Trump says he will "put pressure on governors" to reopen schools
From CNN's Nikki Carvajal
President Trump said Tuesday he will “put pressure on governors” to reopen schools in the fall.
“We hope that most schools are going to be open,” Trump said at a White House event on reopening schools safely.
“We don’t want people to make political statements or do it for political reasons. They think it’s going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed,” he said. “No way.”
“We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open,” he continued. “And it’s very important. It’s very important for our country, it’s very important for the well being of the student and the parents. So we’re going to be putting a lot of pressure on open your schools in the fall.”
3:45 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020
South Korean nightclubs were source of at least 246 cases of Covid-19, research finds
From CNN's Naomi Thomas
A decision to reopen nightclubs in an entertainment district of Seoul led to an outbreak of at least 246 cases of coronavirus in South Korea in May, researchers found.
Officials decided to open clubs in the Itaewon district for the Golden Week holiday, which runs from April 30 to May 5, because the pandemic had started to plateau there.
But starting May 6, officials started noticing cases among people who had been to the clubs. The clubs were closed again and the Seoul Municipal Government began testing people, the research team reported in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Using cell phone location data, credit card records and nightclub visitor lists, the researchers in Seoul identified 5,517 people for screening. They monitored 1,257 of those people and an additional 57,375 people who had spent 30 minutes or more in the vicinity of the clubs were encouraged to be tested.
The government worried there could be problems testing. As the media reported that the venues at the epicenter of the outbreak were gay nightclubs, rumors began that the outbreak started among gay men. Gay South Korean men often experience prejudice and stigmatization, and can be unwilling to reveal their sexual identity, the researchers said.
Because of this, the Seoul Metropolitan Government consulted with sexual-minority groups to discuss ways to encourage testing. Their solution was anonymous testing, with the only information required from patients being their cell phone numbers.
By May 25, the team identified at least 246 confirmed nightclub-associated cases. They found 39% of the cases were in people who had visited the clubs themselves, and the rest were in contacts of those people. Cases were found in Seoul and further out into the community and country.
“Despite the low incidence in the postpeak period of the pandemic, superspreading related to visiting nightclubs in Seoul has the potential to spark a resurgence of cases in South Korea,” the researchers wrote.
3:35 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020
National Education Association criticizes Trump's call to reopen schools
From CNN's Nick Valencia
Ahead of today’s roundtable discussion at the White House, the largest teachers union in the United States issued a statement sharply criticizing President Trump’s call to reopen school buildings.
In a statement, Lily Eskelsen García, the president of the National Education Association, said, “the reality is no one should listen to Donald Trump or Betsy DeVos when it comes to what is best for students.”
“Trump has not once proven credible, compassionate or thoughtful when it comes to this pandemic. He ignored our intelligence agencies warning him of the pandemic. He blatantly ignores doctors and nurses on how to tackle the virus. He ignores local leaders about reopening the economy safely,” the statement added.
NEA’s president added Trump and DeVos have “zero credibility for how to best support students," adding "America must listen to the health experts onwhento reopen schools and to educators on how to return to in-person instruction.”
3:21 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020
Ohio governor advises people not to travel to Covid-19 "hot spots"
From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia
Gov. Mike DeWine advised Ohioans it's “probably not the best time to go to some of these hot spots."
"We have spread Ohio, we’re not denying that, we have a serious situation in Ohio," he said on Tuesday.
Asked about whether travel from other states, such as Florida, is affecting the spread, the governor said it was hard to determine exactly what impact it has had.
“But there are some other states that are red hot and you might... want to think twice about going to those states," DeWine said.
He said ultimately depends on what people do on those trips, the situation they are in and whether travel has had impact.
Some background: DeWine announced the Department of Health will be implementing a mask mandate to seven counties, starting Wednesday.
“We feel have a huge, imminent crisis,” he said, adding the mask order is “the most pinpointed thing we can do.”
“If 75% or 80% of people in the state of Ohio would wear a mask when they are out, we would dramatically kick this virus in the stomach,” he added.
3:19 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020
San Francisco delays reopening indoor dining and outdoor bars
From CNN's Alexandra Meeks
The reopening of indoor dining restaurants and outdoor bars, originally scheduled for July 13, will be delayed, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced at a press conference Tuesday.
"It was really hard to make that decision to put a pause on reopening," Breed said. "We will not be able to allow restaurants to operate indoors as we had planned, nor will we be able to allow bars to open outdoors. We have no choice."
San Francisco has seen a 25% increase in Covid-19 cases over the past week and reported at least 4,020 total cases in the city today.
Breed said if health officials see the number of cases stabilize or decline in any way, they will reconsider the closures and begin the process of determining what businesses can open.
San Francisco's health officials are also currently evaluating other businesses that had been proposed to reopen between June 29 and July 13, including hair salons, barber shops, indoor museums, outdoor pools, gyms, real estate open houses by appointment, and zoos, as part of their phase 2C reopening.
An update on the status of reopening these businesses will be provided by the end of the week, officials said.
"We’ll continue to make decisions based on the data and the situation in our city, and in the meantime, we all need to do our part to keep each other safe and healthy," Breed said in a statement. "That means wearing face coverings, keeping your distance from others, and getting tested."
3:04 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020
California's coronavirus hospitalizations remain at all-time high
From CNN's Cheri Mossburg
Coronavirus hospitalizations in California are reaching new levels, with nearly 6,000 Covid-19 patients.
This is a 3.4% one-day increase as almost 200 more patients were admitted. There are also a record number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units, according to data from California Department of Public Health.
CDPH is recording at least 6,448 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, adding 111 fatalities in today’s report.
The positivity rate in California over the past two weeks stands at 6.8% with about 4.9 million tests conducted to date.
NOTE: These numbers were released by the California Department of Public Health, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project
2:53 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020
Top US health expert doesn't expect a coronavirus vaccine federal mandate in the US
From CNN’s Amanda Watts
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said he doesn’t anticipate a federal coronavirus vaccine mandate in the United States.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a situation where you mandated for the general population,” the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director told Alabama Sen. Doug Jones during a Facebook Live discussion on Tuesday.
Fauci gave an example during the flu season, the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center administration mandates he get a flu shot in order to see his patients, but he said that’s different than a national or federal mandate.
“That has not happened ever — to my knowledge — at a national level or even at a state level,” he said.
"I don't see it on a national level, merely because of all the situations you have encroaching upon a person's freedom to make their own choice of their own health,” Fauci added.
2:52 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020
Mask mandate to go into effect in 7 Ohio counties Wednesday, governor says
From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia
The Ohio Department of Health will be issuing an order effective 6 p.m. tomorrow night that people must wear a mask in public in seven counties, Gov. Mike DeWine said.
“Primarily this will be when they are in a public place, inside, a restaurant a bar, jewelry store, some other place in public,” he said.
The order will be effective so long as the county remains at a red level, or purple level.
Red indicates level three risk – very high exposure and spread. Purple indicates level four rise – severe exposure and spread.
While this is aimed at a specific seven counties, the governor encourages people in other counties to wear a mask as well so their cases do not rise, though it is not required.
Masks will be required to be worn:
When they are in any indoor location that is not a residence.
When they are outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from people that are not members of their household.
While they are waiting for, riding or driving public transportation or car services, such as ride shares.
This does not apply to children under the age of 10 or others who cannot safely wear a face covering. The order extends previously exceptions in existence in regard to the requirement that people wear a mask while at work.
2:50 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020
Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations in Ohio are up, governor says
From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia
Ohio reported 948 Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours — a number that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says is “down a little bit” from where it’s been “but certainly is up significantly from where it was three weeks ago.”
That is above the 21-day average of 804 which continues to increase “as these numbers continue to go up,” he said at a news conference Tuesday.
The deaths are up over the average, with 43 reported in the last 24 hours, DeWine said
Hospitalizations are “significantly up” with a report of 134 in the last 24 hours “as well as the ICU admissions,” he said.
Hospital admissions are “creeping up,” he said, adding that is “obviously of some …concern.”
Some context: Ohio is one of at least 31 states that have showed an upward trend in average new daily cases, CNN reported.