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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1:33 p.m. ET, August 15, 2020

Michigan governor signs order requiring Covid-19 testing in prisons and jails 

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Michigan Office of the Governor via AP
Michigan Office of the Governor via AP

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order requiring Covid-19 testing in prisons and jails, according to a news release sent Saturday. 

“Testing is the at the very center of any strategy to keep prison and jail populations safe. By reducing the spread of Covid-19 in prisons and jails, we protect corrections officers and their families, incarcerated people, and the whole community,”  Whitmer said.
1:07 p.m. ET, August 15, 2020

Chairman of Irish tourism authority resigns after holiday in Italy

From CNN's Vasco Cotovio

Michael Cawley in 2009
Michael Cawley in 2009 Thomas Frey/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

The chairman of Fáilte Ireland, the Irish tourism authority, has resigned after it was reported he was on holiday in Italy despite government advice to avoid all non-essential travel.

Michael Cawley's resignation was announced by Catherine Martin, the Irish Minister for Media Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, on Saturday.

“I was disappointed to learn that the chair of Fáilte Ireland was holidaying in Italy. I rang Mr. Cawley this morning and he has offered his resignation which I have accepted. I wish to thank Mr. Cawley for his service as chair of Fáilte Ireland,” Martin said in a statement. “While Italy is on the green list, meaning that people who return from there do not have to restrict their movements, the government has called on people to avoid all non-essential travel.”

Cawley went against another recommendation from the government which also called on the Irish people to spend their holidays inside the country. 

12:31 p.m. ET, August 15, 2020

Mexico’s president declares 30 days of mourning for Covid-19 victims

From CNN’s Claudia Dominguez

Workers dig fresh graves in a section of the Municipal Cemetery of Valle de Chalco, which opened three months ago to accommodate the surge in deaths amid the coronavirus pandemic, on the outskirts of Mexico City on August 7.
Workers dig fresh graves in a section of the Municipal Cemetery of Valle de Chalco, which opened three months ago to accommodate the surge in deaths amid the coronavirus pandemic, on the outskirts of Mexico City on August 7. Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has announced 30 days of national mourning to honor the country's Covid-19 victims, according to a statement released by his office Friday. 

Mexico’s government expressed its “most sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to those affected by the pandemic” and recognized the efforts made by all health workers to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the statement said.

Flags will be flown at half-mast from Aug. 13 until Sept. 11, according the statement. A daily moment of silence will continue at noon every day during this period.

12:26 p.m. ET, August 15, 2020

More MLB games postponed after a player tests positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Homero DeLaFuente

Eric Espada/Getty Images
Eric Espada/Getty Images

Major League Baseball has postponed two games between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates this weekend after a player on the Reds tested positive for Covid-19, the league announced Saturday. 

After a game between both teams Friday night, reports surfaced that a player had tested positive for coronavirus. As a result, MLB postponed Saturday and Sunday’s games at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio, to allow for additional testing and to complete the contact tracing process.

Some context: Before Saturday’s announcement, MLB was on the verge of playing a full schedule of games for the first time since July 26.

The St. Louis Cardinals, who are set to resume play on Saturday, were the last team to hit by a Covid-19 outbreak. The team had a total of 19 games postponed after 18 members of the team, including 10 players, tested positive for Covid-19.

Previously, The Miami Marlins were forced to halt play for nine days after 21 members of the team, including 18 players, tested positive for the virus.

11:53 a.m. ET, August 15, 2020

UK reports more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for fifth day in a row

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio

The United Kingdom has reported 1,012 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, marking the fifth consecutive day it has had more than 1,000 daily infections.

The total number of coronavirus infections in the UK is now 317,379.

Britain also reported three additional deaths on Saturday, bringing its total number of Covid-19-related deaths to 41,361.

11:33 a.m. ET, August 15, 2020

New York state reports lowest Covid-19 hospitalizations since mid-March 

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Hospitalizations for Covid-19 across New York have hit a new low since March 17, according to a news release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office.

There are 523 people in New York state hospitalized due to the virus, the release said.

The state also reported five new Covid-19-related deaths.

Of the 88,668 people tested for Covid-19, New York has a 0.83% positive infection rate, the release said. 

Note: The numbers listed were released by the state of New York and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project. 

11:28 a.m. ET, August 15, 2020

Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain reopen Saturday

From Fernanda Wenzel

Christ the Redeemer is seen on August 15.
Christ the Redeemer is seen on August 15. Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Rio de Janeiro's iconic tourist attractions, the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain, reopened Saturday after being closed for five months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The reopening, however, comes with limitations on the number of visitors permitted at the sites.

The Christ the Redeemer site will begin welcoming visitors at 1 p.m. local time, according to the website for the management company Paineiras Corcovado. It will then open with reduced hours Sunday with the tourist vans traversing the hill at half the capacity, and the tourist train operating at 25% capacity.

Similar precautions, including temperature checks, are being taken at other tourist attractions reopening Saturday and Sunday, including Sugarloaf, the Rio Star ferris wheel and the AquaRio aquarium, according to the government tourism campaign website, Rediscover Rio.

 

11:22 a.m. ET, August 15, 2020

Florida reports more than 6,000 new cases of coronavirus 

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Florida health officials have reported 6,352 new cases of coronavirus and 204 additional Covid-19-related deaths on Saturday, according to the state's health department.

This marks the 53rd consecutive day Florida has reported more than 4,000 cases in a single day, according to CNN's tally.   

The state has reported 569,637 total cases of coronavirus and 9,345 resident deaths, according to health data.    

Note: These numbers were released by Florida'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.

11:06 a.m. ET, August 15, 2020

NASCAR driver tests positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Homero DeLaFuente

Austin Dillon celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 on July 19 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Austin Dillon celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 on July 19 in Fort Worth, Texas. Chris Graythen/Getty Images

NASCAR driver Austin Dillon has tested positive for Covid-19, his team, Richard Childress Racing, announced Saturday.

Dillon is in self-quarantine and will not be competing in this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway, according to a statement from the team.

Driver Kaz Gala will replace Dillon for Sunday’s Go Bowling 235. 

The 30-year-old’s wife Whitney and son Ace remain healthy and symptom free, according to the team statement. Dillon can return to competition if he receives two negative Covid-19 tests taken 24 hours apart as well as a written clearance from his personal physician.