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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3:46 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Statewide physical distancing policies helped slow the spread of the pandemic, study finds

From CNN’s Jen Christensen

Foot markings and a coronavirus social distance reminder are seen on the floor of an elevator in office building in Hollywood, California on July 7, 2020.
Foot markings and a coronavirus social distance reminder are seen on the floor of an elevator in office building in Hollywood, California on July 7, 2020. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Statewide physical distancing policies work, a new modeling study finds. Deaths from Covid-19 declined and the incubation time for new cases grew.

Researchers from Harvard University and University College London found that every state in the US passed at least one physical distancing measure in March to slow the spread of the pandemic –– and it did.

Policies were so successful, physical distancing resulted in the reduction of more than 600,000 cases within just three weeks, according to the study, published Tuesday in the journal PLOS. Had there not been preventative interventions, the models suggest up to 80% of Americans would have been infected with Covid-19.

Due to these policies, the time it took to double cases increased from about four days to eight within three weeks of that statewide policy going into place.

The case growth rate declined by about 1% per day starting four days after a statewide measure was put on the books. Per week, the model suggests the policies resulted in 1,600 fewer cases by week one, and about 621,000 fewer cases by week three.

Other studies of these physical distancing policies have shown similar results, but the authors said this is the first study to show that these polices saved lives. The death rate decreased by 2% per day beginning a week after a physical distancing policy started.

Something to note: There are limits to this model. This isn’t a controlled experiment. If states made stronger physical distancing policies in response to a worsening local epidemic, the policies may not have looked as effective, the authors said. The model also can’t account for people who stayed home and avoided crowds out of concern for their own safety, rather than to follow their state policy.

"The results show the timing of government-issued orders correlated strongly with reductions in both cases and deaths. In short, these measures work, and policy makers should use them as an arrow in their quivers to get on top of local epidemics where they are not responding to containment measures,” Dr. Mark J. Siedner in a statement.

Siedner is a co-author of the study and an infectious diseases doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

4:24 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Georgia high school temporarily closing after multiple Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Tina Burnside and Jamiel Lynch 

Etowah High School/Cherokee County School District
Etowah High School/Cherokee County School District

Cherokee County School District in Georgia is temporarily closing Etowah High School to in-person learning after the end of classes today after 14 students tested positive for Covid-19, Superintendent Brian V. Hightower said in a message on the school’s website.

Hightower said they hope to be able to resume in-person learning at the school on Aug. 31.

Another 15 students are also still waiting for test results.

Hightower said that as of now, at least 294 student and staff from the high school are under quarantine and that number could increase if any of the pending cases are positive.  

Etowah High School will be deep cleaned on Wednesday and teachers must report back on Thursday to begin online classroom instruction for students. 

Since the start of school on Aug. 3, there have been at least 59 positive Covid-19 cases in the district among students and staff. This has led to the quarantine of approximately 925 students and staff, Hightower said.

3:26 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

More than 500,000 Ohio public school students will return to in-person learning, governor says

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

A graduate student arrives to pick up her diploma in May 2020 in Bradley, Illinois.
A graduate student arrives to pick up her diploma in May 2020 in Bradley, Illinois. Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine today announced that 325 of Ohio’s school districts are planning to return to full-time in-person learning, making up about 590,000, or 38%, of public school students.

DeWine said 55 districts, approximately 398,000 students, or about 25.6% of public school students, will be fully remote or online at least to start the school year. And, 154 districts, approximately 380,000 students, or 24.5%, will be doing some form of hybrid schooling, the governor said.

According to DeWine, the state was missing information for the plans of 78 districts in the state.

The governor expressed his confidence that every school district will do everything they can to keep Ohio's children safe, but pointed out that whatever is going on in their communities regarding Covid-19 numbers, will be reflected in the schools.

“It’s incumbent upon all of us, every single one of us, to do everything we can to keep down the spread in the community in which that school lives," he said.

2:59 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Here's the latest coronavirus update from California

From CNN's Sarah Moon

An urgent care worker performs drive-up COVID-19 testing at James Jordan Middle School on August 10, 2020 in Winnetka, California. 
An urgent care worker performs drive-up COVID-19 testing at James Jordan Middle School on August 10, 2020 in Winnetka, California.  Kevin Winter/Getty Images

California reported at least 12,500 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, raising the state’s confirmed total since the start of the pandemic to approximately 574,411 cases, according to data from the state's Department of Public Health.

The high number of cases is due in part to a backlog caused by issues with the state’s electronic laboratory system. 

It was not immediately clear how many cases included in Tuesday’s data were from the backlog. New cases attributed to the backlog will be reported over the “next few days,” according to the state department of public health.

Some context: This is the second highest number of cases reported by the state in a single day. The health department reported at least 12,807 cases on July 22.

With 109 new deaths reported on Tuesday, the state has recorded a total of at least 10,468 fatalities from the coronavirus.

Note: These numbers were released by California 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.

2:54 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Florida governor advocates for college sports to play in the fall

From CNN's Lindsay Benson

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis arrives at a news conference, Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, at the Broward Health Corporate Office in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis arrives at a news conference, Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, at the Broward Health Corporate Office in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  Wilfredo Lee/AP

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a roundtable on collegiate athletics in Tallahassee on Tuesday at Florida State University.

Some of the people who took part in the roundtable included Florida State University President John Thrasher, Florida State University football coach Mike Norvell, as well as a couple of Florida State college athletes. 

Florida State University President John Thrasher spoke about how they think it's in the "best interest" of the college athletes to play football this fall.

Thrasher said they'd like to send "a message to some of the other schools that may be teetering on whether or not to play football. We think it's in the best interest of our student athletes for us to play football.

"We can do it safely, and we can do it productively for them as well as the, the absolute culture of our university and certainly this community of Tallahassee," he added. 

At the end of the roundtable, DeSantis said that it's not just college football that he'd like to see back.

"As we're here talking about football, cause we all get so excited about it, and it is very important because it is an engine for all the athletic programs, you know, we do want to say that all these student-athletes are important," DeSantis said, going on to say he wanted to be able to see teams like women's soccer, basketball, baseball and softball back. 

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.