New York issues guidelines for possible school reopenings in the fall
From CNN's Melanie Schuman
New York state is issuing guidelines Thursday to allow some residential and face-to-face programming for fall reopenings, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Colleges and universities planning for fall returns must develop plans and submit those to the state for approval.
Those colleges and universities must submit reopen plans, monitor plans, containment plans and shutdown plans.
Cuomo cautioned the state still needs more data, but it is starting to prepare plans for K-12 schools as well.
He did not provide specifics on K-12 schools.
1:04 p.m. ET, June 18, 2020
New York governor signs executive orders to help enforce social distancing, regulations in reopening
From CNN's Melanie Schuman
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is signing two executive orders to help enforce social distancing rules and regulations as the state, and New York City, continue to reopen. On Thursday, Cuomo cited the two biggest issues statewide: Compliance by people and enforcement by local government.
The first executive order will allow the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to immediately suspend alcohol licenses if bars or restaurants are violating the rules. For other businesses violating the rules, they could have an immediate shut down order.
The second executive order makes bars responsible for the area immediately in front of their premises including the sidewalk and SLA can enforce this.
“The state cannot do enforcement on these local issues all across the state. I would, we don’t have enough people. SLA doesn’t have enough investigators. We need the local governments to do their part,” Cuomo said Thursday.
The governor said he wants to help ensure there is not a slide back and people don’t get careless.
1:05 p.m. ET, June 18, 2020
New York governor says state had "lowest percent positive" coronavirus tests since pandemic started
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that yesterday the state tested the most people in one day, yet and had the lowest percent positive test results "since we have started."
By the numbers: On Wednesday, Gov. Cuomo said New York conducted 68,541 tests and only 618 came back positive — a .90% positivity rate across the state.
11:55 a.m. ET, June 18, 2020
New York governor says he'll make a final call on NYC reopening tomorrow
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that while a final decision will not be made until tomorrow, New York City businesses should prepare to begin phase two of reopening on Monday.
Cuomo said experts will review the city's data to determine if it's meeting key metrics for reopening — but added that "all the indications are good."
"Everybody's feeling good," Cuomo said, adding that his advice to businesses that can reopen under phase two to be ready for Monday.
Earlier today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters the city is set to begin phase two next week.
Here's a look at what will reopen under phase two:
11:48 a.m. ET, June 18, 2020
Asymptomatic Covid-19 patients may have weaker immune responses to infection, new study finds
From CNN's Jacqueline Howard
People who have coronavirus infections but never develop symptoms could have weaker immune responses to the virus, a new study suggests.
The small study, published in the journal Nature Medicine on Thursday, found that a group of about three dozen Covid-19 patients who were asymptomatic had levels of antibodies that were significantly lower than what was found among patients who had mild symptoms — a finding that suggests the asymptomatic patients had weaker immune responses.
The researchers, from various institutions in Chongqing, China, also found that the asymptomatic patients had a significantly longer duration of viral shedding — in which they could spread the coronavirus to others -- than the symptomatic patients.
The new study included data on 37 Covid-19 patients who were diagnosed before April 10 and developed no symptoms while isolated at a hospital in the Wanzhou District of Chongqing, China. Their health data, taken from blood samples and other tests, were compared with 37 other Covid-19 patients who had mild symptoms.
The data showed that, even though the asymptomatic patients were experiencing no symptoms, they were still shedding the coronavirus — meaning they were infectious — for a median duration of 19 days. That duration of viral shedding was significantly longer than what was found among the patients with mild symptoms, which was 14 days, according to the study.
The data also suggested that certain antibody levels among the asymptomatic patients were significantly lower relative to the symptomatic patients. Antibodies, which are proteins that circulate in your blood to help fight off infections, can hold clues to your body's immune response.
Among the asymptomatic patients, 81.1% had reductions in their neutralizing antibody levels during the eight weeks after being discharged from the hospital — compared with 62.2% of the symptomatic patients. The researchers found some other differences in the patients' health data, suggesting that "asymptomatic individuals had a weaker immune response" to the coronavirus.
The study had some limitations, including that it involved a small number of patients and antibody testing itself is not always 100% accurate. But overall, the researchers wrote in their study that the findings suggest there are potential risks to using "immunity passports" based on antibodies and "support the prolongation of public health interventions, including social distancing, hygiene, isolation of high-risk groups and widespread testing."
Eleanor Riley, a professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, said that the new study's findings are not surprising.
"The data are in line with several recently reported studies suggesting that those with mild or asymptomatic infections make a less robust antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 than those with more severe disease," Riley said in a written statement distributed by the UK-based Science Media Centre on Thursday.
"The really interesting question, to which we don’t yet have an answer, is why some people develop such mild infections," Riley said in part. "It may be that they are genetically less susceptible to infection or that they have some pre-existing immunity due to prior infection with related seasonal coronaviruses."
11:34 a.m. ET, June 18, 2020
Florida reports more than 3,000 new cases of Covid-19 cases
From CNN's Erica Henry
The Florida Department of Health is reporting an additional 3,207 cases of coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the state total to 85,926, according to data released by the state.
As of Wednesday, the state of Florida had reported a total of 82,719 cases.
Thursday's numbers mark the highest number of reported cases in a single day the state has seen, according to to the Florida Department of Health.
11:05 a.m. ET, June 18, 2020
"There's not going to be a post-Covid world for a long time," infectious disease expert says
From CNN's Gisela Crespo
States need to figure how to protect people from Covid-19 while still continuing to reopen economically, Dr. Colleen Kraft, associate chief medical officer at Emory University Hospital, said on CNN today.
"Now we've got to figure out how can we protect people at the same time they're going about their daily lives," Kraft said. "We have to focus on living with Covid. There's not going to be a post-Covid world for a long time."
Kraft urged people to wear masks and carry hand sanitizers in an effort to reduce transmissions, despite claims from President Trump that the virus "is dying out."
"Please understand that you have within your abilities to make a difference and diminish transmission. Wearing a mask or not wearing a mask shouldn't be how you're going to vote in the upcoming election. It's really about protecting yourself from an infection," she said.