July 10 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Steve George, Laura Smith-Spark, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 0015 GMT (0815 HKT) July 11, 2020
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10:00 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Trump will travel to Florida's Miami-Dade County today, the state's coronavirus epicenter 

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

President Trump is set to travel to Florida today, landing squarely in the center of a coronavirus hotspot and taxing the already limited local health resources.

The President's first stops will be in Doral, where he will receive a briefing and deliver remarks at the US Southern Command and then motorcade to a church nearby to participate in a roundtable discussion with Venezuelans. Following these events, the President will attend a private fundraiser in Hillsboro Beach. He is not scheduled to participate in any events related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Doral, where US Southern Command is located, is just under two miles from the President's golf club. But it is also in Miami-Dade County, which is currently experiencing a coronavirus outbreak.

Officials in the county reported a staggering 33.5% Covid-19 positivity rate on Thursday, according to data released by Mayor Carlos Gimenez's office. 

The positivity rate  — that is, the percentage of people who test positive for the virus of those overall who have been tested  — is tracked daily by the county. 

Over the past 13 days, hospitalizations in Miami-Dade County have gone up by 76%, the number of ICU beds being used has increased by 86% and the use of ventilators has soared by 124%, according to the latest data from the county government.

A presidential visit  — no matter who is in office — requires a significant amount of resources, with White House officials, White House Medical Unit representatives and US Secret Service agents traveling in advance of the president to coordinate with local officials on the ground.

There is an extensive amount of medical preparation involved each time a president travels, with plans in place for the worst case scenario.

8:29 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

BioNTech says its Covid-19 vaccine will be ready by end of 2020, but global immunity may take a decade

From CNN Health's Gisela Crespo

The headquarters of German company BioNTech is pictured on April 22, in Mainz, Germany.
The headquarters of German company BioNTech is pictured on April 22, in Mainz, Germany. Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

German firm BioNTech is confident it will seek regulatory approval by the end of the year for a coronavirus vaccine, the company's CEO told The Wall Street Journal in an interview conducted Wednesday and published on Friday.

Dr. Ugur Sahin said that due to the spread of the virus, it could take about a decade for the world's population to achieve immunity, even if several vaccines become available at the same time. BioNTech has partnered with Pfizer in the US to develop the vaccine. 

“I assume that we will only be done with this virus when more than 90% of the global population will get immunity, either through infection or through a vaccine,” Sahin told the Journal.

Sahin added the company could produce several hundred million doses before approval and more than 1 billion doses by the end of 2021.

Last week, BioNTech and Pfizer announced that the Covid-19 vaccine in development had yielded positive data in early tests.

The companies shared their preliminary findings on July 1 in a pre-print paper that shows participants in a Phase 1/2 study of the vaccine, called BNT162b1, responded to the immunization and it was found to be well tolerated. The Phase 1/2 study is ongoing and the data has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

The preliminary data will help researchers determine a dose level for the vaccine, then select which of their multiple vaccine candidates to progress to a larger-scale global Phase 2/3 study, which could begin as early as this month, the companies said.

8:29 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Schools should consider ways to stay open even as Covid-19 spreads, pediatric doctors write

From CNN Health’s Jamie Gumbrecht

Pre-school students attend summer school sessions at Happy Day School in Monterey Park, California, on July 9.
Pre-school students attend summer school sessions at Happy Day School in Monterey Park, California, on July 9. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Adults, not children, appear to be key to spreading the coronavirus, and schools should give “serious consideration” to strategies that allow them to stay open even when the virus is spreading, two pediatric infectious disease specialists wrote in a commentary published Friday in the medical journal Pediatrics.

“Almost 6 months into the pandemic, accumulating evidence and collective experience argue that children, particularly school-aged children, are far less important drivers of SARSCoV-2 transmission than adults,” write Drs. Benjamin Lee and William Raszka Jr. of the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont.

They note several small studies have found children were rarely the first person in a household to become ill, including a separate paper published Friday in Pediatrics.

In that study, researchers from the University of Geneva in Switzerland found that, among 39 households where children became ill with Covid-19, children were believed to be the first case in only three households. In the 36 other households, the child developed symptoms after or at the same time as an adult in the home, “suggesting that the child was not the source of infection and that children most frequently acquire COVID-19 from adults, rather than transmitting it to them.”

It’s not clear why children would be less likely to transmit the virus to adults or other children. Lee and Raszka write that children may have milder symptoms, releasing fewer infectious particles, or they may have had few opportunities to become infected in the community, as many schools closed around the same time physical distancing orders went into place.

Schools, Lee and Raszka write, “may be less important in community transmission than initially feared.”

“Serious consideration should be paid toward strategies that allow schools to remain open, even during periods of COVID-19 spread,” they write. “In doing so, we could minimize the potentially profound adverse social, developmental, and health costs that our children will continue to suffer until an effective treatment or vaccine can be developed and distributed or, failing that, until we reach herd immunity.”

In guidance published last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics – the publisher of Pediatrics – recommended schools start with “a goal of having students physically present in school,” but said strategies may need to be revised depending on the level of viral transmission in the school and community. 

8:06 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

Italy will probably extend state of emergency, says PM

From CNN's Hada Messia in Rome

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte holds a press conference in Rome, Italy, on July 7.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte holds a press conference in Rome, Italy, on July 7. Antonio Masiello/Paolo Tre/Pool/Getty Images

Italy is likely to extend the state of emergency imposed in the country due to the coronavirus outbreak, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said.

Asked about reports that the government was considering extending the legislation until December 31, Conte said: “A decision still has to be taken, we need to consult with the cabinet ministers... it is probable that the state of emergency will be extended.”

Conte would not confirm whether the government was aiming for an extension until the end of the year.

Italy was one of the first European countries to be hit by the coronavirus and went into a state of emergency on January 31. The legal framework gives the government special powers to curb certain freedoms and access to additional resources to stop and contain the spread of Covid-19 and is currently valid until July 31.

7:58 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

More Spanish regions require the use of masks in public

From CNN's Laura Pérez Maestro and Al Goodman in Madrid

Catalan police officers patrol Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday, July 9, as the wearing of face masks in public became mandatory in the region.
Catalan police officers patrol Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday, July 9, as the wearing of face masks in public became mandatory in the region. Emilio Morenatti/AP

The government of Spain's western region of Extremadura is the latest to approve new rules to make the use of masks mandatory in its territory at all times in public. 

Starting at midnight on Saturday, "anyone in the region will have to wear a mask in public places whether they are outdoors or indoors and whether the safety distance can be maintained or not," an Extremadura government spokesman told CNN.

Extremadura is in the west of Spain, bordering Portugal.

The regions of Catalonia, whose capital is Barcelona, and the Balearic Islands announced similar measures earlier this week.

Wearing a mask in public places at all times, with few exceptions, has been mandatory in Catalonia since Thursday. In the Balearic Islands, a prime tourist destination in the Mediterranean, the new measure will take effect on Monday. 

The Spanish government already requires the use of masks in public places when 1.5 meters, or 5 feet, of distance cannot be maintained between individuals. It was among the measures to remain in effect even after the nation's three-month state of emergency confinement was lifted on June 21.

Spain's 17 regional governments have the right to add their own safety rules that go further than the national standards.

7:48 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

China suspends imports from 23 meat producers in US, Brazil, Germany and UK over coronavirus fears

From Steven Jiang and Shanshan Wang in Beijing and Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

A soldier of the German armed forces stands outside the headquarters of abattoir company Toennies, in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, western Germany, on June 19, amid a coronavirus outbreak at the plant.
A soldier of the German armed forces stands outside the headquarters of abattoir company Toennies, in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, western Germany, on June 19, amid a coronavirus outbreak at the plant. Ina Fassbender/AFP/Getty Images

China on Friday announced that it has suspended imports from 23 overseas meat companies in countries that include the United States, Brazil, Germany, and the United Kingdom due to coronavirus outbreaks at production facilities.

“In response to the recent outbreaks of cluster infections in meat and aquatic product companies in some countries, we have taken measures to suspend imports of their products,” said Bi Kexin, director of the Import and Export Food Safety Bureau at China’s General Administration of Customs. 

"As you may have noticed, we have suspended imports from 23 meat producers, including Toennies in Germany, Tyson in the United States, Agra in Brazil, and Tulip in the UK,” added Bi.

China had previously halted imports from a Tyson Foods plant over coronavirus fears in June, in what officials called a “cluster of Covid-19 infections among employees.”

7:35 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

WHO head slams "lack of leadership" and makes emotional call for global unity as cases mount

From CNN's Rob Picheta

The director-general of the World Health Organization has condemned a "lack of leadership" in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and made an emotional plea for global unity, as cases soar in multiple countries and the world struggles to contain the devastating virus more than six months after it was first identified.

"My friends, make no mistake: The greatest threat we face now is not the virus itself," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a passionate speech in Geneva on Thursday. "Rather, it's the lack of leadership and solidarity at the global and national levels."

His intervention will be seen as a thinly veiled swipe at leaders including US President Donald Trump, who has waged a public battle against WHO while failing to suppress the world's worst Covid-19 outbreak in his own country.

"This is a tragedy that is forcing us to miss many of our friends, losing many lives. We cannot defeat this pandemic as a divided world," Tedros said, his voice trembling as he spoke.

Read the full story here.

7:34 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

What we know about Covid-19 risks to school age children

From CNN's Faith Karimi

As coronavirus cases spike across the US, most parents are wondering whether it's safe to send their children back to school. But with most of the research and testing geared toward adults, the answer is complicated. 

US President Donald Trump has ramped up pressure on officials to reopen schools, saying decisions to remain closed are motivated by politics. But while some parents are eager to get back to some sort of normalcy, others are fearful their children might get exposed to infections.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued steps to keep children safe when schools reopen, including placing desks six feet apart, ensuring children wear face coverings and the closure of communal areas like dining rooms and playgrounds. 

Here's what we know about the risks to children:

  • Children are not immune to coronavirus: Children also test positive for coronavirus -- there's no question about that. And while they don't get as sick as adults, they can still become dangerously ill, experts say.
  • Their symptoms can differ from adults: In the US and the UK, hospitalized children between ages 2 and 15 had a condition doctors called multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Many of the children tested positive for Covid-19 or had its antibodies but they didn't necessarily have typical coronavirus symptoms such as respiratory distress. Their symptoms included a high temperature along with a rash, swollen neck glands, hands and feet, dry cracked lips and redness in both eyes.
  • Research focused on children is limited: "Covid-19 is so new that we don't have nearly enough research on it for adults, let alone for children," said Elizabeth Cohen, CNN's senior medical correspondent. "We can't say definitively that the risks of them returning to school are minimal."

Read the full story:

7:03 a.m. ET, July 10, 2020

US Marine in Australia tests positive for coronavirus 

From CNN’s Angus Watson in Sydney, Australia

A United States Marine tested positive for Covid-19 at Robertson Barracks in Darwin, Australia on July 8, according to the Australian Defence Department.

The Marine was tested on arrival into Darwin before entering quarantine on the barracks. His positive test was announced in a July 10 statement from the department.

“The Marine was due to take part in this year’s Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) visit,” the statement reads.

“Due to the strict procedures put in place before the arrival of the Marines, the Marine has had no direct contact with the general community,” the statement reads.

“All US personnel who arrived with the US Marine and may have interacted with the individual will continue to be monitored during their mandatory 14-day quarantine.”

Speaking on Friday Northern Territory Health Minister Natasha Fyles said the Marine is “in the process of being transferred from Robertson Barracks here to Royal Darwin Hospital where they will be cared for.”

“The information is still going through to United States authorities, noting the time difference.”