July 12 coronavirus news

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10:16 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

New York state is monitoring a Covid-19 uptick linked to Georgia

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York state is closely monitoring an uptick in Covid-19 cases in Rensselaer County – a number of which are being investigated as being linked to several individuals who tested positive for the virus after returning from Georgia, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said in a news release.

“They are in isolation and the New York State Department of Health and Rensselaer County Health Department are conducting contact tracing,” the release said. 

More context: Georgia is one of several states on New York’s travel advisory list, which requires individuals traveling from certain qualifying states to quarantine upon return.

Of the tests conducted statewide yesterday, 677, or 1.08%, were positive, the governor’s office said.

Covid-19 deaths matched the state's previous low, with five reported in the state Saturday.

10:01 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Scotland won’t rule out imposing travel restrictions on visitors from England

From CNN's Schams Elwazer

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hinted at the possibility of asking visitors from England to quarantine on arrival in Scotland. 

Speaking to the BBC, Sturgeon said that imposing quarantine restrictions for English travelers is “not something we have decided to do at this stage, it’s not something I am immediately planning to do, but I will take decisions the best I can to protect the health of Scotland and to take that absolutely from a public health perspective.”

Sturgeon said that Scottish officials would “take a very close look” at making sure the virus isn’t brought into the country by people arriving from other parts of the UK. 

Surgeon also added that the decision to quarantine English travelers is “not political, it’s not constitutional, it’s just taking a similar view to countries across the world in terms of protecting populations from the risk of the virus.”

Some context: This decision comes after Scotland — which is one of the four nations of the UK along with England, Wales and Northern Ireland — opted against easing lockdown restrictions as quickly as England due to fears of a second phase.

Sturgeon has been critical of Boris Johnson’s tactics in handling the pandemic, recently calling the British government's decision-making process during the crisis "shambolic."

10:01 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Major League Soccer postpones match due to "unconfirmed" positive Covid-19 test by players

From CNN's Jabari Jackson

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire/AP
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire/AP

DC United and Toronto FC’s match on Sunday has been postponed due to an “initial unconfirmed” positive coronavirus test for one player and an “inconclusive test” for another.

Under Major League Soccers' health and safety protocols, teams are tested the day before each match, MLS said in a statement.

"The results of yesterday’s tests for DS United and Toronto FC produced an initial unconfirmed positive Covid-19 case for one player and an inconclusive test for another player. Because of the arrival time of the clubs in Orlando, the league’s protocol called for retesting both teams this morning and to await the results of those tests prior to playing the match," the league said.

MLS said it will "continue to prioritize the health and safety of all participants of the MLS is Back Tournament in making these decisions.”

DC United and Toronto FC were scheduled to kick off at 9 a.m. ET in Orlando, Florida.

9:42 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

73 UK farm workers contract coronavirus

From Samantha Tapfumaneyi in London

At least 73 key workers working for vegetable producers AS Green and Co based in the town of Mathon in the west of England have tested positive for the coronavirus during an outbreak among their workforce, according to joint statement from the Herefordshire Council and Public Health Midlands (West).

The whole group of around 200 workers are “being treated as one extended bubble” and are being asked to self-isolate on the farm to reduce the spread of the virus, the statement said.

“While Herefordshire is the first to experience an outbreak of this kind, this is not unexpected. Our priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of all residents in our community," Karen Wright, the director of Public Health for Herefordshire, said. “Prompt testing on the farm has allowed us to understand transmission and control the spread of infection." 

 

9:31 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

There are more than 7,000 people hospitalized with Covid-19 in Florida

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

There are a total of 7,268 patients hospitalized in Florida with the primary diagnosis of coronavirus, according to new data released by the Agency for Health Care Administration on Sunday. 

The three most populated counties: Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, are seeing the highest number of patients hospitalized.

Here's the breakdown of patients for these counties:

  • Miami-Dade County currently has 1,639 patients hospitalized.
  • Broward County has 1,011 patients hospitalized.
  • Palm Beach County reported 605 patients hospitalized.

In Orange County, where Disney World reopened on Saturday, 489 patients are hospitalized.

9:47 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Thousands protest government handling of coronavirus in Tel Aviv

From CNN's Oren Liebermann

Ariel Schalit/AP
Ariel Schalit/AP

Thousands of Israelis filled Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square Saturday night to protest the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, angered by what they say is a critical lack of economic aid, predominantly for the self-employed.

Protesters waved yellow and black signs that called the political leaders “disconnected” and saying “enough,” while others held up signs calling this an “economic war” and demanding the government “release the money.”

“We are tired of hearing promises and press conferences,” organizer Daniel Tinder told CNN. “We want to see action, we want to see money in our accounts like all over the world. The health problem is still very severe. The economic problems are even worse. More severe than it was before.”

Following the demonstration, some protesters attempted to block roads in Tel Aviv and damaged public areas, according to Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. Twelve suspects were arrested for causing public disturbances and blocking roads, Rosenfeld said, while three police officers were lightly injured.

Ariel Schalit/AP
Ariel Schalit/AP

Some context: Unemployment in Israel hit 21% Sunday morning, according to the Israel Employment Service, as new unemployment filings were more than double the number of people returning to work over the weekend. Since Thursday, 1,250 returned to work, according to the governmental agency, but 2,843 filed for unemployment.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday morning that the government had approved up to 7,500 shekels (approx. $2,170) in “rapid assistance” to business owners and the self-employed with more steps ahead.

“This support, this grant, is not dependent on legislation and we ordered that it will be enacted already today, the button will be pressed so that the money will arrive in the accounts in the next few days,” Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting.

With the economy in such a fragile state, Netanyahu has tried to avoid another complete closure, instead employing stricter social distancing restrictions and localized lockdowns to attempt to contain the second wave of coronavirus in Israel.

Israel appeared to be on track to contain the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, when new cases dipped as low as 20 per day in mid-May following a near-complete national lockdown. But two months later, new coronavirus cases have surged to more than 1,100 per day, raising fears of another lockdown, as the dire economic outlook has taken its toll on the public.

Tour guide Erez Deron says protesters like him are fed up with the abundance of words but the lack of action.

“The government is dealing only with petty things like taxes and words between one another,” Deron told CNN. “[Netanyahu] doesn’t see the citizens. He only cares for himself, and I’m really furious about the time they are spending on foolish things.” 

During the first wave of coronavirus infections that began in late-March, Netanyahu appeared on television many nights to reassure the public that the country was doing well in its fight against Covid-19 and that he had everything under control. His approval ratings for his handling of coronavirus soared, hitting 74% in mid-May when the worst seemed to have passed. As cases have soared again in recent weeks, Netanyahu’s approval rating has tanked, dropping to 46% last week.

The crisis and the ensuing protests have exposed widening gaps within Israel’s national unity government.

8:44 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Famed Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan tests positive for coronavirus after father-in-law and husband both enter hospital

From CNN's Rishabh Pratap in New Delhi

Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images
Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images

Heralded Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, the daughter-in-law of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and wife of fellow actor Abhishek Bachchan, has tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Health Minister of Maharashtra state.

Rajesh Tope confirmed the diagnosis on his Twitter account. The couple's daughter Aradhya Bachchan has also tested positive.

The star's father-in-law and husband were both admitted to hospital Saturday night after they also tested positive for coronavirus. Mumbai's Nanavati Hospital said Amitabh Bachchan was in a stable condition on Sunday.

Both mother and daughter initially tested negative in rapid antigen tests conducted on Saturday night. But swab test results returned on Sunday came back positive, according to Health Minister Tope.

6:54 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Love in the time of coronavirus: Couples share how they found matches in the middle of a pandemic

From CNN's Saba Hamedy

Alec Mahon, 29, met his girlfriend Brooke, during the pandemic. They've been inseparable for the past month.
Alec Mahon, 29, met his girlfriend Brooke, during the pandemic. They've been inseparable for the past month.

If you asked Alec Mahon one month ago whether he believed in love, he'd probably tell you he had "given up."

When coronavirus first hit in March, the freelance production manager paid about $30 for a three-month premium subscription on the dating app Hinge -- and he figured he'd just keep swiping until that ended.

Like many, the 29-year-old used dating apps like Hinge as a way to connect with others, especially since making in-person connections had become nearly impossible with Covid-19 shutdowns. He went on one Facetime date -- the girl, he said, seemed like she was "just going through her matches ... like on a spreadsheet."

But on May 29, he had plans to meet up with a different match -- this time in person. A 28-year-old nurse named Brooke, with whom he would hike Runyon Canyon -- Los Angeles' picturesque, influencer-ridden trail.

It was in the middle of their approximately three-mile hike, when the two decided they felt comfortable enough to remove their face masks, that he knew this was different. Their guards were down, or as he described it, "all caution (regarding coronavirus) was thrown to the wind."

Now, less than one month and many dates later, they split most of their time between his West Hollywood apartment and hers in Long Beach. He's done what many initially considered impossible with social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders:

He found love during a global pandemic.

"This is truly two people finding their soulmate during the most unlikely of times," he told CNN in a phone interview. "We're thinking about eloping to Vegas if the chapels open."

Read more here.

6:23 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan in "stable" condition with Covid-19 symptoms in hospital isolation unit

From CNN's Rishabh Pratap in New Delhi and Karen Smith in Atlanta

Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, left, and his son Abhishek Bachchan attend a Bollywood party in Mumbai on February 28, 2010.
Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, left, and his son Abhishek Bachchan attend a Bollywood party in Mumbai on February 28, 2010. Manav Manglani/Reuters

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan is in "stable" condition in the isolation unit at Nanavati Hospital, according to a hospital statement released on Sunday.  

Bachchan and his son Abhishek Bachchan were both admitted to hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 late Saturday evening.

"Amitabh Bachchan is stable with mild symptoms and is currently admitted in the isolation unit of the hospital," reads the hospital statement.

A living legend in Hindi-language cinema, Bachchan has made more than 180 films in a career spanning five decades.

Hailed by many as India's greatest living actor, he is revered in his home nation.