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
122 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
9:50 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

Covid-19 cases in Los Angeles County hit new record high

From CNN's Alexandra Meeks

A nurse seals a specimen bag containing a Covid-19 test swab at a mobile clinic on July 15 in Los Angeles, California.
A nurse seals a specimen bag containing a Covid-19 test swab at a mobile clinic on July 15 in Los Angeles, California. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Los Angeles County reported 4,592 new Covid-19 cases today, the largest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic, according to county health data.

There have been 7,350 new cases in the county in the last 48 hours, county data showed. The number of new cases today surpasses the previous highest record of 4,244 new cases reported on July 14. 

Los Angeles had added 59 additional deaths today, bringing the county’s cumulative deaths to 3,988. 

Hospitalizations are also up among younger people between the ages of 18 and 40. They comprise of 20% of 2,173 confirmed patients with Covid-19 currently hospitalized, according to the data.

“This week we’ve hit concerning milestones," Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a news release. "We have reported the most cases in a single day, the most hospitalizations and tragically high death numbers."

In a matter of weeks, the nearly 4,600 positive cases Los Angeles County reported today could lead to over 18,000 infected people in a few weeks, Ferrer added.

"Without aggressive action on the part of every person, we will not get back to slowing the spread," Ferrer said.

To notes: These figures were released by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly with CNN’s data from Johns Hopkins University.

8:52 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

How to safely have a barbecue during the pandemic


As the summer months march on and the coronavirus pandemic continues to heat up, Dr. Sanjay Gupta had a couple of ideas on how to host a barbecue while protecting yourself and guests.

One of the first things people should do is limit the number of people invited and make sure everyone is socially distanced, Gupta said during CNN's global coronavirus town hall tonight.

"If they need to go through the house, if they need to go into the house to go to the bathroom, prop doors open so people don't touch handles," Gupta said in a video segment. "One of the things I think is important is let people know you're taking this seriously. Have hand sanitizer stations around."

Gupta also suggested that people avoid having any bowls of chips out because it "could potentially be a way that the virus is transmitted."

9:48 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

Coronavirus vaccine participant recounts his experience after suffering side effects

Ian Haydon
Ian Haydon CNN/FILE

Ian Haydon, a coronavirus vaccine trial participant, suffered some serious side effects after receiving a high dose of the vaccine.

The effects included a high fever and nausea after receiving a 250 microgram dose as part of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine trial, Haydon told CNN during its global coronavirus town hall Thursday night.

"They lasted about a day, and those were things like a high fever over 103, fatigue, muscle ache, nausea, things like that. I ended up going to urgent care as this was happening so that the doctors could keep an eye on me and run some tests," Haydon said. "But like I said, after about a day those tapered away and aside from that brief episode, I've really had no issues whatsoever."

Some background: CNN reported this week that a Covid-19 vaccine developed by the biotechnology company Moderna in partnership with the National Institutes of Health has been found to induce immune responses in all of the volunteers who received it in a Phase 1 study.

These early results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday, showed that the vaccine worked to trigger an immune response with mild side effects — fatigue, chills, headache, muscle pain, pain at the injection site — becoming the first US vaccine candidate to publish results in a peer-reviewed medical journal

The vaccine is expected to begin later this month a large Phase 3 trial — the final trial stage before regulators consider whether to make the vaccine available.

CNN's Jacqueline Howard and John Bonifield contributed to this report.

CNN's Jacqueline Howard and John Bonifield

8:45 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

Fauci: The racial disparities seen during the pandemic are a "very disturbing phenomenon"

From CNN's Andrea Kane

The racial disparities that have opened up during the pandemic, notably higher infection and death rates among minority communities, are a “very disturbing phenomenon that is a reality,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Thursday.

“There are things that we can do about it immediately, but [also] things that are going to take decades for us to correct,” Fauci told Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a live chat. 

He said that African-Americans, Latinx, Native Americans and Alaskan Americans tend to have jobs that don’t allow them to work remotely, putting them at greater risk of getting infected. “Once they do get infected, as a group, if you look at the underlying conditions that lead to a higher likelihood of a bad outcome, those demographic minority groups have a much higher incidence of that,” Fauci added.

“And I'm talking about, hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular disease, other types of chronic lung disease, diabetes — those are the things that put you at a higher risk.”

Fauci said there are short-term solutions to address part of the problem.

“What you do is you put resources where you have a demographic concentration of individuals, so they can get tested easily, contact traced easily, have access to care — get under the care of a health care provider — quickly to try and mitigate the advancement of disease,” he said. He added this can be done “right away” by getting resources to particularly hard-hit areas. 

But that only tackles part of the problem, he said.

“The broader picture of the social determinants of health that lead to minority groups having a higher incidence of diabetes, of obesity, of lung disease, of heart disease — those are the kind of things that we, as a society, need to address and commit to doing over a period of decades, because that's not going to change overnight,” Fauci said.

“But let's at least do the things that we can fix now — and we can fix access to care, we can fix ease of testing. We could do that now,” he said.

8:38 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

These Indiana mayors have closed beaches in their cities as Covid-19 cases rise

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

As Indiana continues to see increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases, the mayors of Whiting and Michigan City have closed their respective beaches.

Michigan City Mayor Duane Parry issued an executive order today, closing all city beaches after recent spikes in Covid-19 cases, deaths, and “the huge influx of out of state visitors to Washington Park,” according to a statement from his office. The closure will take effect Friday and go through midnight on July 23.

“This closure will undoubtedly cause inconveniences and disruptions to those who visit, utilize our beachfront, zoo, and park however the City is committed under these trying conditions to take precautionary and necessary measures intended to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus locally,” the statement said.

Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura closed Whihala Beach this week after it became "difficult for patrons to comply with the COVID-19 social distancing requirements and other CDC guidelines,” a statement from the city said. 

Stahura said he regretted being forced to take this action, but felt it was in the best interest of the city.

“We’ve witnessed an alarming disregard of all Covid-19 protocol and park supervision in recent weeks. We no longer feel confident that we can provide a reasonably safe ‘health’ environment for our patrons," he said.

8:45 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

Former CDC director says "the virus isn't going to stop until we stop it"

 Former CDC director Tom Frieden
 Former CDC director Tom Frieden CNN

Dr. Tom Frieden, the former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called the US a "laggard" when it comes to handling Covid-19.

Frieden's rebuke of how the US is handling the pandemic followed remarks about how American children need to get back to school, a sentiment echoed earlier today by the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

"It's important not just for learning. It's important for health, for society, for mental health. It's important also for all of us to be able to get back to our work, and that's why it's so important that we work together to get the virus under control," Frieden said during CNN's global coronavirus town hall tonight. "The virus isn't going to stop until we stop it. The US is now a laggard. The virus is out of control. We're talking about 60,000 plus diagnosed infections, and many times that number of total infections every day."

Earlier today: The unintended, downstream consequences of keeping children out of school can be profound and that’s why we’ve got to try to get children to return to the classroom, Fauci said Thursday.

There are a lot of unintended negative consequences,” Fauci told Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a live chat. “Having said that, with the thought that the default should be to try and get kids to school, you've got to look at where you are, location-wise, because as I've said often, the United States is a large country geographically and demographically quite different and varied."

Watch here:

8:24 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

More than 138,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

There are at least 3,560,364 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 138,201 people have died from the virus in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

So far on Thursday, Johns Hopkins recorded 61,462 new cases and 786 reported deaths. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

7:51 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

Dallas County to delay in-person instruction until September 8

From CNN's Raja Razek

The health director in Dallas County, Texas, announced today that he will be issuing an order to delay in-person instruction for all local public and private schools until September 8. 

"This order allows schools to begin remote instruction on schedule, but it does also ban all school-sponsored events and activities, such as clubs and sports until the school systems resume in-person instruction," said Dr. Philip Huang, director of the Dallas County Health and Human Services. "The order includes a provision that two weeks before beginning in-person instruction, schools must share their reopening safety plans with parents and the public."

"This order goes until September 8 because, given the data and where we are now, we don't feel that it is safe until that time," he added. 

Huang went on to say that an advisory group will make further recommendations. 

"This only goes until September 8, but as we talk with the superintendents, it is recognizing, you know that things may change, and we will also get this added input form these advisory groups." 

7:31 p.m. ET, July 16, 2020

Lab group urges more federal leadership on coronavirus testing

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

The US federal government needs to provide clear coronavirus testing guidelines as US diagnostic laboratories strain under the pressure of increased testing amid a surge in the coronavirus pandemic, the head of a laboratory industry group said Thursday.

Labs are struggling to get enough supplies and guidance on how to speed up the testing process, perhaps by pooling test samples, said Julie Khani, the head of the American Clinical Laboratory Association.

“There’s an opportunity for an expanded role for the federal government, particularly around issuing clear ordering guidelines for clinicians,” Khani said in a statement to CNN. “Leadership in this area can help ensure we deploy the full spectrum of diagnostic tools where they are most needed.”

States and testing companies have been reporting major delays in Covid-19 test results – some as long as a week or more.

Labs are also still struggling with a shortage of supplies needed for testing, Khani said.

“What we have consistently heard from members is that reagents, test kits, pipettes and platforms are all in high demand,” said Khani, whose group represents the country’s major commercial labs.

Some experts have suggested specimen pooling or batch testing where a number of Covid-19 samples could be tested all at once, cutting down on needed supplies and maximizing test availability. 

But Khani said labs have not received any guidance on pool testing from the US Food and Drug Administration or the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Plus, she noted there are limitations to pooling.

“For instance, pooling tests from populations of high prevalence would actually increase costs, because nearly every test pool could return positive results, requiring retesting of too many samples,” she said.

Such limitations are an example of why FDA or CDC guidance is sorely needed.

Just this week: Quest Diagnostics, one of the nation’s leading commercial laboratories, announced soaring demand for Covid-19 tests is “slowing the time” the company can provide test results, even after rapidly scaling up its capacity.

Other labs are facing the same problems, in addition to supply shortages.