Live Updates

The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Luke McGee and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 11:27 p.m. ET, October 26, 2020
55 Posts
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1 min ago

Pence is not essential personnel and he should be quarantining, says health expert

From CNN Health’s Lauren Mascarenhas

US Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a "Make America Great Again!" campaign event at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, Michigan, on October 22.
US Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a "Make America Great Again!" campaign event at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, Michigan, on October 22. Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

US Vice President Mike Pence is not essential personnel and he should be quarantining, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, CNN medical analyst and professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, said Monday.

Despite exposure to people who have tested positive for coronavirus, Pence is not quarantining. The White House said he is not subject to CDC quarantine guidelines because he is “essential personnel.” 

“The only way he is essential personnel is if the only mission in his life is to reelect Donald Trump,” Reiner told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “The essential personnel are the nurses that man our ICUs and the people that deliver our food, and most of those folks -- almost all those folks -- will quarantine and stay home.”

Reiner said that Pence is potentially exposing other people to the virus.

“The Vice President needs to be home. He needs to be following the rules. He's placing people at risk. He's not essential,” said Reiner.

32 min ago

Czech Republic announces ban on free movement to curb coronavirus surge

From CNN's Tomas Etzler in Prague

Healthcare workers transport a Covid-19 patient from an intensive care unit at a hospital in Kyjov to a hospital in Brno, Czech Republic on October 22.
Healthcare workers transport a Covid-19 patient from an intensive care unit at a hospital in Kyjov to a hospital in Brno, Czech Republic on October 22. AP Photo/Petr David Josek

Czech Republic Health Minister Roman Prymula has announced a ban on free movement in the country between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. in an attempt to curb its coronavirus surge.

In a news conference Monday, Prymula said the restrictions would come into effect from this Wednesday, October 28 until November 3.

Those excluded from the ban are people commuting to and from work or seeking medical assistance.

Prymula also said between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., dog owners must walk their pets within a 500-meter radius from their home. During the day, people can walk their dogs freely. 

In the same news conference, Trade Minister Karel Havlicek added all retail stores must close between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Sundays, except for gas stations and pharmacies.

Convenience food stores at airports, railways and bus stations can remain open.

Havlicek also made it mandatory for people to work from home where possible. 

The Czech Republic reported 5,474 new cases in 24 hours on Monday, bringing the total number of infections to 263,572. 

The country’s death toll for the virus currently stands at 2,337. 

1 hr 31 min ago

Australia's Victoria state reports no new Covid-19 cases for the second day in a row

From CNN's Chandler Thornton

People cross a pedestrian bridge in the Melbourne suburb of St. Kilda on October 26, as Australian health officials reported no new coronavirus cases or deaths in Victoria state.
People cross a pedestrian bridge in the Melbourne suburb of St. Kilda on October 26, as Australian health officials reported no new coronavirus cases or deaths in Victoria state. William West/AFP/Getty Images

Australia's Victoria state reported no new Covid-19 infections in the past 24 hours for the second consecutive day, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a tweet Tuesday.

Monday was the first time since June 8 that Victoria has reported no new cases, statistics from the DHHS have shown. The total number of Covid-19 cases in Victoria remains at 20,343, and the total death toll at 817.

The remarkable milestone of no new cases comes just months after Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews declared a "state of disaster" to stem an outbreak that saw as many as 725 people in the state test positive for the virus in a single day.

The steep decline in cases has allowed the government to lift major social distancing measures that have been in place for weeks, including moving the state capital, Melbourne, out of lockdown beginning Wednesday.

1 hr 51 min ago

Ultrasounds point to potentially deadly heart damage in Covid-19 patients

From CNN Health’s Maggie Fox

Ultrasound scans of seriously ill coronavirus patients show many have serious types of structural damage to their hearts, researchers reported Monday. And that damage appears to raise their risk of dying.

The researchers found a startling number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 had heart damage and said the ultrasound scans might help doctors start early treatment to help them recover better.

“Early detection of structural abnormalities may dictate more appropriate treatments, including anticoagulation and other approaches for hospitalized and post-hospitalized patients,” Dr. Valentin Fuster, Director of Mount Sinai Heart, who worked on the study team, said in a statement.

Fuster and colleagues at hospitals across the Mt. Sinai system in New York, plus at a hospital in Italy, looked at the scans -- called echocardiograms -- of 305 Covid-19 patients in the hospital for treatment.

Nearly two thirds of them -- 190 patients -- had structural heart damage, the team reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Records showed 118 already had heart damage when they were admitted and another 72 developed injuries while they were being treated in the hospital.

Doctors routinely run a blood test checking levels of a protein called troponin in coronavirus patients. Higher levels indicate damage to the heart muscle.

But the researchers found the ultrasounds gave a much better indication of which patients were at highest risk of death.

Hospitalized coronavirus patients who did not have elevated troponin levels had a 5% rate of death in the study. Those with elevated troponin whose hearts looked normal in ultrasound scans had an 18.6% rate of death. But those who had high troponin levels and whose hearts showed physical abnormalities on ultrasound scans had a nearly 32% rate of death, the researchers said.

5 hr 5 min ago

More than 225,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the US

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

There are at least 8,690,143 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 225,588 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases. 

So far today, Johns Hopkins has recorded 54,177 new cases and 359 reported deaths. 

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

3 hr 55 min ago

France reports most coronavirus hospitalizations since April

From Barbara Wojazer in Paris

A doctor makes a phone call in a corridor of the infectious diseases unit of the Gonesse hospital before visiting a patient in Gonesse, north of Paris, on October 22, 2020.
A doctor makes a phone call in a corridor of the infectious diseases unit of the Gonesse hospital before visiting a patient in Gonesse, north of Paris, on October 22, 2020. Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images

France has had the highest number of new coronavirus hospitalizations since early April, according to the country’s health agency.

According to the health agency, 1,307 more hospital beds were occupied by coronavirus patients on Monday.

According to French health authorities, 26,771 coronavirus cases were registered in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 1,165,278.

 “The situation is extremely serious,” warned Arnaud Fontanet, epidemiologist and member of the scientific council advising the government.

The realization that the virus spreads more easily in cold weather “will prompt us to rethink our strategy in the fight against the virus,” Fontanet added.

The French government will hold a defense council meeting on Covid-19 measures on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the increase in hospitalizations in the France. The number of patients in hospitals for coronavirus has increased by 1,307.

5 hr 36 min ago

FDA commissioner promises to "make the absolute best decision" in developing a vaccine

From CNN’s Leanna Faulk

A volunteer takes part in a vaccine study at Research Centers of America on August 07, 2020 in Hollywood, Florida. 
A volunteer takes part in a vaccine study at Research Centers of America on August 07, 2020 in Hollywood, Florida.  Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Safety and effectiveness are the top priorities for a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the US Food and Drug Administration commissioner.

"Our promise to the American people is that when we look at the science and data, we will make the absolute best decision for them in terms of safety and efficacy of a vaccine,” Dr. Stephen Hahn said in a two-minute video posted to the FDA’s Twitter and Facebook accounts Monday. 

Hahn said clinical trials are necessary to properly assess the safety and effectiveness of any vaccine.

“That takes time because at each step we want to analyze the data at the FDA,” said Hahn. “So this is an ongoing conversation between the sponsor or the developer of the vaccine and the agency.”

7 hr 8 min ago

Stocks tumble as Covid-19 cases surge and stimulus is nowhere to be found

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

A woman with an umbrella passes the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.
A woman with an umbrella passes the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. Mark Lennihan/AP

Wall Street took a dive on Monday as coronavirus, Washington intransigence and earnings weighed on the market. All of this is creating a cocktail of uncertainty that the market doesn't like one bit.

US stocks sold off all day, from the opening to the closing bell, and the selloff just gathered pace during the trading session.

The Dow closed down 650 points, or 2.3%, after falling as many as 965 points at its low point. Not a single Dow stock closed in the green. It was the index's worst day since Sept. 3.

The S&P 500 — the broadest measure of the US stock market — closed down 1.9%, making it the index's worst day since late September.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which had briefly bounced back from its lows in the morning, finished down 1.6%.

Energy, industrials and financials stocks are the among the worst performers of the day. Those sectors that are more sensitive to the economy and the pace of the recovery felt more pain Monday, said Eric Freedman, CIO at US Bank.  But there were losses across all sectors.

7 hr 35 min ago

US to ship 36.7 million rapid Covid-19 tests to states by end of the week, HHS says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Abbott Laboratories' BinaxNOW rapid Covid-19 nasal swab test.
Abbott Laboratories' BinaxNOW rapid Covid-19 nasal swab test. Abbott Laboratories/AP

The United States is on track to ship 36.7 million BinaxNOW rapid point-of-care Covid-19 tests to states by the end of this week, the US Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to CNN on Monday.

"To protect seniors and to facilitate the continued re-opening of schools, businesses and the economy, the Trump administration prioritized scaling-up our state and national point of care testing capacity," Admiral Dr. Brett Giroir, the department's assistant secretary for health, said in a news release on Sunday.

The BinaxNOW antigen tests, developed by Abbott, are intended to help governors with reopening their states, according to the news release. The federal government previously announced it wants to deploy 150 million BinaxNOW Covid-19 tests nationally; HHS confirmed to CNN on Monday that the 36.7 million tests are part of that total.

But Giroir added in the news release that testing does not replace following the guidelines of avoiding crowds, washing hands and wearing a mask.

"Combining personal responsibility with smart, targeted testing is a proven formula to prevent outbreaks — but we cannot 'test our way' out of this pandemic," Giroir said. "Public vigilance in adhering to precautionary measures is required — especially as we clearly see the onset of mitigation fatigue."

Giroir had said on Sept. 1 that the Trump administration would begin to send the low-cost antigen tests to states starting in mid-September. On Sept. 28, Giroir said the 6.5 million tests the government shipped to governors across the country that week were a “real step forward in our testing.” At that time, Giroir said that production and shipment of the tests “didn’t happen overnight.”