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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3:15 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Ohio issues travel advisory for states with 15% positivity rate or higher

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

The Ohio Channel
The Ohio Channel

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine today issued a travel advisory for all individuals who come into Oho from states with a Covid-19 positivity rate of 15% or higher. The state is recommending that those individuals self-quarantine at a hotel or at home for 14 days.

“So we would ask people to be careful,” DeWine said. “This is going to be based on a seven day rolling average. We will update the list of states weekly.”

As of today, according to the governor, the list of states that fall under Ohio’s travel advisory include:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • South Carolina
  • Texas

Anyone traveling to the state from Puerto Rico is also recommended to quarantine, according to the governor.

Remember: The positivity rate is the percentage of people who test positive for the virus of those overall who have been tested. So, as more and more people are being tested, the focus is shifting to the positivity rate — how many of those tested are actually infected.

With reporting from CNN's Theresa Waldrop

2:45 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

GOP senator says White House's Covid-19 response has not "been a great example for the world to see America"

From CNN's Ali Zaslav and Manu Raju

Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

GOP Sen. Mitt Romney criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic saying, “I don't think it's been a great example for the world to see America.”

“I mean look at other nations, look at Germany, the EU,” Romney said. “They had some tough times as we did but they came out of them and we're still struggling in part because of lack of effective oversight of this process.”

“I just feel it's taken us a long, long, long time to get to a point where we have rapid testing, which we don't have yet,” the Utah lawmaker said. “Ample testing, which we don't have. Personal protective equipment, it's still in short supply in certain places.”

On the Trump administration, Romney said, “I hope that there is a change in philosophy about wearing masks and recognizing the importance of scientific perspective as we move forward.”


2:35 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Kansas Board of Education strikes down governor's order to delay start of schools

From CNN's Melissa Alonso and Brad Parks

The Kansas State Board of Education has rejected the governor's executive order to delay the start of schools across the state, according to a statement from Gov. Laura Kelly.  

The state board voted 5-5 on the executive order Wednesday, which means the executive order wasn't affirmed, the Kansas Department of Education said in a tweet.  

Kelly's order would have delayed the start date for all schools in the state from Aug. 10 to Sept. 9 to ensure schools were prepared to mitigate Covid-19 spread, according to the order.   

“The cases of COVID-19 in Kansas are at an all-time high and continue to rise. Our decisions must be informed by public health experts not politics. This vote puts our students, faculty, their families and our economy at risk," Gov. Kelly said in the statement. 

“I will continue to work with our school districts to ensure the safety and wellbeing [sic] of our children and ask every school district to delay the start of school," said Kelly. 

2:37 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Ohio governor extends mask order to include all counties in the state

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Starting tomorrow at 6 p.m. local time, all Ohio residents will be required to wear masks while in public, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday.

“It’s essential that we wear masks statewide in Ohio to contain the spread of this virus,” DeWine said during a news conference.

“We’ve got to get this virus under control, wearing masks is going to make a difference. It will make a difference in what out fall looks like, what we do between now and the next several weeks will determine what our fall is like. We all want kids to go back to school, we want to see sports, we want to see a lot of different things. We want to have more opportunities in the fall and to do that, it’s just very important that all Ohioans wear a mask,” the governor added.

Previously, Ohio had only mandated that counties at a “red” and “purple” risk level wear masks. 

Ohio is part of a growing number of US states that have mandated the use of masks and face coverings while in public.

Keep reading here to see if your state has a mandate.

2:29 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

As more people wear masks, key coronavirus model lowers number of US deaths projected by November

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

The University of Washington now projects there will be 219,864 US deaths from Covid-19 by November 1, based on the current scenario.   

Last week, the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation forecast 224,546 total deaths by November. 

The latest update reflects a decrease of about 5,000 deaths in part due to increasing mandates for members of the public to wear masks, and the general increase in the number of people wearing masks and social distancing even without mandates. 

If the US universally adopted wearing masks, that number of deaths by November 1 would drop to 185,887, the model projects. However, if the mandates ease more, then the United States could see 231,012 deaths by that time.

Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at IHME, said that they’ve seen more people wearing masks in states that have seen a recent spike in cases such as in Florida, California, Texas and Arizona, but the states that have mask mandates have seen more universal adoption.

“So a mandate is very important and helping and a national mandate, of course, would do much better,” Mokdad told CNN. 

So far, according to Johns Hopkins University, more than 3.91 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus and at least 142,350 have died. 

2:25 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Here's the latest on some of the possible Covid-19 vaccines in development

Researchers in the US and across the world are working on possible coronavirus vaccines. Here's what we know about where some pharmaceutical companies stand in the process:


  • Early results suggest a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca is safe and induces an immune response.
  • However, researchers stressed more study is needed to know whether the vaccine protects people against the virus.
  • AstraZeneca told a US congressional hearing on Tuesday that it is on track to have a possible vaccine ready as early as September. But hours later, the head of the UK vaccine task force warned a possible coronavirus vaccine is unlikely to be made widely available before 2021.


  • A Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed by US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech was shown to elicit "robust" antibody and T cell immune responses in an early phase one/two study, the companies announced in a news release on Monday. That data has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
  • The US Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense announced an agreement today with Pfizer for “large-scale production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in the United States" after it is successfully developed and approved. If the vaccine is successful and receives EUA or licensure, nationwide delivery would begin in the fourth quarter of 2020.


But will these vaccines be safe? A number of representatives from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies testified before Congress yesterday. When asked whether the speed at which they are moving to develop a Covid-19 vaccine could influence the safety of the vaccines, they insisted that was not the case.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, today said teams "are going as quickly as we possibly can” on vaccine development while still being safe. 

“If you want to do it correctly, with safety, and real attention to safety and efficacy, I think we are going as fast as we possibly can,” Fauci said.

2:14 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Judge denies blanket motion to release families from ICE custody due to the pandemic

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez and Geneva Sands

A federal judge denied a blanket motion to release families in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Wednesday ruling. 

Immigration advocates and lawyers have urged the Trump administration to release families who are in federal immigration custody, given the confined setting and potential spread of coronavirus. In a separate lawsuit in California, a federal judge found that ICE’s Covid-19 protocols fell short and ordered the release of children. That case set up the potential that children could be separated from their families.

But the case before Judge James Boasberg in Washington, DC, called for the release of families, not just children. He didn’t agree with the plaintiffs' request to release everyone.

In a 26-page ruling, Boasberg detailed the precautions taken by the government, like mask use, and addressed issues raised by plaintiffs, like lack of social distancing and medical care. Despite recognizing steps taken by ICE and shortfalls alleged by plaintiffs, Boasberg said other options, outside of blanket release, need to be considered.

“Petitioners, fearful as we all are of contracting a novel and dangerous disease, understandably swing for the fences in seeking wholesale release,” Burroughs wrote. “Those fences are high and hard to clear, however, as Petitioners must demonstrate that no court-ordered remedy other than their release will do.”

Attorneys for the families are reviewing their options.  

1:49 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

New York's MTA: Covid-19 pandemic has created "the most challenging" budget crisis

From CNN's Sheena Jones

A person commutes on the subway in the Brooklyn borough on June 22 in New York City.
A person commutes on the subway in the Brooklyn borough on June 22 in New York City. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it needs more money from the federal government in order to continue operating. 

In a statement, the agency said the Covid-19 pandemic has decimated its revenue across all areas and has caused “the most challenging” budget crisis for the agency, a release says. 

The agency — which operates New York City's subway system as well as buses, commuter rails, bridges and tunnels in the area — is requesting the US Senate give it at least $3.9 billion to get through the end of the year and $10.3bBillion to get through 2021, the release says. 

“To say that these challenges are existential in scope isn’t an exaggeration,” MTA Chair and CEO Patrick J. Foye said. “Without further substantial assistance from the federal government, anything and everything must be on the table with respect to responding to financial damage from the pandemic. We are the lifeblood of the region’s economy and the fallout from Washington’s failure to act would have national consequences."

The agency plans on undertaking the largest cost-cutting actions in the agency’s history by reducing overtime, consultant contracts and non-labor expenses, the release said.

1:47 p.m. ET, July 22, 2020

Illinois reports highest daily total of new Covid-19 cases this month

From CNN’s Kay Jones

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said today that the state is reporting nearly 1,600 new Covid-19 cases, its highest one-day total in the month of July. 

Illinois has reported a total of 165,301 cases since the pandemic began, according to the Department of Public Health (IDPH), and 7,347 total deaths. 

Pritzker said the state also set a new record for tests, surpassing 40,000 tests in three of the last seven days. Illinois has conducted over 2.3 million tests during the pandemic. IDPH said that positivity rate over the past week is at 3.2%

Pritzker urged residents of the state to wear masks, saying that it doesn’t take long to reverse the progress made in getting the positivity rate down. However, he said that the numbers appear to be gradually rising and that it’s a concern. 

 “This virus is not a blue state virus and it’s not a red state virus. The deadly nature of this virus is not a hoax. Choosing to go out in public without a mask is not a political statement,” Pritzker said. “It demonstrates a callous disregard for people in the community and in your country and in our state and our nation. The enemy is not your mask. If you’re not wearing a mask in public, you’re endangering everyone around you. So the enemy is you.” 

Pritzker said that he is counting on leaders throughout the state to do what they know is right to protect the residents. He also said they want local residents to hold elected leaders accountable as well to keep the numbers down. 

Note: These numbers were released by the Illinois 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.