Coronavirus USA summary: cases, deaths, latest news - 1 Oct

Covid-19 US updates: 1 October 2020

Kroger-owned stores fined for not protecting workers during Covid-19 pandemic

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health said four Ralphs locations and a Food 4 Less store have been served fines for violating the law by not updating their safety plans for the pandemic. Some stores failed to report coronavirus infections, properly train employees on pandemic protocols or maintain social distancing. Workers from two of the Ralphs stores died of Covid-19 but the state was not informed. Fines against the five stores come to a combined $104,000, with individual fines ranging from $13,500 to $25,560. 

Experts hoping a 'twindemic' can be avoided this winter

A record number of flu vaccine doses - between 194 million and 198 million for the U.S. alone will be administered during the autumn and winter months as experts cross their fingers that a flu-coronavirus twindemic can be avoided.

“There’s considerable concern as we enter the fall and winter months and into the flu season that we’ll have that dreaded overlap” of flu and the coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the U.S. National Institutes of Health said today.

Sanofi Pasteur, which is supplying nearly 250 million doses worldwide including 80 million for the United States, says it has shipments staggered into November.

New York state launches innovative Covid-19 tracing app

New York state has launched a new tracing app which uses cellphone technology to tell you if you have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19.

The COVID Alert NY app tells you if you were within six feet of a person who has tested positive and if you were close to that person for 10 minutes, Gov. Andrew Cuomo explained.

The app works in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

NYC high school moves to all-remote learning before school term starts

The PS721Q high school in the Queens neighborhood of Elmhurst moved to all-remote learning on Wednesday - before the school year has even started due positive cases of coronavirus. 

The PS721Q school will remain closed for he next two weeks after two members of the community tested positive for Covid-19.

Trump

Schumer says Pelosi, Trump administration not in agreement on coronavirus aid

U.S. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Thursday he had just spoken to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and that she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were still not in agreement on a coronavirus relief package.

"I spoke to Speaker Pelosi a few minutes ago, and they are not in an agreement yet, they have a lot of issues of disagreement," Schumer told reporters who asked about Pelosi's talks with Mnuchin. Pelosi and Mnuchin had been scheduled to talk by phone at 1 p.m. local time (EDT), a source familiar with the talks said earlier.

Residents warned to be on guard as worrying Covid-19 trends emerge

Leaders in states across the United States are sounding the alarm about rising Covid-19 cases that experts say could foreshadow a coming surge.

In New York, several Covid-19 clusters have created "hotspot" zip codes, with a positivity rate about five times more than the statewide figure. The clusters are a "stark reminder" that New Yorkers need to stay vigilant, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

"Wear a mask, socially distance, follow the public health guidance because this thing is not over," Cuomo said in a statement.

 

Madrid heading for lockdown

ReutersMadrid is to go into lockdown in the coming days after the region’s leader reluctantly agreed on Thursday to obey a central government order to ban non-essential travel in the Spanish capital that is Europe’s worst Covid-19 hotspot.

The Madrid region has 859 cases per 100,000 people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Spain’s Socialist-led government decided late on Wednesday to impose a new lockdown on the city of more than 3 million people.

Dr Fauci mask

Fauci hits back at Trump

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the leading U.S. official on infectious diseases, hit back at President Trump on Wednesday for what he called the misrepresentation of his stance on using masks to curb the coronavirus.

During Tuesday's presidential debate, Trump claimed that Dr. Fauci initially said “masks are not good — then he changed his mind.” And when former Vice President Joe Biden said wearing masks could save tens of thousands of lives, the president contended that “Dr. Fauci said the opposite.”

“Anybody who has been listening to me over the last several months knows that a conversation does not go by where I do not strongly recommend that people wear masks,” he said in an interview on ABC news.

Scorsese and Eastwood say movie theaters may not survive

Oscar-winning film directors James Cameron, Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese joined forces with movie theater owners on Wednesday in an appeal for financial help, saying they feared for the future of the industry.

In a letter to the leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, they said the pandemic had dealt a devastating blow to movie theaters and that without funds "theaters may not survive."

The letter was signed by more than 70 directors and producers along with the National Association of Theater Owners, the Directors Guild of America and the Motion Picture Association.

Vaccine

FDA widens U.S. safety inquiry into AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

​​​​​​The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has broadened its investigation of a serious illness in AstraZeneca Plc's Covid-19 vaccine study and will look at data from earlier trials of similar vaccines developed by the same scientists, three sources familiar with the details told Reuters.

AstraZeneca's large, late-stage U.S. trial has remained on hold since Sept. 6, after a study participant in Britain fell ill with what was believed to be a rare spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis.

The widened scope of the FDA probe raises the likelihood of additional delays for what has been one of the most advanced Covid-19 vaccine candidates in development. The requested data was expected to arrive this week, after which the FDA would need time to analyze it, two of the sources said.

Trump

Trump plans to slash refugee admissions to new low

The Trump administration said on Wednesday it intends to allow only 15,000 refugees to resettle in the United States in the 2021 fiscal year, setting another record low in the history of the modern refugee program.

The State Department said the proposal reflected the Trump administration's prioritizing of the "safety and well-being of Americans, especially in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic."

The refugee cap was cut to 18,000 last year, but only roughly half that many refugees were let in as increased vetting and the coronavirus have slowed arrivals.

The president typically sets yearly refugee levels around the beginning of each fiscal year. Under U.S. law, the president must consult Congress before finalizing the annual number of refugees it plans to accept but the determination is ultimately set by the White House.

School

No clear link between school opening and Covid-19 surge, study

Widespread reopening of schools after lockdowns and vacations is generally not linked to rising Covid-19 rates, a study of 191 countries has found, but lockdown closures will leave a 2020 "pandemic learning debt" of 300 billion missed school days.

The analysis, by the Zurich-based independent educational foundation Insights for Education, said 84% of those 300 billion days would be lost by children in poorer countries, and warned that 711 million pupils were still out of school.

"It's been assumed that opening schools will drive infections, and that closing schools will reduce transmission, but the reality is much more complex," said IfE's founder and chief executive Randa Grob-Zakhary.

The vast majority - 92% - of countries that are through their first wave of Covid-19 infections have started to reopen school systems, even as some are seeing a second surge.

IfE found that 52 countries that sent students back to school in August and September – including France and Spain – saw infection rates rise during the vacation compared to when they were closed.

Mnuchin

Mnuchin 'optimistic' of new relief plan

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made progress on Covid-19 relief legislation, and the House of Representatives postponed a vote on a $2.2-trillion Democratic coronavirus plan to allow more time for a bipartisan deal to come together.

Texas Rangers

Limited number of attendees to be allowed at NLCS, World Series MLB games

​​​​​​Major League Baseball fans will be able to attend a game for the first time this season as Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, opens its gates for a limited number of attendees at the National League Championship Series (NLCS) and World Series.

Game 1 of the NLCS is set for Oct. 12, as MLB looks to close the book on a chaotic and delay-filled season in which numerous players and personnel tested positive for Covid-19, after the viral pandemic forced a months-long delay of Opening Day.

MLB and the Texas Rangers, who play at Globe Life Field, are putting about 11,500 tickets on sale next Tuesday for each game in the two series, with all attendees required to wear masks and practice social distancing, MLB said on Wednesday.

White House will not accept $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package - Mnuchin

US Treasury Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday the Trump administration would not accept Democrats' proposal for a $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package, and indicated he wanted a deal closer to $1.5 trillion.

'We're not going to do a $2.2 trillion dollar deal,' Mnuchin said in an interview with Fox Business Network. Asked if a compromise of $1.5 trillion would be acceptable, Mnuchin said: 'It's in that neighborhood.

Judge rejects candidate's challenge to Minnesota virus rules

US District Judge Donovan Frank ruled that Democratic Gov. Tim Walz acted within his authority to respond to the public health crisis when he imposed restrictions on crowd sizes, travel and other measures meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected over 99,000 Minnesotans and killed more than 2,000.

Delaware's Covid-19 attack plan

The Pandemic Resurgence Advisory Committee (PRAC) has unveiled its final report detailing how Delaware will deal with the novel coronavirus if it starts to spread uncontrollably once again. 

White House blocked CDC 'no sail' policy extension into 2021

Following outbreaks of the coronavirus on cruise ships in March, like the Diamond Princess, which had more than 800 positive coronavirus cases alone, the CDC issued a no-sail order on all US cruise ships for 30 days.

In April, the order was extended another 100 days.

State summary

A quick overview of cases and deaths being recorded in each state across the US.

New York-New Jersey: the dining dilemma

As New York City restaurants prepare to reopen on Wednesday, also at 25 percent capacity, the challenges emerging in New Jersey, one of the last states to restart indoor dining, underscore the enormous obstacles facing the dining industry.

Many restaurants in New York suburbs, which were allowed to resume indoor dining at 50 percent capacity in late June, still face similar issues.

New York battles Covid-19 hot spots as Washington wrangles over relief

New York City restaurants welcomed patrons back inside for the first time in months on Wednesday as authorities scrambled to contain Covid-19 outbreaks in some neighbourhoods and negotiators in Washington wrangled over a coronavirus relief package, Reuters report.

Coronavirus infection rates continued to climb in many of the nine ZIP codes in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn where new clusters have emerged, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday. The city is deploying 400 police officers as well as other officials to improve compliance with social-distancing rules and a face-covering mandate in the affected neighbourhoods.

Residents and visitors will be fined up to $1,000 if they refuse to wear a mask in public, de Blasio said on Tuesday, after the daily positivity rate topped 3% for the first time since June as more students headed back to the classroom. On Wednesday, the rate ticked back under 1%, he told a news conference, while the seven-day rolling average of infections rose slightly to 1.46%.

Covid-19 catch-up

Here is a selection of some of the coronavirus-related stories that have been making the headlines over the last 24 hours:

One in four US working women is thinking about slowing their careers or quitting the workforce altogether because of Covid-19

Coronavirus cases among young adults rose steadily across the United States in recent weeks as universities reopened

- ​​​​​​The head of the GAVI vaccine alliance on Wednesday urged countries that have not signed up to the COVAX vaccine facility to join the global effort to help finance doses for low- and middle- income countries.

Wall Street's main indexes jumped on Wednesday, led by industrials and technology-related stocks, as officials rekindled the idea of an imminent fiscal stimulus package

The NFL has postponed Sunday's game between the Tennessee Titans and visiting Pittsburgh Steelers after some players and staff from the Nashville-based team tested positive for the coronavirus

US Treasury's Mnuchin 'hopeful' for coronavirus aid compromise with Democrats

South Africa says tourists from high-risk countries including the US are still barred entry

US coronavirus latest news 

Welcome to our daily-refreshed, US-focused coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Worldwide there have now been over 33.8 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with over one million deaths. 

In the US, there have been over 7.2 million cases and over 206,000 deaths. 

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