October 11 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Jenni Marsh and Tara John, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, October 12, 2020
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11:33 p.m. ET, October 10, 2020

Why don’t you need a negative coronavirus test to leave isolation?

From CNN's Arman Azad

President Donald Trump’s doctor on Saturday said he’s met criteria from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to leave isolation. Those criteria don’t generally require a negative test for coronavirus. 

Here’s why:

People can continue to test positive even though they’re no longer infectious

Research has shown that PCR tests can still pick up pieces of genetic material from the virus long after someone has recovered. But these people aren’t likely to be infectious 10 to 20 days after symptoms began, according to the CDC.

To figure that out, scientists have taken samples from coronavirus patients and tried to infect living cells. Even though PCR tests can come back positive, patients don’t tend to be infectious after that 10 to 20 day window has passed, research has found.

Think of it this way: A PCR test is looking for the blueprint of the virus -- its “genome” -- and not the virus itself. In fact, the test is just looking for fragments of that blueprint. It’s like a recipe for chocolate cake; finding the recipe in someone’s kitchen doesn’t mean you’ll find a cake.

Why might Trump not need to isolate for 20 days?

For patients with severe Covid-19, the CDC says up to 20 days of isolation “may be warranted.” But the agency’s recommendations only require that at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

“Consider consultation with infection control experts,” the CDC’s recommendations say. The President’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, released a memo Saturday that referenced “advanced diagnostic tests” and stated “there is no longer evidence of actively replicating virus” from Trump.

Still, the letter didn’t fully describe those advanced diagnostic tests or their exact findings. Conley also didn’t disclose other vital signs from the President, such as his current oxygen levels -- leaving many questions about Trump’s current condition unanswered.

Read more about Trump's coronavirus status here:

11:33 p.m. ET, October 10, 2020

President's physician Dr. Sean Conley says Trump is no longer a coronavirus transmission risk

From CNN’s Jason Hoffman and Ben Tinker

President Donald Trump has been cleared to return to an active schedule, according to a new memo from his physician, Dr. Sean Conley, released Saturday night.

The memo says Trump has met criteria from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to end isolation but does not say whether the President has received a negative coronavirus test since first testing positive for the virus.

However, that is not a criteria for clearing isolation, according to the CDC.

“This evening I am happy to report that in addition to the President meeting CDC criteria for the safe discontinuation of isolation, this morning’s Covid PCR sample demonstrates, by currently recognized standards, he is no longer considered a transmission risk to others,” the memo from Conley reads in part. 

Conley writes that Trump is 10 days from the onset of symptoms, has been fever-free for “well over 24 hours” and after diagnostic tests, “there is no longer evidence of actively replicating virus.” 

Questions remain: Conley did not fully explain what “advanced diagnostic tests” the President received. For example, he did not disclose whether so-called viral culture was performed. That’s the process by which scientists try to infect living cells to see whether active virus is present.

President's schedule: Trump held his first public event Saturday since his diagnosis, delivering a speech to supporters at the White House. He is scheduled to hold at least three in-person rallies this week, beginning Monday in Florida. Conley says he will continue to monitor Trump “as he returns to an active schedule.”

Last negative test: It’s important to note we still don’t know when the President last tested negative before his positive test last week, which would offer insight into when he was contagious and how much so.

11:33 p.m. ET, October 10, 2020

Brazil coronavirus death toll surpasses 150,000

From CNN's Jonny Hallam and Sugam Pokharel 

Brazil on Saturday reported 559 new deaths from Covid-19, raising the country's total fatalities to 150,198, according to the National Council of Health Departments.

After the United States, Brazil is now the second country in the world to reach 150,000 deaths, attributed by critics to the country's haphazard response to the outbreak, personified in President Jair Bolsonaro's leadership.

The actual death toll is believed to be much higher because of low Covid-19 testing capacity in some parts of the country.

The council also reported 26,749 new cases of the virus on Saturday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 5.08 million.

In terms of total cases, Brazil is ranked third worldwide, after the US and India, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

1:15 a.m. ET, October 11, 2020

1 in 4 pregnant women experience prolonged coronavirus symptoms, study finds

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. CDC

While pregnant women generally experience mild coronavirus symptoms, they can persist for two months or more for 1 in 4 women, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Researchers from the University of California San Francisco and UCLA looked at 594 women across the US who tested positive for Covid-19 while pregnant. They found that 40% of the women still had symptoms by week four, and 25% experienced symptoms for eight weeks or longer.

The most common symptoms among the women were cough, sore throat, body aches and fever, and symptoms were most prevalent in the first three weeks. The median length of symptoms was 37 days. The vast majority of participants – 95% – were not hospitalized.

The participants were enrolled in the study between March 22 and July 10 of this year. More than half of the women had contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 or had symptoms. About 30% of the women were health care workers, and 60% were White.

The researchers acknowledged that their findings may not generalize to the larger population. They noted that availability, timing and accuracy of testing may have impacted the results.

COVID-19 symptoms during pregnancy can last a long time, and have a significant impact on health and well being,” study author Dr. Vanessa Jacoby said in a statement.

1:11 a.m. ET, October 11, 2020

Nepal sets new single-day record of Covid-19 cases as total infections top 100,000

From CNN's Sugam Pokharel

A Nepalese health worker collects a swab sample to test for COVID-19 test in Kathmandu, Nepal, Friday, October 9.
A Nepalese health worker collects a swab sample to test for COVID-19 test in Kathmandu, Nepal, Friday, October 9. Niranjan Shrestha/AP

Nepal recorded 5,008 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the country's highest daily increase in new infections, taking the national tally to 105,684, according to its health ministry.

The tiny South Asian nation has seen a surge in new Covid-19 infections recently, with its total number of cases doubling in only four weeks, according to the ministry.

The ministry announced 14 new coronavirus-related deaths, raising the total deaths to 614.

The capital, Kathmandu, is the worst-hit area so far, accounting for nearly a third of the country's total infections, according to health ministry data.

Meanwhile, Nepalese Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Yogesh Bhattarai tested positive for the virus on Saturday, according to his official Facebook page.

1:08 a.m. ET, October 11, 2020

'We are all deeply afraid that this is the beginning of that dreaded second wave,' says emergency room doctor

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

Medical staff wearing full PPE push a stretcher with a deceased patient to a car outside of the Covid-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on June 30, in Houston, Texas.
Medical staff wearing full PPE push a stretcher with a deceased patient to a car outside of the Covid-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on June 30, in Houston, Texas. Go Nakamura/Getty Images

Emergency physicians across the US are beginning to see an uptick in severe coronavirus cases, prompting fears that the second wave of the virus is coming, according to Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency medicine physician with Brown University in Rhode Island.

"We are all seeing increasing numbers of Covid-19 patients who are coming into our ER's, who are getting really sick, requiring hospitalization and even intensive care," Ranney told CNN’s Erica Hill.

We are all deeply afraid that this is the beginning of that dreaded second wave," Ranney said.

She noted the spike in cases which occurred among younger people about a month ago is now spreading within communities.

We still don't have adequate personal protective equipment for physicians and nurses on the front lines across the country," she said. "We still don't have adequate testing supplies."

 Ranney emphasized that there is still no cure for the virus.

 "We're quite fearful for what we are heading into," she said.

1:06 a.m. ET, October 11, 2020

France sets record for daily new infections with 26,896 cases in 24 hours

From CNN’s Duarte Mendonca in London

Fera recorded 26,896 new cases of coronavirus Saturday, setting a new record for daily reported infections since the start of the pandemic, according to data from the French Health Ministry.

Saturday's record was an increase of 6,557 more cases than the day before when the previous record was set with 20,339 cases.

The rise in infections takes the total of reported infections in the country to 718,873.

An additional 54 deaths were reported by the ministry on Saturday, bringing the total of fatalities to 32,684.