July 9 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brett McKeehan, Ivana Kottasová, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 0112 GMT (0912 HKT) July 10, 2020
35 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
10:12 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

More than 1,000 TSA employees have tested positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Gregory Wallace 

A TSA agent assists travelers at Love Field airport in Dallas, Texas, on June 24.
A TSA agent assists travelers at Love Field airport in Dallas, Texas, on June 24. Tony Gutierrez/AP

More than 1,000 Transportation Security Administration employees have now tested positive in the US for coronavirus, according to agency data released Thursday.  

That includes just over 900 frontline TSA officers who screen passengers at airports around the country.  

At least six TSA employees have died due to the virus, the agency said.  

Remember: The agency recently improved its protocols for screening officers, including requiring them to wear face shields and to change or clean gloves between each passenger they handle. The changes came about after a whistleblower complaint and are intended to better protect officers and prevent cross-contamination between passengers.  

TSA officers screened 2.7 million people over the Independence Day holiday weekend.  

9:58 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

70% of US population has reopening on hold or rolled back, analysts say

From CNN’s Alison Kosik

Goldman Sachs says states containing over 40% of the population have now put reopening on hold, and states with another 30% have already reversed part of their reopening.   

“These practices are required, until there is an effective vaccine, effective treatment or herd immunity,” Goldman Sachs said in a research note. 

The analysts also note that over the past few days, Connecticut, Ohio and Washington have delayed reopening plans or placed re-openings on hold. Goldman also notes that several state governors have also issued new executive order instituting specific social distancing and other requirements. 

9:56 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Germany's Angela Merkel: Lies are "no way to fight the pandemic"

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks as she arrives at the European Parliament on July 8 in Brussels, Belgium.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks as she arrives at the European Parliament on July 8 in Brussels, Belgium. Francisco Seco/AP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that "lies and disinformation" have emerged during the coronavirus pandemic and warned against allowing hatred to spread as the world battles the virus.

"We have seen lies and disinformation, and that is no way to fight the pandemic," she said yesterday at the European Parliament in Brussels.

She added the virus has highlighting the limits of ''fact-denying populism," saying, "The limits of populism and denial of basic truths are being laid bare."  

Merkel went on to say, to applause, ''democracies need truth and transparency. This is what Europe sets apart and this is what Germany will stand up for during its EU presidency."

She urged the European Union to agree on the bloc’s Covid-19 recovery plan before the summer. “There is no time to lose. Only the weakest will suffer,” Merkel said.  

Watch the moment:

9:28 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Florida's Walt Disney World resumes ticket sales 2 days before reopening begins

From CNN’s Natasha Chen

John Raoux/AP
John Raoux/AP

Two days before reopening two theme parks to the public during the height of a Florida coronavirus spike, Disney resumed the sale of new 2020 theme park tickets and hotel reservations for Walt Disney World. 

Guests who purchase new tickets are required to select the dates they would like to visit and reserve their attendance in advance.

Annual passholders and people who had purchased tickets before the parks closed in March were able to reserve attendance before today. 

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom theme parks are currently holding annual passholder previews Thursday and Friday, and reopening to the public on Saturday at reduced capacity. 

The resort’s two remaining theme parks — EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — will reopen next week.

9:28 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Bulgaria closes indoor nightclubs, bans spectators at sporting events as Covid-19 cases rise

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite

Bulgaria is closing indoor nightclubs and will ban spectators at sports events due to the recent increase of coronavirus cases, the press office of the Health Ministry confirmed Thursday to CNN.

According to the order from the health minister, starting tomorrow, indoor discos, night clubs, piano bars and other similar venues will be closed to the public, the press office said.

Visits to outdoor discos, bars and pubs will be allowed but only with up to 50% of the total capacity. 

Outdoor and indoor group celebrations are not allowed with more than 30 people, including weddings.

All group and individual sporting events of training and competitive nature, for all age groups, outdoors and indoors, will be held without an audience, the order reads.

9:44 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

"Counterintuitive" to open up schools while Covid-19 cases are rising, Miami-Dade superintendent says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho speaks with CNN on July 9.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho speaks with CNN on July 9. CNN

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said schools will not reopen at the end of August unless the county moves to phase two. 

“We need a phase two to be able to reopen schools,” he told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. 

“We are in phase one and should we transition to phase two, then we have a plan to bring students back to school five days a week while offering other options to parents as well,” he added.

Carvalho said that, despite the state order for schools to reopen, he was encouraged that federal officials said that districts facing limitations will be able to implement different strategies.

“Both federal and state guidelines basically dictate that any county, any community, in phase one is unable to open schools. That is the federal and state guideline at this point. I think it would be counterintuitive with positivity cases increasing, with restaurants just this week being shut down again, for us to pack up schools. It does not make sense,” Carvalho said. 

The superintendent added that he thinks the state Department of Education will fight for federal resources that his schools require. 

"I think it would be quite unfair for children in Miami-Dade, 73% of whom live at or below the poverty level, a huge number of them are still English-language learners, who have been in crisis to begin with, to be deprived of the necessary resources," Carvalho said. 

Watch the interview:

9:08 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

The health effects of Covid-19 go far beyond the virus, WHO says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on world health stretch far beyond “the suffering caused by the virus itself,” World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during an address to member states in Geneva on Thursday.

The pandemic is affecting areas such as vaccinations for children, medication for diseases, refugee health and world hunger.

“It’s unraveling many of the gains we have made fighting some of the world’s most devastating diseases,” he said

Tedros said there are hundreds of millions of children who are at risk of missing routine vaccinations for diseases such as tuberculosis and measles. Many countries are also running low on HIV medications.

Refugees, who already face limited access to shelter, water and nutrition, he said, are among the most vulnerable.“Covid-19 could push them over the brink,” he said.

He also said that many people are now going hungry, and that poverty has become more visible during the time of the pandemic, citing estimates from the World Food Programme that global hunger could increase to more than 270 million people.

Countries are facing “a delicate balance between protecting their people and maintaining essential health services while minimizing social and economic damage and respecting human rights,” Tedros said.

8:48 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Another 1.3 million people applied for unemployment aid in the US last week

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe and Tami Luhby

Another 1.3 million people filed first-time claims for unemployment aid last week in the US, according to the Department of Labor.

Weekly jobless claims have been falling for more than three months since their peak in the last week of March. That's a good sign, because it means fewer people are finding themselves newly in need for benefits. But the claims remain stubbornly high and aren't trending downward as quickly as economists would like.

Continued claims, which count workers who have filed claims for at least two weeks in a row, stood at 18.1 million.

Economists have shifted their focus to continued claims earlier this summer, saying it's a better indicator of how many people are returning to work versus staying on benefits. But again the number is trending down slowly, and that doesn't bode well for the economic recovery.

Reopening plans: On top of that, many states have paused their economic reopening schedules following a rise in Covid-19 infections. That might keep people at home for longer, when they would have otherwise returned to work in later reopening phases.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's latest CFO survey found that the average surveyed business didn't expect to get back to its pre-pandemic employment level until the end of 2021.

9:31 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Here's what's in the CDC's current school guidelines

An empty classroom in seen at Kent Middle School on April 1 in Kentfield, California.
An empty classroom in seen at Kent Middle School on April 1 in Kentfield, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A day after Vice President Mike Pence said said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would revise its existing guidelines for reopening schools, the agency's director, Dr. Robert Redfield, said it would not edit them.

Redfield, however, did say that additional reference documents will be provided alongside the current guidelines.

Here's what the current guidelines, which were last updated on the CDC website in May, say:

  • Habits that reduce spread: The guidelines encourage hygiene, the use of cloth face coverings, and staying home when appropriate.
  • On scheduling and seating: The CDC recommends staggered scheduling, a back-up staffing plan and modified seating layouts to allow social distancing,
  • How schools will look: The guidelines call for physical barriers to be installed in some areas. Communal spaces should be closed.
  • New lunchtime rules: The CDC urges schools to "have children bring their own meals as feasible." If that's not possible, they should serve individually plated meals. Students should eat in classrooms instead of in a communal cafeterias, the guidelines say.