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
49 Posts
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11:39 a.m. ET, July 20, 2020

Florida reports more than 10,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Tina Burnside

Health care personnel work at a walk-up Covid-19 testing site in Miami Beach, Florida, on July 17.
Health care personnel work at a walk-up Covid-19 testing site in Miami Beach, Florida, on July 17. Lynne Sladky/AP

The state of Florida is reporting at least 10,347 new cases of Covid-19 and 90 additional deaths on Monday, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health. 

This brings the state's total cases to more than 360,000 since the pandemic began, according to the state department of health. The statewide resident death toll is now at least 5,072. 

Here's a look at new daily cases in Florida over the past two weeks:

11:36 a.m. ET, July 20, 2020

Miami-Dade police issue more than 100 citations to people and businesses not complying with Covid-19 rules 

From CNN's Randi Kaye

The Miami-Dade Police Department has issued 115 civil citations for noncompliance of county mask and social distancing orders. 

Last week, the Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to approve an emergency order that allows fines to be issued to people not complying with the guidelines. 

Authorities issued 67 individual citations and 48 business citations, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department. 

Individual citations are $100 and $500 for businesses.

11:29 a.m. ET, July 20, 2020

This Georgia mayor is enforcing a mask mandate, despite pushback from the governor

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Mayor of Athens, Georgia, Kelly Girtz on CNN's "New Day" on July 20.
Mayor of Athens, Georgia, Kelly Girtz on CNN's "New Day" on July 20. CNN

When Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms enforced a mask mandate in Atlanta, Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp filed a lawsuit against her, calling the mandate a violation of his emergency orders that prohibits local leaders from adding to the state's requirements to protect against coronavirus.

Despite this action, Mayor Kelly Girtz also mandated masks in Athens, Georgia. However, he says he has not been sued yet.

“We are maintaining our mask mandate. The courts have not issued any cease and desist. And we believe we're well within our rights and in fact, well within the health care guidance that we’ve been receiving nationally and internationally,” he said.

He highlighted the importance of how a mask mandate creates a “level playing field” that ensures equal safety for everyone alike.

“It's the 30% of our population living in poverty, who are clerks at grocery stores, who are cleaning homes, who are maintaining facilities. So we're all in this together. So if we have a level playing field with a mask mandate, whether you're in a small business or a large, that maintains that level of order, in the same way that a residential speed limit of 25 miles an hour does the same in front of your home and mine.”

In addition to the residents, Athens also hosts about 40,000 university students, which is of concern to the mayor.

“I know that young people think of themselves as invulnerable, but the reality is that they are not,” he said. “Young people are by nature, again, loosey-goosey.”

“What we want is for everyone to take this deeply seriously, because in order for us to come out of this pandemic, we are going to need to all be practicing the best behavior possible. And frankly, when I ride down some of the college-occupied streets in this town, I don't see the best behavior right now, and we are going to need to step up our game.”

11:34 a.m. ET, July 20, 2020

Contingency plans may be needed as coronavirus cases rise, CEO of Miami-area health system says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Carlos Migoya, president and CEO of Jackson Health System, on CNN's "New Day" on July 20.
Carlos Migoya, president and CEO of Jackson Health System, on CNN's "New Day" on July 20. CNN

While dozens of hospitals in Florida are reporting 0% of ICU beds available, Miami-Dade's Jackson Health System is teetering every day, the CEO says, adding that they may be preparing for a plan B and C, given the growth in cases.

“We're building a 100 new ICU beds but unfortunately, they’re not going to be around until the end of the year,” President CEO Carlos Migoya told CNN. “We've only seen a [case] growth of 60% in the last 14 days and in specific ICU only 18%, we expect those numbers to grow a little higher, and for that reason, we may be putting plans B and C into place.”

The hospital staff is also under strain during this surge. At least 200 employees have tested positive for Covid-19 and aren’t coming in to work currently, he said. Out of those 200, 37 are nurses.

“Gov. DeSantis has helped us out quite a bit by providing an extra 200 nurses to us at this point in time, and actually been extremely important for us. We've also hired another 90 or 100 nurses but all of that is influx at this point in time. It's a big challenge and a lot of anxiety for everyone,” he said.

Under this strain, health care workers at the Jackson Health System have asked for hazard pay. However, Migoya says they’re not able to provide it at this point.

“At this point in time we've lost in excess of over $80 million and not been able to catch up with the federal support, but we have not gotten any funding from HHS,” Migoya says. “We are financially challenged.”
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.