci said on Thursday.

 "Let's clarify that: Community spread is important. People without symptoms do spread the infection and we should be testing people under certain circumstances who are without symptoms, no doubt about that," Fauci said. "Right now certainly, if you have an actionable situation where there is an exposure that's prolonged and consistent with someone who is infected and you are without symptoms you should get tested."

WATCH:

11:28 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020

Political pressure to get a Covid-19 vaccine is “irrelevant,” Pfizer CEO says

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on "Drug Pricing in America: A Prescription for Change, Part II" February 26, 2019 in Washington.
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on "Drug Pricing in America: A Prescription for Change, Part II" February 26, 2019 in Washington. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said he understands why people are skeptical about the fast-tracked vaccine timeline, but he wants people to know he thinks political pressure is “irrelevant.”

Speaking during the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) briefing on Thursday, Bourla said political pressure is “irrelevant” because “we will never, ourselves, submit for authorization or approval of any vaccine before we feel that it is safe and effective.”

“I understand they are skeptical,” Bourla said, but added “we will not cut corners.”

A the same briefing, Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD) CEO Kenneth Frazier said vaccine confidence is a critical issue.

“We have seen, in the wake of the pandemic, that vaccinations for diseases like measles have fallen off – in part because people are worried about the safety of vaccines in general,” he said.

Frazier thinks “at the end of the day, the important thing for us to do, is to reinforce to the public our commitment to safety as the number one thing.”

Yes, companies need to “move with urgency” he said, “but we will not sacrifice safety under any set of circumstances.”

Like Bourla, Frazier said Merck “will not submit for approval … any vaccine candidate before we have a quantum of proof through phase three studies” about the safety and efficacy in a large population.