July 20 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Brad Lendon, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 12:40 a.m. ET, July 21, 2020
45 Posts
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10:35 a.m. ET, July 20, 2020

New York reports 519 new cases and 8 deaths from Covid-19

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state's progress in beating back Covid-19 is still “all very good.”

Here's a look at the numbers in New York:

  • Hospitalizations continue to hit new lows since March 18, now at 716
  • New York added 519 positive tests, with a positivity rate at 1.05%
  • New York reported 8 deaths from Covid-19

One thing to note: These numbers were released by New York State’s public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project

10:31 a.m. ET, July 20, 2020

New York governor says it was a "mistake" for other states to listen to Trump's calls to reopen

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York Gov. Cuomo said it was a mistake for other state governments to listen to the President’s calls to open up during the pandemic. 

Cuomo said the federal government has been “incompetent” and “in denial” on the situation and has “pressured” states “to reopen recklessly, which they did.”

“Liberate, liberate, liberate,” he said harkening to the President’s tweets on the matter. 

“Their mistake was they listened to the President," he added. 

He said people are fleeing from other states to New York to find a safe haven from the virus. “Those other states have to get the virus under control," he said.

New York has police in the airport and a form individuals flying from impacted states need to fill out. It’s illegal to leave the airport without doing so.

There is no enforcement mechanism for people driving into the state, Cuomo said.

10:06 a.m. ET, July 20, 2020

University of Oxford vaccine is safe and induces early immune reaction, early results suggest

From CNN Heath’s Jamie Gumbrecht

Preliminary results of a Phase 1/2 trial of a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford suggest that it is safe and induces an immune response.

The vaccine provoked an antibody response within 28 days and a T-cell response within 14 days, according to a release from the medical journal The Lancet. 

The trial included 1,077 people age 18 to 55 with no history of Covid-19 and took place in five UK hospitals from late April to late May. Participants received the Covid-19 vaccine or the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, as a control group.

“The immune system has two ways of finding and attacking pathogens – antibody and T cell responses. This vaccine is intended to induce both, so it can attack the virus when it’s circulating in the body, as well as attacking infected cells,” University of Oxford Professor Andrew Pollard, the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “We hope this means the immune system will remember the virus, so that our vaccine will protect people for an extended period."

“However, we need more research before we can confirm the vaccine effectively protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection, and for how long any protection lasts,” the statement added.

There were no serious adverse event related to the vaccine; fatigue and headache were the most commonly reported reactions. Other common side effects included pain at the injection site, muscle ache, malaise, chills, feeling feverish and high temperature.

The vaccine is one of 23 Covid-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials globally, according to the World Health Organization.

11:41 a.m. ET, July 20, 2020

The New York governor is traveling to Georgia to help with coronavirus response

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds a briefing in New York on July 13.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds a briefing in New York on July 13. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is heading to Savannah, Georgia, today, he said speaking from John F Kennedy International airport. 

He will meet with the mayor and his team to share what New York did, help them with testing and tracing programs, and will transport thousands of items of personal protective equipment.

"Whatever they need from us they’re going to get," Cuomo said.

He said when New York was “in the thick” of it, 30,000 health professionals from around the country offered to come to the state.  He said he was honored and touched by the generosity and said New Yorkers “don’t forget.”

“We’re doing everything we can now to pay it back," Cuomo added.

Per the law, Gov. Cuomo will not have to quarantine upon his return because he is an essential worker, he said.

Georgia is among the states where an incoming individual is required to quarantine upon arrival to New York for 14 days, per state mandate.

Cuomo said he will take a test upon his return.

Secretary to the governor Melissa De Rosa added the law also has an exception if you are passing through a state for less than 24 hours.

9:58 a.m. ET, July 20, 2020

New York governor threatens to rollback reopening if people don't follow the rules

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a warning to revelers appearing to congregate in spite of the state mandates: “Don’t be stupid.”

He also threatened to roll back the opening plan if this continues. 

“We have to protect the progress we have made,” he said. “We are not in a static environment, a lot is going on.”

He said one main threat to New York’s progress is the number of congregations, primarily in downstate, and primarily involving young people. 

He said this with a slide showing images from Astoria, Queens, and the Lower East Side of Manhattan. “It has continued unabated and it is getting worse,” he said.

“I’m telling you in plain New York speak, as a born and bred New Yorker, it’s stupid what you’re doing… Don’t be stupid.” 

“We cannot allow those congregations to continue,” Cuomo said, adding, “if it happens.. we’re going to have to roll back the opening plan, and we’re going to have to close bars and restaurants.” 

He also called on local governments to enforce the law, not naming any governments in particular.

9:58 a.m. ET, July 20, 2020

New York City enters phase 4 of reopening today — but it's not the same as the rest of the state

New York City is entering phase four of reopening today, but it's a slightly different phase four than other parts of New York state experienced.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that indoor dining would not be allowed to resume in phase four since it's considered a "high risk" activity.

In other parts of the state, indoor dining was allowed to resume in phase three.

De Blasio also announced that museums will also be “still closed for now." But shopping malls are included in phase four for areas of the state outside of New York City, according to state guidelines.

So here's a look at what will open in New York City's phase four, according to the mayor:

  • Low-risk outdoor entertainment activities, including things like botanical gardens and zoos, can reopen at a reduced capacity of 33%. 
  • Production of movies and TV shows can proceed.
  • Sports can come back but without audiences.
9:57 a.m. ET, July 20, 2020

At least 10 ICUs in Florida's Miami-Dade are at capacity

At least 10 adult ICUs in Miami-Dade County, the epicenter of Florida's coronavirus pandemic, have no beds available, according to Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration website as of 9 a.m. ET today.

For context, there are at least 24 hospitals in Miami Dade County with adult ICU bed capabilities. Ten of them — more than 40% — are at capacity. 

Nearby Broward County has at least six ICUs with 0% of bed available, according to the website.

You can check the ICU capacity at hospitals across Florida here.

9:47 a.m. ET, July 20, 2020

These two Atlanta colleges will shift to digital learning this fall, students will not return to campus

From CNN's Tina Burnside

Morehouse and Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, announced on Monday that students will not be returning to campus for the Fall 2020 semester due to the recent spike in Covid-19 cases. 

"Because of the worsening health crisis, we have reluctantly come to the realization that we can no longer safely sustain a residential campus and in-person instruction. With a sense of great disappointment, I now share with you our decision that all instruction for the fall of 2020 at Spelman will be virtual," Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell said in a statement.

Both colleges had fully anticipated that they would open campuses for in-person instruction for the fall semester however due to the worsening health crisis in both the city of Atlanta and Fulton County, the colleges changed course, according to a news release. 

It remains unclear if the schools will reopen their campuses for students for the Spring 2021 semester. 

9:36 a.m. ET, July 20, 2020

 Iraq nears 100,000 Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Hamdi Alkhshali and Aqeel Najim

Iraq on Monday recorded 2,163 new coronavirus cases, according to the country's health ministry.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 cases in Iraq to 94,693 according to the ministry.

The health ministry also reported 88 new Covid-19-related deaths, bringing the total to 3,869 deaths across the country.