August 12 coronavirus news

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7:28 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

New White House recommendations encourages mask use in schools, but doesn't require it

From CNN's Jason Hoffman 

President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington on  August 12.
President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington on August 12. Win McNamee/Getty Images

The White House released eight new recommendations for schools as they prepare to reopen, however the recommendations are little more than basic hygiene tips and don’t outline what schools should do if they face coronavirus cases in their halls.

The broad recommendations are similar to coronavirus mitigation efforts across the country, and not particularly specific to schools.

The “general recommendations for all schools,” which were released at the President’s daily coronavirus news conference, focus on what students and teachers should do to attempt to keep people safe as they return to the classroom.

The recommendations include ensuring that students and staff “understand the symptoms of COVID-19” and requiring “all students, teachers and staff to self-assess their health every morning before coming to school.”

The recommendations also encourage the use of masks, but do not require students, teachers or staff to wear masks. They also “require students, teachers and staff to socially distance around high-risk individuals,” however it’s unclear how schools will go about doing that. 

Trump did say “we’re also providing high-risk teachers and students options to engage in distance teaching and learning.” 

The President said one of the reasons he wants students to return to school is because there are very few fatalities in younger Americans.

“College age students also continue to be one of the lowest risk demographics," Trump claimed, adding that most Covid-19 deaths "occur in people over 24 years of age,” Trump claimed.

This new list released by the White House echoes much of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included in their guidelines for reopening schools, which do contain additional details.

Trump also said CDC teams can be deployed to schools that need assistance with their reopening plans.

Earlier on Wednesday, adviser to the President Kellyanne Conway said that despite the resources the federal government will provide, the decision to reopen schools will still need to be made at a local level.

“We’re the federal government. We’re not telling school districts what to do. We’re providing guidance and resources,” Conway said.

6:40 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

Trump says the administration will provide up to 125 million masks to school districts

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

President Trump claimed Wednesday that the federal government will provide up to 125 million masks to school districts around the United States.

“Today I am pleased to announce that we will provide up to 125 million reusable masks to various school districts around the country,” Trump said during a White House press briefing. “My administration also stands ready to deploy CDC teams to support schools that are opening and schools that need help in safety and in order to safely reopen.” 

The announcement comes amid a push by the Trump administration to reopen schools around the country.

6:33 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

Trump says the US is working with Europe to address the coronavirus pandemic

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 12 in Washington.
President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 12 in Washington. Andrew Harnik/AP

President Trump said the US is “working with Europe on the difficulties” that countries are facing due to the pandemic, despite the fact that US has more deaths from the virus than any country in the world.

At a news briefing Wednesday, the President said that countries in Europe have “40% higher excess mortality than the United States” and made the case that the US economy is “significantly better than Europe.” 

“While our economy is performing significantly better than Europe, which people have to understand very strongly, it's performing better than any market anywhere in the world, actually. At the same time, Europe is experiencing 40% higher excess mortality than the United States,” Trump said during his opening remarks. “And I will say that that a significant number.”

It’s true that the mortality rate is higher in many European countries than it is in the US, but the US has vastly more cases and deaths than any single European country.

“We're working with Europe on the difficulties and we are going to help them all the way, we're doing very well as you know in the vaccines and the therapeutics,” the President said.

6:45 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

"Indiana will have a safe and secure and healthy in-person election," governor says

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks during a meeting with higher education leaders on safely reopening schools, Friday, July 24 in Indianapolis.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks during a meeting with higher education leaders on safely reopening schools, Friday, July 24 in Indianapolis. Darron Cummings/AP

When asked about accusations that President Trump is the reason Indiana isn’t allowing a no-excuse absentee ballot election, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said that was inaccurate, adding that “Indiana will have a safe and secure and healthy in-person election on Nov. 3.”

Holcomb said he didn’t know of a single case of Covid-19 that had arisen from the state’s June primary election.

“I've asked this question 10 times, 10 different ways, of 10 different people, if they knew of one case where someone got Covid-19 while voting at one of our polling sites on Election Day, and the answer has been no, to date. And so we need to have that option," he said. “But folks need to understand that it is safe to vote."

6:15 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

Access to mental health care is important during the pandemic, experts say

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

It’s important for people who are vulnerable to increased anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic to access mental health care, experts said during an American Lung Association event on Wednesday. 

Many people may be experiencing increased anxiety during the pandemic, which can be compounded by the sense of isolation that can come with social distancing.

“It's also really important to remember that 1 in 5 Americans had a diagnosed mental health condition before the pandemic,” said Ken Duckworth, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Duckworth emphasized the importance of telehealth services and phone sessions for people without internet access.

Dr. Tyish Hall Brown, a psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor at Howard University College of Medicine, emphasized the importance of checking in on children and teens.

She said that “everything's kind of a catastrophic thought” for teens, and it can be helpful to remind them that this break from school and seeing friends won’t last forever.

6:00 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

Colleges and universities in Los Angeles must remain mostly closed, officials say

From CNN’s Jenn Selva

Officials from the Los Angeles health department said they will follow guidance from the state, allowing only the limited reopening of colleges and universities until the spread rate of Covid-19 slows.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said this means colleges and universities can continue their essential operations, but that most academic instruction will need to be conducted via distance learning. 

Some limited in-person training and instruction will be allowed, but only for students who are or will become part of the essential workforce or those activities that can’t be taught through distance learning.

According to Ferrer, housing will only be provided for students who have no alternative options.

“I know this is disheartening news for so many of the students who are looking forward to life on campus,” said Ferrer.

Ferrer said college sports can continue as long as they follow guidelines set by the state and the NCAA.

Some context: The announcement comes after outbreaks were reported last month in both the University of California Los Angeles and University of Southern California communities.

 

5:53 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

National Football League extends daily Covid-19 testing for players

From CNN's David Close

The NFL logo is seen on the field before a game between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London on October 13, 2019.
The NFL logo is seen on the field before a game between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London on October 13, 2019. Alex Burstow/Getty Images

The NFL and the players union have agreed to continue daily Covid-19 testing until at least Sept. 5.

The NFL Players Association and the league had originally agreed to daily testing for just the first two weeks of training camp.

According to the player's union Covid-19 results tracker on the its website, 56 players have tested positive for coronavirus since training camps opened in late July.

The NFL season kicks off Sept. 10 with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans.

5:52 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

More than 11,000 new coronavirus cases recorded in California

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

A healthcare worker gathers information from a person at a drive-in coronavirus testing center in Los Angeles on August 11.
A healthcare worker gathers information from a person at a drive-in coronavirus testing center in Los Angeles on August 11. Mario Tama/Getty Images

California has added 11,645 new coronavirus cases to its tally today, but more than half of those are the result of a backlog created by a data reporting error, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a news conference.

These new cases bring California’s total to 586,056 total infections.

Newsom noted the 14-day hospitalization rates are down just over 19%, and the two-week rate for intensive care unit cases is down 16%. These rates are “another indication that we are turning a corner on this pandemic,” Newsom said.

The positivity rate of the virus continues to drop and currently stands at 6.2%. This is down from just over 7% for most of July. 

“These are specific proof points that offer some optimism,” Newsom said, giving credit to people wearing masks for bringing the trend lines down. “Don’t let your guard down. You can’t let your guard down."

Some context: Data reporting errors that have plagued the state’s recording system have been resolved, according to Newsom, with a parallel system in place for the short-term and a long-term replacement being created for the future.

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.

5:44 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

Brazil's new daily coronavirus cases top 55,000

From Marcia Reverdosa and Fernanda Wenzel

Brazil reported 55,155 new Covid-19 cases as well as an additional 1,175 deaths in the past 24 hours, the country’s health ministry said Wednesday.

The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 3,164,785, including 104,201 deaths, according to the ministry’s data.

Brazil still ranks as the second country in the world when it comes to the total number of cases and deaths from the virus.