July 8 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Steve George, Laura Smith-Spark, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 8:01 PM ET, Wed July 8, 2020
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4:50 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

26 Mississippi legislators have tested positive for Covid-19, officials say

From CNN's James Froio and Jamiel Lynch 

Mississippi legislators, staff and Capitol employees take advantage of a drive-thru Covid-19 testing center on the Capitol grounds in Jackson, Miss., on Monday, July 6.
Mississippi legislators, staff and Capitol employees take advantage of a drive-thru Covid-19 testing center on the Capitol grounds in Jackson, Miss., on Monday, July 6. Rogelio V. Solis/AP

Mississippi Health Department Dr. Thomas Dobbs said the state is continuing to work on an outbreak that resulted in several legislators testing positive for coronavirus.

“Thus far, we have identified 36 cases associated with the outbreak, 26 of whom are legislators,” Dobbs said.

More on this: Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has tested negative for Covid-19, his office announced on Tuesday, while the Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and State House Speaker Philip Gunn have both tested positive. 

4:42 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Houston mayor cancels in-person GOP convention 

From CNN's Raja Razek

In this file photo, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner addresses the U.S. Conference of Mayors 86th annual Winter Meeting at the Capitol Hilton January 25, 2018 in Washington.
In this file photo, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner addresses the U.S. Conference of Mayors 86th annual Winter Meeting at the Capitol Hilton January 25, 2018 in Washington. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he "instructed the Houston Forst Corporation to exercise its right contractually in canceling State's Republican Convention."

"Today I instructed the Houston Forst Corporation to exercise its right contractually in cancelling the State's Republican Convention that was set to take place next week at GRB. #COVID19," the mayor tweeted. 

Turner said Covid-19 is prevalent in Houston and he must do his part to help combat and mitigate the virus. 

"The public health concern for our first responders, convention workers, and those who would have attended weighed heavily in our decision making. #Houston is in the midst of a global health crisis and we are doing everything in our power to combat #COVID19," Turner tweeted.

4:29 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

California governor says schools will reopen when the data shows it is safe to do so

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg and Stella Chan

Schools grounds stand empty at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex before the new restrictions went into effect at midnight as the the coronavirus pandemic spreads on March 19, in Los Angeles, California. 
Schools grounds stand empty at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex before the new restrictions went into effect at midnight as the the coronavirus pandemic spreads on March 19, in Los Angeles, California.  David McNew/Getty Images

California schools will reopen when the data shows it is safe to do so, according to California Gov. Gavin Newsom 

“I’m not worried about the latest tweets,” he said, in a thinly veiled reference to President Trump.

“We need to address safely reopening schools. That to me is non-negotiable," the governor said at a news conference.

Reopening schools will be based on local conditions in the state, but Newsom added that “we must insist upon learning at the beginning of the school year.”

“Given our current data and the ongoing community transmission of this deadly virus, it’s prudent that school districts prepare a distance learning back-up plan that is ready to be implemented in the event that our data shows us this is the safest path forward,” the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a statement to CNN.

Anticipating that schools will continue to be a topic of conversation, Newsom implored the public that reopening is contingent on behavior.

“We can just roll over and accept the spread and transmission with behaviors that have led to this,” Newsom said. “Or we can do more to practice personal responsibilities with face coverings and masks and physical distancing that will mitigate the spread.”
4:27 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Illinois reports more than 950 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Kay Jones and Brad Parks 

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 980 new Covid-19 cases across the state on Wednesday, bringing the total to 149,432. 

This is the highest number of daily cases reported since June 5, according to the the department's website.  

According to a statement from the department, positivity rate for cases between July 1 and July 7 is 2.6%.

The department also reported a total of 1,518 patients hospitalized due to the virus, with 331 in intensive care. There are a total of 7,099 deaths statewide.

To note: These figures were released by Illinois 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.

4:32 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Here's the latest coronavirus update from Louisiana

From CNN's Pierre Meilhan

The number of people contracting Covid-19 in Louisiana are getting younger and more White people, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Wednesday.

There’s a smaller percentage of younger patients in intensive care unit beds and on ventilators, Edwards told reporters in Baton Rouge.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in Louisiana is 70,151, according to the state’s Department of Health.

“People in Louisiana have a role to play,” he said. "It’s important (to wear masks) any time outside your home.”

The governor said the state's goal is to open up schools on time but it needs to be done safely.

If on-campus learning resumes, Edwards said it won’t look like the way it did before the coronavirus pandemic.

4:07 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

One-third of Americans missed their July housing payments due to Covid-19, survey says

From CNN's Alison Kosik

Thirty-two percent of Americans did not make a full, on-time housing payment in July due to the continued economic fallout of the coronavirus, according to online rental platform Apartment List.

This is the fourth straight month of a "historically high" number of Americans unable to pay their full hosing bill, the survey released on Wednesday found, and up slightly from 30% in June. Missed payments continue to hit renters, young and low-income households, and residents of dense urban areas the hardest.

And as eviction moratoriums and unemployment benefits expire across the country, Apartment List says that Americans worry missed payments could lead to them losing their homes.

"As overdue bills pile up, there is growing concern that a wave of evictions and foreclosures will hit the housing market,” the survey showed. "While eviction protections today vary dramatically from place to place, our survey shows widespread and growing concern about housing insecurity."

4:04 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Utah reports record number of new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

Utah has reported a record-high number of new Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours — 715, state health data shows.

This is the highest daily case increase the state has reported, according to records that go back to early March.

Although the state has reported several sharp spikes in daily cases over the last few weeks, the state’s overall Covid-19 case trend is steady, according to both the state’s epidemic curve and CNN’s analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. 

Utah does not have a statewide mask order in place but at least two counties, Salt Lake and Summit, have been given permission by Gov. Gary Herbert to enact county-wide mandates, according to CNN affiliate KSTU.

 

4:03 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Summer camp closes after Covid-19 outbreak in Arkansas

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Camp Ozark, a summer camp facility located in Mount Ida, Arkansas, has temporarily closed down after an outbreak of Covid-19, according to Dr. Nate Smith, the state's cabinet secretary for the Department of Health. 

“Camp Ozark shared the information that they had on out-of-state campers and a counselor. They took action. They initially sent campers home and some counselors home, and then, as they had additional cases, they made the decision on their own to go ahead and close down for now,” Smith said. “We support that decision and we appreciate them partnering with us.”

Asked how the outbreak at the summer camp will inform his decision about reopening schools in the fall, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said “it simply means that whenever we reconvene, we’re going to have to adhere to those public health guidelines very strictly and not ignore, not that the summer camps did, but that we realize that when you have that congregation of people, it’s going to be a challenging environment that you’ve got to work with.”

4:10 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Tulsa is seeing an increase of Covid-19 cases after a week of declining numbers 

From CNN's Kay Jones

Dr. Bruce Dart
Dr. Bruce Dart Tulsa Department of Health

Dr. Bruce Dart, executive director of the Tulsa Health Department, said that there was a 20% decline in new Covid-19 cases the week of June 28 through July 4. However, he said there are high numbers being reported this week —nearly 500 new cases in two days — and the trends are showing that those numbers will increase. 

Tulsa Health Department reported 266 new cases today, bringing the total number in the county to at least 4,571. 

When asked if the cases are going up due to the rally President Trump held on June 20, Dart said that there were several large events a little over two weeks ago, which is about right. "I guess we just connect the dots." 

Mayor G.T. Bynum said the rally along with the large "serious seven" events — such as weddings, religious events and more — informed an executive order that goes into effect tomorrow requiring events with more than 500 people to receive guidance from the health department to evaluate safety plans. Event organizers and health officials will work on a case-by-case bases to make safe decisions in relation to the event, according to the executive order. 

While hospital capacity is fine right now, Bynum said that this week, "I finally started to hear some concern, not about where things stand today, but where things could look if we continue on this trajectory unchecked."