August 15 coronavirus news

By Tara John, Melissa Macaya, Zamira Rahim, Laura Smith-Spark, Alaa Elassar and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 12:20 a.m. ET, August 16, 2020
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7:06 p.m. ET, August 15, 2020

US-South Korean joint military drills delayed over coronavirus

From CNN’s Yoonjung Seo

South Korea and the United States have delayed their annual joint military drills, which were expected to run between August 16 and 28. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a statement on Sunday, which said the drills will begin two days later on this coming Tuesday.

"The ROK-US alliance decided to conduct the combined command post drills from August 18 to 28, taking into account the situations including COVID-19," the statement said. "The drills this time will focus on maintaining the combined defense posture and some rehearsals adopting the future combined forces structure after the OPCON transfer."

A South Korean military official familiar with the US-ROK joint drills told CNN the postponement was due to a South Korean military officer testing positive for coronavirus on Friday. South Korean media widely reported that this officer was due to participate in the drills.

6:43 p.m. ET, August 15, 2020

Brazil reports more than 40,000 new coronavirus cases and more than 700 new deaths

From journalist Fernanda Wenzel in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Brazil has reported 41,576 new Covid-19 cases and 709 deaths in the past 24 hours, the country’s health ministry reported Saturday. 

The total number of confirmed coronavirus infections now stands at 3.3 million. At least 107,232 have died from coronavirus in the country, according to the ministry’s data.

São Paulo state reported 11,408 new cases and 167 new deaths on Saturday, down from 11,667 and 289 the day before.

São Paulo has been the state hardest hit by the coronavirus in Brazil, with 697,530 total confirmed cases and 26,780 confirmed deaths.

6:52 p.m. ET, August 15, 2020

Trump: "I want college football to come back"

From CNN's Nicky Robertson and Jason Hoffman 

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump once again called for college football to "come back" during a news conference at his golf club in New Jersey on Saturday.

I want to say I want college football to come back. These are strong, healthy, incredible people," Trump said, reiterating his comments from earlier this week that urged college football play this fall.

Trump again mentioned that he spoke to Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence. who has been vocal about wanting to play this fall.

They want to play football, and he made the statement that he's safer on the field, he’s safer on the field than he is outside of the field, he feels very safe," Trump said of Lawrence.

He congratulated the SEC, ACC and Big 12 athletic conferences for planning to play this fall and said he wished the Big Ten and Pac-12 would come back as well. The Big Ten and the Pac-12 each voted earlier this week to postpone college football and all their other fall sports seasons. The five conferences, known collectively as the Power Five, generate the most revenue in the NCAA.

I just want to say I’m sort of sad because I’ve been fighting for football to come back," Trump said. "We’re trying to help the NFL as long as they stand for our National Anthem, as long as they honor our flag and our country, if they start kneeling I'm not going to be helping them much."
6:42 p.m. ET, August 15, 2020

Cluster of Covid-19 identified in UNC Chapel Hill fraternity

From CNN’s Kay Jones

A pedestrian walks though a tunnel at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in June.
A pedestrian walks though a tunnel at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in June. Gerry Broome/AP

The University of North Carolina issued an alert on Saturday afternoon saying a cluster of Covid-19 cases has been identified in the Sigma Nu fraternity.

This comes a day after the University said that clusters had been identified in the Ehringhaus Community and Granville Towers.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services defines a cluster by five or more cases in close proximity in a location, like a single residential hall or dwelling.

The individuals  in this cluster  have been identified and are isolating and receiving medical  monitoring," the alert said. It also said that all residents in the living space have been given information about the next steps in the process.

UNC says they will not release information about individual positive cases.

The Sigma Nu national headquarters has posted Covid-19 information and resources for members of the fraternity. CNN has reached out to the Sigma Nu headquarters for additional comment but has not heard back.

5:43 p.m. ET, August 15, 2020

Record number of new Covid-19 cases reported to WHO in last 24 hours

From CNN Health's Ben Tinker

There were 294,237 new Covid-19 cases reported to the World Health Organization in the last 24 hours, according to a situation report published Saturday. The total number of cases that have been reported to WHO from around the globe is now 21 million.

The rise in newly reported cases sets another record for cases reported to WHO within a 24-hour period. The previous record was set July 31 when 292,527 new cases of Covid-19 were reported.

Saturday's report noted there were 9,985 additional Covid-19 deaths reported to WHO in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths worldwide to 755,786.

5:31 p.m. ET, August 15, 2020

Sheriff in Florida tests positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri at a press conference on March 21 in Clearwater Beach, Florida.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri at a press conference on March 21 in Clearwater Beach, Florida.  Boyzell Hosey/Tampa Bay Times/ZUMA

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, according to a press release from the sheriff's office.

The sheriff is suffering from mild symptoms and has lost his senses of taste and smell, the release said. Pinellas County is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area.

Gualtieri is not experiencing any fever or respiratory issues, according to the release.

He will remain at home for the next 10 days at the direction of the Department of Health and work remotely, the release said. 

5:08 p.m. ET, August 15, 2020

15-year-old boy is the youngest person in metro Atlanta to die from Covid-19

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian and Natasha Chen

A 15-year-old boy from metro Atlanta became the second youngest person to die due to complications from Covid-19 in Georgia, according to the latest statistics released by the state health department.

The boy had other medical conditions, Nancy Nydam of the Georgia Department of Public Health told CNN. No further details on how the boy contracted coronavirus or whether he may have exposed other individuals to the virus were available.

A 7-year-old boy from Savannah is the youngest Georgian to die from Covid-19. The boy drowned in a bathtub after having a seizure due to a high fever and he tested positive for Covid-19 postmortem, according to Chatham County Coroner Bill Wessinger. The preliminary autopsy report says the child died from drowning, secondary to seizure due to fever from Covid-19.

4:40 p.m. ET, August 15, 2020

Lebanon reports almost 400 new cases of coronavirus

From CNN’s Ghazi Balkiz

Lebanon has reported 397 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the country’s Public Health Ministry said Saturday.

That takes the total number of infections in Lebanon to 8,442. Three people have died in the previous day, taking the total number of deaths reported as a result of the coronavirus to 97.

It comes as Lebanese President Michel Aoun said it would be "impossible" for him to step down following calls for him to resign over the deadly blast in Beirut. Aoun said if he were to resign, there would be a "void of power" in the country. On Monday, Lebanon's former Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced his resignation and that of his government in the wake of the deadly blast, which he called a "disaster beyond measure."

4:25 p.m. ET, August 15, 2020

Nine University of Oklahoma football players test positive for Covid-19

From CNN’s Cesar Marin

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

University of Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley announced Saturday that nine of his players tested positive for coronavirus. The results came back after the team returned from a one-week break from preseason practices.

"We did conduct a Covid test as planned with our players last night, got the results this morning we had nine players tested positive for Covid. We had a couple of other that have been isolated due to contract tracing," Riley told the media in a video conference call on Saturday. "Disappointed by the news. We've done such a tremendous job this entire time. You know when (you) give players time, there is risk in that. This isn't the NBA, we don't have a bubble. We all have to continue to work to do a better job by all accounts. We're still confident in the plan that we have."

The Oklahoma Sooners are part of the Big 12 Conference, which this week said it intends to move forward with a fall football season. 

Oklahoma is currently scheduled to open the 2020 season at home against Missouri State on September 12.