Live Updates

August 14 coronavirus news

Family evacuated from Wuhan compares China and US virus responses
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What you need to know

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious disease expert in the US, has warned that if the country allows coronavirus infections to run rampant to achieve possible herd immunity, the death toll would be massive, especially among vulnerable people.
  • The CDC’s ensemble forecast now projects nearly 189,000 US coronavirus deaths by Sept. 5. There are more than 5.2 million cases and 167,000 deaths in the country.
  • The UK has imposed a 14-day quarantine starting Saturday on all arrivals from France, the Netherlands, Malta and Monaco after increases in Covid-19 cases. France says it will impose reciprocal measures on visitors from the UK.
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New Zealand records seven new locally transmitted cases as latest outbreak continues

A nurse completes a Covid-19 test at a testing centre in Auckland, New Zealand, on August 14.

Seven new locally transmitted coronavirus cases have been recorded in New Zealand, as the country attempts to contain a new outbreak after weeks of being virus free.

According to Ashley Bloomfield, the country’s Director-General of Health, six of the new cases were related to a known cluster in Auckland, while the origins of one case remain under investigation – although he was confident that case would also linked to the same cluster.

The total number of cases related to the Auckland cluster stands at 37, Bloomfield said.

Fifty-four close contacts of those infected have been moved to quarantine centers. So far, 24 of them have tested positive for the coronavirus.

It remains unclear where the latest outbreak originated. New Zealand Minister of Health Chris Hipkins said the country has not seen “any positive tests from our border and managed isolation facilities over the last few days, and genome sequencing does not match any of the known cases in these facilities.”

Testing of borders staff – those who work at managed isolation centers, airports, and maritime staff – has been carried out in a bid to find out where the virus may have come from, after local transmission was stamped out for 102 days earlier this year.

Since August 12, New Zealand has implemented an aggressive testing policy, completing 49,780 tests in three days. On Friday alone, 23,846 tests were processed.

Expert says human challenge trials are "unethical" -- and treat people "like laboratory animals"

Human challenge trials are “unnecessary, uninformative and unethical,” a former professor at Harvard Medical School said Friday.

Also known as controlled infection trials, human challenge involves the intentional exposure of participants to a virus to allow more rapid assessment of a vaccine’s efficacy.

“Basically, it’s treating (people) like laboratory animals,” William Haseltine told CNN.

The United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is working to create a strain of coronavirus that could be used in human challenge trials of a Covid-19 vaccine, although there are no plans to do so, NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier Friday.

Haseltine said such trials are typically only necessary when a virus is not “raging,” and the coronavirus is currently in widespread circulation.

He added that participants would likely be mainly healthy, young people, so the trials would not yield information about those most at risk for serious illness.

“Are we really ready to infect people with live virus that can kill them?” Haseltine said.

China down to eight locally transmitted virus cases on Friday

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) reported eight locally transmitted virus cases in the previous 24 hours, according to a statement released Saturday.

Seven cases were found in the western region of Xinjiang, where authorities have been tackling a recent outbreak, while one was detected in the southern province of Guangdong.

The NHC also recorded 14 new imported cases.

In China, asymptomatic cases are recorded separately to the official count. According to the NHC statement, 20 asymptomatic cases were found on Friday.

The total number of recorded infections across mainland China now stands at 84,808, according to the NHC.

1 in 4 young people in the US are reporting suicidal thoughts during the pandemic. Here's how to help

In the early days of the pandemic, many people came together to help each other, connecting over socially distant dinners and reaching out for video calls with friends they hadn’t talked to in months.

But this international crisis continues, and Americans are having trouble adjusting to the strain of a new reality.

New psychological data taken during the pandemic shows mental health in the United States is languishing, according to data reported this week as part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Suicidal ideation is up among young people since last year, with as many as one in four people ages 18 through 24 having seriously considered suicide in the 30 days preceding the survey, according to the report, in which researchers surveyed 5,412 adults in the US between June 24 and 30.

In the general US population, the CDC reported that 11% of adults surveyed had seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days before they completed the survey. Among those identifying as Black or Hispanic, the numbers were worse: 19% of Hispanics reported suicidal ideation and 15% of Blacks reported suicidal thoughts.

The results reflect a nation increasingly on edge. The number of Americans reporting anxiety symptoms is three times the number at this same time last year, the CDC said.

Read more here.

CDC: Updated quarantine guidance does not mean a person is immune to Covid-19 reinfection within 3 months of recovery

Signage stands outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S, on Saturday, March 14.

While the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that people who have recovered from Covid-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to three months, the agency said in a statement to CNN that does not mean that they are immune to reinfection.

Last week, the agency updated its guidance on who should quarantine to say: “People who have tested positive for Covid-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within three months of their first bout of Covid-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.

In a statement emailed to CNN on Friday, a CDC spokesperson said the guidance is “based on the latest science about COVID-19 showing that people can continue to test positive for up to three months after diagnosis and not be infectious to others.”  

Yet “this science does not imply a person is immune to reinfection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the 3 months following infection. The latest data simply suggests that retesting someone in the 3 months following initial infection is not necessary unless that person is exhibiting the symptoms of COVID-19 and the symptoms cannot be associated with another illness.”

 The statement noted that people with Covid-19 should be isolated for at least 10 days after showing symptoms and until one day after their fever subsides without the use of fever-reducing medications.

“There have been more than 15 international and US-based studies recently published looking at length of infection, duration of viral shed, asymptomatic spread and risk of spread among various patient groups,” the statement said. “Researchers have found that the amount of live virus in the nose and throat drops significantly soon after Covid-19 symptoms develop. Additionally, the duration of infectiousness in most people with Covid-19 is no longer than 10 days after symptoms begin and no longer than 20 days in people with severe illness or those who are severely immunocompromised.”

The statement added that CDC will continue to closely monitor the evolving science for information that would warrant reconsideration of these recommendations.

Brazil reports more than 50,000 new coronavirus cases

Brazil reported 50,644 new Covid-19 cases, and 1,060 deaths in the past 24 hours, the country’s health ministry said Friday. 

The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 3,275,520, including 106,523 deaths, according to the ministry’s data. 

São Paulo state reported 11,667 new cases and 289 new deaths on Friday, down from 19,274 and 455 the day before.

Some context: São Paulo has been the state hardest hit by coronavirus in Brazil, with 686,122 total confirmed cases and 26,613 confirmed deaths.

Crime drops in South Africa as coronavirus cases rise, police data shows

South Africa has reported a sharp drop in crime during the first months of Covid-19 lockdown.

Police data from April 1-June 30 shows crimes such as murder down 35.8%, sexual offenses down 39.7%, and common robbery down 49.8% compared to the same period last year.

The data reflects when the country was on level five, level four lockdown and also crimes that took place during the first month of level three lockdown. 

“Indeed, the statistics we will release today, paint a never seen before ‘rosy’ picture of a peaceful South Africa experiencing a ‘crime holiday.’ Ladies and Gentlemen, of course we know that the decreased crime levels were impacted largely by the fact that South Africans heeded the call to STAY AT HOME!” Police Minister Bheki Cele told reporters in Pretoria on Friday. 

Cele added that the ban an alcohol also contributed to lowering crime. 

Ohio Valley Conference postpones fall sport competitions over Covid-19 concerns

The Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) will postpone all fall sport competition and championships due to “uncertainly surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Football, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s soccer and volleyball are all impacted by the postponement. 

Football-playing schools will be able to play up to “four non-conference scheduled games” if approved by the NCAA. The conference’s board of presidents also asked conference members to develop plans for competition in the spring semester for sports effected by the decision. 

“After careful deliberation, weighing all the factors as presented, and given the current uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, the OVC Board of Presidents voted to postpone the Conference’s fall sports to the spring,” said Beth DeBauche, OVC commissioner in a statement issued on the conference website. “While we understand there are many student-athletes, families, and communities that are disappointed by the lack of Conference competition this fall, and we deeply share that disappointment; it is the OVC’s ardent intention to ensure seasons postponed are not seasons canceled if the facts support it.”

Spring competition plans will be revealed at a later date.

2 coronavirus clusters identified at UNC Chapel Hill

Two coronavirus clusters have been identified at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, according to a statement posted to the school’s verified Facebook page.

A cluster is defined as five or more cases in close proximity, the statement said. 

The cases were identified in the Ehringhaus Community and Granville Towers, according to the statement. Ehringhaus is a residence hall and Granville Towers is a private apartment complex that serves as a housing option for some UNC Chapel Hill students, according to the school’s website.

All individuals identified in the cluster are isolating and receiving medical monitoring, the statement said.

Trump official: "There is no physical way to do 5 million tests per day in this country"

Admiral Brett Giroir.

Adm. Brett Giroir, White House coronavirus testing czar, said the United States wants to increase Covid-19 testing, but “there is no physical way to do 5 million tests per day in this country.”  

Giroir was responding to comments by Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, who told CNN’s Kate Bolduan Friday that the United States needs to be at least 4 to 5 million each day, based on current outbreak levels – and it’s testing well below that number. Jha’s remarks followed Giroir’s comments a day earlier that the United States testing is sufficient and country’s goal should not necessarily be to screen as many people as feasible. 

“I don’t know why Admiral Giroir thinks that we are doing plenty of testing, when literally no public health expert I know of in the entire country agrees with his assessment,” Jha said earlier Friday.

On Friday afternoon, Giroir told CNN’s Pamela Brown, “I really felt compelled to come on this afternoon after hearing Dr. Jha this morning because just about everything he said was the opposite of what reality is, and that really troubled me, and I want to make sure that the American people understand where we are and where we’re going.”

“When Dr. Jha comes on TV and attacks whether I care about this country and my patriotism, I figure if you have to stoop that low, the rest of the things must be doing OK.”

“Yes, we want to increase testing,” Giroir said. “There is no physical way to do five million tests per day in this country. If there is a way to turn it from one million to five million today, let me know.” 

Kentucky expands voting options due to coronavirus concerns

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams announced an expansion of voting options for voters this November as the coronavirus pandemic persists.

The plan includes expanded eligibility for absentee voting, three weeks of in-person early voting ahead of Election Day, and relaxed restrictions on voter identification for those who were unable to get a driver’s license or photo ID due clerk’s office closures amid the pandemic. 

As part of the plan, any Kentucky voter who is concerned about contracting or spreading coronavirus is allowed to request an absentee ballot.

An online portal will be launched in the coming week for voters to request an absentee ballot online until Oct. 9, otherwise they can request absentee ballots through traditional means thereafter, Beshear said.

Mail ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 3, and they must be received no later than Nov. 6, according to the plan. Drop boxes will also be available for voters to submit their absentee ballots. 

Trump administration is doing everything it can to increase testing capacity, Giroir says

Admiral Brett Giroir testifies during a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 31.

As the US has struggled with Covid-19 testing delays and supply chain shortages, White House testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir said Friday the administration has done “everything we can do to increase testing the capacity of the country.”

When asked by CNN if it’s true that the administration has exhausted its executive authority to acquire additional supplies for labs that are processing Covid-19 tests, Giroir said, “I’m going to say definitively, yes.”

On Thursday, Giroir said US testing is sufficient and the country’s goal should not necessarily be to screen as much of the population as possible. His claim, according to Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, is not supported by experts.

“I don’t know why Admiral Giroir thinks that we are doing plenty of testing, when literally no public health expert I know of in the entire country agrees with his assessment,” Jha told CNN earlier Friday.

Watch here:

"My blood evaporates when I see people inside, in a bar or in a crowded area," Fauci says

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, removes his Washington Nationals protective mask during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, said Friday that his blood does more than just boil when he sees people not following safety guideline.

“My blood evaporates when I see people inside, in a bar or in a crowded area,” he said.

This is especially true when people don’t wear masks in such situations, Fauci said during an Instagram interview with The Washington Post. 

“If you’re going on a hike in the woods and there’s nobody around for 1,000 yards, you don’t really need to wear a mask,” said Fauci, adding that it’s important to always have a mask ready for use, in case people enter the vicinity.

Columbia University and Barnard College announce all undergrad classes online

People wearing masks are seen on at Columbia University as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on August 6, in New York.

Columbia University and Barnard College in New York City jointly announced the decision to have all undergraduate courses given remotely for the fall 2020 semester. There will be no residential housing for undergraduates at Barnard, and Columbia will only have limited housing available.

Just six weeks ago, Columbia had announced its plans to bring back 60% of undergraduates in Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. Those plans have since been significantly pulled back.

“Today we have concluded that we must drastically scale back the number of students we can accommodate in residence on campus, thereby limiting residential-style living only to Columbia College and SEAS undergraduates who must be present on campus due to personal or academic circumstances,” said a letter sent Friday by University President Lee C. Bollinger.

Barnard College’s announcement said the decision to move all undergraduate classes online came in part as a result of New York state’s travel advisory list, which now includes 31 states and two territories.

“It has become clear that the state-mandated quarantine — under conditions that Barnard does not have the facilities to accommodate — would put an unreasonable burden on many of our students and their families,” wrote Barnard president Sian Leah Beilock in her letter to the university community.

Barnard will refund all room and board charges and is giving a 10% tuition reduction for the fall semester, according to the letter.

Where the number of confirmed and probable Covid-19 deaths stand in New York City

Medical staff at ProHEALTH Care Circle urgent care clinic preform coronavirus testing in the parking lot of their clinic on April 22 in the Staten Island borough of New York.

New York City has 18,987 confirmed coronavirus deaths and 4,628 probable coronavirus deaths as of Aug. 14, 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.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus deaths and probable coronavirus deaths in New York City is 23,615. 

More data: There have been 226,043 coronavirus cases in the city and 56,690 people have been hospitalized, according to the city.

The data is from the New York City Health Department and was updated on Aug.14 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.

More than 96% of schools in California to begin the academic year online

Schools grounds stand empty at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex on March 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

More than 96% of California students will start the school year with distance learning, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a news conference.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to bear down on the west coast, schooling remains a top concern for students, teachers, and parents. 

“We don’t just want people to take lectures and just videotape them and put them online,” Newsom said. “This has to be a much more interactive process where we want students brought into the screen, truly engaged peer-to-peer and not just with the interaction of the teacher.”

How remote learning will work: Only 71% of districts are confident that students will have the technology needed for online learning. As such, California has partnered with many tech and office supply companies to ensure each student has a laptop or tablet and access to Wi-Fi.

There is a run on supplies nationwide, but many companies are prioritizing schools in providing the needed devices, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond said.

“These circumstances are not ideal as students return to school,” Thurmond said, “but students continue to learn, even under these conditions.”

Educators are leaning in, State School Board President Linda Darling-Hammond, said.

“We’ve come a long way since spring,” Darling-Hammond said.

She believes that when it is time to go back to the classroom, students and teachers will return more technologically proficient.

Here's what CDC says about tests and quarantines for those who recovered from Covid-19

A Mend Urgent Care worker performs drive-up COVID-19 testing at James Jordan Middle School on August 10 in Winnetka, California.

If you have recovered from Covid-19, you may not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to three months — as long as you don’t develop symptoms again, according to recently updated guidance on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. 

Regarding who needs to quarantine, the guidance states, “People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.”

A CDC spokesperson confirmed to CNN on Friday that an agency webpage “was updated with that information mid-last week.”

Some context: Preliminary research has suggested previously that after people are infected with the novel coronavirus, their risk of reinfection may be lower in the first three months after their initial infection  — but that natural immunity to the virus could start to decline within months as their antibodies may wane over time.

Antibodies are the proteins the body makes to fight infection.

West Virginia governor announces new color-coded Covid-19 rating system based on positivity rate

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice speaks during a press briefing in Charleston, West Virginia, on August 14.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced the implementation of a new, color-coded rating system that will revolve around a seven day, rolling cumulative positivity rate number.

“Each county in our state will receive a code, basically either a green, yellow, orange, or red code that will change daily,” Justice said.

The governor stated that the goal is to get everyone in the green or yellow, and if any county goes into the red category, all schools in that county will automatically go 100% to virtual learning.

Counties that are currently in the green or yellow will be permitted to go forward with school and athletics.

“If you are orange or red right now, and it would happen to be days before the opening on September the 8th, you will not open until you get to yellow or green … if you’re in the orange, you’ve got to get yourself out of the orange in order to be able to have extracurricular activities or to open the school safely,” the governor said. 

The governor also mentioned that for any counties that fall into the orange category, sports competitions will not be allowed to take place in that county. 

West Virginia how has a total of 8,274 cases, 157 total deaths, and 135 currently hospitalized with 52 in the intensive care unit, according to the governor.

Note: These numbers were released by the state of West Virginia and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

Illinois reports highest daily number of Covid-19 cases since May

Workers check in people at a mobile COVID-19 testing site on June 23 in Chicago.

Illinois’ health department reported 2,264 new Covid-19 positive cases today, the highest daily number reported since May 24.

The state now has a total of 202,691 positive cases with a 4.1% positivity rate being reported over the past seven days, up slightly over the past couple of days’ report. 

The department reported a total of 7,721 deaths statewide.

Region 4, which includes seven counties east of St. Louis, Missouri, and the Mississippi River, is seeing increased positivity rates, according to the latest data.

The department said the region has seen six days of increased positivity. Region 4 has also surpassed the 8% positivity rate that would require additional mitigations measures implemented by the state if it experiences three consecutive days of 8% or higher positivity. 

Note: 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.

Argentina's president extends quarantine measures

President of Argentina Alberto Fernandez speaks during a press conference on August 12 in Olivos, Argentina.

Argentina’s President, Alberto Fernández, announced his country’s quarantine measures will be extended with some changes until Aug. 30.

During a televised speech on Friday, Fernández admitted the number of Covid-19 cases has increased across the country. The areas where transmission has spiked will go back to phase one, the president added.

“The problem is not the AMBA region now (referring to metro area of the capital city Buenos Aires ), the problem has spread across the country,” Fernández said.

The president asked Argentinians to take individual responsibility in order to stop the spread of the virus, explaining that “the transmission of the virus occurs mostly in (social) gatherings.” 

“The whole world is sick and the only medicine is to reduce circulation among people and gatherings,” he added.

Fernández also announced that some activities will be able to resume such as individual sports. His government had announced the reopening of some economic activities between July 18 and Aug. 2 but it then had to extend quarantine measures until Aug.16.

Regions under the current quarantine measures are subject to a “mandatory, preventive and social isolation,” where people can leave their homes only for essential needs such as food and medical services.

Argentina reported 7,498 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total number to 276,072, according to the country’s health ministry. This comes a day after it announced a record number of 7,663 cases on Wednesday. 

Argentina’s health ministry announced 66 new deaths on Friday, with the death toll now reaching 5,428.

Postal workers union endorses Biden and Harris: "This pandemic threatens the very survival of USPS"

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris arrive to speak at a news conference at Alexis Dupont High School in Wilmington, Delaware, on August 12.

A postal workers’ union has endorsed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for president and vice president of the United States.

“Vice President Biden is – was – and will continue to be – a fierce ally and defender of the United States Postal Service (USPS), letter carriers, and our fellow postal brothers and sisters,” Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), said in a statement Thursday.

“Since coming to the Senate in 2016, Senator Kamala Harris has put letter carriers and working families first,” the statement continued.

“And now, our country struggles to withstand the public health and economic crises caused by the Covid-