Coronavirus: Death toll exceeds 1 million people worldwide

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The coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than one million people worldwide. New confirmed cases of infection are rising by at least 5% in more than half of U.S. states, as of Sunday, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. Several states are seeing weekly growth in average daily new cases that far exceeds that 5% benchmark — the seven-day average of new infections in North Carolina is 60% higher than a week ago; in New Mexico, 55% higher; and in Wyoming, 45% higher. Daily infections remain steady in 12 states and are falling in 12 states as well as the District of Columbia. Arizona, which earlier this summer saw a dangerous spike in transmission, now reports a seven-day average of new cases that is 40% lower than the previous period. 

Here are some of the major developments on Monday: 

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 33.27 million 
  • Global deaths: At least 1,000,825
  • Top five countries: United States (over 7.1 million), India (over 6 million), Brazil (over 4.7 million), Russia (over 1.1 million), Colombia (over 818,000)

India reports lowest daily death toll since early August

India's health ministry said on Tuesday that 776 people died from Covid-19 over the last 24 hours. 

It was the smallest daily rise in coronavirus deaths since Aug. 3, according to Reuters. 

South Asia's largest economy remains one of the most affected countries, second only to the United States. India has reported more than 6.1 million cases and over 96,000 deaths from the illness since January. The health ministry says around 83% of affected patients have been discharged to-date. 

Earlier, the global death toll from the coronavirus crossed 1 million people. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

The coronavirus has killed at least 1 million people worldwide

The coronavirus has killed at least 1 million people across the globe, a morbid milestone in the world's fight against the virus that emerged from Wuhan late last year. 

Roughly half of the world's total Covid-19 fatalities have been reported in only four countries — the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The coronavirus has swept through nearly every nation on the planet and has infected more than 33 million people along the way, according to Johns Hopkins. CNBC has compiled a package of stories looking back at how the coronavirus pandemic has changed health care, the economy and society since its discovery less than nine months ago. — Noah Higgins-Dunn

Pence says expect cases to rise ‘in the days ahead’

Americans should expect coronavirus cases to rise soon as U.S. testing increases and some Midwest states show worrying trends, Vice President Mike Pence said.

The rate of Covid-19 tests that come back positive is now rising in some Midwest states, Pence said during a press conference from the White House's Rose Garden. With that development and the United States' "historic advance in testing," the public "should anticipate that cases will rise in the days ahead," he added.

The U.S. government plans to distribute 150 million rapid Covid-19 tests made by Abbott Laboratories in "the coming weeks" as the U.S. enters its fall season, officials announced.

Trump and other U.S. officials have suggested that increased testing is the reason the U.S. has the most cases in the world. But infectious disease experts and scientists have pointed to hospitalizations, deaths and the positivity rate, which indicates the percentage of tests that come back positive in a given region, to dispel that claim. –Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Chicago mayor moves forward with more reopenings

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will further ease the city's restrictions on businesses intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus beginning Thursday morning, according to a statement from her office. 

Restaurants, health and fitness centers, personal services, non-essential retail and all other establishments that have been limited to 25% indoor capacity will now be able to increase their maximum indoor capacity to 40%, according to the order. Bars, breweries and taverns will be able to reopen for indoor service at 25% capacity or 50 people. 

Lightfoot will also allow personal-care services that require a face covering to be removed, like facials, to resume. Fitness classes and after-school programs will be allowed to increase the number of people allowed in groups from 10 to 15 people. 

"Chicago's status as one of the most open large cities in America and are possible due to continued improvement on crucial Covid health metrics, including a declining number of new daily cases, a test positivity rate now below 5% and the lowest rates of hospitalization and death in months," the mayor's statement said. — Noah Higgins-Dunn

Covid-19 rates among teens nearly ‘double’ compared with children, CDC finds

According to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus infection rate among adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 is "approximately double" that of those between the ages of 5 to 11 years old. 

The study analyzed 277,285 confirmed Covid-19 cases in school-aged children in the U.S. between March and mid-September. Researchers found the average weekly incidence of Covid-19 in adolescents to be roughly 37 cases per 100,000 children. That's "approximately twice" the rate in younger kids, which reported an incidence of 19 cases per 100,000 children. 

The study may underestimate the actual incidence of disease in school-age children because testing was frequently prioritized for people who displayed symptoms and asymptomatic infection in children is common, the researchers noted. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Voters say they’re focused on economy, Covid and racial inequality ahead of debate

Voters in swing states want President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden to use their first debate Tuesday evening to offer clear answers on how they plan to improve the economy, while battling Covid-19 and racial inequality.

"I think everyone has dropped the ball. Not just the president, but everyone. Congress, the Senate, the president," said Arizona Republican Melissa LaBonte. ""I've personally been unemployed since January: It's the longest break in my employment in years."

The debate, set to occur in Cleveland, will run from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday and will be streamed live on CNBC.com. —Thomas Franck

WHO says Covid-19 death toll likely an 'underestimate'

Executive Director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) emergencies program Mike Ryan speaks at a news conference on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Denis Balibouse | Reuters

As global Covid-19 deaths near 1 million, the World Health Organization says the reported total is likely an "underestimate."

"When you count anything, you can't count it perfectly," Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's emergencies program, said during a press conference when asked about Covid-19 deaths. "But I can assure you that the current numbers are likely an underestimate of the true toll of Covid."

Covid-19 is a stealthy virus, infectious disease experts say, capable of stressing nearly every system in the body, including the heart, kidneys and brain. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in July found the number of U.S. deaths due to the coronavirus could be undercounted by as much as 28%. –Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

United Airlines pilots escape furloughs. Other groups won't be so lucky

United Airlines' pilots approved a deal that reduces their hours in exchange for a commitment from the company not to furlough any aviators through June 2021. United and other airlines are allowed to start furloughing workers on Oct. 1, when the terms of $25 billion in federal aid expires. The deal spares about 3,900 United pilots, more than 10% of the work group, from furloughs planned in 2020 and 2021.

While United pilots got a deal, roughly 13,000 other United employees, including flight attendants, mechanics, customer service representatives and others are facing furloughs or layoffs starting Thursday.

Airlines are clamoring for another $25 billion in federal aid that would preserve jobs through the end of next March since a recovery that was expected this summer failed to materialize, depriving carriers of revenue during what is usually the busiest season of the year. —Leslie Josephs

CDC warns against Thanksgiving risks like shopping in crowded stores, Turkey Trots

Public health officials have given Americans another reason to buy gifts online this holiday season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added shopping in crowded malls or stores before, on or after Thanksgiving to the category of higher-risk activities that could contribute to the spread of the virus that causes Covid-19. On the other hand, it said, shopping online is in its lower-risk category.

The CDC weighed in on other common holiday rituals, too. Among them, it warned of the risks of participating in Turkey Trots or other crowded races, attending crowded parades and gathering for large indoor events with extended family or friends.

Instead, it recommended safer seasonal activities — such as visiting a pumpkin patch or apple orchard has moderate risk, so long as there are plentiful masks and hand sanitizer, or having a virtual holiday recipe swap with family or friends. —Melissa Repko

New York governor says Brooklyn 'major contributor' to growing cases

New York reported 834 new coronavirus cases for a positivity rate of 1.5%, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters on a conference call. That percentage of total tests returning positive is a slight uptick for New York, which has reported a rate below 1% for over a month. 

"Brooklyn is a major contributor in the number of cases," Cuomo told reporters on the call, saying the borough had a local positivity rate of 2.6%. New York's Orange and Rockland counties also contributed to the state's overall increased rate, he said. 

Cuomo said health officials are trying to pinpoint where the growing number of cases are coming from by investigating specific zip codes in Brooklyn. He said they will increase their Covid-19 testing efforts and enforcement of public health measures in those communities. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Dr. Fauci says he's worried about current U.S. trends with winter approaching

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC's "Good Morning America" that the U.S. is "not in a good place" as it continues to report more than 40,000 new cases every day. 

Covid-19 cases were growing by 5% or more, based on a weekly average to smooth out daily reporting, in 26 states as of Sunday, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Cases grew by nearly 9% nationwide compared with a week ago, moving just above 44,300 new cases on average as of Sunday, according to Hopkins data. 

"There are states that are starting to show an uptick in cases and even some increase in hospitalizations in some states," Fauci said. "And I hope not, but we very might well start seeing increases in deaths," Fauci said. "That's really something that I had discussed some time ago as something you don't want to be in a position like that as the weather starts getting cold." —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Amid pandemic, transferring could be the ticket to the Ivy League

Students walk on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

As many colleges and universities across the country struggle with low enrollment, undergraduate students interested in transferring midyear could benefit.

More than three-quarters, or 78%, of colleges said they would increase recruitment of transfer students to make up for high attrition numbers for the 2020-2021 academic year, according to a recent survey of college and university admissions officers by Inside Higher Ed.

"This has proven to be a boon for students wanting to change schools," said Christopher Rim, the founder and CEO of Command Education. "Many are taking advantage of the lack of competition, knowing that schools have too many openings and not enough enrolled."

Rim said his office has been inundated with calls from eager applicants.  

"We're seeing a record-breaking number of students applying as transfer students to their dream schools," he said, including undergrads in their junior year. "I have never seen this," he added. —Jessica Dickler

U.S. stocks open higher, building on Friday’s sharp gains

U.S. stocks built on the strong gains from the previous session and opened higher, reports CNBC's Fred Imbert and Yun Li. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 367 points higher, or 1.4%. The S&P 500 gained 1.4% and the Nasdaq Composite popped 1.5%. —Melodie Warner 

Texas, California and Florida lead in new reported U.S. cases

Amazon will kick off Prime Day on Oct. 13 after it was delayed due to the coronavirus

Amazon Prime Day will take place Oct. 13 and 14 this year, the company announced Monday. Members of Amazon's Prime subscription program will get access to "over 1 million deals across every category," including toys, electronics and apparel, Amazon said.

The company postponed its biggest shopping day of the year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which generated unprecedented strain on Amazon's warehouses and shipping and logistics networks. 

Jamil Ghani, vice president of Prime, said Amazon settled on a mid-October Prime Day after it consulted with its global teams and spent several months adjusting operations inside its warehouses to make it safer for employees to continue to work. —Annie Palmer

Redfield voices alarm over the influence of Trump's new task force advisor

Director of Center for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield speaks at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing "Review of Coronavirus Response Efforts" on Capitol Hill, Washington, U.S., September 16, 2020.
Andrew Harnick | Reuters

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is worried President Donald Trump is sharing bad information about the pandemic with the public, NBC News reported. He blames the White House's new coronavirus advisor, Dr. Scott Atlas. 

In a conversation with a colleague, on a phone call made in public on a commercial airline and overheard by NBC News, Redfield suggested Dr. Scott Atlas was giving the president misleading data about a range of coronavirus issues, including the efficacy of masks, the virus' effect on young people and the benefits of herd immunity. 

"Everything he says is false," Redfield was overheard saying during the call.

It's not the first time Atlas has come under fire for his views regarding the virus. Earlier this month, Stanford University academics wrote an open letter calling out Atlas, a former colleague, for spreading what they called "falsehoods and misrepresentations of science."

In an emailed statement to NBC News, a CDC spokesman said: "NBC News is reporting one side of a private phone conversation by CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield that was overheard on a plane from Atlanta Hartsfield airport. Dr. Redfield was having a private discussion regarding a number of points he has made publicly about Covid-19." —Terri Cullen

Coronavirus pandemic pushes small businesses to create succession plans

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Coronavirus pandemic pushes small businesses to create succession plans

Positive Covid-19 test rates top 25% in some Midwest states

Adrees Latif | Reuters

The share of coronavirus tests coming back positive is above 25% in several Midwest states as cases and hospitalizations surge, Reuters reported.

North Dakota's positive test rate has averaged 30% over the past seven days. South Dakota's positivity rate over that period is now 26%, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project. Montana's positivity rate rose on Sunday to 20%, the wire service reported.

The World Health Organization considers positivity rates above 5% troubling because it suggests the virus is spreading faster than new cases can be tracked, Reuters said. —Terri Cullen

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