July 18 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Brett McKeehan, Tara John, Alaa Elassar, Veronica Rocha and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 0427 GMT (1227 HKT) July 19, 2020
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5:36 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Record number of new Covid-19 cases reported to WHO in the last 24 hours

From CNN Health's Ben Tinker

There were 259,848 new Covid-19 cases reported to the World Health Organization in the last 24 hours, according to a WHO situation report published Saturday. The total number of cases worldwide reported to WHO is now 13.8 million.

The rise in newly reported cases sets another record for cases reported to WHO within a 24-hour period.

The previous record was set on Friday, with 237,743 new cases of Covid-19.

Saturday's report noted there were 7,360 additional Covid-19 deaths reported to WHO in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths worldwide to 593,087.

Keep track of Covid-19 cases across the world with John Hopkins University's interactive map.

5:33 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

More than 9,000 Covid-19 patients are hospitalized in Florida

From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Dan Shepherd

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration released statewide Covid-19 hospitalization data on July 10 and reported nearly 7,000 Covid-19 hospitalizations in the state.

Eight days later, the total number of hospitalizations has grown to more than 9,100.

Florida has not released historic hospitalization data going back to the beginning of the pandemic, which makes further analysis of the data impossible.

Details of Florida's current hospitalization data are on the state's website.

5:28 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Texas reports more than 10,000 cases for fifth straight day

From CNN's Kay Jones

For a fifth day in a row, Texas has reported more than 10,000 new Covid-19 cases, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Saturday's 10,158 new cases bring the state's total to 317,730 cases.  

The DSHS reported an additional 130 deaths, just a day after reporting highest daily total of 174 new deaths. Texas has reported 673 deaths over the past six days, bringing the total to 3,865 statewide. 

The number of hospitalizations rose slightly on Saturday to 10,658 Covid-19 patients. 

Keep track of Covid-19 cases across the US with CNN's interactive map.

5:53 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Miami-Dade County ICUs at 122% capacity and ventilator usage is up 64%

From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Dan Shepherd

A health care worker administers a Covid-19 test at a walk-up testing site in Miami Beach, Florida, on July 17.
A health care worker administers a Covid-19 test at a walk-up testing site in Miami Beach, Florida, on July 17. Lynne Sladky/AP

Intensive care units in Miami-Dade County are at 122% capacity, according to the latest  data released on the county's coronavirus dashboard on Saturday.

There are a total of 484 Covid-19 ICU patients and an ICU bed capacity of 396.

According to the dashboard, another 457 hospital beds can be converted to ICU beds.

In the past 14 days, the county has seen a 40% increase in the number of Covid-19 patients being hospitalized, a 46% increase in the number of ICU beds being used and a 64% increase in ventilator usage, according to the latest data.

5:22 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Canada will not allow Blue Jays to play regular season games in Toronto due to pandemic

From CNN's Laura Ly

The Toronto Blue Jays play an intrasquad game at Rogers Centre in Toronto on July 9.
The Toronto Blue Jays play an intrasquad game at Rogers Centre in Toronto on July 9. Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Canada will not allow the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team to play in Toronto due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a statement from the Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship.

While the Blue Jays were allowed to hold preseason training in Toronto because there would be no cross-border travel for either the Blue Jays outside of Canada or any opponent team into Canada for the duration of preseason training, the Canadian government determined that "the cross-border travel required for MLB regular season play would not adequately protect Canadians' health and safety" and the team would be required to play in locations where the risk of Covid-19 transmission remains high.

"Canada has been able to flatten the curve in large part because of the sacrifices Canadians have made. We understand professional sports are important to the economy and to Canadians. At the same time, our government will continue to take decisions at the border on the basis of the advice of our health experts in order to protect the health and safety of all Canadians," the statement reads

Blue Jays President and CEO Mark Shapiro released a statement:

"The club completely respects the federal government’s decision," Shapiro said. "Though our team will not be playing home games at Rogers Centre this summer, our players will take the field for the 2020 season with the same pride and passion representative of an entire nation. We cannot wait until the day comes that we can play in front of our fans again on Canadian soil."
7:52 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Trump tells supporters he will hold telephone rallies until the “Covid-19 problem” is solved

From CNN’s DJ Judd and Jeremy Diamond

US President Donald Trump speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House on July 16, in Washington, DC.
US President Donald Trump speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House on July 16, in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Speaking during what was described as his first "Tele-Rally," President Donald Trump acknowledged to supporters in Wisconsin that the telephonic town hall will be replacing his large, in-person campaign rallies.

"I wanted to be with you, and this is really replacing our rallies that we all love so much, we had great rallies in Wisconsin and all over the country, and unfortunately until this gets solved, and we're doing really well with the therapeutics and vaccines, but until that gets solved it's going to be tough to have those big massive rallies, so I'm doing telephonic rallies, and we'll call them the Trump Rallies, but we'll do it by telephone and we have a lot of people on the line and I appreciate it," Trump told supporters on the line.

While Trump has said in a tele-town hall that "it's going to be tough" to hold in-person rallies until coronavirus is "solved," neither he nor his campaign have definitively ruled out holding more in-person campaign rallies. 

4:57 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Infectious diseases association in Brazil calls for doctors to abandon hydroxychloroquine as Covid-19 treatment

From journalist Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo

A report published Friday from the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases, urges medical professionals to stop using hydroxychloroquine on patients to treat coronavirus, emphasizing that clinicians should focus on effective therapies and resources that are currently lacking in Brazil, like anesthetics, ventilators and additional testing.

The report, from Brazil’s most prominent association of infectious diseases experts, states hydroxychloroquine must be abandoned as a treatment for Covid-19 and underlines that "public agencies should stop spending money on treatments which have been proven to be ineffective and that can cause collateral effects."

The association's recommendation contradicts President Jair Bolsonaro's public push for the drug. Bolsonaro posted a television report on his Twitter account on Saturday in favor of the medicine for treating the virus.

3:05 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

South Carolina's health department says daily Covid-19 report contained incomplete laboratory information

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Tidelands Health medical professionals conduct a drive-through Covid-19 testing site on Friday July 17, at Myrtle Beach Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Tidelands Health medical professionals conduct a drive-through Covid-19 testing site on Friday July 17, at Myrtle Beach Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Josh Bell/The Sun News/AP

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said in a series of tweets Saturday that their daily report contained incomplete laboratory information.

The incomplete data was due to to a synchronization error between DHEC and a major private laboratory, a tweet from the agency said.

Additional information today will be included and highlighted in tomorrow's daily release once the issue is resolved, another tweet said. 

DHEC also tweeted that as they transition to the new TeleTracking portal for monitoring hospital bed occupancy data there may be incomplete data.

No hospitalization data was included in today's news release. The data will likely have significant gaps over the next few days, according to the tweet. 

The health department is transitioning from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Healthcare Safety Network to the new module at the request of the federal government, the tweet said.

In a news release, the agency said there were 1,481 new confirmed cases and two new probable cases with 39 additional confirmed deaths.

The total number of confirmed cases in the state is now 67,396 and 216 are probable cases. There are a total of 1,117 deaths statewide and 18 probable deaths, the release said. 

The positivity rate for the 7,060 tests reported Friday statewide was 21%, according to the release.

2:25 p.m. ET, July 18, 2020

Indianapolis pushes back start date for public schools amid rise in Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Chandler Thornton

Indianapolis Public Schools Board of Commissioners voted on Saturday to push back the start date for public schools another two weeks to August 17.

The school board voted to push the start date back citing the governor and state health commissioner saying this week that “the number of COVID-19 cases in the state were rising” and their “decision to freeze the state at Stage 4.5 for an additional two weeks.”

"The decision to delay the opening of school by two weeks gives our community more time to ensure we are turning the tide on the number of positive COVID-19 cases and confirm we are doing the right thing,” Superintendent Aleesia Johnson said in the statement Saturday.

Families will still have the option for in-person learning or remote learning on the new start date. "The delay will also give families more time to decide which learning option will work best for their child."

The total number of Covid-19 cases in the state stands at 55,654 and 2,627 deaths have been report.

Indiana reported today its second highest daily increase since the outbreak, recording 854 new cases.