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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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.

12:41 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020

Italy records most new Covid-19 cases in almost 3 months

From CNN's Nicola Ruotolo in Rome

A medical worker collects a swab from a person to test for COVID-19 at the the Santa Maria della Pieta' health center in Rome on August 17.
A medical worker collects a swab from a person to test for COVID-19 at the the Santa Maria della Pieta' health center in Rome on August 17. Riccardo De Luca/AP

Italy has recorded 642 new Covid-19 cases within the last day, bringing the total to at least 255,278, according to Italian Ministry of Health data released Wednesday. This represents the highest daily increase in cases since May 23. 

Among these coronavirus cases, 15,360 are actively positive, 204,506 have recovered and 35,412 have died.

According to the Italian Ministry of Health, 66 Covid-19 patients are in intensive care, an increase of 8 patients in ICU within the last day. 

12:28 p.m. ET, August 19, 2020

New York governor wants schools to look at reopening plans after Notre Dame Covid-19 outbreak

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference in Albany, New York, on August 19.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference in Albany, New York, on August 19. State of NY

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants all New York state school districts to look at their reopening plans to see how they would handle a coronavirus outbreak similar to the one currently seen at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

“Look at that, and then look at your school reopening plan and how would you make sure that you don’t wind up in that situation. What was your testing procedure? Could it have gotten that big that fast?” Cuomo said. 

Cuomo wants to know if school reopening plans would be able to catch the spread before an outbreak can get as big as the one currently seen at Notre Dame. 

“if you can’t answer yes then there is a problem,” Cuomo said. 

During a call with reporters, Cuomo suggested that an outbreak in a K-12 school would be more problematic than an outbreak at a college. 

“Frankly, on a college it’s not as bad because the student is infecting other students. K-12 if you have 130 students positive, it’s not 130, it’s 500 because a student would have gone home and dealt with people In their immediate family,” Cuomo said. 

“The basic point is opening schools is risky and problematic,” Cuomo added. 

Some more context: Notre Dame is seeing a spike in Covid-19 cases since students returned to campus on Aug. 3. As of Tuesday, 147 students have tested positive, according to the school's online health dashboard. There were 80 positive cases of 418 tests administered Monday, meaning there was a 19% positivity rate.

On Tuesday, the university announced it was suspending in-person classes for two weeks.

11:59 a.m. ET, August 19, 2020

New York's Covid-19 positivity rate is under 1% for 12th straight day, governor says

From CNN's Julian Cummings

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference in Albany, New York, on August 19.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference in Albany, New York, on August 19. State of NY

New York reported 631 out of 80,425 people tested were positive for Covid-19, for a positivity rate of .78%, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced during a call with reporters. 

“That is great news," Cuomo said. “This is the twelfth straight day we have been under 1%” Cuomo added. 

There were six deaths due to Covid-19, Gov. Cuomo announced. 

There are 548 New Yorkers hospitalized, 131 people in the ICU and six people currently intubated.

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

11:30 a.m. ET, August 19, 2020

Florida reports more than 4,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

A State Emergency Response Team member administers a COVID-19 test at the Maingate Complex at Walt Disney World on August 14 in Kissimmee, Florida.
A State Emergency Response Team member administers a COVID-19 test at the Maingate Complex at Walt Disney World on August 14 in Kissimmee, Florida. Octavio Jones/Getty Images

Florida health officials reported 4,115 new Covid-19 cases and 174 additional resident deaths on Wednesday, according to Florida Department of Health (DOH). 

Cases in Florida have steadily declined since its peak on July 12 when 15,300 cases were reported, CNN's tally shows. 

The state is reporting 577,891 coronavirus cases among Florida residents and 9,932 Floridian deaths, according to DOH data. Florida health officials report 584,047 total cases across the state, DOH data shows. 

Remember: 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 

11:12 a.m. ET, August 19, 2020

Southwest Airlines is trimming its fall schedule

From CNN’s Chris Isidore 

A Southwest Airlines plane is seen from a terminal at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on July 10 in Arlington, Virginia.
A Southwest Airlines plane is seen from a terminal at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on July 10 in Arlington, Virginia. Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

After what Southwest Airlines called a “modest improvement” in bookings in August, the airline is cutting back on the flights it will offer this fall.

Southwest said in a filing Wednesday that its available seats will be down 40% in September, compared to a year ago. It had previously said its capacity would only be down 20% to 25% in the month. And the reduced capacity will continue into October, when available seats will be down 40% to 50%.

The airline said the reduced flight plans are being implemented because “passenger demand and booking trends remain inconsistent.”

The company said the modest improvement in revenue and the efforts to cut costs have allowed it to trim its cash burn rate in the third quarter. Therefore it disclosed Wednesday that it will not need an additional $2.8 billion in federal loans this fall for which it was eligible. It said it has $15.2 billion in cash on hand as of Tuesday.

Shares of Southwest rose 3% in early trading Wednesday on the news.

11:14 a.m. ET, August 19, 2020

Why the Miami-Dade schools head says his decision to start remote learning is "vindicated"

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Schools in Gwinnett County in Georgia and UNC-Chapel Hill saw new coronavirus cases after resuming in-person classes. Seeing this, the superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Alberto Carvalho said his decision to reopen schools for remote learning is “vindicated.”

"Concerning what's happening in Gwinnett County and UNC, I think that our approach is the right approach. We are being vindicated," he told CNN’s Poppy Harlow.

“I think we cannot compromise the health and well-being, the safety, the security of our kids or the ones who teach them.”

Classes in the Miami-Dade County will start online on Aug. 31 after a week of intensive training on a single platform that all teachers and students can use, Carvalho added.

Despite the decision being at odds with the state's mandate for in-person classes and the Trump administration’s push to reopen schools, Carvalho says he has not felt any political pressure from the state or federal levels.

“I never really felt intimidated over the potential loss of funding,” he said. “We have been informed from the very beginning by the only type of information that should guide decisions about reopening of schools in a gradual, protective way which is science, data.”

“Quite frankly, we do not want to be Gwinnett County. We do not want to be UNC.”

Watch:

10:53 a.m. ET, August 19, 2020

New York City reports its lowest percent of positive Covid-19 test results since crisis began

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

People line-up to take a Covid-19 test in the Sunset Park neighborhood on August 13 in New York City.
People line-up to take a Covid-19 test in the Sunset Park neighborhood on August 13 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York City reported its lowest percent of positive Covid-19 test results on Wednesday since the coronavirus crisis began in March, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in his daily presser. The city reported a positivity rate of 0.24%.

The city’s other indicators continued to remain below the thresholds as well. There were 64 confirmed Covid-19 hospital admissions reported, and the 7-day average of new reported coronavirus cases was 320. 

City officials are mobilizing a concentrated testing and tracing outreach in the Borough Park neighborhood in south Brooklyn after seeing an uptick in the last few days, however. De Blasio stressed it was a very recent, small uptick, citing a group of 16 cases, some of which are linked to a recent large wedding in the community. Similar to how officials reacted when they saw an uptick in neighboring Sunset Park, the city is mobilizing a targeted, flood-the-zone type of approach to test and trace residents.

De Blasio said he was working hand-in-hand with community leaders in the neighborhood in the testing and tracing efforts.