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
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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.

4:07 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

One-third of Americans missed their July housing payments due to Covid-19, survey says

From CNN's Alison Kosik

Thirty-two percent of Americans did not make a full, on-time housing payment in July due to the continued economic fallout of the coronavirus, according to online rental platform Apartment List.

This is the fourth straight month of a "historically high" number of Americans unable to pay their full hosing bill, the survey released on Wednesday found, and up slightly from 30% in June. Missed payments continue to hit renters, young and low-income households, and residents of dense urban areas the hardest.

And as eviction moratoriums and unemployment benefits expire across the country, Apartment List says that Americans worry missed payments could lead to them losing their homes.

"As overdue bills pile up, there is growing concern that a wave of evictions and foreclosures will hit the housing market,” the survey showed. "While eviction protections today vary dramatically from place to place, our survey shows widespread and growing concern about housing insecurity."

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

Utah reports record number of new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

Utah has reported a record-high number of new Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours — 715, state health data shows.

This is the highest daily case increase the state has reported, according to records that go back to early March.

Although the state has reported several sharp spikes in daily cases over the last few weeks, the state’s overall Covid-19 case trend is steady, according to both the state’s epidemic curve and CNN’s analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. 

Utah does not have a statewide mask order in place but at least two counties, Salt Lake and Summit, have been given permission by Gov. Gary Herbert to enact county-wide mandates, according to CNN affiliate KSTU.


4:03 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Summer camp closes after Covid-19 outbreak in Arkansas

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Camp Ozark, a summer camp facility located in Mount Ida, Arkansas, has temporarily closed down after an outbreak of Covid-19, according to Dr. Nate Smith, the state's cabinet secretary for the Department of Health. 

“Camp Ozark shared the information that they had on out-of-state campers and a counselor. They took action. They initially sent campers home and some counselors home, and then, as they had additional cases, they made the decision on their own to go ahead and close down for now,” Smith said. “We support that decision and we appreciate them partnering with us.”

Asked how the outbreak at the summer camp will inform his decision about reopening schools in the fall, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said “it simply means that whenever we reconvene, we’re going to have to adhere to those public health guidelines very strictly and not ignore, not that the summer camps did, but that we realize that when you have that congregation of people, it’s going to be a challenging environment that you’ve got to work with.”

4:10 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Tulsa is seeing an increase of Covid-19 cases after a week of declining numbers 

From CNN's Kay Jones

Dr. Bruce Dart
Dr. Bruce Dart Tulsa Department of Health

Dr. Bruce Dart, executive director of the Tulsa Health Department, said that there was a 20% decline in new Covid-19 cases the week of June 28 through July 4. However, he said there are high numbers being reported this week —nearly 500 new cases in two days — and the trends are showing that those numbers will increase. 

Tulsa Health Department reported 266 new cases today, bringing the total number in the county to at least 4,571. 

When asked if the cases are going up due to the rally President Trump held on June 20, Dart said that there were several large events a little over two weeks ago, which is about right. "I guess we just connect the dots." 

Mayor G.T. Bynum said the rally along with the large "serious seven" events — such as weddings, religious events and more — informed an executive order that goes into effect tomorrow requiring events with more than 500 people to receive guidance from the health department to evaluate safety plans. Event organizers and health officials will work on a case-by-case bases to make safe decisions in relation to the event, according to the executive order. 

While hospital capacity is fine right now, Bynum said that this week, "I finally started to hear some concern, not about where things stand today, but where things could look if we continue on this trajectory unchecked." 
3:58 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Illinois expands Covid-19 mobile testing program 

From CNN's Raja Razek

Gov. J.B. Pritzker
Gov. J.B. Pritzker Pool

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Wednesday the expansion of the state's Covid-19 testing program to bring testing to areas most in need. 

"Governor JB Pritzker announced the expansion of the state's mobile testing operation with twelve COVID-19 mobile testing teams operating throughout Illinois," the statement from the governor's office said. "These twelve teams will offer mobile testing to residents in hard-hit communities and visit facilities like homeless services centers and nursing homes."

The mobile testing sites would offer free drive-thru and walk-up tests to any Illinois resident who wants to be tested, according to the statement. The mobile teams are in addition to the already existing 11 free, state-run drive-thru and walk-up testing sites in the state. 

Additionally, the National Guard will transition state-run testing sites to contract workers, according to the statement.

"More than 500 Illinois National Guard (ILNG) members will conclude their missions at the eleven state-run testing sites this month, with contract staffers supporting those sites going forward," the statement read. 

3:52 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

Covid-19 hospitalizations in California are up 44%, governor says

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

A woman wears a face-covering while walking past a sign leading to the Emergency section at the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, on July 2.
A woman wears a face-covering while walking past a sign leading to the Emergency section at the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, on July 2. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Coronavirus hospitalizations in California are up 44% over the past two weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom said today in a news conference. That translates to about 6,100 patients.

The number of patients in intensive care has climbed by 34% in the past 14 days.

California has added 11,694 additional cases, but Newsom cautions that approximately 2,000 of those are from a backlog in Los Angeles County. This brings the total number of cases to nearly 290,000.

California’s seven-day positivity rate is about 8%, Newsom said, and the 14-day rate stands at 7.1%. The state is averaging more than 100,000 tests each day.

3:26 p.m. ET, July 8, 2020

8 steps schools should take when they reopen, according to a former CDC head's advocacy group

From CNN Health’s Andrea Kane

Vital Strategies
Vital Strategies

It could be impossible to operate schools safely in communities where coronavirus infections are out of control, Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said today.

Frieden is now CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an advocacy and public health consultancy group that has put together a plan for how to reopen schools safely.

“The hard truth is that there is no route to zero risk of Covid-19 in the near future, but we can reduce the risk with careful planning and precautions,” Frieden said while speaking at a livestream event today. “But here’s the bottom line: The single most important thing we can do to keep our schools safe has nothing to do with what happens in schools -- it's how well we can control Covid in the community.”

He said that right now, because there are places around the country where the virus is spreading explosively, “it would be difficult — if not impossible — to operate schools safely there until the virus is under better control in those communities.” 

When the time comes to reopen schools, Resolve to Save Lives introduced an eight-point plan “designed to complement evidence-based guidelines, such as that from the CDC, and to help education leaders make important decisions for each state and school district,” Frieden said.

The eight points are:

  1. Shield the most vulnerable
  2. Reduce risk wherever possible, which may mean re-engineering the school environment
  3. Keep the virus out by restricting access and requiring visitors to wear face masks and wash their hands
  4. Reduce occupancy, which may include a split shift or a week-on/week-off schedule
  5. Reduce mixing by dividing students into smaller groups
  6. Have teachers and students wear masks all day long
  7. Implement new health and safety protocols, including more frequent cleaning
  8. Prepare for cases; have protocol in place for when Covid-19 cases develop

“We don't live in an ideal world, and we don't have all the information we wish we had about how to protect our children's health and future. We need to use the best available information to continue to learn so we can figure out how to improve the safety of our children at schools, the robustness of our society and of our economy,” Frieden said. 

He said reopening schools is something we must do to more fully open our society and our economy.

“We can succeed if we take careful steps forward and respond rapidly to new information or cases. Our children's future depends on it,” he said.