August 26 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Amy Woodyatt, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, August 27, 2020
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9:57 a.m. ET, August 26, 2020

Georgia state legislators "urge" Gov. Kemp to issue a statewide mask mandate

From CNN’s Lindsay Benson

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaks at a press conference on August 10 in Atlanta.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaks at a press conference on August 10 in Atlanta. Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Democratic State Legislators in Georgia issued a press release Wednesday morning to "urge Gov. Brian Kemp to issue a statewide mandate requiring masks or face coverings in public."

“If we can prevent just one person from contracting COVID-19 or even one person from dying by mandating the wearing of masks statewide, why wouldn’t we do so? Perhaps doing so will help us get this pandemic under control," State Representative Rhonda Burnough said in the statement. 

State Representative Shelly Hutchinson also said in the statement, “we now know that President Donald Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force has called for our governor to show leadership and implement a statewide mask mandate. This should not be controversial.”

9:30 a.m. ET, August 26, 2020

World Economic Forum in Davos rescheduled to summer 2021 due to coronavirus

From CNN's Rob North

Participants sit near a window during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, on January 23.
Participants sit near a window during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, on January 23. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The World Economic Forum in Davos will be rescheduled next year due to coronavirus. The meeting, which is normally held in January, will now be held in the summer. 

In a statement WEF said, “The decision was not taken easily, since the need for global leaders to come together to design a common recovery path and shape the “Great Reset” in the post-COVID-19 era is so urgent. However, the advice from experts is that we cannot do so safely in January.” 

WEF will now hold a series of Davos Dialogues in the week of Jan. 25, where key global leaders can share their views on the state of the world in 2021.

9:21 a.m. ET, August 26, 2020

New Jersey gyms can reopen at 25% capacity starting in September, governor says

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday that gyms can reopen at 25% capacity on Sept. 1.

Masks will be required, the governor tweeted.

Read his tweet:

9:23 a.m. ET, August 26, 2020

Bed Bath & Beyond is laying off 2,800 employees

From CNN’s Jordan Valinsky

A customer enters a Bed Bath & Beyond store on July 9 in Larkspur, California.
A customer enters a Bed Bath & Beyond store on July 9 in Larkspur, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Bed Bath & Beyond is eliminating 2,800 jobs effective immediately, as the troubled retailer tries to streamline its operations and shore up its finances amid the pandemic.

The significant reduction of corporate employees and retail workers will help Bed Bath & Beyond save $150 million in annual pretax cost savings, the company said Tuesday. As of February, the retailer had 55,000 employees, so the cuts amount to 5% of its total workforce. 

Tuesday's "action forms part of a series of changes we are making to reduce the cost of our business, further simplify our operations and support our teams so we can emerge from the pandemic in an even stronger position," CEO Mark Tritton said in the statement.

Some background: Last month, Bed Bath & Beyond announced it was permanently closing 200 stores starting later this year. Brick-and-mortar stores continue to struggle as people shift their shopping online.

The company — which also operates Buybuy Baby, Christmas Tree Shops and Harmon Face Values — has about 1,500 stores. Nearly 1,000 of those are Bed Bath & Beyond locations. 

Tritton was named Bed Bath & Beyond's CEO last October, joining the retailer from Target. In addition to the layoffs and store closures, Tritton is bolstering the company's digital efforts and launching new in-house brands next year.

8:44 a.m. ET, August 26, 2020

Catch up: What you need to know about the pandemic in the US today

From CNN's AJ Willingham

It's Wednesday morning in the US, where more than 5.7 million cases of coronavirus have been reported since the pandemic began, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University.

If you're just reading in this morning, here's a look at the latest updates from across the country:

8:43 a.m. ET, August 26, 2020

India approves first nationally made Covid-19 test

From CNN's Esha Mitra in New Delhi

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved the country's first nationally manufactured rapid coronavirus test kit.

Delhi-based Oscar Medicare said it has developed a point-of-care rapid test kit with a sensitivity of 97.66%, higher than ICMR's requirement of 93% sensitivity, and a specificity of 99% against ICMR's requirement of 95% specificity, according to Oscar CEO Anand Sekhri.

"Oscar Corona Antibody Rapid Tests doesn’t require the use of PPE Kits or highly-trained healthcare staff, as it is very similar to a Diabetes check up ‘Glucometer’ being used by patients across India," Sekhri told CNN.

The test has been approved by the ICMR for lab and hospital use and detects coronavirus antibodies through a simple prick test. It provides results in 15 minutes, according to Sekhri.

The kits are to be launched in the first week of September. Oscar Medicare also hopes to get approval to sell the kits at pharmacies so that they can be used by people at home.

India has over 3.2 million cases of coronavirus according to the Ministry of Health, and has conducted over 37 million tests as of Wednesday according to ICMR.

9:54 a.m. ET, August 26, 2020

Spanish students announce country-wide strike over back to school conditions

From CNN's Laura Pérez Maestro in Madrid

The Education minister, Isabel Celaá, speaks during a Government control session in the Senate on July 14 in Madrid.
The Education minister, Isabel Celaá, speaks during a Government control session in the Senate on July 14 in Madrid. Jesús Hellín/Europa Press/Getty Images

The Spanish student union said Wednesday that it will call a strike over the conditions for September's return to school.

In a Twitter post, the Sindicato de Estudiantes demanded smaller classes and for more teachers to be hired. The students are scheduled to strike on September 16, 17 and 18.

The Spanish education ministry has yet to issue its final recommendations for the start of classes. The education minister, Isabel Celaá, will meet representatives from the regional governments on Thursday to agree the final safety measures and procedures to be put in place. 

In an interview with a Spanish radio on Wednesday, Celaá suggested that children from 6 years of age will have to wear masks while at school, that a "bubble system" will be put in place and that classes will have to be ventilated and disinfected regularly. 

11:33 a.m. ET, August 26, 2020

Here's the latest on Covid-19 in Europe

From CNN's Sarah Dean

A worker at a Covid-19 testing station at Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany on August 8.
A worker at a Covid-19 testing station at Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany on August 8. Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images

European authorities are battling against further waves of the coronavirus pandemic. These are the latest developments from the continent:

Germany: More than 40% of people who recently tested positive for coronavirus in Germany were very likely infected abroad, data from the country's infectious disease agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), indicated Tuesday night.

According to the latest figures, the proportion of new cases with links to international travel has risen dramatically since borders began to reopen and now sits at 42%. At the same time, the RKI pointed out the limited validity of the data given that people who have been abroad will be tested more frequently than the rest of the population.

On Wednesday, Germany reported 1,576 new cases of Covid-19 infections according to the RKI, bringing the total tally to 236,429 cases and 9,280 deaths. 

As numbers in Germany continue to rise, the city of Munich warned it will limit alcohol sales if coronavirus cases reach a certain threshold, authorities announced Tuesday night.

France: French health authorities reported a "strong rise" in virus transmission on Tuesday, adding that the situation in the country "remains worrying."

A further 3,304 new cases were reported on Tuesday. By comparison, last Tuesday saw a rise of 2,238 cases, while the Tuesday before saw 1,397 new cases reported.

Face masks will be mandatory in the southern French city of Marseille, and bars and restaurants must close at 11 p.m. local time in the wider Bouches-du-Rhône region, local authorities announced Tuesday.

These measures, which will come into effect on Wednesday night, were decided following a sharp acceleration of coronavirus cases in Marseille, which has an incidence rate of 177 per 100,000 compared to about 33 per 100,000 at the end of July, according to figures given by the regional prefecture Tuesday.

Spain: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced new measures on Tuesday to stop the spread of Covid-19, as he admitted "the situation is worrying". 

Spain will deploy 2,000 military personnel to aid with contact tracing in Spanish regions where it is needed. Sánchez also called on the different regional governments to use the Radar contact tracing app as "if just 20% of people download the application, we can bring down thee contagion levels by 30%." Only seven of the 17 Spanish regions are now using the app.

Meanwhile, the President of the Madrid region, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, announced the circumstances under which the education centers will open in the capital. 

Díaz Ayuso said on Tuesday masks will be mandatory for children aged six and above at all times while in education centers. Catalonia's President, Quim Torra, announced similar measures on Monday, saying children in Catalonia will have to wear masks at school from 12 years of age, and from the age of six in territories with "higher risk of contagion."

In Spain, where regional governments retain responsibility and decision power on education and health, each of the regions will have to decide on measures for schools and other educational centers to reopen. 

People visit a beach in Porto Cervo, Italy, on August 18.
People visit a beach in Porto Cervo, Italy, on August 18. Emanuele Perrone/Getty Images

Italy: Italy has seen a steady increase in coronavirus cases in the past week, according to the country's health ministry. Authorities said approximately 50% of new infections have been contracted during summer vacations, around the country and abroad, primarily among young adults who have not been cautious with social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.

Italy registered 519 new cases in the past day, bringing the total number of active cases to 19,714, according to Italian Ministry of Health data released Tuesday. Four people have died in the past 24 hours, bringing Italy's death toll to 35,445, according to the ministry. 

United Kingdom: The UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said secondary school children in local lockdown regions in England will now be required to wear face masks, after the government revised its previous guidance.

In other areas of England -- not covered by local lockdown restrictions -- it will be at the headteacher’s discretion whether face masks should be worn.

The Scottish government has already announced that students over the age of 12 should wear masks in communal areas and while moving around schools. The Welsh government is considering its advice to students.

Ukraine: Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's former Prime Minister, remains in serious condition, two days after contracting Covid-19, according to her party’s regional spokesperson. Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, Natalia Kovalenko said several members of Tymoshenko’s close family are also ill with the virus. 

This post has been corrected to reflect that Marseille -- not the Bouches-du-Rhône region -- has an incidence rate of 177 cases per 100,000 residents.

7:16 a.m. ET, August 26, 2020

The Pope will resume public audiences from next week

From CNN's Hada Messia in Rome

Pope Francis waves from the window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter's Square on August 15 at the Vatican.
Pope Francis waves from the window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter's Square on August 15 at the Vatican. Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis will resume his regular Wednesday public appearances next week (from September 2), the Vatican has announced -- the first since coronavirus lockdown started there in March.

The audiences will not be held at St Peter’s Square, but rather in the San Damaso courtyard inside the Apostolic Palace.

It is unclear how many people will be allowed to attend the audience.