July 14 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George, Tara John, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 0450 GMT (1250 HKT) July 15, 2020
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6:35 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

Los Angeles County records highest single-day total for new cases and hospitalizations

From CNN's Sarah Moon

Los Angeles County reported its highest single-day total for new cases and hospitalizations Tuesday, the county’s public health department said in a statement.

The county recorded 4,244 new cases and 2,103 people were hospitalized. The county also reported 73 new fatalities, one of the highest numbers of new deaths reported in a single day, according to the statement.

“Today's numbers are alarming and unfortunately are the result of many businesses and individuals not adhering to the basic public health requirements of distancing and wearing face coverings,” Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.

Ferrer urged residents to stay home as much as possible, wear a face covering, wash their hands, and avoid close contact with people from outside households to help prevent the surge of coronavirus cases.

Los Angeles County, which has an approximate population of 10 million residents, has a total of 140,307 positive cases and 3,894 deaths.

The county is under California’s watch list. County health orders were modified on Monday to align with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s mandate to shut down gyms and fitness centers, places of worship, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops, and indoor malls.

6:22 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

Brazil surpassed 1.9 million Covid-19 cases

From Rodrigo Pedroso and Richard Allen Greene

Volunteers spray disinfectant in a Rio de Janeiro alleyway to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus on Sunday.
Volunteers spray disinfectant in a Rio de Janeiro alleyway to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus on Sunday. Leo Correa/AP

Brazil surpassed 1.9 million confirmed cases of novel coronavirus Tuesday after adding 41,857 in the past 24 hours, according to its health ministry.

The country now has 1,926,824 total confirmed cases, the second highest worldwide.

The ministry also reported 1,300 new fatalities from the virus, bringing the nationwide death toll to 74,133.

As of Tuesday, Latin America and the Caribbean have now recorded more coronavirus deaths than the United States and Canada, a CNN analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows, with Brazil the hardest-hit by the virus in Latin America.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who tested positive for Covid-19 last week, told CNN affiliate CNN Brasil that he will take another test again on Tuesday for Covid-19 to see if the virus is still active in his body.

6:33 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

Trust scientists and avoid "political nonsense" about Covid-19, Fauci advises

From CNN’s Jen Christensen and Lauren Mascarenhas

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said people should listen to scientists and trust that their advice can keep them safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I believe, for the most part, you can trust respected medical authorities. I believe I’m one of them, so I think you can trust me, but I would stick with respected medical authorities who have a track record of telling the truth, who have a track record of giving information and policy and recommendations based on scientific evidence and good data,” Fauci said Tuesday during a Georgetown University Global Health Initiative webinar. 

He said it is “entirely understandable” that the public can get mixed messages and that the messaging can confuse people on how best to keep themselves safe in a pandemic.

Asked by a student how young people could help de-politicize the rhetoric around the pandemic, Fauci said that it is very tough “except by not being part of the politicization.”

“Do your thing and don’t get involved in any of the political nonsense. That’s a waste of time, and a distraction,” he added.

Watch here:

6:08 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

Montana nursing home turned down free Covid-19 testing — now almost every resident is infected

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

Canyon Creek Memory Care is seen in Billings, Montana, on Friday.
Canyon Creek Memory Care is seen in Billings, Montana, on Friday. Matthew Brown/AP

Canyon Creek Memory Care, an assisted-living facility in Billings, Montana, was offered free, voluntary surveillance testing for residents and staff in May but declined, health officials said.

Now, almost all of the facility’s residents and some staff have Covid-19 and eight residents have died from the virus, officials said

On July 3, Canyon Creek Memory Care conducted Covid-19 testing on all of its residents and staff, according to a statement by Koelsch Senior Communities, the company that runs the facility.

The company said last week that 59 residents and 55 staff members were tested. Of those tested, 43 residents and 15 staff members tested positive for novel coronavirus.

Now, at least 55 residents and 36 staff members have tested positive, Pat Zellar, a spokesperson for RiverStone Health, Yellowstone County's public health department, told CNN.

CNN has reached out to Koelsch Senior Communities for a comment or explanation as to why the free testing was declined but did not immediately hear back. 

Montana has reported 34 Covid-19-related deaths to date, according to state data. Yellowstone County has 13 deaths to date, according to a RiverStone statement.

The eight deaths associated with the facility make up almost 25% of the state’s death toll and more than 60% of the county death toll.

5:56 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

Fauci highlights need for resources in minority communities hit harder by Covid-19

From CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Dr. Anthony Fauci addressed some of the factors that have led to a disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on minority groups in a Georgetown University event Tuesday.

He said that minorities often have limited economic and employment opportunities, and work more often in jobs that expose them to infection.

“They have less of a chance of sitting in front of a computer teleworking, as opposed to being outside with jobs that require exposure, so their chances of getting infected are greater than the general population,” he said. 

Fauci added that comorbidities, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, also play a role.  

“When they do get infected, given the social determinants of medicine that have been around for so long, they have a much greater incidence and prevalence of comorbidities, which lead to a poor outcome,” he said.

Fauci said it is important to start concentrating resources in minority communities, “so that they could have easy access to testing, better access to health care. So that if and when they do get infected they can get into proper care early enough to maybe mitigate some of the negative consequences.” 

Eliminating health disparities will require a decade-long commitment, he said.

“You're not going to do that overnight. There are so many things that you can do to modify the reasons why they have more hypertension, they have more diabetes, they have more obesity,” said Fauci. “So we can do stuff now, and we can make a commitment to do things in the long run.”

5:50 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

US system, with powerful state governments, had disadvantage in fighting pandemic, Fauci says

From CNN's Jen Christensen

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said some countries have been more effective at managing the pandemic than the US because they shut down almost entirely. That could not happen in the US, with 50 different states as well as territories.

“We have a very large, in a very heterogeneous country, with different risks, in different places geographically and demographically. And in reality, even though we locked down considerably, we only locked down, the estimate is somewhere around 50 to 55% or so,” Fauci said Tuesday during the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative webinar.

The US relies on the independence of states and that works to the country’s advantage in other circumstances, Fauci said. “Possibly, that really was a little bit of disadvantage here,” Fauci said. “Very difficult to make a definitive comment about the contribution that paid for the difference between what we see here and what we see in Europe.”

When Europe first had an outbreak and the cases peaked, countries there were able to drive down transmission because they were truly locked down, Fauci said. “They really did go down from thousands of infections to handfuls or so of infections; whereas in the United States, if you look at our curve, for better or worse, we went up. We peaked. We came down and we never really came all the way down to baseline.”

The US stayed around 20,000 new cases a day, until the most recent surge and then the cases numbers went up to about 60,000 a day.

“So, the issue is we never got down to the baseline. So that when you started to open up, you had relatively few amounts of infections to deal with, whereas when we opened up now, you’re seeing the surge.”

5:35 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

More than 10,000 coronavirus cases reported in Texas

From CNN's Raja Razek

Texas reported 10,745 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, a record high daily number. 

The state has a total of 275,058 Covid-19 cases, and at least 3,322 people have died from the virus. 

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

5:32 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

North Carolina officials warn how no masks or social distancing led to 41 people getting Covid-19

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson and Jamiel Lynch

In a graphic shared on Twitter, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services described how Covid-19 spread through nine families and eight workplaces after a gathering of more than 20 people with no masks and no social distancing in Catawba County.

The graphic depicts how far the virus spread in 16 days.

“This is how #COVID19 spreads. In Catawba County, a gathering of 20+ people w/ no masks or social distancing led to 14 people becoming infected. Those people were unaware they were infected. This set into motion a chain that affected 41 people in 9 families & 8 workplaces," the tweet read.

5:16 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

Louisiana governor says officials still deciding whether in-person instruction will return in the fall

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Vice President Mike Pence takes off his mask to speak with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, left, at a roundtable discussion Tuesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Vice President Mike Pence takes off his mask to speak with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, left, at a roundtable discussion Tuesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Gerald Herbert/AP

Louisiana’s governor and US senators joined Vice President Mike Pence and key members of the coronavirus task force in a news conference Tuesday — but it quickly became clear they all have different priorities when it comes to reopening schools.

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards told reporters state officials are still deciding whether public schools will be able to return to in-person instruction in the fall.

“Our plan is to open as many... as we can safely do,” Edwards said. “It's not going to be easy, and not without controversy.”

But GOP Sen. John Kennedy expressed assurance that schools should have kids back in classrooms in the fall.

“Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Austria, South Korea, Japan — even Vietnam, for God's sake — have opened their schools, and they've done so safely,” Kennedy said. “And so can America, and so should America."

After the governor said Louisiana would be looking to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help them make a decision on schools, Pence responded: “We don’t want CDC guidance to be a reason why people don’t reopen their schools ... but we support Gov. John Bel Edwards and his health officials’ decisions, and we courage people to heed the guidance of state and local authorities.”