July 7 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 11:32 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020
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6:24 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020

Bars ordered to close again in Shelby County, Tennessee

From CNN’s Laurie Ure

The Shelby County Health Department in Tennessee ordered bars to close again, citing an uptick in Covid-19 cases. The county includes Memphis, one of the state's largest cities. 

The order goes into effect Wednesday night at midnight. 

"Our numbers have trended upward since Memorial Day, and that has continued," said Alisa Haushalter, Shelby County's Health Department director, at a news conference Tuesday announcing the new directive. 

Restaurants for now can remain open until 10 p.m., but she said the department is looking to reduce capacity there, as well as at gyms. 

Shelby County saw more than 12,000 new Covid 19 cases on Monday, 146 more than the day before, according to Haushalter. 

"As of this morning, we have our highest number of people hospitalized with Covid," she said, warning the county is "moving toward a surge."

A team including members from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Federal Emergency Management Agency spent three days in the area last week, one of 10 regions selected by federal officials for intervention toward slowing Covid-19 growth. Haushalter said the team sent a report to her Tuesday morning, and the new restrictions are based in part on the recommendations from that report.

6:15 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020

Texas Education Agency says parents have option to choose remote learning for their children

From CNN's Raja Razek

The Texas Education Agency said in a statement parents have the option to choose remote learning for their children.

"The Texas Education Agency today announced comprehensive guidelines for students to return to school, prioritizing their health and safety while ensuring that students receive quality instruction, whether they choose to learn in a safe on-campus environment or remotely," the statement said. "The guidance laid out today will provide flexibility to both parents and districts to make decisions based on the ever-changing conditions of this public health crisis." 

On-campus learning will be available to all parents who would like their students to learn in school, according to the statement.

The agency will also have the option to choose remote learning," initially, or at any point as the year progresses."

Masks will be required while in school buildings and there will be some mandated health procedures for every school in the state, according to the statement.

6:27 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020

Germany expresses support for WHO as US declares plans to leave

From CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

A top diplomat from Germany expressed support for the World Health Organization Tuesday, calling for global solidarity as the US announced plans to withdraw from the organization.

“This virus doesn't stop at any borders. It doesn't stop at any sort of form of government. It doesn't care about ideologies,” Ricklef Beutin, Germany’s Deputy Chief of Mission, said at an Atlantic Council roundtable on Covid-19.

“We can only tackle it and overcome it together. This means solidarity between countries and solidarity, frankly, in our societies.” 

Beutin added that Germany supports WHO.

“While criticism is welcome – It's not only allowed, it is welcome. It may be justified – we feel that it is not a good idea to hamper the organization, while in the full thrust and brunt of this pandemic,” Beutin said.

5:58 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020

Coronavirus positivity rate jumps by more than 2% in Los Angeles

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Cars line up for coronavirus testing on July 7 in Los Angeles.
Cars line up for coronavirus testing on July 7 in Los Angeles. Mark J. Terrill/AP

The coronavirus positivity rate in Los Angeles has jumped more than 2% to 11.6%, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

On Monday, the county reported the rate, which is a seven-day rolling average, as 9.5%. More than 1.2 million tests have been conducted in the county to date.

Los Angeles reported 4,015 confirmed cases, about 2,000 of which are attributed to three-day backlog from one lab. This brings the county’s total number of confirmed cases to at least 120,539.

Nearly 2,000 people are hospitalized in Los Angeles County, with 27% of those in intensive care units, according to a statement from the department.

More than 3,500 people have died from Covid-19 in the county, and about 93% of those have had underlying health conditions.

5:39 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020

Long Island to enter phase 4 reopening tomorrow, governor says

From CNN's Rob Frehse

Long Island has been cleared by global public health experts to enter phase four reopening, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

As long as guidelines are followed, higher education institutions can reopen for in-person activities, as well as low-risk indoor and outdoor arts and entertainment businesses. Professional sports competitions with no fans can also take place.

Cuomo cited the resurgence of Covid-19 cases across the country, noting New York has maintained low hospitalizations and low numbers of positive case because people are being vigilant.

“However, this pandemic is far from over, and I encourage New Yorkers to continue practicing the basic behaviors—wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing—that have made an enormous difference in the state's ability to fight the virus,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“Local governments likewise have vital roles to play in enforcing state guidelines so we can keep COVID-19 at bay and continue pursuing the state's incremental, data-driven reopening," the statement added.

5:37 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020

New York City Board of Health votes unanimously to reopen child care facilities

From CNN's Evan Simko-Bednarski

The New York City Board of Health voted unanimously Tuesday to rescind its April orders closing regulated child care facilities, paving the way for facilities to reopen on July 13.

The Department of Health ordered all child care providers to close on April 6 except those necessary to allow essential work to continue.

In considering the move to reopen child care, Commissioner of Health Dr. Oxiris Barbot noted that though there had been isolated cases of Covid-19 among staff providing health care to the children of essential workers, there have to date been no outbreaks related to ongoing child care.

Staff at the facilities will be required to wear masks, and any children over the age of five will be encouraged to do so. Children must be cared for in groups of 15 or less, and children and staff cannot rotate between groups.

Earlier Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was “crucial” to reopen child care facilities.

5:27 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020

Trump says Republicans are "very flexible" with how to hold GOP convention in Florida next month

From CNN's Matthew Hoye

President Trump said Republicans are “very flexible” with how they’ll hold their upcoming convention, which is currently scheduled to take place in Jacksonville, Florida, in August. 

Trump was asked by Gray Television’s Greta Van Susteren if he would consider not having as large of a convention as coronavirus case numbers surge in Florida. 

“Well, we're always looking at different things. When we signed in Jacksonville, we wanted to be in North Carolina,” Trump said, according to a transcript of the interview released Tuesday. “That almost worked out, but the governor didn't want to have people use the arena, essentially. And so I said, ‘Too bad for North Carolina.’”

“And then we went to Florida,” he continued, “And when we went, when we signed a few weeks ago, it looked good. And now all of a sudden it's spiking up a little bit and that's going to go down.” 

“It really depends on the timing,” Trump said. “Look, we're very flexible. We can do a lot of things, but we're very flexible.”

6:09 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020

Trump says he disagrees with Fauci: "I think we are in a good place. I disagree with him."

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

President Donald Trump listens during a "National Dialogue on Safely Reopening America's Schools," event at the White House on July 7 in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump listens during a "National Dialogue on Safely Reopening America's Schools," event at the White House on July 7 in Washington, DC. Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump said he thinks the country is “in a good place” with the pandemic, adding he disagrees with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s assessment that the country is still “knee-deep” in a first wave of Covid-19.

“Well, I think we are in a good place. I disagree with him,” Trump told Gray Television’s Greta Van Susteren, according to a transcript of the interview released Tuesday. “Dr. Fauci said don't wear masks and now he says wear them. And he said numerous things. Don't close off China. Don't ban China. I did it anyway. I didn't listen to my experts and I banned China. We would have been in much worse shape.”

“We've done a good job,” Trump said. “I think we are going to be in two, three, four weeks, by the time we next speak, I think we're going to be in very good shape.”

The President went on to say there were virus spikes in “some areas that looked like we were going to escape, that they were going to escape, and all of a sudden it became hot.”

“But I think you're going to see with all of the things that we're doing, and with all of the therapeutics that are coming out, and then ultimately the vaccine, we're going to be in very good shape very soon,” he said.

Some background: Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said Monday the status of the coronavirus pandemic in the US is "really not good" as new cases surge across the country. 

"We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this. And I would say, this would not be considered a wave. It was a surge, or a resurgence of infections superimposed upon a baseline," Fauci said in Facebook Live interview with National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins. 

Hear more:

5:19 p.m. ET, July 7, 2020

Sacramento closes 5 Covid-19 testing sites due to supply shortages

From CNN's Alexandra Meeks

Five community-based testing sites in Sacramento, California, are closing due to supply shortages, county spokesperson Janna Haynes told CNN Tuesday.

It comes as more states are facing new constraints with scaling their testing capabilities.

The sites, operated by UC Davis, are experiencing a "supply chain issue for elements of the test kits," she said. 

The following five testing sites, located primarily in Sacramento's lower-income areas, are suspending operations until further notice:

  • Natomas Unified School District​ building
  • S​outh Sacramento Christian Center 
  • Tetteh Pediatric Health​ Center
  • La Familia’s Maple Neighborhood Center
  • Robertson Community Center

Following these closures, Sacramento Health will have one community testing site at St. Paul's Missionary Baptist Church and one drive-thru testing site. The county also has a partnership with the National Guard that resumed pop-up testing this week to support testing efforts, Haynes said. 

The latest numbers: To date, Sacramento has completed a total of 125,350 tests and 3.6% of these tests delivered positive results. Last week, however, 6.7% of tests in Sacramento were positive, county data shows.

Sacramento also remains one of the 23 counties on Gov. Gavin Newsom's "monitoring list" with 4,566 total cases and 76 deaths.