Record number of new Covid-19 cases reported to WHO in last 24 hours
From CNN's Ben Tinker
There were 292,527 new Covid-19 cases reported to the World Health Organization in the last 24 hours, according to a situation report published Friday. The total number of cases that have been reported to WHO from around the globe is now 17,106,007.
The rise in newly reported cases sets another record for cases reported to WHO within a 24-hour period. The previous record was set last Friday, July 24, when 284,196 new cases of Covid-19.
Today's report also noted there were 6,812 additional Covid-19 deaths reported to WHO in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths worldwide to 668,910.
1:25 p.m. ET, July 31, 2020
Peru extends state of emergency and localized quarantine measures until August 31
From CNN’s Tim Lister
Peru will extend its state of emergency and localized quarantine measures for another month as the number of coronavirus infections continues to rise.
Carlos Lozada, the minister of housing, construction and sanitation, told TVPeru on Friday that the Council of Ministers had made the decision after receiving the latest epidemiological data, which had shown an increase in the level of infections in some regions.
Lozada said the regions of Arequipa, Puno, Tacna and Cusco are places where Covid-19 infections were rising.
"Some provinces in these regions are likely to be incorporated into the targeted quarantine, given the level of contagion that these regions have been presenting," Lozada said, according to the state-news agency Andina.
On Thursday, Defense Minister Walter Martos Ruiz said the curfew should continue because of the risk of "night activities," which he said could spread the virus. Martos warned that if the restrictions were lifted, many young people would attend discos, bars and other entertainment centers, Andina reported.
As of Friday afternoon, Peru reported at least 407,492 cases and 19,021 deaths, according to the health ministry.
1:43 p.m. ET, July 31, 2020
Illinois reports nearly 2,000 Covid-19 cases in 24-hour period
From CNN’s Brad Parks and Kay Jones
Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,941 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the state’s total number of cases to 178,837.
The public health agency also reported 21 new deaths for a total of 7,495. Nearly 2.7 million people have been tested in the state, and the positivity rate for the past seven days is at 3.9%, according to a news release.
As CNN reported on Thursday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a news conference that the state could be headed to a “reversal” of its reopening plan if positive cases continue to rise.
Note: These numbers were released by the Illinois Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.
12:44 p.m. ET, July 31, 2020
How parents can help students who might be worried about going back to school
In today's episode, one young student said she's nervous for the school year and asked, "What if I get the virus?"
Here's how CNN's education experts, Laura Jarrett responded:
"It's OK to be nervous. It's really important to know that a lot of adults are nervous these days, too. Parents are doing the best they can to protect their families. Teachers are doing the best they can to protect their students, of course. And after months of being told to wear a mask and wash your hands all the time, it makes sense that you might be a little anxious about going back into a classroom. So parents out there, remember that stress can take a special toll on kids in vulnerable stages of life, especially if they don’t understand what’s going on and don’t have experience bouncing back from a challenge. So if that's the case, it could be helpful to explain to your child that they actually have a lower risk of having symptoms if they end up getting Covid-19. Tell them what’s being done to keep them safe and validate their concerns. Now, experts also recommend taking kids outside regularly with a mask, of course, so that they can see other kids playing and get some fresh air. They also say kids have the capacity to adapt to new things. So give them the time to do so."
Salt Lake City schools will begin the year remotely
From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin
The Salt Lake City School District will begin the school year in a remote setting, an announcement on the district’s website said.
“Remote learning will be in place until the end of the first quarter, OR until health conditions in our city improve and allow us to bring our students back into the classroom,” the statement said.
The district will begin school on Sept. 8 instead of the usual Aug. 25, the district added.
The extra time will be used to learning devices like laptops for students and for teachers to adjust plans and learn new online tools, the statement explained.
The district serves more than 23,000 students and employs around 1,120 teachers, according to federal data.
12:20 p.m. ET, July 31, 2020
NIH invests $248.7 million to fund technology that could improve Covid-19 testing
From CNN's Jen Christensen and Naomi Thomas
The National Institutes of Health announced Friday that it is investing $248.7 million in new technologies that should help ease some of the country’s problems with Covid-19 testing.
The NIH launched the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) in April after it received an emergency supplemental appropriation of $1.4 billion from Congress. There was an “overwhelming response” to the department’s call for new technology, the NIH said. It received more than 650 applications.
The initiative gives contracts to seven biomedical testing companies that should significantly increase the number and kinds of tests available as early as September. The demand for tests is estimated to be millions more per day than what is currently available, the NIH said.
The seven companies that got the contracts use different approaches to testing. Four of the technologies should speed up and increase the capacity of lab testing, using next generation sequencing methods. Three of the technologies use platforms that should give more rapid results in point-of care-settings like in childcare centers, nursing homes, schools and workplaces. Some of these new tests should also be easier to use than the current nasal swab, and will use saliva instead.
The seven companies that have been awarded contracts are Mesa Biotech, Quidel, Talis Biomedical, which all provide point-of-care tests, and Ginkgo Bioworks, Helix OpCo, Fluidigm and Mammoth Biosciences, which have laboratory tests.
All the companies that have won these contracts either have emergency use authorization from the FDA for their technology or their applications are in process, according to the NIH.
“This is an exciting milestone,” said Bruce J. Tromberg, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and a leader of RADx Tech, said in a release.
“It will increase US testing capacity exponentially over the next few months. These and other technologies emerging from our RADx pipeline will guide patient care and inform public health measures to stop the spread of the virus and leave us better equipped to address future pathogens and other diseases.”
11:19 a.m. ET, July 31, 2020
Florida sets new record for Covid-19 deaths for 4th straight day
From CNN's Tina Burnside
For the fourth day in a row, the state of Florida is reporting a record number of coronavirus related deaths.
On Friday, the state reported 257 more deaths, breaking the previous record of 253 deaths, which was set yesterday, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The state set previous records on Tuesday and Wednesday. The statewide resident death toll is now 6,843.
Florida also reported at least 9,007 new coronavirus cases bringing the state total to more than 470,000.
11:00 a.m. ET, July 31, 2020
MLB Cardinals positive Covid-19 cases force game postponement, according to reports
From CNN's David Close
Members of the St. Louis Cardinals have tested positive for Covid-19 forcing Friday’s game between the Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers to be postponed, according to MLB Network and ESPN.
MLB Network was first to report the news. ESPN reports that multiple members of the team have tested positive.
When asked about the report, a MLB spokesperson said the league would address the situation in a press release later this morning.
The game was slated to start at 2:10 p.m. ET in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
10:53 a.m. ET, July 31, 2020
New York City infection rate has to be below 3% to reopen schools, mayor says
From CNN's Sheena Jones
The Covid-19 infection rate across New York City has to be below 3% for schools to reopen, Mayor Bill de Blasio said during the city’s daily Covid-19 news conference Friday.
New York City has been below that threshold for weeks, de Blasio said.
When schools reopen, face masks will be required along with social distancing, free Covid-19 testing will be offered, and all staff and students must have the necessary personal protective equipment to work in the classroom, de Blasio said.
Teachers will be required to get tested for Covid-19 in the days leading up to schools reopening and test results will be given to teachers within 24-hours of being tested, New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said during the same press conference.
If someone gets sick in the classroom that information will be communicated fast, Carranza said.
The goal is to keep kids in the same group as much as possible and limit movement for students and who they come in contact with throughout the day, de Blasio said.
“Everything we do is going to be focused on health and safety,” the mayor said.
If a student or teacher gets sick, that entire classroom will be required to quarantine for 14-days, Dr. Ted Long said.
Long, who runs the NYC Test and Trace Corps, said the corps will investigate each case of Covid-19 at a school and schools could close for a limited time during the investigation, or they could switch to remote learning, he said.