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
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5:10 p.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Illinois reports more than 1,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Kay Jones and Brad Parks 

At least 1,018 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Illinois, bringing the total to approximately 150,450, according to the state's Department of Public Health.

The state also reported 20 new deaths – bringing the total to at least 7,119. 

Today marked the highest testing day since the pandemic began, with 36,180 tests returned on Thursday. More than 1.8 million tests have been conducted since the start of the pandemic, the health department said.

Additionally, there are about 1,507 people in the hospital and 317 patients in intensive care due to the virus, according to the health department. 

Note: These numbers were released by the Illinois’ public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

5:04 p.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Kentucky governor issues order mandating masks in public

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear puts on a face mask after speaking to reporters at the Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky, on May 11.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear puts on a face mask after speaking to reporters at the Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky, on May 11. Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader/AP/FILE

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order mandating that people must wear a face covering or mask in public in certain situations.

The order goes into effect Friday at 5 p.m.

According to the governor, the order requires all customers in retail facilities to wear a mask, customers in grocery stores must wear a mask, and customers in most forward facing businesses have to wear a mask if they are indoors.

Additionally, if someone is outside and cannot be six feet away from another person, they also need to wear a mask.

“Now it's not just us that thinks that this is the right move. The National Retail Federation and the Kentucky Retail Association specifically asked us to take this action. This is the National Retail Federation, that wanted us to open and they want to stay open. They're now at 50%. They don't want to go back. They've asked every governor to require every individual, that's not encumbered by a medical condition, to wear masks when shopping in public places,” Beshear said. “This is to protect the employees, to protect the businesses and to protect the customers themselves.”

The order will be in effect for 30 days, according to Beshear.

“I want to see how well we can do in 30 days,” the governor added. “Our future and what we can do in the state, how our economy rebounds, how safe people are going to be, the health and the lives of Kentuckians all depends on our ability to wear one of these."

5:03 p.m. ET, July 9, 2020

CDC director says Covid-19 is a "wake up call" that points to inequity in the public health care system

From CNN’s Jen Christensen

The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention views the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to rebuild a better public health care system.

“In every crisis there is an opportunity,” Dr. Robert Redfield said during a virtual summit hosted by the Hill. “I think this Covid crisis is an opportunity.”

The pandemic provides a chance to “finally make the commitment it needs to make” to prepare the public health system to work better in the US, he said.

“I think the other great opportunity is, to this nation, to understand that we need to have meaningful, meaningful progress in our efforts to impact social health care disparity in this nation. The Covid virus has obviously exploited it,” Redfield said.

The higher hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 among the Native American, Alaska Natives, African American, Hispanic and Latino communities, he said, is not due to anything intrinsic.

“It’s actually a marker of the health disparity that exists in this nation for far too long,” he said. Statistics show these communities suffer more from health issues including diabetes, lung disease, heart and kidney disease and obesity. Poverty also plays a large role in these chronic inequities, he said.

“Clearly, you know, it’s a wake-up call to say are we serious about trying to truly impact health disparities so that there’s equity in health in this nation,” Redfield said.

4:58 p.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Colorado governor says mask wearing is key to economic recovery in the state

From CNN's Kay Jones

Colorado Governor's office
Colorado Governor's office

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said the key to the economic recovery in the state is for people to wear a mask.

Polis ordered all bars and nightclubs to close again last week for the month of July. He said that they won't see the impact from those closures for another week or two. 

During a news conference, he reiterated multiple times how important it is to wear a mask. He said that wearing one will not only save lives but also the economy. 

"The bottom line is the key to greater economic and social activity is wearing a mask," Polis said. 

He said that while the state has the ability to enforce the business level requirements for mask wearing, he is relying on local partners to enforce them in their cities and counties. 

"If you are waiting to wear a mask until the governor tells you to, I hope you've heard that I'm telling you, and I've made it clear: Wear a damn mask," Polis said.

4:43 p.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Big Ten Conference to play conference-only schedule this fall

From CNN's Jabari Jackson

The Big Ten Conference has announced all fall sports, including football, will participate in a conference-only schedule due to health and safety concerns surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement released on Thursday, the conference outlined its reason for the decision by saying, it "will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season” while allowing for fluid decision-making based on the most current medical advice. 

In addition, summer athletic activities will continue to be voluntary in all sports currently permitted. Student-athletes who decide not to play citing Covid-19 concerns will have “their scholarship honored by their institution and will remain in good standing with their team.” 

Other sports included in this model are men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. No decision has been made on any other sports at this time.

The conference-only football schedule means that games like Ohio State at Oregon and Michigan at Washington, both scheduled for this fall, are canceled.

4:32 p.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Some Ohio counties are trending in the wrong direction, governor says

From CNN's Lauren del Valle

 Gov. Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine The Ohio Channel

Many counties in Ohio are seeing an increase in cases and hospitalizations due to Covid-19, Gov. Mike DeWine announced in a news conference Thursday. 

DeWine reiterated the mask mandate announced earlier this week for Ohio counties in the “red” zone, which indicates they’re experiencing an increase in cases and hospitalizations. 

“When they’re red, we have problems. Trend lines are all the wrong direction,” the governor said. 

Testing in several counties has shown a significant increase in contraction from “non-congregate” settings, which DeWine said means there’s an uptick in community-spread transmission.

On reopening schools: DeWine said his administration will encourage high levels of testing and provide additional funding to both public and private institutions to aid in the expense attached to taking additional precautions against the virus.

DeWine said he is working with legislators to approve the allocation of $200 million to higher education institutions and $100 million to K-12 schools from federal CARES act funding granted to Ohio. 

4:28 p.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Schools must reopen because keeping them closed would be a "greater public health threat," CDC chief says

From CNN’s Jen Christensen

Dr. Robert Redfield
Dr. Robert Redfield Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/FILE

Schools must reopen, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said Thursday.

If schools were to stay closed, it would be a “greater public health threat,” Redfield said.

“I cannot overstate how important I think it is now to get our schools in this nation reopened,” Redfield said during a virtual summit hosted by the Hill. “The reason I push it is because I truly believe it’s the public health benefit of these kids."

"Having the schools actually close is a greater public health threat to children than having the schools reopen," he said.

The virus is not much of a threat to most children, Redfield said.

“I don’t think we should go overboard in trying to develop a system that doesn’t recognize the reality that this virus really is relatively benign to those of us that are under the age of 20,” Redfield said. “The greatest risk this virus causes is if there was an individual that was vulnerable in that group, like my grandson, or if there was an individual that was vulnerable like a teacher and this is why in the process we need to protect the vulnerable.”  

Redfield said his grandson has cystic fibrosis. He said he is confident schools can reopen safely and they must reopen.

Redfield said the CDC will work with states and local jurisdictions to make sure schools can follow the CDC’s school reopening guidelines.

“I’m firmly committed to do this and work with local jurisdictions that do this safely,” Redfield said.

4:30 p.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Kentucky judge issues statewide temporary restraining order against governor's Covid-19 mandates

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader/AP/FILE

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced today that a Scott Circuit Judge ordered Gov. Andy Beshear to cease issuing or enforcing executive orders related to Covid-19, unless the orders meet specific criteria for an emergency as outlined by state law, a statement from the attorney general’s office said.

According to the statement, the judge stated that in order to issue and enforce executive orders related to Covid-19, the governor has to “specify the state of emergency that requires the executive order, the location of the emergency, and the name of the local emergency management agency that has determined that the emergency is beyond its capabilities.”

“The Governor cannot issue broad, arbitrary executive orders apart from the requirements of state law, and the Judge agreed by today issuing a statewide temporary restraining order,” Cameron said in the statement.

“This is a clear win for the rule of law and will help Kentucky families and businesses across the Commonwealth who have suffered and continue to suffer financial losses and economic hardship because of the Governor’s executive orders," the statement added.

Some background: Last week, the attorney general joined the lawsuit, which challenges Beshear’s use of executive power during the pandemic and was initially filed by Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles and Evans Orchard and Cider Mill, LLC, an agritourism business. 

4:15 p.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Here's what a NFL preseason game day will look like

From CNN's David Close and Jabari Jackson

In a league-wide memo sent to the 32 teams on Wednesday night and obtained by CNN, the National Football League has outlined specific game day protocols for the upcoming preseason.

With the exception of players and coaches, everyone on the sideline bench area will be required to wear a mask. Those players not substituting into the game are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. The league says it will provide disposable masks within the bench area.

The cover letter accompanying the 11-page memorandum states that the NFL Players Association has agreed to the game mandates. It also acknowledges that the protocols surrounding the screening and testing of players has yet to be finalized.

On Tuesday, union president and Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter tweeted, “The NFLs unwillingness to follow the recommendations of its own experts will put this season and the safety of all players at risk.”

Here's what else was included in the guidelines:

  • All players, coaches and staff must maintain a physical distance of at least six feet within the bench area and during post-game interactions. Players are prohibited from signing autographs or taking photos with fans. 
  • Players, coaches and staff are not allowed to share towels, food or clothing and will no longer be allowed to swap jerseys after the preseason games.
  • All on-the-field entertainment, including mascots and cheerleaders, will need to be approved by the NFL and required to pass screening and Covid-19 testing before performing. 
  • All home teams are required to overnight at a team hotel prior to the next day’s game.

Some players reacted to the protocols on social media – specifically the ban of jersey exchanges. 

The San Francisco 49ers Richard Sherman tweeted on Thursday, “This is a perfect example of NFL thinking in a nutshell. Players can go engage in a full contact game and do it safely. However, it is deemed unsafe for them to exchange jerseys after said game.”

Philadelphia Eagles Darius Slay posted Thursday, “So we can tackle each other for 60min but can’t exchange jersey that takes 2 mins.”