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
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3:10 p.m. ET, July 26, 2020

More than 2,500 Covid-19 cases reported on Sunday in Georgia

From CNN’s Natasha Chen

After setting a record for Covid-19 cases reported in a single day on Friday, the Georgia Department of Public Health has now reported two consecutive days of declining numbers.

On Sunday, Georgia Department of Public Health reported 2,765 new cases, down from 3,787 on Saturday.

The department also reported three new Covid-19 related deaths, down from 53 on Saturday.

There were 62 new hospitalizations reported on Sunday, down from 277 on Saturday.

2:47 p.m. ET, July 26, 2020

Miami Dade County reports 18% coronavirus positivity rate on Sunday

From CNN's Randi Kaye and Melissa Alonso

Miami Dade County has reported a daily coronavirus positivity rate today of 18%, according to the county's Covid-19 dashboard

The 14-day average for Miami Dade is 19.5%, the dashboard said. 

Currently, intensive care unit beds in Miami Dade County are at 146% capacity, the county reported. 

2:37 p.m. ET, July 26, 2020

Covid-19 positivity rate in South Carolina is now more than 15%

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

People wearing protective face masks walk along King St. on July 18, in Charleston, South Carolina.
People wearing protective face masks walk along King St. on July 18, in Charleston, South Carolina. Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The positivity rate for coronavirus testing in South Carolina is now 15.6%, according to a press release from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control issued Sunday.

The state has reported 1,170 new coronavirus cases and 25 new deaths Sunday, according to the department.

The state's total now stands at 80,856 confirmed cases and 1,436 deaths. There were also 343 probable cases and 55 probable deaths reported in South Carolina.

So far, 700,464 tests have been conducted in South Carolina, according to the release.

The state is still transitioning to a new federal reporting system for hospital bed occupancy and did not include the number of hospitalizations in Sunday's release.

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.