July 2 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Brett McKeehan, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 0002 GMT (0802 HKT) July 3, 2020
74 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
3:51 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020

Discussions continue around who will get the Covid-19 vaccine first, CDC director says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Dr. Robert Redfield
Dr. Robert Redfield Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Important conversations are continuing in Washington around who in the United States will be among the first to receive a coronavirus vaccine once one becomes available, health officials said during a Senate appropriations hearing on Thursday.  

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in the hearing that the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice has been mulling over who should be prioritized. ACIP held a meeting last week during which it was considered that maybe the highest priority should be given to health care personnel and essential workers.

In a previous ACIP meeting, some other proposed priority groups that were discussed included adults ages 65 and older, long-term care facility residents, people with high-risk underlying medical conditions and pregnant women, among others.

"Clearly the most vulnerable and those individuals who are at greater risk for mortality have to be considered as well as those individuals at great risk for infection because of what they do," Redfield said during the hearing on Thursday, adding that health care workers and caregivers specifically are at an increased risk.

"Depending on which vaccine is approved, it might have particular characteristics making it more or less appropriate in given populations," Redfield said on Thursday. "At the end of the day, it’s really going to be dependent on the characteristics of the particular vaccine product."

Such discussions around how the vaccine should be distributed could extend beyond ACIP, said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

"This may be a moment to actually bring together a group of big thinkers who could take a high-level view of this and lay out a value of principles that could be utilized by the CDC committee ACIP," Collins said during Thursday's hearing.

"That might be something best done by an organization that is not itself governmental," Collins told lawmakers. "We are having a conversation very early on with the National Academy of Medicine about whether they would be the place to convene such a discussion, and we can keep you posted on that." 

Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee, said during the hearing "put me down as thinking that's a good idea" in regard to including the National Academy of Medicine in discussions around vaccine distribution.

4:22 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020

Median age for new Covid-19 cases in Tampa area is 34, Florida governor says

From CNN’s Angela Barajas

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the median age for new cases in Tampa's Hillsborough County throughout the pandemic is now down to 34.

“One of the things that's driven the increase cases has been increasing positivity rates amongst young people," DeSantis said.

Florida's governor made the comments alongside Vice President Mike Pence at the University of South Florida Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation in Tampa. The governor addressed the media before a scheduled briefing with other White House coronavirus task force officials. 

Earlier today, Florida marked a new record daily high of infections since the start of the pandemic. The Florida Department of Health reported 10,109 additional coronavirus cases, which broke the previous record of more than 9,500 new cases in a single day reported on Saturday. The state's total cases are more than 160,000, according to data released by the state today.

The governor also warned Floridians to take precautions ahead of the July 4th weekend.

He advised people to stay away from enclosed spaces when retreating from the heat, avoid large crowds and “close contact situations”. 

“In Florida when it’s hot, people retreat to the AC. They get close together, they have a party. You’re much better off being in the 95 degree heat than being in that enclosed space with poor ventilation," he said.


3:37 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020

How California is encouraging people to stay home and wear a mask

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

California is launching an ad campaign to encourage residents to wear masks, keep their distance and stay home, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a news conference.

The public service announcements harness the celebrity power of the state starring Snoop Dogg, Larry David, Kim Kardashian, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  

“The evidence is overwhelming. Masks keeps Californians healthy,” Newsom said, adding, “This is not a partisan issue. This is not a political issue. This is a public health issue.”

In addition to PSAs — some of which were released earlier in the pandemic — billboards and other ads will go up in cities across the state.

The campaign will feature languages other than English, including Spanish, Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese.

Funding for the promotion comes from a combination of public and private funds. The state is contributing just over $10 million and private foundations are kicking in more than $27 million.

3:27 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020

Ohio implements multi-level Covid-19 public health advisory system

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Office of Gov DeWine
Office of Gov DeWine

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced today that the state will implement a new warning system to provide local health departments and community leaders data and information to help combat Covid-19 flare-ups as they occur in different parts of the state. 

The Ohio Public Health Advisory System has four levels to provide guidance on the severity of the problem each Ohio county, the governor said. The levels are determined by seven data indicators that identify the risk level for each county and a corresponding color code to represent that risk level.

These seven indicators include new cases per capita, sustained increase in new cases, proportion of cases not congregate cases, sustained increase in ER visits, sustained increase in outpatient visits, sustained increase in new Covid-19 hospital admissions and ICU bed occupancy.

Here's what each alert level means:

  • Alert Level 1 (yellow) –– A county will have triggered zero or one of the seven indicators, and there is active exposure and spread of Covid-19. Currently, 53 Ohio counties are at Alert Level 1, DeWine said.
  • Alert Level 2 (orange) –– A county will have triggered two or three of the seven indicators, and there is increased risk of exposure and spread. Currently, 28 Ohio counties are at Level 2 and have seen case growth in the community in the last two weeks.
  • Alert Level 3 (red) –– A county will have triggered four or five of the seven indicators, and there is very high exposure and spread. There are currently seven Ohio counties at Level 3, where risk is very high and residents should limit activities as much as possible and wear a mask when going out, DeWine said.
  • Alert Level 4 (purple) –– At the highest level, a county will have triggered six to seven of the indicators, and there is severe exposure and spread. According to the governor, there are currently no counties at this level.
3:18 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020

California's coronavirus cases top 240,000

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

There are at least 240,195 coronavirus cases in California and 6,163 reported deaths, according to state data.

Hospitalizations and those in intensive care are once again at an all-time high with single-day increases of more than 3% each. Covid-19 patients make up for about 30% of all hospitalizations, according to state data.

Well over 4.3 million tests have been conducted in the state and the positivity rate continues to climb. Over the past 14 days, the positivity rate has now reached 6.3%.

California’s Department of Public Health continues to process a backlog of case reports, reallocating cases to the dates the test results were confirmed.

Cases increased by 1.7%, with the addition of 4,056 new cases.

Note: These numbers were released by the California 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

3:15 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020

Facebook and Instagram to send users to CDC for coronavirus information

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

As Covid-19 cases in the US continue to rise, Facebook said on Thursday it would begin to promote information about face coverings and other preventive measures on its two social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram.

The alerts, in English and Spanish, will have links to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where users can get more information, Facebook said.

“On Facebook, we’ll be sending an alert at the top of everyone’s News Feed and directing them to the COVID-19 Information Center to learn more, which will have additional prevention tips and links to the CDC for additional information,” Facebook spokespeople said in an email to CNN. 

“On Instagram, we’ll be putting a prompt at the top of everyone’s Feed that encourages people to wear face coverings and directs them to the CDC to learn more," the email added.

The alerts are beginning in the US with plans to expands further soon. 

3:05 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020

2020 Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic canceled due to pandemic

From CNN's Jabari Jackson

In a statement on Thursday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has canceled all events surrounding the 2020 Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic citing a “public health precaution” as the country battles with coronavirus. 

“The health and safety of the Hall of Famers, players, fans and volunteers who make the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic so special remains our top priority,” said David Baker, president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the statement. “The Pro Football Hall of Fame looks forward to having the Classic back in Canton in 2021.” 

Central State University and Howard University were set to face off at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on September 6. 

3:39 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020

The first US clinical trial for a vaccine delayed until at least the end of the month, researcher says

From CNN's Elizabeth Cohen

 Dr. Carlos del Rio
Dr. Carlos del Rio CNN/FILE

The first US clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine will likely not start until the end of the month or the beginning of August, according to a researcher involved in the trials with Moderna. 

“It’s been delayed,” said Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease expert at Emory University School of Medicine and one of the investigators for the Moderna vaccine. 

On June 15, one of vaccine trial centers, the University of Illinois at Chicago, said it expected the trial to start July 9. 

“We won’t start until July 27, probably,” del Rio said. “But July 27 would still be absolutely amazing. Even if it happens in early August, that’s still amazing. This is going at a speed no other vaccine has ever gone.” 

He added that there are many steps involved in putting together a large clinical trial. 

“We still need to get FDA approval. We still need to get IRB approval,” del Rio said, referring to the US Food and Drug Administration and institutional review boards at specific centers where the trials will be done.  

In addition, he said there are logistical matters, such arranging for enough doses of the vaccine, as well as doses of the placebo that will be given to about half the patients as a comparison. 

“This is not an easy trial to get out there. It’s a 30,000 person trial,” del Rio said. 

The news of a delay was first reported by STAT. After the article was published, Moderna put out a statement on Twitter. 

“Moderna has previously disclosed that the Phase 3 trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate MRNA-1273 is expected to begin in July. The trial is still expected to begin in July and we expect to be the first to start a Phase 3 trial,” according to the statement. 

The University of Oxford in England has already started Phase 3 trials in the UK. 

Hear more:

2:24 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020

Here's the latest coronavirus update from New York

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New York state reported 875 additional cases of Covid-19 and 10 deaths since yesterday, according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. 

"As we are seeing in other states, America's Covid-19 crisis is far from over and in New York we continue to closely monitor the data and consult leading global experts on a daily basis to keep New Yorkers safe and be smart about our reopening," Cuomo said. 

What the numbers say: At least 394,954 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in New York state and at least 24,877 people have died from the virus.