Saints Fans In the Stands: Top Stories, Sports and Business News — Oct. 21

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Mookie Betts leads the Dodgers to a Game 1 World Series win, reports say that a Brazilian volunteer in an AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trial has died and the New Orleans Saints are allowing fans to attend games. These are the stories shaping sports and business for Wednesday, October 21st, 2020.

Coronavirus Update

According to Johns Hopkins, There are over 40.9 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 1.1 million deaths.

The U.S. has surpassed 8.2 million cases with 221,000 deaths.

Per the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 60,664 new cases reported Tuesday, which is higher than the 57,148 cases reported the day earlier. 909,386 new tests were reported. And 832 deaths were reported yesterday, which is higher than the 456 deaths reported the day prior.

A Brazilian volunteer in a clinical trial of AstraZeneca-Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine trial has died, according to Brazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday, per a report in Reuters.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine trial is still on pause in the United States after a volunteer developed unexplained neurological symptoms in the UK trial. The UK trial has since resumed.

There are multiple reports that the FDA and the drug safety board overseeing the trial in the U.S. could clear AstraZeneca soon.

In an email to TheStreet, a spokesperson for AstraZeneca said, “We cannot comment on individual cases in an ongoing trial of the Oxford vaccine as we adhere strictly to medical confidentiality and clinical trial regulations, but we can confirm that all required review processes have been followed. All significant medical events are carefully assessed by trial investigators, an independent safety monitoring committee, and the regulatory authorities. These assessments have not led to any concerns about the continuation of the ongoing study.”

New Orleans Superdome to Allow Fans

If you’ve ever been to New Orleans you know that the town is about three things:

  • Seafood
  • Jazz
  • The Saints

After six weeks of not allowing fans into the Superdome to watch the team, New Orleans will be getting the Saints back starting this weekend after the team and city reached an agreement to allow fans into home games.

Mayor Latoya Cantrell agreed to a “phased and deliberate pilot approach” with lucky season ticket holders having access to 3,000 tickets set to be distributed.

The plan calls for capacity to be raised to 6,000 fans for the team’s two November home games on the 15 and 22 if current coronavirus case trends continue to show improvement.

Capacity would then increase to 15,000 for the December 20 game against Kansas City in what could be a potential Super Bowl preview, as well as for the Christmas day game against the hated Minnesota Vikings.

The New Orleans Saints issued a statement saying, “The Saints and Mayor Cantrell’s office encourage all of our fans to wear your mask while in public, practicing good hygiene and maintaining social distance. It is imperative as noted that everyone does their part to make sure all of the progress made by our community in our fight against Covid-19 is not lost and we have no setbacks.”

Sports Illustrated's Robin Lundberg and TheStreet's Tony Owusu contributed to this report.

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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