Delta Airlines to begin asking passengers unable to wear face mask to consider staying home
From CNN's Pete Muntean
Delta is strengthening its policy on face masks starting Monday – telling passengers who can’t wear a mask because of a health condition to consider staying home.
The airline said if not, the passenger must complete a health screening before being allowed to fly.
“We encourage customers who are prevented from wearing a mask due to a health condition to reconsider travel," Delta told CNN in a statement. "If they decide to travel, they will be welcome to fly upon completing a virtual consultation prior to departure at the airport to ensure everyone’s safety, because nothing is more important.”
The consultation will be conducted in private, over the phone. Depending on the outcome of that screening, Delta will decide whether the passenger will be allowed to travel without wearing a mask.
Delta will partner with STAT-MD for the consultations.
STAT-MD “provides inflight emergency consultation as well as fitness to fly ground screening,” according to its website.
9:56 p.m. ET, July 19, 2020
87 doctors sign letter to Arizona governor urging him not to reopen schools until at least October
From CNN's Miguel Marquez in Phoenix
Eighty-seven doctors have signed a letter to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey urging him not to reopen schools until at least October.
Ducey has pushed the traditional August 1 school opening to an “aspirational” date of August 17. He has indicated that he’ll make a decision on school reopenings next week.
"We are a group of health care providers from across the great state of Arizona. Many of us are also parents of school-age children," the letter said. "We share a common concern: that the tremendous pressure to return to in-person schooling in August is ill-advised and dangerous given the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in our community."
When the governor shut schools down and issued a Safer at Home order on March 30 there were about 1,000 positive cases a week. Last week Arizona logged about 26,000 cases.
Currently, the seven-day average positivity rate is the highest in the country at 24.4%.
8:23 p.m. ET, July 19, 2020
Golf legend Jack Nicklaus reveals he and his wife tested positive for Covid-19 in March
From CNN's Homero De la Fuente
Golf legend Jack Nicklaus announced Sunday he and his wife, Barbara, tested positive for Covid-19 in March. The 80-year-old, who is hosting this week's Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, told Jim Nantz on Sunday’s CBS telecast he dealt with a sore throat and a cough and that his wife was asymptomatic.
It didn’t last very long, and we were very, very fortunate, very lucky. Barbara and I are both of the age that is an at-risk age," the 18-time major champion said.
Nicklaus said he and his wife tested positive on March 13 and stayed at their home in North Palm Beach, Florida, until they recovered April 20. Nicklaus tested positive for the virus four times and his wife tested positive three times, but both have since tested negative for the virus and positive for the antibodies.
Our hearts go out to the people who did lose their lives and their families. We were just a couple of the lucky ones, so we feel very strong about working with those who are taking care of those who have Covid-19,” Nicklaus said.
This week’s Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club, where Nicklaus designed the course, has been played without spectators in attendance. As for the long-standing tradition of Nicklaus shaking hands with the winner, the golf legend said he’d still be willing to shake hands with the winner at their discretion.
8:13 p.m. ET, July 19, 2020
Los Angeles reports highest number of hospitalizations in a day
From CNN's Paul Vercammen and Jennifer Selva
Health officials in Los Angeles have reported the highest number of hospitalizations in a day with 2,216 people hospitalized, up from the previous record of 2,193, set July 15.
Eleven people died and 2,848 new cases were reported Sunday, according to a Los Angeles Department of Public Health news release. This is a significant drop in both of those numbers from the past week.
More than half of all new cases reported in Los Angeles were in people younger than 41, the release said.
Across the state, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports that both hospitalizations and the positivity rate continue to trend upward in the 14-day average.
The seven-day average number of new cases has surpassed 9,000, with 9,127 per day.
The 32 counties on the state’s "watch list" that have shut down most indoor activities are home to 80% of California’s population, according to CPDH.
California has 384,692 confirmed cases and 7,685 deaths due to coronavirus.
8:05 p.m. ET, July 19, 2020
Brazil's President greets crowd of supporters despite being positive for Covid-19
From CNN’s Taylor Barnes and journalists Rodrigo Pedroso and Juliana Arini
Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right President of Brazil and his country’s highest-profile Covid-19 patient, took a walk on the grounds of his presidential palace Sunday afternoon and greeted a crowd of supporters, video broadcast live on his Facebook page showed.
While Bolsonaro was wearing a mask, he was closely flanked by a number of aides who did not appear to consistently maintain a significant social distance from him. He repeatedly lowered his mask while talking, including when aides were nearby.
Supporters were separated from the President by a small water canal, but two people crossed over to Bolsonaro's side. One man helped a second man, who appeared to have a physical disability, walk close to the President for a greeting.
“Thank you for the trust,” Bolsonaro told the pair. “I want to make a government for you all.”
Bolsonaro also raised what appeared to be a small box of medicine. During the pandemic, Bolsonaro has repeatedly endorsed the use of the drug hydroxychloroquine, even though the Brazilian Society of Infectious Disease issued a report Friday calling for medical professionals to stop using the drug for Covid-19 patients. Bolsonaro has said he has taken it since testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
8:03 p.m. ET, July 19, 2020
Brazil reports over 20,000 new coronavirus cases
From journalists Rodrigo Pedroso in São Paulo and Juliana Arini in Cuiabá and CNN’s Taylor Barnes in Atlanta
Brazil’s health ministry reported 23,529 new cases of the novel coronavirus Sunday, bringing the country’s total to 2,098,389.
The health ministry also reported 716 new Covid-19 deaths, raising the country’s death toll to 79,488.
The highest daily case count reported by the health department was 10,791 on July 15, its website said.
The positivity rate statewide is 15.03%, according to the health department.
The number of hospitalized patients has decreased by 66 from the day before to 10,592, the department said.
6:06 p.m. ET, July 19, 2020
Older children can transmit Covid-19 just as much as adults, research finds
From CNN's Naomi Thomas
Researchers in South Korea have found that children between the ages of 10 and 19 can transmit Covid-19 within a household just as much as adults, according to new research published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Researchers also found that children ages 9 and younger transmitted the virus within their household at rates that were a lot lower.
Researchers from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at reports of 59,073 contacts of 5,706 coronavirus patients.
Overall, the researchers detected Covid-19 in 11.8% of 10,592 household contacts. For 48,481 non-household contacts, 1.9% tested positive for Covid-19.
When the initial patient in a household was younger than 10, the researchers found that 5.3% of household contacts tested positive for Covid-19. When the initial patient was between the ages of 10 and 19, 18.6% of contacts tested positive.
Rates were higher for contacts of children than adults,” the authors said. “These risks largely reflected transmission in the middle of mitigations and therefore might characterize transmission dynamics during school closure.”
Researchers also found that the highest Covid-19 rate for household contacts of school-age children and the lowest rates for children younger than 9 was the middle of school closures.
“Although the detection rate for contacts of preschool-aged children was lower, young children may show higher attack rates when the school closure ends, contributing to community transmission of Covid-19,” the study said.
This is one study in many,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, speaking on CNN’s "Inside Politics" on Sunday. “And the general consensus that I think most of us has had is that younger kids definitely spread a lot less. Older kids, especially as you start getting into teenagers and older teenagers, start looking like adults.”
Jha said that, ultimately, what you want to do is get the virus suppressed in the community so schools can reopen safely.
“You might have a different threshold for getting kids kindergarten through 5, let’s say, back in at an earlier level,” Jha said. “And you may need to wait a little bit longer until the virus levels really are down before you open up high schools.”
There are some limitations to the study, the authors said, including that the number of cases may have been underestimated and that they were unable to assess the true difference in transmissibility between household and non-household contacts because of the different testing thresholds.
5:05 p.m. ET, July 19, 2020
Illinois reported nearly 1,000 new Covid-19 cases and six new deaths
From CNN’s Chandler Thornton
The Illinois Public Health Department reported 965 new Covid-19 cases Sunday and six new deaths.
Illinois now has 161,575 total confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 7,295 across all 102 counties.
The age of cases ranges from younger than 1 to older than 100 years," the health department said in a news release Sunday.
As of Saturday night, 320 people were in the ICU and 132 people were on ventilators with the virus, the health department added.