July 8 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Steve George, Laura Smith-Spark, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 0001 GMT (0801 HKT) July 9, 2020
23 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
5:41 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Covid-19 hospitalizations and ventilator use rise sharply in Florida's Miami-Dade County

From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

Florida's Miami-Dade County has seen a staggering 87% increase in the number of Covid-19 patients being hospitalized in the past 13 days.

There has also been a 91% increase in the number of ICU beds being used over that same period and an increase of 108% in the use of ventilators, according to the latest data released by Miami-Dade County government.

The number of patients in ICU beds has climbed from 180 on June 25 to 343 as of July 7, according to the data. There were 1,656 Covid-19 patients in hospital as of July 7, with 175 on ventilators, up from 885 patients in hospital on June 25, when there were 84 on ventilators.

Despite repeated requests, the State of Florida does not release the number of current Covid-19 patients in hospitals in the state. The state only releases the number of available hospital beds, which is currently 12,151 (21%). 

The state reports there are currently 962 ICU beds available in Florida, which is 16% of the total. 

The 14-day average positivity rate in Miami-Dade County is 23%, according to data released by county government. The positivity rate on July 7 was 27%.

5:23 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Israeli Defense Minister enters self-quarantine after suspected coronavirus exposure

From CNN's Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has said he will enter self-quarantine after coming into suspected contact Sunday evening with a woman who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Gantz, who also serves as Alternate Prime Minister, said the decision to isolate was his own initiative and that he would undergo a coronavirus test and an epidemiological survey.

According to a statement from his office, Gantz “feels good” and will manage the affairs of his office from self-isolation.

It’s not the first time Israel’s top officials have entered self-quarantine. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went into isolation on at least two separate occasions, once in late March and once in early April. Netanyahu tested negative for coronavirus.

In addition, former Health Minister Yaakov Litzman tested positive for coronavirus and went into isolation in early April. He has since recovered.

5:06 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Passengers on flight from virus hotspot Melbourne to Sydney allowed to disembark without health screening

From CNN's Sophie Jeong in Seoul, Angus Watson in Albury and Anna Kam in Hong Kong

Passengers from a flight from Melbourne to Sydney were allowed to disembark without undergoing health screening before the interstate lockdown came into effect on Tuesday midnight.  

"There was an issue at the airport where passengers were disembarked when the health screening team were screening another airline," New South Wales Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerry Chant said in a press conference on Wednesday. 

Chant said that the airport had now put in protocols to ensure that nobody can leave without health screening being carried out first. 

Contact tracing is underway to find the people involved. "We are in the process of tracing them up. If anyone has traveled in breach of any orders, we will report them to police and take the appropriate action depending on whether anyone is symptomatic to ensure the community is protected," Chant told reporters in Sydney. 

Jetstar airline released a statement on Wednesday about the JQ520 flight from Melbourne to Sydney saying that: "Together with Sydney Airport, we have refined our disembarkation procedures to prevent this situation from occurring again."

The airline has provided the aircraft manifest to New South Wales health officials, to assist with contact tracing. 

4:41 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

US reports more than 60,000 cases on Tuesday -- its highest single day count

From CNN's Joe Sutton

The United States reported 60,021 new coronavirus cases and 1,195 deaths on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

It's the highest number of cases reported in a single day in the US since the pandemic began.

The US is close to 3 million infections. In total, there are 2,996,098 reported coronavirus cases in the country and 131,480 people have died.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other U.S. territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

CNN’s map is tracking the US cases:

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

Coronavirus positivity rate: What the term means

From CNN's Theresa Waldrop

From social distancing and self-quarantine to a new take on sheltering in place, our coronavirus vocabulary expands almost daily. 

Lately, a lot of health and elected officials have been using one term an awful lot: positivity rate. 

What it means: That's the percentage of people who test positive for the virus of those overall who have been tested. So, as more and more people are being tested, the focus is shifting to the positivity rate -- how many of those tested are actually infected.

Here's an example: Miami-Dade County in Florida, where the number of cases is skyrocketing, on Sunday reported a 26% positivity rate. So, for every 100 people tested, 26% of them tested positive for coronavirus.

A lot of officials point to a rising positivity rate to counter arguments that the increase in case numbers is simply the result of more people being tested.

Read the full story:

4:04 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

One million foreign students risk being frozen out of US colleges. Some might never come back

From CNN's Julia Hollingsworth

In two months, 19-year-old Tianyu Fang is due to start his first semester at one of the most-prestigious schools in America: Stanford University in California. Now, the Chinese national isn't sure if he'll make it.

Fang is one of the million or so international students who could be made to leave the United States if their universities switch to online-only learning, under a rule announced by Washington on Monday. Those who don't leave voluntarily face deportation.

Some universities have announced they will deliver all courses online due to the coronavirus pandemic. Others are still planning to run classes on campus, but with the US outbreak still not under control, there's a risk that those institutions could go remote, too. 

More than half of international students in the US come from Asia. In the 2018-2019 academic year, 370,000 students were from China, 202,000 from India, and 52,000 from South Korea.

Travel restrictions: The pandemic is already complicating efforts to return to the US for studies. There are few flights between the US and China, where international arrivals have to quarantine for two weeks. For those already in the US, it may be harder for some students to get home than others.

"The bigger issue is some of these countries have travel restrictions on and they can't go home, so what do they do then?" said Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. "It's a conundrum for a lot of students."

The decision could impact the US economy: In 2018, students from China, India and South Korea alone contributed more than $25 billionto the economy, according to non-profit Institute of International Education. If students are forced to leave the country, they may not be willing to continue paying tuition fees to study remotely from a different time zone.

Missed opportunities: If international students are sent home early, it's not just their education that will be impacted. Students could end up missing out on job opportunities -- often one of the reasons they might have chosen to study in the US in the first place.

Read the full story:

3:40 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Beijing continues to report zero new coronavirus cases since wholesale food market outbreak 

From journalist Vanesse Chan in Hong Kong 

A medical worker wearing a protective suit takes a swab at a temporary test station on July 6, in Beijing.
A medical worker wearing a protective suit takes a swab at a temporary test station on July 6, in Beijing. Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Beijing reported zero new coronavirus cases on Tuesday -- marking the second consecutive day without any new infections in the Chinese capital since the Xinfadi wholesale food market cluster was discovered on June 11, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said today.

Meanwhile, China continued to report a single-digit rise in new Covid-19 cases in the mainland as seven new imported cases were registered on Tuesday, which is one less than the day before. 

Out of the new cases, four were reported in Inner Mongolia, and one each in Shanxi, Guangdong and Yunnan, the NHC said. 

There were no new coronavirus-related deaths recorded in the past day. 

Six asymptomatic cases were reported on Tuesday, the health authority said, adding that 117 asymptomatic patients are still under medical observation.

3:48 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Police fire tear gas at protesters in Serbian capital

From CNN’s Milena Veselinovic

Protesters scuffle with police in front of the National Assembly building in Belgrade, on July 7,  as Serbian police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters angry at the return of a weekend coronavirus curfew.
Protesters scuffle with police in front of the National Assembly building in Belgrade, on July 7, as Serbian police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters angry at the return of a weekend coronavirus curfew. Oliver Bunic/AFP/Getty Images

Police in the Serbian capital Belgrade fired tear gas at protesters demonstrating against the country's President Aleksandar Vucic after he announced a weekend-long curfew to try to combat a surge in coronavirus cases.

Video from the scene showed at least several hundred demonstrators gathered around Serbia's Parliament where scuffles erupted, prompting riot police to fire thick plumes of tear gas. 

Some protesters also threw objects at the police, video showed.

On Tuesday, Serbia recorded its highest daily death toll from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, with the country's President calling the situation in Belgrade “alarming."

But protesters told CNN affiliate N1 they were angry because the government allowed the virus to spike out of control by lifting most restrictions in early May, meaning bars and nightclubs were able to operate at full capacity. 

The protesters also said the government lifted restrictions in order to hold a general election in June -- the first Europe country to do so during the pandemic. Campaign rallies – with little or no social distancing – were held.

As they surrounded the Parliament building in central Belgrade, protesters chanted "arrest Vucic" and "treason." A small group of protesters managed to enter the Parliament's lobby before they were pushed out by the police.

The Balkan nation initially implemented one of Europe's strictest lockdowns to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak, with nightly and weekend-long curfews across the country and over 65s banned from leaving their homes. 

3:15 a.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Gravedigger takes Covid-19 more seriously than Brazil's President

 From CNN's Bill Weir in São Paulo

Adenilson Costa has worked at the Vila Formosa graveyard for a quarter of a century and he says he has never seen the fresh graves fill up so fast.

It's the largest cemetery in Latin America, but since coronavirus came to Brazil, it isn't big enough.

Families are hustled through funerals, Costa said, each given no more than 10 or 15 minutes to say goodbye so the cemetery can manage up to 80 burials a day at this site on the outskirts of Sao Paulo.

"That makes us very shocked, very sad, because it is the last greeting they will give to the loved one that they lost and they do not have time," Costa said.

He spoke on a momentous day for Brazil -- a day when the Health Ministry announced more than 45,000 new cases of Covid-19 in the country, one of them the President, Jair Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro has spent months downplaying the spread of the lethal virus, even as Brazil became the country with the second-most cases -- and deaths -- behind only the United States.

And while gravedigger Costa is shocked by the rate of death, Bolsonaro told many of his citizens they had nothing to worry about, as he announced he himself had the virus.

Read the full story: