Coronavirus updates: San Francisco to lift more restrictions, mayor says; stimulus talks inch forward

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New daily cases of the coronavirus, as a seven-day average, totaled 58,397 in the U.S. on Monday — almost 18% higher than last week's levels, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University. New infections have been growing on a weekly basis for much of October, according to CNBC's analysis, and appear to be accelerating. As the numbers swell, Capitol Hill is working to nail down a stimulus deal ahead of a Tuesday deadline.

Here are some of today's biggest developments:

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 40.6 million 
  • Global deaths: At least 1.12 million
  • U.S. cases: More than 8.2 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 220,649

UBS says stricter virus measures, not U.S. elections, are the 'biggest near term risk'

Countries around the world are tightening coronavirus restrictions as they try to contain the health crisis, and that is likely to hit GDP for the fourth quarter, UBS said.

"Forget about the U.S. elections or fiscal stimulus — restrictions creeping higher is the single biggest near term risk to the outlook," Arend Kapteyn, an economist at the Swiss bank, wrote in a note this week.

Even if lockdowns only last for a few weeks, it may be enough to "turn a positive (fourth quarter) growth rate negative," he said.

"We'll need to monitor how long restrictions stay in place and how mobility responds, but this is now a major downside risk to our forecasts for (the fourth quarter)." — Abigail Ng

Amazon employees can work from home through June 2021

Amazon will allow employees who can work remotely to do so through June 2021, CNBC confirmed. 

"We continue to prioritize the health of our employees and follow local government guidance," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. "Employees with work that can effectively be done from home can continue to do that work from home through June 30, 2021."

The company's corporate employees have been working from home since March. Amazon previously said that employees could work from home until January. — Annie Palmer

San Francisco to lift more restrictions, mayor says

San Francisco plans to ease more of its coronavirus restrictions placed on businesses, including reopening non-essential office spaces and indoor rock-climbing centers, Mayor London Breed announced.

The city's non-essential office buildings will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity beginning Oct. 27, the mayor said. Offices with fewer than 20 employees can reopen beyond 25% as long as there's proper space for social distancing, according to a press release.

Indoor climbing gyms and climbing walls within fitness centers can reopen at 25% capacity with proper precautions. San Francisco officials also aim to reopen indoor pools and bowling alley with health precautions and expand indoor dining at restaurants to 50% capacity beginning Nov. 3.

"We know new cases of COVID are rising in other parts of the country, so we cannot relax. We must remain vigilant. But I have faith in the people of San Francisco and in our approach to this virus," Breed said in a statement. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

California sets strict guidelines for reopening Disneyland, Universal Studios

An entrance area to Disneyland stands empty on September 30, 2020 in Anaheim, California.
Mario Tama | Getty Images

California officials said that the state's large theme parks will not be allowed to reopen until a county's Covid-19 risk level drops to the lowest tier of "minimal" spread.

Under these new rules, it's uncertain when both Disneyland and Comcast's Universal Studios will be able to reopen.

In a statement, Ken Potrock, president of Disneyland Resort, said: "We have proven that we can responsibly reopen" but new California Covid-19 coronavirus "arbitrary" guidelines "will keep us shuttered for the foreseeable future." - Riya Bhattacharjee

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California sets strict guidelines for reopening theme parks

Pelosi and Mnuchin will speak about coronavirus stimulus ahead of self-imposed deadline

It all comes down to this — or maybe not.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will discuss coronavirus stimulus ahead of a self-imposed deadline to strike an agreement. Though Pelosi said Democrats and the White House have pushed toward a deal, she downplayed the significance of reaching an accord by the Tuesday deadline.

"It isn't that this day was a day that we would have a deal, it was a day that we would have our terms on the table to be able to go to the next step," the California Democrat said in a Bloomberg interview.

The speaker said the sides would have to come to an agreement and craft a bill this week in order to have legislation finished before Election Day.

The Trump administration and Democrats have tried to bridge a gap between their $1.9 trillion and $2.2 trillion proposals, respectively. Senate Republicans, who plan to vote on a $500 billion aid plan this week, have expressed skepticism about the emerging deal. —Jacob Pramuk

Travelers from 43 states and territories ordered to quarantine in New York, governor says

People traveling to New York from 43 states and territories are now ordered to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival or face fines, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters, calling it a "bizarre outcome."

The reported outbreaks ahead of the holiday season have grown so severe that even neighboring Connecticut and New Jersey are responding to spikes that would land them on the list, Cuomo said.

New York's Cuomo initially adopted the travel advisory alongside Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in June to prevent travelers from states with growing outbreaks from spreading the virus in the tri-state area.

"There is no practical way to quarantine New York from New Jersey and Connecticut," he said, adding that New York would help them try to suppress their outbreaks. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

AstraZeneca’s U.S. vaccine trial may resume as early as this week, sources say

Jakub Porzycki | NurPhoto | Getty Images

AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine trial in the U.S. could resume as soon as this week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finished its review of a serious illness, according to four sources who spoke exclusively to Reuters.

The company's late-stage trial for its Covid-19 vaccine, called AZD1222, has been on hold in the U.S. since Sept. 6 after one of the participants in the U.K. reported a serious adverse reaction.

The FDA did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters. —Riya Bhattacharjee, Reuters

Melania Trump drops out of campaign appearance due to 'lingering cough'

Melania Trump will miss a campaign stop with her husband, President Donald Trump, Tuesday evening in Erie, Pennsylvania, citing a "lingering cough."

"Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from COVID-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today," Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's chief of staff, told NBC News in a statement. 

The first lady's last public appearance was at the Sept. 29 presidential debate. The president announced that he and the first lady tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 2. —Chris Eudaily

Virus cases pick up ahead of flu season

The coronavirus pandemic is picking up steam in the United States and many parts of Europe ahead of the flu season.

At least ten countries, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain, hit record highs in average daily new Covid-19 cases Monday, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., cases are growing by at least 5% in 35 states, with 16 states reporting record high averages in daily cases, according to the data. 

Health officials and medical experts fear an uncontrolled virus through the flu season could lead to overwhelmed hospitals and a sharp increase in deaths. A coronavirus model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, once cited by the White House, now projects more than 389,000 Covid-19 deaths by Feb. 1.

"If steps are not taken to reduce transmission at the community level, it'll come to no surprise that health-care systems start to feel a pinch and start to head towards capacity and beyond capacity," said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the University of Toronto. –Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

College officials say reopening efforts must improve

Admissions officers at more than 300 colleges and universities said that they could have done a better job at reopening their campuses for students this fall amid the coronavirus, according to a recent Kaplan survey conducted in September.

The officials were asked to grade their institutions' reopening performance "as a whole, taking into account factors like implementing new safety precautions, delivering courses, and communicating with students and parents," according to the survey. Only 4% of respondents administered gave themselves an A; 36% received a B; 51% got a C; 9% received a D; and 1% got an F.

Some admissions officers who gave a poor grade cited a lack of national leadership, and schools switching to online only and sending potentially coronavirus-positive students home as reasoning.

"What college admissions officers are telling us in this survey is that there is a lot of room for improvement in multiple areas, from education delivery, to communication, to safety procedures. We think this self-awareness is positive, and many shared plans on how they'll be making improvements in the coming weeks and months," said Isaac Botier, executive director of college admissions programs at Kaplan, in a news release. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Lowe's offers new kinds of merchandise for holiday shoppers as stay-at-home trends continue

Eddie Zelaya helps Carmen Ledesma as she shops for a BBQ grill at the Lowe's store on March 1, 2017 in Hialeah, Florida.
Getty Images

Shoppers may be surprised by some items they find on Lowe's website and in its stores this holiday season, from mattresses to exercise equipment.

The home improvement retailer decided to expand the merchandise assortment before the coronavirus pandemic began. That strategic move — part of the company's turnaround effort — may be especially well-timed as Americans spend more time at home.

Over the past several months, Lowe's sales have increased as consumers tackle home projects, from converting garages into offices to sprucing up the backyard. Spring is typically peak season in the home improvement business. Yet with Americans' intensified focus on home, the holidays could be a more meaningful sales season for Lowe's and its competitor, Home Depot.

Bill Boltz, Lowe's executive vice president of merchandising, said there are early indicators that Americans will continue their DIY projects, but with a holiday twist. He said sales of fall and Halloween decor have been "above expectations" and sales of pre-lit and artificial Christmas trees "are off to a quick start." —Melissa Repko

AMC warns that bankruptcy is on the table as cash runs low

AMC is offering as many as 15 million shares, but equity in the company could soon be worthless if the largest theater chain in the world files for bankruptcy.

The theater chain once again warned investors about its dwindling cash pile and said it may have to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This move would likely allow AMC to stay in business while it reworks its debt and sorts out new lines of liquidity.

Cinema operators in the U.S. have been slammed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which first shuttered theaters and then drove away customers and major Hollywood blockbusters.

AMC was particularly vulnerable because of the debt it had amassed before the crisis from outfitting its theaters with luxury seating and buying competitors. —Sarah Whitten

U.K. to explore vaccine trials that infect volunteers with coronavirus

A volunteer is injected with a vaccine as he participates in a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination study at the Research Centers of America, in Hollywood, Florida, September 24, 2020.
Marco Bello | Reuters

The U.K. will ask healthy, young volunteers to get deliberately exposed to Covid-19 as part of a set of studies that aim to speed up the process of vaccine development, reports CNBC's Christina Farr.

The U.K. government signed a contract with Open Orphan, a pharmaceutical services company, for a so-called characterization study, which will identify the most appropriate dose of the virus for use in future human challenge studies. 

These controversial studies essentially ask volunteers to be "challenged" with an infectious disease organism. Proponents say such studies can speed up vaccine development, while others say these trials raise ethical questions.

The characterization study is expected to be complete in 2021 and is still subject to ethical and regulatory approval. The study will be conducted by Open Orphan's hVivo unit at a London-based research site and is sponsored by Imperial College in the U.K. —Melodie Warner 

Dow opens up more than 100 points amid optimism for U.S. stimulus deal

U.S. stocks opened higher as traders hope a stimulus deal can be reached before the day's end, reports CNBC's Fred Imbert and Jesse Pound.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 125 points higher, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 gained 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.4%.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that Tuesday is the deadline to reach an agreement before the Nov. 3 election. —Melodie Warner 

What are coronavirus 'circuit breakers' and 'firebreaks'?

The term "circuit breaker" has become common parlance in the U.K. recently as the country searches for a way to curb the second wave of the coronavirus in a short, sharp way.

The term was coined by scientific advisors to the British government who have recommended a two- or three-week "mini lockdown."

This time-limited set of tough restrictions would be designed to act as a "circuit breaker" to the infection rate, as the name implies. Similarly, Wales, a part of the U.K., has announced what it called a "firebreak" period to stem the rise in coronavirus cases.

Proponents of circuit breakers argue that although they won't stop a virus in its tracks, they can suppress the spread of infections and buy governments and healthcare systems time to act. But while public health experts might advocate for them, business owners dread a return to lockdown. CNBC takes a look at how "circuit breakers" and "firebreaks" work here.Holly Ellyatt

Gottlieb: U.S. is about a week away from a rapid Covid-19 case spike

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These are going to be tough months, but we can’t let our guard down: Dr. Scott Gottlieb

Former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb is warning that the U.S. is about "a week away from seeing a rapid acceleration" in coronavirus cases.

Without a backstop from widely available treatments, Gottlieb said Monday evening on CNBC's "The News with Shepard Smith," "the fall and winter season is when this coronavirus is going to want to spread."

"We can look to happier days, but these are going to be some tough months ahead," he cautioned.

Echoing similar comments from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, Gottlieb said the holiday season and family gatherings are especially precarious for the spread of coronavirus because that's when people let their guard down. —Matthew J. Belvedere

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic-testing start-up Tempus and biotech company Illumina.

Covid-19 likely to become as 'endemic' as annual flu virus

Covid-19 is likely to become as "endemic" as the annual flu virus, the U.K.'s chief scientific advisor said.

"We can't be certain, but I think it's unlikely we will end up with a truly sterilizing vaccine, (that is) something that completely stops infection, and it's likely this disease will circulate and be endemic, that's my best assessment," Patrick Vallance told the National Security Strategy Committee in London on Monday.

"Clearly as management becomes better, as you get vaccination which would decrease the chance of infection and the severity of disease ... this then starts to look more like annual flu than anything else and that may be the direction we end up going," he said.

A vaccine against the new coronavirus — and there are a handful in Phase 3 clinical trials, according to the World Health Organization — is not likely to eradicate the virus anyway, Vallance added. —Holly Ellyatt

Logitech's second-quarter profit surges as pandemic boosts home-working

Shares of Logitech soared after the maker of keyboards, mice webcams and headsets reported a big jump in second-quarter profit, Reuters reports.

Logitech shares were up nearly 18% in the premarket.

The computer peripherals maker also boosted its outlook once again as it continues to benefit from the work-from-home boom amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Logitech now expects annual sales to rise between 35% and 40%, up from its previous guidance of a 10% to 13% increase, according to Reuters.

"The growth trends that drive our business have accelerated as society adjusts to its new reality," CEO Bracken Darrell said in a statement. "The organization leaders I speak to envision people increasingly working from multiple locations, a hybrid work culture that is emerging as the norm." —Terri Cullen

Moderna CEO reportedly expects interim vaccine results in November

An image of Stéphane Bancel of Moderna Therapeutics from a company video.
Source: Moderna Therapeutics

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel expects interim results from the company's Covid-19 vaccine trial in November, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Bancel also told the Journal that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could issue an emergency use authorization before the end of the year.

Besides Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca, among others, are front-runners to develop a vaccine, Reuters reports. —Terri Cullen

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