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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2:58 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

California sees record-setting hospitalizations and ICU admissions

From CNN's Sarah Moon


Hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions for coronavirus patients continue to rise in California, setting a new record with a total of 6,745 hospitalizations and 1,886 ICU admissions, according to data from the California Department of Public Health.

The state reported 260 new hospitalizations on Tuesday, which reflects a 4% increase from Monday. There was an increase of 53 new ICU patients, reflecting a 2.9% rise from Monday.

The majority of the hospitalizations are in Los Angeles County, according to the public health agency.

The state added 7,346 new positive cases, a 2.2% increase from the previous day. The total of cases statewide stands at 336,508

There were 47 new deaths, a 0.7% increase from the previous day, bringing the statewide total to 7,087. 

The positivity rate over a two-week period is 7.1%, according to the public health agency.


2:29 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

US has made gains on Covid-19 testing, but it's not yet time to do a "happy dance," CDC director says

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said although the United States has made major gains when it comes to coronavirus testing, it’s not time yet to do a “happy dance.” 

“I think is a critical area; we need to continue to improve it. I think we've made enormous progress from eight to 12 weeks ago, but that's not to say that we should do a happy dance to say that we've got this done,” Redfield said Tuesday during a webinar with the Buck Institute. 

“The reality is that the need for testing is obviously still there," he added.

Redfield said having to wait a week to get results back won’t do any good, as “by the time you take the test results back they are no longer actionable."

The goal, he said, is to get results back in 48 to 72 hours.  

“I can just tell you we're continuing to work to try to continue to expand that,” Redfield added. 

2:25 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

Boston mayor slams Trump administration over college students' visa rules 

From CNN's Carma Hassan

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a press conference at Boston City Hall on July 2.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a press conference at Boston City Hall on July 2. Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald/Getty Images

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who is a Democrat, talked about the federal court hearing scheduled this afternoon over the Department of Homeland Security’s plan to deny visas to international students taking online college classes. 

“This country has needed all along a White House and an Administration that takes the virus as seriously as the vast majority of American people do. At the very least we need leaders who don’t put up barriers to states and cities that are trying to protect their residents and restore their economies,” Walsh said. “And we need to avoid at all costs politicizing a pandemic and dividing people at a time when acting together is a matter of life and death.”

Walsh said he and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti led a group of cities to file an amicus brief in support of Harvard and MIT’s lawsuit to stop the policy. 

“My message is clear and has been clear: this policy has no basis in public health or national interest. It’s an attempt to put pressure on colleges and universities to open up. It puts politics in the place of public health,” Walsh said. “It’s not fair to students who looked to Boston as a place of educational opportunity and it’s a blow to our economy at a time when we can least afford it.”

The mayor said there are 70,000 international students in Massachusetts, the majority of whom live or study in Boston, and they contribute roughly $3.2 billion to the state’s economy and support 39,000 jobs.

Remember: Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced last week that international students who are pursuing degrees in the US will have to leave the country or risk deportation if their universities switch to online-only courses.

The move may affect thousands of foreign students who come to the United States to attend universities or participate in training programs, as well as non-academic or vocational studies.

2:03 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

Palm Beach County will close restaurants and bars at 11 p.m. ET tonight

From CNN’s Randi Kaye

Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner said he’s going to stop alcohol and food sales after 11 p.m. ET to try and curb the spread of coronavirus in his county.

“I don’t think it’s a big move, it’s good public policy right now since we’ve seen broader compliance around county, we want to keep that momentum going forward,” he told CNN. 

“We have experienced increased levels of compliance in our county, the one difficulty we had was restaurants turning into bars and DJ clubs after midnight. By having a broad restriction on these facilities being open after 12, it will make it much easier to enforce against these bad actors,” Kerner said.

With the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and large establishments in the county lending their support to Kerner, he said that restaurant owners are willing to support the mayor’s decision.

“There’s a lot that concerns me, the growing numbers ... also our positivity rate day over day has started to decline. It’s aspirational right now, but it’s turned and it’s a positive sign. I’m encouraged by the compliance that the community has demonstrated so far," Kerner said.

1:41 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

Masks are key to reopening schools, CDC director says

From CNN's Amanda Watts

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said the key to opening schools is masks, saying “the data is really clear — they work.” 

Speaking during a Buck Institute briefing on Tuesday, Redfield said the CDC will be coming out with some additional resources this week on how to reopen schools.

One of the resources will look at “how to really take advantage of face coverings. Because to me, face coverings are the key. If you really look at it, the data is really clear — they work,” Redfield said. 

“We're not defenseless against this virus. We actually have face coverings and I do think the more confidence that the American public has — that face coverings are not a symbol, but they're actually a very important preventive intervention that can really block this virus,” he said.  

Redfield added, “we are getting more and more data so I can be more and more aggressive in relating that.” 

Redfield said some of the other resources will be aimed toward parents to help them make decisions on whether to send their kids to schools. The other will be aimed at school administrators on how to keep schools safe.  

See if your state requires people to wear masks when out in public here.

3:06 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

GOP senator defends Fauci: "Any effort to undermine him is not going to be productive"

From CNN's Ali Zaslav

 Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP
 Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close ally of President Trump, defended Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday after the White House made a concerted effort to discredit the infectious disease expert this past weekend.

“We don't have a Dr. Fauci problem,” Graham said at a news conference in Columbia, South Carolina. “We need to be focusing on doing things that get us to where we need to go. So, I have all the respect in the world for Dr. Fauci. I think any effort to undermine him is not going to be productive, quite frankly."

“Getting in a contest with Dr. Fauci about whether he was right or wrong, doesn't move the ball forward,” Graham added. 

The South Carolina lawmaker went on to say that it’s more important to focus on where the US is as a nation right now.

"The infection rate is going up. We shut the whole country down. It’s time to open up smartly… We have to deal with reality that we’re not as prepared as we need to be, but moving in the right direction," he said.

Graham said the US needs “better testing” and urged the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force “to do whatever they can to ramp up the components of testing” because it will be critical, particularly, if schools reopen in the fall.

He also raised the question of whether the Defense Production Act should be used differently than it’s being used today in order to achieve this testing goal. Because Graham said, “The shortage in testing, is the shortage in the reagents you need to perform a reliable test.”

“We don’t have enough testing in real time for the population as a whole,” he said, pointing to possibly including an incentive for pool testing in the next Covid-19 relief bill.

On masks, Graham said, “Whether or not you need to mandate masking, does that turn the corner? I don't know, but I do know this: if people would take this more seriously it would help us much as in any single thing I can do.”

Watch here:

1:40 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

German and Spanish leaders insist that Europe needs an agreement on Covid-19 recovery plan

From CNN’s Laura Pérez Maestro in Madrid

From left, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and German Chancellor Angela Merkel deliver a statement ahead of a meeting in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday.
From left, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and German Chancellor Angela Merkel deliver a statement ahead of a meeting in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday. Markus Schreiber/Pool/AP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez agreed at a news conference in Berlin on Tuesday that an agreement in Europe is needed “as soon as possible.” 

Merkel acknowledged that “the differences in opinions persist” but said that “we have to find a solution” and urged that “time is running out."

“It is important to invest in the future, in the digital transformation, in climate change,” she added.

Sanchez insisted that “July is the month of the agreement."

“I know we have a difficult negotiation ahead of us, but union has never being achieved through vetoes, but through dialogue, and that is what we are called to do on the 17th and 18th of July, if we delay the agreement the crisis will worsen,” he said.

1:23 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

Oklahoma reports nearly 1,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Kay Jones 

There are 993 new Covid-19 cases today in Oklahoma, bringing the total to 21,738, according to the state's Department of Health.

This is a record high of reported cases, according to data release by the health department. 

Oklahoma also reported an additional four deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities in the state to 428. 

Tulsa County has 5,448 total cases, up 181 from Monday, while Oklahoma County, which includes Oklahoma City, is reporting an additional 273 cases for a total of 5,259.

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

1:19 p.m. ET, July 14, 2020

CDC aiming to deploy a point of care test to every nursing home in the US, director says

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the CDC is working to “deploy point of care tests to every nursing home in this country.” 

He said this new technology is something the CDC is “in the process of deploying.”

Hopefully the deployments will begin later this week or early next week “so they can start doing their own testing,” Redfield said during a webinar with the Buck Institute on Tuesday.

He said the long-term goal is to allow for the return of visitors to nursing homes.

“I’ve seen the decline in individuals when they’ve been deprived from interactions,” he said.

Maintaining human interaction is particularly important for people in long-term health care facilities.

“When you do remove that, there is a clinical consequence,” he added.