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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1:51 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020

US agrees to extend border restrictions with Mexico and Canada

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

US Customs and Border Protection agents check a vehicle as commuters queue to cross the Mexican border towards the US at the Otay commercial crossing port in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico on July 7.
US Customs and Border Protection agents check a vehicle as commuters queue to cross the Mexican border towards the US at the Otay commercial crossing port in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico on July 7. Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

The United States has confirmed the US and Mexico and the US and Canada will extend shared border restrictions through Sept. 21, according to a tweet from Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

"We continue to work with our Canadian and Mexican partners to slow the spread of #COVID19. Accordingly, we have agreed to extend the limitation of non-essential travel at our shared land ports of entry through September 21," Wolf's tweet read.

 

Mexico's Foreign Ministry also tweeted about the extension earlier Friday saying, "After reviewing the spread of COVID-19, Mexico proposed to the US the extension for another month of non-essential land travel restrictions at the common border.”  

 

Some context: The announcement marks the latest extension of restrictions on nonessential travel after limits were initially put in place in late March. 

The restrictions have been in place since March 21 and prohibit non-essential travel. Essential travel includes individuals traveling for medical purposes, attending school or engaged in trade, like truck drivers, among others, according to a regulation notice published in late July.  

Some travelers are still permitted to cross, including, but not limited to, citizens returning home, those crossing for education or medical reasons, and those engaged in lawful cross-border trade. Thousands of people cross the US-Mexico border daily for work, school and other activities.

The US outpaces other countries in coronavirus cases, including Mexico and Canada, which have at least 505,751 and 123,194 cases, respectively, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

1:50 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020

WHO stresses need for equitable access to internationally controlled medicines for non-Covid patients

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

The World Health Organization's sign is shown at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on July 3.
The World Health Organization's sign is shown at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on July 3. Fabrice Conffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization is signaling the importance of accessing internationally controlled medicines, such as sedatives and analgesics, for non-Covid-19 patients.

In a joint statement with The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), WHO said even during a global pandemic, “Non-Covid patients continue to require controlled medicines for the management of pain and palliative care, surgical care and anesthesia, mental health and neurological conditions, and for the treatment of drug use disorders.”

WHO said even before Covid-19, “patients faced barriers to accessing controlled medicines.” 

Now the problem is exacerbated: “The Covid-19 pandemic has further resulted in interruptions of the medicines supply chain, and it is critical that access to essential health services and medications not be forgotten or de-prioritised during this pandemic.”

The statement urges countries to take advantage of the “simplified control procedures” which were put in place during the pandemic, to export, transport and supply the drugs. WHO also lays out published toolkits and guidelines to help countries acquire the drugs. 

1:49 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020

Seattle schools to start academic year with remote learning

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

Seattle public schools will begin the school year with remote learning for most students, according to an update posted to the district’s website.

The choice, made by the school board Wednesday, means that more than 53,000 students will not be in classrooms when the school year starts on Sept. 2, according to the district website.

The district is the largest in the state of Washington.

Exceptions will be made “for students receiving special education services in alignment with Individualized Education Programs,” the announcement on the decision said.

“It is the recommendation of staff and the school board that the district continues this remote model until the risk of significant transmission of COVID-19 cases has decreased enough to resume in-person instruction,” the announcement added.
1:49 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020

Early results suggest Chinese vaccine is safe and induces immune response, but more research is needed

From CNN's John Bonifield and Dana Vigue

Interim results of phase one and two trials published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest a coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm is safe and induces an immune response. 

However, researchers said more study is needed to know whether the vaccine protects people against the virus.

The phase one trial, conducted in Henan Province, China, involved 96 people given high, medium or low doses of the vaccine, or a placebo, which does nothing. The Phase 2 trial, involved 224 adults given the medium dose of the vaccine, or a placebo.

Within seven days after injection, adverse reactions were reported in 15% of trial participants. The most common adverse reaction was injection site pain, followed by fever. All adverse reactions were mild and did not require any treatment. 

In the phase two study, the vaccine prompted a neutralizing antibody response in 97.6% of participants. The researchers found that participants had greater neutralizing antibody responses when they were given the second dose of the vaccine three weeks after the first dose rather than two weeks after the first dose.

"My impressions is that they are getting reasonable levels of virus neutralizing antibodies," Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccinologist at Baylor College of Medicine and a CNN medical analyst, said. "Based on this and safety profile, I believe that this is definitely a vaccine worth pursuing in Phase three clinical trials. I also think that this could be as good as the Operation Warp Speed vaccines in terms of efficacy and safety, but we really need those large trials."

Some background: The US government is supporting six vaccine candidates so far through the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed program. Two have moved into large, phase three trials on tens of thousands in the United States.

There are 29 vaccines in clinical trials worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

12:31 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020

Vaccine trial investigator says results unlikely to come before end of the year

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

A syringe containing either a vaccine or a placebo is prepared for a participant in a Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial sponsored by Moderna at Accel Research Sites on August 4 in DeLand, Florida.
A syringe containing either a vaccine or a placebo is prepared for a participant in a Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial sponsored by Moderna at Accel Research Sites on August 4 in DeLand, Florida. Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Dr. Evan Anderson, principal investigator for the Moderna coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at Emory University, says the trial won’t yield results until after Election Day.

“At this point, it looks very unlikely that we would see any results before late November or December, at best, in my opinion. But it does depend how much Covid-19 is circulating in the community at the time that the study is ongoing,” Anderson said in an interview with CNN's Kate Bolduan. 

Moderna is the first company to begin its phase three clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine in the US.

Enrollment is increasing rapidly, according to Anderson, and he predicts that full enrollment won’t happen until September.

Anderson said there would need to be studies to look at dosing and responses of children to the vaccine to determine if it is safe for them, and cautions that could “take a while.” 

“I think it would be good to be able to start those studies soon so that we might be able to help protect children from Covid-19, as it is quite clear that they are infected with some frequency and do suffer life-threatening and even fatal events related to Covid-19 and the inflammatory syndrome that occurs afterwards,” he said.

12:25 p.m. ET, August 14, 2020

Michigan partners with Ford and FEMA to provide millions of free masks

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a press conference in Lansing, Michigan, on August 14.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a press conference in Lansing, Michigan, on August 14. Pool/WLNS

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced four million free masks will be provided to the state's most vulnerable residents, through a partnership with Ford Motor Company and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  

"This partnership is going to save lives," Whitmer said during a news conference on Friday.

The measure is part of Michigan's "Mask up Michigan" campaign, and masks will be distributed to schools, homeless shelters and seniors, Whitmer said. 

Whitmer juxtaposed the swift mitigation action taken in her state against the response in Florida and Georgia throughout the pandemic.   

"Georgia was the first state in the country to reopen its economy, and is now averaging five times the number of new cases of coronavirus in a day, five times more than the state of Michigan. And while states like Georgia and Florida and Texas reported hundreds of new deaths last week, Michigan had 43," Whitmer said.  

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.”

Watch: