July 26 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Jenni Marsh, Zamira Rahim, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 2:50 a.m. ET, July 27, 2020
35 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:25 p.m. ET, July 26, 2020

In Louisiana, 94% of new Covid-19 cases reported Sunday are from community spread

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Pedestrians are seen walking along Bourbon Street in the French Quarter on July 14,  in New Orleans.
Pedestrians are seen walking along Bourbon Street in the French Quarter on July 14, in New Orleans. Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Of the 3,840 new coronavirus cases reported Sunday by the Louisiana Department of Health, 94% are tied to community spread, a tweet from the agency said.

The new cases were collected between July 19 and 26, the department of health said in a series of tweets.

There were 48 new deaths reported, bringing the statewide total to 3,651, a tweet said. 

The new deaths and new cases were reported since Friday, according to the tweet.

A total of 1,233,264 Covid-19 tests have been completed in the state.


2:07 p.m. ET, July 26, 2020

Rhode Island continues to urge residents from nearby states to not visit state beaches

From CNN's Ganesh Setty

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is continuing to urge residents from Connecticut and Massachusetts not to visit the state’s beaches following a large uptick in visitors for the month of June during the pandemic.

Rhode Island’s eight beaches saw a 79% year-over-year increase in visitors in June, from 190,000 visitors to 340,000 visitors, DEM said in a Thursday press release

The spike in visitors came despite the 75% capacity limit on parking at Misquamicut and Scarborough beaches to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, the department said. 

Earlier this month, Gov. Gina Raimondo slashed those capacity limits to 25% at the two beaches to further cut down on crowding. 

“When you run beaches and you’re trying to ensure room for physical distancing, high tide is the enemy. The higher the water comes up, the less room there is on the sand and the more people must bunch up. Coupled with the very minimal mask wearing we had been seeing when our beaches were at 75% capacity, that’s a bad combination,” DEM spokesman Michael Healey said in an email to CNN. 

According to a 2017 University of Rhode Island report on the economic impact of the state’s parks, 47% of visitors to Rhode Island’s beaches came from out of state in 2016. At Misquamicut Beach, 77% of visitors come from out of state, the majority of whom were from Connecticut, the report said. 

“By keeping crowds down and allowing for physical distancing on the sand, we are trying to protect public health and safety – in Rhode Island and other states," DEM Director Janet Coit said in the release. "We also are trying to help our beach communities alleviate the heavy traffic that they have been experiencing this summer." 

More context: While DEM cannot deny access to parks and beaches based on residency, they do charge out of state visitors twice the cost for daily and seasonal parking passes, Healey added.  

According to the state’s travel restrictions page, residents from Connecticut and Massachusetts are not required to self-quarantine when they enter Rhode Island. 

1:36 p.m. ET, July 26, 2020

More than 146,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

There are at least 4,197,184 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 146,632 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.    

As of 1:30 p.m. ET Sunday, 19,163 new cases and 172 new deaths have been reported in the US since midnight.   

The totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.    

1:36 p.m. ET, July 26, 2020

No reported outbreaks associated with Florida theme parks, health official says

From CNN's Natasha Chen, John Couwels and Melissa Alonso

Guests stop to take a selfie at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on July 11, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Guests stop to take a selfie at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on July 11, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World Resort/Getty Images

A health official in Orange County, Florida, said thus far, they have not seen any Covid-19 outbreaks associated with the reopening of theme parks in the area, Florida Department of Health public information officer Kent Donahue told CNN.

Donahue told CNN that the health department’s epidemiology program is in communication with the theme parks.

Despina McLaughlin, public information officer for Orange County, said the county has received a couple of complaints regarding the larger attractions and the use of face coverings. McLaughlin said the county will not name the attractions and will work together to resolve the issues.

McLaughlin said Orange County’s Strike Team will continue to visit local businesses, along with large and small theme parks, as part of their daily duties to monitor health protocols. 

1:02 p.m. ET, July 26, 2020

Trust is very important in the vaccine process, former CDC director says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden, highlighted the importance of trust in the vaccine process on Sunday.

First, experts have to see if vaccines work, and there is encouraging news that some might, Frieden said. Then, it's necessary to make sure the vaccines are safe.

Thirdly, “we have to make sure we get them into people’s arms and that means ensuring that there’s trust, he said.

He said that two crucial things to watch are the US Food and Drug Administration and the CDC’s Public Advisory Committee, describing both as transparent and open to the public.

The FDA determines approval of the vaccine, and the CDC approves who should get it and when, Frieden explained.

“There are no secrets here, it’s very important that we maintain, gain, increase trust in this whole process or people are going to be confused, concerned and they’re not going to take the vaccine,” he said.

When it comes to a timeline for vaccine availability, Frieden said that there may be signals that the vaccine is protective sometime in the fall, and that there may be announcements from companies that they can make large quantities, “but between knowing it’s safe, effective and available, that’s going to be sometime next year, in all likelihood, if we are lucky.”


12:22 p.m. ET, July 26, 2020

Pennsylvania reports 800 additional cases of Covid-19

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Pennsylvania reports 800 additional cases of Covid-19 across the state and four new deaths, a release from the state's Department of Health said. 

State health officials warned healthcare providers, in an alert, saying there was a “significant” increase of cases among 19 to 24-year-olds, the release said.

One thing to note: The numbers listed were released by the Pennsylvania 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.

12:20 p.m. ET, July 26, 2020

Each community should make a determination on reopening schools, US health official says

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

There is not a uniform threshold when it comes to reopening schools, Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar said on Sunday. 

“We don’t believe that there are uniform thresholds for school reopenings,” he said on CBS Sunday, when asked why there wasn’t a benchmark on when schools should shut down.. 

The 5% threshold that is laid out by the administration that defines a hotspot refers to positive testing, he said. 

Azar described communities with 5% positive testing as yellow communities and 10% positive testing as red communities. 

“That’s an epidemiological early warning sign of potential spread of disease,” he said. “That’s not been defined as a threshold for reopening of any kind.” 

“Each community is going to have to make the determination about the circumstances for reopening, and what steps they take for reopening,” Azar said. “But the presumption should be that we get out kids back to school and figure out how to make that happen.” 
11:22 a.m. ET, July 26, 2020

Florida reports more than 9,200 new Covid-19 cases among residents

From CNN's Randi Kaye and Melissa Alonso

Florida has reported 9,259 new cases of Covid-19 among Floridians and 77 additional deaths on Sunday, according to Florida Department of Health (DOH).   

This marks the 23rd day this month that the state has reported more than 9,000 new cases in a single day, according to CNN's tally.    

The state's total cases of Floridians with coronavirus is 418,844, according to DOH. The statewide resident death toll is now 5,854, DOH added.

There are currently 8,868 people hospitalized in Florida with with Covid-19, down from above 9,000 for weeks now, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).

To note: These figures were released by Florida's public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

12:09 p.m. ET, July 26, 2020

Pelosi says Congress "can’t go home" until coronavirus stimulus deal reached

From CNN's Sarah Westwood

from CBS
from CBS

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress should stay in session until a stimulus deal is reached. 

“We’ve been anxious to negotiate for two months and 10 days,” Pelosi said Sunday, criticizing the Republicans for taking so long to propose another stimulus package. 

“We can’t go home without it, but it’s so sad that people should have this uncertainty in their lives,” she said on CBS today.

Pelosi also said she would prefer to see enhanced unemployment benefits paid at a flat rate, not as a portion of a worker’s lost wages as Republicans are preparing to propose. 

“Let me just say: the reason we had $600 was its simplicity,” Pelosi said, noting that calculating 70% of someone’s lost earnings would be difficult for administrators. “Why don’t we just keep it simple? Unemployment benefits and the enhancement... is so essential right now.”

Pelosi declined to say whether Democrats would be willing to accept an unemployment insurance enhancement that is lower than the $600 number; that benefit officially expires on July 31, but Americans on unemployment insurance would have received their final check under the program this past week. 

More context: Republicans are finalizing a bill that would cap the enhanced unemployment benefit at 70% of a person’s lost wages. They do not plan to renew the existing $600-per-week enhancement.