CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus Live Updates: Coronavirus Live Updates: U.K. Vaccine ‘Safe’ And Showing ‘Promising Results’

Stay up to date as we cover the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its effects across the world.

Since Chinese officials locked down the city of Wuhan in January, there have been more than 14.5 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, across the planet.

More than 606,000 people have died from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Efforts to curb the outbreak have led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shuttered in hopes of slowing transmission. After months of precautions and lockdowns, governments have begun to reopen their economies.

HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and its effects.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)

Florida Teachers Union Sues State Over Reopening Plans ― 7/20/2020, 4:15 p.m. ET

The Florida Education Association, a union representing the state’s teachers, on Monday filed a lawsuit against state officials, saying plans to resume in-person instruction next month would put both students and educators at risk of contracting COVID-19.

“The governor needs to accept the reality of the situation here in Florida, where the virus is surging out of control,” FEA President Fedrick Ingram said in a statement. “He needs to accept the evolving science. It now appears that kids 10 and older may pass along the coronavirus as easily as adults. Everyone wants schools to reopen, but we don’t want to begin in-person teaching, face an explosion of cases and sickness, then be forced to return to distance learning.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued an emergency order earlier this month for schools to reopen for the upcoming school year.

The state has one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the country after reopening most of its economy without flattening the curve. As of last week, it had more COVID-19 cases than most nations in the world.

Other teachers unions across the country are also gearing up to stop hasty reopening plans. In Ohio on Monday, the Columbus Education Association issued a letter signed by two-thirds of the district’s teachers calling on officials to support distance learning instead of rushing students back to the classroom.

― Lydia O’Connor

First Child In Minnesota Dies Of Coronavirus — 7/20/20, 2:40 p.m. ET

Minnesota’s health department reported that a child has died from coronavirus, the first in the state.

The child’s death was one of four deaths reported by the state on Monday. The other two cases were two people in their 60s, and a third person was in their 90s.

The state doesn’t report on specific ages of COVID-19 patients, but the child was identified to be between 0 to 5 years old. This is the youngest death linked to the virus and the state’s first death of a person under 20 years old.

Minnesota reported 922 new cases of the virus in the state, bringing the total number of positive cases to 47,107.

― Carla Russo

Chicago Reinstates Some Restrictions Amid Rise In Cases — 7/20/20, 12:10 p.m. ET

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday announced the “re-tightening” of some coronavirus restrictions amid a recent rise in daily new cases.

Beginning Friday, many bars and breweries will no longer be able to serve alcohol indoors, restaurants must limit table occupancy to six people, all indoor fitness classes must limit attendance to 10 people, and personal services requiring the removal of face coverings ― such as facials or shaves ― will not be permitted.

“We have made so much progress here in Chicago in containing the spread of the virus, protecting our health system and saving lives, and in general, the virus remains under control locally. But we are again seeing a steady increase in new cases,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “While we aren’t near the peak of the pandemic from earlier this year, none of us wants to go back there, and we feel these restrictions will help limit further community spread.”

Chicago Health Commissioner Allison Arwady warned last week that new restrictions were possible if the city exceeded 200 cases per day on a seven-day rolling average. As of Sunday, that number was 233. Chicago’s positivity rate has also increased recently after weeks of decline.

Lightfoot’s office attributed the increase in new cases, largely seen among people ages 18 to 29, to an increase in interactions at bars, restaurants and parks.

― Hayley Miller

U.K. Coronavirus Vaccine ‘Safe’ And Showing ‘Promising Results,’ Study Finds ― 7/20/20, 10:40 a.m. ET

A potential coronavirus vaccine being developed in the U.K. has shown “promising” early results, researchers reported Monday.

The experimental vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is “safe, causes few side effects, and induces strong immune responses,” according to the results of vaccine trials published Monday in The Lancet, a peer-reviewed medical journal.

The vaccine candidate, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is one of more than 100 being developed globally. Of those candidates, 26 are in human trials, according to The New York Times.

Read more here.

― Nina Golgowski

Bahamas Bars Flights From U.S. Over Coronavirus Concerns — 7/20/20, 8:45 a.m. ET

The Bahamas announced Sunday that it will no longer permit flights from the U.S. to enter beginning Wednesday, due to coronavirus concerns.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, speaking in a national address, stressed that the Bahamas has seen a rise in cases since it largely reopened to international travel on July 1. All of its progress fighting the outbreak can be reversed, he warned, “because of how citizens and residents within countries are following or ignoring health guidelines.”

The U.S., particularly Florida, makes up a significant portion of the islands’ tourism industry.

“We are in a marathon, not a sprint. This is a marathon demanding discipline, endurance, demanding resilience and requiring determination,” Minnis said. “Our current situation demands decisive action, if we are to avoid being overrun and defeated by this virus.”

Commercial flights from Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union may still fly into the Bahamas, but passengers must provide proof they tested negative for the virus at least 10 days ahead of their arrival.

— Nina Golgowski

Critical Talks Over European Recovery Plan Enter Fourth Day — 7/20/20, 8 a.m. ET

European leaders are yet to reach an agreement on a recovery plan to revive their COVID-hit economies after three days of heated talks.

On the table is a 1.8 trillion euro ($2.06 trillion) package for the European Union’s next long-term budget and coronavirus recovery fund.

HuffPost’s European editions report that a group of so-called “frugal” wealthy north European states, led by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, are pushing for a smaller recovery fund and sought to limit how payouts are split between grants and repayable loans.

HuffPost France writes (in French) that French president Emmanuel Macron “punched his fist on the table” in frustration at the position of the northern states.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte accused the Netherlands and its allies — Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Finland — of “blackmail.”

HuffPost Italy reports (in Italian) that Macron accused Rutte of behaving like former U.K. prime minister David Cameron when negotiating the Brexit referendum. “That strategy ended badly,” Macron pointed out. 

HuffPost Spain leads (in Spanish) on Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez rejecting the demand of the “frugal” countries for more cuts to direct aid from the recovery fund.

The meeting has been adjourned until 4 p.m. CET (10 a.m ET).

— James Martin

People in Melbourne, Australia, must now wear masks when leaving their homes as the state of Victoria marked two weeks of triple-digit increases in new coronavirus infections on Sunday.

Victoria, which has forced nearly 5 million people into a partial six-week lockdown on July 9, reported 363 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, after 217 cases the previous day.

“We’re going to be wearing masks in Victoria and potentially in other parts of the country for a very long time,” said Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews.

“There’s no vaccine to this wildly infectious virus,” he said. Masks are “a simple thing, but it’s about changing habits, it’s about becoming a simple part of your routine.”

Melbournians not wearing face coverings will be fined $200. Australia has recorded about 11,800 coronavirus cases, a fraction of what has been seen in other countries or even some U.S. states, but an outbreak of community transmission in Victoria has been growing, prompting authorities to impose stricter social distancing measures.

Three deaths from the COVID-19 disease were reported in Victoria on Sunday, bringing the total to 38 and raising Australia’s death toll to 122.

Victoria became the first state in Australia, a country of a loose federal system, to require masks for part of its population. 

— James Martin

For more updates on the pandemic, go here.


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