August 12 coronavirus news

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6:33 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

Trump says the US is working with Europe to address the coronavirus pandemic

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 12 in Washington.
President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 12 in Washington. Andrew Harnik/AP

President Trump said the US is “working with Europe on the difficulties” that countries are facing due to the pandemic, despite the fact that US has more deaths from the virus than any country in the world.

At a news briefing Wednesday, the President said that countries in Europe have “40% higher excess mortality than the United States” and made the case that the US economy is “significantly better than Europe.” 

“While our economy is performing significantly better than Europe, which people have to understand very strongly, it's performing better than any market anywhere in the world, actually. At the same time, Europe is experiencing 40% higher excess mortality than the United States,” Trump said during his opening remarks. “And I will say that that a significant number.”

It’s true that the mortality rate is higher in many European countries than it is in the US, but the US has vastly more cases and deaths than any single European country.

“We're working with Europe on the difficulties and we are going to help them all the way, we're doing very well as you know in the vaccines and the therapeutics,” the President said.

6:45 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

"Indiana will have a safe and secure and healthy in-person election," governor says

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks during a meeting with higher education leaders on safely reopening schools, Friday, July 24 in Indianapolis.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks during a meeting with higher education leaders on safely reopening schools, Friday, July 24 in Indianapolis. Darron Cummings/AP

When asked about accusations that President Trump is the reason Indiana isn’t allowing a no-excuse absentee ballot election, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said that was inaccurate, adding that “Indiana will have a safe and secure and healthy in-person election on Nov. 3.”

Holcomb said he didn’t know of a single case of Covid-19 that had arisen from the state’s June primary election.

“I've asked this question 10 times, 10 different ways, of 10 different people, if they knew of one case where someone got Covid-19 while voting at one of our polling sites on Election Day, and the answer has been no, to date. And so we need to have that option," he said. “But folks need to understand that it is safe to vote."

6:15 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

Access to mental health care is important during the pandemic, experts say

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

It’s important for people who are vulnerable to increased anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic to access mental health care, experts said during an American Lung Association event on Wednesday. 

Many people may be experiencing increased anxiety during the pandemic, which can be compounded by the sense of isolation that can come with social distancing.

“It's also really important to remember that 1 in 5 Americans had a diagnosed mental health condition before the pandemic,” said Ken Duckworth, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Duckworth emphasized the importance of telehealth services and phone sessions for people without internet access.

Dr. Tyish Hall Brown, a psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor at Howard University College of Medicine, emphasized the importance of checking in on children and teens.

She said that “everything's kind of a catastrophic thought” for teens, and it can be helpful to remind them that this break from school and seeing friends won’t last forever.

6:00 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

Colleges and universities in Los Angeles must remain mostly closed, officials say

From CNN’s Jenn Selva

Officials from the Los Angeles health department said they will follow guidance from the state, allowing only the limited reopening of colleges and universities until the spread rate of Covid-19 slows.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said this means colleges and universities can continue their essential operations, but that most academic instruction will need to be conducted via distance learning. 

Some limited in-person training and instruction will be allowed, but only for students who are or will become part of the essential workforce or those activities that can’t be taught through distance learning.

According to Ferrer, housing will only be provided for students who have no alternative options.

“I know this is disheartening news for so many of the students who are looking forward to life on campus,” said Ferrer.

Ferrer said college sports can continue as long as they follow guidelines set by the state and the NCAA.

Some context: The announcement comes after outbreaks were reported last month in both the University of California Los Angeles and University of Southern California communities.

 

5:53 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

National Football League extends daily Covid-19 testing for players

From CNN's David Close

The NFL logo is seen on the field before a game between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London on October 13, 2019.
The NFL logo is seen on the field before a game between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London on October 13, 2019. Alex Burstow/Getty Images

The NFL and the players union have agreed to continue daily Covid-19 testing until at least Sept. 5.

The NFL Players Association and the league had originally agreed to daily testing for just the first two weeks of training camp.

According to the player's union Covid-19 results tracker on the its website, 56 players have tested positive for coronavirus since training camps opened in late July.

The NFL season kicks off Sept. 10 with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans.

5:52 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

More than 11,000 new coronavirus cases recorded in California

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

A healthcare worker gathers information from a person at a drive-in coronavirus testing center in Los Angeles on August 11.
A healthcare worker gathers information from a person at a drive-in coronavirus testing center in Los Angeles on August 11. Mario Tama/Getty Images

California has added 11,645 new coronavirus cases to its tally today, but more than half of those are the result of a backlog created by a data reporting error, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a news conference.

These new cases bring California’s total to 586,056 total infections.

Newsom noted the 14-day hospitalization rates are down just over 19%, and the two-week rate for intensive care unit cases is down 16%. These rates are “another indication that we are turning a corner on this pandemic,” Newsom said.

The positivity rate of the virus continues to drop and currently stands at 6.2%. This is down from just over 7% for most of July. 

“These are specific proof points that offer some optimism,” Newsom said, giving credit to people wearing masks for bringing the trend lines down. “Don’t let your guard down. You can’t let your guard down."

Some context: Data reporting errors that have plagued the state’s recording system have been resolved, according to Newsom, with a parallel system in place for the short-term and a long-term replacement being created for the future.

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.

5:44 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

Brazil's new daily coronavirus cases top 55,000

From Marcia Reverdosa and Fernanda Wenzel

Brazil reported 55,155 new Covid-19 cases as well as an additional 1,175 deaths in the past 24 hours, the country’s health ministry said Wednesday.

The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 3,164,785, including 104,201 deaths, according to the ministry’s data.

Brazil still ranks as the second country in the world when it comes to the total number of cases and deaths from the virus.

4:40 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

Kentucky records highest number of new Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks at a news conference on Wednesday, August 12.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks at a news conference on Wednesday, August 12. Governor Andy Beshear

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear today announced 1,163 new positive cases of Covid-19, the single highest number of new positive cases the state has recorded since the start of the pandemic.

The governor said the number includes both figures that would have been expected today, as well as those that had been delayed by a glitch in the system earlier in the week. He said the “original plan was to try to allocate those over the last couple of days where we thought they would have come in, and what we learned is it wouldn't make a difference, either we're going to have this number today or I think yesterday was going to be over 1,000 as well.”

“So today we've set a record that we didn't want to set. We never wanted to get over 1,000 cases, we have 1,163. That brings our total number of cases in Kentucky to 36,945,” Beshear said, adding that in positive news, the state’s seven-day average positivity rate is down to 5.62%.  

Remember: These numbers were released by the state’s public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

4:35 p.m. ET, August 12, 2020

Arizona school district is reopening for in-person classes

From CNN's Miguel Marquez

During a lengthy and contentious meeting Tuesday night, the Queen Creek School Board in suburban Phoenix voted 4 to 1 to resume school with 100% in-person learning starting Aug. 17.

This is the first district in the metro Phoenix area to vote to reopen despite Maricopa and Pinal counties Covid-19 positivity rates not meeting the state's recommended metrics for reopening. The Queen Creek school district spans parts of both Maricopa and Pinal counties.

The meeting included passionate opinions from teachers, parents and students both for and against reopening schools. The president of the Queen Creek Education Association, Jacob Frantz, said four of the five members of the board are educators themselves, with personal interests in reopening schools.

"What you've got here are five people who are very concerned and want the best education for their kids," Frantz said.

Several students approached the microphone and expressed their wishes to return to "normal" and in-person school, while some educators said they are worried about the possibility of becoming infected at school.

"I'm a special education teacher here in Queen Creek," Karen Vernon said. "I am a person and I feel defeated and I feel sad," she said, asking the Board to let her out of her contract and accept her resignation from her position.

The final vote in favor of full in-person learning was met with applause and cheers.

The board member who voted against the measure was also met with applause when he said he thought the district should slowly return to in-person learning in case of a surge of new cases. The district will still have a virtual learning option for those students who choose it.

Some context: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced the state's "Roadmap for Reopening Schools" plan earlier this month, which recommends communities with a less than a 5% positivity rate can resume in-person school, ensuring "minimal community spread.”

Maricopa County reported a positivity rate Tuesday of 13.9%, and Pinal County reported an 11.9% positivity rate, according to the Arizona Department of Health's website.