August 5 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Jack Guy, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, August 6, 2020
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1:16 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020

NCAA sets deadline for schools to decide if they're going to play fall sports

From CNN's Dan Kamal

The NCAA Board of Governors announced Wednesday that each division of school athletics will have to determine its ability to meet specific requirements in order to proceed with fall sports during the preseason, regular season and postseason.

Schools and conferences will have until Aug. 21 to determine whether their respective fall sports seasons and NCAA championships should occur this year.

In addition, the board expressed serious concerns about the continuing high levels of Covid-19 infection in many parts of the nation and emphasized it will only support moving forward with fall championships and postseason play if strict conditions are applied and maintained.

The requirements include:

  • Following “Return-to-Sport” guidelines from the NCAA Sport Science Institute
  • Adherence to federal, state, and local guidelines related to Covid-19
  • Allowing all student-athletes to opt out due to Covid-19 concerns, with all scholarships honored
  • Each school must provide eligibility status for all students who opt out by Aug. 14
  • Schools cannot require student-athletes to waive legal rights regarding Covid-19 as a condition of athletics participation
  • Schools, in conjunction with existing insurance standards, must cover Covid-19 related medical expenses for student-athletes

The NCAA will also establish a phone number and email address to allow student-athletes, parents, or administrators to report alleged failures of compliance, with school and conference officials expected to take immediate action.

If fall sports championships area postponed in any division, a decision to schedule for a later date will be based on scientific Covid-19 data available at that time.

Read the NCAA's statement on fall sports.

12:59 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020

TSA signs contract for protective shields at airports

From CNN's Pete Muntean

TSA agents work at a security checkpoint at the Ronald Reagan National Airport on July 22 in Arlington, Virginia.
TSA agents work at a security checkpoint at the Ronald Reagan National Airport on July 22 in Arlington, Virginia. Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images

New numbers show more than 1,500 Transportation Security Administration workers have now tested positive for coronavirus, but the agency hopes new protective shields at airport security checkpoints will help.

The TSA announced that it has awarded a nearly $2.5 million contract to California-based Lavi Industries.

The company will build more than 1,200 acrylic barriers to be installed at 37 “priority” airports that the TSA considers are its busiest domestic hubs. The TSA said the barriers add to those already in place and will be installed this fall.

“As long as this virus remains a threat, TSA will continue to implement the measures necessary for containment,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said.

TSA data shows that six workers have died from coronavirus, and more than 1,000 have recovered.

12:46 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020

One of Brazil's leading indigenous leaders dies of Covid-19

From journalist Marcia Reverdosa in São Paulo

One of Brazil’s leading indigenous leaders, Chief Aritana Yawalapiti, leader of the Upper Xingu, died on Wednesday of Covid-19, his nephew Kaiulu Yawalapiti told CNN. 

"My heart is in pieces, bleeding," Kaiulu Yawalapiti said. 

Aritana was admitted to an intensive care unit on July 22 after suffering from severe breathing problems. He was 71. 

Aritana was one of the most prominent leaders in the Xingu park, the first indigenous territory to be recognized by the Brazilian government in 1968. He fought for the safety and health of the Upper Xingu for many years. 

"He could no longer breathe on his own, his lungs were severely damaged so we had to transfer him to a hospital," his son, Tapi Yawalapiti, told CNN when he was admitted to the ICU on July 22. 

Yawalapiti told CNN then that the Upper Xingu lacked medical supplies, testing kits and medical assistance to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Covid-19 spreads very fast, the whole community is sick, children, the young, the elderly. We are being neglected by the Brazilian government, they are not helping us enough and it seems that they want to decimate us," Yawalapiti told CNN on July 22. 

The Xingu reservation park is located at the northeast of the state of Mato Grosso, southern portion of the Brazilian Amazon.  

Latest figures: On Wednesday, Brazil’s Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health (SESAI) reported 139 indigenous people infected with coronavirus, nine people have died and 138 people have been treated for "suspected Covid-19."

But the Association of Indigenous people (APIB), an independent organization in Brazil, has reported that 21,571 indigenous people have been infected with the virus and 618 people have died since the pandemic started in the country, according to data released on August 1. 

12:40 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020

New Jersey governor says state's Covid-19 positivity rate is "too high"

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's removes his mask before giving his daily press briefing at the War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey, on Saturday, April 11.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's removes his mask before giving his daily press briefing at the War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey, on Saturday, April 11. Chris Pedota/The Record/AP

New Jersey reports 378 new cases of Covid-19 and 8 additional deaths from the virus, Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday during the state’s Covid-19 presser. 

The state is experiencing a Covid-19 positive infection rate of 2.57%, which is “too high because it’s over 2%,” Murphy said. 

New Jersey has a statewide total of 183,327 cases of Covid-19 and 13,989 deaths from the virus, Murphy said. 

“Let’s keep up what we are doing to keep the virus down,” Murphy said. 

Note: These numbers 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.

12:41 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Big Ten student-athletes pen letter calling for stricter Covid-19 safety protocols 

From CNN's Homero DeLaFuente

Following the Big Ten’s decision to hold a conference-only football season on Wednesday, the conference’s student-athletes penned a letter via The Players Tribune, calling the Big Ten and the NCAA to review its current Covid-19 safety protocols. 

“We are deeply disappointed with the lack of leadership demonstrated by the NCAA with respect to player safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that the NCAA must — on its own and through collaboration with the conference — devise a comprehensive plan to ensure the safety and well-being of players leading up to and during the upcoming fall season, " the letter reads. 

The letter continues, “Given that the NCAA and conference leadership have not asked for our input, we feel compelled to call for clarity, commitment, and action regarding our common-sense proposal below.”

The letter outlines five areas they’d like more regulations and enforcement in to protect the well-being of all athletes starting with more oversight and transparency, prevention and safety protocols, testing, contact tracing and related procedures, player assurances and hazard-related economic support. 

12:48 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020

University of Virginia to delay in-person classes and move-in date by two weeks

From CNN's Elizabeth Stuart

The University of Virginia.
The University of Virginia. Shutterstock

The University of Virginia announced it is delaying in-person classes for undergraduate students and move-in to dorms on campus by two weeks because of "an uptick in local and national coronavirus cases."

The semester begins on Aug. 25, but now classes will be held all online until Sept. 8. According to an email sent to the university community by President Jim Ryan and other university leaders on Tuesday, "students will be able to move into residence halls several days before then."

“In response to these conditions, and based on the advice of UVA public health experts, we have decided to adopt a phased approach to the fall semester, which we believe will best safeguard the health and safety of our University community and our Charlottesville neighbors and give us the best chance of a successful return to Grounds,” they wrote. 

"We still plan to welcome all students back to Grounds, but out of caution, we will do it a bit more slowly than originally intended."

UVA has more than 25,000 students, according to the school's website.

12:13 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020

US has seen "most historic advances" in vaccine development over last 2 weeks, Azar says

From CNN’s Amanda Watt

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar attends an event where U.S. President Donald Trump signed executive orders on prescription drug prices in the South Court Auditorium at the White House on July 24 in Washington.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar attends an event where U.S. President Donald Trump signed executive orders on prescription drug prices in the South Court Auditorium at the White House on July 24 in Washington. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the last two weeks, “we've seen – under President Trump's leadership – the most historic advances in the development of vaccines we've ever seen in human history,” US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday on Fox News. 

“The United States now has six vaccines that we've placed major investments in. Four of them have already reported out positive Phase 1 clinical trial results, and two of them are already in the advanced final Phase 3 studies. Others will advance there soon,” Azar said.

“It's really just President Trump has marshalled the whole of the US government and our biopharmaceutical industry – it’s incredible,” he added.

Azar said it’s “very credible” that the US will have “high tens of millions of doses of FDA gold-standard vaccine by the end of this year,” with “many hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine by the beginning of next year.”

Earlier today: HHS announced it will own 100 million doses of the Covid-19 investigational vaccine Johnson & Johnson is developing. 

In a statement, HHS said the doses from the "large-scale manufacturing and delivery" agreement could be used in clinical trials or as part of a Covid-19 vaccination campaign under the guidance of the US Food and Drug Administration. 

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is committing more than $1 billion for this agreement, Johnson & Johnson said in a separate statement. The US government may also purchase an additional 200 million doses of the vaccine candidate under a subsequent agreement, the company added.

Azar said in the statement the federal government is assembling a "portfolio of vaccines" under Operation Warp Speed and this latest partnership will increase the chances the US "will have at least one safe, effective vaccine by 2021."

12:07 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Trump official: We believe kids can go back to school in a "safe and sensible" way

From CNN Health’s Amanda Watts

“We believe we can get our kids back to school in a way that’s safe and sensible, under most circumstances,” US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Wednesday.

Speaking on Fox News, Azar said, “There are tools that you can use – very simple interventions, if you put your mind to it – that you can get the kids back so that they're safe, so that teachers are safe.”

Azar said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has laid out clear guidelines for reopening.

 “The measures are really quite simple,” Azar said. “It's what the rest of us do: wear face coverings, practice social distancing, exercise good personal hygiene, and avoid settings where that's not possible.”

Azar cautioned that getting kids back to school is “going to vary based on local circumstances,” adding, “for the most part, our kids can and need to get back to school, and it can be done in ways that protect them and keep them safe.”

 

11:59 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Florida surpasses 500,000 Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Tina Burnside

The state of Florida is reporting 5,409 coronavirus cases, pushing the state over the half a million mark, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health on Wednesday.

The state is also reporting 225 additional deaths in a single day.

To date, there are now 502,739 total cases in the state, including out of state residents, DOH reports. Florida has reported 7,627 resident deaths to date, DOH data shows.