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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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.

4:24 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Georgia high school temporarily closing after multiple Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Tina Burnside and Jamiel Lynch 

Etowah High School/Cherokee County School District
Etowah High School/Cherokee County School District

Cherokee County School District in Georgia is temporarily closing Etowah High School to in-person learning after the end of classes today after 14 students tested positive for Covid-19, Superintendent Brian V. Hightower said in a message on the school’s website.

Hightower said they hope to be able to resume in-person learning at the school on Aug. 31.

Another 15 students are also still waiting for test results.

Hightower said that as of now, at least 294 student and staff from the high school are under quarantine and that number could increase if any of the pending cases are positive.  

Etowah High School will be deep cleaned on Wednesday and teachers must report back on Thursday to begin online classroom instruction for students. 

Since the start of school on Aug. 3, there have been at least 59 positive Covid-19 cases in the district among students and staff. This has led to the quarantine of approximately 925 students and staff, Hightower said.

3:26 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

More than 500,000 Ohio public school students will return to in-person learning, governor says

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

A graduate student arrives to pick up her diploma in May 2020 in Bradley, Illinois.
A graduate student arrives to pick up her diploma in May 2020 in Bradley, Illinois. Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine today announced that 325 of Ohio’s school districts are planning to return to full-time in-person learning, making up about 590,000, or 38%, of public school students.

DeWine said 55 districts, approximately 398,000 students, or about 25.6% of public school students, will be fully remote or online at least to start the school year. And, 154 districts, approximately 380,000 students, or 24.5%, will be doing some form of hybrid schooling, the governor said.

According to DeWine, the state was missing information for the plans of 78 districts in the state.

The governor expressed his confidence that every school district will do everything they can to keep Ohio's children safe, but pointed out that whatever is going on in their communities regarding Covid-19 numbers, will be reflected in the schools.

“It’s incumbent upon all of us, every single one of us, to do everything we can to keep down the spread in the community in which that school lives," he said.

2:59 p.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Here's the latest coronavirus update from California

From CNN's Sarah Moon

An urgent care worker performs drive-up COVID-19 testing at James Jordan Middle School on August 10, 2020 in Winnetka, California. 
An urgent care worker performs drive-up COVID-19 testing at James Jordan Middle School on August 10, 2020 in Winnetka, California.  Kevin Winter/Getty Images

California reported at least 12,500 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, raising the state’s confirmed total since the start of the pandemic to approximately 574,411 cases, according to data from the state's Department of Public Health.

The high number of cases is due in part to a backlog caused by issues with the state’s electronic laboratory system. 

It was not immediately clear how many cases included in Tuesday’s data were from the backlog. New cases attributed to the backlog will be reported over the “next few days,” according to the state department of public health.

Some context: This is the second highest number of cases reported by the state in a single day. The health department reported at least 12,807 cases on July 22.

With 109 new deaths reported on Tuesday, the state has recorded a total of at least 10,468 fatalities from the coronavirus.

Note: These numbers were released by California 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.