July 12 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 0354 GMT (1154 HKT) July 13, 2020
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12:06 p.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Florida reports more than 15,000 new cases of Covid-19

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

People are tested for Covid-19 at a drive-through testing site operated by the Florida Department of Health in Kissimmee, Florida, on July 11.
People are tested for Covid-19 at a drive-through testing site operated by the Florida Department of Health in Kissimmee, Florida, on July 11. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/Sipa/AP

Florida health officials on Sunday reported 15,300 new Covid-19 cases, a record for the state, according to data posted on the Florida Department of Health (DOH) website. 

The previous high for the state was on July 4 with 11,434, according to Johns Hopkins University data. 

Florida's current positivity rate is 19.60%, according to Johns Hopkins. 

There were 45 additional Covid-19 related deaths bringing the state total to 4,346. There have been 18,271 patients hospitalized in the state throughout the pandemic. Florida cases now total 269,811, DOH reports. 

11:24 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

This Pennsylvania county reported no new deaths from Covid-19

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where Pittsburgh is located, says there were no new deaths from Covid-19 cases, according to a press release issued Sunday from the Allegheny County Health Department. 

The county announced 200 new Covid-19 cases and eight new hospitalizations, the release said. 

The positive test results are from June 26 through July 11, according to the release. 

One thing to note: The figures listed were released by the Allegheny County Health Department and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.


10:58 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Maryland conducted a record number of Covid-19 tests over the last 24 hours, governor says

From CNN's Sheena Jones

The state of Maryland conducted more than 21,000 Covid-19 tests over the last 24 hours, Gov. Larry Hogan said today in a statement.

The governor said this is a record number of tests for the state.

Maryland has a total of 73,109 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 3,188 deaths related to the virus. 

Of the people tested over the last seven days the state has a 4.45% positivity rate, the governor said.

One thing to note: The numbers listed were released by the state of Maryland and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

11:50 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Nancy Pelosi calls education secretary's comments on schools a "dereliction of duty"

From CNN's Alison Main


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called comments from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on schools reopening during the pandemic a "dereliction of duty."

In the interview with CNN today, DeVos refused to say whether schools should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on reopening. Pelosi told CNN that everyone, including teachers and parents, want children to go back to school in the fall, but that it must be done safely.  

"When you hear what the administration is saying, we know that they have no appreciation for the failure that has brought us to this point. Going back to school presents the biggest risk for the spread of the coronavirus. They ignore science and they ignore governance in order to make this happen," Pelosi said.

Pelosi said the CDC's guidelines should be mandated nationally by the administration, claiming that the administration has the authority to do so, just as a governor can require masks and social distancing in his or her state. She also told CNN that she hopes Republicans will join with Democrats in calling for President Trump to implement the Defense Production Act to ensure more personal protective equipment, testing materials and other supplies are available.


10:40 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Education secretary won't say if schools should listen to CDC guidelines on reopening

From CNN's Sarah Westwood


Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Sunday tried to argue both that schools should open nationwide and that local officials should be the ones making decisions about reopening, claiming that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines are only meant to be applied as “appropriate.”

“What we’re saying is that kids need to be back in school, and that school leaders across the country need to be making plans to do just that,” DeVos told CNN. “There is going to be the exception to the rule. But the rule should be that kids go back to school this fall. And where there are little flare-ups or hot spots, that can be dealt with on a school-by-school or a case-by-case basis.”

In pushing so aggressively for nationwide school openings this fall, DeVos joined President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, both of whom this week argued the administration would pursue in-person classroom learning to the extent possible so working parents could get back to the office. 

Some context: The CDC has issued some guidance for schools looking to bring back their students in the next few months, such as spacing desks six feet apart and staggering arrivals. But DeVos stressed that the CDC guidelines are not mandatory, and said schools should have the flexibility to implement only the ones that make sense.

“The CDC guidelines are just that, meant to be flexible and meant to be applied as appropriate for the situation," she said.

10:16 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

New York state is monitoring a Covid-19 uptick linked to Georgia

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York state is closely monitoring an uptick in Covid-19 cases in Rensselaer County – a number of which are being investigated as being linked to several individuals who tested positive for the virus after returning from Georgia, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said in a news release.

“They are in isolation and the New York State Department of Health and Rensselaer County Health Department are conducting contact tracing,” the release said. 

More context: Georgia is one of several states on New York’s travel advisory list, which requires individuals traveling from certain qualifying states to quarantine upon return.

Of the tests conducted statewide yesterday, 677, or 1.08%, were positive, the governor’s office said.

Covid-19 deaths matched the state's previous low, with five reported in the state Saturday.

10:01 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Scotland won’t rule out imposing travel restrictions on visitors from England

From CNN's Schams Elwazer

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hinted at the possibility of asking visitors from England to quarantine on arrival in Scotland. 

Speaking to the BBC, Sturgeon said that imposing quarantine restrictions for English travelers is “not something we have decided to do at this stage, it’s not something I am immediately planning to do, but I will take decisions the best I can to protect the health of Scotland and to take that absolutely from a public health perspective.”

Sturgeon said that Scottish officials would “take a very close look” at making sure the virus isn’t brought into the country by people arriving from other parts of the UK. 

Surgeon also added that the decision to quarantine English travelers is “not political, it’s not constitutional, it’s just taking a similar view to countries across the world in terms of protecting populations from the risk of the virus.”

Some context: This decision comes after Scotland — which is one of the four nations of the UK along with England, Wales and Northern Ireland — opted against easing lockdown restrictions as quickly as England due to fears of a second phase.

Sturgeon has been critical of Boris Johnson’s tactics in handling the pandemic, recently calling the British government's decision-making process during the crisis "shambolic."

10:01 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Major League Soccer postpones match due to "unconfirmed" positive Covid-19 test by players

From CNN's Jabari Jackson

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire/AP
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire/AP

DC United and Toronto FC’s match on Sunday has been postponed due to an “initial unconfirmed” positive coronavirus test for one player and an “inconclusive test” for another.

Under Major League Soccers' health and safety protocols, teams are tested the day before each match, MLS said in a statement.

"The results of yesterday’s tests for DS United and Toronto FC produced an initial unconfirmed positive Covid-19 case for one player and an inconclusive test for another player. Because of the arrival time of the clubs in Orlando, the league’s protocol called for retesting both teams this morning and to await the results of those tests prior to playing the match," the league said.

MLS said it will "continue to prioritize the health and safety of all participants of the MLS is Back Tournament in making these decisions.”

DC United and Toronto FC were scheduled to kick off at 9 a.m. ET in Orlando, Florida.

9:42 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

73 UK farm workers contract coronavirus

From Samantha Tapfumaneyi in London

At least 73 key workers working for vegetable producers AS Green and Co based in the town of Mathon in the west of England have tested positive for the coronavirus during an outbreak among their workforce, according to joint statement from the Herefordshire Council and Public Health Midlands (West).

The whole group of around 200 workers are “being treated as one extended bubble” and are being asked to self-isolate on the farm to reduce the spread of the virus, the statement said.

“While Herefordshire is the first to experience an outbreak of this kind, this is not unexpected. Our priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of all residents in our community," Karen Wright, the director of Public Health for Herefordshire, said. “Prompt testing on the farm has allowed us to understand transmission and control the spread of infection."