August 11 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, August 12, 2020
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5:16 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

North Carolina reports first dog to die from Covid-19 in the state

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson and Jamiel Lynch 

NC State College of Veterinary Medicine & Veterinary Hospital/Facebook
NC State College of Veterinary Medicine & Veterinary Hospital/Facebook

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting their first case of SARS-CoV-2 in a dog in the state. 

On Aug. 3, an owner took their pet to the NC State Veterinary Hospital. The dog had signs of respiratory distress and died from his illness, a news release said.

The owner told the hospital that a family member had previously tested positive for Covid-19. 

The dog was tested and was positive for SARS-COV-2, the agency said.  

“There is no indication at this time that dogs can transmit the virus to other animals, so there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Doug Meckes.  

A necropsy was performed and the state is investigating any contributing factors to the dog’s death.  

The state did not provide any additional information on the dog and its owners.

4:48 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Pac-12 conference postpones football season 

From CNN's David Close

The Pac-12 logo seen on the field during the NCAAF game at Sun Devil Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona.
The Pac-12 logo seen on the field during the NCAAF game at Sun Devil Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Pac-12 conference CEO Group unanimously voted on Tuesday to cancel the fall sports season including football. 

The conference says it would consider a “return to competition for impacted sports after January 1, 2021.”

In a statement, the Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in part, “Unlike professional sports, college sports cannot operate in a bubble... Our athletic programs are a part of broader campuses in communities where in many cases the prevalence of COVID-19 is significant."

The statement also notes that student-athletes impacted by the decision will keep their scholarships.

Some context: This comes just hours after the Big Ten conference also voted to postpone fall sports on Tuesday. The Mid-American Conference made a similar move on Sunday.

4:50 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Countries were more likely to shut down if their neighboring countries did, too, study suggests

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

France's President Emmanuel Macron (center) talks with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel (left), Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin (2nd, left) and Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven prior the start of the EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, on July 18, 2020.
France's President Emmanuel Macron (center) talks with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel (left), Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin (2nd, left) and Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven prior the start of the EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, on July 18, 2020. John Thys/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Some government decisions about school and workplace closures, event cancellations, travel restrictions and other lockdown measures that emerged early in the coronavirus pandemic were based on what other nearby countries were doing, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, examined those "nonpharmaceutical interventions" that countries adopted to respond to the pandemic, using models related to the timing of implementing such measures between January 15 and March 30.  

The researchers – from various universities in Sweden – specifically focused on nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

"We focus on the OECD, since it represents a group of countries that are relatively homogeneous from an economic and democratic perspective, which means that the alternative cost of policy adoption will be similar across these countries and they have similarly developed democratic systems and healthcare systems," the researchers wrote.

The researchers found that almost 80% of the OECD countries adopted the same Covid-19 nonpharmaceutical interventions or NPIs around the same time, within a span of two weeks.

"One answer would be that the countries were uniformly exposed to the same universal threat. Yet, our findings suggest this to be, at best, a partial answer," the researchers wrote. "With the exception of population density, it is not primarily the needs of the country in terms of exposure to COVID-19, demographic structure, or healthcare capacity that predict the speed of NPIs adoptions, but the number of earlier adopters in the same region."

The researchers also found that countries with more health care capacity, such as hospital beds, were slower to adopt restrictions and the more densely populated a country was, the faster it was to adopt restrictions. Countries with stronger democracies were found to be slower to react.

The study has some limitations, including that some of its findings are based on assumptions from models. The researchers wrote that their findings can help "inform the social view of the world as interconnected."

4:14 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

WHO reviewing details of Russian vaccine trials approval

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

President Vladimir Putin announced on August 11 that Russia has developed a coronavirus vaccine, claiming it as a "world first".
President Vladimir Putin announced on August 11 that Russia has developed a coronavirus vaccine, claiming it as a "world first". Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has been in touch with Russian scientists and authorities, and "looks forward to reviewing details of the trials," WHO confirmed to CNN in an emailed statement on Tuesday, following news of a Covid-19 vaccine being registered in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the approval of a coronavirus vaccine for use on Tuesday, claiming it as a "world first," amid continued global concern and unanswered questions about its safety and effectiveness. 

"WHO welcomes all advances in COVID-19 vaccine research and development. At the global level, WHO has been involved in guiding and accelerating R&D efforts since January 2020," WHO's emailed statement said.

"Accelerating vaccine research should be done following established processes through every step of development, to ensure that any vaccines that eventually go into production are both safe and effective. Any safe and effective pandemic vaccine will be a global public good, and WHO urges rapid, fair and equitable access to any such vaccines worldwide," the statement said. 
3:54 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Hospitalizations in San Francisco drop by almost 25% since July

From CNN’s Jenn Selva

Josephine Ng waits to test a patient for Covid-19 at Laguna Honda hospital on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 in San Francisco, California. 
Josephine Ng waits to test a patient for Covid-19 at Laguna Honda hospital on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 in San Francisco, California.  Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle/Getty Images

Hospitalizations in San Francisco, California, due to the coronavirus continue to drop and are down almost 25% since its peak in July, according to San Francisco Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax.

Colfax announced during a news briefing today that 88 people are currently hospitalized –– which is a slight decrease from last week.

Mayor London Breed said San Francisco is dedicating $446 million in the city’s latest budget for its Covid-19 response.

“That’s money that I wish we could divert to other places but unfortunately this is the reality of today, and I hope that’s not the reality of our next budget cycle,” Breed said.

So far, at least 7,692 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in San Francisco and approximately 67 people have died.

3:43 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Ohio governor says state does not have the money to contribute to unemployment aid

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Mike DeWine on November 6, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.
Mike DeWine on November 6, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Justin Merriman/Getty Images

In response to President Trump's executive order asking states to contribute 25% of additionally weekly unemployment aid, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the state doesn't have "the ability to do that."

“We’re looking at an economy that, while we’re optimistic about it, is coming back, our unemployment has gone down. We hope it will continue to go down. But we also know that we are facing Covid, we’re still fighting the Covid. We know what impact that has on the economy and so, you know, there’s no money in the unemployment fund to do this,” DeWine said at a news briefing on Tuesday.

DeWine added that he thinks Trump did the right thing.

“The President was looking at a stalemate. He wanted to move the ball, maybe push, get some people to negotiate more, but also try to do something that was a positive thing. And so the $300 that he's talking about, we have people in Ohio who really need that money. And we want to get that if that's where we end up, if that's what the final thing is from the administration, then we want to get that money out to people as fast as we can," he said.

DeWine said he thinks a deal between congressional leaders is necessary.

“I think there’s a deal to bed had between the House and the Senate and the administration, and I urge Congress to get about the job of getting that done," he said.

3:21 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Big Ten conference postpones 2020 football season 

From CNN's David Close

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren in March 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren in March 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Big Ten conference has postponed the 2020 football season. The conference presidents met on Tuesday to determine the fall season and have announced an intention to hold the season in the spring. 

The conference announced the postponement of the entire fall sports season in a statement.

“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in the statement.

Warren added: “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall."

3:43 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Being overweight or obese linked to increased risk of hospitalization due to Covid-19, UK study shows

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Obesity is linked with higher odds of having severe Covid-19 symptoms that require hospitalization –– and the higher the body mass index, the higher that risk of hospitalization, according to a new study out of the United Kingdom.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Tuesday, found "an upward linear trend in the likelihood of COVID-19 hospitalization with increasing BMI" even with modest weight gain. Body mass index or BMI is a common measurement based on a person's height and weight to determine whether they are underweight, overweight or obese.

The researchers, who are from various universities in the UK, examined data on at least 334,329 UK adults ages 40 to 69, taking a close look at their BMI and weight and then whether they went on to be hospitalized with Covid-19.

Among those adults, 640 or 0.2% were hospitalized with Covid-19.

The researchers found that the crude incidence of Covid-19 hospitalization was 19.1 per 10,000 people among those who were overweight. According to the study, that rose to 23.3 per 10,000 among those with obesity stage I and to 42.7 per 10,000 among those with obesity stage II, as compared to people at normal weight, which had a crude incidence of 12.5 per 10,000.

The study had some limitations, including that the data captured Covid-19 cases that warranted in-patient care, therefore the true prevalence of the disease in the data remains unknown.

Overall "we observed a higher likelihood of COVID-19 hospitalization with increasing overall and central adiposity, even in participants with modest weight gain," the researchers wrote, referring to being significantly overweight or obese as adiposity.

"Since over two-thirds of Westernized society are overweight or obese, this potentially presents a major risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection and may have implications for policy," they added.

3:46 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Statewide physical distancing policies helped slow the spread of the pandemic, study finds

From CNN’s Jen Christensen

Foot markings and a coronavirus social distance reminder are seen on the floor of an elevator in office building in Hollywood, California on July 7, 2020.
Foot markings and a coronavirus social distance reminder are seen on the floor of an elevator in office building in Hollywood, California on July 7, 2020. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Statewide physical distancing policies work, a new modeling study finds. Deaths from Covid-19 declined and the incubation time for new cases grew.

Researchers from Harvard University and University College London found that every state in the US passed at least one physical distancing measure in March to slow the spread of the pandemic –– and it did.

Policies were so successful, physical distancing resulted in the reduction of more than 600,000 cases within just three weeks, according to the study, published Tuesday in the journal PLOS. Had there not been preventative interventions, the models suggest up to 80% of Americans would have been infected with Covid-19.

Due to these policies, the time it took to double cases increased from about four days to eight within three weeks of that statewide policy going into place.

The case growth rate declined by about 1% per day starting four days after a statewide measure was put on the books. Per week, the model suggests the policies resulted in 1,600 fewer cases by week one, and about 621,000 fewer cases by week three.

Other studies of these physical distancing policies have shown similar results, but the authors said this is the first study to show that these polices saved lives. The death rate decreased by 2% per day beginning a week after a physical distancing policy started.

Something to note: There are limits to this model. This isn’t a controlled experiment. If states made stronger physical distancing policies in response to a worsening local epidemic, the policies may not have looked as effective, the authors said. The model also can’t account for people who stayed home and avoided crowds out of concern for their own safety, rather than to follow their state policy.

"The results show the timing of government-issued orders correlated strongly with reductions in both cases and deaths. In short, these measures work, and policy makers should use them as an arrow in their quivers to get on top of local epidemics where they are not responding to containment measures,” Dr. Mark J. Siedner in a statement.

Siedner is a co-author of the study and an infectious diseases doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.