July 23 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Brad Lendon, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:09 a.m. ET, July 24, 2020
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1:28 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

There are more than 100,000 coronavirus cases in Louisiana

From CNN's Hollie Silverman and Kay Jones 

The Louisiana Department of Health reported a total of more than 100,000 cases of coronavirus in the state.

According to the agency, at least 2,408 new coronavirus cases were reported Thursday, bringing the total number of cases statewide to 101,650.

Community spread made up about 91% of new cases and 33% of the cases were identified in people ages 29 and under, the agency tweeted.

The total number of deaths statewide stands at 3,574, with 16 new fatalities reported Thursday, the agency said.

According to Johns Hopkins University's website, at least 11 other states have reported more than 100,000 coronavirus cases.

Note: These numbers were released by the Louisiana Department of Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

1:18 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

Lockdown phases return for some Spanish regions as numbers of Covid-19 cases rise

From CNN's Laura Pérez Maestro in Madrid

People with masks walk through the town of Ainsa, Spain, on July 19.
People with masks walk through the town of Ainsa, Spain, on July 19. Alvaro Calvo/Getty Images

Spain’s northern region of Aragon will bring back phase two of the de-escalation process for some counties following an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.

People in the area of Bajo Cinca, Bajo Aragón-Caspe, Comarca Central and Monegros will be asked to stay in their county and only leave when absolutely necessary. Meetings of over 10 people are forbidden and the capacity of bars and restaurants will be reduced.

La Litera, Cinca Medio, Barbastro and Huesca counties will continue to be in a "relaxed phase two," said Sira Repollés, Aragon’s health councillor.

About the numbers: Spain recorded 971 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the highest number since May 8, the Spanish health ministry’s data showed on Thursday

Nearly half of those new cases — 422 — are in Aragon. Only three people died from coronavirus in Spain on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 28,429.  

María José Sierra of the health ministry's emergencies coordination unit said at a news conference on Thursday that “the number of cases is rising but it is not putting pressure on the health system because 50% of them are asymptomatic. The average age has gone down to 45 years old."

Sierra said that although there are 281 active outbreaks in the country, “we are most concerned about the regions of Aragon and Catalonia.”

“There is not only outbreaks. There is also community transmission," she added.

The government of the southern Murcia region also announced Thursday that it will put the municipality of Totana after identifying an outbreak in which 55 people tested positive for coronavirus.

1:16 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

More than 140,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the US as country nears 4 million cases

From CNN’s Haley Brink

There have been at least 3,991,061 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 143,495 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other U.S. territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

On Thursday at 1:00 pm ET, Johns Hopkins had reported 20,155 new cases and 305 additional deaths.  

Here's a look at the US states with the highest number of cases:


12:57 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

Countries with low levels of Covid-19 will still experience outbreaks, WHO says

From CNN's Health Gisela Crespo

Countries coming out of lockdowns and countries with low levels of Covid-19 will still experience potential clusters and outbreaks of the disease, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Programme, said on Thursday. 

Ryan explained during a news conference that even in countries that have brought down the virus "under extreme control," such as Germany and Spain, "there's always a chance that the disease can be imported or the disease can spread from unseen clusters." 

Ryan said that rather than implementing widespread lockdowns, governments should be "more precise" in how they contain an outbreak.

"Instead of restricting everyone, we try and go after the virus. And we try and identify where the virus is, and then specifically and surgically, in the sense, excise the virus from the community by minimizing the impact on the lives and livelihoods of the community," Ryan said. 

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's technical lead for coronavirus response and head of its emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, said that if outbreaks "are dealt with swiftly" through testing and contact tracing, "you have an opportunity to really put that fire out quickly." 

12:52 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

There is still "intense transmission" of Covid-19 in a relatively small group of countries, WHO says

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

Coronavirus is spreading fast in some countries, the World Health Organization said Thursday. 

“We continue to see intense transmission in a relatively small group of countries,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a briefing in Geneva. 

Tedros said 15 million cases of Covid-19 and 620,000 deaths have now been reported to WHO.

“Almost 10 million cases, or two thirds of all cases globally, are from 10 countries,” he said. “And almost half of all cases reported so far are from just three countries.”

The US, Brazil and India have the highest numbers of new cases currently.

“Even in those three countries that have the highest numbers of cases right now (it) can be turned around,” WHO’s Maria van Kerkhove said later.

Tedros reiterated that political leadership and community engagement are the “two vital pillars of the response.”

Here's a look at the countries with the highest number of confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data:

12:45 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

Administration nearing release of additional guidance on return to US schools

From CNN's Kristen Holmes and Nick Valencia

Supplemental guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on safely reopening schools during the pandemic could be released as early as tonight, two federal officials told CNN.

A senior administration official said that five supplemental guidance documents have now been completed and described their release as "imminent."

Some background: Earlier this week, CNN reported that the supplemental guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been cleared though the federal review process by the Office of Management and Budget.

The White House initially said this guidance would come out last week, but a CDC spokesman confirmed late Friday that it would be delayed because the documents weren't ready.

President Trump had criticized current CDC reopening guidance as "too tough."

A federal health official also confirmed the timetable to CNN, and, reacting to previous delays in this process, the source said: “I will believe it when I see it.”

 Many school districts in the U.S. are set to resume classes in some form as soon as two weeks from now.

12:34 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

CDC’s ensemble forecast now projects more than 164,000 US coronavirus deaths by August 15

From CNN Health’s Ben Tinker

An ensemble forecast published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now projects more than 164,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by August 15.

The new projections, published Thursday, forecast 164,477 deaths by August 15, with a possible range of 158,490 to 173,431 deaths.

 “National and state-level ensemble forecasts suggest that the number of new deaths over the next 4 weeks will likely exceed the number reported over the last 4 weeks for the US overall, as well as in 25 states and 1 territory,” the CDC says on its forecasting website.

The jurisdictions with the greatest likelihood of a larger number of deaths include:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah

More on the projection: Unlike some individual models, the CDC’s ensemble forecast only offers projections about a month into the future.

The previous ensemble forecast, published July 15, projected roughly 157,000 coronavirus deaths by August 8.

At least 143,446 people have already died from Covid-19 in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

1:03 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

New York state monitoring rising coronavirus rates among younger people

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

e York state is monitoring rising coronavirus rates among younger people, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news conference Thursday.

A graphic presented during the press conference showed a 13.2% test positivity rate for individuals between the ages of 21 to 30, compared to 9.9% a week earlier, he said, calling the statistic “a significant increase in a short period of time."

"It's not hard to understand what is going on ... you get groups of young people - it's warm, they've been locked up for a long time and would like to socialize — I get it. You don't socially distance, you don't wear masks, the virus spreads, and it is happening," the governor said.

"This is not the time to fight for your right to party ... There's an attitude that young people are immune — you are not. 21 to 30, the virus can kill you. And if it doesn't kill you, you can bring it home and give it to someone inadvertently and it can kill them," Cuomo added.

Cuomo also announced a new ad campaign aimed at young people:


12:30 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

Arizona's coronavirus deaths surpass 3,000

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

Arizona has now lost over 3,000 people to Covid-19, according to data reported by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) on Thursday.  

ADHS reported at least 89 new Covid-19 related deaths Thursday, bringing the total number of deaths to 3,083. 

The state has a total of at least 152, 944 total cases, according to the state's dashboard.  

Arizona is currently seeing a 42.61 death rate per 100,000 people and a 12.5% positivity rate.