August 6 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 4:28 p.m. ET, November 23, 2020
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6:50 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

There are 66 NFL players who have opted out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic

From CNN's Jill Martin

Out of a total of 2,880 players in the National Football League, there are 66 who have opted out of the upcoming season due to the coronavirus pandemic, a league spokesperson said.

Players had until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday to decide whether they would opt out of the 2020 season.

6:35 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

People should not wear masks with valves or vents, CDC says

From CNN's Jen Christensen

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend people use masks with valves or vents during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new mask recommendations on the agency’s “About Masks” section of its website.

The one-way valves may provide the wearer more comfort, since the valves allow air to escape from the mask and can keep people cooler, but the valves also allow the virus to escape from the mask.

The CDC encourages people to wear masks so they don’t infect others. Covid-19 spreads mainly through respiratory droplets when a person talks, sneezes, sings or coughs. Masks can help stop those respiratory droplets.

Some context: The CDC had recommended against using these masks in health care settings on its website earlier in the pandemic.

Delta airlines’ mask policy spells out that the ventilated versions are not approved as an acceptable face mask for customers traveling on any Delta operated flight.

6:34 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

Former surgeon general says it's "very dangerous" to give specific dates on a potential Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

It’s “very dangerous” to give specific dates on when a coronavirus vaccine may be available, former US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Thursday.

President Trump said Thursday he was “optimistic” a potential coronavirus vaccine could be ready by Election Day on Nov. 3.

“When it comes to a vaccine, all of us are hoping that we will get a vaccine that's safe and effective as soon as possible, but I think it's very dangerous at this point to give specific dates because, while there are reasons to be hopeful, we do have, for example, multiple vaccine candidates that are in advanced stages of human trials and we do have collaborators who are working together around the world,” Murthy said. 

The former surgeon general cautioned that there are two critical requirements for a successful vaccine. “One is that it is safe and the other is that it is effective and we cannot cut corners in getting there,” he said.

“We can’t sacrifice our standards because if we do, it not only hurts people, but it’s going to damage people’s faith in vaccine efforts,” Murthy added. 

Murthy said he’s bothered by polls showing nearly 50% of people said they had either decided against getting a Covid-19 vaccine or were uncertain about it.

And that makes it all the more important that any vaccine that is approved or authorized has to be reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration's external vaccine advisory committee and it has to be deliberated upon in a public forum, he said.  

“That’s also why we have to be very clear with people about what the distribution plan is for this vaccine because it will take months to get this vaccine out, even under optimal circumstances, which is why the vaccination campaign we develop has got to be top-notch and executed well.”

6:28 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

Georgia surpasses 4,000 Covid-19 deaths

From CNN’s Dianne Gallagher and Pamela Kirkland

The total number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 in Georgia is now 4,026. 

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 42 new coronavirus deaths on Thursday and 3,250 new cases of the virus. 

The statewide total of Covid-19 cases is now 204,895. 

At least 214 new Covid-19-related hospitalizations were recorded.

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.

6:25 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

Here's the latest on new coronavirus cases in Texas

From CNN's Ashley Killough 

Medics with Austin-Travis County EMS transport a nursing home resident with coronavirus symptoms on August 3 in Austin, Texas.
Medics with Austin-Travis County EMS transport a nursing home resident with coronavirus symptoms on August 3 in Austin, Texas. John Moore/Getty Images

Texas reported another high day of fatalities with 306 deaths on Thursday and a jump in the positive infection rate to above 17%, according to the Department of Health State Services. 

The latest data, however, also showed a decrease in hospitalizations for the third day in a row and a decline in new cases. Texas is currently reporting 8,302 hospitalizations, down 153 from the day before, and 7,598 new positive cases, which is down 1,108 from the day before and 1,202 from the week before. 

The positivity rate continues to climb, as it's done all week, with the rate at 17.05% as of Aug. 5. (Texas testing data lags one day behind.) That's the second highest rate reported by Texas during the pandemic, with the peak being 17.43% in mid-July. 

The positivity rate was just 12.09% one week ago.

6:13 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

Connecticut is committing $266 million to school reopening efforts

From CNN’s Ganesh Setty

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont speaks during a new conference on August 6.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont speaks during a new conference on August 6. CT-N

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said the state is committing $266 million to school reopening efforts, which is the highest percentage of coronavirus relief fund grants committed to education in the northeast region.

Of the $266 million, $99 million has already been allocated to districts for discretionary spending, Lamont said during a news conference.

The funding will stretch across academic and staff support, student support, personal protective equipment, building cleaning, transportation, and tech and device connectivity, he said. 

5:50 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

Kentucky governor extends mask mandate for another 30 days

From CNN’s James Froio

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during a press conference on August 6.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during a press conference on August 6. Governor Andy Beshear

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has extended the state's mask mandate for another 30 days. 

"We're going to extend that facial covering mandate for another 30's working. And since we made it mandatory, more people are wearing them. We are ahead this week, we have fewer cases this week through Thursday," the governor said today.

Beshear reported 516 new Covid-19 cases, which he said is 247 less cases compared to Monday through Thursday of last week.

The governor attributed this decline in cases to the assumption that more people are wearing face coverings due to the statewide mandate.

“If these numbers continue they are further evidence that wearing that facial covering, wearing that mask is truly helping Kentucky in so many different ways. Our people, our economy, our kids," he said.

Beshear said he believes that the mask mandate will pave the way for safer reopenings of businesses, and for schools as well.  

“This is saving lives, saving our economy, and we hope it will get us in a position to get our kids back in school. It is a small thing to do for such an important reward," the governor added.

By the numbers: Kentucky now has a total of 33,254 Covid-19 cases.

5:24 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

Coronavirus-related deaths in the US nears 160,000

From CNN's Haley Brink

There are at least 4,867,916 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 159,841 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

So far on Thursday, Johns Hopkins recorded 44,026 new cases and 987 reported deaths.  

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

5:03 p.m. ET, August 6, 2020

Belgium, Bahamas and Andorra put on UK's quarantine list

From CNN's Mia Alberti

Travelers arriving to the UK from Belgium, Bahamas, and Andorra will now have to self-quarantine for 14 days, starting August 8, the British Foreign Office announced on Thursday. 

"Data shows we need to remove Andorra, Belgium, and The Bahamas from our list of coronavirus Travel Corridors in order to keep infection rates down," the British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted.

Around 1.8 million British people visit Belgium every year, according to the Foreign Office. In the last week of July, Belgium’s weekly average of new infections rose by 62% compared to the previous week, according to the Belgium health authorities.

Previously, Britain had removed Estonia, Ireland, Latvia and Norway from its save travel list. 

On the other hand, Brunei and Malaysia have been added to the UK's safe travel list "following a decrease in confirmed cases of coronavirus," the Transport Secretary said. Travelers arriving to the UK from these destinations will no longer need to undergo a quarantine, starting August 11.

Members of diplomatic missions and consular posts or representatives of international organizations are not included in the UK's travel restrictions.