August 11 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, August 12, 2020
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2:44 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Texas man says he regrets dismissing Covid-19 after 14 family members get sick

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Tony Green, from Texas, thought coronavirus was hoax and just a “rebranded flu” until a small gathering in June resulted in 14 of his family members becoming ill.

“In all fairness there’s so much misinformation out there,” Green told CNN’s Brianna Keilar. “There was a lot of things that were going on that were causing me to believe misleading information,” he said.

“It seems that the White House, the communication was really broken down … There are things that have to be corrected if we discover more and more about the virus. But it seemed like it was being downplayed, ‘don’t panic, don’t worry,’ to the point where you just think, ‘OK, well, you know, if the President is not worried, if the White House isn't worried ... let's go on with life,’” Green added.

Since the gathering in June, while most of Green’s family is recovering well, his father-in-law remains on ventilator and another family member died in July.

Green said the loosening of restrictions in Texas made his family think that the small gathering would be okay.

“It just kind of spread from there. It spread quickly. It spread to multiple cities and 14 of us got infected,” he said.

Watch full interview:

2:50 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Illinois reports more than 1,500 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Brad Parks in Chicago and Kay Jones

A sign alerts residents to a mobile COVID-19 testing site set up on a vacant lot in the Austin neighborhood on June 23, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. 
A sign alerts residents to a mobile COVID-19 testing site set up on a vacant lot in the Austin neighborhood on June 23, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.  Scott Olson/Getty Images

Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,549 new Covid-19 cases in the state.

There are now a total of 196,948 recorded cases throughout the state since the start of the pandemic.

At least 20 new fatalities were reported today, bringing that total to 7,657.

Hospitalizations declined slightly, with 1,459 hospitalized today while 336 patients are in the intensive care units.  

Remember: 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.

2:43 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

More than 23,000 people have died from coronavirus in New York City

From CNN's Rob Frehse

A medical worker about to take in a patient outside a special coronavirus area at Maimonides Medical Center on May 06, 2020 in the Borough Park neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
A medical worker about to take in a patient outside a special coronavirus area at Maimonides Medical Center on May 06, 2020 in the Borough Park neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York City reports at least 18,966 confirmed coronavirus deaths and approximately 4,626 probable coronavirus deaths as of August 11, according to the most recent data on the city website.

The New York City Health Department defines probable deaths as people who did not have a positive Covid-19 laboratory test, but their death certificate lists as the cause of death “COVID-19” or an equivalent.

Together, the total number of confirmed coronavirus deaths and probable coronavirus deaths in New York City is at least 23,592.

There have been approximately 224,920 coronavirus cases in the city and at least 56,599 people have been hospitalized, according to the city.

Note: The data is from the New York City Health Department and was updated on August 11 at 1 p.m., according to the website. The numbers may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

2:46 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

UK records more than 1,100 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Sarah Dean in London

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson sanitizes his hands during a visit to St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in London on Monday Aug. 10, 2020.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson sanitizes his hands during a visit to St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in London on Monday Aug. 10, 2020. Lucy Young/Pool/AP

The United Kingdom recorded 1,148 Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, government figures show. 

This is compared to 816 recorded cases on Monday and 1,062 recorded cases on Sunday – the first time the figure had risen above 1,000 since late June, according to the UK government’s official dashboard. 

The UK is among several European countries seeing new infection clusters as fears of a possible second wave rise. Stay-at-home orders have been put in place in parts of northern England where outbreaks have been identified.

"We need to do everything we can to avoid a second wave," UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday. "I'm afraid you are going to see outbreaks, we've seen them across the country in the last few weeks and months and we've also seen the immense efforts that local authorities have gone to, that local communities have gone to, to get that outbreak under control." 

On Friday, the government’s website said the reproductive rate across the UK was between 0.8-1.0 but SAGE (the government’s scientific advisory group) “does not have confidence that R is currently below 1 in England”.

“As of 9am on 11 August, 312,789 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK,” the Department of Health said Tuesday. “Cases are reported when lab tests are completed and confirmed positive. There are more cases in the UK than are confirmed, for example where people are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms and do not get tested,” it added.

2:29 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Approval of coronavirus vaccine needs to be based on evidence, NIH chief says

From CNNs Elizabeth Cohen and Dana Vigue

National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins speaks during a roundtable at the American Red Cross national headquarters on Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Washington.
National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins speaks during a roundtable at the American Red Cross national headquarters on Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Washington. Evan Vucci/AP

The director of the National Institutes of Health says he will “make a big noise” if President Trump were to pull an “October surprise” and pressure the US Food and Drug Administration into approving a vaccine prematurely in order to get votes on Election Day. 

“This just cannot be allowed to happen,” Dr. Francis Collins told CNN.

He said if FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn allows approval of a vaccine based on flimsy evidence, “he’s got a lot of people he’d have to answer to.”  

The fear that the US Food and Drug Administration might approve a Covid-19 vaccine without sufficient safety and efficacy data in order to please the President was first put forth publicly in a June New York Times opinion piece by two physicians at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Some background: There’s a precedent for Trump declaring a product safe and effective without any proof. For months he has said that hydroxychloroquine is both, even though high-quality studies have shown it doesn’t help coronavirus patients and could be harmful. 

“It didn’t go so well for HCQ did it?” Collins said, using an abbreviation for the drug. “Do we really need to be reminded of how important it is to make those decisions based on evidence?” 

Collins said he, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and others would “certainly make a big noise about not supporting [the vaccine]” if the FDA were to approve it prematurely, adding that the vaccine cannot be approved “on the basis of anything other than science.”

2:17 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Nursing home residents on dialysis treatments could be at greater risk for Covid-19, research finds

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

A member of the dialysis team dons personal protective equipment (PPE) before treating a patient with coronavirus in the intensive care unit at a hospital on May 1, 2020 in Leonardtown, Maryland. 
A member of the dialysis team dons personal protective equipment (PPE) before treating a patient with coronavirus in the intensive care unit at a hospital on May 1, 2020 in Leonardtown, Maryland.  Win McNamee/Getty Images

Nursing home patients who receive dialysis treatment could be at greater risk for contracting Covid-19, as well as hospitalization and death from the disease, according to research published Tuesday in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers from the Department of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine looked at an outbreak of Covid-19 among the 164 residents of a Maryland nursing home.

As of April 30, 15 of 32 – or almost 50% – of residents who received dialysis had positive Covid-19 test results, compared with 22 of 138 patients – or 16% – of residents who did not receive dialysis.

Hospitalization and death rates were also higher among patients who were going through dialysis.

Among the residents who tested positive, 8 of 15 were hospitalized, compared to 4 of 22 patients who did not receive dialysis treatment.

Those undergoing dialysis were also more like to die within 30 days –– about 6 out of 15 people, compared to 6 out of 22 people who were not receiving dialysis.

Some context: Residents receiving dialysis are particularly vulnerable because they often have more underlying medical conditions that have been associated with more severe Covid-19 infection, and they could be more frequently exposed to people outside of the nursing home.

“Residents leaving their rooms for dialysis could be a potential source of SARS-CoV-2 introduction into the nursing home and might pose an underrecognized source of transmission, both in the dialysis center and in the nursing home,” the researchers said. “Better monitoring and understanding of the risks associated with residents who regularly leave the facility for outpatient health care is needed.”
3:56 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Old Dominion University cancels fall sports due to the pandemic

From CNN's Dan Kamal

Running back Jeremy Cox #35 of the Old Dominion University Monarchs carries the ball against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the first half at Lane Stadium on September 23, 2017 in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Running back Jeremy Cox #35 of the Old Dominion University Monarchs carries the ball against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the first half at Lane Stadium on September 23, 2017 in Blacksburg, Virginia. Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

Old Dominion University announced Monday it is canceling all of its fall athletic season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In making the announcement, university president John R. Broderick said, “We concluded that the season – including travel and competition – posed too great a risk for our student-athletes. I know many on and off campus will be disappointed, but we must prioritize the health and safety of our student-athletes, as well as our coaches, staff and fans.”

Broderick added that the decision was made in collaboration with athletic director Wood Selig, coaches, medical and public health experts, and state and local officials.

"I want to compliment Dr. Selig for being such a thoughtful colleague," Broderick said. "I know there are schools where this discussion has been complicated by other factors, but for Wood and me, it was just about health and safety."

Old Dominion plays in college football’s Football Bowl Subdivision and is a member of Conference USA. The Monarchs finished with a record of 1-11 in 2019.

12:53 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

University of Massachusetts cancels 2020 football season

From CNN's Dan Kamal

UMass Minutemen helmets sit on the ground on October 26, 2019, at Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst, Massachusetts.
UMass Minutemen helmets sit on the ground on October 26, 2019, at Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst, Massachusetts. M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire/AP

University of Massachusetts athletics has announced the cancellation of the school’s 2020 football season.

In a statement released Tuesday, athletic director Ryan Bamford said, “We have been in constant communication with university leadership and our football staff since March, with the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff remaining our top priority."

”The continuing challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic posed too great of a risk, and we reached the conclusion that attempting to play a season would not have placed the members of our program in the safest situation possible…We remain hopeful and fully intend to conduct a competitive schedule for our fall sports in the 2021 spring semester," he continued in the statement.

UMass football coach Walt Bell added: "I am absolutely heartbroken for our players, our former players, our alumni and our UMass Football community. Our job as coaches and mentors is to provide opportunities for our players and do everything in our power to not take them away. Today's news was devastating, but we will be resilient and prepared to be our best when our best is required."

"I would like to give an unbelievable amount of gratitude to our medical professionals, our administration, our campus, our athletic training staff and our operations staff for creating one of the safest environments in college football. The testing, the protocols, the risk mitigation, and the execution have been incredible," Bell said.

Football student-athletes will remain enrolled in coursework full-time, either virtually or in-person, in line with the university’s update to its fall reopening plan, announced on Aug. 6.

UMass competes as an independent in college football’s highest division, the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The Minutemen’s record in 2019 was 1-11.

1:04 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Fitness trainer who was put into a medically induced coma says he didn’t think Covid-19 “was real”

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

A California fitness trainer who had coronavirus and needed to be hospitalized and put into a medically induced coma for five days says he at first dismissed the virus and was skeptical of its severity. 

“I didn't think it was real. I thought it was something that was made up,” Mata told CNN’s Kate Bolduan. “… I didn't think it was real as far as I was going to be able to contract it. I had that mindset.”

Mata said people at his gym had the same mindset of feeling invincible. 

“It's easier not to have to change and stick with my belief system of ‘it'll never happen to me,’” he said. 

Mata said he had major body aches, a high fever and loss of taste before he was put on a ventilator. 

“I realized it's something bigger than me,” he said. 

Watch: