California adds six more counties to its Covid-19 monitoring list
From CNN's Sarah Moon
Six more counties have been added to California’s Covid-19 monitoring list, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a news conference on Monday.
On Thursday, there were 19 counties. There are 23 counties as of today, he said.
This is a list the state uses for technical assistance to engage local health officers in each county to help monitor Covid-19 and provide support, according to Newsom.
At least 265,180 cases of coronavirus have been reported in California and at least 32,219 deaths from the virus in the state, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.
11:10 a.m. ET, July 7, 2020
Some Florida hospitals are about to hit capacity
From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt
Hospitals in at least two Florida counties are about to hit capacity, according to data released by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), the state agency that reports on available hospital capacity among other aspects of long-term medical care in the US.
This comes as the Sunshine State continues to see a record number of Covid-19 cases. Florida set a record for most coronavirus cases in the US in a single day on Saturday, with a total of 11,458, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and on Sunday, the state surpassed 200,000 Covid-19 cases.
Here is a look at hospital bed capacity in two Florida counties:
Clay County: The Kindred Hospital North Florida in Green Cove Springs in Clay County reports zero hospital beds available out of 40. Clay County has two other hospitals with 88 beds available out of 401 beds. According to the latest US Census data, the population of Clay County is more than 190,000.
Pinellas County: There are seven hospitals in this county with 10% or less hospital bed capacity available out of 16 hospitals:
Advent Health North Pinellas: 7% beds are available
St. Anthony’s Hospital: 2% beds are available
Morton Plant Hospital: 3% beds available
Northside Hospital: 1% beds available
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital: 7% beds available
Mease Countryside Hospital: 6% beds available
Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Largo: 10% beds available
There are 533 hospital beds currently available in Pinellas County out of 2,391 hospital beds, according to AHCA. According to the US Census, the population of Pinellas County is more than 916,000.
Remember: The state of Florida does not release the daily number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals, only releasing hospital bed availability as referenced above. For a full list of hospital capacity in Florida, keep reading here.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post misstated the name of the agency that released the data. It was the Agency for Health Care Administration.
1:59 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020
White House defends Trump's baseless claim that 99% of Covid-19 cases are "harmless"
“What the President was pointing to…was a factual statement, one that is rooted in science and one that was pointing out the fact that mortality in this country is very low,” McEnany told reporters at the press conference on Monday.
Remember: Data from Johns Hopkins University suggests a coronavirus fatality rate of 4.6% — not to mention effects on many Americans who are getting very sick but not dying.
McEnany cited charts that she said showed low death rates. She claimed one showed fatality rates that are lower than France, Italy and other countries.
“What that speaks to is the great work of this administration with therapeutics,” McEnany said.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that only 35% of cases are asymptomatic. There have been more than 2.8 million cases of coronavirus in the US.
“The President was noting the fact that the vast majority of Americans who contract coronavirus will come out on the other side of this,” she said.
“The President isn’t downplaying the severity of the virus,” she added, pointing to a “ten-fold decrease in mortality.”
“The President’s made clear we grieve when just one life is lost.”
3:06 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020
West Virginia orders adults and kids 9 and older to wear masks when they can't social distance
From CNN’s Alec Snyder
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced an executive order Monday stating all adults abd children 9 years old and older are required to wear a face covering in places where social distancing is not possible.
The order goes into effect at midnight.
It will not be a criminal offense if someone doesn’t wear a face covering and penalties were not specified.
Masks are not required in homes, but are required for anyone going outside their homes if they cannot social distance.
They are also required for anyone going inside an office, building or contained space that is not able to or not enforcing social distancing. However, once employees or people in buildings finish going through the common areas — such as lobbies and break rooms — they may remove their masks if they are in socially distanced or in isolated workspaces, such as a personal office.
Masks must be worn if people decide to get up and head to common spaces regardless of social distancing protocols.
1:31 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020
Covid-19 antibodies can disappear after a few weeks, Spanish government study indicates
From CNN’s Al Goodman
Just 5.2% of people in Spain have coronavirus antibodies — far from a so-called herd immunity level, a government study found. In a potentially worrying development, the study also indicated that people’s immunity to coronavirus wanes after just a few weeks.
The third and final phase of a large study across Spain found that 5% of participants had antibodies to coronavirus after the first phase, 5.2% after the second phase and again 5.2% after the third phase.
Spain’s study also found that 7% of participants who had antibodies in the first phase no longer showed them by the second phase, and that about 14% who had them in the first phase had lost them by the third phase, although this final figure requires more study, the Health Ministry said in a statement Monday.
This means that any perceived immunity “can be incomplete, transitory and then disappear,” Dr. Raquel Yotti, head of the Carlos III Health Institute, a key government agency leading the study, said in a news conference on Monday.
More on the study: Spain’s study from April to June involved more than 61,000 participants – which the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control told CNN appears to be the largest to date in Europe.
The study “reflects the difficulty of obtaining herd immunity in the short term,” the Health Ministry statement said.
The medical journal The Lancet on Monday published the peer-reviewed first phase of Spain’s study, which was completed in early May. And in a commentary companion piece, two virologists in Geneva said that herd immunity is “unachievable.”
Spain’s study also found that 10% of health care workers had antibody prevalence and 7.7% of senior care facility workers had antibodies, higher than the national average, the Health Ministry statement said.
Remember: Herd immunity is achieved when enough of a population has become infected with a virus or bacteria – or vaccinated against it – to stop its circulation.
Yotti urged the population, including people who have had Covid-19, to remain cautious and wear masks, maintain social distancing and use hand hygiene.
1:22 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020
Covid-19 rate of transmission in New Jersey exceeds 1% for the first time in over 2 months
From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield
The rate of transmission of Covid-19 in New Jersey exceeded 1% Monday for the first time in roughly 10 weeks, Gov. Phil Murphy announced in his daily briefing.
The transmission rate stands at 1.03%.
“This means that for every new case of Covid in the state, that case is leading to at least one other new case," Murphy said. “This is an early warning sign that quite frankly we need to do more.”
Murphy said there were several outbreaks across the state over the weekend that were directly tied to travel to other hotspots in the country, including 13 new cases in Hoboken, 12 of which were directly tied to travel to known hotspots.
New Jersey reported an additional 216 new cases on Monday, bringing the statewide total to 173,611. The daily positivity rate was 2.14%.
The state reported 20 new deaths, bringing the total to 13,373. The state is also reporting a total of 1,856 probable Covid-19 fatalities.
Hospitalizations and ventilator use continued to trend down in the state.
One thing to note: The numbers above were released by the New Jersey governor’s office and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.
1:36 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020
Spain's Covid-19 cases shoot up following outbreaks
From CNN's Laura Pérez Maestro
The number of Covid-19 cases in Spain rose by over a thousand since Friday, reaching a total of at least 251,789. Spain's numbers hadn't reached the thousand mark since May 28.
Dr. Fernando Simón, Spain’s director of health emergencies, said at a news conference on Monday that the increase was "mainly due to a few outbreaks."
He added that "the outbreak in Lleida is worrying as it has affected a big number of people." Simon explained that 70% of those who tested positive were asymptomatic and that the high number of identified cases was "due to the random tests performed in the area."
The Spanish Health Ministry announced on Monday that it has performed more than 3.6 million PCR tests since the beginning of the pandemic, and over 2 million antibody tests.
"In total, 5,734,599 diagnostic tests have been carried out throughout Spain," the statement read.
1:16 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020
More than 130,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US
From CNN's Amanda Watts
There are at least 2,897,613 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 130,007 people have died from the virus in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.
So far on Monday, Johns Hopkins has reported 8,978 new cases and 60 deaths.
The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.
Here is a look at the distribution of confirmed cases per 100,000 residents across the country:
12:56 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020
US prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine skyrocketed from February to March, study finds
From CNN Health’s Marisa Peryer
Prescriptions for the anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine skyrocketed in the US from February to March —a time when the drugs, though unproven, were touted as treatments for the coronavirus.
Researchers found the estimated number of hydroxychloroquine prescriptions increased 86.2% from February to March, from 367,346 to 683,999, and dispensed chloroquine prescriptions increased 158.6%, rising from 2,346 to 6,066 prescriptions.
Combining hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin had also beentouted as a possible treatment for coronavirus infection. The analysis shows that the estimated number of patients receiving both drugs rose by 1,004% between February and March, from 8,885 to 101,681.
The data, published in a research letter Monday by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found prescription rates for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine were stable from October 2019 through February 2020. The analysis only examined data through March.
The authors noted that the increased prescriptions might not all be attributed to Covid-19, as their data did not include for what purpose the drugs were prescribed. Still, they wrote that the sudden surge of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine prescriptions may have affected availability for patients prescribed the drugs for uses approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, including for treating rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and malaria.
More background: Some researchers thought chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine might be able to fight coronavirus based on initial laboratory analyses, and President Trump became a cheerleader of the treatment, calling it "very encouraging" and "very powerful" and a "game-changer."
But in recent studies of Covid-19 patients, the drugs have largely not stacked up. A randomized clinical trial — considered the gold-standard for determining drug efficacy — was halted by the National Institutes of Health after data showed hydroxychloroquine provided no benefit to Covid-19 patients.
“While there was no harm, the study drug was very unlikely to be beneficial to hospitalized patients with Covid-19,” the NIH said in a June 20 news release.