August 19 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Jack Guy, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, August 20, 2020
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1:41 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020

Illinois reports highest daily number of cases since May

From CNN’s Kay Jones

Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,264 new Covid-19 positive cases today, the highest daily number of cases reported since May 24.

The state now has a total of 211,889 positive cases with a 4.4% positivity rate being reported over the past seven days. 

The public health agency reported a total of 7,806 deaths statewide, up 25 from Tuesday’s report.

Note: These numbers were released by the Illinois Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

 

1:35 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020

Norway to impose 10-day quarantine on travelers from UK, Greece, Ireland and Austria

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London

Norway will impose a 10-day quarantine on travelers arriving from the United Kingdom, Greece, Ireland and Austria, due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in those countries, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry told CNN on Wednesday.

The new restrictions will go into effect at midnight local time on Friday.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now advising against non-essential travel to Austria, Greece, Ireland and the UK," the ministry said in a statement. "This also applies to Greater Copenhagen in Denmark." 

The ministry statement added that this week, these countries "have all exceeded the threshold for level of infection, which has been set at 20 confirmed new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people during the past two weeks. 

1:34 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020

How US voters can stand up for their right to vote during the coronavirus pandemic

From CNN's Melissa Mahtani

Long lines, missing absentee ballots and malfunctioning voting machines marred statewide primary elections in Georgia in June, renewing attention on voting rights there. As the battleground state gears up for this year’s presidential election, some voters fear their voices won’t be heard.

Similar scenes have played out in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Wisconsin where officials have been caught unprepared for the number of voters casting their ballots in person. The problems also fit a pattern, observed by researchers, of long lines, last minute location changes and problems with polling machines appearing to affect minority communities the most.

CNN’s Pamela Kirkland talks to an expert outside a polling station in Atlanta to find out how citizens across America can stand up for their right to vote and get their ballot counted.

Watch the video here:

1:40 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020

New Jersey governor responds to Trump campaign lawsuit over mail-in voting plans: "Bring it on"

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during a press conference in Trenton, New Jersey, on August 19.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during a press conference in Trenton, New Jersey, on August 19. Pool/News 12 NJ

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy began his regularly scheduled coronavirus briefing on Wednesday by sharply rebuking the lawsuit filed by President Trump's reelection campaign over the state's decision to use a hybrid voting model for November's election.

“Let me begin by making an unequivocal — our democracy is stronger and fairer when all voters have the right to not just cast a ballot but to cast that ballot in confidence. The President's campaign is putting itself on record as wanting to delegitimize our November election instead of working with us to ensure that voters rights are upheld alongside public health,” Murphy said. 

“This goes far beyond attempts at weaponizing the United States Postal service to disenfranchise voters, this is now becoming a full throated propaganda campaign to undermine the election itself.”

Murphy went on to say that vote-by-mail has been used extensively across the country and in New Jersey, and added that it needs to be done to keep people safe from the coronavirus pandemic. 

“If vote-by-mail is good enough for the President, it is good enough for all of us,” he added. 

He said that the state will continue with their plans and defend them “vigorously.” 

“So as they say, bring it on,” he said. 

1:29 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020

Fauci urges people to stop speculating about the pandemic and focus on facts 

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

The nation's leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said health care professionals need to continue to “make recommendations and policy based on data and evidence.” 

“Speculations, anecdotal, those kinds of opinions, really need to be put aside,” he said while speaking during a George Washington University webinar on Wednesday. 

“Everything that we are talking about in the arena of public health, any intervention, it could be a diagnostic, a vaccine, a therapy – it has to be made on the basis of sound scientific data and evidence.” 

Fauci said he and his public health colleagues do this every day, holding true to their ethical principles.  

"You don't change your ethics because of the situation you are in," he said. "There are certain things that are constant; science, data and really good evidence are constant," he said.  

"If the situation changes, the data may change and you make your decisions. What doesn't change are ethical principles. They are clear and immutable."

1:11 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020

Louisiana governor issues emergency order for November's election over Covid-19 concerns

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks during a press conference at the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 28.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks during a press conference at the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 28. Travis Spradling/The Advocate/Pool/AP

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed an executive order declaring that an emergency exists for Louisiana’s November election because of Covid-19, according to a release from his office.  

"I do not believe the Secretary of State’s current plan goes far enough, because it does not take into account the seriousness of this global pandemic and the health and safety of the voters," said the release.  

According to Edwards, Secretary Kyle Ardoin's plan "does not provide for absentee mail-in voting options for people who are at high risk" for coronavirus. 

"Simply put: voting should not be a super spreader event," said Edwards.  

The emergency order signed Tuesday "allows the state to move forward with emergency plans to support the election," according to the release.  

CNN has reached out to Ardoin's office but has not heard back.  

1:46 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020

Understanding the long-term effects of Covid-19 is "a work in progress," Fauci says

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 31.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 31. Kevin Dietsch/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci said understanding the long-term effects of Covid-19 is “a work in progress.” 

“We are learning, literally, every week and every month,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said during a George Washington University webinar on Wednesday. 

Many coronavirus survivors have reported weeks and even months of symptoms after the first onset of infection.

“If you look at the people who were sick, but didn’t require hospitalization,” Fauci said, “when you look at the percentage of them — that actually recover, and recover within two to three weeks – a substantial proportion of them don’t feel right.”

Common complaints are often fatigue, muscle aches and brain fog, along with more “subtle, insidious” effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems, he said. 

“They may be reversable and they may completely clear after a while, but we don't know that, so we'd better be careful,” Fauci said. “Just because a person survives… that there may be a certain percent of people who might serious residual effects.” 

“We need to follow that,” he added.  

Watch part of Dr. Fauci's conversation with George Washington University: 

12:56 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020

There have been at least 222 Covid-19 cases at Notre Dame since students returned

A portion of University of Notre Dame's campus is seen in South Bend, Indiana, on April 19, 2019.
A portion of University of Notre Dame's campus is seen in South Bend, Indiana, on April 19, 2019. Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

The University of Notre Dame is now reporting 222 positive Covid-19 cases, with an additional 73 positive cases added Tuesday.

This is slightly down from the 82 cases the school reported on Monday.

The 73 new cases were out of a total of 355 tests conducted, for a 20.5% positivity rate.

Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins announced Tuesday that all undergraduate classes will be remote for the next two weeks.

12:48 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020

Spain reports highest daily increase in Covid-19 cases since the end of lockdown

From CNN's Duarte Mendonca

Health workers wait to administer PCR tests for COVID-19 at Vilafranca del Penedes in the Barcelona province, Spain, August 10.
Health workers wait to administer PCR tests for COVID-19 at Vilafranca del Penedes in the Barcelona province, Spain, August 10. Emilio Morenatti/AP

Spain reported 3,715 new coronavirus infections within the last day, the health ministry said on Wednesday. The latest reports mark the highest increase in Spain’s Covid-19 daily coronavirus cases since the end of the country’s lockdown in late June.

Until Wednesday, Spain’s record number of new cases since the lockdown ended was on Aug. 14, with a total of 2,987 new cases — making the latest figures a significant increase of 728 cases in comparison to the previous record.

Spain's cumulative case number, which includes antibody tests on people who may have already recovered from the virus, rose by 6,671 to 370,867.