August 13 coronavirus news

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12:38 a.m. ET, August 13, 2020

New White House recommendations encourage mask use in schools, but don't require it

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway speaks during the "Getting America's Children Safely Back to School" event in the State Room of the white House in Washington, DC, on August 12.
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway speaks during the "Getting America's Children Safely Back to School" event in the State Room of the white House in Washington, DC, on August 12. Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP

The White House released eight new recommendations for US schools as they prepare to reopen -- but the recommendations are little more than basic hygiene tips and don’t outline what to 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 President Donald Trump’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 require “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 them. 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. He also claimed that most Covid-19 deaths "occur in people over 24 years of age."

This new list released by the White House echoes much of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included in its 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.

12:05 a.m. ET, August 13, 2020

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

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House in Washington, D.C.,on Wednesday, August 12.
US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House in Washington, D.C.,on Wednesday, August 12. Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

US President Donald 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.

12:05 a.m. ET, August 13, 2020

France sees biggest spike in daily Covid-19 cases since easing lockdown restrictions

From Alexander Durie and Benjamin Berteau in Paris

A medical staff member collects a swab sample from a woman at a Covid-19 testing site in Saint-Nic, France, on August 12.
A medical staff member collects a swab sample from a woman at a Covid-19 testing site in Saint-Nic, France, on August 12. Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty Images

France has recorded its biggest jump in daily Covid-19 cases since around the time it began to ease its lockdown.

The French Health Ministry on Wednesday reported an increase of 2,524 Covid-19 infections in 24 hours.

This is the biggest single-day increase in coronavirus cases since May 6, five days before France eased lockdown restrictions.

This rise comes after French Prime Minister Jean Castex said Tuesday that the coronavirus situation in France has been "trending in the wrong direction."