Pandemic leads to smallest World Series crowd in over a century
A crowd of 11,388 attended Tuesday night’s World Series opener between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays, spread in groups of up to four, mostly in alternate rows and none directly behind each other among the forest green seats of Globe Life Field.
That was the smallest crowd for the Series since 10,535 attended Game 6 in 1909 between the Tigers and Pittsburgh at Detroit’s Bennett Park, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Dodgers took game 1 of the best-of-seven series, winning by a score of 8-3.
This World Series had a surreal, at times somber aspect caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. The small crowd was supplemented with fan audio from stadium speakers.
No fans were allowed to any of the 898 regular-season games this season, which were played in empty ballparks due to governmental health restrictions.
Players’ families were allowed starting for the 18 first-round games, the 15 Division Series games and the AL Championship Series between Tampa Bay and Houston in San Diego, with fans added for the Dodgers’ matchup against Atlanta in the NL Championship Series in Arlington, an average of 10,835 for the seven games. Roughly the same amount of tickets were sold for each World Series game.
Pandemic widens learning gap in South Korea
When South Korea began its delayed school year with remote learning in April, that spelled trouble for low-income students who rely on public education, get easily distracted and cannot afford cram schools or tutors used by many in this education-obsessed country.
Students like Han Shin Bi, who struggled to concentrate.
“Online classes were really inconvenient,” said Han, a high school senior in Seoul. “I ended up with a bad grade (in an exam) because I didn’t really focus on studying while online. It was a blow.”
Like legions of other students around the world, kids in South Korea are struggling with remote learning, taking online classes off-and-on from home as the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic.
Experts say the reduced interaction with teachers, digital distractions and technical difficulties are widening the education achievement gap among students in South Korea, leaving those less well off, like Han, at even more at a disadvantage.
Students who were doing well before the pandemic, often from middle- and upper-class families, have an easier time keeping their grades up and plenty of family support if they run into trouble.
Trump held maskless rallies despite knowing of rising coronavirus cases
New documents released by Congress show the White House was well aware that coronavirus cases were rapidly rising again after Labor Day, but the president continued to hold large maskless rallies and downplayed the virus. Ben Tracy reports for the “CBS Evening News.”
Nevada sees surge of COVID cases, but plans no immediate changes
Nevada’s rate of coronavirus infections is steadily rising again. But state officials are reluctant to blame relaxed guidelines and say there is no reason yet to consider stricter measures.
“We’re not at that point now,” Governor Steve Sisolak said Tuesday.
“I don’t want to get to that point … I don’t want to see that happen, so we are working to loosen things up more and get people back to what their new normal is,” he said at a news conference in Las Vegas.
Sisolak and state health officials pointed to national and worldwide trends rather than the easing of state guidelines as the cause of the spikes and said adherence to prevention measures could curb the spread of the virus and prevent reimplementing restrictions.
Nevada’s rate of infections has been increasing since Sisolak, a Democrat, relaxed restrictions on the size of public gatherings on October 1. The White House Coronavirus Task Force has since redesignated the state as a “red zone,” after the number of new cases per week per 100,000 residents surpassed 100.
California’s Napa County wineries can resume indoor operations
Napa County became the latest in the Bay Area and the first in the North Bay to enter the “orange” tier under California’s reopening plan, allowing for expanded indoor business operations, health officials said Tuesday.
County officials said more capacity would be allowed for indoor dining, religious services, movie theaters and other industries with modifications and in accordance with the state’s guidelines.
Starting on Wednesday, restaurants in Napa County can have indoor dining at up to 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer. For wineries in the famed wine growing region, indoor operations are allowed at up to 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
Health officials said in a statement that Napa County has met the orange tier status for one week with a test positivity rate of 1.7% per 100,000 population, adjusted case rate of 3.6 new positive cases per day per 100,000, and a health equity test positivity rate of 2.1% per 100,000.
Read more at CBS San Francisco here.
California school fined $15,000 for defying pandemic order
A California private school has been ordered to pay $15,000 for defying a judge’s order to close classrooms and stop in-person teaching. Tuesday’s decision in Fresno County Superior Court ends a nearly three-month legal battle that pitted county and state officials against Immanuel Schools, which is a private K-12 Christian school in California’s Central Valley.
It may be the first judgment of its kind against a California school for violating health orders aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
Sidewalk side hustle helps seamstress survive coronavirus pandemic
Right from the tailor shop she fashioned out of a pushcart that was once used to roast nuts, Makayla Wray sews new life into customers’ clothing and into New York City. The 29-year-old seamstress began her sidewalk side hustle after the pandemic ripped away her freelance jobs in the fashion industry.
“During this pandemic you are proof that New York City is still alive,” CBS News told Wray.
“I think it definitely is,” she responded. “I feel like this lives people the time to be creative. I definitely have allowed the city to push me and move me just to, like, survive.”
Read more here.
Few fans, masked umps, muted celebrations as World Series kicks off
A World Series like no other opens Tuesday night with Clayton Kershaw’s Los Angeles Dodgers pursuing redemption, Kevin Kiermaier’s Tampa Bay Rays seeking acclaim and Major League Baseball relieved just to reach the championship of the pandemic-delayed season.
Buzz figures to be dampened, with attendance down to about 11,000 in the smallest crowd for a Series game since roughly 1909.
The entire Series will be played on artificial turf for the first time since 1993, at new $1.2 billion Globe Life Field, home of a Texas Rangers team eliminated on September 20. Traditional postgame victory celebrations are barred. But surroundings are largely irrelevant to the favored Dodgers and under-the-radar Rays.
Los Angeles, baseball’s biggest spender, is back in the Series for the third time in four years as it seeks its first title since 1988.
See more coverage of Tuesday night’s Game 1 at CBSSports.com here.
Idaho reports its largest spike of COVID cases since pandemic began
Idaho is seeing its largest coronavirus spike since the pandemic began, with the number of new cases increasing 46.5% over the past two weeks. That has some health care experts urging Gov. Brad Little to take additional action to slow the spread of the virus.
Dr. Bart Hill with the St. Luke’s Regional Health System says Idaho’s current approach hasn’t worked to change the trajectory of the pandemic. He says hospital officials are meeting with the governor to encourage additional steps like statewide information campaigns targeting teens and young adults.
The governor has said the responsibility for efforts to slow the virus falls on individuals. He urges people to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands.
Rural hospitals overwhelmed amid new surge of COVID cases
Coronavirus hospitalizations are rising in 37 states, and rural hospitals are feeling the brunt of the fall surge. Upland Hills Health in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, has just three ICU beds total. Doctors say for the first time, they’re unable to transfer patients to larger hospitals.
“There have been situations where they’ve said, ‘Well, we don’t really have any ICU beds available, so you’re going to have to continue to care for this patient,'” Dr. Sarah Fox told CBS News.
In nearby Madison, just a few weeks ago, Dr. Alexandra Wick had no coronavirus patients at University Hospital. Now, all of her patients have COVID-19.
Read more here.
U.K. “challenge” trials will infect healthy volunteers with COVID-19
As the world surpasses 40 million confirmed coronavirus cases, there is now a call for volunteers in the U.K. willing to be infected with the virus in the first-ever COVID-19 “challenge” trial. Elizabeth Palmer reports for the “CBS Evening News.”
Colorado governor won’t toughen virus restrictions
Colorado’s governor says he won’t impose new statewide restrictions for addressing what he calls an alarming acceleration of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Governor Jared Polis said Tuesday that he will instead encourage the people of Colorado to take responsibility for mask-wearing, social distancing, getting tested, self-quarantining and other behaviors to stem the virus’ spread.
Polis says roughly 80% of the pandemic fight comes down to personal decisions. He also says local health agencies are best suited to deal with any rising cases among their residents.
The state reported 1,208 new confirmed cases Tuesday and 417 hospitalizations.
42 virus cases linked to Maine church event
At least 42 coronavirus cases have been linked to a church in Brooks, Maine, that held indoor services with 70-100 people who attended. The church also held a multiday “fellowship gathering” with nearby churches that involved up to 150 people.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is now investigating the outbreak at Brooks Pentecostal Church and its affiliated school, Lighthouse Christian Academy, in Waldo County. The number of confirmed cases linked to the church have risen to 42 on Tuesday, from just 17 associated cases on Saturday.
Dr. Nirav D. Shah, director of the Maine CDC, called the outbreak “quickly evolving” during a news conference on Tuesday, adding that he expects the number of cases associated with the church to increase in the coming days, “perhaps significantly.”
Read more here.
New Jersey sees spike in COVID-19 cases
With an average of 900 new positive coronavirus cases a day, New Jersey is seeing a worrying spike in COVID-19 cases.
Health officials in the state have called the increased cases a source of “widespread community spread,” most driven by indoor gatherings.
Since March 4, New Jersey has reported 221,205 positive cases, according to state health officials. The statewide rate of transmission remains at 1.14. At least 758 patients remain hospitalized.
“Many of the new cases we are tracking are coming not from our schools or businesses, or many other activities, but from private gatherings inside private homes,” New Jersey Governor Philip D. Murphy said in a news conference on Monday. “Especially as the cooler weather pulls more of us back inside we have to remain extra vigilant.”
Residents are being urged to refrain from traveling out of state, except when necessary. With an average of 10 cases per 100,000 residents, New Jersey now qualifies to be included in New York state’s travel advisory. As of Tuesday, 38 states remained on the list.
Only 28 positive virus tests in New York City schools
Out of 16,000 tests from New York City schools, only 28 have come back positive, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
The news marks a .17% positive rating across all schools and is compiled from the most recent data from New York City’s mandatory testing program. The city conducts tests in 377 schools every month.
De Blasio, in a news conference Tuesday, called the results “amazing.”
“The proof is in the results, and these are amazing results,” said de Blasio. “[A low rate] bodes well for the future of our schools and our ability to fight and overcome this disease.”
Tuesday also marked Governor Andrew Cuomo’s closure of schools in nine coronavirus hot spots in New York. Before closures, the neighborhoods saw positive test rates over 3% for at least seven days.
Cuomo has closed the schools by zip code but has not ruled out expanding the borders of the shutdown if more cases begin to trend upward.
Arkansas exceeds 100,000 COVID-19 cases
Arkansas has surpassed 100,000 positive coronavirus cases, according to a new report from state health officials. The state on Tuesday reported 840 confirmed cases and an additional 14 deaths.
“That is a milestone, I know, that everyone will note as being a remarkable, large number and I did want to note that passing of the 100,000-mark regrettably today,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said in a news conference Tuesday.
Arkansas has reported 1,576 deaths from the virus. There are currently 637 residents hospitalized with the virus across the state.
McConnell urged White House not to make a deal on stimulus bill ahead of election
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Senate Republicans Tuesday that he urged the White House against making a deal on a large coronavirus stimulus bill ahead of the election, a source familiar confirmed to CBS News.
McConnell publicly said on Tuesday that he would bring a “presidentially-supported bill” to the Senate floor for a vote “at some point.” His main focus in the final two weeks before Election Day is on confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court justice.
“If a presidentially-supported bill clears the House, at some point we’ll bring to the floor,” McConnell told reporters on Tuesday.
McConnell’s position could kill any hope of a stimulus bill passing before the election, despite the continued efforts of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to reach a deal. Pelosi and Mnuchin have continued negotiations over a relief bill after Pelosi had set a Tuesday deadline to reach a deal on legislation that could be passed in Congress ahead of the election.
Pelosi and Mnuchin were scheduled to speak by phone on Tuesday afternoon. The speaker said earlier in the day that she believed “we’re on a path” to achieving a deal.
“We’re on a path, and you have to be optimistic,” Pelosi said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “As the secretary and I say to each other, ‘If we didn’t believe we could get this done, why would we even be talking?'”
Read more here.
University of Michigan students ordered to “stay in place”
Students attending the University of Michigan have been ordered to “stay in place” for two weeks after county health officials said more than 1,000 students tested positive for COVID-19, which makes up 61% of all cases in Washtenaw County. As of October 19, there are currently 4,229 cases there.
The county’s health department said current evidence suggests activity around the Ann Arbor campus “is driven by social gatherings that do not adhere” to state and county’s public health orders.
The “stay in place” order will be active until November 3 and will require all undergraduate students to remain at their designated residences. Students will still be allowed to attend in-person classes, vote, attend medical appointments, religious activities and be tested for COVID-19, but will not be allowed to leave for outdoor physical activity in groups larger than two people.
The University of Michigan will continue contract tracing during the stay in place order and will extend the order with more restrictive measures if rates continue to rise.
“Today, the Washtenaw County Health Department, in collaboration with the university, issued a 14-day Stay in Place order for our undergraduate students, which goes into effect immediately,” the university’s president, Mark Schlissel, said in a statement to students. “We fully support this action, as it enhances protections for our students and the welfare of our community. We also are implementing steps beyond the order out of an abundance of caution and to provide choices for students and instructors, including moving more of our undergraduate courses to fully remote instruction.”
Disneyland and Universal Studios get strict reopening guidelines
Theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood will have to wait until their counties reach the least restrictive yellow tier, under California’s new guidelines released Tuesday.
Major theme parks will only be allowed to reopen in the yellow tier, and even then, with only 25% capacity and other health restrictions. Smaller theme parks will be able to open outdoor attractions if and when their home counties reach the orange, or third, tier of the reopening roadmap.
New guidelines were also issued for sporting events at outdoor stadiums. Some sports can resume once their county moves into the orange tier, but capacity will be limited to 20%. Once a county improves to the yellow tier, capacity can go up to 25%.
Ticket sales at these venues will be restricted to customers within a 120-mile radius, and must be purchased in advance. Venues will not be allowed to sell tickets on the day of an event, and eating and drinking must be done in assigned seats. Masks will be required when not eating or drinking, and tailgating at sports events will not be allowed.
Read more here.
Oklahoma hospitalizations reach record high
The number of people hospitalized in Oklahoma with the coronavirus reached a record high: 821.
The number reported by the Oklahoma State Department of Health on Tuesday is 28 more than the previous record of 793 recorded on Friday.
Governor Kevin Stitt plans to discuss hospital capacity in the state. The health department reported an additional 1,475 cases and 18 deaths. There’s been a total of 109,548 confirmed cases and 1,191 deaths in Oklahoma.
Head of New Jersey hospital on second wave: ‘This is about to get worse”
New Jersey on Tuesday reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases. It’s the third day in a row that number has surpassed 1,000 as hospitalizations increase and more schools are delaying reopenings, CBS New York reported.
“This is not something we didn’t expect. We expected a second wave to happen in the fall, but the question is how bad it gets. That means peak, and how quickly we get to that peak,” said Dr. Shereef Elnahal, president and CEO of Newark’s University Hospital.
The hospital is already nearly at capacity with non-COVID patients, and now virus hospitalizations are increasing again, Elnahal said.
“Signs are pointing that this is about to get worse,” Elnahal said. “When you start to hit levels of 3 or 4% positivity, you can expect even more admissions. And most concerningly, John, we did have one COVID-19 death last week for the first time in many weeks.”
Read more at CBS New York.
U.S. billionaires gained almost $1 trillion in wealth during the pandemic
The nation’s 644 billionaires have enjoyed a staggering rise in wealth since the pandemic shuttered the economy in March, with the group gaining almost $1 trillion in total net worth, according to a new analysis. The spike in wealth coincides with what some economists are calling a K-shaped recovery, with the rich regaining their footing while poorer Americans struggle with lost wages and jobs.
The wealth of the nation’s billionaires rose to $3.88 trillion as of October 13, a jump of $931 billion from March, the analysis found. Total wealth for U.S. billionaires is also almost twice the $2.1 trillion in wealth held by the bottom half of the U.S. population, or about 165 million people, they added.
Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has enjoyed the biggest bump to his personal fortune, according to the analysis from Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies, two left-leaning groups. Bezos’ wealth has jumped by $90.1 billion to $203.1 billion from March 18 through October 13, bolstered by a rise in his company’s stock price as Americans turned en masse to Amazon and other e-commerce players for their consumer spending during the pandemic. Amazon.com shares reached a record of more than $3,500 a share in September.
Read more here.
New York updates list of restricted states
New York has added several states and territories to its travel restriction list as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday. People who are traveling to New York from the restricted areas are required to quarantine for 14 days.
“We are now in a situation where 43 states meet the criteria for our travel advisory. This is really a bizarre outcome, considering New York once had the highest infection rate,” Cuomo said in a statement.
“There is no practical way to quarantine New York from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut. There are just too many interchanges, interconnections, and people who live in one place and work in the other. It would have a disastrous effect on the economy, and remember while we’re fighting this public health pandemic we’re also fighting to open up the economy. However, to the extent travel between the states is not essential, it should be avoided.”
Here’s the updated list of restricted states and territories:
Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming
British PM to impose highest level of restrictions on Manchester
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he’ll impose the highest level of coronavirus restrictions on the Greater Manchester region, after no deal was reached on a financial package.
Johnson says action was needed to protect the lives of Manchester’s residents and the region’s health care system. The Tier 3 measures mean pubs and businesses must close and people in England’s second-largest city are banned from socializing with other households.
Leaders of the Greater Manchester region have resisted the tough restrictions for days, saying local businesses forced to close would need more financial support from the government. Mayor Andy Burnham says he asked for an aid package, but the government walked away from the talks.
CDC now “strongly recommends” masks on public transit
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance on Monday saying it “strongly recommends appropriate masks be worn by all passengers and by all personnel” operating public transport across the country, including in stations, terminals and airports, to help slow spiraling coronavirus infections.
The Trump administration has thus far declined to issue any national mandate on face coverings, opting to leave such rules to state and local leaders to determine. The president himself has said he wears a mask “when needed,” but he’s disparaged other politicians and journalists for wearing masks, mocking one reporter during a White House news conference as “politically correct” for his decision not to remove his mask to ask a question.
Issuing its new “interim guidance” note on Monday, the CDC called masks “one of the most effective strategies available for reducing COVID-19 transmission,” and said well-fitted face coverings “are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings. Wide use of masks especially helps protect those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as well as workers who frequently come into close contact with other people (e.g., in airports, seaports or other docks, bus terminals, and train stations).”
Read more here.
Massachusetts governor discusses vaccine distribution plan
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said Tuesday the state is developing a plan to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine. The plan lays out the initial steps for a “robust, comprehensive and equitable” vaccine distribution system once one or more vaccines become available.
Officials anticipate limited supply in the early phase and plan to prioritize some health care workers, people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 – including people with underlying medical conditions and those older than 65 – and other essential workers, Baker said.
“The plan also outlines our messaging efforts to make sure people know once there is a vaccine available, that it has been approved by the federal government and is safe and effective,” he said.
“We’ll also make it a priority to reach out specifically to groups that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including people and communities of color.”
Baker called it an interim plan “that will probably change as more information becomes available.”
Massachusetts is among the states that has recently seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases. As of mid-last week, a total of 63 communities in the state, including Boston, were considered high risk for virus infections, up from 40 a week before. The designation is based on average daily cases per 100,000 residents, CBS Boston reported.
8 NFL players test positive for COVID-19
The NFL announced Tuesday that eight players and 11 new personnel tested positive for coronavirus between October 11 and October 17.
Through this testing period, the NFL administered 38,880 tests to players and team personnel, receiving 19 positive tests in total. In accordance with health and safety regulations, the NFL tests players and some personnel daily, while others are tested weekly. Those who have tested positive have been isolated and barred from team contact and access to facilities, but are in communication with club medical staff, the league and player’s union said in a joint statement.
The NFL did not say which teams or players had positive test results.
The NFL has not announced which teams contained positive tests or the names of players and personnel. Since August 1, 47 players have tested positive, along with 71 other personnel, although only several games have been postponed or rescheduled.
Melania Trump stays off campaign trail Tuesday, citing lingering cough
First lady Melania Trump was scheduled to travel with President Trump to a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday but is now staying home due to a lingering cough from her bout with COVID-19.
Her chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, said the first lady continues to improve. Mrs. Trump has tested negative for the virus after contracting it along with the president and their son, Barron.
“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,” Grisham said.
Read more here.
U.K. plans to infect healthy volunteers in new vaccine trial
U.K.-based researchers have planned a series of challenge vaccine trials in an attempt to speed up the production of a COVID-19 vaccine. The trials involve infecting healthy volunteers who have not exhibited symptoms of the virus, between the ages of 18-30, with a live version of the virus. These types of vaccine trials are uncommon because some consider them unethical.
The trials are a partnership between Imperial College London, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), hVIVO, a company familiar with viral human challenge models, and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.
“Human challenge studies can increase our understanding of COVID-19 in unique ways and accelerate development of the many potential new COVID-19 treatments and vaccines,” lead researcher Dr. David Chui said in a statement.
“Our number one priority is the safety of the volunteers. My team has been safely running human challenge studies with other respiratory viruses for over 10 years. No study is completely risk free, but the Human Challenge Programme partners will be working hard to ensure we make the risks as low as we possibly can.”
The study will be reviewed by an ethics committee and regulators before volunteers are enrolled.
More than 220,000 have died in the U.S.
More than 220,400 people have died from coronavirus in America, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The death toll comes amid a fall surge of virus cases across the nation. As of Tuesday, over 8.2 million people have been sickened by the virus in the U.S.
Surge in coronavirus cases puts strain on Wisconsin hospitals
Health experts are warning the months ahead will be some of the hardest of the coronavirus pandemic. It comes as the U.S. climbs towards a third peak, and nowhere is it more true than in Wisconsin, which has emerged as the country’s hot spot. The state is setting records for new cases, hospital admissions and deaths.
At UW Hospital in Madison, COVID-19 hospitalizations have almost doubled since the start of October. Nurse Katie Lanoway said it happened almost overnight.
“I’m really frustrated. It is scary because you don’t want to take that home to people you care about,” Lanoway told CBS News. “We really need help here in the hospital from people outside, to start wearing the mask and staying away from people.”
One COVID-19 unit used to be limited to one hallway, which has about 10 patient rooms, and now they’ve had to expand to three hallways because of the surge.
Dr. Jeff Pothoff, UW Health’s chief quality officer, works on a medivac team that has airlifted several coronavirus patients. “They thought they were going to be OK, and then all of a sudden, they end up here. There’s some regret,” Pothoff said. “At that point, it’s too late. There isn’t a do-over.”
Read more from the “CBS Evening News” here.