The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

Read Time: 7 Minutes

  • The U.S. reported 42,401 new cases and 1,032 additional deaths.
  • At least 37 states are reporting positive cases at colleges or universities – infecting more than 25,000 students and campus staff.
  • As the White House coronavirus task force privately warned state officials that they faced dire outbreaks over the summer, Trump and his administration publicly downplayed the threat of Covid-19, documents released Monday by the House Select Subcommittee on Coronavirus show.

The subcommittee published eight weeks of internal White House coronavirus reports, which are prepared by the task force and sent privately to governors. The newly published reports begin on June 23 and the most recent report that’s published is from Aug. 9. The White House has declined to make all the reports public.

“Rather than being straight with the American people and creating a national plan to fix the problem, the President and his enablers kept these alarming reports private while publicly downplaying the threat to millions of Americans,” subcommittee Chairman James Clyburn (D-SC) said in a statement.

  • A panel of experts convened by the National Institutes of Health said that there is no evidence that a treatment for coronavirus touted by President Trump works. 

The treatment in question, known as convalescent plasma, was issued an Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA in August, a move highlighted by Trump at a White House press conference.  

  • The Trump administration said it will not join a global effort to develop, manufacture and equitably distribute a coronavirus vaccine, in part because the World Health Organization is involved, a decision that could shape the course of the pandemic and the country’s role in health diplomacy.

More than 170 countries are in talks to participate in the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, which aims to speed vaccine development and secure doses for all countries and distribute them to the most high-risk segment of each population.

  • Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci is calling on Americans to follow public health guidelines during Labor Day weekend festivities, urging people to prevent coronavirus outbreaks in the coming weeks resulting from large parties and gatherings for the holiday. He cautioned it could determine the fate of a resurgence of the virus this fall.
  • Admiral Brett Giroir said that if Americans do what they are supposed to during the Labor Day weekend, the U.S. should be in “really good shape going into the fall.”

“Labor Day is coming up and we need to stress personal responsibility,” said Giroir, who is leading the Trump administration’s Covid-19 diagnostic testing efforts. “So avoiding crowds, outdoors for family gathers are much — much better than indoors —wearing the mask and protecting the vulnerable.”

  • The CDC issued an order banning landlords from evicting tenants from properties they can no longer afford to rent due to income lost to the coronavirus pandemic.

The order would make it illegal to evict any individual who expects to make less than $99,000 or a joint-filing couple that expects to make less than $198,000 in 2020.

  • More than $3 billion in loans issued through the coronavirus emergency relief program for small businesses may have gone to firms that already received support or should have been excluded from the program.

The report from the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis examined the Trump administration’s dissemination of more than 5.2 million PPP loans totaling $525 billion since April. It found that:

– Some 10,000 loans totaling more than $1 billion went to companies that received more than one PPP loan, a violation of the program.

– More than 600 loans totaling about $96 million were given to firms that have been excluded from doing business with the government because they’ve been “debarred or suspended” from receiving federal contracts.

– More than 350 loans totaling $195 million were awarded to businesses that have been flagged for “significant performance and integrity issues.”

– More than 11,000 loans totaling about $3 billion were given to companies that did not include complete information from applicants.

  • FEMA officials said the agency will end federal funding for cloth face masks in schools around the country because they do not apply to direct emergency protective measures.
  • Nurses across the country are still struggling to get the personal protective equipment they need to safely treat patients during the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey shows. Many are still re-using PPE, even though it’s not safe to do so,
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is facing criticism from Republicans over her recent visit to a San Francisco hair salon, whose owner claimed the visit violated citywide COVID-19 restrictions prohibiting indoor service at the establishments.
  • People who regularly watch Fox News or listen to conservative talk radio are significantly less likely to wear face masks than the population at large, a new poll from the University of New Hampshire found.
  • A study from West Health and Gallup found that half of all U.S. adults are concerned that a major health event among those in their household could lead to bankruptcy.
  • The number of jobless people saying that unemployment insurance does not cover basic expenses including food, clothing, and housing nearly doubled after key benefits expired in July. According to a new poll, 50 percent of unemployed people said their benefits fell short of them covering basic expenses, up from 27 percent in July.
  • Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt blasted the “failure of leadership” in America’s coronavirus response and warned of more hardship to come, unless dramatic steps are taken to crush the virus.

“People have died unnecessarily because government was slow to react to common and simple things like mask wearing and social distancing.”

  • Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has criticized the US government’s handling of the issues of systemic racism and the coronavirus pandemic, labeling them a “tragic embarrassment.”
  • Politico reported that the U.S. Health and Human Services Department is planning to offer a $250 million contract to a communications firm to help it “defeat despair and inspire hope” about the pandemic.
  • The NFL reported four new confirmed positive tests among players and six new confirmed positive test results among team personnel.
  • MLB postponed another Oakland Athletics game. The team has had four games postponed since a reported Covid-19 positive test. 
  • Foster Farms temporarily closed its main poultry processing plant in Livingston, California on Tuesday night following an outbreak that led to nearly 400 coronavirus infections and accounted for eight deaths, as health officials say the plant failed to follow its advice on coronavirus earlier in the year.
  • James Madison University reported 138 new cases among its students and employees since Monday.
  • At least 1,017 students at the University of South Carolina currently have Covid-19, according to the university’s latest update.
  • The University of Missouri has at least 424 active student Covid-19 cases. 
  • Utah State University found elevated amounts of Covid-19 in sewage samples collected from four residence halls on campus.

The university issued a safety alert on Sunday calling for mandatory testing and quarantine of all 287 students living in those four dorms.

  • Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo (D) announced her extensive coronavirus testing plan to reopen schools to in-person learning. Nearly every school district in Rhode Island will reopen on Sept. 14 to in-person learning except for the Providence and Central Falls school districts.
  • New York City’s schools will delay the start of in-person classes until Sept. 21, averting the threat of a teacher strike — and putting the nation’s largest school district on track to be the only major urban district in the country to start the fall term with kids in classrooms.
  • Maryland will allow indoor theaters and outdoor venues to reopen Friday with capacity restrictions. 
  • White House tours, which were suspended on March 12, are set to resume September 12. Face coverings will be required.
  • Gyms and museums in North Carolina can open starting Friday. 
  • South Carolina will allow limited, outdoor visitation at select long-term care facilities in the state.
  • The Florida Department of Health and the Florida Division of Emergency Management are severing all ties with Quest Diagnostics after Quest’s failure to follow Florida law and report all COVID-19 results in a timely manner.
  • More than 600 students and staff members in two Florida counties are in quarantine or isolation.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced that he will lift the state’s ban on visiting nursing homes that has cut off vulnerable seniors from family since mid-March over fears of spreading the new coronavirus.
  • A White House coronavirus task force report sent to officials in the state of Iowa warned of dire new case increases across rural and urban areas and called for a mask mandate, the closure of bars, and a plan from universities as the pandemic intensifies in the Midwest.
  • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) has extended the Covid-19 state of emergency in Oregon until November 3. 
  • San Francisco will relax restrictions on businesses under the state’s new four-tiered coronavirus reopening system. 

The classification allows hair salons, nail salons, and massage parlors to resume operations outdoors on Tuesday, according to Mayor London Breed, and outdoor gyms will be allowed to reopen as early as Sept. 9.   

Breed also announced the immediate reopening of indoor shopping malls in the city.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes,  Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

Read Time: 4 Minutes

  • The U.S. reported 46,546 new cases and 1,023 additional deaths.
  • A model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington that previously has been cited by the White House now forecasts that more than 317,000 people in the U.S. will die from Covid-19 by December. 
  • Several states are not heeding new federal health officials’ calls to reduce COVID-19 testing, joining a broad rebuke of the Trump administration by public health leaders.

Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey and New York all plan to continue to test asymptomatic people who have been exposed to COVID-19, despite new guidance from the CDC.

  • Groups representing local health departments asked the CDC to reverse a change to coronavirus testing guidance that they argue would hurt their ability to slow the spread of the disease.

“CDC’s own data suggest that perhaps as many as 40 percent of COVID-19 cases are attributable to asymptomatic transmission. Changing testing guidelines to suggest that close contacts to confirmed positives without symptoms do not need to be tested is inconsistent with the science and the data.”

NOTE: The Trump administration’s moves pressuring science agencies to take controversial steps on the coronavirus are threatening to undermine public confidence in health experts.

  • Top FDA spokeswoman Emily Miller has been removed from her position after just eleven days on the job. Her ouster comes amid the backlash the agency is facing for issuing an emergency authorization for convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients.
  • The FDA extended emergency use authorization for remdesivir to all patients hospitalized for coronavirus, regardless of the severity of their disease.
  • Operation Warp Speed, the White House’s race for a Covid-19 vaccine, will likely continue if Donald Trump loses the presidential election in November, Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at the US Department of Health and Human Services said.
  • Pharmacists will be able to administer the Covid-19 vaccine to children and adults once a vaccine becomes available, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC said.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has had an especially harsh impact on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and they need special support. Many have lost the critical support they need and cannot advocate for themselves.
  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said that President Trump would be willing to sign a coronavirus relief package totaling $1.3 trillion, an increase over the $1.1 trillion proposed by Senate Republicans but well short of the $2.2 trillion relief package House Democrats have demanded.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has stood firm in her demand for a $2.2 trillion relief package.

  • A senior White House official told CNN that “everybody” in America will get COVID-19. The White House statement is consistent with Trump’s reported desire to execute a “herd immunity” pandemic response. Experts say such a plan would kill millions.
  • Children and young people are far less likely than adults to get severe cases of COVID-19 infection, and death from the pandemic disease among children is rare, according to a new UK research study.
  • Researchers for the first time have identified a 25-year-old man living in Reno, Nevada, who tested positive for the virus in April after showing mild illness. He got sick again in late May and developed more severe COVID-19.
  • Dozens of Secret Service agents who protect President Trump and Vice President Pence have either contracted the coronavirus or were benched after coming in contact with people infected with COVID-19.
  • Two attendees and two event support staff at the Republican National Convention in North Carolina tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • Singer-songwriter Van Morrison is launching a campaign encouraging his fellow artists to fight against “pseudo-science” surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, warning that false claims are delaying efforts to slow its spread.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday his government was doing everything possible to avoid another nationwide coronavirus lockdown but added it would be dangerous to rule out any scenario.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the coronavirus pandemic was likely to worsen in coming months, and that life would not return to normal until a vaccine to combat it had been developed.
  • Texas Christian University in Fort Worth is reporting 447 active cases of Covid-19 among students and university employees.
  • About 65% of all K-12 Vermont students will participate in remote learning at least three or four days a week.
  • Health officials in Massachusetts and Rhode Island confirmed a bachelorette party that occurred last month in the Ocean State is now linked to nearly 20 COVID-19 cases. “Everyone who went to that wedding except one person tested positive for COVID,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said schools are still on track to start in-person learning on Sept. 10.

Youth sports will also return on or around Sept. 15, with a permit required to restart leagues. Leagues receiving permits will be given three strikes of violating health and Covid-19 guidelines before having their play suspended.

  • A 1-year-old African-American boy from Covid-19 in Cobb County, just outside of Atlanta, became the youngest Covid-19 death reported in the state.
  • The Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear a case challenging Gov. Jared Polis’ (D) statewide mask order.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes,  Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

Read Time: 3 Minutes

  • The U.S. reported 43,440 new cases and 1,249 additional deaths.
  • The number of Americans newly diagnosed with the coronavirus is falling — a development experts say most likely reflects more mask-wearing but also insufficient testing — even as the disease continues to claim nearly 1,000 lives in the U.S. each day.

About 43,000 new cases are being reported daily across the country, down 21% from early August. 

  • Moderna Inc said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine induced immune responses in older adults similar to those in younger participants, offering hope that it will be effective in people considered to be at high risk for severe complications from the coronavirus.
  • Health care workers should be the first to get vaccinated against coronavirus if and when a vaccine becomes available, vaccine advisers suggested Wednesday.
  • Abbott Laboratories received emergency use approval from the FDA for its rapid coronavirus tests, which can render results in 15 minutes as opposed to several days and are priced at about $5 each.
  • The CDC was instructed by higher-ups within the Trump administration to modify its coronavirus testing guidelines this week to exclude people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19 — even if they have been recently exposed to the virus, according to two federal health officials.

One official said the directive came from the top down. Another said the guidelines were not written by the CDC but were imposed.

  • The Trump administration’s coronavirus testing coordinator Adm. Brett Giroir is denying reports that political officials pressured the CDC into narrowing its guidelines about who should be tested for COVID-19.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was undergoing surgery during the task force meeting when the CDC discussed updating coronavirus testing guidelines. He said he was  “concerned about the interpretation of these recommendations” and was “worried it will give people the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern.”
  • More than 26,000 coronavirus cases have been reported at U.S. universities since the beginning of the pandemic, according to a new survey. At least 64 deaths have been identified at more than 750 institutions.
  • Airbnb is the latest company to signal that it is bracing for a long pandemic, telling employees they can work from home through next summer, even if their offices reopen before then.
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday that he will be signing an executive order to allow New Jersey gyms to reopen on Tuesday, with a maximum indoor capacity of 25%. 

Additionally, fitness classes must adhere to one customer for every 200 square feet, all members and staff must wear masks, logs must be kept of all gym members and staff, six feet distance must be kept between all gym equipment and all equipment needs to be sanitized.

  • Democratic State Legislators in Georgia issued a press release Wednesday morning to “urge Gov. Brian Kemp (R) to issue a statewide mandate requiring masks or face coverings in public.”
  • The North Texas Poison Center said it has received 46 calls related to people ingesting bleach since August 1. Health officials are attributing the troubling increase to inaccurate and misleading information circulating online related to COVID-19 treatment.
  • California will not abide by new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that do not recommend Covid-19 testing for those without symptoms, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a news conference.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes,  Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

Read Time: 3 Minutes

  • The U.S. reported 36,679 new cases and 1,147 additional deaths.
  • The scientific community warned that the Trump administration “grossly misrepresented” its claim that convalescent blood plasma curtails COVID-19 deaths by 35%. Experts were perplexed by the source of that figure since it does not appear in any of the documents issued by FDA or by the Mayo Clinic, which led the study on which emergency authorization was based. 

The brunt of the criticism was leveled at FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, MD, who said that 35 out of 100 COVID-19 patients “would have been saved because of the administration of plasma.” Several statisticians and scientists criticized what they said was a gross overstatement of the benefits, with some calling for him to walk back his comments. Hahn did so on Monday.

  • The World Health Organization warned that the use of plasma from recovered coronavirus patients as a treatment for COVID-19 does not provide “conclusive” results and remains experimental despite President Trump issuing emergency authorization and touting it as a “breakthrough.”
  • Since August 6, when the last report came out, there have been 74,160 new cases in children in the U.S., bumping the total from 358,469 to 432,629, an increase of roughly 21% in only 14 days.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, is warning against prematurely distributing a potential coronavirus vaccine through emergency use authorization, saying it could negatively harm the testing for other vaccines.
  • State and local government officials say FEMA has indicated it might no longer provide reimbursements for personal protective equipment and other supplies needed to fight coronavirus.
  • As part of new guidance for workplace safety, the CDC said employees at retail and service industry jobs should not attempt to force customers to follow COVID-19 prevention policies, such as wearing a mask, if the customers appear to be upset or violent. 

“Don’t argue with a customer if they make threats or become violent,” the CDC said.

  • The North Dakota Department of Health says COVID-19 cases linked to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally earlier this month in South Dakota have been confirmed in eight states. Cases linked to the massive rally have quickly climbed, initially starting with a dozen cases reported to now more than 100.
  • Iowa State University announced it has 130 reported cases of Covid-19 on campus after the school’s first week of class. 
  • Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams and SoFi Stadium announced that Rams and Chargers games will be held without fans in attendance until further notice.
  • Three Republicans in the Ohio House have prepared articles of impeachment against GOP Gov. Mike DeWine, alleging he violated residents’ civil liberties by issuing a stay-at-home order and requiring them to wear masks, claiming the face-covering rule “promotes fear, turns neighbors against neighbors, and contracts the economy by making people fearful to leave their homes.”
  • Georgia reported 2,236 new cases and 107 additional deaths.
  • For the second week in a row, Georgia is among the worst in the nation for new coronavirus cases. Georgia is currently third in the country for the seven-day average of new cases per 100,000, with 23.40 cases per 100,000.

Governor Brian Kemp (R) remains unwilling to mandate masks statewide, something public health officials say would help improve the state’s abysmal standing.

  • Florida confirmed nearly 9,000 new COVID-19 cases among children within 15 days in August as schools reopen, according to state data released Tuesday.

The Florida Department of Health recorded a total of 48,730 confirmed coronavirus cases among children, according to a report with data through Monday. The data shows an increase of 8,995 confirmed cases since the previous report, which included data from 15 days earlier, on Aug. 9.

  • Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez (R) announced that restaurants can resume indoor dining at 50% capacity starting Monday.
  • Mississippi reported 801 new cases and 67 additional deaths.

There were 144 new cases involving teachers and 292 involving students in Mississippi during the week of Aug. 17 to 21. There were 31 outbreaks last week and 584 teachers and 3,913 students are currently quarantined due to Covid-19 exposure. 

  • Shelters in Texas will be stocked with PEE, use social distancing to separate people and have testing available, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said in a press conference as the state prepares for Hurricane Laura.
  • San Francisco International Airport will become the first U.S. airport to provide free on-site rapid coronavirus testing for its employees. SFO announced Monday that it will use Dignity Health’s GoHealth Urgent Care to administer testing inside the airport, with results in about 15 minutes.
  • Los Angeles County reported 989 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus Tuesday — the first time since June it has reported fewer than 1,000 new cases in a day.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes,  Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

Read Time: 3 Minutes

  • The U.S. reported 34,567 new cases and 449 additional deaths. 
  • New cases appear to be declining in many states. At least 25 states reported fewer cases in the past week compared to the previous week. Another 14 states have a steady amount of new cases.
  • China has been giving an experimental coronavirus vaccine candidate to frontline workers since July, a senior Chinese health official announced. Zheng Zhongwei, director of the National Health Commission’s science and technology development center said that the Chinese government authorized the emergency use of a vaccine on July 22. The “emergency” vaccine appears to be China’s first in use outside of clinical trials.
  • The head of the FDA said criticism for his praise of convalescent plasma treatment was warranted, but denied the decision to authorize the emergency use of the treatment for COVID-19 patients was politically motivated.
  • The EPA said it has granted emergency approval for American Airlines to use a disinfectant against the coronavirus on certain surfaces that lasts for up to seven days, and is studying whether it could be effective in places like schools.
  • Republican National Committee officials were warned by Mecklenburg County, N.C., health officials about a failure by some convention attendees to wear masks or practice social distancing following the roll call vote.
  • Zoom video conferencing app experienced outages in some parts of the world. In the United States, the problem mainly affected those in the East Coast.

Atlanta Public Schools tweeted that the Zoom outage interrupted online education on its first day of classes.

  • Ohio State University issued 228 interim suspensions on Monday to students who they say have broken the university’s Covid-19 regulations.
  • The University of Notre Dame added a total of 50 additional cases of Covid-19 over the weekend.
  • The University of Missouri has 159 active student Covid-19 cases. Monday was the first day of classes. 
  • Twelve students at Duke University tested positive for coronavirus out of a total of 4,497 tests performed for the week of Aug. 15 to 21. 
  • Georgia Tech reported 51 new cases of COVID-19.
  • University of Alabama reported 566 cases of COVID-19 since August 19. 
  • The University of Kansas has issued disciplinary actions against two fraternities for hosting social events this weekend in violation of county and university health guidelines on Covid-19.
  • More than 100 students from the University of Southern California are under a 14-day quarantine due to a coronavirus outbreak among students who live in the university’s off-campus housing.
  • For the fourth consecutive week the NHL announced zero positive COVID-19 tests results from its Toronto and Edmonton bubbles.
  • Across an eight-day period from August 12 to 20, zero NFL players tested positive for COVID-19 on 23,260 administered tests.
  • Olympic legend Usain Bolt says he’s self-isolating while awaiting his Covid-19 testing results.
  • There are now 27 cases of Covid-19 in Minnesota linked to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that took place in South Dakota earlier this month.
  • Danbury, Connecticut, is facing a “serious outbreak” of Covid-19 stemming mostly from recent domestic and international travel, according to a statement attached to Governor Ned Lamont’s latest Covid-19 update. 

Between August 2 and 20, there were at least 178 new Covid-19 cases reported in Danbury, compared to the 40 new cases that were recorded in the prior two week period.

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and NY Health and Hospitals will be setting up new Covid-19 testing sites at John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in New York City for incoming passengers.
  • New York State saw a 0.66% reported infection rate, the lowest the state has had since the pandemic began. 
  • Florida reported 2,258 new cases and 72 additional deaths.
  • A Florida judge temporarily halted a statewide order that would have forced schools to reopen for in-person classes this month amid the coronavirus pandemic or risk losing funding.
  • The Miami Dolphins announced that a maximum of 13,000 fans will be allowed to the opening game against the Buffalo Bills on September 20.

Masks will be mandatory for all fans entering the Hard Rock Stadium.

  • Coronavirus testing sites in Louisiana have been suspended through Wednesday as the state prepares for Tropical Storms Marco and Laura.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19 

  • The U.S. reported 38,234 new cases and 572 additional deaths.
  • President Trump would be willing to sign a bill that included Postal Service funding and reform – but only if Democrats agreed to include other economic relief measures along with it, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Sunday.
  • The FDA authorized the use of blood plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 as a treatment for the disease.
  • The president began his announcement of the FDA issuance of emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma as potential treatment for COVID-19 with a xenophobic comment. 
  • FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said that his organization makes decisions “on data only,” denying he was pressured by the White House to issue an emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma.
  • A federal judge in Washington state temporarily blocked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from enforcing a controversial rule that directs states to give private schools a bigger share of federal coronavirus aid than Congress had intended.
  • East Carolina University Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson announced in a letter that they are moving to online classes, just two weeks after welcoming students back on campus.
  • The University of Kentucky began a second phase of Covid-19 testing Sunday, testing 5,500 students who belong to fraternities and sororities. 

University President Eli Capilouto wrote. “We believe a number of factors associated with communal living spaces likely contributed to the high positivity rates in these residences.”

  • University of Alabama President Stuart R. Bell asked students, faculty and staff to work together to follow safety protocols so the university can finish the fall semester with in-person classes. Bell said there will be consequences, including suspension, for not following the rules on and off campus.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said  that officials are staging helicopters, C-130 transport aircraft, high-profile vehicles, sheltering teams, disinfecting teams and mobile testing squads to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19 during Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura.
  • California surpassed 12,000 Covid-19-related fatalities as the state reported 146 new deaths Sunday, bringing the state’s total number of 12,134.

Trump Administration

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Sunday dodged questions about President Donald Trump’s embrace of QAnon days after the president said followers of the conspiracy theory “love our country.”

“We don’t even know what it is,” Meadows told “Fox News Sunday” after host Chris Wallace asked whether the president would denounce QAnon, which the FBI has labeled a potential domestic terror threat.

  • The impetus behind the president’s “FDA/Deep state” tweet seems to come from the president’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, who accused the FDA of being part of the “Deep State” during a meeting that was supposed to be about COVID-19 and the Strategic National Stockpile.

According to two sources in the meeting, Navarro had aggressively confronted FDA officials, saying, “You are all Deep State and you need to get on Trump Time.” (That’s the expression Navarro uses to describe the speed that he says Trump demands.)

Sources familiar with the situation said Navarro has been venting at the FDA for weeks at what he perceives as its slowness to approve therapeutics to fight COVID-19 and help the U.S. “bring our medical supply chain home.”

A third senior administration official said Navarro — a fervent proponent of hydroxychloroquine — remained angry at the FDA for saying the drug didn’t work against COVID-19.

  • White House counselor Kellyanne Conway will depart her position in the Trump administration at the end of the month to focus on family matters, she said in a statement late Sunday.

“This is completely my choice and my voice,” Conway said. “In time, I will announce future plans. For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama.”

Conway’s husband, George, separately wrote on Twitter that he would be leaving his role with the Lincoln Project, a group of anti-Trump Republicans, for similar reasons.

Protests/Racial and Social Issues

  • Santa Clara University in California is conducting an investigation after a Black assistant professor at the school said she and her brother were harassed by campus security in a recent encounter.
  • Demonstrators in Detroit were back on the street in Detroit on Sunday to talk about the arrests by police of 42 people during a protest the night before over the presence of federal agents in the city.

“We were standing in the middle of the street and they arrested us,” Tristan Taylor, of Detroit Will Breathe, told a crowd of about 50 people. “The issue isn’t that they arrested us. The issue is the brutality. When you do something to get arrested you expect arrest, but not brutally beaten. We weren’t doing anything to get brutally beaten.”

Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood, a police spokeswoman, said protesters blocked all lanes of traffic early Sunday by standing in an intersection. “Dozen of warnings were given to them before any arrests were made,” Kirkwood said. “They were advised they were blocking traffic by blocking all four lanes of Woodward and John R and that they were assembling unlawfully.”

“DPD is not going to “tolerate people blocking the public streets,” she said.

Presidential Campaign

  • A federal judge in Pennsylvania halted the Trump campaign’s lawsuit against the state over how it sends and counts mail-in ballots.

Nicholas Ranjan of the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Pennsylvania, who was appointed by President Trump, ruled that Trump’s lawsuit against the secretary of state and 67 county election boards should be put on hold while state court cases about voting move forward.

  • Joe Biden told ABC “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir that everybody should pay “their fair share.”

“I will raise taxes for anybody making over $400,000,” Biden told Muir, adding, “no new taxes” would be raised for anyone making under $400,000.

  • Trump tweeted that ballot drop-off boxes “are not Covid sanitized. A big fraud!”

After Trump sent the tweet, Twitter took action, saying, “We placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our Civic Integrity Policy for making misleading health claims that could potentially dissuade people from participation in voting.” 

  • Fifty-seven percent of Republicans believe the over 176,000 deaths from the coronavirus is “acceptable,” and hold positive views of the US response to the pandemic.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19 

  • The U.S. reported 46,295 new cases and 1,024 additional deaths. At least 6,913 Americans died this week as a result of COVID-19.
  • The number of people who have been infected with the novel coronavirus globally surpassed 23 million on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. JHU is reporting more than 801,000 people have died from the virus.

The United States has the highest numbers of coronavirus infections and deaths in the world.

  • The World Health Organization said children aged 12 and over should wear masks to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic under the same conditions as adults, while children between six and 11 should wear them on a risk-based approach.
  • President Trump accused the FDA of making it difficult for drug companies to test possible coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics on people.

“The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics. Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!” Trump tweeted.

  • Schools across the U.S. are facing shortages and long delays, of up to several months, in getting this year’s most crucial back-to-school supplies: the laptops and other equipment needed for online learning, an Associated Press investigation has found.

The world’s three biggest computer companies, Lenovo, HP and Dell, have told school districts they have a shortage of nearly 5 million laptops, in some cases exacerbated by Trump administration sanctions on Chinese suppliers, according to interviews with over two dozen U.S. schools, districts in 15 states, suppliers, computer companies and industry analysts.

  • Rep. Dan Meuser (R-PA) announced on Saturday he has tested positive for COVID-19. 

The Pennsylvania Republican said that he is complying with health guidelines and postponing public events following his diagnosis.

  • Springfield, Massachusetts police are looking for a man who allegedly gave a Walmart shopper a “Covid hug.” 

The suspect, whom the victim had never seen before, took an item out of his hand and then gave him a hug.

“Just giving you a Covid hug. You now have Covid,” the suspect said before laughing and walking away, according to the Springfield Police Department.

The victim is a cancer survivor, the police department said, adding that the suspect did the same thing to several other customers.

  • New Jersey reported its lowest number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations since March 24.
  • Georgia surpassed 5,000 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
  • A 6-year-old girl from Hillsborough County became the youngest person to die from coronavirus complications in Florida.
  • The number of Covid-19 hospitalizations in Mississippi dropped below 1,000 for the first time in two months.
  • Covid-19 hospitalization rates in Los Angeles County are the lowest since April.

Trump Administration

  • Maryanne Trump Barry was serving as a federal judge when she heard her brother, President Trump, suggest on Fox News, “maybe I’ll have to put her at the border” amid a wave of refugees entering the United States. At the time, children were being separated from their parents and put in cramped quarters while court hearings dragged on.

“All he wants to do is appeal to his base,” Barry said in a conversation secretly recorded by her niece, Mary L. Trump. “He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean my God, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this.”

Barry, 83, was aghast at how her 74-year-old brother operated as president. “His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God,” she said. “I’m talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit.”

Barry also said at one point, “It’s the phoniness of it all. It’s the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel,” according to the audio scripts and recordings.

According to the Washington Post, Barry said to Mary: “He went to Fordham for one year and then he got into University of Pennsylvania because he had somebody take the exams.” “No way!” Mary responded. “He had somebody take his entrance exams?”

Barry then replied, “SATs or whatever…I even remember the name. That person was Joe Shapiro,” Barry said.

  • The U.S. was further isolated over its bid to reimpose international sanctions on Iran with 13 countries on the 15-member U.N. Security Council expressing their opposition, arguing that Washington’s move is void given it is using a process agreed under a nuclear deal that it quit two years ago.
  • The House on Saturday passed legislation that would prevent the U.S. Postal Service from making any changes to its operations that could slow delivery of mailed-in ballots for this fall’s elections.

It would also provide $25 billion for Postal Service operations, which is an amount originally recommended by the agency’s board of governors. House Democrats also included the funding in the $3.4 trillion coronavirus relief package that they passed in May.

  • A California Superior Court judge has ordered President Donald Trump to pay $44,100 to Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, to reimburse her attorneys’ fees in the legal battle surrounding her nondisclosure agreement.
  • TikTok plans to sue the Trump administration over its executive order banning transactions between U.S. companies and the popular video-sharing app as well as its Chinese parent company, ByteDance.

Protests/Racial and Social Issues

  • Federal authorities on Saturday forced demonstrators away from a plaza near a federal building as dueling demonstrations in Portland by right-wing and left-wing protesters turned violent. No arrests were reported.
  • A Kansas City police sergeant has been indicted on a felony charge of third-degree assault after he allegedly kneed a 15-year-old boy on his neck and head and forced his head into the pavement while the teenager repeatedly said “I can’t breathe,” a Missouri prosecutor announced Friday.
  • Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) said she will veto City Council-approved proposals that would include reducing the police department by as many as 100 officers through layoffs and attrition.
  • Westerly, Rhode Island Police said Friday that they caught two people red-handed trying to vandalize a statue of Christopher Columbus.

Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the two had been among a group that tried to spray paint on the Columbus statue across from town hall at around 3:30 a.m. on Thursday.

  • Someone sprayed black paint on a giant mural of George Floyd at the Minneapolis intersection where he died in May. A Minneapolis police spokesman said the department hasn’t taken any reports about the vandalized mural.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19 

  • The U.S. reported 46,436 new cases and 1,356 additional deaths. Test Positivity Rate has increased every day this week – from 5.531% on Sunday to 6.802% on Thursday.
  • Thanks to safety protocols like masks and social distancing, new case trends are now “going in the right direction,” said Adm. Dr. Brett Giroir, the Trump administration official overseeing US coronavirus testing.

Despite the hopeful signs, now isn’t a time to let up or ease measures, he cautioned.

“This could turn around very quickly if we’re not careful,” Giroir said. “We saw that early on after Memorial Day and the couple weeks afterward that sort of started the current outbreak.”

  • Superspreading events – when one or a few infected people cause a cascade of transmissions – may be especially important in driving the coronavirus pandemic in rural areas.

Health officials across the country have reported superspreading events related to birthday parties, funerals, conferences and other large gatherings. “About 2% of cases were directly responsible for 20% of all infections,” researchers wrote in their report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • The Trump administration appears to be reversing course and giving COVID-19 hospital data collection duties back to the the CDC, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing comments from White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Deborah Birx.

Last month, the administration abruptly informed hospitals that they were to stop submitting COVID-19 data to the CDC, and instead begin logging it with TeleTracking, a private firm based in Pittsburgh, rather than the CDC. The rapid change and lack of clear communication from the administration led to weeks of chaos.

  • Peter Marks, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research who will help decide the fate of a coronavirus vaccine has vowed to resign if the Trump administration approves a vaccine before it is shown to be safe and effective.
  • At a campaign stop in Old Forge, PA, Trump criticized the Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) for not having already totally reopened the state, “You’re governor has you in a shutdown. Like, what’s going on? Shutdown Wolf – he’s gonna destroy your soul.” He then claimed that public health measures to slow the spread of coronavirus are “more dangerous than the virus”
  • Trump again compared the U.S. to New Zealand saying, “They had a massive breakout yesterday.” New Zealand reported 5 new cases Wednesday – bringing their total active cases to 101. The U.S. had over 45,000 new cases. 
  • U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) tested positive for coronavirus and has decided to self-quarantine for 14 days. The senator is contacting those with whom he may have had contact. 
  • The White House has formally declared that teachers are essential workers as part of its effort to encourage schools around the country to reopen for in-person learning.

The move is just the latest in the administration’s campaign to pressure districts into bringing back students this fall. The essential worker designation provides guidance for educators that is only voluntary; it calls on teachers to return to the classroom even after potential exposure.

  • MLB announced that because of two positive tests for Covid-19 in the New York Mets’ organization, Thursday’s Mets game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park has been postponed.

Additionally, Friday’s scheduled game between the Mets and New York Yankees at Citi Field has been postponed “out of an abundance of caution.”

  • East Carolina University has paused football activities indefinitely. A news alert on the university’s website said the school has identified a cluster of Covid-19 cases within the university’s football team and Clement Hall, which is a university residence hall.
  • North Carolina State University will move all undergraduate classes online starting Monday because of Covid-19 clusters from large parties.

University officials have received “reports of large parties in off-campus apartments,” and identified “three Covid-19 clusters in off-campus and greek village houses” in the last two days.

  • Florida State University has confirmed 42 students on campus have tested positive for COVID-19 over a two-week period.
  • Boston University issued a new policy that allows students who die while attending the school to receive their degree posthumously. 
  •  Laurie Santos, head of Yale University’s Silliman College, has warned students to “emotionally prepare” for people to die from COVID-19 when in-person classes begin this month.

In an email, Santos wrote, “We all should be emotionally prepared for widespread infections — and possibly deaths — in our community. You should emotionally prepare for the fact that your residential college life will look more like a hospital unit than a residential college.”

  • Just over one week into the school year, more than 300 students and teachers have had to quarantine in Martin County, Florida. 
  • Connecticut is currently trending at a 0.8% positivity rate for Covid-19 and is well within the self-imposed metrics to reopen schools in two weeks, Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said. 
  • New York City teachers threatened to strike or bring legal action unless the largest U.S. school district implements a more rigorous COVID-19 testing plan and other safety measures before reopening schools next month.
  • Philadelphia will permit indoor dining to resume Sept. 8, under specific restrictions.

Restaurants cannot be filled to more than 25% capacity and no more than four diners are allowed per table. There will be no bar service and alcohol can only be served with a meal.

  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said there has been a significant decrease in coronavirus cases in urban areas, but the state has experienced an increase in cases in rural areas.
  • Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) has issued social distancing measures for college and university outdoor stadiums and game day events. 

Everyone 6 years old and up must wear a mask. Everyone must practice social distancing with people not in their household. Stadium capacity is limited to 25%. No pregame tailgating or rallies outside the stadium are permitted.

  • A teenage girl in Southern California has died from the coronavirus, Orange County health officials announced. 

The girl had “significant underlying medical conditions,” officials said in a news release without providing further details about the child or her health conditions.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Coronavirus/COVID-19 

  • The U.S. reported 45,103 new cases and 1,416 additional deaths. 
  • In the past 14 days, there have been 1,133,409 new cases (Test Positivity Rate of 7.302%) and 14,779 Americans have died.
  • Top World Health Organization officials are warning that the coronavirus outbreak is now spreading fastest among younger people. COVID-19 is increasingly being transmitted by people in their 20s and 30s in many countries, including the United States, where restrictions on public life have relaxed in recent weeks.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said health care professionals need to continue to “make recommendations and policy based on data and evidence.” 

“Speculations, anecdotal, those kinds of opinions, really need to be put aside,” he said while speaking during a George Washington University webinar.

  • The University of Illinois has received FDA authorization for a fast saliva test that gives results in about three hours.
  • The Trump administration will allow coronavirus tests developed by individual laboratories — including commercial facilities run by Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp — to be used without an FDA review, a decision that public health experts warn could lead to broad use of flawed tests.
  • Operation Warp Speed chief adviser Moncef Slaoui said he expects a coronavirus vaccine to be widely available sometime next year – perhaps between April and June.
  • President Trump highlighted New Zealand’s fresh coronavirus outbreak for the second time this week, while claiming the U.S. has done a good job of containing the virus.

“New Zealand had a big outbreak, and other countries that were held up to try and make us look not as good as we should look, because we have done an incredible job,” Trump said at a news briefing on Wednesday.

NOTE: New Zealand reported six new cases on Wednesday.

  • Newlyweds, Tyler and Melanie Tapajna, of Parma, Ohio, originally scheduled a 150-person wedding reception; but, the pandemic caused a change to their plans.

Instead of canceling the food they had ordered, they turned their canceled reception into an act of service by donating the catered food for their reception to a local women’s shelter.

After a small backyard wedding with immediate family members, the groom in his tuxedo and the bride in her wedding dress kept their face masks on and put on gloves and hairnets to serve the food to about 150 women and children at the shelter.

  • A union representing Iowa public school teachers and the Iowa City Community School District announced it will sue Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds over the state’s plan to reopen schools in the fall. The plan requires classes operate at 50 percent capacity in person, and superintendents who do not abide by the guidance could have their licenses revoked, while students would be at risk of not receiving credit.
  • The Detroit Federation of Teachers voted overwhelmingly to authorize a safety strike over concerns about the school district’s reopening plan. 
  • No NBA players within the Disney World based campus have tested positive for Covid-19, the league reported.
  • The College Board announced that 178,600 out of 402,000 students who signed up to take the SAT and SAT Subject Tests on Aug. 29 will not be able to do so.
  • Boston University and Emerson College both reported positive cases of Covid-19 as students return to campus.
  • Several UConn students have been removed from campus housing after an unapproved gathering in a residence hall.

Reports indicate that students were not wearing masks or following social distancing guidelines.

  • North Carolina State University has identified two additional Covid-19 clusters at two sorority houses on campus, according to a release on the school’s website.

The Alpha Delta Pi Sorority House has reported seven positive cases and the Kappa Delta Sorority House has six positive cases.

  • At least 13 members of Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Kansas State University have tested positive for COVID-19 just one day after in-person classes began for the semester.
  • Massachusetts will require all schoolchildren to get influenza vaccines to stay enrolled in public schools and daycares. 
  • Florida reported 4,115 new cases and 174 additional deaths – surpassing 10,000 total  deaths.
  • Kentucky reported 655 new cases and 12 additional deaths. Of the new cases, 91 or 14% are children.
  • More than half of Kentucky counties are in the Covid-19 “danger zone” Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced.

“According to White House data, 20 Kentucky counties are in the red zone with a positivity rate of 10 percent or higher, and dozens more are in the 5-10 percent positivity rate yellow zone,” Beshear said via Twitter.

  • Videos which appeared on social media depicting large numbers of people not properly social distancing in strip clubs and hookah lounges have spurred Nashville Health department officials into checking on social distancing compliance at these establishments.
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed an executive order declaring that an emergency exists for Louisiana’s November election because of Covid-19.

According to Edwards, Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s plan “does not provide for absentee mail-in voting options for people who are at high risk” for coronavirus.

  • Illinois reported 2,264 new cases – the highest daily number of cases reported since May 24 – and 25 additional deaths.
  • 1,970 K-12 students and 328 school staff in Mississippi have been quarantined in the state due to possible exposure to Covid-19.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, Independent, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

The Past 24 Hours or So – Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

Read TIme: 4 Minutes

  • The U.S. reported 40,458 new cases and 1,195 additional deaths.
  • More than 22 million coronavirus cases have now been recorded globally, including nearly 800,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
  • The CDC launched a new program that will help monitor the spread of Covid-19 using sewage testing.
  • Testing is “still not completely fixed” across the entire nation, Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a town hall with Healthline.com.

“The other thing that’s a problem – still not completely fixed, but fixed in many areas of the country, but not all – is the delay between the time you do the test and you get the result back,” he said. 

  • In the Early stages of the pandemic, the U.S. forced major manufacturers to build ventilators. Now they’re piling up unused in a strategic reserve. Months into a $3 billion U.S. effort, the vast majority of ventilators are going unused. The Department of Health and Human Services said it had handed out 15,057 ventilators by Friday, and there were 95,713 ventilators in the federal stockpile. Of those, 94,352 came from contracts signed since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hit back at President Trump’s comments calling her country’s surge in Covid-19 cases “terrible.”

“I don’t think there’s any comparison between New Zealand’s current cluster and the tens of thousands of cases that are being seen daily in the United States,” Ardern told reporters.

  • CNN’s Anderson Cooper got into a heated on-air clash with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, an ardent President Trump supporter, for pushing an unproven therapeutic treatment for coronavirus.

“You really are a snake oil salesman. I mean, you could be in the Old West standing on a box telling people to drink your amazing elixir that there’s no proof,” Cooper told Lindel.

“I do what Jesus has me do,” he told Cooper.

  • MLB announced that Tuesday’s Cincinnati Reds game against the Royals in Kansas City, Missouri, has been postponed. The Reds previously said a player on the team had tested positive for Covid-19, forcing the postponement of two weekend games.
  • The Chicago Bears will not play home games in front of fans when the 2020 NFL season begins.
  • Eight members of the Greek life system have tested positive for Covid-19 at North Carolina State University. 
  • The University of Notre Dame suspended in-person classes for two weeks, eight days after the school’s fall semester began and after 146 students and a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus. 
  • Michigan State University will conduct the fall semester as online-only instruction, its president announced Tuesday afternoon, days before students were set to move in for the fall.
  • Iowa State University said in a news release that 175 students living in residence halls and campus apartments have tested positive for Covid-19.
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said that all sports will go forward this fall.
  • The University of Alabama announced that spectators will be allowed at home football games.

Approximately 20% of the seating capacity at Bryant-Denny Stadium (approximately 20,000 fans) could be filled, but school officials have prohibited tailgating on campus.

  • New York City’s public schools plan to open their doors to students for some in-person learning when the school year starts in just a few weeks, but more than 300,000 students are opting to stay home for all online learning instead.
  • Pennsylvania will roll out a Covid-19 contact tracing app for residents in September, Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine announced Tuesday. 

The app, COVID Alert PA, will use Bluetooth technology and notify Pennsylvanians if they spent 15 minutes or more in close proximity to another person who later tested positive for the virus.

  • Florida reported 3,838 new cases and 219 additional deaths.
  • On a phone call with school district superintendents, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran told them not to close a school without calling state officials first to discuss it.

“Before you get to that point of closing a classroom or closing a school, we want to have that communication with you because we want to be as surgical as possible,” Corcoran said.

One district leader, who was on the call and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisal from the state, said some district leaders would now be reluctant to shut down a school and send all students home for remote learning.

  • The board of directors of the Florida High School Athletic Association voted late last week to allow schools to start fall sports Aug. 24 — a decision that ignores a recommendation from the organization’s own medical advisory panel, which had called for delaying fall sports until at least the end of September.
  • Louisiana reported 664 new cases and 28 additional deaths. 
  • The positivity rate in Louisiana has dropped below 10%, Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a news conference.

The positivity rate for the state is 9.4%, Edwards said, dropping the state to the “yellow zone” as classified by the White House coronavirus task force.

  • Hawaii reported 134 new cases on Tuesday, with most in Oahu. The rate of daily new cases is seven times higher than it was a month ago.
  • Honolulu tightened its restrictions on public gatherings as coronavirus cases surge in Hawaii.

“There can be no social gatherings — indoors or outdoors — on the island of Oahu,” Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced in a news briefing Tuesday.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, Independent, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post