Global cases of the coronavirus have now crossed 30 million, as new infection rates remain stubbornly high in some countries and show early signs of resurgence in others. The U.S., India and Brazil hold the highest national case tallies — together the three countries account for over half of all reported global infections. The dramatic benchmark comes as experts warn of difficult fall and winter seasons ahead.
Here are today's top headlines:
The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed controversial coronavirus testing guidance that said people who were exposed to an infected person but weren't showing any symptoms did "not necessarily need a test."
The new guidance says that people without symptoms who have been in close contact with an infected person "need a test."
Many public health specialists criticized the CDC's change in testing guidance in August for appearing to downplay the significance of testing people who don't have symptoms but who might be spreading the virus.
The old CDC guidance, The New York Times reported earlier this week, was posted to the CDC's website in August despite objections from scientists within the agency. The reversal comes amid heightened concerns of political intervention by the White House inside the nation's premier health agencies, including the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration. —Will Feuer
President Donald Trump said the U.S. will have enough Covid-19 vaccine doses for every American by April, contradicting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's forecast.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said earlier this week that a vaccine wouldn't be widely available until the summer or early fall of next year. That's in line with predictions from public health experts and scientists, who have previously said that most Americans likely won't get immunized with a coronavirus vaccine until the middle of next year.
Trump's comments came two days after he said the U.S. government could start distributing a coronavirus vaccine as early as October. He said Wednesday that Redfield was mistaken when he said the vaccine wouldn't be widely available to the general public until the second half of 2021. –Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
A top World Health Organization official said the coronavirus is "not going away," noting that it's still killing about 50,000 people a week.
"It has not burned out, it is not burning out, it is not going away," Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's emergencies program, said, "and especially for those countries entering their winter season in terms of people coming together more indoors."
"That is not where we want to be," he added.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead on the Covid-19 pandemic, noted that global health officials have "literally hundreds" of studies ongoing that examine the extent of coronavirus infection in different populations. The studies indicate that "a majority of the world's population is susceptible to infection from this virus," she said. –Berkeley Lovelace Jr., Noah Higgins-Dunn
San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the city is preparing to allow restaurants to operate inside at 25% capacity, or up to 100 people, according to a press release.
San Francisco's restaurants, which are allowed to serve patrons outside and through take out, will be permitted to offer indoor service once the city moves into the "orange" tier of California's four-tiered reopening plan, which will occur no sooner than the end of September, the release said.
The mayor warned, however, that San Francisco may not meet the criteria to enter the next tier "if local Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations do not remain stable." Before restaurants can reopen, they'll also have to complete a self-certification proving their ability to comply with the city's standards, the release said.
"We are laying out the next steps to make sure restaurants are ready to reopen as safely as possible," Breed said in the release. — Noah Higgins-Dunn
The Kentucky Supreme Court will rule on the legality of Gov. Andy Beshear's coronavirus-related executive orders, NBC's Lexington affiliate reports. At stake are measures that enforce mask-wearing and other Covid-19 related mandates for Kentucky residents.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron is leading the challenge to Gov. Beshear's orders, saying the governor overstepped his power. "Even in the midst of a pandemic, the constitution is not suspended," Cameron said to reporters.
Beshear and his team maintain that the governor had the power to act during an emergency under state law and the constitution. "If the Attorney General wins this case, Kentucky has fewer tools to fight this virus than any other state in the nation, and we don't want to be there," Beshear said.
It is unclear how long the Supreme Court will take to make a ruling. —Hannah Miao
Some European countries are reporting a rapid rise in Covid-19 hospitalizations, a "worrying trend" ahead of the influenza season approaching the Northern Hemisphere, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the World Health Organization's emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, told CNN's "New Day" on Friday.
Hospitalizations have doubled every eight days in the U.K., and parts of France have reported reaching capacity in their intensive-care units, Kerkhove told CNN.
"This is really worrying because as we hit the flu season — as we start to see other viruses circulating, respiratory viruses circulating — it's very difficult to distinguish Covid from flu from other respiratory pathogens that are circulating," Kerkhove said. "And if the beds are full with Covid patients, it will be very challenging for the health care system to deal with other respiratory diseases." — Noah Higgins-Dunn
The company has previously said it expects to make 500 million to 1 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021, Reuters reported.
Moderna's experimental Covid-19 vaccine is among the furthest in development to date. So far, the company has enrolled 25,296 participants out of the 30,000 it hopes to achieve for its late-stage study as of Wednesday, according to the wire service. —Terri Cullen
The U.S., Mexico and Canada have agreed to extend coronavirus-related border closures through Oct. 21, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced on Twitter.
The travel restrictions first began on March 21 and have been extended five times before Friday's announcement. The Department of Homeland Security said the travel restrictions are "part of a North American approach to stop the spread of the virus."
President Donald Trump on Friday said he thought the U.S.-Canada border would reopen before the end of the year, Reuters reported. —Hannah Miao
The coronavirus outbreak is growing across parts of Europe, where epidemiologists say "pandemic fatigue" has set in. France and Spain are now seeing more new cases every day than they did when the virus originally peaked in the spring.
"There are some worrying trends that we're starting to see," Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the World Health Organization's emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said Wednesday. "What is really worrying I think for us is that we're not only seeing an increase in the case numbers but we're seeing an increase in the hospitalizations. We're seeing increases in ICUs."
Intensive care units in hospitals in some parts of France are now nearing capacity, Van Kerkhove said Friday on CNN, adding that hospitalizations are doubling roughly every eight days in the United Kingdom.
Dominique Costagliola, an epidemiologist at the INSERM research institute in Paris, said the lesson to learn from Europe's experience is that the response to the pandemic must be persistent.
"When you look at the worldwide map of cases, you see that even if you control the virus in your country, the virus is still there, so it can come back," she said. "Don't think that because you are in a better situation at the moment, you can forget to pay attention to the virus." —Will Feuer
U.S. stocks opened slightly higher putting the market on pace for its first weekly gain of the month, reports CNBC's Fred Imbert and Yun Li.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 25 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 rose 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.3%. —Melodie Warner
Le Bernardin is the first New York restaurant with three Michelin stars to announce it will reopen its dining rooms on Sept. 30.
To do so, Chef Eric Ripert is spending "hundreds of thousands of dollars" on upgrades related to safety, he told Bloomberg.
Among the investments is installing a new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system that eliminates more than 99% of Covid-19 particles in the air within half an hour. Le Bernardin joins hospitals and major airports in adopting the technology.
Le Bernardin is among the few fine-dining restaurants that have announced plans to resume indoor dining at the end of the month. The 25% capacity limit, along with the high cost of safety precautions, will make it difficult for many restaurateurs to follow their lead. —Amelia Lucas
The second nationwide lockdown in Israel took effect Friday, tethering residents mostly to their homes in an effort to slow the spread of new infections, Reuters reports.
The country saw success with its first lockdown, imposed in March and eased in May, with new daily cases tapering off to low-single digits, the wire service reports. But with average new daily infections now above 5,000, Israeli officials have said they lifted restrictions too early.
The second lockdown comes just ahead of the Jewish High Holidays and is set to last three weeks, according to Reuters. The restrictions allow for worship activities but impose social distancing guidelines and capacity limits, the report says. —Sara Salinas
The European Union has agreed to buy up to 300 million doses of a potential vaccine under development by Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, Reuters reports, marking the second vaccine deal for the multinational bloc.
The EU will contribute to upfront financing of the vaccine production in exchange for EU nations' right to purchase the doses once proven safe and effective, according to the wire service. Sanofi and GSK began clinical trials of their vaccine candidate earlier this month and aim to reach the final stage of testing by December, Reuters reported. —Sara Salinas