July 15 coronavirus news

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

Updated 12:07 a.m. ET, July 16, 2020
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12:09 p.m. ET, July 15, 2020

DC state of emergency will likely be extended through October

From CNN's Nicky Robertson


Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser said the district's state of emergency will be extended — likely through October. 

Meanwhile, the district has experienced delays in giving residents results from coronavirus tests, the mayor said at a news conference this morning.

"We have some internal capacity which we’ve maxed out,” Bowser told reporters.  

She added that they are using contractors to help with testing results. 

The mayor noted that if a resident is getting a coronavirus test, they should quarantine for 14 days regardless of whether or not they have their test results. 

When asked about jurisdictions no longer having to report coronavirus data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bowser said, “I think all of us in hearing that announcement were concerned that there was some political motive behind it.”  

The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to CNN on Tuesday that hospital data on coronavirus patients will now be rerouted to the Trump administration instead of first being sent to the CDC.

The mayor said coronavirus data from the district will be shared with any government agency, “but we want to make sure it’s going to get to the hands of the scientists.”


1:10 p.m. ET, July 15, 2020

Oklahoma governor tests positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Kay Jones

Sue Ogrocki/AP
Sue Ogrocki/AP

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced today in a news conference that he tested positive for Covid-19. He said he was tested yesterday and that he feels fine other than being a little achy. 

Stitt said he is quarantining at his home and isolating away from his family.

The governor's diagnosis comes after he attended President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma last month and was spotted in the crowd without a mask on.

Tulsa has seen a surge in cases in the aftermath of the rally that health officials say was likely caused by the event that hosted roughly 6,000 people indoors, most of whom opted not to wear a mask.

Based on contact tracing, the Oklahoma State Department of Health says that the governor did not contract Covid-19 at the Trump rally in Tulsa in June.

Dr. Lance Frye, commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, said they don't know exactly when the governor was infected, but that it would've been within the last couple of weeks. He added that it would not have been as far back as Trump's rally. 

Stitt stressed that he has been tested periodically since the rally and it wasn't until Tuesday that he tested positive.

Some background: Stitt has been criticized throughout the pandemic for his aggressive push to reopen the state and seeming lack of adherence to the advice of medical experts.

 In March, as the country was coming to terms with how serious coronavirus was and businesses were shuttering their doors, Stitt tweeted a photo of himself and his children eating at a crowded restaurant. He later deleted the tweet.

Oklahoma had one of the most aggressive reopening plans in the country, and despite a rise in cases, Stitt has said that shutting down businesses is not under consideration.

11:36 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

Nearly 250 new cases of Covid-19 reported in the Pittsburgh area

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Overnight, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the area where Pittsburgh is located, reported 246 new cases of Covid-19, according to a statement from the Allegheny County Health Department. 

The county announced 5 additional deaths, on Wednesday, and one new hospitalization. 

This information is based on 2,944 test results from June 30 through July 14, the release said.

One thing to note: The numbers 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.

11:22 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

Philadelphia's public schools will have hybrid start this fall

From CNN's Annie Grayer and Elizabeth Stuart

The Philadelphia Independent School District plans to reopen schools in September with a hybrid of in-person and online learning, with most students physically attending school two days per week. Under this plan, schools in Philadelphia would resume on Sept. 2. 

Each of the more than 200 schools within the district will create its own individual plan, while abiding by the safety guidelines outlined by Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. Wednesday.

These measures mirror those that many other major school districts nationwide are taking, including temperature/health checks, masks, social distancing, limiting classroom capacity, and increased cleaning of classrooms and public spaces.

"We all are living through a pandemic, and there will surely be challenges ahead, doing these uncertain times," Hite said. "But I am confident that by working together, we will be able to provide our students with the education they need and deserve. And by working together, we will be able to develop solutions and as issues arise, and ensure that we will all get through this safely as possible.”

Here are some of the safety guidelines from the plan:

Hybrid learning:

  • K-12 students will be assigned to come to school on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays, with all students doing digital learning on Fridays.
  • The city aims to provide face-to-face learning for students with complex needs, and an A/B schedule for all other K-12 students.

Masks and face coverings:

  • Teachers and students will be provided masks that must be worn at all times that six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. The district has different face covering requirements depending on grade level and will provide the necessary equipment for each student.
  • For students in pre-kindergarten through grade 5, all students will be provided two face shields and five surgical masks per week. Teachers in these grade levels will be provided two face shields per week. Students in grades 6-12 will be provided five disposable surgical masks per week. And special needs students will be provided two face shields per week. 
  • School safety officers and transportation staff will be provided one durable face shield for the year and a disposable surgical mask daily.
  • Cleaning and maintenance staff will be provided one face shield weekly and one disposable surgical mask daily.
  • Nurses will receive one face shield weekly and a disposable surgical mask daily. All employees will receive one cloth mask.

Hite predicted that this plan would cost “somewhere north of $60 million” and “could go as high as $80 million.”

11:19 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

Rash inside the mouth might be Covid-19 symptom, preliminary research suggests

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

Preliminary research now suggests that skin rashes and rashes inside the mouth might be a symptom of coronavirus infection — but more study is needed.

The research, published in the medical journal JAMA Dermatology on Wednesday, found that among 21 patients in Spain who were confirmed to have Covid-19 and a skin rash, six of those patients or 29% had enanthem, or lesions or rash in the mouth.

The mean amount of time between the onset of Covid-19 symptoms and developing enanthem was about 12 days among the patients, according to researchers from the Hospital Universitario Ramon y Cajal in Madrid.

Specifically, the researchers found that one patient developed enanthem 24 days after the onset of symptoms; two patients developed enanthem 19 days after; one developed enanthem 12 days after; one developed enanthem two days after; and another developed enanthem two days before.

"This work describes preliminary observations and is limited by the small number of cases and the absence of a control group," the researchers wrote, adding that their findings still suggest enanthem to be a possible Covid-19 symptom and not a reaction to medications, for instance.

"Despite the increasing reports of skin rashes in patients with COVID-19, establishing an etiological diagnosis is challenging," the researchers wrote. "However, the presence of enanthem is a strong clue that suggests a viral etiology rather than a drug reaction."

11:22 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

New York City will have an update on phase 4 in the next day or two, mayor says

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Cindy Ord/Getty Images
Cindy Ord/Getty Images

New York City will have an update on if the city is going to move into phase four of reopening in the next 24 to 48 hours, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday during the city’s daily press conference. 

The mayor made this comment after a reporter said we are nearing the two-week mark of being in phase three and asked for an update on the city’s track to reopen. 

The mayor said the state and the city are currently deliberating on the right decision to make amid the uptick of coronavirus cases across the country. 

Remember: When the city moved into phase three, it did not include indoor dining. In other parts of New York state, phase three marked the start of indoor restaurant service.

Phase three of reopening in New York City did allow for sports and recreation to resume.

11:04 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

These nurses traveled to New York during the coronavirus peak. Now they are educating skeptics back home.

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Nurses who traveled to New York City to help care for coronavirus patients as the city was going through its peak returned home, only to find skepticism of the virus from others.

“It made me feel terrible because at that point, I was scared for my own life, just being out there on the front lines, providing care for my patients and also just living day to day because we were all nervous. … So I had to educate my friends and let them know the virus is real and they have to stop doing what they were doing,” said Olumide “Peter” Kolade, a nurse from California. 

Oklahoma nurse Courtney Sudduth said that she felt relief to finally get back home after seeing the virus cause so many deaths in New York. But now, she said she is taking care of Covid-19 patients in their 30s who are on ventilators. 

“When I came back here, there weren't people taking any precautions and people weren't social distancing. And now, for two weeks, we’ve had daily record number cases…and our hospitals are being overrun. Our ICUs are full,” she said. 

Both nurses encourage people to not let up on washing their hands, social distancing and wearing masks.

“We have to be the change we’re looking for,” Kolade said. “…We have to forget about all these conspiracies.” 


10:55 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

New York City's testing turnaround time is down to 3 days, mayor says

From CNN's Sheena Jones

NYC Media
NYC Media

Covid-19 testing turnaround time is down to 3 days, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday during the city’s daily Covid-19 presser. 

Hospital admissions across the city, as of Monday, is at 66. There are at least 3030 patients in ICUs with Covid-19.

Of the people tested across the city, the positive infection rate remains at 2%, according to data the Mayor’s office released.

10:40 a.m. ET, July 15, 2020

New York Covid-19 death toll surpasses 25,000

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

Nine people across New York died due to coronavirus Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced Wednesday, bringing the statewide death toll to 25,003.

At least 831 of the 63,598 — or 1.3% — of the tests conducted across New York on Tuesday were positive, bringing the statewide total of confirmed cases to 404,006.

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