August 5 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Jack Guy, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, August 6, 2020
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12:40 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020

New Jersey governor says state's Covid-19 positivity rate is "too high"

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's removes his mask before giving his daily press briefing at the War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey, on Saturday, April 11.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's removes his mask before giving his daily press briefing at the War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey, on Saturday, April 11. Chris Pedota/The Record/AP

New Jersey reports 378 new cases of Covid-19 and 8 additional deaths from the virus, Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday during the state’s Covid-19 presser. 

The state is experiencing a Covid-19 positive infection rate of 2.57%, which is “too high because it’s over 2%,” Murphy said. 

New Jersey has a statewide total of 183,327 cases of Covid-19 and 13,989 deaths from the virus, Murphy said. 

“Let’s keep up what we are doing to keep the virus down,” Murphy said. 

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

12:41 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Big Ten student-athletes pen letter calling for stricter Covid-19 safety protocols 

From CNN's Homero DeLaFuente

Following the Big Ten’s decision to hold a conference-only football season on Wednesday, the conference’s student-athletes penned a letter via The Players Tribune, calling the Big Ten and the NCAA to review its current Covid-19 safety protocols. 

“We are deeply disappointed with the lack of leadership demonstrated by the NCAA with respect to player safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that the NCAA must — on its own and through collaboration with the conference — devise a comprehensive plan to ensure the safety and well-being of players leading up to and during the upcoming fall season, " the letter reads. 

The letter continues, “Given that the NCAA and conference leadership have not asked for our input, we feel compelled to call for clarity, commitment, and action regarding our common-sense proposal below.”

The letter outlines five areas they’d like more regulations and enforcement in to protect the well-being of all athletes starting with more oversight and transparency, prevention and safety protocols, testing, contact tracing and related procedures, player assurances and hazard-related economic support. 

12:48 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020

University of Virginia to delay in-person classes and move-in date by two weeks

From CNN's Elizabeth Stuart

The University of Virginia.
The University of Virginia. Shutterstock

The University of Virginia announced it is delaying in-person classes for undergraduate students and move-in to dorms on campus by two weeks because of "an uptick in local and national coronavirus cases."

The semester begins on Aug. 25, but now classes will be held all online until Sept. 8. According to an email sent to the university community by President Jim Ryan and other university leaders on Tuesday, "students will be able to move into residence halls several days before then."

“In response to these conditions, and based on the advice of UVA public health experts, we have decided to adopt a phased approach to the fall semester, which we believe will best safeguard the health and safety of our University community and our Charlottesville neighbors and give us the best chance of a successful return to Grounds,” they wrote. 

"We still plan to welcome all students back to Grounds, but out of caution, we will do it a bit more slowly than originally intended."

UVA has more than 25,000 students, according to the school's website.

12:13 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020

US has seen "most historic advances" in vaccine development over last 2 weeks, Azar says

From CNN’s Amanda Watt

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar attends an event where U.S. President Donald Trump signed executive orders on prescription drug prices in the South Court Auditorium at the White House on July 24 in Washington.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar attends an event where U.S. President Donald Trump signed executive orders on prescription drug prices in the South Court Auditorium at the White House on July 24 in Washington. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the last two weeks, “we've seen – under President Trump's leadership – the most historic advances in the development of vaccines we've ever seen in human history,” US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday on Fox News. 

“The United States now has six vaccines that we've placed major investments in. Four of them have already reported out positive Phase 1 clinical trial results, and two of them are already in the advanced final Phase 3 studies. Others will advance there soon,” Azar said.

“It's really just President Trump has marshalled the whole of the US government and our biopharmaceutical industry – it’s incredible,” he added.

Azar said it’s “very credible” that the US will have “high tens of millions of doses of FDA gold-standard vaccine by the end of this year,” with “many hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine by the beginning of next year.”

Earlier today: HHS announced it will own 100 million doses of the Covid-19 investigational vaccine Johnson & Johnson is developing. 

In a statement, HHS said the doses from the "large-scale manufacturing and delivery" agreement could be used in clinical trials or as part of a Covid-19 vaccination campaign under the guidance of the US Food and Drug Administration. 

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is committing more than $1 billion for this agreement, Johnson & Johnson said in a separate statement. The US government may also purchase an additional 200 million doses of the vaccine candidate under a subsequent agreement, the company added.

Azar said in the statement the federal government is assembling a "portfolio of vaccines" under Operation Warp Speed and this latest partnership will increase the chances the US "will have at least one safe, effective vaccine by 2021."

12:07 p.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Trump official: We believe kids can go back to school in a "safe and sensible" way

From CNN Health’s Amanda Watts

“We believe we can get our kids back to school in a way that’s safe and sensible, under most circumstances,” US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Wednesday.

Speaking on Fox News, Azar said, “There are tools that you can use – very simple interventions, if you put your mind to it – that you can get the kids back so that they're safe, so that teachers are safe.”

Azar said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has laid out clear guidelines for reopening.

 “The measures are really quite simple,” Azar said. “It's what the rest of us do: wear face coverings, practice social distancing, exercise good personal hygiene, and avoid settings where that's not possible.”

Azar cautioned that getting kids back to school is “going to vary based on local circumstances,” adding, “for the most part, our kids can and need to get back to school, and it can be done in ways that protect them and keep them safe.”

 

11:59 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Florida surpasses 500,000 Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Tina Burnside

The state of Florida is reporting 5,409 coronavirus cases, pushing the state over the half a million mark, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health on Wednesday.

The state is also reporting 225 additional deaths in a single day.

To date, there are now 502,739 total cases in the state, including out of state residents, DOH reports. Florida has reported 7,627 resident deaths to date, DOH data shows.

11:53 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

These major cruise lines have canceled trips through October

From CNN's Gregory Wallace and Pete Muntean

Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Ecstacy cruise ship is docked at the Port of Jacksonville amid the Coronavirus outbreak on March 27 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Ecstacy cruise ship is docked at the Port of Jacksonville amid the Coronavirus outbreak on March 27 in Jacksonville, Florida. Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Major cruise lines announced Wednesday that sailing will be suspended through at least October.   

The Cruise Lines International Association — whose members include the Carnival, Disney, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean brands — said the decision, its third extension, was made because of “the health and safety of passengers and crew.” The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order effective through September for cruise ships carrying more than 250 passengers.   

Today's announcement comes as a small cruise ship in Alaska was forced to turn around early from its maiden pandemic-era voyage because a passenger tested positive.  

UnCruise Adventures said an onboard passenger on its Wilderness Adventurer received a positive result Tuesday, from a test taken days earlier ashore. The passenger had tested negative on an earlier test, the cruise line said.   

“The guest is showing no symptoms and no other guests or crew are showing outward symptoms of any kind. Subsequently, all guests were informed and asked to restrict themselves to their cabins where plated meals were served,” UnCruise Adventures said. Ashore, passengers will be put up in a local hotel for quarantine, and the crew will quarantine on the ship.  

The company did not say how many passengers were aboard the ship. Its website said the ship has a capacity of 60 passengers and 25 crew members.  

The company said it has “opted to suspend all future 2020 Alaska departures.” 

11:26 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

New York City will set up vehicle "quarantine checkpoints" for out-of-state drivers, mayor says

New York City will put a stronger focus on out-of-state drivers coming in from states on the tri-state quarantine list by setting up checkpoints at key entry points into the city, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at a press conference. 

“Travelers coming in from those states will be given information about the quarantine, they will be reminded that is required and not optional. They will be reminded that failure to quarantine is a violation of state law and it comes with serious penalties.” Mayor de Blasio said. 

The checkpoints will be at major bridge and tunnel crossings, according to New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito.

The announcement comes after Mayor de Blasio said that the New York City’s positivity rate has been below 3% since June 10. 

“This is serious stuff and it’s time for everyone realizes it. If we are going to hold at this level at health and safety in this city and get better we have to deal with the fact that the quarantine must be applied consistently” de Blasio added. 

The checkpoints will start today, according to de Blasio. 

11:36 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

America's services sector is growing, but its employment still lags

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

A man wearing a face mask walks past a sign "Now Hiring" in front of a store amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 14, in Arlington, Virginia.
A man wearing a face mask walks past a sign "Now Hiring" in front of a store amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 14, in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

America's services sector grew for a second month in a row in July, beating economists' expectations. But beneath the headline number, some things are still quite gloomy.

The Institute for Supply Management's index to measure non-manufacturing activity climbed to 58.1, from 57.1 in June. Any reading over 50 means the sector is expanding.

But while business activity and new orders grew at a faster pace than in June, other parts of the index didn't look so good.

Supplier deliveries, inventories and prices all expanded at a slower pace in July compared to the prior month.

And employment in the services sector has been contracting for five months in a row. In July, it fell at a faster pace than in the previous month.