The Republican Party formally nominated President Donald Trump for a second term Monday, one of the first acts of a GOP convention that has been dramatically scaled down due to the coronavirus. (Aug. 24)

AP Domestic

A Florida judge ruled on Monday that the state’s order to reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic was unconstitutional, instead deciding that local lawmakers should make such decisions.

Circuit Judge Charles Dodson struck down plans for schools to be open at least five days a week and reopening plans that have to be approved by state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.

Meanwhile, in California, firefighters are battling massive wildfires that have worsened the state’s air quality when residents are already at a high risk of pulmonary disease because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts say the air quality is worse in the Bay Area than cities known for poor air quality like New Delhi.

Some significant developments:

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has 5million confirmed infections and more than 177,00 deaths. Worldwide, there have been more than 814,000 deaths and 23.7 million cases, according to John Hopkins University data.

📰 What we’re reading: A farewell to arts? Teachers fear coronavirus budget cuts may target art and music classes.

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to the Daily Briefing.

COVID and the RNC: Republicans defend Donald Trump’s pandemic response

Republicans defended President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and slammed Joe Biden on Monday during the first night of a GOP convention.

In a series of videos and remarks, some of them live and others taped, Republicans touted the president’s response to the coronavirus, promised to lift the economy back to pre-COVID levels and generally attempted to present the election as a choice between Biden and Trump rather than as a referendum on the president’s last four years.

Trump plans to appear every night of the mostly virtual four-day virtual Republican National Convention. After Monday’s kickoff in Charlotte, N.C., most of the GOP convention will take place in Washington, D.C., at and around the White House, as well as by video.

– Courtney Subramanian, Maureen Groppe, Ledyard King, John Fritze, David Jackson, William Cummings

Inaccurate results from rapid COVID tests raise concerns about mass screening

Dozens of people who took quick-result coronavirus tests at a Manchester, Vermont, clinic in July were told they had the virus, only to be informed days later that more accurate lab tests concluded they didn’t.

But last week, Quidel, the company that makes the rapid antigen test used by the clinic, stood by the original results. The top executive said it’s “highly likely” his company’s test was correct, and the state of Vermont’s conflicting lab-based test was “at risk of providing inaccurate results.”

As companies and universities create their own strategies to widely test employees and students – even those with no symptoms of COVID-19 or no known exposure to the virus – experts warn such confusion over conflicting results is inevitable. Read more.

– Ken Alltucker

What the pandemic means for California’s firefighters

Leaders battling blazes across the West say they’re holding their own, despite the pandemic. Some adjustments to COVID-19 are proving more effective than previous tactics. But as more fires erupt in California and elsewhere, responders are bracing for a long battle that will force them to revamp time-tested strategies on the fly.

“We’re building the bridge as we cross it,” said George Geissler, Washington state forester and deputy supervisor for wildfire.

Like many states, California’s strategy this year involves an aggressive early response, trying to squelch fires quickly in the hopes that will prevent some from becoming large blazes. The fewer massive fires, the fewer large camps will be required, lessening COVID-19 risk. Read more from Pew/Stateline.

NFL’s Miami Dolphins want 13,000 fans in the stadium for Sept. 20 game

Fifteen of the NFL’s 32 teams have so far ruled out spectators to start the season, but the Miami Dolphins won’t be joining them.

The Dolphins are one of at least eight teams hoping to have a limited number of spectators, allowing up to 13,000 socially distancing fans to attend their home opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 20. The same plan will be followed for the University of Miami’s home opener against UAB at the Dolphins’ stadium on Sept. 10.

Crowd size will be about 20% of the stadium’s 65,326-seat capacity, with the limitation imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Groups of spectators will be spaced 6 feet apart.


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Last SlideNext SlideKFC scraps use of ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’ in its ads amid coronavirus pandemic

Fried chicken chain KFC is suspending the slogan “It’s Finger Lickin’ Good”  after 64 years because use of the slogan “doesn’t feel quite right.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the steps people can take to protect themselves from spreading COVID-19 is washing hands often, and keeping hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes.

KFC said the slogan will not go away forever. The chain said they will bring it back “when the time is right.”

– Brett Molina

JFK, LaGuardia airports to get COVID-19 testing sites for incoming travelers

New York will set up COVID-19 testing sites for incoming passengers at its two largest airports as part of the latest effort to stop travelers from bringing the coronavirus to the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday the sites slated for John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in Queens, saying it will allow the state to more quickly determine whether incoming travelers have the virus at the center of a global pandemic.

“We’re actually setting up testing sites at our airports. We’ll be able to do faster testing of people coming in, including hospital staff,” Cuomo said Monday at a news conference on Long Island.

Cuomo did not offer details on when the testing will be rolled out, what the cost for inbound travelers will be or what happens when someone tests positive. The USA TODAY Network has reached out to his office and the Port Authority for specifics about the plan.

– Jon Campbell, New York State Team

COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY

On Facebook: There’s still a lot unknown about the coronavirus. But what we do know, we’re sharing with you. Join our Facebook group, Coronavirus Watch, to receive daily updates in your feed and chat with others in the community about COVID-19.  

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Contributing: The Associated Press

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