July 28 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:10 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020
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12:10 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

China reports more than 100 new coronavirus cases for first time since April

From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

A Uyghur man is tested at a temperature checkpoint on June 29, in Kuqa, a city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.
A Uyghur man is tested at a temperature checkpoint on June 29, in Kuqa, a city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. David Liu/Getty Images

China recorded 101 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest single-day increase since early April, according to numbers released by the National Health Commission on Wednesday.

Among the new cases, 98 were locally transmitted, including 89 in the far western region of Xinjiang where a fresh outbreak has emerged this month. One local infection was also found in Beijing, and the remaining local cases were found in Liaoning.

On Tuesday, China also recorded a further 27 asymptomatic infections, which are not included in the tally of confirmed cases. 

This is the first time China has reported more than 100 new infections in a single day since April 12, when the country reported 108 new cases -- most of which were imported.

It is the third consecutive day China has reported the highest daily spike in local infections since early March.

9:34 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Colombia extends lockdown as mayor says eradicating the virus is "impossible" in the country

From CNN's Stefano Pozzebon in Bogota, Colombia

Bogota Mayor Claudia López Hernández.
Bogota Mayor Claudia López Hernández. CNN

Colombia will extend social distancing measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus through August 30, President Ivan Duque said Tuesday. It comes on the day the country reported its highest daily increase in new Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began.

"The lockdown is extended through August 30, but in those cities with low Covid rates we are going to continue to partially reopen various economic sectors," Duque said in his daily coronavirus briefing in Bogota, the country's capital.

This comes as the mayor of Bogota Claudia López Hernández told CNN Tuesday that eradicating the virus in Colombia "is impossible." 

"Countries like ours, in Latin America, we must learn to mitigate the virus rather than suppress it," Hernández told CNN. "In our situation, aiming to eradicate the virus is impossible."

The lockdown has been implemented nationwide in Colombia since March 25 to various degrees. Local administrators can apply specific lockdown measures in each city, as Colombia has pushed for a localized approach that sees only the most affected areas under strict quarantine, while large parts of the nation can operate freely. 

Colombia's borders are currently shut until September 1. Colombia saw a highest daily spike of 10,284 new cases Tuesday, bringing its total confirmed cases to 267,385, according to the health ministry. At least 9,074 have died from the coronavirus in the country.

8:46 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

The Trump administration was slow to recognize coronavirus threat from Europe, CDC director admits

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield prepares to testify at a Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on manufacturing a Coronavirus vaccine on Capitol Hill on July 2, in Washington.
CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield prepares to testify at a Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on manufacturing a Coronavirus vaccine on Capitol Hill on July 2, in Washington. Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images

The United States was slow in recognizing the coronavirus threat from Europe, Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, admitted for the first time Tuesday in an interview with ABC News.

“The introduction from Europe happened before we realized what was happening,” Redfield said. “By the time we realized (the) Europe threat and shut down travel to Europe, there was probably already two or three weeks of 60,000 people coming back every day from Europe,” he added.

“That’s where the large seeding came in the United States.”

Redfield also admitted that there have been problems with the federal response.

“Yes, there’s been mistakes,” he said. “And, yes, we fail. We’re in it doing the best we can and we’re trying to make the best judgments we can.”

He also said he’s optimistic that the country can get the upper hand in the battle against coronavirus.

“I wish now we would come together and recognize and see the possibility that we can beat this pandemic,” he said. 

“We're not powerless. We don't have to wait for a vaccine, although I think we're going to be successful sooner than many people think. We have the most powerful weapon in our hands right now, I mean it's an enormously powerful weapon. It's just a simple, flimsy mask,” Redfield said.

“This virus can be defeated if people just wear a mask.”

8:23 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Mexico surpasses 400,000 coronavirus cases

From Karol Suarez in Mexico City

Pharmaceutical biochemists process Covd-19 tests at a laboratory at the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi (UASLP) Research Center in Health Sciences and Biomedicine in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, on Friday, July 24. 
Pharmaceutical biochemists process Covd-19 tests at a laboratory at the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi (UASLP) Research Center in Health Sciences and Biomedicine in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, on Friday, July 24.  Mauricio Palos/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Mexico surpassed 400,000 coronavirus cases Tuesday after its health ministry recorded 7,208 new cases.  

The country now has a total of 402,697 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

The ministry also added 854 new fatalities from coronavirus Tuesday, bringing Mexico's death toll to 44,876.

7:43 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Brazilian health ministry says it expects coronavirus vaccine distribution by end of December 

From Rodrigo Pedroso in São Paulo

Brazil's health ministry said it expects to start the distribution of 15.2 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca experimental vaccine against Covid-19 at the end of December if trials prove the vaccine is safe. 

According to Secretary of Health Surveillance Arnaldo Correia de Medeiros, the first batch of the vaccine should arrive in Brazil in the second week of December. The secretary did not specify where the vaccine would be coming from.

"If the studies are successful, we will start the vaccination campaign in December," Medeiros told CNN affiliate CNN Brasil Tuesday. 

Another 15.2 million doses are expected to arrive in the country in January and another 70 million doses of the vaccine should come between March and April. The secretary also said the elderly would be the first group to receive the vaccine.

The vaccine purchase agreement with Oxford/AstraZeneca has not yet been signed by the Brazilian government. The health ministry informed CNN that negotiations of technical items regarding production and the technology transfer are still in discussion. However, it doesn't change the secretary's proposed timeline. 

Brazil has been the site of testing for the vaccine. At least 5,000 Brazilians are volunteering for the Phase 3 efficacy trials.

7:48 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Birx sounds alarm for "yellow zone" states on Pence's call with governors

From CNN's Betsy Klein

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx listens to President Donald Trump speak during a news conference about his administration's response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic at the White House on July 23 in Washington.
White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx listens to President Donald Trump speak during a news conference about his administration's response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic at the White House on July 23 in Washington. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx on Tuesday provided some dire warnings for states that are in the task force-defined “yellow zone” for cases and test positivity, which she said are different from outbreaks across the country earlier this year. 

On a call Tuesday with Vice President Mike Pence and several governors, she said there has been “significant improvement” in "red zone" states Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona following orders to close bars, decrease indoor dining, and require the use of masks. The task force defines its “red zone” states as more than 100 cases per 100,000 people and more than 10% test positivity.

But she said there are still rising cases and test positivity in other "red zone" states: Mississippi, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, Georgia, Idaho, and Arkansas. 

Birx said "yellow zone" states, which the task force defines as having between 10 and 100 cases per 100,000 and 5-10% test positivity, have had a similar profile to "red zone" states: “Starting with the 20 to 30 year-olds presenting as a first wave.”

“Remember, the majority of those are asymptomatic so if you expect to see hospitalizations, by the time you see hospitalization, your community spread is so widespread that you’ve flipped into a red state incredibly quickly,” Birx said. 

She said the task force is working with governors and mayors in the following places: Colorado, the District of Columbia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minneapolis, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

The task force, Birx said, is talking with these places “about increasing mitigation efforts now because if we wait until increased hospitalizations it is really way too late. Because what we are experiencing now is really different than March and April, it’s very different from the outbreaks of May that was typically contained. This widespread community spread in the younger age group both rural and very urban and urban areas so by the time you see it up to 80-90% of your counties already have more than 10%.” 

Birx expressed concern for major metros like Chicago and Philadelphia, as well as California’s Central Valley, and applauded Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s mask mandate, which she said is having a “significant impact.”

Pence reiterated that the administration does not want another closure — something, he said, “We don’t ever want to see again,” but pointed to studies that show that the use of masks, bar closures, limiting outdoor dining, and limiting social gatherings are having similar effect as sheltering in place earlier this year. He recommended governors in "yellow zone" states “take a hard look” at those four measures “whether it be on a county-by-county basis or a statewide basis.”

“We’ll support your decision, but I think your big message to these states that may be emerging is don’t wait,” Pence said. 

7:28 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Oregon issues new guidelines for reopening schools

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Oregon issued new guidelines Tuesday for when schools can bring kids back into the classroom. The guidelines will be based on how widespread Covid-19 is in the state.

"Today in Oregon, we're not where we need to be to reopen schools,” State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger said in a news conference.

However, the state is offering districts a number of exceptions to allow children up to third grade in some counties to get in-person learning, while older children remain at home and are taught online.

“This school year will not look like any other school year,” Gov. Kate Brown said.

For schools that do allow students in the classroom, state guidelines require daily screenings for all children and staff. A school that is able to reopen would have to close again if its county’s positive test rate for coronavirus reaches double digits for a full week.

“Opening school to in-person instruction is not a one-way journey,” said Colt Gill, deputy superintendent of public instruction.

The state is devoting an additional $28 million of CARES Act funding to help schools pay for more digital learning.

6:57 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

Colombia reports highest daily increase in new Covid-19 cases since pandemic began

From CNN's Stefano Pozzebon and Samantha Beech

A health worker collects a nasal swab from a man during a random testing for Covid-19 in Itagui, near Medellin, Colombia on July 21.
A health worker collects a nasal swab from a man during a random testing for Covid-19 in Itagui, near Medellin, Colombia on July 21. Joaquin Sarmiento/AFP/Getty Images

Colombia saw a record daily increase in new Covid-19 cases Tuesday as its health ministry added 10,284 new cases.

Colombia's total confirmed cases is 267,385, according to the health ministry.

The ministry also recorded 297 new fatalities from the virus, bringing its death toll to 9,074.

Colombia’s capital Bogota remains the largest hotspot in the country, with 91,408 cases.

7:03 p.m. ET, July 28, 2020

21 NFL players have tested positive for Covid-19 since reporting to training camps

From CNN's Jill Martin

The National Football League Players Association reported Tuesday that 21 players have tested positive for Covid-19 since they began reporting for training camps.

Players began reporting to camp last week. A total of 107 players tested positive during the offseason.

The players association provided details regarding the latest Covid-19 tests on its website.