July 10 coronavirus news

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9:29 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Fewer than 1,000 ICU beds are available statewide in Texas

From CNN's Kay Jones

Healthcare workers move a patient in the Covid-19 Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, on July 2.
Healthcare workers move a patient in the Covid-19 Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, on July 2. Mark Felix/AFP/Getty Images

There are less than 1,000 ICU beds available throughout the state of Texas, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

Additionally, there are 9,869 Covid-19 positive patients hospitalized in Texas. The latest chart by DSHS shows that this is a record number of hospitalizations and that they have steadily increased since mid-June. 

On Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation that amends his Executive Order issued in late June adding all counties in the 11 Trauma Service Areas in the state requiring suspension of all elective surgeries in hospitals. A total of 113 of the state's 254 counties fall under the Executive Order and subsequent proclamation. 

Texas currently has at least 230,346 cases reported, with an estimated 109,102 active cases, according to the latest numbers released by DSHS.

Note: These numbers were released by Texas Department of State Health Services, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

9:23 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Fauci "trying to figure out" where Trump got false claim that 99% of Covid-19 cases are "harmless"

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies before a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30 in Washington, DC.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies before a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30 in Washington, DC. Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he's "trying to figure out" where President Trump got the number behind his claim that 99% of coronavirus cases were "harmless." 

"I’m trying to figure out where the President got that number," Fauci said in an interview with the Financial Times, published Friday. "What I think happened is that someone told him that the general mortality is about 1%. And he interpreted, therefore, that 99% is not a problem, when that’s obviously not the case.”

About this: Last week, Trump sought to downplay the surge in Covid-19 cases by falsely claiming that testing in the US shows 99% of cases "are totally harmless."

Fauci told FT he last saw Trump on June 2 at the White House, and hasn't personally briefed him in at least two months. 

9:55 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Texas mom found out she had coronavirus one month before giving birth to triplets

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Maggie Sillero holds her triplets, who were born on June 4 after she beat Covid-19.
Maggie Sillero holds her triplets, who were born on June 4 after she beat Covid-19. Courtesy The Woman's Hospital of Texas

Maggie Sillero was 28 weeks pregnant when she found out she had coronavirus.

The Texas mom was asymptomatic, and even she said she was scared, she said she was not worried because she knew she was in great hands with her doctors and nurses. 

Her babies, a daughter and two sons, are doing well. She has been able to bring her daughter home and she was told yesterday that her sons might be able to leave the hospital tomorrow. 

“We're so excited to have them home, finally all be reunited and finally call it a home sweet home,” Sillero said on CNN’s “New Day.” 

Between the time she tested positive and when she gave birth, she was isolated from the rest of her family for a month for everyone’s safety. She said she was relived to get two negative Covid-19 tests before giving birth. 

Her husband did not receive his negative test in time for the birth, so he could not be in the room with her, but Sillero’s mother was able to be there with her.  

Watch:

8:43 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

San Antonio mayor on coronavirus surge: "This wildfire is now outside of the fence"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg speaks with CNN's John Berman on July 10.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg speaks with CNN's John Berman on July 10. CNN

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said he’d consider “potential alterations” such as stay-at-home orders as Texas’ coronavirus numbers rise, but he emphasized that it is now up to individuals to follow guidelines from medical experts. 

“This wildfire is now outside of the fence. It’s a lot easier to prevent one than it is to start to contain one that’s already outside,” Nirenberg told CNN’s John Berman. 

Texas reported 105 Covid-19 related deaths on Thursday, the highest single-day increase in coronavirus fatalities, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 2,918. 

Nirenberg said 35% of hospital admissions in his area are now attributed to Covid-19. 

“This is going from household to household, outside of the regulatory arm of any government. If people continue to have dinner parties…this is going to continue to grow and grow and grow,” he said. “So the most focused effort that we can do together is to take politics out of it, everybody get on the same page, and realize our best tool to fight the pandemic is the same one we had in the beginning, which is public trust, particularly in our medical experts who are giving us the right messages.”  

Nirenberg said there have been too many “mixed messages” from state and national leaders about the importance of wearing masks and physical distancing. 

Watch more from the interview:

10:00 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Trump will travel to Florida's Miami-Dade County today, the state's coronavirus epicenter 

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

President Trump is set to travel to Florida today, landing squarely in the center of a coronavirus hotspot and taxing the already limited local health resources.

The President's first stops will be in Doral, where he will receive a briefing and deliver remarks at the US Southern Command and then motorcade to a church nearby to participate in a roundtable discussion with Venezuelans. Following these events, the President will attend a private fundraiser in Hillsboro Beach. He is not scheduled to participate in any events related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Doral, where US Southern Command is located, is just under two miles from the President's golf club. But it is also in Miami-Dade County, which is currently experiencing a coronavirus outbreak.

Officials in the county reported a staggering 33.5% Covid-19 positivity rate on Thursday, according to data released by Mayor Carlos Gimenez's office. 

The positivity rate  — that is, the percentage of people who test positive for the virus of those overall who have been tested  — is tracked daily by the county. 

Over the past 13 days, hospitalizations in Miami-Dade County have gone up by 76%, the number of ICU beds being used has increased by 86% and the use of ventilators has soared by 124%, according to the latest data from the county government.

A presidential visit  — no matter who is in office — requires a significant amount of resources, with White House officials, White House Medical Unit representatives and US Secret Service agents traveling in advance of the president to coordinate with local officials on the ground.

There is an extensive amount of medical preparation involved each time a president travels, with plans in place for the worst case scenario.

8:29 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

BioNTech says its Covid-19 vaccine will be ready by end of 2020, but global immunity may take a decade

From CNN Health's Gisela Crespo

The headquarters of German company BioNTech is pictured on April 22, in Mainz, Germany.
The headquarters of German company BioNTech is pictured on April 22, in Mainz, Germany. Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

German firm BioNTech is confident it will seek regulatory approval by the end of the year for a coronavirus vaccine, the company's CEO told The Wall Street Journal in an interview conducted Wednesday and published on Friday.

Dr. Ugur Sahin said that due to the spread of the virus, it could take about a decade for the world's population to achieve immunity, even if several vaccines become available at the same time. BioNTech has partnered with Pfizer in the US to develop the vaccine. 

“I assume that we will only be done with this virus when more than 90% of the global population will get immunity, either through infection or through a vaccine,” Sahin told the Journal.

Sahin added the company could produce several hundred million doses before approval and more than 1 billion doses by the end of 2021.

Last week, BioNTech and Pfizer announced that the Covid-19 vaccine in development had yielded positive data in early tests.

The companies shared their preliminary findings on July 1 in a pre-print paper that shows participants in a Phase 1/2 study of the vaccine, called BNT162b1, responded to the immunization and it was found to be well tolerated. The Phase 1/2 study is ongoing and the data has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

The preliminary data will help researchers determine a dose level for the vaccine, then select which of their multiple vaccine candidates to progress to a larger-scale global Phase 2/3 study, which could begin as early as this month, the companies said.

8:29 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Schools should consider ways to stay open even as Covid-19 spreads, pediatric doctors write

From CNN Health’s Jamie Gumbrecht

Pre-school students attend summer school sessions at Happy Day School in Monterey Park, California, on July 9.
Pre-school students attend summer school sessions at Happy Day School in Monterey Park, California, on July 9. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Adults, not children, appear to be key to spreading the coronavirus, and schools should give “serious consideration” to strategies that allow them to stay open even when the virus is spreading, two pediatric infectious disease specialists wrote in a commentary published Friday in the medical journal Pediatrics.

“Almost 6 months into the pandemic, accumulating evidence and collective experience argue that children, particularly school-aged children, are far less important drivers of SARSCoV-2 transmission than adults,” write Drs. Benjamin Lee and William Raszka Jr. of the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont.

They note several small studies have found children were rarely the first person in a household to become ill, including a separate paper published Friday in Pediatrics.

In that study, researchers from the University of Geneva in Switzerland found that, among 39 households where children became ill with Covid-19, children were believed to be the first case in only three households. In the 36 other households, the child developed symptoms after or at the same time as an adult in the home, “suggesting that the child was not the source of infection and that children most frequently acquire COVID-19 from adults, rather than transmitting it to them.”

It’s not clear why children would be less likely to transmit the virus to adults or other children. Lee and Raszka write that children may have milder symptoms, releasing fewer infectious particles, or they may have had few opportunities to become infected in the community, as many schools closed around the same time physical distancing orders went into place.

Schools, Lee and Raszka write, “may be less important in community transmission than initially feared.”

“Serious consideration should be paid toward strategies that allow schools to remain open, even during periods of COVID-19 spread,” they write. “In doing so, we could minimize the potentially profound adverse social, developmental, and health costs that our children will continue to suffer until an effective treatment or vaccine can be developed and distributed or, failing that, until we reach herd immunity.”

In guidance published last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics – the publisher of Pediatrics – recommended schools start with “a goal of having students physically present in school,” but said strategies may need to be revised depending on the level of viral transmission in the school and community. 

8:06 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Italy will probably extend state of emergency, says PM

From CNN's Hada Messia in Rome

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte holds a press conference in Rome, Italy, on July 7.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte holds a press conference in Rome, Italy, on July 7. Antonio Masiello/Paolo Tre/Pool/Getty Images

Italy is likely to extend the state of emergency imposed in the country due to the coronavirus outbreak, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said.

Asked about reports that the government was considering extending the legislation until December 31, Conte said: “A decision still has to be taken, we need to consult with the cabinet ministers... it is probable that the state of emergency will be extended.”

Conte would not confirm whether the government was aiming for an extension until the end of the year.

Italy was one of the first European countries to be hit by the coronavirus and went into a state of emergency on January 31. The legal framework gives the government special powers to curb certain freedoms and access to additional resources to stop and contain the spread of Covid-19 and is currently valid until July 31.

7:58 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

More Spanish regions require the use of masks in public

From CNN's Laura Pérez Maestro and Al Goodman in Madrid

Catalan police officers patrol Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday, July 9, as the wearing of face masks in public became mandatory in the region.
Catalan police officers patrol Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday, July 9, as the wearing of face masks in public became mandatory in the region. Emilio Morenatti/AP

The government of Spain's western region of Extremadura is the latest to approve new rules to make the use of masks mandatory in its territory at all times in public. 

Starting at midnight on Saturday, "anyone in the region will have to wear a mask in public places whether they are outdoors or indoors and whether the safety distance can be maintained or not," an Extremadura government spokesman told CNN.

Extremadura is in the west of Spain, bordering Portugal.

The regions of Catalonia, whose capital is Barcelona, and the Balearic Islands announced similar measures earlier this week.

Wearing a mask in public places at all times, with few exceptions, has been mandatory in Catalonia since Thursday. In the Balearic Islands, a prime tourist destination in the Mediterranean, the new measure will take effect on Monday. 

The Spanish government already requires the use of masks in public places when 1.5 meters, or 5 feet, of distance cannot be maintained between individuals. It was among the measures to remain in effect even after the nation's three-month state of emergency confinement was lifted on June 21.

Spain's 17 regional governments have the right to add their own safety rules that go further than the national standards.