August 28 coronavirus news

By Adam Renton, Steve George, Tara John and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 8:11 a.m. ET, August 29, 2020
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11:28 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

New York reports lowest Covid-19 infection rate since pandemic began

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

People visit Domino Park in Brooklyn, New York, on August 27.
People visit Domino Park in Brooklyn, New York, on August 27. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced in a news release today that 0.65% of the nearly 98,000 coronavirus tests reported to New York state Thursday were positive – the lowest Covid-19 infection rate in the state since the pandemic began.

"Fighting COVID-19 requires enormous bravery and discipline from New Yorkers and I thank them for today's new record-low infection rate. This is evidence that what each of us does to slow the spread—wearing masks, socially distancing and washing hands—makes a real difference," Cuomo says in the statement.

Eight million coronavirus tests have been conducted across New Yorek to date and the state’s infection rate has consistently been under 1% every day for three weeks, the governor’s office added.

“Yesterday's data also shows that we aren't necessarily finding more positives with more testing, which is a good new development. We aren't out of the woods yet, so keep it up, be safe and stay New York Tough," Cuomo said.

There have been at least 25,312 coronavirus-related deaths across New York since the start of the pandemic, the statement from the governor’s office says.

Note: The aforementioned numbers were released by the state and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

11:25 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Coca-Cola will offer buyouts to 4,000 workers in the US and Canada

From CNN's Alicia Wallace

Bottles of Coca-Cola are on sale at a store in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 10.
Bottles of Coca-Cola are on sale at a store in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 10. Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Coca-Cola will cut thousands of jobs and reduce its number of business units as it faces declining beverage sales during the the pandemic.

Coke said Friday the job cuts would come in the form of voluntary and involuntary reductions. It plans to first offer buyouts to 4,000 employees in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico and then offer a similar voluntary program in other countries.

The number of people who take the buyout will reduce the number of involuntary layoffs, the company said.

 Coke did not say how many jobs could be lost in total, but said global severance expenses could range from $350 million to $550 million. As of Dec. 31, Coke had 86,200 employees, of which approximately 10,100 were located in the United States.

The company also said it plans to reduce its number of operating units from their current total of 17 businesses in four geographies to nine operating units in those regions.

Coke is focusing on its most popular segments that include its main Coca-Cola line and products like sports drinks, coffees and teas. It also wants to expand in growing categories such as sparkling water and plant-based drinks.

In Coca-Cola's second quarter, which ended on June 26, the company saw sales drop 28% to $7.2 billion.

11:21 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

India sets global record for number of new Covid-19 cases reported in a day

From CNN's Esha Mitra and Manveena Suri in New Delhi

A health care worker in New Delhi, India, takes a nasal swab for a Covid-19 test on August 22.
A health care worker in New Delhi, India, takes a nasal swab for a Covid-19 test on August 22. Manish Swarup/AP

India topped the United States' record of coronavirus cases reported in a 24-hour period for two days in a row.

India recorded 85,687 new cases on Aug. 26 and 77,266 new cases on Aug. 27, both surpassing the United States' highest number of new cases, which was reported on July 16, when the US reported 77,255 new cases, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) data.

India has been focusing on ramping up testing to identify and treat potential cases of coronavirus. As of Friday, India has conducted more than 39 million tests, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research.

The Union Health Ministry on Thursday urged states to further ramp up testing, ensuring a minimum of 140 tests per million in all districts and to make public information on the availability of beds, ambulances, and more, so vulnerable patients can receive timely care, according to a statement from India's press information bureau.

The total number of cases of coronavirus in the country stand at 3,387,500 with 61,529 deaths and 2,583,948 recoveries as of Friday, according to the Indian Ministry of Health.

11:00 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

As fireworks capped off Trump's RNC, protesters reminded the US that more than 180,000 people have died

People hold a sign in Washington, DC, after President Donald Trump's acceptance speech during the Republican National Convention on August 27. Sources tell CNN the moment was planned by the Democratic National Committee War Room as part of its counter-convention programming.
People hold a sign in Washington, DC, after President Donald Trump's acceptance speech during the Republican National Convention on August 27. Sources tell CNN the moment was planned by the Democratic National Committee War Room as part of its counter-convention programming. Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/MediaPunch/IPX/AP

Protesters gathered in Washington, DC, for the final night of the Republican National Convention to call out the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

At the White House, President Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination from the White House. A massive fireworks display above the Washington Monument followed his acceptance speech.

Images from the protest showed the celebratory fireworks as protesters held up signs that read "Trump failed 180,000+ died."

The Democratic National Committee's War Room was responsible for the demonstration, spokesperson Lily Adams tells CNN. The DNC's Melissa Byrne confirmed it was part of their counter convention.

At least 180,857 people have died of Covid-19 in the US since the pandemic began, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University. The US has reported the most coronavirus deaths of any county in the world.

Additional reporting from CNN's Paul Murphy

10:59 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

4 people tested positive for Covid-19 at the RNC, Charlotte's Mecklenburg County says 

From CNN's Amanda Watts and CNN’s Ryan Nobles

A room is set for the first day of the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on August 24.
A room is set for the first day of the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on August 24. Chris Carlson/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

At least four people tested positive for coronavirus at the Republican National Convention, a tweet from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, says.

The tweet says “2 attendees & 2 event support people tested positive for COVID-19 at the Republican National Convention.”

A longer statement from the county says, “approximately 792 Covid-19 tests were conducted among individuals attending or providing support to the Republican National Convention (RNC) Meeting in the City of Charlotte.” Of those, four came back positive.

“These individuals were immediately issued isolation instructions and any known close contacts were notified and issued quarantine instructions by Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH),” the statement says. 

“Additional details about the RNC Meeting will be included in the official After Action Report, unless there is a recognized threat to the public's health,” the county said.

The RNC responded in a statement:

“The RNC had diligent safety protocols in place, including testing all attendees before arriving in Charlotte, and again upon arrival. Out of roughly 1,000 tests administered, two RNC attendees, despite having negative tests prior to travel, and two Charlotte locals who planned to serve as event support staff tested positive upon arrival. All were sent home," RNC Communications Director Michael Ahrens said.

Read the tweet:

9:27 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Key coronavirus model now projects more than 317,000 US Covid-19 deaths by December

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

A well-known coronavirus model that previously has been cited by the White House now forecasts that more than 317,000 people in the United States will die from Covid-19 by December. 

As of Friday morning, the model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projects that 317,312 people may die from the illness — marking an increase of about 8,000 deaths from a previous estimate the model projected one week ago. 

Since January, US health authorities have identified more than 5 million Covid-19 cases so far nationwide and more than 180,000 people have died, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

The new IHME estimate suggests that the United States could see more than 136,000 additional deaths between now and December, and the daily death rate could rise to more than 2,000 per day.

Yet IHME researchers noted on their website on Thursday, when the update to their model was made, that "if mask wearing in public increases to 95%, more than 67,000 lives could be saved."

The updated IHME model also shows some state-by-state differences.

"Over the last week some estimates for states such as California and Texas have decreased, while Florida, Georgia, and Illinois have increased," the researchers wrote.

As with any model, these forecasts are only projections — not definitive — and are subject to change.

9:19 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Berlin court lifts ban on protest against government coronavirus regulations

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

A police officer talks to a supporter of the initiative Querdenken 711 — or Lateral Thinking 711 — in Berlin's Tiergarten on August 28.
A police officer talks to a supporter of the initiative Querdenken 711 — or Lateral Thinking 711 — in Berlin's Tiergarten on August 28. Christoph Soeder/picture alliance/Getty Images

A ban on a mass protest set to take place this weekend in Berlin against the German government’s response to coronavirus has been lifted following an urgent ruling by the Berlin Administrative Court on Friday.

“The assembly against the coronavirus policy of the federal and state governments planned for August 29, 2020 by the initiative Lateral Thinking 711 can take place after an urgent ruling,” the court said in a statement.

“The organizers must comply with conditions,” the statement added.

Earlier this week, Berlin’s state government announced that it would prohibit the demonstration from taking place, citing potential violations of the government’s coronavirus regulations.

According to the court’s statement, police anticipate more than 20,000 people will attend on Saturday.

8:07 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Germany's Merkel warns coronavirus pandemic will become "more difficult" in the coming months

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to the media in Berlin on August 28.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to the media in Berlin on August 28. Henning Schacht/Pool/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the coronavirus pandemic is “likely to get more difficult in the coming months,” cautioning that society "is never going to be the same" until a successful vaccine is developed.

"Things will not return to normal until we have a coronavirus vaccine," Merkel said Friday. 

“We will have to live longer with new coronavirus [cases]," she added. 

Speaking during her annual summer press conference in Berlin, Merkel stressed that the “economy should be kept alive or brought back to life,” adding that Germany will “work with the European Parliament so that the recovery fund can be launched early next year.” 

The Chancellor’s comments come just a day after the introduction of tougher measures in Germany to curb the spread of coronavirus ahead of the autumn and winter season, including new travel regulations. 

“We can see that the number of infections has risen in recent weeks…we take this increase in the summer months very seriously,” Merkel said. 

8:12 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

France's Macron calls for more coordination on restrictions to prevent European "standstill"

From CNN's Fanny Bobille and Ivana Saric in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron waits outside Élysée Palace in Paris on August 26.
French President Emmanuel Macron waits outside Élysée Palace in Paris on August 26. Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for greater coordination within the European Union on coronavirus restrictions and border regulations, asserting that it would be “absurd” to impose tougher border restrictions within the bloc.

“It makes no sense to close the borders between two countries when there are outbreaks of infection, areas of active circulation, which are well identified. There is a need for a common methodology to define these areas of active circulation, and to address them within each country,” Macron said Friday. 

In Europe we have millions of cross-border workers…it would be absurd to impose constraints because it hinders daily life, economic life."

Speaking during a televised address on Friday, the French President urged his European partners to focus on developing a unified approach which “allows Europe to not to be at a standstill” as a result of the pandemic.

“There is still progress to be made to improve coordination. Let's not repeat the mistakes of March in this regard, it is counterproductive and, above all, it is ineffective in the fight against the virus and its spread,” Macron said.