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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2:37 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

New Jersey governor reduces indoor gathering limits

From CNN's Brian Vitagliano

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during a press conference in Trenton, New Jersey, on August 3.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during a press conference in Trenton, New Jersey, on August 3. News 12 New Jersey

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that indoor gatherings will be reduced to 25% capacity with a maximum number of 25 people, due to the “upward climb” in the Covid-19 transmission rate. 

Citing a rise in indoor house parties that have been seen all across the state, the governor said, “We cannot be any clearer that indoor gatherings and especially large crowded ones where social distancing isn’t practiced and face masks aren’t worn, they are just not safe.” 

Murphy went on to say until the state sees the rate of increase drop, “the actions of a few knuckleheads leave us no other course.”

According to the governor, the restrictions do not apply to weddings, funerals, memorial services and religious and political activities protected under the First Amendment. 

“Too be clear this tightened restriction caps indoor house parties at 25 people, period,” Murphy said. 

The governor said he welcomed the “proactive action” taken by Airbnb to suspend and remove the listings of some 35 properties, which received complaints for becoming party houses.

"This is a welcomed step to not only restore some sanity and peace to neighborhoods but to help us curtail the dangerous actions of a few that may put many people and entire communities at risk," Murphy said.

The latest numbers: The rate of transmission stands at 1.48, which has not been that high since early April, the governor said Monday. The daily positivity rate as of July 30 is 1.88%.

There have been 264 news cases of Covid-19 with 10 fatalities over the course of the last three days. 

The state reported 738 Covid-19 hospitalizations, with 144 patients in intensive care units, 34% of patients are on ventilators. 

2:29 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Trump says he's "totally involved" with stimulus negotiations

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting before signing an Executive Order on hiring American workers, in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Aug. 3 in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting before signing an Executive Order on hiring American workers, in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Aug. 3 in Washington, DC. Alex Brandon

President Trump said he’s “totally involved” with coronavirus relief negotiations on Capitol Hill despite the fact that he hasn’t been on the Hill for the talks.

Asked why he wasn’t involved with the negotiations, Trump said, “The fact I’m not over there with crazy Nancy? I'm totally involved. Totally involved.”

“We are going to be doing some things that are very good because we don’t think that she— look. What Chuck Schumer wants more than anybody and I would say Nancy Pelosi would be second, they want to bail out cities and states that have done a bad job over a long period time nothing to do with coronavirus or China virus or whatever you want to call it,” he continued. CNN considers the term “China Virus” is derogatory and inaccurate.

���They want bailout money,” Trump claimed. “A trillion dollars in bailout money and people don't want to do that. Because we don't think it's right. The Democrats have run some very bad states and some very, very bad cities and a lot of people don't want to give them a trillion dollars to reward them for doing a bad job. If you look at some of the states, I won't insult anybody by naming those states but you know what they are. They want bailout money. They're not interested in the people they’re not interested in unemployment. They’re not interested in evictions which is a big deal. The evictions. They want to evict a lot of people are going to be evicted but I’m going to stop it.”

“I’ll do it myself if I have to,” he threatened. “I have a lot of powers with respect to executive orders and we are looking at that very seriously right now but what the Democrats want, they’re slow rolling it. And all they're really interested in is bailout money for radical left governors and mayors.”

The President has routinely blamed Democrats for the status of negotiations, but Republican lawmakers spent several weeks trying to get on the same page. The White House was often out of step with party leadership, particularly in its insistence in a payroll tax cut that saw bipartisan opposition.

 Read the latest on the stimulus negotiations here.

2:26 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Another Indiana high school football player tests positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Laura Ly

Warren Central High School
Warren Central High School WISH

Another football player at a different high school in Indiana has tested positive for Covid-19, according to Dennis Jarrett, director of media and community relations for the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township.

The football player is a student at Warren Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Classes at the high school are still scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 6, Jarrett said. 

“After receiving confirmation that a student athlete on our football team tested positive for COVID-19, we initiated our response plan that includes communicating within 24 hours to those individuals who were in close contact with the student athlete. Based on guidance from the Indiana State Department of Health, we have directed close contacts to quarantine for 14 days,” Jarrett said. 

Note: This is a different school district from the other four incidents of Covid-19 infections in Indiana schools that CNN have previously reported.

1:58 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

NHL announces no Covid-19 cases during first week of return to play

From CNN's David Close

The National Hockey League announced that it has received no positive Covid-19 test results during its first week playing inside the league’s two hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton. 

Every member of each teams’ traveling party was tested on a daily basis between July 27 and August 1.

Read the NHL's statement:

2:51 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Another Houston firefighter has died from Covid-19, department says

From CNN’s Kay Jones

Houston Fire Department
Houston Fire Department

The Houston Fire Department announced that one of their firefighters has died from Covid-19. 

In a statement posted on their website, HFD said that Firefighter Paramedic Gerado “Jerry” Pacheco died this morning after battling the virus. Pacheco’s son, Justin, is also a firefighter with HFD, according to the release.

HFD posted a video on their Facebook feed of firefighters forming a “wall of honor” as Pacheco’s body was wheeled out to an ambulance and taken to the medical examiner’s office. 

In a statement posted to their Facebook page, Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, the union that represents the city’s firefighters, said that they mourn the loss of their friend. 

“His tragic death is another reminder to be vigilant in our efforts to keep our families, friends and station crews safe in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” HPFFA President Patrick M. “Marty” Lancton said in the statement.

Pacheco had been with the department since January 2004. He is the second HFD firefighter to die due to complications from Covid-19, the statement said. 

1:31 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

85 Chicago police officers tested positive for Covid-19 in July

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters Monday that 85 Chicago police officers have tested positive for Covid-19 in the month of July, bringing the total to 677 total officers this year.

“Our officers keep coming back, risking their lives for the residents of Chicago to protect this city,” Brown said Monday. 


1:34 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Maryland governor issues emergency order to prohibit blanket school closures during pandemic

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued an amended emergency order to ensure that local schools and school systems can decide “to initially determine when to safely reopen” for in-person instruction based on public health guidance, his office said Monday.

Under the initial order, issued on April 5, local health departments continue to have the authority to close any individual facility deemed to be unsafe.

“The recovery plan for Maryland public schools stresses local flexibility within the parameters set by state officials. Over the last several weeks, school boards and superintendents made their own decisions about how and when to reopen public schools, after consultation with state and local health officials,” Hogan said in a statement.


2:39 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Illinois reports more than 1,000 Covid-19 cases for 13 straight days

From CNN’s Brad Parks in Chicago

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today at least 1,298 new Covid-19 cases in the state.

This marks the thirteenth day in a row that the state has reported over 1,000 cases, according to the IDPH dashboard. There are 183,241 positive cases statewide, with a total of 7,526 deaths, up 10 since Sunday’s report.

IDPH also reports the statewide positivity rate for cases over the past seven days is 4%. 

Note: These numbers were released by the Illinois 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. 

CNN’s Kay Jones contributed to this report

1:36 p.m. ET, August 3, 2020

All 4 negotiators are in Pelosi's office for stimulus talks

From CNN's Phil Mattingly and Ted Barrett

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

All four negotiators are now in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office for today's stimulus negotiations. 

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer were expected to be in the meeting.

Asked if there should be any expectations for this meeting, Meadows responded, “None yet.”

Some background: The meeting comes as the two sides remain far apart on many key issues regarding the next emergency aid package. The Senate is scheduled to leave for August recess at the end of this week, but there's zero sense something will come together before then. Neither side wants to leave town for the month without reaching an agreement, but at this point, that agreement — and then the process of actually getting it through both chambers — is a long way off.