August 24 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Jack Guy, Ed Upright, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, August 25, 2020
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12:54 p.m. ET, August 24, 2020

Georgia Covid-19 mega-testing site extended to September 11

From CNN's Dianne Gallagher and Lindsay Benson 

A coronavirus swab test being performed at a mobile COVID-19 Testing Drive at World Changers Church International on July 18, 2020 in College Park, Georgia.
A coronavirus swab test being performed at a mobile COVID-19 Testing Drive at World Changers Church International on July 18, 2020 in College Park, Georgia. Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

The Covid-19 mega-testing site near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will be extended until September 11, according to a tweet from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

CNN previously reported that the mega-testing site in College Park will run from August 10 until August 26. The Georgia Department of Public Health said at the time that the site would be able to test 5,000 people per day and would offer results within 48 to 72 hours.

12:33 p.m. ET, August 24, 2020

University of Kansas cracks down on 2 fraternities for hosting parties

From CNN’s Jennifer Selva

A view of the the University of Kansas at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, KS.
A view of the the University of Kansas at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, KS. Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

The University of Kansas has issued disciplinary actions against two fraternities for hosting social events this weekend in violation of county and university health guidelines on Covid-19.

According to a letter from University Chancellor Douglas Girod, Kappa Sigma and Phi Kappa Psi have been issued a cease and desist, as well as a 14-day public health ban for the members of the fraternities.

“We will not tolerate selfish and irresponsible behavior that puts the health and safety of our community at risk; that disrespects staff, faculty and students who have worked to prepare our campuses for reopening; that jeopardizes the long-term viability of the university; and that recklessly disregards the authorities of the university, city, and county,” the letter said.

As of last week, Girard said 89 people in the KU community had tested positive out of 7,088 test results.  

12:22 p.m. ET, August 24, 2020

UK reports 853 new cases of Covid-19

From CNN's Lauren Kent

A walk-in coronavirus testing center is pictured in Oldham, Greater Manchester, on August 22.
A walk-in coronavirus testing center is pictured in Oldham, Greater Manchester, on August 22. Peter Byrne/PA Images/Getty Images

The United Kingdom reported 853 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to at least 326,614, according to the latest UK government data released Monday. 

The number of new confirmed cases on Monday represents a slight decrease from the 1,160 new cases reported Sunday and the 1,288 new cases reported Saturday. 

The UK also reported four additional coronavirus deaths on Monday, bringing the death toll to at least 41,433.

12:03 p.m. ET, August 24, 2020

This Connecticut city is facing a "serious outbreak" of Covid-19, state health commissioner says

From CNN's Ganesh Setty

Danbury, Connecticut, is facing “serious outbreak” of Covid-19 stemming mostly from recent domestic and international travel, according to a statement attached to Governor Ned Lamont’s latest Covid-19 update

Between August 2 and 20, there were at least 178 new Covid-19 cases reported in Danbury, compared to the 40 new cases that were recorded in the prior two week period, according to the state department of public health. That represents a 345% increase in new reported cases. 

Over the weekend, Danbury Mayor Mark Broughton reported via Twitter a total of 15 new cases and another 44 cases on Friday. There were no new deaths over those three days, he said. 

“This is a serious outbreak in Danbury and we really need an all hands on deck approach. We need everyone in Danbury to take extreme precaution,” Acting Public Health Commissioner Dr. Deidre S. Gifford said in the statement. “We are urging anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to get tested as soon as possible, stay home until your test results are known and stay at home for 10 days if you test positive.”

The state department of public health issued a Covid-19 alert for the city in response to the outbreak.

3:37 p.m. ET, August 24, 2020

Covid-19 testing will be set up at New York airports, governor says

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

A nurse is waiting for patients at JFK International Airports Terminal 4 XpresCheck, the first airport-based covid-19 testing facility in the US on June 29, 2020 in New York City.
A nurse is waiting for patients at JFK International Airports Terminal 4 XpresCheck, the first airport-based covid-19 testing facility in the US on June 29, 2020 in New York City. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and NY Health and Hospitals will be setting up new Covid-19 testing sites at John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in New York City for incoming passengers.

He did not elaborate on the details.

This decision comes as New York continues to enforce its travel advisory which requires a 14-day quarantine for individuals traveling in from Covid-19 hot spots.

12:19 p.m. ET, August 24, 2020

Florida reports more than 2,200 new coronavirus cases and 72 deaths

From CNN’s Dan Shepherd

A Covid-19 testing site is pictured at the Maingate Complex at Walt Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida, on August 14.
A Covid-19 testing site is pictured at the Maingate Complex at Walt Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida, on August 14. Octavio Jones/Getty Images

Florida health officials report 2,258 new Covid-19 cases and 72 additional resident deaths on Monday, according to the Florida Department of Health (DOH).

The state is reporting 596,511 coronavirus cases among Florida residents and 602,829 total cases across the state, DOH data shows.  

The Florida Department of Health shows the total Covid-19 death toll in the state standing at 10,379.

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   

1:57 p.m. ET, August 24, 2020

New York sees its lowest infection rate since the beginning of the pandemic, governor says

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

A cyclist wearing a facemask rides over the Brooklyn Bridge during sunset on August 21, 2020 in New York.
A cyclist wearing a facemask rides over the Brooklyn Bridge during sunset on August 21, 2020 in New York. Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

New York State saw a 0.66% reported infection rate, the lowest the state has had since the pandemic began, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday

“It is a great day,” the governor added.

He said this is not a one-day anomaly, but is consistent with the reports over the past couple of weeks, which has shown results below 1%. 

11:42 a.m. ET, August 24, 2020

Louisiana will pause coronavirus testing statewide ahead of Tropical Storm Laura

From CNN's Chandler Thornton

Louisiana will pause coronavirus testing statewide as Tropical Storm Laura approaches, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

"COVID-19 testing will be paused around the state Monday and Tuesday. Depending on the timing of landfall of Tropical Storm Laura, testing may also be paused on Wednesday," a tweet from the Health Department read Monday.

The National Weather Service said Monday, "there is an increasing risk of dangerous storm surge, wind, and rainfall impacts from the upper Texas coast to the north-central Gulf coast beginning Wednesday" from Tropical Storm Laura.

Here's the tweet from the health department:

11:42 a.m. ET, August 24, 2020

Researchers say Hong Kong man is first confirmed to have Covid-19 twice — but more research is needed

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

A 33-year-old man living in Hong Kong had��Covid-19 twice this year, according to preliminary research out of China. 

The pre-print study — which the University of Hong Kong said on Monday has been accepted to publish in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases — found that the man’s second case of Covid-19 occurred 142 days after the first. 

The study also noted that in the first case, the man showed symptoms but in the second case he was asymptomatic, in that he did not show any noticeable symptoms. 

During his first episode of illness, the patient had a cough, sore throat, fever and headache for three days, according to the study. He tested positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, on March 26. 

Then during his second episode, the patient was returning to Hong Kong from traveling in Spain via the United Kingdom, and he tested positive during his entry screening at the Hong Kong airport on August 15, according to the study. The man was then hospitalized again but remained asymptomatic. 

For the study, researchers at the University of Hong Kong and various hospitals in Hong Kong analyzed specimens collected from the patient 10 days after his symptoms emerged in the first episode and then one day after hospitalization for the second episode. They analyzed genetic material in those specimens. 

The genetic analysis showed that the first infection was from a strain of the coronavirus most closely related to strains from the United States or England, which were collected in the spring, and the second was most closely related to strains from Switzerland and England, which were collected in July and August. 

“This case illustrates that re-infection can occur even just after a few months of recovery from the first infection. Our findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may persist in humans as is the case for other common-cold associated human coronaviruses, even if patients have acquired immunity via natural infection or via vaccination,” the researchers wrote in their study. 

“In summary, reinfection is possible 4.5 months after a first episode of symptomatic infection. Vaccination should also be considered for persons with known history of COVID-19,” they wrote. “Patients with previous COVID-19 infection should also comply with epidemiological control measures such as universal masking and social distancing.” 

Some context: The researchers called this the “first case” of re-infection of Covid-19 in their paper, but other experts are calling for more research before naming this case truly the world’s first. 

“What I think is really important is that we put this into context,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization's technical lead for coronavirus response and head of the emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, during a media briefing in Geneva on Monday. 

“There’s been more than 24 million cases reported to date. And we need to look at something like this on a population level. And so it's very important that we document this and that, in countries that can do this if sequencing can be done that would be very, very helpful. But we need to not jump to any conclusions,” Van Kerkhove said. “Even if this is the first documented case of reinfection, it is possible of course because with our experience with other human coronaviruses, and the MERS coronavirus and the SARS-CoV-1 coronavirus, we know that people have an antibody response for some time but it may wane.”