September 28 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Tara John, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, September 29, 2020
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9:51 p.m. ET, September 27, 2020

21 US states are reporting increased Covid-19 cases as experts warn of a fall surge

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe and Dakin Andone

Almost half the US is reporting increased numbers of new Covid-19 cases as health experts warn of a potential coronavirus surge in the fall and winter.

As of Sunday, the number of new coronavirus cases has increased by at least 10% or more compared to the week before in 21 states, most of them in the West, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

Cases are rising in Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington state, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Eighteen states were holding steady. Only 11 -- Arizona, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire -- saw decreases of new cases of more than 10% compared to the week prior.

The US could see an explosion of Covid-19 cases in the fall and winter as people exercise less caution and spend more time indoors, where there is a greater likelihood of transmission, according to Dr. Chris Murray, director of the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Murray says the IHME model shows a "huge surge" expected to take off in October "and accelerate in November and December." The IHME model indicates that the country is currently seeing about 765 daily deaths from Covid-19, but that number could jump to 3,000 daily deaths by late December.

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9:45 p.m. ET, September 27, 2020

The world is approaching 1 million coronavirus deaths

Across the world, more than 996,000 people have died from coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University.

The US accounts for about a fifth of those deaths, and is currently reporting more than 204,000 Covid-19-related fatalities.

Brazil has the second-highest death toll with more than 141,000 deaths and India has reported more than 94,000.

CNN is tracking cases and deaths:

9:54 p.m. ET, September 27, 2020

Man sentenced to 1 year in jail for holding large parties, violating state's Covid-19 rules

From CNN's Anna Sturla and Laura Ly

A Maryland man was sentenced to a year in jail for holding two large parties and violating the state's order against large gatherings, according to the Charles County state's attorney's office.

Shawn Marshall Myers, 42, was arrested after holding the parties in late March. Maryland's Covid-19 social distancing rules banned gatherings of more than 10 people, according to the office of Gov. Larry Hogan.

Myers was convicted Friday of two counts of failure to comply with an emergency order and will serve his one-year sentence at the Charles County Detention Center, the state's attorney's office said in a press release.

Myers' attorney, Hammad S. Matin, did not respond to CNN's requests for comment.

After being confronted by law enforcement at his home in Hughesville, Maryland, on March 22, Myers agreed to disband the first gathering of about 50 people, after initially being "argumentative" with officers, the state's attorney's office said.

Myers held a second party with more than 50 people only five days later, though, which he refused to end, according to prosecutors.

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10:12 p.m. ET, September 27, 2020

New York City schools' return to in-person classes leaves parents with tough choices

From CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro and Yon Pomrenze

This week is a big test for the New York City public school system, the largest in the United States. After a chaotic couple of months, officials say they're finally ready to invite students back into classrooms.

Now they have to convince parents and teachers it's safe.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced August 7 that schools in the state could reopen classrooms for the fall. That was about a month before the scheduled start of the New York City school year. But Cuomo didn't order schools to reopen -- he left that decision to local leaders.

In New York City, that meant Mayor Bill de Blasio, schools commissioner Richard Carranza and a host of other involved parties like teachers' union leaders and parents' groups. It proved to be a huge challenge.

First, the city announced schools would open to students on September 10. That got delayed until September 21. And then that date was delayed to September 29, and the start of in-person education was split into several dates. Kindergarten through eighth grade starts on Tuesday, while middle school and high school students have to wait until October 1. And in-person education is limited: a hybrid schedule keeps students in the classroom only a few days a week, with the rest of their learning online.

It's a complicated schedule, the result of political negotiations and ongoing concern about a new spread of Covid-19 in the city that was once the hardest hit in the United States.

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