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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8:19 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

ICUs are full in more than 50 Florida hospitals

From CNN's Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

Medics transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside Coral Gables Hospital near Miami on July 30. 
Medics transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside Coral Gables Hospital near Miami on July 30.  Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

In Florida, 52 hospitals have reached ICU capacity and show zero ICU beds available, according to data released by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). 

Eight of the hospitals at capacity are in Miami-Dade County, eight in Hillsborough and six of them are in Broward County, AHCA data shows.

Another 38 hospitals have 10% or less ICU capacity available, according to AHCA.

AHCA reports about 16% ICU beds are available across the State of Florida.

On Tuesday, Florida reported 5,446 coronavirus cases and 245 additional deaths in a single day, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health (DOH). 

There are now 497,330 total cases in the state, including out-of-state residents, and it has reported 7,402 resident deaths to date, according to DOH data.

8:15 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Google Doodle letters wear masks and social distance from each other

From CNN's Kiely Westhoff


Google is chiming into the Covid-19 discourse using a "Google Doodle" to emphasize the importance of wearing a mask. Their homepage is featuring a Google logo that shows each letter doing its part and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

In the short doodle scene, the letters are brandishing colorful masks. They sprout feet and shuffle away from each other to demonstrate their effort to social distance. The letter "e" sends "a" heart emoji into the air, depicting adherence to CDC guidelines as an act of compassion towards its fellow letters.

Clicking on the animation takes the viewer to Google's Covid-19 prevention page where there are additional safety tips. Google is also using other platforms to highlight this message including YouTube and Google Maps.

A PSA on YouTube reminds people that wearing masks is a simple way that can reduce Covid-19 transmission by 80%. It is imploring individuals to "Do it for them. Do it for you. Do it for all of us."

7:54 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

What you need to know about the pandemic today

From CNN's Eliza Mackintosh

A version of this story appeared in the August 5 edition of CNN's Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here to receive the need-to-know headlines every weekday.

"It is what it is."

That's what President Donald Trump had to say about the staggering death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, which, at more than 150,000, is nearly a quarter of all global fatalities -- far outpacing that of any other nation.

In an interview with Axios on HBO, Trump claimed that the virus is "under control as much as you can control it" in the US, despite the fact that infection rates and deaths have been spiking. 

Nationally, the seven-day average of new daily cases is at about 60,000, while deaths, which typically lag several weeks behind, are steadily increasing, averaging 1,000 a day for a week straight.

Globally, more than 5,900 people are dying every day from Covid-19 on average, according to CNN calculations based on Johns Hopkins University (JHU) data from the past two weeks. That is 248 people per hour, or about one person every 15 seconds.

"We're lower than the world," Trump said in an incomprehensible response when pressed on the climbing US death toll.

Read more in today's coronavirus newsletter.

7:51 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Florida starts Covid-19 antigen testing, as basketball courts shut in Miami Beach

From CNN's Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

From today, Florida will provide rapid Covid-19 antigen testing at two state-supported drive-thru locations in Miami-Dade County, according to Jason Mahon, communications director at the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

The rapid testing sites will be located at Hard Rock Stadium and Marlins Park and will be available for symptomatic individuals and people over the age of 65.

These are the first state-supported antigen testing sites in the state, Mahon said. 

On the same day, the City of Miami Beach announced it has closed all basketball courts in city parks due to Covid-19, according to the city government. The order is effective immediately.

Miami Beach plans to remove the basketball rims across all city courts and all solo or group basketball activity, including dribbling or shooting basketballs, is prohibited.

On Tuesday, Florida reported 5,446 coronavirus cases and 245 additional deaths in a single day, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health (DOH). 

There are now 497,330 total cases in the state, including out-of-state residents, and it has reported 7,402 resident deaths to date, according to DOH data.

7:21 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Biden campaign will target Trump's pandemic response with ads across 15 states

From CNN's Eric Bradner

Getty Images
Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign says it has reserved $280 million in television and digital advertising that it plans to use largely to hammer President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The presumptive Democratic nominee's ads will often run 60 seconds rather than the more typical 30-second commercials, and will frequently feature Biden speaking directly into a camera, campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon said in a memo Wednesday. The ads will air in 15 states the campaign believes will be competitive in November's election.

The ads will focus heavily on the pandemic, contrasting what Biden's campaign sees as Trump's failures with the former vice president's experience and empathy. Biden's ads are intended to allow voters to "hear directly from the vice president in his own voice, speaking to this moment that we're in," O'Malley Dillon told reporters in a call detailing the strategy.

Read the full story here.

8:16 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Bolivia cancels school for 2020

From CNN's Patrick Oppmann

Bolivia has made the stark choice to cancel school for the rest of the year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Some 2 million students in the highland nation won't attend either online or in-person classes until at least 2021.

"The school year is cancelled because the vast majority of rural areas do not have internet," said Yerko Nunez, Bolivian minister of the presidency.

"The children do not have internet. The fiber optic system unfortunately only reaches the city."

UNICEF reports only 40% of Bolivian students are able to take classes online but, as other countries find creative solutions, some feel Bolivia is giving up too easily.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann has the full story.

Watch below: Bolivia cancels school year for 2 million children due to Covid-19

9:28 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Novavax Phase 1 data shows vaccine is safe and elicits an immune response

From CNN Health's Elizabeth Cohen and Dana Vigue, CNN

A third US company has released study results showing its coronavirus vaccine is safe and elicits an immune response.

Novavax, Inc. released Phase 1 data Tuesday from 131 volunteers showing that after two doses of the vaccine, participants developed neutralizing antibodies at levels more than four times higher on average than the antibodies developed by people who had recovered from Covid-19. Neutralizing antibodies fight off the virus that causes Covid-19.

"That's good. That's really encouraging," said Novavax president Dr. Gregory Glenn.

The vaccine also induced a response from T-cells, a type of immune cell, according to an analysis of 16 randomly selected volunteers, the report stated.

The report has been submitted to a medical journal, but has not yet been reviewed by scientists outside of Novavax or published.

Read the full story here.

9:28 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

US obesity epidemic could undermine Covid-19 vaccine

From Sarah Varney, Kaiser Health News

For a world crippled by the coronavirus, salvation hinges on a vaccine.

But in the United States, where at least 4.6 million people have been infected and nearly 155,000 have died, the promise of that vaccine is hampered by a vexing epidemic that long preceded Covid-19: obesity.

Scientists know that vaccines engineered to protect the public from influenza, hepatitis B, tetanus and rabies can be less effective in obese adults than in the general population, leaving them more vulnerable to infection and illness. There is little reason to believe, obesity researchers say, that Covid-19 vaccines will be any different.

"Will we have a Covid vaccine next year tailored to the obese? No way," said Raz Shaikh, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

"Will it still work in the obese? Our prediction is no."

Read the full story here.

8:16 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Second grader tests positive for coronavirus after attending the first day of school in Georgia

From Madeline Holcombe and Jamiel Lynch, CNN

A Georgia second grader tested positive for Covid-19 after attending the first day of school, the school district told CNN.

Sixes Elementary in the Cherokee County School district began in-person classes on Monday. But by Tuesday, a classroom was temporarily closed for deep cleaning and the teacher and 20 other students had been asked to quarantine for two weeks after the second grader tested positive.

Parents and officials have debated whether it is safe to send students back into classrooms as virus cases have surged across the country. While health experts are still investigating how children spread the virus, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci has emphasized that schools need to include safety in their reopening plans.

Read the full story here.