October 22 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Tara John and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, October 23, 2020
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4:36 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Emergency approval of a Covid-19 vaccine won't stop or undermine clinical trials, FDA official says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

If one of the experimental coronavirus vaccines gets emergency use authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration, clinical trials examining the safety and efficacy of that vaccine will continue as planned, a senior FDA official said Thursday.

The FDA has said it would consider EUA for coronavirus vaccines in the works – a quicker route to getting one distributed than full approval would be. But that would mean beginning vaccination of the populace before clinical trials have finished. Some people have worried that would mean the clinical trials would end before all the data was collected.

Dr. Doran Fink, deputy director of the FDA’s division of vaccines and related products applications, said that won’t happen. Companies still will have to continue their formal clinical trials to get full licensing approval, Fink told a meeting of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.

"Continuation of placebo-controlled follow up after emergency use authorization will be important, and may actually be critical to ensure that additional safety and effectiveness data are accrued to support submission of a licensure application as soon as possible following an emergency use authorization," Fink said.

The FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research does not consider the authorization of a vaccine as reason to "unblind" ongoing trials and offer the vaccine to volunteers who received a placebo, Fink said.

“CBER does not consider issuance of an EUA for a Covid-19 vaccine, in and of itself, as grounds to unblind ongoing clinical trials and offer vaccine to placebo recipients,” Fink said.

4:14 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Mississippi health official: White, maskless people causing uptick in Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs
Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs CNN

Dr. Thomas Dobbs, a Mississippi state health official, said that while the state's Black communities were hit hard during the beginning of the pandemic, since the summer and fall, that trend has shifted to impact the state's White population.

"Now it's over 60% of new cases are in Caucasians and the deaths are mirroring that also," Dobbs told CNN's Brianna Keilar.

Dobbs suggested that the shift may be attributed to the African American population taking social distancing and mask measures more seriously.

"It may well be that we found a pretty receptive audience in the African American community and it may well be because they were hit so hard and have personal experience, but we're not having the same success we've seen with other segments of the population," Dobbs said.

"Nothing's perfect, but the message seems have hit more fertile ground, right now, in the Black community," he added.

Watch the full interview:

4:33 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

These are all the places reporting a new daily record of Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Melissa Mahtani

People wearing face masks are seen in downtown Porto, Portugal on October 21.
People wearing face masks are seen in downtown Porto, Portugal on October 21. Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images

Coronavirus cases continue to soar in both Europe and the United States.

There are currently at least 8,354,300 cases of Covid-19 in the US and at least 222,416 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

Spain reported another new daily record of Covid-19 cases on Thursday, after surpassing the grim milestone of one million coronavirus cases on Wednesday. Numbers across the continent continue to rise.

Today, many states and countries around the world reported a record high in the daily number of Covid-19 cases counted. Here's a look at some of them.

Europe:

  • Spain reported a record 20,986 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday evening, the highest daily increase since the pandemic started. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country is now 1,026,281.
  • France reported a new record for daily coronavirus infections, with 41,622 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to numbers released by the French Health Agency. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in France to just under one million, currently at 999,043 cases.
  • Italy reported another daily record with 16,079 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours — up from yesterday's record of 15,199 new cases, according to Italy's health ministry.
  • Portugal reported a record 3,270 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday, the highest daily increase since the pandemic first reached the country.
  • Germany reported a record 11,287 new cases on Thursday, also the highest rise since the start of the pandemic.
  • The Netherlands recorded 9,283 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, marking a new daily record, according to data released Thursday by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

US:

  • Oklahoma recorded 1,628 new cases — the highest daily total of new cases since the pandemic began. A total of 112,483 cases have been reported in Oklahoma so far, according to the state's dashboard.
  • Ohio reported 2,425 new Covid-19 cases, the highest number of daily new cases since the pandemic began. The state's previous record was reported yesterday, with 2,366 new cases.
  • Florida reported its highest daily increase of Covid-19 cases in two months, with 5,557 new cases. 
  • Wisconsin had recorded its deadliest day in coronavirus deaths, Gov. Tony Evers said. Health officials said the addition of 48 new deaths underscores the severity of the pandemic in Wisconsin. The total number of deaths from the virus in Wisconsin now stands at 1,703.
2:56 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Coronavirus cases are rising in Oklahoma

From CNN's Kay Jones

More than 1,600 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Oklahoma, according to the state's Department of Health.

The department recorded 1,628 new cases — the highest daily total of new cases since the pandemic began. A total of 112,483 cases have been reported in Oklahoma so far, according to the state's dashboard.

At least 11 new deaths were reported, bringing the total to 1,221.  

Hospitalizations have steadily increased over the past seven days, according to the dashboard. The department said 991 patients with Covid-19 are currently hospitalized statewide.

Note: These numbers were released by Oklahoma's public health agency and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database, drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

2:51 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Spain reports more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Claudia Rebaza

People walk past a restaurant closed due to sharpest resurgences of the new coronavirus in Barcelona, Spain on October 22.
People walk past a restaurant closed due to sharpest resurgences of the new coronavirus in Barcelona, Spain on October 22. Emilio Morenatti/AP

Spain’s health ministry reported a record 20,986 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday evening, the highest daily increase since the pandemic started. 

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country is now 1,026,281. Spain surpassed 1 million cases on Wednesday. 

The country’s death toll now stands at 34,521, with 155 new fatalities recorded today.

During a news conference Thursday evening, Fernando Simón, the director of the Spanish Center for Health Emergencies, admitted the evolution of the pandemic is not favorable. 

“We don’t know what will happen in the next few days, but yes we are going upwards,” Simón said. 

Spain's Health Minister Salvador Illa told reporters his country is facing difficult weeks ahead. 

“There is a lot of concern, we have very tough weeks ahead,” he warned.

“A second wave is a reality now," the minister added. 

Illa also announced that Spain’s central government and the 17 regional governments have agreed on a document containing the main criteria for a joint response to a second wave of the pandemic. 

2:43 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Utah governor warns hospitals filling up as Covid-19 cases continue to spread

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

Pool/PBS Utah
Pool/PBS Utah

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said hospitals are "starting to fill up" in the state as Covid-19 cases continue to spread.

He said 20% of the patients currently in intensive care units are Covid-19 patients. Herbert warned that ICUs are becoming crowded.

"I would hope that people will take this seriously and do the best they can," the governor said. 

Dr. Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist, said the state's health care system "is at capacity."

"I don't know what to do anymore," Dunn said during the briefing.

"I'm really not trying to scare anyone, I'm just trying to inform you of what's going on and give you the facts," she said.

Watch:

1:41 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

University of Toledo halts men's basketball program following positive Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Homero De La Fuente

Ohio's University of Toledo announced they are pausing the men’s basketball activities for two weeks after head coach Tod Kowalczyk and six players on the team tested positive for Covid-19. 

The Rockets head coach, Tod Kowalczyk, confirmed he tested positive for the virus on Sunday. On Tuesday, the school revealed six players tested positive for Covid-19 during regular weekly surveillance testing, in compliance with NCAA Covid-19 protocols. 

"Student-athlete health and safety is always our top priority and we are going to continue to follow the prevention protocols and ongoing testing procedures already in place," Toledo athletics director Mike O'Brien said. "The Covid-19 pandemic remains a serious challenge, and our primary focus will always be on ensuring our student-athletes' health. We look forward to our men's basketball program resuming its team activities."

According to the school, the men’s basketball program is following all university Covid-19 protocols, including isolating those who tested positive, partnering with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department to conduct contact tracing and arranging for additional Covid-19 testing of all close contacts.

1:45 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

Greece imposes nighttime curfew in Athens

From Chris Liakos in London and Elinda Labropoulou in Athens

A medical worker collects a swab from a commuter during rapid tests for COVID-19 at a suburb in Athens, on October 22.
A medical worker collects a swab from a commuter during rapid tests for COVID-19 at a suburb in Athens, on October 22. Thanassis Stavrakis/AP

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced new restrictions Thursday to curb the spread of coronavirus. They include a nighttime curfew in high-risk areas and a mask mandate.

The nighttime curfew will be imposed in high-risk areas in an effort to limit outdoor parties and gatherings. The cities of Athens and Thessaloniki are considered high-risk areas in the country’s four tier-system along with more than a dozen other regions, including Zante and Heraklion.

Officials are seeing a significant rise in cases among young people, Mitsotakis said.

Along with the curfew, masks will now be mandatory outdoors.

The new measures will take effect at 6 a.m. local Saturday.

Mitsotakis went on to say Greece is in better shape than most European countries but warned of tough months ahead. 

Greece recorded 882 new coronavirus cases and 15 deaths on Thursday.

The country has recorded 28,216 cases and 549 deaths in total since the pandemic started, according to Greece’s National Public Health Organization.

1:39 p.m. ET, October 22, 2020

More than 222,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

From CNN's Brandon Miller

There are at least 8,354,300 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 222,416 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

So far today, Johns Hopkins has recorded 18,269 new cases and 240 reported deaths.

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