July 25 coronavirus news

By James Griffiths, Steve George, Zamira Rahim, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 0420 GMT (1220 HKT) July 26, 2020
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5:31 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

Rio de Janeiro cancels traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations on Copacabana beach

From journalist Fernanda Witzel in Porto Alegre and CNN’s Taylor Barnes in Atlanta

The Rio de Janeiro city government announced on Saturday that the city's popular New Year’s Eve celebration will be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the city government said that the event, which draws millions of people to the iconic Copacabana beach each year, "is not viable in the pandemic scenario, without the existence of a vaccine."

The statement said the city's tourism bureau will soon present alternative event proposals to Mayor Marcelo Crivella that are "without in-person attendance, in a virtual format" and that take into account "an atmosphere of reflection and hope in the face of so many losses."

The future of Rio de Janeiro's pre-Lenten Carnival samba performances and street parties, which normally take place in February, is still uncertain.

The city government's statement says that the local tourism bureau is awaiting an official position from the Independent League of Samba Schools, the body which represents the thousands-strong samba schools that compete in elaborate performances during Carnival. The statement said there is no official decision yet regarding whether block parties in the street will be canceled during Carnival.

To make decisions, we need an analysis of the whole situation, including the number of cases, the evolution of treatment for the disease, prevention measures, and the creation of a vaccine," the statement said.

Rio de Janeiro's announcement follows neighboring São Paulo’s decision to postpone its Carnival celebration to May or June next year, despite the fact that Carnival's date is pegged to the religious holiday of Easter and Lent. 

Earlier in July, the city of São Paulo announced that its New Year celebrations would be canceled this year.

5:24 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

Infectious disease expert says Brazil's President sets a "bad example" after unmasked interactions

From journalist Fernanda Wenzel in Porto Alegre, Brazil

The head of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases says President Jair Bolsonaro set a "bad example" by socializing and not wearing a mask right after his negative Covid-19 test announcement.

Saturday’s announcement by Bolsonaro that he’d tested negative comes after numerous positive tests since announcing on July 7 that he was infected with Covid-19. On Saturday morning Bolsonaro greeted supporters, at times without a mask, and rode his motorcycle after he announced his negative test result.

Dr. Estevão Urbano, president of the infectious diseases society, told CNN that he believes Boslonaro’s behavior sets a "bad example" as more than 1,000 deaths from coronavirus are being reported daily in Brazil.

"With one negative test, you can't be sure you won't contaminate another person. We also don't know for sure if this virus brings immunity, or for how long this immunity lasts," Urbano says.
5:19 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

New Jersey judge rules that state can forcibly close gym that stayed open against Covid-19 orders

From CNN’s Ganesh Setty

A New Jersey judge ruled Friday that the state government may forcibly close Atilis Gym, which had stayed open despite state orders to close due to Covid-19 concerns, according to court documents.

The gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, was shut down by the state health department, but a co-owner of the gym previously told CNN they planned to reopen.

The Department of Health "is authorized to place locks on the doors to Atilis Gym of Bellmawr or otherwise construct or place barriers on or around the premises to ensure compliance" with state closure orders, Judge Robert Lougy wrote.

The gym has also been ordered to "not obstruct [state health authorities] in any way from carrying out the terms of this order," according to Lougy’s ruling.

James Mermigis, an attorney for Atilis Gym, told CNN in a statement that his clients were disappointed in the judge’s order and that they intend to explore their legal options and determine what their next step is.

It is absurd that Governor Murphy continues to unconstitutionally shutdown gyms while other indoor exercise continues including gymnastics, dancing and Kickboxing. This attests to the randomness of the Governor's orders," Mermigis said.

When reached for comment on Saturday, Gov. Phil Murphy’s office deferred comment to the state attorney general’s office.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal released the following statement regarding Friday’s order:

"Friday’s ruling underscores that companies cannot disregard the Governor’s Executive Orders, which are designed to protect us all in the face of an unprecedented public health crisis. While I wish it had not come to this, I am grateful that the Court recognized the need for compliance. The vast majority of businesses and residents are following these rules and doing their part to keep their friends and neighbors safe, and those few companies who flout our Executive Orders are once again on notice that we will hold them accountable, and that there will be serious consequences for their actions."
5:14 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

Florida to discuss reopening bars, despite staggering positivity rate 

From Rosa Flores and Denise Royal

Halsey Beshears, the head of Florida's business regulation department, said in a tweet that he is setting up meetings throughout the state with breweries and bars to discuss how to reopen. 

The tweet comes as the positivity rate for the state of Florida has ranged from 13% to 18% in the past two weeks. Beshears is secretary of the state's Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

4:49 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

Norway joins UK in imposing quarantine for travelers returning from Spain

From CNN’s Mitchell McCluskey

Norway will impose a mandatory 10-day quarantine for all travelers returning from Spain, due to a spike in coronavirus cases, Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Saturday.

Norway advises against all non-essential travel for several countries within Europe including Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Spain and some regions of Sweden, the ministry said in a statement. The restrictions will apply until August 20.

The UK also announced Saturday a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers returning from Spain.

4:47 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

Nearly half of Florida's Covid-19 deaths linked to long-term care facilities

From Rosa Flores and Denise Royal

In Florida, 46% of all Covid-19 related deaths are linked to long-term care facilities, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health.

To date, 2,645 out of 5,777 total deaths are associated with long-term care facilities in the state, health department data shows.

This comes as CNN learned this week that Florida initiated its second deployment of incident management teams to nearly 4,000 long-term care facilities across the state, according to the state's Division of Emergency Management. The state will utilize 50 teams to make the assessments, which include infection prevention and PPE assessments.

The state has designated 12 facilities across Florida to treat Covid-19 patients from long-term care facilities, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

4:48 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

Arizona sees two-day uptick in coronavirus cases and second-highest daily death count

From CNN’s Miguel Marquez and Artemis Moshtaghian

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey gives an update on the state's efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic at a press conference in Phoenix on Thursday, July 23.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey gives an update on the state's efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic at a press conference in Phoenix on Thursday, July 23. Matt York/AP

Arizona health officials reported a two-day uptick in coronavirus cases in the state Saturday.

The state had 3,357 positive coronavirus cases Friday and reported 3,748 positive cases Saturday, according to numbers released by Arizona Department of Health Services.

The last spike seen in the state was reported Tuesday, but the numbers reported Friday and Saturday were higher than the reported positive cases on other days.

The department reported 144 total Covid-19 deaths Saturday, the second highest day recorded in the state. Last Saturday, the state reported 147 Covid-19 deaths.

4:49 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

UK removes Spain from safe travel list

From CNN’s Nada Bashir and Mitchell McCluskey

The United Kingdom has removed Spain from its list of countries that residents can safely visit, the government announced on Saturday.

Effective immediately, all people returning to the UK from Spain will be required to self-isolate for two weeks. UK residents currently visiting Spain will be allowed to remain there, but must self-isolate upon returning, the government said.

"We’ve always been clear that we would act immediately to remove a country where necessary. Both our list of quarantine exemptions and the FCO travel advice are being updated to reflect these latest risk assessments," a UK government spokesperson said in a statement.

Spain has experienced an uptick in coronavirus cases in recent days. On Thursday, Spain reported over 971 news cases, its highest increase since May 8, and announced that lockdown restrictions will be reinstated in the northern region of Aragon.

3:41 p.m. ET, July 25, 2020

There are more than 3,700 new Covid-19 cases in Georgia

From CNN's Natasha Chen

There are 3,787 new Covid-19 cases reported in Georgia, the Georgia Department of Public Health said today.

That figure is down from the state’s record of 4,813 new coronavirus cases on Friday. This brings the total confirmed cases in Georgia to 165,188, according to the department. 

There were 53 new Covid-19 related deaths reported Saturday, down from 82 deaths reported Friday. This brings the state’s death total to 3,495.

There were also 277 new hospitalizations reported Saturday, down from 399 on Friday.