This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Monday, August 10th, 2020. Previous daily updates can be found here, and up-to-date statistics are here.
New York City is in Phase 4 of reopening now, which includes zoos, botanical gardens, and professional sports (without fans). A look at preparing for the spread of coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is our regularly updated coronavirus FAQ. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.
Here's the latest:
New Jersey bars that don't enforce social distancing guidelines or mask wearing could be shut down, Governor Phil Murphy said Monday after seeing photos of Jersey Shore bar patrons crowding in lines without any face coverings.
“Folks this is not a game, standing around mask-less in a crowd outside a bar is just as big a knucklehead move as standing around mask-less inside one,” he said during his briefing in Trenton. “Consider this your warning if you go out drinking this weekend.”
Murphy cited Jenks in Point Pleasant Beach, D'Jais in Belmar and Donovan's Reef in Sea Bright, and said the business owners need to ensure social distancing guidelines are enforced while people wait in line.
Police also broke up yet another house party with more than 400 people in Howell this weekend. State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan said the owners of the home will be charged for violating Murphy's executive order which limits indoor gatherings to 25 percent capacity or 25 people, whichever is less.
Asked about President Donald Trump’s Friday press briefing in his Bedminster country club, where dozens of Trump supporters were seen gathering indoors without face coverings, Murphy said any instances of indoor crowding were concerning. "We all ought to be really concerned because that's where the flare up is coming from," Murphy said. "Any pictures of people inside and on top of each other without wearing face coverings should concern us all."
Trump claimed those attending were there for a "peaceful protest" when reporters asked why they were not following the state’s restrictions on gatherings. Murphy said he had not heard of the “peaceful protest” comment.
Murphy has pointed to indoor house parties as partly to blame for the state’s COVID-19 infection rate, which spiked to nearly 1.5 earlier this month. That rate of transmission, which shows how many people an infected person spreads the virus to, is back below 1 at 0.98 -- a positive sign that the spread of the virus appears to be slowing. Officials say they want to maintain that number below 1.
At Least 97,000 U.S. Children Were Infected During Last Half Of July
At least 97,000 U.S. children tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks of July, accounting for more than a quarter of the total number of cases found in children since March, according to a new study. Overall, 338,982 total child COVID-19 cases have been reported nationwide since the crisis began, nearly 9% of all cases.
The data, collected by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, comes as schools across the country are weighing plans or attempting to reopen classrooms under the premise that children are less likely to transmit the disease, although recent studies have challenged that assumption, especially with regards to those 10 and older. An Atlanta high school drew national attention this month after photos of crowded hallways went viral. The school has since confirmed a cluster of infections, forcing students to move to online learning temporarily.
In New York City, families were asked to decide by last Friday whether they wanted to begin the school year in an all-remote learning program or a hybrid plan with as many as three days of in-person instruction. Although city education officials have emphasized that students can choose a full online learning at any time, they can only opt into the hybrid plan at specific times during the school year.
Although the new report does show a sizable jump in the number of children infected in July, most of the cases arose in states in the South and West. In New York City, the number of cases in reported in children was roughly 3% of the total number of known cases.
As of July 30th, six states have more than 15,000 cumulative confirmed virus cases: California, Arizona, Illinois, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida.
The report includes caseload information from 49 states as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam. But it notably lacked complete data from Texas and parts of New York State outside of New York City, suggesting that the numbers could be an undercount.
Confirming previous studies performed outside the U.S., the study found that children were much less likely to develop severe symptoms from COVID-19, with only 2% hospitalized and .03% cases resulting in death as of July 30th.
However, although the rate of hospitalization is low, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Friday issued a report based on hospitalization data from 14 states that found that one in three hospitalized children was admitted to an intensive care unit, suggesting that children who do require hospital care may be extremely sick. The CDC noted that case fatality rate was still very low, less than 1%.
Similar to adults, Hispanic and Black children had the highest rates of COVID-19-associated hospitalization.
The CDC also released a separate study on multisystem inflammatory sydrome in children (MIS-C), a rare but potentially deadly disease resulting from children infected with COVID-19. At least 570 children across 40 states have been diagnosed with the syndrome. Ten children have died.