September 17 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Zamira Rahim and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:03 a.m. ET, September 18, 2020
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11:04 p.m. ET, September 16, 2020

A mask may provide better protection against Covid-19 than a vaccine, CDC director says

From CNN's Andrea Diaz

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on September 16 in Washington, DC.
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on September 16 in Washington, DC. Andrew Harnik/AP

Wearing a face mask might provide better protection against Covid-19 than a vaccine, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during Wednesday's Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing.

"I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid than when I take a Covid vaccine, because the immunogenicity may be 70% and if I don't get an immune response, the vaccine is not going to protect me. This face mask will," Redfield explained, adding that the American public has not yet embraced the use of face masks to a level that could effectively control the outbreak.

"So I do want to keep asking the American public to take the responsibility, particularly the 18 to 25 year olds where we're seeing the outbreak in America continue to go like this," Redfield said.

9:30 p.m. ET, September 16, 2020

Wales locks down one of its biggest regions after a spike in Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Samantha Tapfumaneyi

The Welsh government has locked down one of the nation’s biggest regions -- barring people from entering or leaving -- following a sharp increase in coronavirus cases.

Rhondda Cynon Taf, in south Wales, is the second county to be locked down. It has a population of nearly 240,000 people. 

In a statement on Wednesday, Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:

“We now have evidence of wider community transmission in the borough, which means we need to take urgent action to control and, ultimately, reduce the spread of the virus and protect people’s health.”

The new measures will be imposed on Thursday from 1 p.m. ET. The rules apply to everyone living within Rhondda Cynon Taf.

The government said people will not be allowed to enter or leave the Rhondda Cynon Taf Council area without a reasonable excuse.

Enforcement of the new restrictions will be undertaken by the local authority and by the police.