July 22 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Steve George, Tara John, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 3:10 a.m. ET, July 23, 2020
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3:59 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Minnesota will require people to wear face coverings in indoor businesses and public settings

From CNN's Raja Razek

Gov. Tim Walz
Gov. Tim Walz WCCO

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday that he signed an executive order that requires residents to wear face coverings in indoor businesses and indoor public settings to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

"Until there is a widely available vaccine, wearing a mask is one of the best tools we have for limiting the spread of COVID-19 and its harmful impacts," said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm in a statement. 

Minnesota Department of Health, along with the Department of Employment and Economic Development, will distribute masks to underserved communities and businesses across the state, according to the statement.

"Individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering are exempt from the order," the statement said. 

The mandate goes into effect on Saturday.

3:38 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

FDA commissioner says the possibility of another pandemic keeps him up at night 

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said he loses sleep over the possibility of another pandemic.

“What keeps me up at night, is not necessarily thinking that it’s going to happen next week, but how do we be proactive,” Hahn said Wednesday during an online conversation with the Paley Center for Media. “How do we prevent something like this from happening, if possible.”

Hahn said he also wants to make sure the FDA is ready when there is another pandemic. A key will be advanced manufacturing and domestic manufacturing to make sure the country has adequate supplies of medical products and a supply that’s under US control. 

Hahn said the agency is undergoing a mid-action review to make sense of the lessons the agency has learned from the pandemic. He said he also has been working with the FDA’s leaders to determine how it can sustain some of the innovations they’ve seen during the pandemic.

Hahn said what gives him hope is what he sees from the American people. Doctors, nurses, scientists and pharmacists have done “great things” in response to the pandemic.

“We have challenges, no question about it, but that gives me great hope,” Hahn said. 

“I also have great hope because I know … what’s coming down the pike, in terms of therapeutics and vaccines," he added.

He said Americans need to take the pandemic seriously and follow public health guidelines: Wear masks, maintain physical distance, use good hand hygiene.

“We will get beyond this pandemic,” he said. “I know that we’re going to do this together.” 

3:48 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Tulane University plans to have students back on campus this fall

From CNN's Kay Jones and Elizabeth Stuart

Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Image/FILE
Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Image/FILE

Tulane University in New Orleans is planning for a full-campus reopening next month, with the return of university operations and academics. But at least one official at Tulane — which is often ranked as one of the country's top party schools — warned that partiers will be punished.

Tulane President Michael Fitts and other university leaders announced Monday the plan for returning to campus, which includes free Covid-19 testing to all students who plan to live on-campus. Students must have a negative test result before they can move into campus housing, according to the plan.

"Returning to campus means that we will be able to connect with old friends again and make new ones," said Fitts in a statement. "Most importantly, we have taken, and are taking, a multitude of measures to promote the safety of our campus community and to mitigate risks associated with COVID-19. We know of no other school implementing all of the measures Tulane is to achieve this goal,” he said.

The fall semester will begin on Aug. 19 and will continue through Nov. 24, with classes ending before the Thanksgiving holiday. According to the plan, students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear masks in common areas and classrooms.

Following the July 4 holiday weekend, Dean of Students Erica Woodley sent a harshly worded email to students warning against parties and large gatherings.

"Do you really want to be the reason that Tulane and New Orleans have to shut down again?" Woodley wrote.

She admonished students who hosted July 4 events for their "disrespectful, selfish and dangerous" behavior. Woodley also warned, in all caps and bold print, that anyone who hosts a group of more than 15 people will face suspension or expulsion from the university.

3:40 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

NBA tips-off league's first competition since March

From CNN's David Close

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images
Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

The NBA's Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Clippers have tipped off at the Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, in the league's first competition since March 12.

Despite stats and scores being recorded, the scrimmage format allows for teams to collaborate with each other to work on game plans and play execution. 

On the Magic and Clippers broadcast, the scorer’s table can be seen enclosed by plexiglass.

Coaches and players not in the game can be seen sitting separated from one another. Some team staff members are wearing face coverings. 

“Black Lives Matter” is painted on the court. 

There are four scrimmages on the schedule Wednesday and four on Thursday. 

The NBA regular season tips in eight days on July 30. 

3:26 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

FDA commissioner says Covid-19 pandemic has pointed out vulnerabilities in the US food supply

From CNN’s Jen Christensen

US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said that while the US food supply is safe, the system itself has come under pressure from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“America has the safest and most secure food supply in the world. There’s lots of evidence in that. We saw that come under pressure. Amazing, how well the system responded, but we understood that it exposed to us some things that we need to address,” Hahn said Wednesday during an online conversation with the Paley Center for Media.

Early on, he said, the food division of the FDA anticipated that if people who work in the food industry were to get sick, that it would put pressure on the US food supply. “And I think we’ve seen that bear out,” Hahn said.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted a significant number of deaths and cases in the food industry. As of July 7, the CDC reported that among the 23 states reporting Covid-19 outbreaks in meat and poultry processing facilities, there were 16,233 cases in 239 facilities, including 86 Covid-19-related deaths. These cases and deaths disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minorities, with nearly 90% of the cases were among ethnic and racial minority groups.

Hahn said the FDA is working closely with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the CDC, as well as with food industry groups, to determine where the problems are that may encourage the spread of the disease. The FDA has developed an internal tool that matches information about the food supply with information about Covid-19 hot spots, so it can predict and proactively address potential problems with suppliers.

The FDA also has been working with other agencies and the industry to take a closer look at workers’ living and working conditions. Both make it difficult to physically distance and reduce the spread. Hahn said the FDA wants to figure out how to get these workers more personal protective equipment and how to make sure they’re among the first groups to get a vaccine when one is approved.

“Food security and safety is a national security issue, just like our frontline workers, just like police, just like firemen, just like others,” Hahn said. “We need to find the most vulnerable. We need to make sure that they’re prioritized.”

3:36 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Chilean police dogs being trained to sniff out Covid-19 in humans

From CNN's Tatiana Arias and Cristopher Ulloa

Sergeant Fuentealba trains Clifford at Carabineros de Chile Dog Training School in the Parque Metropolitano on July 17, in Santiago, Chile. The Carabineros Dog Training School is training four dogs only to detect COVID-19 by placing a patch on a person's armpit with possible symptoms for two hours and then taking it to the dog to detect the virus.
Sergeant Fuentealba trains Clifford at Carabineros de Chile Dog Training School in the Parque Metropolitano on July 17, in Santiago, Chile. The Carabineros Dog Training School is training four dogs only to detect COVID-19 by placing a patch on a person's armpit with possible symptoms for two hours and then taking it to the dog to detect the virus. Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images

Police dogs in Chile are being trained to detect Covid-19 in humans by sniffing their sweat. 

Chile’s National Police and the Catholic University of Chile are working on a joint project to train three golden retrievers and a labrador to detect “a new odor" in humans which in this case belong to Covid-19 patients, the university’s professor and veterinary epidemiologist, Fernando Mardones told CNN's Spanish-language news network, CNN en Español.

"The selected dogs have years working on the detection of drugs, explosives and other types of things. For them, it is simply learning to detect a new smell, a new aroma," Mardones said.

Coronavirus does not have a smell per se, but sweat does and dogs can be trained to detect the smell of a person going through an infection process, Mardones explained.

"A body that contracts Covid-19 generates volatile organic compounds. A sample is taken from a person in the early stages of the infection. A gauze is left for about 15 minutes on an individual's underarm. That's the sample we store and use to train the dogs with," Mardones explained.   

The “bio-detector” dogs, as they are called by the Chilean police, are expected to be trained by mid-September and sent to places with high concentrations of people – such as malls, sports centers, bus terminals and airports, according to the Chilean police. 

A dog can smell 250 people in an hour, so they can be deployed when these places reopen," Julio Santelices from the Chilean police said.

"Their olfactory capacity is so great that they would be able to detect the disease early on" Santelices said, adding that "this means that an asymptomatic person could be detected by the bio-detector dog." 

The dogs can take from two weeks up to two months to be fully trained. The canines are being taught to sit next to the individual with the Covid-19 virus they have detected, instead of "pawing" the individual as they currently do when sniffing drugs, the Chilean police told CNN.


3:31 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

FDA experiencing "basically double our normal workload" during pandemic, US official says

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn
US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn Kevin Dietsch/AFP/Getty Images/FILE

US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said he was surprised how quickly the pandemic spread and is pleased with how quickly scientists have been able to react to get Covid-19 therapies out in record time.

Hahn became commissioner of the FDA in mid-December and had thought the opioid epidemic and youth e-cigarette use were going to be some of the biggest issues he’d tackle first. But within weeks, Covid-19 had started to spread and the FDA had to step up the pace to keep up with new drug and therapy approvals.

“It's basically double our normal workload, and then think about that same number of people, same deadlines that we have to meet for our regular work, but it doubling of that workload because of Covid-19. So literally, our staff were working night and day to get through this backlog of applications,” Hahn said Wednesday at a Paley Center for Media webinar

Only months into the pandemic, the FDA is overseeing 140 clinical trials and there are more than 450 applications in the pipeline. 

Hahn said the pace is not sustainable, but he’s committed to removing barriers to new drug approvals and to speeding up the process. He thinks there are lessons to be learned from what they have done.

One way the FDA has been able to speed up the process by prioritizing the applications that were submitted based on the merit of the science involved. The FDA used groups of agency scientists, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others to go through applications and determine what the priorities should be.

The agency also expedited the approval process by doing what the agency calls a rolling review, where it looks at data in real time. When the clinical trials and application for a new therapeutic or drug for Covid-19 patients is complete, the FDA can make a decision about the safety and efficacy of that product within days, and in some cases, within 24 hours of getting the final data set. 

“It would be difficult to sustain a, double the workload moving forward, but a model that we’re very interested in implementing as we move forward,” Hahn said. “There are some real lessons there for all of us.”

3:14 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

California adds more than 12,000 cases in one day

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

California added 12,807 coronavirus cases over the past day, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced at a news conference today.

This comes after the state conducted more than 127,000 tests in one day. The positivity rate remains steady at 7.4% over the past two weeks, but the one week rate is climbing and currently holds at 7.6%.

“Every decimal point causes some concern,” Newsom said.

Note: These numbers were released by California Gov. Gavin Newsom in association with the CA Department of Public Health, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

3:14 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Oregon to rollback some reopening measures

From CNN's Shawn Nottingham

Gov. Kate Brown
Gov. Kate Brown

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said she will be rolling back a number of the state’s reopening measures in response to a growing number of coronavirus cases.

Speaking at an afternoon news conference, Brown said she is expanding Oregon’s mask mandate to now cover anyone ages 5 and older. She said the state recommends children as young as 2 wear masks. Additionally, she said all exceptions to the mask mandate will be removed.

Brown said the state will now mandate all restaurants and bars close by 10 p.m. local time nightly.

She will also lower indoor gathering sizes in public venues to 100, down from 250. The number of people allowed to gather outdoors will remain unchanged at 250.

The new rules are set to take effect on Friday.