Coronavirus pandemic: Updates from around the world

By Nectar Gan, Brett McKeehan, Rob Picheta and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 0010 GMT (0810 HKT) July 12, 2020
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4:49 p.m. ET, July 11, 2020

Louisiana will require masks due to increase of Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Kay Jones

Louisiana will implement a statewide mask order for everyone 8 and older, Gov. John Bel Edwards said during a press conference Saturday.

Edwards also announced that bars throughout the state will closed for on-site consumption.

The Executive Order announcing these new changes will be signed Saturday, Edwards said, and all changes go into effect at 12:01 a.m. CST Monday morning. 

Parishes in the state can opt out of the mask mandate if they don't have a high positivity rate, but Edwards said only three would qualify to do so right now. 

We know that face masks work," Edwards said. "It really is that simple."

Edwards said he is closing the bars to on-site consumption, but allowing curbside pickup, because of the uptick in cases traced to the bars. At least 36 outbreaks have been traced to bars, with more than 400 people testing positive who were in those bars.

Edwards said that any social gathering will be limited to 50 people indoors and outdoors. Many of the new cases are being traced to gatherings such as informal backyard gatherings, he said. 

Louisiana has seen Covid-19 cases rise in the recent weeks, with positivity rates hovering above 10% a majority of the past week. As CNN previously reported, Friday saw the highest day of new cases since the pandemic began. 

Obviously, we hope to avoid going backwards. We hope to avoid closing businesses again," Edwards said. "What we cannot do is go back to a time where we're running out of hospital beds and ventilators."

Patients hospitalized due to the virus have steadily increased over the past two weeks.

"We cannot risk losing our capacity to deliver lifesaving care," Edwards said.

He said the steps announced today are not the steps he wanted to take, but that they are essential. 

Phase 2 for Louisiana is set to expire on July 24. Edwards said that officials will look at the data and decide what happens after that date.

4:48 p.m. ET, July 11, 2020

Covid-19 cases within a Florida fire department doubled in less than a week

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

The number of positive coronavirus cases in the Broward County Sheriff's Office Department of Fire Rescue in southern Florida went from 17 Monday to 34 Friday, according to Jason Smith, president of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF).

 We're growing every day in numbers," Smith told CNN. 

Smith said he sent a letter on Thursday to Fire Chief Joseph Fernandez and Sheriff Gregory Tony, who ultimately oversees the fire department. The letter listed concerns and the need for help with contact tracing, mass testing every two weeks and decontamination stations for fire fighters and paramedics, according to the letter obtained by CNN's Rosa Flores. 

The sheriff and fire chief have "been silent," Smith said.

"We're spreading it amongst ourselves and people are significantly sick, very sick," Smith said.  

In a statement, BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said the letter "has been received and is being reviewed." 

"We appreciate the suggestions from the union as we all work together on solutions to keep our employees and the public safe. Sheriff Gregory Tony has directed our fire rescue chief to provide him with a comprehensive plan to address the concerns of our firefighter/paramedics," Coleman-Wright said.

Smith says one in 24 fire department employees are currently positive, but the IAFF-completed testing on July 5 and 6 "will show that number will be more like one in 15 are positive," Smith's letter says.  

Broward County is currently second in the state for coronavirus cases with 28,253 as of Saturday, state health officials report. Broward County is Florida's second-most populous county with 1.9 million people and home to the city of Fort Lauderdale.

A spokesperson for Broward County deferred to the Department of Fire Rescue for comment; BSOFR did not comment beyond BSO's statement. 

CNN has reached out the Florida Department of Health for data on infected first responders.  

4:47 p.m. ET, July 11, 2020

US coronavirus cases now total 3.2 million

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

A nurse prepares to administer a coronavirus test in Omaha, Nebraska, on July 10.
A nurse prepares to administer a coronavirus test in Omaha, Nebraska, on July 10. Nati Harnik/AP

Since the pandemic began, there have been 3,225,721 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University.

For comparison, the 3.2 million cases would make it the third-largest city in the United States – second only to New York with 8.3 million people and Los Angeles with 3.9 million, according to population estimates from the US Census Bureau.

3:53 p.m. ET, July 11, 2020

Wisconsin reports highest single-day Covid-19 increase

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 926 new cases of Covid-19 Saturday, the highest increase in new positive cases to date, according to a tweet from the agency. 

Yesterday was the previous highest single day case increase, the tweet said, with 845 new positive cases reported Friday, the tweet said. 

A total of 35,679 positive cases have been reported statewide. There are currently 3,797 people hospitalized in the state, with 31 new hospitalizations reported Saturday.

4:49 p.m. ET, July 11, 2020

Augusta mayor issues executive order mandating face coverings in public places

From CNN's Hollie Silverman  

Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. issued an executive order Friday mandating the use of face coverings in public places in Augusta, Georgia.

The executive order specifically requires the use of facial coverings or masks in all public places and government buildings in Augusta-Richmond county, a summary of the order posted to the mayor's Twitter account said.

"All persons entering a commercial establishment as a consumer, and all employees working in a commercial establishment (including but not limited to, restaurants, retail stores, salons, grocery stores, and pharmacies) in Augusta-Richmond County are required to wear a face covering while having face-to-face- interaction with each party," the order said.

The order does not apply to religious establishments, although they are encouraged to use face coverings and masks when engaging in religious activity, the order said. 

If a person does not have a mask when entering a government building they will be provided one but if they refuse to wear it they will be denied entry to the building, according to the order.

More details: Face coverings are not required in certain situations, including during outdoor physical activity provided that all individuals at all times maintain a minimum of six feet between others they do not live with.

They are also not required while eating, drinking or smoking, or if a person is 10 years of age or younger.

There are currently 1,563 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Richmond County, according to the Georgia Department of Health website. Sixty people have died in the county and there are 256 people hospitalized, the website said.

3:03 p.m. ET, July 11, 2020

Colombia reports record number of daily Covid-19 deaths and cases

From CNN's Tatiana Arias

Funeral workers prepare to cremate a coronavirus victim at Serafin cemetary near Bogota, Colombia, on July 4.
Funeral workers prepare to cremate a coronavirus victim at Serafin cemetary near Bogota, Colombia, on July 4. Vannessa Jimenez G/NurPhoto/AP

Colombia's Ministry of Health reported a record number of new Covid-19 cases and deaths yesterday.

The ministry reported 6,803 new cases and 211 deaths on Friday. The new numbers bring the country's total number of Covid-19 cases to 140,776 and 4,925 deaths, according to health data.

Due to the recent surge in cases, authorities announced on Friday the implementation of new lockdown measures, based on geographic zones, for the capital city, Bogota, where most of the cases are reported.

Additionally, the national government announced the extension of the nationwide quarantine through August 1.

"Absolutely everything will be shut-down. We will suspend authorizations on all private construction happening in those locations – on any industries there, of trade and non-essential goods. In those locations, a 15-day quarantine will be imposed as we did at the beginning of the quarantine. Everyone will stay at home," Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez said during a news conference on Friday.

Colombia is the fifth hardest hit country by the virus in Latin America following Mexico.

2:25 p.m. ET, July 11, 2020

CDC now estimates that 40% of people infected with Covid-19 don't have any symptoms

From CNN's Gisela Crespo and Arman Azad

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated guidance meant for public health officials and mathematical modelers, which now estimates that 40% of people infected with Covid-19 show no symptoms. 

Back in May, the CDC created five "Covid-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios," using data to provide a range of possible situations for Covid-19 in the US. The updated scenarios are based on new data the agency received through June 29. The agency also underscores these estimates are subject to change as more information becomes available, and exact numbers are uncertain. 

Under the CDC's "current best estimate," 40% of people with Covid-19 are asymptomatic. This number is up from the 35% the agency estimated on May 20. The percent of asymptomatic cases remains uncertain, the CDC emphasized.

The CDC is now including an infection fatality ratio, which takes into account both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases (in the estimates published in May, the agency only included fatality ratio for symptomatic cases). Under the "best estimate" scenario, the infection fatality ratio is 0.65%, meaning that 0.65% of people infected with Covid-19 are thought to die.

More insight: About half of Covid-19 transmissions happen before people get sick; this is up from the 40% estimate in May.

Under the CDC's current "best estimate," the transmissibility of the virus from asymptomatic people -- in comparison to people with no symptoms -- is now 75%, down from 100%. However, the agency said this "remains highly uncertain as asymptomatic cases are difficult to identify and transmission is difficult to observe and quantify."

The agency warns this information is "intended to support public health preparedness and planning."

2:23 p.m. ET, July 11, 2020

Vermont reports its lowest 7-day positivity average

From CNN's Hollie Silverman 

The state of Vermont has a seven day positivity average of 0.5%, the lowest in the country, Gov. Phil Scott said in a tweet Saturday.

Scott encouraged Vermonters to "remain vigilant" and continue to wear a mask when it's not possible to physically distance. 

Vermont Department of Health has reported a total of 1,283 cases and 56 deaths, according to its website.

Only six new cases were reported Saturday and two people are currently hospitalized, the department said. 

A total of 75,032 people have been tested in the state, according to the department's website.

2:23 p.m. ET, July 11, 2020

Coronavirus deaths in the US surpass 134,000

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

There are at least 3,210,955 cases of coronavirus in the US; at least 134,349 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases in the country.

As of 2 p.m. ET Saturday, 26,382 new cases and 257 new deaths have been reported in the US since midnight.

The totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.