July 25 coronavirus news

EL CENTRO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 21: Clinicians care for a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at El Centro Regional Medical Center in hard-hit Imperial County on July 21, 2020 in El Centro, California. Imperial County currently suffers from the highest death rate and near-highest infection rate from COVID-19 in California. The rural county, which is 85 percent Latino, borders Mexico and Arizona and endures high poverty rates and air pollution while also being medically underserved. In California, Latinos make up about 39 percent of the population but account for 55 percent of confirmed coronavirus cases amid the pandemic. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
California reports highest number of single-day Covid-19 deaths
02:23 - Source: CNN

What you need to know

  • American medical experts are urging political leaders to shut down the United States to contain the pandemic after the country surpassed 4 million Covid-19 cases.
  • North Korea has reported its first suspected case of Covid-19.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US’s top infectious disease expert, said the Center for Disease Control has put “a sound set of guidelines” on how to reopen schools safely this fall.
  • Fast food outlets McDonald’s and Chipotle will soon require customers in the US to wear masks or other face coverings as cases of Covid-19 surge nationwide. 

Our live coverage of the global coronavirus pandemic has moved here.

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They have been married 46 years and overcame Covid-19, cancer and chemo together

A Texas couple who have been married for 46 years have both survived Covid-19, while the wife battled cancer.

Robert and Janice Beecham started to feel symptoms of Covid-19 in March. Robert was taken to the hospital on March 25 and found out he was positive the next day.

Janice had just had surgery in February, after finding out about a second battle with breast cancer and had been given a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer. She also tested positive for Covid-19, but luckily her symptoms were mild.

Janice had not started chemotherapy when she was diagnosed with Covid-19. She later had the treatment and has been declared cancer free, with only preventative radiotherapy left to do.

After surviving cancer and Covid-19, the Beechams say they are feeling fortunate.

“It would have been impossible to make it with all the odds against you without God, and he has been our help, all these many years,” Robert said.

Read the full story here:

Robert and Janice Beecham

They have been married 46 years and just overcame Covid-19, cancer and chemo together

More people died in Houston in July than in the past four months combined

The Texas city of Houston saw more people die from coronavirus in July than died in the previous four months combined, said Mayor Sylvester Turner.

“We have reported 386 people who have died in the city … 151 of those deaths came just in the month of July,” Turner said. “We have had more people to die in July than March, April, May, June combined.”

The number of hospital admissions appears to be going down somewhat – but there is still rapid community spread, he said.

In May, about 3,700 people tested positive for the virus. In June, that figure rose to 13,000. In July, it was more than 20,000, he said.

The Houston Department of Health reported 811 new cases Saturday, bringing the total to 40,897. Houston also reported 16 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total death toll to 386. 

Longtime staffer of Florida congressman dies of coronavirus

A longtime staffer for Florida GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan died of Covid-19 on Friday at a Florida hospital, according to the congressman’s Facebook post.

Buchanan described Gary Tibbetts, who was being treated at Manatee Memorial Hospital since July 15, as a “consummate professional.”

“Gary was the consummate professional and a true public servant in every sense of the word,” Buchanan said on Facebook. “He touched so many lives and was loved and respected by those who knew him. I will never forget his uplifting spirit, sense of humor and sheer joy at helping others.”

Rep. Buchanan’s office had tweeted a statement earlier this month that Tibbetts had not had any recent interactions with anyone else in the office. Tibbetts, a field representative, had worked for Buchanan since 2011.

Spike across the state: Florida has emerged as a major coronavirus hotspot in recent weeks. On Saturday, it became the US state with the second-highest official coronavirus case count, passing New York, once the country’s epicenter early in the pandemic.

The number of hospitalizations has increased by 79% since July 4, data from the state’s health care administration shows.

Florida's youngest Covid-19 victim was "amazing," says family 

A 9-year-old girl from Putnam County, Florida, became the state’s youngest victim of coronavirus last week.

Kimora “Kimmie” Lynum passed away on July 18, according to state health records. She had no pre-existing conditions before she died of Covid-19 complications.

According to her cousin and family spokesman Dejeon Cain, Kimmie’s mother took her to a local hospital to treat a “very high” fever. 

Cain said the hospital instructed the family to return home. After doing so, Kimmie complained of not feeling well and collapsed a short time later. She did not have a detectable heartbeat, Cain added.  

Cain described Kimmie as an “amazing young lady.” 

“She was always happy and made everybody happy. She was phenomenal,” Cain said. 

The family does not know how or where Kimmie contracted Covid-19. Cain said Kimmie appeared healthy and spent the summer at home. She did not attend school or camp, per Cain.  

Kimmie’s mother has been tested for Covid-19, Cain said, but as of Saturday she has not received her results. 

Hanna makes landfall in Texas but governor says don't forget about Covid-19

A person walks up a road beginning to flood as Hurricane Hanna makes landfall on Saturday in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Hurricane Hanna made landfall on Padre Island, Texas, at 5 pm CT, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

Before the storm made landfall Saturday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott discussed the challenges the state is still facing with coronavirus and the storm.

“Any hurricane is an enormous challenge,” he said. “This challenge is complicated and made even more severe, seeing that is sweeping through an area that is the most challenging area in the state for Covid-19.”

Abbott said that during hurricanes and severe weather people “will come together, come together to shelter, come together as just close family, come together as friends, come together to respond.”

“That coming together will continue to provide the ability for Covid-19 to transmit form one person to another,” he said.

“Hurricanes can be deadly events. Fortunately, I have not heard of a death resulting from Hurricane Hanna, but we cannot allow this hurricane to lead to a more catastrophically deadly event by stoking additional spread of Covid-19 that could lead to fatalities,” Abbott said. 

North Korea reports first suspected case of Covid-19

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un convened an emergency meeting after the country’s first suspected case of Covid-19 was reported, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Sunday morning local time.

KCNA reported that the infected individual illegally entered North Korea through Kaesong City on July 19 after defecting to South Korea three years ago. The patient has received medical checkups and has been quarantined, along with everyone the individual has been in contact with recently, KCNA reported.  

Kim Jong Un put isolation measures in place for regions around Kaesong and declared a state of emergency in one “relevant area,” KCNA reported.

The country’s Central Military Commission will investigate the unit responsible for the illegal entry of the patient and “administer a severe punishment,” KCNA reported.

Brazil reports more than 50,000 new Covid-19 cases for fourth day in a row

Brazil’s health ministry reported 51,147 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the nationwide total to 2.39 million.

Saturday marks the fourth day in a row that Brazil has reported more than 50,000 new Covid-19 cases and this week marks a weekly record of 321,623 new cases, according to date from the state Ministry of Health.

The ministry reported 1,211 new Covid-19 deaths, raising the national death toll to 86,449.

Jordan to gradually reopen airports to certain countries

Jordan will gradually reopen airports for international flights on August 5 after months of closure due to COVID-19 crisis, government official says. 

“The Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority informed airline operators in the world that Jordanian airports are ready to receive international flights from some selected countries based on a methodology prepared by the Ministry of Health previously dependent on the epidemiological situation,” Haitham Misto, chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority, told Jordanian TV channel Al-Mamlaka Saturday. 

Amjad Al-Adayleh, Jordan’s Minister of State for Information Affairs, announced Tuesday that airports in the kingdom will gradually open under comprehensive health preventive measures and requirements and only to flights from a specific group of countries depending on the epidemiological situation therein. 

On Tuesday, the government set a list of 22 “green countries” that will be allowed to travel to and from Jordan. They include:

  • Austria
  • Canada
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greenland
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand

Misto said that travelers “coming from green countries will not need a 14-day quarantine, but there are procedures, including a PCR test, before traveling.” He added that “the list set by the government for green countries may change every two weeks.”

Texas reports 8,112 new cases and 168 new deaths

Texas is reporting 8,112 new cases of coronavirus and 168 new deaths Saturday, according to data from the state Department of Health and Human Services.

A total of 375,846 cases and 4,885 deaths have been reported in total statewide.

Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District began separating confirmed and probable cases, removing 2,092 probable cases from the county and statewide totals, according to a message on the state health department’s website.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.”

Florida to discuss reopening bars, despite staggering positivity rate 

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.

Norway joins UK in imposing quarantine for travelers returning from Spain

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.

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

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.

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

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 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.

UK removes Spain from safe travel list

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