August 3 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brad Lendon, Amy Woodyatt, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:09 a.m. ET, August 4, 2020
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7:22 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Fauci says asymptomatic cases driving "new phase" of coronavirus

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas and Andrea Kane

 

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, removes his Washington Nationals protective mask during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31 in Washington.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, removes his Washington Nationals protective mask during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31 in Washington. Erin Scott/Pool/Getty Images

“The new phase” of the coronavirus pandemic that White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx discussed on Sunday refers to areas that are experiencing community spread, and that’s harder to fight than contained outbreaks, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday.

Birx said Sunday the US is in a new phase in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, adding that the virus is now more widespread than it was in March and April.

“When you have community spread, it's much more difficult to get your arms around that,” Fauci said during a briefing with Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont. 

Fauci explained why it can be so difficult to contain community spread of the virus.

“For example, nursing home outbreaks, meatpacking plant outbreaks, prison outbreaks – it's unfortunate that they occur, but you know exactly what you're dealing with, and you could go in there, and try and suppress the infection and contain it,” he said. “Whereas when you have community spread, it's insidious. There are people who are spreading it who have no symptoms at all, and we know that definitely occurs. It's difficult to identify it, and it's difficult to do identification, isolation and contact tracing.”

Fauci said asymptomatic transmission is a driving factor in community spread.

“That's what [Dr. Birx] meant by a ‘different phase’ of where we're going right now, because it isn't easily identifiable who these spreaders are,” said Fauci. “That makes it much more difficult to contain.”

 

5:30 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Northwestern University "pauses" football workouts after positive Covid-19 test result

From CNN's Jabari Jackson

Northwestern University stopped football workouts on Monday after a student-athlete tested positive for coronavirus, a school spokesperson confirmed to CNN.

Northwestern is now the third Big Ten conference school to stop football workouts due to positive Covid-19 test results. Michigan State and Rutgers are the other two schools.

Read the university's statement: 

“Northwestern football has paused workouts, out of an abundance of caution, following a positive COVID-19 test result. During this time medical staff will implement the University’s rigorous contact tracing and quarantine protocols to protect the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff.”

 

5:28 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Default position should be to keep schools open, but primary consideration should be safety, Fauci says

From CNN's Andrea Kane

Paul Adamus, 7, waits at the bus stop for the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Dallas, Georgia.
Paul Adamus, 7, waits at the bus stop for the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Dallas, Georgia. Brynn Anderson/AP

Schools need to open when they can, but safety comes first, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday.

“The default position should be to try as best as you possibly can to open up the schools in-person learning for the follow reasons: it’s important for the children, because of the psychological benefit, and in some cases, even for the nutrition — children who rely on the breakfasts and the lunches in school for proper nutrition,” Fauci said at a briefing with Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont Monday.

“Number two, there are important, negative downstream effects that are unintended but can occur, of a ripple effect on the parents, who have to dramatically modify their own work schedule, when you keep children at home,” Fauci added.

“Having said that, there's a big however there. And that however is the primary consideration should always be the safety, the health of the welfare of the children, as well as the teachers and the secondary effects for spreading [to] the parents and other family members,” he said.

5:26 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Jails can spread coronavirus to nearby communities, study finds

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Detainees who have tested positive for Covid-19 are held in Division 16 at the Cook County Jail's isolation and quarantine facility on May 20 in Chicago.
Detainees who have tested positive for Covid-19 are held in Division 16 at the Cook County Jail's isolation and quarantine facility on May 20 in Chicago. Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Jails can be a large source of coronavirus spread, both inside the facility and in the surrounding communities, researchers reported Monday.

Inmates going in and out of Chicago’s Cook County Jail appear to have carried the infection as they went, the researchers reported in the journal Health Affairs.

Data suggests that more than 4,700 cases of coronavirus in Illinois up through April 19 were associated with 2,129 individuals going through the Cook County Jail in March, the researchers from Harvard University’s Department of Anthropology and the Center National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris said.

The jail may be linked with 15.7% of all documented cases of Covid-19 in Illinois and 15.9% in Chicago, they said. 

“Existing conditions in jails and penitentiaries make infection control particularly difficult, putting inmates at unconscionable and perhaps unconstitutional risk,” they wrote.

Cook County Jail was the largest known source of spread of Covid-19 before being surpassed by an Ohio state prison, according to the researchers. 

Many facilities and jurisdictions have begun to release certain low risk offenders, the researchers said, but this does not address how arrest and pre-trial detention may be contributing to community spread.   

The researchers looked at the relationship between Covid-19 case rates and five variables: jail inmates released in March, proportion of Black residents, poverty rate, public transit utilization rate and population density.  

For the state as a whole, all of the five variables that the researchers looked at were significantly positively correlated with Covid-19, they said. 

They found that Chicago zip codes are poorer, use public transit more, have a higher proportion of Black residents and higher population density compared with the rest of the state. 

“The criminal justice system in the United States is just one among many existing social structures that are being subjected to renewed scrutiny during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the public health hazards they pose. Pandemic reality has brought us to an unprecedented collective realization of national and global interconnectedness in which the risks of vulnerability to disease for America’s incarcerated and the world’s poor, for example, threaten all of us, although clearly not equally,” the researchers wrote. 

The researchers looked at booking, release and Covid-19 data from the Cook County Jail, demographic data from the US Census and the American Community Survey and Covid-19 data from the Illinois Department of Public Health to examine the epidemiological connection between jail and community at the zip code level.

 

5:16 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Fauci praises Connecticut for not pulling back after getting numbers low

From CNN’s Andrea Kane

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31 in Washington.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31 in Washington. Erin Scott/Poo/Getty Images

Connecticut is doing the right things to control the spread of coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday.

“Connecticut is in a good place. The numbers that the governor just showed are really indicative that you are in a situation that you now are in many respects have has the upper hand because you have such a low rate,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a briefing with Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont.

“This is a very serious situation that our country is facing. I know you don't need anybody to tell you that — you just need to look at the numbers,” Fauci added.

He praised Connecticut for not letting down its guard. “You're not pulling back on your vigilance, and making sure you don't have resurgence of cases that would put you back, rather than stay where you are and going forward,” he said.

Fauci said that the state maintained five or six of “the very important things that we need to stay ahead of the virus.” These are: are universal use of masks, maintaining social distancing, trying to stay away from indoor spaces, hand hygiene and closing bars.

The last one’s important, Fauci said. “I know that's difficult from an economic standpoint, but that's a big spreader of infection,” he said.

”Those five or six things are very important, have been successful in maintaining outbreaks, as well as preventing the resurgences,” he added.

 

4:53 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Georgia reports more than 2,200 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Jason Morris

Anna Chavez, a physician assistant with Piedmont Henry, takes a free Covid-19 test from a motorist at a pop-up site at the House of Hope on Monday, May 4, in Decatur, Georgia.
Anna Chavez, a physician assistant with Piedmont Henry, takes a free Covid-19 test from a motorist at a pop-up site at the House of Hope on Monday, May 4, in Decatur, Georgia. Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 2,271 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday.     

The statewide Covid-19 case total is now 195,435.

The public health agency reported two new deaths on Monday. The total death toll for Georgia is now 3,842.

There were 60 new Covid-19-related hospitalizations recorded Monday, according to the public health agency. There are currently 19,124 hospitalizations.   

Note: These numbers were released by the Georgia Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

4:51 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

State-supported Covid-19 testing sites in Florida will reopen tomorrow

From CNN’s Eric Fiegel 

All state-supported Covid-19 testing sties will reopen on Tuesday, the Florida Division of Emergency Management announced on Twitter.

All locations except for Hard Rock Stadium, Marlins Stadium, CB Smith Park and Eastern Florida State College will open. Those sites will reopen on Wednesday, the tweet said.

 

4:35 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

McConnell blames Schumer and Pelosi for stalled negotiations, points to "massive wish list"

From CNN's Ali Zaslav, Ian Sloan and Ted Barett

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks back to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Aug. 3.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks back to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Aug. 3. Susan Walsh/AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democratic leadership of stalling negotiations, arguing they won’t budge on their “massive wish list,” as stimulus talks remain deadlocked.

“The Speaker of the House and the Democratic leader continued to say our way or the highway with a massive wish list,” McConnell argued in a Senate floor speech on Monday afternoon. 

“The Democratic Leaders insist publicly they want an outcome, but they work alone behind closed doors to ensure a bipartisan agreement is actually not reached,” he also said, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were meeting with Trump administration officials for the sixth time at the Capitol.

McConnell spoke on the floor before attending a meeting with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin where he was briefed on the talks, following their discussion earlier in the day with Democratic leadership.

Catch up on the latest news about the stimulus negotiations here.

4:28 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Large gatherings continue on Rio de Janeiro beaches despite rising Covid-19 cases

From Marcia Reverdosa and CNN’s Maria Ramirez Uribe

Sunny weather over the weekend in Brazil led to large gatherings of hundreds of people with no social distancing on Rio de Janeiro beaches. 

On Saturday, Rio de Janeiro City Hall began phase five of its reopening plan. Under this new phase, swimming and water sports are allowed; however, individuals cannot remain on the sand. Despite this, large groups of people defied the order. 

Around 400 people were asked to leave the sands of Copacabana and Ipanema beaches by the Municipal Guard of Rio de Janeiro, and more than 100 people were fined after being caught not wearing face masks in public. The fines cost 107 reais ($20).

Under phase five, City Hall authorizes the opening of bars, malls and restaurants with extended hours and street shops can also open on Sundays.

Vendors selling products, food and drinks are allowed on beaches, but the rental of tents and chairs, and the sale of alcoholic beverages is not yet allowed.

In 55 days of inspection, the Municipal Guard has registered 3,677 sanitary infractions.

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcelo Crivella said he is looking into a system for residents to reserve spaces in the sand by using their phones, according to a release from City Hall. The project is being discussed at the Secretariat of the Environment and has no implementation date yet.

The state of Rio de Janeiro has the second-highest number of cases and deaths in Brazil. Of the 167,225 cases, nearly 50% belong to the city of Rio de Janeiro. Of the 13,572 deaths in the state of Rio de Janeiro, nearly 60% belong to the city of Rio.