August 13 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya, Ed Upright and Zamira Rahim, CNN

Updated 12:13 a.m. ET, August 14, 2020
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10:40 p.m. ET, August 13, 2020

Trump coronavirus adviser claims “young people are not at serious risk” from coronavirus

From CNN Health’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Dr. Scott Atlas listens as President Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House in Washington, DC on August 10.
Dr. Scott Atlas listens as President Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House in Washington, DC on August 10. Stefani Reynolds/Pool/Sipa USA

An advisor to President Donald Trump on coronavirus has said that “young people are not at risk for serious disease” from Covid-19.

 Dr. Scott Atlas made the comments to Martha MacCallum Thursday night on Fox News.

Fact check: Adults are more likely to become seriously ill from Covid-19, but children can get sick, and have serious complications. 

Rare complications: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported at least 570 cases of children with MIS-C, a rare but serious coronavirus complication in children that has been associated with fever, rash, inflammation and shock. Ten of those children died.

Increased virus rates in kids: There has been a 90% increase in the number of Covid-19 cases among children in the United States over the last four weeks, according to an analysis by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association released this week. 

“It's not fair to say that this virus is completely benign in children," said Dr. Sean O'Leary, vice chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, noting that about 90 children have died in the US from coronavirus.


10:16 p.m. ET, August 13, 2020

New Zealand reports 12 new coronavirus cases as health authorities ramp up testing

From Isaac Yee and Julia Hollingsworth in Hong Kong 

Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand on August 14.
Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand on August 14. Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

New Zealand reported 12 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the country's top health official announced today. 

All the new cases were locally transmitted, New Zealand’s Director General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield said at a press conference. 

Two of the new cases were students while one case was a pre-school student. 

The two schools and the pre-school the students attended have been closed while close contacts are being traced, according to Bloomfield. 

A total of 771 close contacts of the reported Covid-19 cases this week have been identified by the national contact tracing service, he added.  

Bloomfield also announced that 15,703 coronavirus tests were conducted on Thursday alone -- the highest in a single day in New Zealand since the outbreak began, bringing the total number of tests conducted across the country to 524,414. 

Read more on the situation in New Zealand.

10:23 p.m. ET, August 13, 2020

9/11 "Tribute in Light" canceled due to Covid-19 concerns

From CNN's Rob Frehse

People on the shore watch The Tribute in Light shining into the sky over Manhattan's skyline on September 11, 2019.
People on the shore watch The Tribute in Light shining into the sky over Manhattan's skyline on September 11, 2019. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

New York City’s “Tribute in Light” that honors victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum announced Thursday.

“This incredibly difficult decision was reached in consultation with our partners after concluding the health risks during the pandemic were far too great for the large crew required to produce the annual Tribute in Light,” the group said in a statement.
“We hope to resume this iconic tribute for the 20th anniversary.”

The memorial features two blue beams of light, consisting of 88 searchlights reaching 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) into the sky, that resemble the shape of the Twin Towers near the World Trade Center site.

9:38 p.m. ET, August 13, 2020

Star running back Damien Williams says he's opting out of the NFL's 2020 season

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs' star running back, Damien Williams, is opting out in the 2020 NFL season in part because his mom is fighting stage 4 cancer and he is worried he may expose her to Covid-19 if he plays.

Calling his mother his "rock," he said she has been a constant presence throughout his career and suggested it could be difficult to play without her by his side.

"This is the perfect time to be with my mommy and spend time with her," he told Anderson Cooper.

Williams, who is one of three Kansas City players to opt out so far, said that his mother was the champion of their family growing up and that it's now his turn to shoulder some of the responsibility.

Williams acknowledged that after dedicating his life to football, it will be quite difficult to observe the season from home, but he added that he will be watching and wishes the best for his teammates and the season.

"I just feel like it was something I had to do. It's gong to be hard to watch, but I am cheering at home," he said. "... I'm excited just to see the season start and I am praying that it finishes."

8:57 p.m. ET, August 13, 2020

Mexico surpasses 500,000 coronavirus cases

From Karol Suarez

Mexico’s Health Ministry on Thursday reported 7,371 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the country's total to 505,751.

The ministry also reported 627 new deaths, bringing the total death toll to 55,293.

8:34 p.m. ET, August 13, 2020

CDC’s ensemble forecast now projects nearly 189,00 US coronavirus deaths by September 5

From CNN's Ben Tinker

An ensemble forecast published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now projects nearly 189,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by Sept. 5.

The new projections, published Thursday, forecast 188,982 deaths, with a possible range of 181,375 to 201,431 deaths.

“State- and territory-level ensemble forecasts predict that the number of reported new deaths per week may increase over the next four weeks in Colorado and may decrease in Arizona, the Northern Mariana Islands, Vermont, and Wyoming,” the CDC said on its forecasting website.

Some context: Unlike some individual models, the CDC’s ensemble forecast only offers projections about a month into the future.

The previous ensemble forecast, published Aug. 6, projected roughly 181,000 coronavirus deaths by Aug. 29.

At least 167,029 people have already died from Covid-19 in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

8:13 p.m. ET, August 13, 2020

Fauci says consequences could be "devastating" if the country reopens without the virus under control

From CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas

 Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Getty Images/FILE
Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Getty Images/FILE

America needs to get control of Covid-19 and carefully reopen the country, or the consequences could be devastating, Dr. Anthony Fauci told actor Matthew McConaughey in an interview on Instagram Thursday.

“To think that you can ignore the biologic and get the economy back, it's not gonna happen,” said Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert. “It's just not gonna happen. You gotta do both. You gotta get control of the biologic as you carefully, open the country.” 

Fauci emphasized the importance of acting in a measured, prudent way. He noted that we have seen the consequences of jumping over the guideposts that have been established for safe reopening.

“It goes beyond the economics,” said Fauci. “If you shut down, even if there was no economic issue, what happens is that psychologically, it could be devastating." 

“If you're really shut down, children may not get their vaccinations. People don't go to hospitals when they get chest pain,” he added. “There's a lot of different things that could go wrong, beyond the economy.”

Fauci gave another grim warning.

“In fact, there's projections that if you stay shut down, the number of deaths unrelated to Covid will go up,” he said. “The number of suicides, overdoses, family issues, such as child abuse and things like that, they all go up.”

Fauci said that he believes the country can come together to overcome the virus.

“I'm old enough to have been a baby during World War II, but I remember how the country absolutely pulled together. We pulled together after 9/11. This is equivalent to that,” he said. “We've got to pull together.”

7:26 p.m. ET, August 13, 2020

Officials should be careful opening schools in places with high positivity rates, Fauci says

From CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, described during a Facebook Live on Thursday how communities could approach reopening schools for in-person learning.

“We have now designations like green, which means less than 5% test positivity and less than 10 individuals per 100,000 who are infected,” said Fauci. “Then there's yellow, which is 5 to 10% case positivity, with 10 to 100 cases per 100,000. And then there's red, which is greater than 10% positive on testing and greater than 100 per 100,000 individuals.”

Fauci said those who are in the green and yellow zones should still take precautions when reopening schools.

“If you're in the green zone, with somewhat impunity, you can feel good about sending kids back. If you're in a yellow zone, you've got to make sure the schools have the capability of mitigating any risk of infection,” he said. 

Fauci said important precautions include wearing masks, opening windows and having susceptible children work remotely.

“If you're in a red zone, I think you really better be careful, and try to get your county, your city, your state, down to a yellow or green to get the children in,” Fauci warned.

“The best way to open the schools, is to get where you live closer to the green than to the red,” he added.

7:25 p.m. ET, August 13, 2020

Hawaii sets new one-day Covid-19 infection record

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson

Fewer-than-usual people are seen at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, on July 29, amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Fewer-than-usual people are seen at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, on July 29, amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. Kyodo News/Getty Images

Hawaii has reported its highest single-day case count of Covid-19 with 355 cases, according to a release from the Hawaii Covid-19 Joint Information Center today. 

The state's health department has also reported at least 86 new Covid-19 cases, which are part of an existing cluster at the Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC).

At least 116 cases of Covid-19 are attributable to the facility. There are 24 staffers and 92 inmates who have tested positive for Covid-19, according to health investigators.

Note: These numbers were released by Hawaii’s Covid-19 Joint Information Center, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.