August 22 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Brett McKeehan, Angela Dewan, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 0435 GMT (1235 HKT) August 23, 2020
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3:35 a.m. ET, August 22, 2020

US reports more than 48,000 new coronavirus cases

The United States recorded 48,693 new Covid-19 cases and 1,108 related deaths on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

As of Friday, the country has reported a total of 5,622,540 infections, including 175,363 deaths, according to JHU's tally.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

CNN is tracking the coronavirus outbreak in the US here:


1:55 a.m. ET, August 22, 2020

Australian state of Queensland reimposes restrictions after outbreak at youth detention center

From CNN's Hilary Whiteman in Brisbane and Angus Watson in Sydney

A small but growing coronavirus cluster linked to a youth detention center in Brisbane, Australia has led to the reimposition of stricter measures on gatherings in southeast Queensland.

The Queensland government on Saturday linked six new cases to the Brisbane youth detention center, where a 77-year-old supervisor tested positive for the virus earlier this week. The facility now has seven confirmed cases -- all adult workers or their close relatives.

As a result of the cluster, gatherings in homes and outdoors are restricted to 10 people in areas of southeast Queensland.

Queensland has reported a total of 1,103 cases, including six deaths.

The state has shut its border with New South Wales in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. The state is also closed to travelers from Victoria, which has been battling a surge in infections since late June.

However, the number of new daily cases in Victoria has been falling over the past week. On Friday, it recorded 182 fresh infections and 13 deaths -- the second consecutive day with less than 200 new cases.

On Friday, the Victorian government said it would consider relaxing restrictions should daily cases drop to 50 or below.

1:19 a.m. ET, August 22, 2020

South Korea to extend strict social distancing rules from Seoul to the entire country

From CNN's Jake Kwon

South Korea is extending Seoul's strict social distancing measures nationwide as the country battles a fresh coronavirus spike.

The announcement, by Health Minister Park Neung-hoo, comes as an outbreak linked to the Sarang-Jeil church continues to spread. The country recorded 332 new infections on Friday, with more than 75% of the 315 locally transmitted cases found in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area.

Seoul was placed under heightened social distancing measures on August 16. Clubs, karaoke bars and internet cafes were closed, and sports events could only be held without spectators. Indoor gatherings were limited to 50 people, while a maximum of 100 people were allowed to gather outdoors.

Park said those measures would be rolled out to the entire country -- although provinces with few cases could follow them as a recommendation rather than a mandate.

South Korea has reported a total of 17,002 cases, including 309 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

1:00 a.m. ET, August 22, 2020

US coronavirus deaths could top 6,000 a day by December in worst-case scenario, expert predicts

From CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman

Health workers provide Covid-19 testing on a street in Washington, DC, on August 14.
Health workers provide Covid-19 testing on a street in Washington, DC, on August 14. Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the United States could spike to as high as 6,000 people a day by December in the worst-case scenario, according to Dr. Chris Murray, the chair of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

Currently, about 1,000 people are dying daily from the coronavirus in the US.

In a new model released Friday, researchers at IHME predicted the number of daily deaths will decrease slowly in September -- then rise to nearly 2,000 a day by the start of December.

But Murray told CNN that, “depending on what our leaders do,” things can get worse.

“We have a worse scenario in what we release and that’s many, many more deaths,” he said. “And in fact, by the time December rolls around, if we don't do anything at all, the daily death toll in the US would be much higher than the 2,000 deaths a day by December. It could be as high as 6,000 deaths a day.”

The new IHME forecast projects 310,000 deaths by December -- 15,000 more than the previous forecast two weeks ago. That’s because while coronavirus infections are dropping in some areas, the death rate is not.

“In some states -- California is a good example -- cases peaked, are coming down, but deaths haven't,” Murray said. “We're seeing upswings in transmission in places like Kentucky and Minnesota, Indiana.”

If mask use increased in the US to 95%, the number of deaths could drop by almost 70,000, Murray added.

12:58 a.m. ET, August 22, 2020

Coronavirus hospitalizations in Los Angeles down to lowest level since April, mayor says

Travelers walk to the ride-share area of Los Angeles International Airport on August 20.
Travelers walk to the ride-share area of Los Angeles International Airport on August 20. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Covid-19 hospitalization rates in Los Angeles County are the lowest since April, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced in a press conference Friday.

A total of 420 coronavirus patients are in intensive care units throughout the county -- a “substantial decrease since last month,” Garcetti said.

Los Angeles County is working to reduce the number of cases to 100 for every 100,000 residents for 14 consecutive days to get off the state’s watch list, Garcetti said.

The county currently has about 250 to 300 cases per 100,000 residents.

Elementary schools can apply for waivers for in-person learning if cases fall below 200 for every 100,000 residents, the mayor added. 

“Let’s keep those numbers in mind. Let’s push towards those goals for our children, for our economy, for our wellbeing, and for our health,” Garcetti said.

Despite the decrease in hospitalizations, the Covid-19 threat level in Los Angeles remains at orange because the rate of transmission is 0.92, Garcetti said. This means there is still a high risk of transmission and residents are urged to minimize contact. 

12:21 a.m. ET, August 22, 2020

Brazil reports more than 30,000 new Covid-19 cases

From Fernanda Wenzel and Taylor Barnes

Soldiers spray disinfectant at a market in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on August 18.
Soldiers spray disinfectant at a market in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on August 18. Douglas Magno/AFP/Getty Images

On Friday, Brazil’s health ministry reported 30,355 new Covid-19 cases over the previous 24 hours -- taking the country's total to 3,532,330.

The ministry also reported 1,054 new Covid-19 deaths, raising the country’s death toll to 113,358.

Some context: Brazil is second only to the United States in total number of Covid-19 cases and deaths.

12:21 a.m. ET, August 22, 2020

Mexico reports nearly 6,000 new coronavirus cases

From CNN's Karol Suarez and Taylor Barnes

A paramedic prepares to move a patient at the Covid-19 triage area of the General Hospital in Mexico City on August 20.
A paramedic prepares to move a patient at the Covid-19 triage area of the General Hospital in Mexico City on August 20. Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

Mexico recorded 5,928 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday, taking the total number of infections in the country to 549,734.  

The Mexico health ministry also reported 504 new coronavirus-related deaths -- taking its total death toll to 59,610. 

Some context: Mexico has the third-highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world, behind only the US and Brazil, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

In terms of coronavirus cases, Mexico is ranked third in Latin America, behind Brazil and Peru, according to JHU.

12:21 a.m. ET, August 22, 2020

South Africa's coronavirus cases surpass 600,000

From CNN’s Jennifer Hauser 

The number of Covid-19 cases in South Africa surged past 600,000 Friday, according to the country's Department of Health.

South Africa recorded 3,398 new cases to take its total to 603,338. Its coronavirus death toll stands at 12,843.

1:00 a.m. ET, August 22, 2020

A 6-year-old girl is the youngest person to die of Covid-19 in Florida

From CNN's Nicole Chavez and Melissa Alonso

A 6-year-old girl from Hillsborough County became the youngest person to die from coronavirus complications in Florida, health officials said.

The girl is among the 119 deaths reported by the state on Friday, according to data from the Florida Department of Health. It's unclear whether she contracted the virus after being in contact with a known case or if her infection was travel related.

The health department did not provide further details. CNN has reached out to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for comment.

Some context: Eight minors in Florida have died from Covid-19, according to the latest health records.

The previous youngest victim of Covid-19 was 9-year-old Kimora "Kimmie" Lynum. The girl, who had no known underlying health conditions, died July 18 in Putnam County.

Florida has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the US. The state has reported 593,286 cases since the pandemic began, according to a tally of cases from Johns Hopkins University.