Georgia school district reports 108 Covid-19 cases
From CNN's Pamela Kirkland
The Cherokee County School District reported 80 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1,106 students and staff quarantined as a result of those cases, for the week.
That number is almost triple the number of students and staff that were confirmed Covid-19 positive the prior week and double the number in quarantine.
In the first two weeks of school, the district has reported a total of 108 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among students and staff. Last week, 28 positive cases of Covid-19 were reported and 563 were in quarantine.
On Wednesday, Woodstock High School announced it would temporarily close in-person learning after identifying 14 positive cases.
In-person classes are tentatively set to resume there on Aug. 31. In-person classes are also set to resume on Aug. 31 at Etowah High School, which also had to temporarily stop in-person learning on Tuesday.
1:54 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020
MLB Cardinals set to return Saturday after 16-day coronavirus induced hiatus
From CNN's David Close
The St. Louis Cardinals will return to the baseball field on Saturday after a Covid-19 outbreak within the team forced a 16-day hiatus from games.
The Cardinals, who last played on July 29 and have had 19 games postponed this season, will play a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox Saturday at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.
The team will stay in town to play a three-game set against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in hopes of making up as many games as possible.
Most MLB teams have played 19 of the 60-game regular season. The Cardinals have played just five games.
The Cardinals have had 10 players and seven staff members test positive for Covid-19. Previously, President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak revealed one player and one staff member had visited a hospital, although neither was hospitalized.
Earlier this season, the Miami Marlins had 21 members of the team test positive for Covid-19, forcing the team to miss multiple games.
1:51 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020
US agrees to extend border restrictions with Mexico and Canada
From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez
The United States has confirmed the US and Mexico and the US and Canada will extend shared border restrictions through Sept. 21, according to a tweet from Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.
"We continue to work with our Canadian and Mexican partners to slow the spread of #COVID19. Accordingly, we have agreed to extend the limitation of non-essential travel at our shared land ports of entry through September 21," Wolf's tweet read.
Mexico's Foreign Ministry also tweeted about the extension earlier Friday saying, "After reviewing the spread of COVID-19, Mexico proposed to the US the extension for another month of non-essential land travel restrictions at the common border.”
Some context: The announcement marks the latest extension of restrictions on nonessential travel after limits were initially put in place in late March.
The restrictions have been in place since March 21 and prohibit non-essential travel. Essential travel includes individuals traveling for medical purposes, attending school or engaged in trade, like truck drivers, among others, according to a regulation notice published in late July.
Some travelers are still permitted to cross, including, but not limited to, citizens returning home, those crossing for education or medical reasons, and those engaged in lawful cross-border trade. Thousands of people cross the US-Mexico border daily for work, school and other activities.
The US outpaces other countries in coronavirus cases, including Mexico and Canada, which have at least 505,751 and 123,194 cases, respectively, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
1:50 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020
WHO stresses need for equitable access to internationally controlled medicines for non-Covid patients
From CNN’s Amanda Watts
The World Health Organization is signaling the importance of accessing internationally controlled medicines, such as sedatives and analgesics, for non-Covid-19 patients.
In a joint statement with The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), WHO said even during a global pandemic, “Non-Covid patients continue to require controlled medicines for the management of pain and palliative care, surgical care and anesthesia, mental health and neurological conditions, and for the treatment of drug use disorders.”
WHO said even before Covid-19, “patients faced barriers to accessing controlled medicines.”
Now the problem is exacerbated: “The Covid-19 pandemic has further resulted in interruptions of the medicines supply chain, and it is critical that access to essential health services and medications not be forgotten or de-prioritised during this pandemic.”
The statement urges countries to take advantage of the “simplified control procedures” which were put in place during the pandemic, to export, transport and supply the drugs. WHO also lays out published toolkits and guidelines to help countries acquire the drugs.
1:49 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020
Seattle schools to start academic year with remote learning
From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin
Seattle public schools will begin the school year with remote learning for most students, according to an update posted to the district’s website.
The choice, made by the school board Wednesday, means that more than 53,000 students will not be in classrooms when the school year starts on Sept. 2, according to the district website.
The district is the largest in the state of Washington.
Exceptions will be made “for students receiving special education services in alignment with Individualized Education Programs,” the announcement on the decision said.
“It is the recommendation of staff and the school board that the district continues this remote model until the risk of significant transmission of COVID-19 cases has decreased enough to resume in-person instruction,” the announcement added.
1:49 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020
Early results suggest Chinese vaccine is safe and induces immune response, but more research is needed
From CNN's John Bonifield and Dana Vigue
Interim results of phase one and two trials published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest a coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm is safe and induces an immune response.
However, researchers said more study is needed to know whether the vaccine protects people against the virus.
The phase one trial, conducted in Henan Province, China, involved 96 people given high, medium or low doses of the vaccine, or a placebo, which does nothing. The Phase 2 trial, involved 224 adults given the medium dose of the vaccine, or a placebo.
Within seven days after injection, adverse reactions were reported in 15% of trial participants. The most common adverse reaction was injection site pain, followed by fever. All adverse reactions were mild and did not require any treatment.
In the phase two study, the vaccine prompted a neutralizing antibody response in 97.6% of participants. The researchers found that participants had greater neutralizing antibody responses when they were given the second dose of the vaccine three weeks after the first dose rather than two weeks after the first dose.
"My impressions is that they are getting reasonable levels of virus neutralizing antibodies," Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccinologist at Baylor College of Medicine and a CNN medical analyst, said. "Based on this and safety profile, I believe that this is definitely a vaccine worth pursuing in Phase three clinical trials. I also think that this could be as good as the Operation Warp Speed vaccines in terms of efficacy and safety, but we really need those large trials."
Some background: The US government is supporting six vaccine candidates so far through the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed program. Two have moved into large, phase three trials on tens of thousands in the United States.
There are 29 vaccines in clinical trials worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
12:31 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020
Vaccine trial investigator says results unlikely to come before end of the year
From CNN's Adrienne Vogt
Dr. Evan Anderson, principal investigator for the Moderna coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at Emory University, says the trial won’t yield results until after Election Day.
“At this point, it looks very unlikely that we would see any results before late November or December, at best, in my opinion. But it does depend how much Covid-19 is circulating in the community at the time that the study is ongoing,” Anderson said in an interview with CNN's Kate Bolduan.
Enrollment is increasing rapidly, according to Anderson, and he predicts that full enrollment won’t happen until September.
Anderson said there would need to be studies to look at dosing and responses of children to the vaccine to determine if it is safe for them, and cautions that could “take a while.”
“I think it would be good to be able to start those studies soon so that we might be able to help protect children from Covid-19, as it is quite clear that they are infected with some frequency and do suffer life-threatening and even fatal events related to Covid-19 and the inflammatory syndrome that occurs afterwards,” he said.
12:25 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020
Michigan partners with Ford and FEMA to provide millions of free masks
From CNN's Melissa Alonso
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced four million free masks will be provided to the state's most vulnerable residents, through a partnership with Ford Motor Company and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"This partnership is going to save lives," Whitmer said during a news conference on Friday.
The measure is part of Michigan's "Mask up Michigan" campaign, and masks will be distributed to schools, homeless shelters and seniors, Whitmer said.
Whitmer juxtaposed the swift mitigation action taken in her state against the response in Florida and Georgia throughout the pandemic.
"Georgia was the first state in the country to reopen its economy, and is now averaging five times the number of new cases of coronavirus in a day, five times more than the state of Michigan. And while states like Georgia and Florida and Texas reported hundreds of new deaths last week, Michigan had 43," Whitmer said.
12:10 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020
NYC museums and cultural institutions can reopen with restrictions
From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph
Museums and cultural institutions across New York City can open – with restrictions – beginning Aug. 24, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Twitter Friday.
Cuomo tweeted that timed ticketing will be required as well as face coverings.