July 16 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 0424 GMT (1224 HKT) July 17, 2020
93 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
5:25 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

Johnson & Johnson in discussions to move up Covid-19 vaccine trial timeline

From CNN's Wes Bruer

Johnson & Johnson is moving forward with its vaccine trials.

The company will begin a Phase 1/2a trial for its vaccine candidate on July 22 in Belgium and the following week in the United States, Dr. Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer, said during an investor call on Thursday.  

Stoffels said that Johnson & Johnson is also “in discussion with the National Institutes of Health with the objective to start Phase 3 clinical trials ahead of its original schedule, potentially in late September.”  

The Phase 1/2a trials will include more than 1,000 healthy adults ages 18 to 55, as well as those 65 and older. The study will test the efficacy and safety of a single dose of the vaccine candidate, as well as a booster dose.

The results from the final study on the vaccine candidate in non-human primates is expected to be published “in a major scientific journal in the next coming weeks,” Stoffels added. 

5:23 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

New study finds no effect of blood type on coronavirus severity

From CNN's Maggie Fox

A new study finds no evidence that blood type affects whether someone develops severe symptoms from a coronavirus infection.

People should not worry that having a certain blood type places them at higher risk of either infection or severe illness, the team at Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston said.

Some researchers had found evidence that blood type might affect a person’s risk from coronavirus, so the team took a look back at records from all adult patients who tested positive for coronavirus at five hospitals in March and April.

“In this large, multi-institutional, retrospective review, there was no association noted between ABO blood type and COVID-19 disease severity defined as intubation or death,” they wrote in the journal Annals of Hematology.

“We showed through a multi-institutional study that there is no reason to believe being a certain ABO blood type will lead to increased disease severity, which we defined as requiring intubation or leading to death,” said Dr. Anahita Dua of Mass General, who led the study team. “This evidence should help put to rest previous reports of a possible association between blood type A and a higher risk for COVID-19 infection and mortality.”

The team did find evidence that people with blood types B and AB who were Rh+ were more likely to test positive for coronavirus, and that people with blood type O were less likely to test positive – even if they had symptoms.

“These findings need to be further explored to determine if there is something inherent in these blood types that might potentially confer protection or induce risk in individuals,” Dua said in a statement.

“A final element worthy of discussion is that there is certainly a racial element to ABO blood typing,” the researchers wrote.

It’s also becoming clear that Black and other ethnic minorities are more likely to have severe coronavirus disease symptoms. “However, the full effects of ethnicity on COVID-19 susceptibility and severity warrant further investigation,” the researchers wrote.

5:26 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

There are roughly 140 Miami Police Department employees self-quarantining

From CNN’s Dan Shepherd

Wilfredo Lee/AP/FILE
Wilfredo Lee/AP/FILE

The Miami Police Department currently has 140 of its employees, which includes officers and civilian employees, self-quarantined at home, or "isolated in a safe place" due to possible exposures to Covid-19, according to two spokespeople from the department.

Of those 140 employees, 68 of them are police officers who tested positive for Covid-19.

Officer Kiara Delva told CNN that none of the 140 employees are currently hospitalized and that the Miami Police Department has about 1,315 officers on their force.  

5:20 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

The fight against Covid-19 is likely to get harder, Arkansas governor says

From CNN’s Janine Mack

Office of Asa Hutchinson
Office of Asa Hutchinson

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the fight against Covid-19 is "likely to get harder and not easier" ahead of a statewide mask mandate on June 20.

“We have to meet the challenge together, and everyone must do their part,” Hutchinson said during a news conference on Thursday.

The latest numbers: The Arkansas Department of Health is reporting at least 31,114 total positive cases of coronavirus and approximately 341 deaths since the pandemic began. 

That's an increase of at least 817 new cases and six more deaths since yesterday, according to the Health Department.

Hutchinson said after resisting for months, the face mask mandate was needed in Arkansas, because of the number of cases hospitalizations and deaths. 

The governor said he listened to doctors and nurses, who asked the public to do more to stay safe. He said he heard from legislators, who according to the governor said, even though they don’t like it, they will do whatever it takes to stop coronavirus. 

Hutchinson said he considered the mandate for children and grandchildren, who will be going back to school and with most schools will require the wearing of masks, adults must help them get ready.

“I want everybody to understand that this is a mandate. It does carry consequences, it is enforceable, but it's being implemented in a way that allows for normal activities. Whenever you can do the social and physical distancing. But this is something that is necessary. Under the current environment, and then let me go to our case announcements,” Hutchinson said.

The latest numbers: The Arkansas Department of Health is reporting at least 31,114 total positive cases of coronavirus and approximately 341 deaths since the pandemic began. 

That's an increase of at least 817 new cases and six more deaths since yesterday, according to the Health Department. 

5:25 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

Connecticut reports 114 new cases of Covid-19

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Connecticut reported 114 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, Gov. Ned Lamont announced in a news conference.

The current statewide total now stands at 47,750 Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began. The state reported nine new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total to 4,389, Lamont said.

For the first time: The governor provided a breakdown of the age range of newly reported cases in Connecticut over the last week.

For the period of July 5 through July 11, the largest percentage of new cases were in people ages 20 to 29, followed by 30 to 39-year-olds.

Lamont said that worried him, particularly since other states are experiencing spikes in cases right now.

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

Texas records highest single-day Covid-19 death toll

From CNN's Raja Razek

Texas reported 129 new Covid-19-related deaths today, a record single-day high, according to the Texas Health and Human Services.

The previous record, 110 deaths in a single day, was recorded on Wednesday. 

The total number of Covid-19-related deaths in the state stands at 3,561.

Texas reported 10,291 new Covid-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total number to 292,656.

To note: These figures 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.

5:07 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

Utah governor announces a surge in Covid-19 cases while schools remain poised to reopen

From CNN’s Nakia McNabb

Gov. Gary Herbert
Gov. Gary Herbert Pool

Gov. Gary Herbert discussed on Thursday Utah's surge in Covid-19 cases and revealed that hospitals are nearing capacity.

Utah state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn reported that 246 new Covid-19 cases were diagnosed this week, bringing the state's total positive cases to 31,845.

Herbert pleaded with the residents of Utah to wear masks but stopped short of making it a requirement.

“The fact that people are doing this really on a mostly voluntary basis is encouraging. The state statute or constitution allows me and our state health department, in fact, to make these things mandatory. I much prefer us doing it on a voluntary basis, not because government is compelling you to do it, but do it because you have respect and love for your neighbor, you show that by wearing your face coverings when you cannot social distance for example, doing it for the right reasons is the right way to do it," Herbert said. 

The governor also confirmed plans to reopen Utah public schools statewide and discussed an order that requires mask wearing for students, teachers, staff and visitors to any public education system, charter school or private school in Utah.

Herbert is also requiring all 41 school districts to have a Covid-19 plan in place by August 1.

“It's imperative I think that we open our schools. We cannot afford to have schools closed. This generation needs to have education and training and skills development, hopefully to get them on to higher education opportunities," the governor said.

4:56 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

There will be no cruises until late September, CDC says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended its "No Sail Order and Suspension of Further Embarkation" for cruise ships until September 30, according to the agency's website. The website was updated with the extension on Thursday.

The order remains in effect until September 30, or until the expiration of the US Department of Health and Human Services' declaration that Covid-19 constitutes a public health emergency, or the director of the CDC rescinds or modifies the order.

In March, the CDC announced on its website, "The CDC Director has reason to believe that cruise ship travel may continue to introduce, transmit, or spread COVID-19. As such, the CDC Director issued a No Sail Order for cruise ships."

The CDC previously extended its original order until July 24 before now extending it again.

5:02 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

Louisiana governor says mask mandate remains in effect

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Louisiana Governor's Office
Louisiana Governor's Office

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said everyone in his state is still expected to wear a mask in indoor public spaces even after the attorney general said the rule is likely unconstitutional.

“I think the attorney general's opinion was wrong on many fronts. Every front, actually,” the governor said during a news briefing Thursday.

Attorney General Jeff Landry released an opinion Wednesday saying the mask mandate and closure of bars was unnecessary and too vague to be constitutional. 

Edwards reminded citizens that the opinion was advisory and does not strike down his orders.

“The order that I issued on Monday is in effect. It is binding. It is mandatory,” Edwards said.

Landry posted on Facebook Wednesday in response to the governor’s initial criticism of his decision.

"Governor, it's important to keep people healthy; it's also important to keep them free," he wrote.

The governor said it’s not legally required nor wise to wait until the state’s intensive care unit hospital beds are full before putting restrictions into place.

“If you wait until the numbers show that you’re imminent in terms of overrunning your capacity to deliver health care, you’ve waited too late," Edwards added.