The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

By Ben Westcott, Helen Regan, Laura Smith-Spark, Ed Upright and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:10 a.m. ET, July 25, 2020
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1:06 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Covid-19 vaccine likely won't be "widely available" until "several months" into 2021, Fauci says

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

A Covid-19 likely won't be "widely available" to people in the US until "several months” into next year, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday.

“I think as we get into 2021, several months in, that you would have [a] vaccine that would be widely available to people in the United States,” Fauci told the Washington Post’s Robert Costa during a Post Live event.

It is a clear acknowledgement that although the federal government hopes at least one experimental vaccine candidate would be proven to safely protect people against coronavirus before the end of this year, it would take months to get through the approval process, manufactured and widely distributed.

"I think the key word there, Bob, is widely available,” Fauci said.

"I think we will likely know whether a vaccine is safe and effective given the number of Phase 3 trials that are starting literally next week,” Fauci added. “And there are some in other countries that are already ongoing — that we should know by the end of December of this year, the beginning of next year."

Fauci noted that some companies have claimed they could have a vaccine available before the end of the year. “There are some companies that claim that might be a month or two sooner. I'm a little skeptical about that, but, you know, anything is possible,” he said.

"It is likely that in the beginning of next year we would have tens of millions of doses available," he added. "The companies who are involved in making these vaccines, many of which the federal government is in deep collaboration with, promised that as we get into 2021, there will be hundreds of millions of doses. And then maybe sometime thereafter billions of doses,” Fauci continued.
1:23 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Miami mayor on schools: "I don't think it looks good for day-one opening right now"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is hesitant about reopening schools, as coronavirus continues to spread in Florida. 

“I don't know how much improvement we can make within two to four weeks, to be honest with you, and I don't think it looks good for day one opening right now,” he said in an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow.  

The city is working with parents and teachers on the decision to offer in-person, blended or all-remote learning. Miami-Dade County Public Schools cannot offer in-person instruction until the region enters phase two.

“You're talking about 350,000 students plus another 40,000 teachers, so you're putting a tremendous amount of people back into the economy in a way that could end up being a super-spreader event,” Suarez said. 

Researchers in South Korea have found that children between the ages of 10 and 19 can transmit Covid-19 within a household just as much as adults, according to new research published in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal. 

“I don't see how throwing 400,000 people into the mix, children and adults, is going to help us right now,” Suarez said.

Hear the interview:

  

1:12 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

DC mayor issues 14-day quarantine for people traveling from hotspots

From CNN's Lauren Koenig and Alison Main

Office of Mayor Bowser
Office of Mayor Bowser

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that she is issuing a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine order for people returning from high-risk areas outside of the district.

Starting Monday, anyone coming into the district who is not traveling for essential activity will be required to quarantine for 14 days. DC health will publish a list of high-risk locations every two weeks. The order excludes Maryland and Virginia.

High-risk areas are considered to be locations where the seven-day moving average of daily new Covid-19 cases is 10 or more per 100,000 people.

The order will last until Oct. 9 when the current public health emergency declaration expires. Both can be extended or cut short depending on the need.

Bowser said universities in Washington will be required to maintain lists of students who traveled from high-risk areas and these students must self-quarantine on campus or in off-campus housing when they return.  

On Friday, the district reported 78 new cases of Covid-19 and no new deaths related to the virus.

1:04 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

You'll have to wear a mask in Vermont when you can't social distance

From CNN’s Ganesh Setty

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott holds a news conference on Friday.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott holds a news conference on Friday. ORCA Media

The state of Vermont will have a mask mandate starting Aug. 1 for both indoor and outdoor activities where social distancing is not possible, Republican Gov. Phil Scott announced during a news conference today.  

Pointing to rising Covid-19 cases in the Sun Belt and data suggesting that the virus is inching toward the northeast again, the governor said he signed the order to protect the gains that the state had already made thus far. 

“I want to ensure you while these trends and projections are concerning, we’re still in very good shape as a state. But it is time to prepare. Rather than waiting like other states have, until it’s too late, I feel we need to act now to protect our gains, which has allowed us to protect our economy,” he said.  

The order applies to everyone above the age of two, with some exceptions for those eating or drinking, engaging in strenuous physical activity like exercise and for those who have medical condition complicated by facial coverings, said Scott.  

Those with a medical condition do not need to provide documentation due to privacy concerns, added the governor, conceding that the mandate will be difficult to enforce.  

Business will be required to notify customers of the policy through signage and will be allowed to refuse service to customers refusing to wear a mask, explained Scott.  

“Unfortunately this issue has become polarized, and I am still worried that a mandate will create conflict and resistance,” said Scott. 

 

12:36 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Fauci praises Trump's "short and crisp" coronavirus briefings

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, praised President Trump's recent White House coronavirus task force briefings, saying they have been "short and crisp."

Speaking during a Washington Post live event Friday, Fauci said he's pleased "that the President has gone out there, and is saying things now that I think [are] important" such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing.

Trump did change his tone sharply this week, admitting things might get worse before they get better and delivering a public health message.

The briefings "have been helpful now. And also, they've been short and crisp, which I think is good when you're trying to get a message across,” Fauci said.

Fauci and other members of the task force have been absent from the briefings this week. 

He said that while it is important for members of the task force and doctors to brief the American people, he doesn't need to be at the press briefings "because what happens when you do that, people ask questions that have a little bit to do with health, and it gets mixed up." Instead he prefers to deliver his message through interviews and panel discussions.

"I welcome this — this half an hour that we have been talking about important issues. And members of the task force are getting out there. I would like to get out even more, because I think messaging is very important," Fauci told the Washington Post's Robert Costa.

Fauci added that he spoke with Trump over the phone last week about "encouraging to do the kinds of things that we're seeing been done right now."

"I don't want to get too much into the details. They don't like that when you're talking to the President... I found it was a positive call," he said.

 

12:33 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

A vaccine could stop Covid-19 "dead in its tracks," Fauci says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

from Fox News
from Fox News

Consistent public health measures can control the coronavirus pandemic, but a good vaccine “could really stop it dead in its tracks,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Fox’s America’s Newsroom Friday.

“If we can do the kind of public health measures to keep the viral outbreak at a very low baseline level, I don’t think we are going to eradicate it, I think it’s just so easily transmissible that I don’t think that that could happen, but we certainly could control it better than we’re doing,” Fauci said. 

“And if we can do that at the global level, when we get a vaccine I think we could really stop it dead in its tracks.” 

Fauci said that he is cautiously optimistic that a vaccine will be available in a reasonable time — “likely by the end of this year or the beginning of 2021.”

 

12:25 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

New York reports its lowest number of hospitalizations since mid-March

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

New York state reported its lowest number of hospitalizations since March 18, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.

The state reported 650 hospitalizations on Friday, about 56 fewer hospitalizations than Thursday. The state also reported the lowest number of individuals in intensive care units – 156 – since March 16.

The state reported nine new Covid-19 related fatalities yesterday. Seven of those deaths were in hospitals and two were in nursing homes, Cuomo said.

The infection rate in the state was at .98% positive.

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

12:24 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Fauci says it's not necessary to shut down the country, but some places can take a step back

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

from Fox News
from Fox News

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said on Friday that he doesn’t think it’s necessary to shut down the country at this point, but some places seeing a resurgence of Covid-19 cases could take a step back. 

Asked about shutting down the United States on Fox’s America’s Newsroom, Fauci said, “I don’t think it’s necessary to do that.”

“You know it might come to that, but right now, I think if you look at what’s going on in some of these southern states particularly that are having the resurging of cases, you can put a pause on what you are doing or even maybe take a step back," he said.

Fauci gave the example of states or cities in phase two of the opening guidelines either pausing or going back to phase one and those in phase one going back to the gateway component of the guideline.  

“I’m not so sure you need to, all of a sudden, everybody go back to complete lockdown,” he said. “You know it could come to that, you always got to leave it on the table. But I think we can probably get around what we're doing now, and put a lid on it and stop this surging” by being more cautious.

Fauci said that there are fundamental things that can be done in every state and city including everybody wearing a mask, avoiding crowded places, continuing to practice social distancing, closing the bars and practicing good hand hygiene. 

“If we just do that, I believe we can have a major step in the direction that we want to go,” he said. 

12:12 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Massachusetts governor announces new travel order to go into effect on August 1

From CNN's Evan Simko-Bednarski 

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced an executive order Friday that will go into effect on August 1 and require any travelers to the state to quarantine for 14 days unless they can provide a negative test result for Covid-19. 

The order will apply to Massachusetts residents returning from out of state as well as other travelers, Baker told reporters.

Travelers from states with lower rates of transmission will be exempt, the governor said. 

As of Friday, that list included the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Hawaii. 

Failure to quarantine will result in a $500 daily fine, Baker said.