October 17 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Brett McKeehan, Rob Picheta and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 4:06 AM ET, Sun October 18, 2020
13 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
11:09 a.m. ET, October 17, 2020

Here's the latest on the pandemic across the US

The US has surpassed 8 million Covid-19 cases this week, and on Friday, at least ten states reported their highest coronavirus case totals since the pandemic began.

If you're just reading in now, here's what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across the country:

  • The most new cases since July: The US reported at least 69,000 new Covid-19 infections Friday — the most in a single day since July. Experts are warning that this nationwide rise in cases could mark the start of a fall surge.
  • Outbreak tied to Trump rally: In Minnesota, public health officials say they've so far traced at least 20 cases of the virus back to a rally held by President Trump last month, or to related events. Of the 20 cases,16 are among people who attended the rally. Four people said they participated in counter-protests the same day, the state's health department told CNN.
  • A possible vaccine plan: In an open letter published Friday by Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla, the company said it plans to apply for emergency use authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine as early as November. "Assuming positive data, Pfizer will apply for Emergency Authorization Use in the US soon after the safety milestone is achieved in the third week of November," the letter said.
  • Christie's warning to Americans: Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie revealed Thursday he spent seven days in an intensive care unit before recovering from Covid-19, and implored Americans to wear masks and take the pandemic "very seriously." "The ramifications are wildly random and potentially deadly," Christie said in a statement. "No one should be happy to get the virus and no one should be cavalier about being infected or infecting others."

And here's a look at where cases are rising across the US:

10:45 a.m. ET, October 17, 2020

Biden on Trump's coronavirus response: "He has panicked and tried to wish it away"

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden addressed the coronavirus outbreak in Wisconsin in a statement released the same day President Trump is scheduled to hold a rally in the state.

"Wisconsin is in the grips of one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the country. Jill and I are praying for the health of those who’ve contracted the virus, and for the families who are mourning the loss of a loved one. We have lost far too many lives to this pandemic — and the sad fact is, it didn’t have to be this way," Biden said in the Saturday statement.

He went on to slam President Trump's handling of the pandemic.

"President Trump is knowingly downplaying the severity of the virus. At virtually every turn, he has panicked and tried to wish it away, rather than doing the hard work to get it under control," Biden said.

Wisconsin reported its highest daily count of coronavirus cases yesterday with 3,861 new cases. Its previous high was 3,747 on Thursday.

President Trump is scheduled to hold a rally in Janesville, Wisconsin at 7 p.m. ET.

9:15 a.m. ET, October 17, 2020

These 10 states reported their highest number of new coronavirus cases on Friday

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

On Friday, at least ten states reported their highest coronavirus case totals since the pandemic began, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Here's a look at the states' cases, according to Johns Hopkins University: 

  • Colorado reported 1,312 coronavirus cases. Its previous high was 1,142 cases on Thursday. 
  • Idaho reported 1,094 coronavirus cases. Its previous high was 729 cases on July 15.  
  • Indiana reported 2,283 coronavirus cases. Its previous high was 1,943 cases on Thursday. 
  • Minnesota reported 2,290 coronavirus cases. Its previous high was 1,516 on Oct. 10. 
  • New Mexico reported 812 coronavirus cases. Its previous high was 668 on Thursday.
  • North Carolina reported 2,684 coronavirus cases. Its previous high was 2,532 on Thursday.
  • North Dakota reported 864 coronavirus cases. Its previous high was 706 on Thursday.
  • West Virginia reported 502 coronavirus cases. Its previous high was 374 on Oct. 9.  
  • Wisconsin reported 3,861 coronavirus cases. Its previous high was 3,747 on Thursday.
  • Wyoming reported 290 coronavirus cases. Its previous high was 243 on Oct. 9. 

 

8:36 a.m. ET, October 17, 2020

Wisconsin records its highest number of new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

There were 3,861 new cases of coronavirus reported in Wisconsin on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University, charting a new record high number of cases for the state. 

Wisconsin's previous high was 3,743 cases, which was set on Thursday. 

On Friday, United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned that Wisconsin is a Covid-19 red state, with a rising positivity rate. 

"I want you all to be aware that Wisconsin is currently one of our red states. Meaning, your positivity rates are over 10% and going in the wrong direction. Cases are in the red, going in the wrong direction," he said

"It is critical that we actually understand where this virus is circulating so that we could get cases under control and reverse positivity,” he added. 

Adams spoke at a news conference announcing a new Covid-19 surge testing location in Neenah, Wisconsin. 

The COVID Tracking project reports Wisconsin’s positivity rate at 23.91% as of Saturday morning. 

President Trump is set to hold a rally in Janesville, Wisconsin on Saturday evening.

7:43 a.m. ET, October 17, 2020

Angela Merkel issues appeal to Germans in battle against coronavirus

From CNN’s Fred Pleitgen

Angela Merkel attends an EU summit in Brussels earlier this week.
Angela Merkel attends an EU summit in Brussels earlier this week. FRANCISCO SECO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has appealed to citizens to do more to fight rising numbers of coronavirus infections across the country, urging Germans in a video message to abide by the regulations set out by the government.   

“We must do everything to ensure that the virus does not spread in an uncontrolled way. Every day now counts,” Merkel said as daily infections have hit record highs this past week.  

“How the winter will be, how our Christmas will be, that will be decided in the coming days and weeks,” Merkel added.  

Germany’s strategy against the pandemic has so far centered around effective contact tracing of infected individuals in order to isolate them before they can infect others.  

“Health authorities are doing amazing work in this regard … but where the number of infections become too high, they simply cannot keep up,” the German Chancellor said.  

In an effort to stem the continued spread of the virus, Merkel also urged citizens to “meet with a lot fewer people” both outside and inside their homes, adding that people should try to avoid traveling or attending large gatherings unless absolutely necessary.  

“If each us drastically reduces the amount of contacts outside if their own family, then it is possible to stop and even reverse this trend,” she added.

5:06 a.m. ET, October 17, 2020

Germany sets new daily infections record, as cases surge in Europe

From CNN's Fred Pleitgen

A waitress takes an order at a Berlin restaurant, as cases rise across Germany.
A waitress takes an order at a Berlin restaurant, as cases rise across Germany. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Germany recorded another daily record in new coronavirus infections, the country’s center for disease control reported on Saturday. 

The Robert Koch Institute said 7,830 new infections have been confirmed in a span of 24 hours, an increase about around 500 cases on the day before. 

A total of 33 patients died in that same period, bringing the total number of dead in Germany to 9,767. 

German politicians are trying to bring the situation under control, but the powerful governor of Bavaria, Markus Soeder, told German pubic media outlet ARD that authorities "are in danger of losing control in some areas of Germany."

4:07 a.m. ET, October 17, 2020

Czech Republic sees record rise in cases

From CNN's Tomas Etzler in Prague 

Commuters in Prague wear masks in a metro station on Tuesday, after new restrictions in the Czech Republic came into force.
Commuters in Prague wear masks in a metro station on Tuesday, after new restrictions in the Czech Republic came into force. MICHAL CIZEK/AFP via Getty Images

The Czech Republic registered 11,105 new coronavirus cases on Friday, new data from the Ministry of Health revealed, marking a new record high in the daily number of new infections across the country.  

The tally is an increase of 1,384 on Thursday’s confirmed total of new infections.

According to the latest government data, the total number of active coronavirus cases now stands at 92,736, while the total number of coronavirus-related deaths has reached 1,283.

The country, which was initially heralded for suppressing the virus in the early days of the pandemic, introduced a new range of restrictions to bring the spread under control on Monday.

All sporting, social and religious events are now limited to groups of 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors, unless all participants come from the same household. University students are barred from in-person learning, except for practical medical training.

A total of 3,120 coronavirus patients currently remain hospitalized, the Ministry of Health said on Saturday.

2:25 a.m. ET, October 17, 2020

The US now has at least 8,048,865 reported coronavirus cases

A man gets swabbed by CNA Keila Kelley at a free Covid-19 testing site in Reading, Pennsylvania, on October 13.
A man gets swabbed by CNA Keila Kelley at a free Covid-19 testing site in Reading, Pennsylvania, on October 13. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

There are at least 8,048,865 reported cases of coronavirus in the United States -- including at least 218,575 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

On Friday, Johns Hopkins University reported 69,156 new cases and 883 additional coronavirus-related deaths in the country. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

For the latest Johns Hopkins University US numbers, check here. CNN’s map, using JHU data, continues to refresh every 15 minutes.

11:59 p.m. ET, October 16, 2020

Worst is still to come for US, warns influential Covid-19 modeler

From CNN Health’s Shelby Lin Erdman

Covid-19 modeler Dr. Chris Murray.
Covid-19 modeler Dr. Chris Murray. Source: CNN

US President Donald Trump told supporters at a rally in Florida on Friday that the coronavirus pandemic is "rounding the turn."

But that's not the case, says influential Covid-19 modeler Dr. Chris Murray.

“If you look at the map in the US, what's happening is exactly what we expected,” Murray, the director of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “(In) the whole northern half of the US, transmission is on the upswing.
“You look across all the northern countries in Europe, they're already well into the fall, winter surge and that's what's heading our way.”

The US has passed 8 million total cases of Covid-19 and recorded 63,000 fresh infections on Thursday -- a significant uptick from the daily numbers just a few weeks ago. More than 218,000 Americans have died from the virus.

“We expect the death toll, unfortunately, unless we change our behavior, is going to reach 390,000 deaths by February 1,” Murray said, citing IHME’s recent predictions.

“No, it's not over. The worst is still to come unfortunately.”