July 18 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Brett McKeehan, Tara John, Alaa Elassar, Veronica Rocha and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 12:27 AM ET, Sun July 19, 2020
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7:52 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Trump tells supporters he will hold telephone rallies until the “Covid-19 problem” is solved

From CNN’s DJ Judd and Jeremy Diamond

US President Donald Trump speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House on July 16, in Washington, DC.
US President Donald Trump speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House on July 16, in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Speaking during what was described as his first "Tele-Rally," President Donald Trump acknowledged to supporters in Wisconsin that the telephonic town hall will be replacing his large, in-person campaign rallies.

"I wanted to be with you, and this is really replacing our rallies that we all love so much, we had great rallies in Wisconsin and all over the country, and unfortunately until this gets solved, and we're doing really well with the therapeutics and vaccines, but until that gets solved it's going to be tough to have those big massive rallies, so I'm doing telephonic rallies, and we'll call them the Trump Rallies, but we'll do it by telephone and we have a lot of people on the line and I appreciate it," Trump told supporters on the line.

While Trump has said in a tele-town hall that "it's going to be tough" to hold in-person rallies until coronavirus is "solved," neither he nor his campaign have definitively ruled out holding more in-person campaign rallies. 

4:57 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Infectious diseases association in Brazil calls for doctors to abandon hydroxychloroquine as Covid-19 treatment

From journalist Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo

A report published Friday from the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases, urges medical professionals to stop using hydroxychloroquine on patients to treat coronavirus, emphasizing that clinicians should focus on effective therapies and resources that are currently lacking in Brazil, like anesthetics, ventilators and additional testing.

The report, from Brazil’s most prominent association of infectious diseases experts, states hydroxychloroquine must be abandoned as a treatment for Covid-19 and underlines that "public agencies should stop spending money on treatments which have been proven to be ineffective and that can cause collateral effects."

The association's recommendation contradicts President Jair Bolsonaro's public push for the drug. Bolsonaro posted a television report on his Twitter account on Saturday in favor of the medicine for treating the virus.

3:05 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

South Carolina's health department says daily Covid-19 report contained incomplete laboratory information

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Tidelands Health medical professionals conduct a drive-through Covid-19 testing site on Friday July 17, at Myrtle Beach Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Tidelands Health medical professionals conduct a drive-through Covid-19 testing site on Friday July 17, at Myrtle Beach Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Josh Bell/The Sun News/AP

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said in a series of tweets Saturday that their daily report contained incomplete laboratory information.

The incomplete data was due to to a synchronization error between DHEC and a major private laboratory, a tweet from the agency said.

Additional information today will be included and highlighted in tomorrow's daily release once the issue is resolved, another tweet said. 

DHEC also tweeted that as they transition to the new TeleTracking portal for monitoring hospital bed occupancy data there may be incomplete data.

No hospitalization data was included in today's news release. The data will likely have significant gaps over the next few days, according to the tweet. 

The health department is transitioning from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Healthcare Safety Network to the new module at the request of the federal government, the tweet said.

In a news release, the agency said there were 1,481 new confirmed cases and two new probable cases with 39 additional confirmed deaths.

The total number of confirmed cases in the state is now 67,396 and 216 are probable cases. There are a total of 1,117 deaths statewide and 18 probable deaths, the release said. 

The positivity rate for the 7,060 tests reported Friday statewide was 21%, according to the release.

2:25 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Indianapolis pushes back start date for public schools amid rise in Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Chandler Thornton

Indianapolis Public Schools Board of Commissioners voted on Saturday to push back the start date for public schools another two weeks to August 17.

The school board voted to push the start date back citing the governor and state health commissioner saying this week that “the number of COVID-19 cases in the state were rising” and their “decision to freeze the state at Stage 4.5 for an additional two weeks.”

"The decision to delay the opening of school by two weeks gives our community more time to ensure we are turning the tide on the number of positive COVID-19 cases and confirm we are doing the right thing,” Superintendent Aleesia Johnson said in the statement Saturday.

Families will still have the option for in-person learning or remote learning on the new start date. "The delay will also give families more time to decide which learning option will work best for their child."

The total number of Covid-19 cases in the state stands at 55,654 and 2,627 deaths have been report.

Indiana reported today its second highest daily increase since the outbreak, recording 854 new cases.

2:15 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

More than 139,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the US

From CNN's Hollie Silverman 

Medical workers from New York wearing personal protective equipments handle test samples at temporary testing site for Covid-19 in Higher Dimensions Church on July 17, in Houston.
Medical workers from New York wearing personal protective equipments handle test samples at temporary testing site for Covid-19 in Higher Dimensions Church on July 17, in Houston. Go Nakamura/Getty Images

There are at least 3,670,005 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 139,480 people have died from the virus in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

So far on Saturday, 22,290 new cases and 214 new deaths have been reported in the US since midnight. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.  

2:00 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Florida secures more remdesivir and adds self-swab tests to some test sites

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

A nurse receives a swab to test a person through a glass pane in the Aardvark Mobile Health’s Mobile Covid-19 Testing Truck on July 17, in Miami Beach, Florida.
A nurse receives a swab to test a person through a glass pane in the Aardvark Mobile Health’s Mobile Covid-19 Testing Truck on July 17, in Miami Beach, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida has obtained more remdesivir and added self-swab tests as Covid-19 cases continue to climb in the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced during a briefing in St. Augustine on Saturday.  

DeSantis said that 300,000 more vials of remdesivir will be arriving at Florida hospitals, directly from distributors in 48 to 72 hours. The shipment of the drug was secured with help from Vice President Mike Pence and the Trump administration, according to DeSantis.

Self-swab tests — which have a 24 to 48 hour turnaround time — were also added to some test sites Friday, the governor added. Some private lab results now reflect tests taken "seven to 14 days ago," which is not ideal for contact tracing, DeSantis said.

2:00 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Indiana records more than 800 new coronavirus cases

From CNN's Chandler Thornton

Indiana recorded 854 new Covid-19 cases on Friday — the second highest daily increase since the outbreak, according to the state's health department.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in the state stands at 55,654. The health department also recorded 17 new fatalities from the virus, bringing the state's death toll to 2,627.

A majority of the state will remain in Stage 4.5 of the reopening plan through at least July 31, while Elkhart County will remain in Stage 4.

1:32 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Tennessee governor delays inmate's execution due to coronavirus

From CNN's Andy Rose

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has postponed Harold Wayne Nichols' execution because of the coronavirus.

Lee, a Republican, issued a temporary reprieve the death row inmate on Friday, citing the Covid-19 pandemic. His order does not state a specific reason why the execution should be delayed as a result of the pandemic.

Nichols raped and killed Karen Pulley in 1988. He had been set to die on August 4.

"I am granting Harold Wayne Nichols a temporary reprieve from execution until December 31, 2020, due to the challenges and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," Lee wrote on Twitter.

1:25 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

New Jersey reports 309 new Covid-19 cases and 16 additional deaths

From CNN's Sheena Jones

 

New Jersey reported 309 new cases of Covid-19 and 16 additional deaths from the virus, Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted.

The state reported a total of 176,814 cases of Covid-19. At least 13,725 people have died from the virus statewide.

Note: The numbers listed were released by the state of New Jersey and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.