The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

By Ben Westcott, Helen Regan, Laura Smith-Spark, Ed Upright and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:10 a.m. ET, July 25, 2020
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4:15 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Hawaii reports record number of new coronavirus cases for second day in a row

From CNN’s Andy Rose

For the second day in a row, Hawaii has reported a record number of new coronavirus cases.

The state reported 60 new Covid-19 cases Friday, according to the state Department of Health. Hawaii had 55 new cases on Thursday. 

"Some of the cases we’re reporting today are associated with existing clusters, known cases and household spread, but others are new, unassociated cases that indicate increasing community spread,” Health Director Bruce Anderson said in a statement.

Anderson added that some cases have been traced to people “just hanging out with close friends” who were not practicing social distancing.

4:10 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Fauci calls CDC's new guidelines on reopening schools "sound"

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, wears a Washington Nationals protective mask while arriving to a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30 in Washington.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, wears a Washington Nationals protective mask while arriving to a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30 in Washington. Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put "a sound set of guidelines" on how to reopen schools safely this fall during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday. 

"I think the CDC has put some good guidance down. I just took a quick look at them before I started in on the program, which was sent to me by my colleagues at the CDC. So I think it's a sound set of guidelines," Fauci told the Washington Post's Robert Costa during an Post Live interview. 

The guidelines released Thursday push hard for schools to reopen and point to studies showing that children are not at high risk of severe symptoms from coronavirus, as well as to studies showing younger children may not be important vectors for the spread of the virus.

“There's still a lot to learn about what the prevalence and incidence of infection is in children,” Fauci said today. 

He added the National Institutes of Health has a study underway that is looking at 2,000 families to find, among other things, how frequently children get infected and if they transmit it to adults. It’s expected to produce results by December, he said.

"Even though we have some information about that, we still need more," Fauci added. 

4:06 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

California reports highest number of Covid-19 deaths in single day

From CNN’s Sarah Moon

California reported 159 additional deaths from coronavirus on Friday, according to data from the state's Department of Public Health, the highest number recorded in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

The new record comes just one day after the previous record of 157 deaths was reported on Thursday, and raises the statewide death toll to 8,186.

More than half of all Covid-19 deaths in California have occurred in Los Angeles County, where 4,262 fatalities have been reported.

The state also reported 9,718 new coronavirus cases on Friday, raising the total number of cases in the state to 435,334.

The positivity rate over a two-week period is now 7.5%. 

3:58 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

84 New York bars and restaurants violated Covid-19 rules, governor says

From CNN's Rob Frehse

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23. Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

Dozens of New York bars and restaurants face charges related to Covid-19 violations week, including 10 that received license suspensions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. 

Nearly 1,100 compliance checks were conducted between July 21 and July 23 and violations were found at 84 establishments, which could lead to fines up to $10,000 per violation, Cuomo announced. 

Since the start of the pandemic, the state has filed 443 charges and 33 Emergency Orders of Suspension for non-compliance with Covid-19 regulations.

"We are very proud of what New Yorkers did to flatten the curve of the virus, but we have to protect our progress because no one wants to do that again," Cuomo said. "That's why we're watching the bar and restaurant violations and the congregations in front of these establishments, as we believe it's connected to the increased infection rate with young people. We've tasked the State Liquor Authority and the State Police to help local governments more aggressively enforce the law and they are doing just that, with dozens of violations found last night alone."  

3:44 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Bolivian region's health secretary dies after contracting coronavirus

From CNNE's Florencia Trucco and CNN's Radina Gigova in Atlanta

The secretary of health in Bolivia's Santa Cruz region passed away on Friday after contracting coronavirus, according to a statement by the local government.

Oscar Urenda died in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra after being hospitalized for 46 days. He was "leading and fighting this pandemic," the statement said. Urenda was 72, according to local media. 

Urenda is the 13th government official in Bolivia, among them interim President Jeanine Áñez, who authorities have said has contracted coronavirus. Urenda is the first one who has died from the virus. 

Áñez expressed her condolences in a video and messages she shared on her official Twitter account.

“I met Dr. Urena a few years ago in the fight for democracy and freedom. He was always the same — firm in his position, and at the same time human and kind to others," said Áñez in the video message. 

Áñez, said Urenda fought for the health of the residents of Santa Cruz and all Bolivians. "We are left with his example," she added. 

Santa Cruz is the country's most affected region by the pandemic. It has nearly half of the country's total number of cases, which stands at more than 65,252 cases, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Health.

4:58 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Arkansas governor: "We've got a lot of work to do" to decrease positivity rate ahead of school year

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Arkansas is working to decrease the positivity rate from the 8% reported today to 5% as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for reopening schools, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said during a news conference Friday afternoon.

The governor already pushed the start date for schools back to August 24 because of the virus, he said. 

"I did notice that the CDC guidelines came out ... they indicate that they look at the positivity rate and that we'd like to see a closer to 5% positivity rate as we reopen schools," Hutchinson said. "And so we've got a lot of work to do over the next 30 days. We're on the right track in terms of positivity. I'm pleased with the increased number of testing that we're doing right now. And so we've got more work to do."

Hutchinson said that schools should be prepared to go back to online learning during the school year if needed.

"We'll continue to work with the Department of Health as well as Education and try to give the right guidance to the local school districts," the governor said. "But it still remains the point that every place that we want to be able to have in classroom instruction, knowing that we're going to have to shift to online from time to time this year. That's the game plan we're going to continue to refine that and to look at where we are in terms of the coronavirus in the coming weeks." 

The latest numbers: At least 990 new cases of coronavirus were reported in the state Friday, Hutchinson said.

3:41 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Florida congressman announces that a longtime staffer has died from coronavirus

From CNN's Betsy Klein and Haley Byrd

Gary Tibbetts, center, visits a mobile dental office in Bradenton, Florida, in March 2019.
Gary Tibbetts, center, visits a mobile dental office in Bradenton, Florida, in March 2019. Casey Brooke Lawson/AP Images for Aspen Dental

Florida Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan announced this morning that a longtime staffer, Gary Tibbetts, has died from Covid-19.

Tibbetts died at Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Florida, just outside Tampa. 

Buchanan wrote in a statement posted to his official social media feeds Friday that he is devastated by the loss. 

“He touched so many lives and was loved and respected by those who knew him,” Buchanan wrote. 

The Tampa Bay Times had reported earlier this week that Tibbetts had been hospitalized. Buchanan said Tibbetts had worked for him since 2011.

3:31 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

São Paulo postpones Carnival 2021 due to Covid-19 pandemic

From Fernanda Wenzel in Porto Alegre

People participate in a Carnival parade in São Paulo, Brazil, in March 2019.
People participate in a Carnival parade in São Paulo, Brazil, in March 2019. Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images

São Paulo’s Carnival has been postponed until May or June next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the city’s Mayor Bruno Covas announced during a news conference on Friday.

The decision involves both the parade of the samba schools and the street blocks that last year attracted 15 million people during three weeks, according to the mayor.

"We are still talking with the samba schools, the blocks and the other cities to define a new date. It is probably going to be between the end of May and the beginning of June," said Covas.

The mayor also announced two other events in the city were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The March for Jesus, a religious event that gathers the faithful of all Brazilian Christian churches, was initially pushed back from June to Nov. 2, and has now been canceled. Last year, the event attracted 3 million people, according to Covas.

The LGBTQ Pride Parade, São Paulo’s annual gay pride parade, was celebrated virtually in June with the actual parade postponed until Nov. 29, but that event was canceled, too.

About the numbers: São Paulo City reported a total of 202,571 Covid-19 cases and 9,168 deaths on Thursday afternoon. In the state of São Paulo, 44% of 20,532 registered deaths were reported in its capital, according to the last report released by City Hall. 

São Paulo’s mayor said on Friday the city has seen an improvement in the fight against the pandemic but the fight is not over yet.

3:25 p.m. ET, July 24, 2020

Public health officials need to "stick with the science," even in a political atmosphere, Fauci says

From CNN’s Jen Christensen

A pandemic may intensify the divisiveness that already exists in the country, but scientists need to stay firm with facts, even when people push back, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday.

“We need to stick with the science and let everything we do, vis-a-vis recommendations, vis-à-vis recommendations, vis-à-vis guidelines, to be guided by the evidence and by the facts,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“And often the evidence and the facts are not readily acceptable by some people who push back against it. You just have to stick by your guns,” Fauci said during a Center for Strategic and International Studies online event. “Don’t get involved in any ideology. We are not politicians. We are public health officials.”

Fauci said throughout history, situations like the Covid-19 pandemic put a stress on society that can create a “supercharged atmosphere.” People have become confused and some fail to understand how the economy and public health are intertwined. 

“They perceive public health measures almost as the enemy of economic recovery and getting back to normal,” Fauci said. Instead, people should realize that public health measures will help the economy recover. “We should utilize those tools to help us rather than to interpret that these are obstacles,” he said.

Fauci said it is the duty of public health officials to help people understand their responsibility to society and to help change minds people’s minds if they refuse to wear masks or stay out of crowded bars.

“We’ve got to make sure people really understand the responsibility that they have to help out to get out of this predicament we’re in, as opposed to intensify it,” Fauci said.