August 2 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Ivana Kottasová, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 12:06 a.m. ET, August 3, 2020
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12:00 p.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Florida reports more than 7,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

Motorists line up for Covid-19 tests on July 22 on Miami Beach, Florida.
Motorists line up for Covid-19 tests on July 22 on Miami Beach, Florida. Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

The state of Florida has reported 7,047 new cases of Covid-19 among Floridians and 62 additional resident deaths on Sunday, according to Florida Department of Health (DOH).       

There are now 481,668 cases among residents and 487,132 total cases in the state, including out of state residents, DOH reports. Florida has reported 7,084 resident deaths to date, DOH data shows. 

There are currently 7,985 people hospitalized in Florida with Covid-19, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).

Florida’s state-supported Covid-19 testing sites in the path of Tropical Storm Isaias on Florida’s east coast have been temporarily closed since Thursday evening in anticipation of Hurricane Isaias, CNN has reported. 

One thing to note: These numbers 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.

11:49 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

36 crew members on Norwegian Arctic cruise ship test positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad in London

The expedition cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen is docked on July 31 in Tromso, Norway.
The expedition cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen is docked on July 31 in Tromso, Norway. Rune Stoltz Bertinussen/NTB Scanpix/AFP/Getty Images

There are 36 crew members on Norwegian Arctic cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen who have tested positive for coronavirus, Hurtigruten Cruises said in a statement Saturday.

As a result, 387 passengers from two July expeditions on the cruise ship have been asked to self-quarantine.

According to the statement, on Friday four crew members tested positive after they had been in isolation for “several” days ago for showing “other disease symptoms” but none associated with Covid-19.

“The safety and well-being of our guests and crew is Hurtigruten’s number one priority. All crew members are closely monitored and screened daily," the company said the statement.

Additional testing of the entire crew concluded that 32 other crew members were infected with Covid-19, bringing the total to 36.

More details: The ship is currently docked in Tromsø, Norway, with no passengers on board. It was scheduled to sail to Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago north of Norway, on Friday afternoon. That trip has now been cancelled. The MS Roald Amundsen had two expeditions to the Arctic, one on July 17 with 109 guests, and another on July 24 with 178 guests on board.

 

11:12 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Birx says that reopening schools in areas with Covid-19 increases should be done cautiously

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

In areas with widespread case increases, the cases need to be stopped first before there can be talks about reopening schools safely, according to Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus task force coordinator. 

“I certainly would endorse what Dr. Redfield is saying,” she said on CNN on Sunday. “In the areas where we have this widespread case increase, we need to stop the cases and then we can talk about safely reopening.” 

“If you have high caseload and active community spread, just like we are asking people not to go to bars, not to have household parties, not to create large spreading events, we are asking people to distance learn at this moment so we can get this epidemic under control,” she added.  

As coordinator for the task force, Brix said that she works with Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and looks at the data every single day and that she would do “what the CDC guidelines have recommended, and certainly the director.” 

 

10:52 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Large indoor gatherings across New Jersey are not a "widespread problem," state police say

From CNN’s Anna Sturla

The New Jersey State Police does not consider large indoor gatherings to be a "widespread problem," press officer Major Brian Polite told CNN.

"With that being said, any indoor home gathering must fall within the guidelines set forth in the executive order and any violations of such will result in enforcement," Polite said.

Some context: The police statement comes after Airbnb removed or suspended 35 listings across New Jersey in order to crack down on "party houses," according to a statement from Airbnb.

One house party in late July had 700 people, taking more than five hours to be broken up by police, officials said.

11:42 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Arkansas governor says there is no correlation between Covid-19 spike and lifting of restrictions

From CNN’s Chandler Thornton

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks with CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday, August 2.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks with CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday, August 2. CNN

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told CNN the state will not shut down bars and restaurants despite the recent spike in cases.

When asked Sunday if the state's high number of new cases and deaths could have been prevented had there been restrictions imposed earlier, Hutchinson said the "economy and people cannot be shut down for that long." 

The governor said bars and restaurants would remain open at "limited capacity" because "so far we have not seen any correlation between an increase in cases and lifting of restrictions."

"We're going to be dealing with this for some time and so you can't shut down the economy," Hutchinson said, adding that he's issued a mask mandate and "of course the most important about that is that people comply with it."

More context: The state of Arkansas reported a 10% positivity rate for new coronavirus cases Friday and currently has 43,173 total cases and 458 deaths.

11:33 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Birx warns that the US is "in a new phase" of Covid-19 pandemic

From CNN's Veronica Stracqualursi

Dr. Deborah Birx speaks after a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on June 26 in Washington, DC.
Dr. Deborah Birx speaks after a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on June 26 in Washington, DC. Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Dr. Deborah Birx said the US is in a new phase in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the virus is more widespread than when it first took hold in the country earlier this year.

"What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It's into the rural as equal urban areas," Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, told CNN on Sunday.

Birx's comments come as the US has reported more coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country.

More context: As of Sunday, the US had reported more than 4.6 million cases of Covid-19 and at least 154,449 Americans have died, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University. 

Read more here.

11:31 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Philippines surpasses 100,000 coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Susanna Capelouto

Police authorities facilitate the processing of thousands of Covid-19 tests on July 26 in Manila, Philippines.
Police authorities facilitate the processing of thousands of Covid-19 tests on July 26 in Manila, Philippines. Jes Aznar/Getty Images

Covid-19 infections hit a milestone in the Philippines on Sunday with 103,185 recorded cases of the disease. 

Health officials reported a record 5,032 new daily cases, which pushed the Philippines over 100,000.

The total number of deaths from coronavirus in the Philippines is 2,059. 

According to Johns Hopkins University, the Philippines have the second highest case count in southeast Asia, following Indonesia.

9:28 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Birx says Americans who are vacationing in Covid-19 hot spots should "assume you're infected"

White House Coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx participates in a roundtable discussion at the American Red Cross national headquarters on July 30, in Washington, DC.
White House Coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx participates in a roundtable discussion at the American Red Cross national headquarters on July 30, in Washington, DC. Evan Vucci/AP

White House Coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said that Americans who have gone on vacation recently to a Covid-19 hotspot should "assume you're infected."

Birx told CNN that over the last three weeks she has traveled to 14 states.

"I can tell you across America right now, people are on the move," she said.

She added that anyone who has "chosen to go on vacation into a hot spot" should "assume you're infected."

9:15 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Bollywood star discharged from hospital after recovering from coronavirus

From Rishabh Pratap in Delhi

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan attends a commercial event in Mumbai, India, in 2018.
Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan attends a commercial event in Mumbai, India, in 2018. Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images

India's Bollywood star, Amitabh Bachchan, says he tested negative for Covid-19 on Sunday and is back home. 

"I have tested Covid negative, have been discharged. I am back home in solitary quarantine," the actor tweeted.

He said “the excellent care and nursing at Nanavati (hospital) made it possible for me to see this day.”

Bachchan along with his son, Abhishek Bachchan, tested positive for coronavirus on July 1 while his daughter-in-law, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and granddaughter tested positive the next day.

While the other three are back home, Abhishek is still in Mumbai's Nanavati Hospital.

Abhishek Bachchan tweeted, “I, unfortunately, due to some comorbidities remain Covid-19 positive and remain in hospital. Again, thank you for your continued wishes and prayers for my family.”

He said he was very humbled and indebted by the good wishes and added, “I’ll beat this and come back healthier! Promise.”