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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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.

11:20 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Arizona superintendent says more teachers will die if schools open

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Jeff Gregorich, superintendent of Hayden-Winkelman School District in Arizona, called Gov. Ducey’s push to open schools by August 17 a “fantasy” in a Washington Post op-ed.

“We're such a small, remote, rural community. We're close-knit and it would be devastating to our families, and it already has hit us hard,” he said.

There has already been one teacher who died from Covid-19 in his district, and he fears there will be more deaths.

“I feel that if we open schools, that there are going to be some teachers that will die from Covid, and there’ll be some instructional staff, they’ll be some bus drivers, some cafeteria workers. That worries me very much,” he said. 

He said that he’s advocating for postponing the reopening of schools until he sees data that it’s safe to do so. 

“We'll be losing some funding, but I think it is far more important that we keep the health and safety of our community, our children, our teachers, our staff,” he said. 

Gregorich told CNN’s Poppy Harlow that more than a quarter of his students live with their grandparents. “There's no one else if these children take it home and their grandparents were to pass away,” he said. 


11:19 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

20% of all new Covid-19 cases in New York City come from travelers from other states

From CNN's Julian Cummings

A health worker administers a Covid-19 test on the Upper West Side on July 29 in New York.
A health worker administers a Covid-19 test on the Upper West Side on July 29 in New York. Noam Galai/Getty Images

The New York City Test and Trace Corps says that one-fifth of all new Covid-19 cases have been linked to travelers coming in from other states, Dr. Ted Long, head of the New York City Test and Trace Corps, said at a news conference. 

Travelers booking a flight, hotel, or arriving in New York City are now required to fill out an online traveler form when coming to the city, according to Long  

“The reason that form is important is because that is how we get the information to reach out and call you and ask how we can help,” Long said.

The Test and Trace Corps will additionally begin deploying teams to Penn Station tomorrow to make sure travelers have filled out the form and will make them do so if they have not, Long added. 

“We want you to come into New York city but we need you to safely separate for 14 days when you arrive to keep new York city safe,” Long said.

“Test and trace corps has made 86.500 phone calls to people in quarantine and sent 20,870 text messages. We have deployed teams that are now knocking on doors to make sure you are safe,” Long added. 

10:57 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Chicago schools to start school year entirely online

Fron CNN's Annie Grayer

In this Friday, July 17 file photo, Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson speaks during a news conference in Chicago.
In this Friday, July 17 file photo, Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson speaks during a news conference in Chicago. Pat Nabong/Chicago Sun-Times via AP

Chicago Public Schools will start the 2020-21 school year with fully remote learning for all its students, the district announced in a press release Wednesday, a decision that could avoid a possible strike from the Chicago Teacher's Union. 

The district will implement remote learning through the first quarter, which ends November 9. At that time they will evaluate if it is safe to open in a hybrid learning model.

“As a district, we value parent feedback and we cannot overlook that a large percentage of parents have indicated they do not feel comfortable sending their students to school under a hybrid model for the start of the school year,” Dr. Janice K. Jackson, CPS CEO, said in a statement.

“I understand the uncertainty this pandemic has caused our parents, especially communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted. We are making every possible effort to provide a high-quality remote learning experience in the fall, utilizing live, virtual instruction for every student, every day, and we are committed to ongoing engagement and communication with parents," Jackson said.

Some background: The announcement comes a day after a source close to the Chicago Teacher's Union (CTU) told CNN that the CTU planned to convene their House of Delegates early next week to discuss taking a strike vote to demand remote learning for Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago, the nation's third largest school district, had previously hoped to start the school year with a hybrid learning model, and had prepared a scenario to do so.

"This hybrid model would allow students to follow proper social distancing guidelines by effectively cutting the number of students in a classroom and ensuring students can access high-quality in-person instruction from caring teachers," according to a preliminary framework released July 17.

“The decision to begin the 2020-2021 CPS school year remotely during the first quarter is rooted in public health data and the invaluable feedback we've received from parents and families,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. 

“As we build out this remote learning model and seek to establish a hybrid learning model in the second quarter, we will continue to support and collaborate with parents and school leaders to create safe, sustainable learning environments for our students,” Lightfoot added.

10:28 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

New York reports a .87% positivity rate after completing more than 70,000 tests in one day

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported 636 additional cases of Covid-19 and 4 deaths from the virus yesterday, a press release from the governor's office said.

The governor said the state tested 72,668 people yesterday — a 0.87% positive infection rate.

"Our progress is thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers — even after two and a half months of reopening, the numbers have continued to go down,"  Cuomo said
10:24 a.m. ET, August 5, 2020

Where things stand on Congress stimulus negotiations

From CNN's Phil Mattingly

The negotiators are, at long last, actually negotiating. After seven meetings, totaling more than a dozen hours, the top Democratic and White House negotiators are not just walking through their disagreements, but putting offers on the table, trading proposals and to a small degree, starting to make concessions.

They've even agreed on a deadline for a deal — the end of this week.

Bottom line: There is still a long way to go and an agreement to a timeline to reach an agreement — one that is already one week after the initial deadline — isn't much on its face. But what's happening behind the scenes is a signal things are actually starting to kick into gear.

What to watch: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will be back on Capitol Hill for negotiations.

What was put on the table: The Tuesday meeting between Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and the top White House negotiators, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, was by far the most productive of all the meetings up to this point, according to both sides.

Schumer said both sides made concessions and, most importantly, the talks had gone beyond identifying areas of disagreement or even topline points of overlap and have now moved to trading actual paper proposals between sides. It seems minor or just an obvious step in the process, but the trading of paper means things are getting real, finally.

That came in large part due to what the White House negotiators put on the table. To be clear, these proposals weren't agreed to and won't be accepted by Democrats (much to the frustration of the administration negotiators). But they represent tangible movement -- the type of movement that can draw out real concessions and counters.

Read more here.