August 14 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Brad Lendon, Melissa Macaya, Zamira Rahim and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

Updated 12:36 a.m. ET, August 15, 2020
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12:10 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020

NYC museums and cultural institutions can reopen with restrictions

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

Museums and cultural institutions across New York City can open – with restrictions – beginning Aug. 24, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Twitter Friday.

Cuomo tweeted that timed ticketing will be required as well as face coverings.

Read his tweet:

12:07 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020

Brazil's economy fell almost 11% in the last quarter

From Fernanda Wenzel in Porto Alegre and Rodrigo Pedroso in São Paulo

A man walks in front of a shuttered shop on June 29 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
A man walks in front of a shuttered shop on June 29 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

The Brazilian economy has fallen 10.98% in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of the year, according to a report released by the country’s Central Bank on Friday.

The data is from the Economic Activity Index, a preview report to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which will be released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) on Sept. 1.

In the first quarter, Brazil had already registered a fall of 1.5% in its GDP, according to IBGE.

President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday that Brazil is in a better situation than other countries when it comes to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and that the Brazilian economy should recover “until the end of the year.”

The unemployment rate in Brazil rose to 13.3% in the quarter ended in June, reaching 12.8 million people, according to the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE). 

A total of 8.9 million people lost their jobs as the coronavirus pandemic swept through Brazil — representing the sharpest contraction on record.

11:59 a.m. ET, August 14, 2020

How collecting Covid-19 impact data by race helped Milwaukee better strategize its response

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

The Democratic National Convention has been scaled back from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as positivity rates for Covid-19 in the area remain high, according to Jeanette Kowalik, Commissioner of health at the Milwaukee Health Department.

Through the pandemic, Milwaukee has collected data on the impact of coronavirus by race, after it became the first city county to declare racism a public health crisis last year, making race a priority in conversation. With this data, they learned that the impact of racism was playing out through the pandemic, Kowalik told CNN's Poppy Harlow

“Honestly, having data about the impact of race and Covid by race and ethnicity was very, very important for us because that informed our ability to adjust our strategy,” she added.

“[It] helped us alter our strategy so we could increase our outreach, add additional testing sites, just really help our communities of color prevent their exposure to Covid-19,” she said, adding that important conversations also began in the community because of this.

“I don't think those conversations would have happened if we didn't start sharing the data that more people of color were being impacted by Covid-19. So the orders are meant to protect our community. It doesn't matter where people live, in the city if they're in more affluent areas or more underresourced areas, but the orders are meant for our base protections.”


11:48 a.m. ET, August 14, 2020

This Arizona teacher explains why he quit his job when his school decided to reopen

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

When the governing board of the Queen Creek Unified School District in Arizona voted for all schools to have full-time in-person classes, teacher Matt Chicci resigned. He said the school didn’t meet the standards set by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which was the reason behind his decision.

"The infection rate is still high [in] Maricopa county, that we live in,” he told CNN’s Jim Sciutto. “Our superintendent of public instruction has even said that schools in Arizona shouldn't be opening. And so if the county health department and our superintendent are saying it's not safe to reopen, it's not safe to do so.”

“It was an agonizing decision to make, but for me and my family, it was the right one.”

One of Chicci’s family members is also at high risk, which was a factor in the decision-making process, he said.

“So if I'm put into a classroom of 30 or more kids, it's a small room, there's one exit, the ventilation isn't all that great for schools. They did increase the air flow,��but that doesn't mean they put in the proper filter to filter out virus particles. So it's not a good situation,” Chicci said.

He emphasized the need for positivity rates to decrease and better social distancing plans before reopening schools that would help him feel safe to return.

“The other thing is being able to social distance. In a class of 30 I can only keep them two feet apart. We did the math and we need classes of 10,” he explained.

While the school district said in a statement that parents were given the option to choose between online or in-person learning, the same choice wasn’t given to teachers, Chicci said.

“It wasn’t an option. We weren't given the option to teach from home,” he said. “A lot of us would have stayed if we had had that option or if we even had some kind of hybrid option to where we had smaller class sizes.”


12:06 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020

Spain reports nearly 3,000 new Covid-19 cases in past 24 hours

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio in Lisbon

Spanish health authorities have reported an additional 2,987 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the largest daily increase since April.

The increase follows a rising trend in new cases seen in the past few weeks, after local outbreaks in the Madrid, Catalonia and Aragon regions. 

Health authorities also reported 62 new deaths from Covid-19 and an increase of 7 people admitted into Spanish intensive care units.

The Spanish Ministry of Health report follows an earlier announcement by Health Minister Salvador Illa of a reintroduction of certain anti-coronavirus social distancing measures to curb the outbreaks across the country.

10:32 a.m. ET, August 14, 2020

Bogota's airport to begin reopening next month after city has slowed spread of Covid-19, mayor says

From CNN's Stefano Pozzebon in Bogota, Colombia

A health ministry worker checks the body temperature of a traveler at El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá, Colombia, on May 26.
A health ministry worker checks the body temperature of a traveler at El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá, Colombia, on May 26. Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images

Colombia's El Dorado International Airport in Bogota is set to reopen in September, according to Bogota's City Hall Thursday.  

The airport will not be open for international flights in the beginning, Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez said, but will have three domestic routes to Cartagena, Leticia and San Andrés.

"We are going to have the same protocol in the city of origin and city of destination, every citizen who has symptoms will not be able to transit through the airport, or get on the plane. We agree that airlines, airport and health secretaries will follow up for 10 days each passenger," Mayor Lopez said in a news conferenceThursday.

Bogota will also reopen bars and restaurants on Sept. 1 but only for outdoor dining in "open air." At least 300 restaurants have received special licensing to reopen, Lopez said.

The new measures come after Lopez said Thursday that Bogota has "slowed down the spread of contagion."

"We have already reached the highest point and we are on a kind of plateau, and towards the end of the month we will start to go down," Lopez said.

As of Wednesday, Colombia has 433,805 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with Bogota holding nearly 150,000 of those cases.

10:44 a.m. ET, August 14, 2020

Iraq reports record daily high of 4,013 new coronavirus cases

 From CNN’s Aqeel Najim in Baghdad

A health worker in Najaf, Iraq, administers a Covid-19 test on July 15.
A health worker in Najaf, Iraq, administers a Covid-19 test on July 15. AFP/Getty Images

Iraq’s Ministry of Health reported 4,013 new coronavirus cases on Friday, which is the highest daily case number recorded since the start of the pandemic. The total number of cases in Iraq is now 168,290.

The health ministry also reported 68 new Covid-19 related deaths. This brings the total number of deaths in Iraq to 5,709 .

10:02 a.m. ET, August 14, 2020

Public health advisers say Covid-19 data change has hospitals "scrambling'"

From CNN's Jen Christensen

In a letter, public health advisers to the US government said they are "extremely concerned" and "troubled" by the Trump administration's decision to change how hospitals report Covid-19 data.

The letter, dated July 31, described hospitals as "scrambling" to determine how to meet new daily Covid-19 reporting requirements to the US Department of Health and Human Services, and said retiring the older system jeopardized data integrity. One doctor who signed the letter said the new data system was marred by inconsistencies, rendering it "almost impossible" to use for real-time decisions during the pandemic.

"Moving forward," the letter says, "it will be even more challenging to perform meaningful inter-state comparisons, and to understand which COVID-19 mitigation strategies were successul (or failed)."

The nearly three dozen current and former members of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee shared their concerns in a letter intended for HHS and obtained by CNN. The committee is an independent group of experts that provides guidance to the HHS and the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention on infection control practices and strategies.

When asked by CNN, HHS did not confirm if it had received the letter. Members of the committee said that the CDC, which is part of HHS, was informed of the letter.

Some background: In a memo on the HHS website last month, the Trump administration ordered hospitals to report all Covid-19 patient information to HHS, rather than to the CDC and HHS, as they had been doing.

The Trump administration said the change would streamline the data collection process, but it swiftly drew criticism from public health officials.

Former CDC Acting Director Dr. Richard Besser said at the time that rerouting hospital data was a "step backwards" for the country's coronavirus response.

"It's another example of CDC being sidelined. Not only should the data be coming to CDC, but CDC should be talking to the public through the media every day," Besser told CNN.

This recent letter shared similar concerns.

"We are extremely concerned about this abrupt change in Covid-19 reporting," the letter said. Retiring the CDC system that was in operation would have "serious consequences on data integrity."

Read more here.

9:41 a.m. ET, August 14, 2020

US stocks slip at the open

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

Wall Street opened in the red on Friday, even though the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 are still hovering near record highs.

Meanwhile, investors are looking at July retail sales data released Friday morning. On the face of it, the numbers missed expectations  — but the report was better than it seemed at first blush, in large part because prior month’s sales were revised up even higher.

Here is where things stood at opening:

  • The Dow opened 0.4%, or 115 points, lower.
  • The S&P 500 slipped 0.2%
  • The Nasdaq Composite was flat.