July 8 coronavirus news

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5:17 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

White House says Trump and CDC are "very much" on the same page, despite tweets

From CNN's Allie Malloy 

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that President Trump and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are “very much” on the same page — despite Trump tweeting: “I disagree with the CDC.”

“I would note that the CDC is very much on the same page as the President — which is why you heard the CDC director today underscore these are not prescriptive, these are not requirements and that there will be supplemental guidelines. So they’re on the same page,” McEnany said Wednesday.

Trump tweeted seven hours earlier: “I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools. While they want them open, they are asking school to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!”

Collins also asked McEnany why the President won’t attend task force meetings so he can talk about guidelines and other issues.

"(Trump) is routinely briefed about the coronavirus each and every day that relevant information is brought to him on the big decisions and then he moves forward in the way that’s best for our country," McEnany responded.

CNN has reported that Trump has not attended a coronavirus task force meeting since April.

5:18 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

New Orleans issues stricter guidelines for bars and restaurants following increase in Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Kay Jones

A waitress takes an order during lunch at Royal House Oyster Bar on May 22, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
A waitress takes an order during lunch at Royal House Oyster Bar on May 22, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sean Gardner/Getty Images

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced new restrictions on bars and restaurants in the city as cases of Covid-19 steadily increase across the city. 

Cantrell said during a news conference today that bars and restaurants will be limited to 25 patrons in total inside and that no bar seating will be allowed.

She also said masks will be required at all times, other than when patrons are eating and drinking. 

The new restrictions go into effect at 6 a.m. on July 11. 

"Bourbon Street worries me," Cantrell said. "I am concerned."  

Videos taken on Bourbon Street last weekend showed it crowded with people, many of whom did not have masks on.  

More context: There were 81 new cases reported in Orleans Parish on Wednesday for a total of 8,287 cases, according to the state’s Department of Health.

The city has a 10.03% positivity rate of tests conducted to date. 

5:07 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Los Angeles health director hopes schools can reopen in August

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Los Angeles County expects to issue guidance on reopening schools within the week, according to Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

Ferrer said she remains hopeful that cases stabilize by the end of July so districts can resume classes in mid-August.

“I’ll leave the politics around this to other people,” Ferrer said, adding that her focus is on protecting the health and safety of people in Los Angeles.

The county plans on reopening schools once the data shows it is safe to do so, she said.

“We would never open any other sectors without looking at our data. You absolutely would not want to open a sector when you thought that the result of reopening would be an explosion of outbreaks within that sector,” Ferrer said.

4:50 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Rhode Island governor calls Trump's remarks on reopening schools "dishonest and reckless"

From CNN's Lauren del Valle

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo sits during a news conference Monday, June 22, in Providence.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo sits during a news conference Monday, June 22, in Providence. David Goldman/AP

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced 41 new cases and two deaths related to Covid-19 Wednesday while denouncing President Trump's remarks about reopening schools.

Asked about Trump’s comments threatening to fine states that don’t reopen schools, Raimondo said, "I just, I think it’s irresponsible, dishonest and reckless."

The governor said $50 million has been allocated to assist school districts in taking necessary precautions due to Covid-19. 

"Having said that, I want to get kids back to school in Rhode Island," the governor added. 

About the state's reopening: Rhode Island beaches were crowded over the July 4 holiday, but no beach parking lots were ever at capacity, according to Raimondo. State officials handed out masks at beach entry points and asked beachgoers to disperse in the event of large groups congregating, she said.

As food and drink establishments have reopened in Rhode Island, state officials have found 10% are not in compliance with social distancing advisories and allow too much crowding. 

 

4:50 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

26 Mississippi legislators have tested positive for Covid-19, officials say

From CNN's James Froio and Jamiel Lynch 

Mississippi legislators, staff and Capitol employees take advantage of a drive-thru Covid-19 testing center on the Capitol grounds in Jackson, Miss., on Monday, July 6.
Mississippi legislators, staff and Capitol employees take advantage of a drive-thru Covid-19 testing center on the Capitol grounds in Jackson, Miss., on Monday, July 6. Rogelio V. Solis/AP

Mississippi Health Department Dr. Thomas Dobbs said the state is continuing to work on an outbreak that resulted in several legislators testing positive for coronavirus.

“Thus far, we have identified 36 cases associated with the outbreak, 26 of whom are legislators,” Dobbs said.

More on this: Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has tested negative for Covid-19, his office announced on Tuesday, while the Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and State House Speaker Philip Gunn have both tested positive. 

4:42 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Houston mayor cancels in-person GOP convention 

From CNN's Raja Razek

In this file photo, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner addresses the U.S. Conference of Mayors 86th annual Winter Meeting at the Capitol Hilton January 25, 2018 in Washington.
In this file photo, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner addresses the U.S. Conference of Mayors 86th annual Winter Meeting at the Capitol Hilton January 25, 2018 in Washington. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he "instructed the Houston Forst Corporation to exercise its right contractually in canceling State's Republican Convention."

"Today I instructed the Houston Forst Corporation to exercise its right contractually in cancelling the State's Republican Convention that was set to take place next week at GRB. #COVID19," the mayor tweeted. 

Turner said Covid-19 is prevalent in Houston and he must do his part to help combat and mitigate the virus. 

"The public health concern for our first responders, convention workers, and those who would have attended weighed heavily in our decision making. #Houston is in the midst of a global health crisis and we are doing everything in our power to combat #COVID19," Turner tweeted.

4:29 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

California governor says schools will reopen when the data shows it is safe to do so

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg and Stella Chan

Schools grounds stand empty at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex before the new restrictions went into effect at midnight as the the coronavirus pandemic spreads on March 19, in Los Angeles, California. 
Schools grounds stand empty at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex before the new restrictions went into effect at midnight as the the coronavirus pandemic spreads on March 19, in Los Angeles, California.  David McNew/Getty Images

California schools will reopen when the data shows it is safe to do so, according to California Gov. Gavin Newsom 

“I’m not worried about the latest tweets,” he said, in a thinly veiled reference to President Trump.

“We need to address safely reopening schools. That to me is non-negotiable," the governor said at a news conference.

Reopening schools will be based on local conditions in the state, but Newsom added that “we must insist upon learning at the beginning of the school year.”

“Given our current data and the ongoing community transmission of this deadly virus, it’s prudent that school districts prepare a distance learning back-up plan that is ready to be implemented in the event that our data shows us this is the safest path forward,” the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a statement to CNN.

Anticipating that schools will continue to be a topic of conversation, Newsom implored the public that reopening is contingent on behavior.

“We can just roll over and accept the spread and transmission with behaviors that have led to this,” Newsom said. “Or we can do more to practice personal responsibilities with face coverings and masks and physical distancing that will mitigate the spread.”
4:27 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Illinois reports more than 950 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Kay Jones and Brad Parks 

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 980 new Covid-19 cases across the state on Wednesday, bringing the total to 149,432. 

This is the highest number of daily cases reported since June 5, according to the the department's website.  

According to a statement from the department, positivity rate for cases between July 1 and July 7 is 2.6%.

The department also reported a total of 1,518 patients hospitalized due to the virus, with 331 in intensive care. There are a total of 7,099 deaths statewide.

To note: These figures were released by Illinois 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.

4:32 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Here's the latest coronavirus update from Louisiana

From CNN's Pierre Meilhan

The number of people contracting Covid-19 in Louisiana are getting younger and more White people, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Wednesday.

There’s a smaller percentage of younger patients in intensive care unit beds and on ventilators, Edwards told reporters in Baton Rouge.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in Louisiana is 70,151, according to the state’s Department of Health.

“People in Louisiana have a role to play,” he said. "It’s important (to wear masks) any time outside your home.”

The governor said the state's goal is to open up schools on time but it needs to be done safely.

If on-campus learning resumes, Edwards said it won’t look like the way it did before the coronavirus pandemic.