July 9 coronavirus news

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9:04 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

CDC will not revise guidelines for schools reopening despite Trump criticism 

From CNN's Naomi Thomas, Betsy Klein and Kevin Liptak

Custodian Tracy Harris cleans chairs in a classroom at Brubaker Elementary School on July 8 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Custodian Tracy Harris cleans chairs in a classroom at Brubaker Elementary School on July 8 in Des Moines, Iowa. Charlie Neibergall/AP

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the guidelines for reopening schools will not be revised, but additional reference documents will be provided.

“Our guidelines are our guidelines, but we are going to provide additional reference documents to aid basically communities that are trying to open K-through-12s,” Redfield said on Good Morning America Thursday. “It’s not a revision of the guidelines; it’s just to provide additional information to help schools be able to use the guidance we put forward.”

In response to comments about the guidelines being too tough or impractical, Redfield said this depends on how the guidelines are put together.

“Right now, we’re continuing to work with the local jurisdictions to how they want to take the portfolio of guidance that we’ve given to make them practical for their schools to reopen,” he said.

Redfield described the guidelines as “intentionally non-prescriptive,” and said that the range of guidelines given were to offer schools the option of what will work best for them.

Redfield said the CDC would work with any local jurisdiction on how best to use the guidelines to reopen their schools in the safest way, and that it would “personally sadden” him if people were to use the guidelines and concerns about them as a reason to stay closed.

“It’s a critical public health initiative right now to get these schools reopened and to do it safely,” Redfield said.

Some context: Redfield's comments come a day after President Trump tweeted Wednesday that he disagreed with CDC guidelines for safely reopening schools because they are "very tough" and "expensive."

During a press briefing a few hours later, Vice President Mike Pence said the CDC would issue new guidance on reopening schools next week. Both he and the CDC's director said the agency's recommendations should not be viewed as a barrier to returning children to classrooms.

8:33 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

States with steep Covid-19 increases "should seriously look at shutting down," Fauci says

From CNN's Health Gisela Crespo

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30 in Washington, DC.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30 in Washington, DC. Al Drago/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said states facing steep increases in new Covid-19 cases "should seriously look at shutting down."

“Any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down. It’s not for me to say, because each state is different," Fauci said, speaking to The Wall Street Journal in a podcast published Wednesday.

Fauci said some states "went too fast" in their reopening, while others followed the guidelines, "but the people in the state didn't listen and just threw caution to the wind."

The nation's top infectious disease expert said simple public health measures such as closing bars, spacing out seating at restaurants, avoiding crowds and wearing masks will curb the increase in cases.

"Guarantee you're going to see that curve come down," Fauci told Kate Linebaugh, co-host of "The Journal" podcast.

 

8:26 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Asymptomatic high-risk workers, such as taxi drivers and cleaners, will be tested in England

From Sharon Braithwaite in London

Pedestrians walk past a line of taxis on March 18 in Liverpool, England.
Pedestrians walk past a line of taxis on March 18 in Liverpool, England. Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

High-risk workers with no coronavirus symptoms will be tested for the infection in England, the UK Department of Health announced Thursday.

“A new pilot to evaluate the effectiveness of asymptomatic testing for people in high-contact professions has launched today in England,” the department said in a statement.

This pilot scheme will include a select group of staff such as taxi drivers, cleaners and retail assistants, “to see if there is demand for testing amongst these kinds of workers, and how they are affected by the virus.”

A targeted swab testing will take place in partnership with four local authorities, as well as businesses representing high-contact professions, with tens of thousands of tests offered to selected groups, the Department said.

8:11 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Japan's capital records highest daily increase in cases

 From Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo

Pedestrians wearing face masks are seen at the Shibuya crossing in Tokyo, on Thursday, July 9.
Pedestrians wearing face masks are seen at the Shibuya crossing in Tokyo, on Thursday, July 9. Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Tokyo recorded 224 new coronavirus cases Thursday, the largest single-day increase since the outbreak began, according to city governor Yuriko Koike.

Three quarters of the new cases were young people in their 20s and 30s. The governor said the spike could be attributed to the young population in Japan's capital partying and dining together.

Koike said a sizeable number of new infections were workers from night entertainment businesses.

The 224 new cases represent a sudden increase in cases after the city reported only 75 cases on Wednesday, after reporting over 100 cases for six days in a row.

However, Koike added that the jump in infections could be partly attributed to increased testing in Tokyo, saying that 3,400 tests were conducted in the city on Thursday alone.

7:57 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Fauci warns of huge US second wave if pandemic is not controlled

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate hearing in Washington on June 30.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate hearing in Washington on June 30. Al Drago/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

The fall could look a lot like March and April in terms of US coronavirus cases if the country doesn't get a handle on the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has warned.

To prevent the outbreak from spinning out of control, US residents must focus on controlling crowds, wearing masks and doing a better job at physical distancing, Fauci told the Wall Street Journal in a podcast Wednesday.

The US reached more than 3 million coronavirus cases this week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. At least 33 states as of Thursday morning have seen an upward trend in average daily cases -- an increase of at least 10% -- over the last week.

Read the full report here.

8:21 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

High-end kitchenware chain Sur La Table goes bankrupt

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

A pedestrian passes a boarded up Sur La Table retail space in Pasadena, California, on March 23.
A pedestrian passes a boarded up Sur La Table retail space in Pasadena, California, on March 23. Sarah Reingewirtz/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News/Getty Images

Sur La Table, the nearly 50-year-old purveyor of upscale kitchenware, has gone bankrupt.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection late Wednesday, announcing in a press release that it's putting itself up for sale and will close a substantial number of stores so it can "prosper in the current retail environment and position the company for a vibrant future."

Roughly half of its 120 US stores will close permanently, according to a spokesperson. Sur La Table, like other retailers, was temporarily forced to close its locations' doors in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sur La Table also known for its in-store cooking classes, which have also been discontinued because of local laws limiting indoor dining or gatherings.

CEO Jason Goldberger said the sale process "will result in a revitalized Sur La Table, positioned to thrive in a post Covid-19 retail environment."

Read the full story here.

8:21 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Schools across the US are canceling their fall athletic programs

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

Harvard Crimson offensive lineman Spencer Rolland (72) blocks during a college football game between the Harvard Crimson and Princeton Tigers, at Princeton Stadium in New Jersey, in October 2019.
Harvard Crimson offensive lineman Spencer Rolland (72) blocks during a college football game between the Harvard Crimson and Princeton Tigers, at Princeton Stadium in New Jersey, in October 2019. John Jones/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

A growing list of universities are reporting new coronavirus cases among students in their athletic programs. Now, there's a growing list of universities canceling their competitive sports for the upcoming semester.

As colleges continue to plan for how best to educate and house students during a pandemic, some have already decided it's not worth the risk to add sports to the mix.

The Ivy League Council of Presidents announced Wednesday all fall sports will not be played at its colleges.

The University of Massachusetts Boston, Maine's Bowdoin College and Morehouse College in Atlanta have also canceled fall seasons.

And the Centennial Conference, which includes universities like Johns Hopkins University and Washington College, said this week it is suspending inter-collegiate sports competitions scheduled for the fall.

Read the full story here.

7:04 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Man executed for killing two government health workers at virus checkpoint in China

From CNN’s Shanshan Wang and Steven Jiang in Beijing

A 23-year-old man was executed in China on Thursday for fatally stabbing two epidemic prevention and control workers in February, according to a statement from the country’s Supreme People’s Court. 

This is the first known death penalty case in China related to Covid-19 containment measures.   

“The Supreme People's Court concluded that Ma Jianguo deliberately and illegally deprived others of life, and his action constituted intentional homicide,” the court statement read. 

“His crime caused great harm and its consequences are extremely serious,” it added.  

Ma stabbed the government workers at a health checkpoint in a village in the southwestern province of Yunnan on February 6, when a fellow passenger in his car tried to remove roadblocks set up by local authorities and got into a dispute with staff on duty. 

He was sentenced to death on March 1. Ma, who was previously imprisoned for assault, committed his latest crime within five years of release, resulting in harsher punishment, according to the court. 

6:37 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Hong Kong reimposes some restrictions as it reports 42 new virus cases

From Jadyn Shum and Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

A worker sprays disinfectant at a residential block in Hong Kong on July 8.
A worker sprays disinfectant at a residential block in Hong Kong on July 8. Li Zhihua/China News Service/Getty Images

Hong Kong reported 42 new coronavirus cases Thursday, including 34 locally transmitted infections, as the city reimposed some restrictions in response to the rising case count.

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) announced the tightening of social distancing measures to deal with the fresh outbreak.

Health officials said that from midnight on Friday, restaurants would not be allowed to operate at more than 60% capacity and no more than eight people will be allowed per table, while at clubs and pubs people will not be allowed to gather in groups of more than four. 

The new restrictions will remain in place until July 24.

Of the 34 locally transmitted infections, 23 were linked to elderly care homes, nine were linked to previous cases and three were linked to taxi drivers and their families according to Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan of the CHP. 

Chuang added that the health officials are exploring options with telecommunications companies in the city to search for passengers who took taxis with infected drivers.

“Fluctuations of cases in Hong Kong are within expectations,” said Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan, who added that the virus will not disappear before a vaccine is made available.