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COVID-19 Updates: Port Neches-Groves ISD's reopening plan doesn't include online options; Beaumont logs 110 new coronavirus cases

Here is a look at some of the latest coronavirus news and updates for Tuesday.

BEAUMONT, Texas — This article contains ongoing U.S. and international updates on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects. Here are some key updates for Tuesday, July 14, 2020. You can find more details by scrolling through the story which we are updating throughout the day. The newest items will be at the top.

Today's Headlines:

  • Rural Southeast Texas counties see uptick in COVID-19 testing
  • Beaumont Public Health Dept. reports 113 new cases of COVID-19
  • Are new COVID-19 trends in Southeast Texas proof face masks are working?
  • President Trump's team eyes school funds boost in next coronavirus aid bill
  • US, Canada poised to extend border restrictions to Aug. 21

Here are the latest updates from around Southeast Texas, Texas, Louisiana and some from the world (all times are local Central Daylight Time)

July 14, 6 p.m. – Port Neches-Groves ISD released their reopening plans on Monday night. Noticeably absent from the 2020-21 School Year Health Guidance document, which was presented to the PNGISD Board of Trustees, was an option for online learning.

"Virtual learning is hard to meet the individual needs of our students. There are social and emotional things going on. Kids need food, breakfast and lunch provided for them. There is the social interaction that our kids have not had for five months," said Assistant Superintendent Julie Gauthier.

RELATED: 'Our approach will be in-person schooling' | Port Neches-Groves ISD's reopening plan does not include online options

July 14, 5:30 p.m. – Rural areas in Southeast Texas are seeing a major uptick in COVID-19 cases. With the increase comes an overwhelming demand for testing. A line could be seen Tuesday wrapping around the fairgrounds in Newton County as people waited in cars to receive a test swab. 

Newton County, along with Jasper and Tyler counties are seeing a greater demand for testing. Jasper County Judge Mark Allen says about a month ago, a test site would see about 60 patients. During the last week, some of those sites are seeing as many as 250 people.

RELATED: Rural Southeast Texas counties see huge uptick in COVID-19 testing demand

July 14, 4:15 p.m. – Beaumont Public Health Department confirms 113 new cases and one death. 110 cases are coming from the city of Beaumont. Bevil Oaks, China and Fannett reported one case each. The coronavirus-related death was from an 88-year-old woman, according to the release.

July 14, 1:20 p.m. – Jefferson County among the counties in Southeast Texas that have seen a dramatic dip in positive coronavirus cases over the past few days.

The decline in new cases follows a three-day stretch of historic highs for the area. On July 8, Southeast Texas saw 497 new cases in a single day. The next day saw another 317 cases. 

But on Friday, July 10, a dramatic dip. Only 142 new cases for all of Southeast Texas. And the news was even better on Sunday and Monday where 31 and 82 new cases were reported.

July 14, 1:00 p.m.  With schools set to reopen next month across Southeast Texas, at least one school district will not plan to offer online options for students and parents.

Port Neches-Groves ISD released their reopening plans on Monday night. Noticeably absent from the 2020-21 School Year Health Guidance document, which was presented to the PNGISD Board of Trustees, was an option for online learning. Read more. 

RELATED: Are new COVID-19 trends in Southeast Texas proof face masks are working?

July 14, 12 p.m. – The U.S. and Canada are poised to extend their agreement to keep their shared border closed to non-essential travel to Aug. 21, but a final confirmation has not been given, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

The agreement would likely extend the closure by another 30 days. The official was not authorized to speak publicly ahead of an announcement this week, and spoke on condition of anonymity.

RELATED: Canada, US poised to extend border restrictions to Aug. 21

July 14, 10:10 a.m. – The West-Hardin County CISD has announced that classes in the district will not start until Tuesday, September 8, 2020, according to a Tuesday morning Facebook post by the district.

The district will be offering both in-person and online classes.

The delay will allow the the district to make health and safety preparations the post said.

July 14, 9:40 a.m. – The City of Port Arthur has reported its eighth COVID-19 related death.

The latest coronavirus victim there is a woman between 50 and 55 years-old according to a news release from the city.

July 14, 8 a.m. – A top member of the White House coronavirus task force said Tuesday that “none of us lie” to the public, an accusation President Donald Trump had retweeted, and that while kids need to be back in school as Trump insists, “we have to get the virus under control.”

Adm. Brett Giroir's comment came a day after Trump shared a Twitter post from a former game show host who, without evidence, accused government medical experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others, of “lying.”

July 14, 6:30 a.m. – Coronavirus testing is available today in Hardin County. Testing runs from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. at First Baptist Church Loeb, 3082 Hwy 69 S, in Lumberton. You can preregister at TXCovidTest.org or by calling (844)-778-2455

RELATED: Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

MORE | Find more COVID-19 testing sites in Texas

July 14, 6 a.m. – President Donald Trump's push to reopen schools is being complicated by a split within his ranks over how to do it, with some advisers advocating for a massive federal expenditure to make campuses safe as Congress compiles the next COVID-19 relief bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Monday that schooling will be a priority in the coming package. Senate Democrats have proposed a $430 billion education stabilization plan. But the Republican leader has not said how much Congress is willing to spend, wary of high-dollar outlays that will run into resistance from GOP senators. Vice President Mike Pence assured governors Monday that talks are underway for education funds from Congress.

July 14, 5:30 a.m. – Japan's defense minister said Tuesday that officials have discovered "a number of problems” with U.S. military measures to guard against the coronavirus among service members stationed in Japan after 95 Marines tested positive at several bases on the southern island of Okinawa.

Okinawan officials on Sunday said most of the cases since early July were at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which is at the center of a relocation dispute. Others were at Camp Hansen, Camp Kinser and Camp McTureous.

July 14, 5 a.m. – With U.S. virus cases spiking and the death toll mounting, the White House is working to undercut its most trusted coronavirus expert, playing down the danger as President Donald Trump pushes to get the economy moving before he faces voters in November.

The U.S. has become a cautionary tale across the globe, with once-falling cases now spiraling. However, President Trump suggests the severity of the pandemic that has killed more than 135,000 Americans is being overstated by critics to damage his reelection chances.

RELATED: White House turns on Dr. Fauci as President Trump minimizes virus spike

The president and top White House aides are ramping up attacks against Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert. Fauci has been increasingly sidelined by the White House as he sounds alarms about the virus, a most unwelcome message at a time when Trump is focused on pushing an economic rebound.

July 14,4 a.m. – What is contact tracing, and how does it work with COVID-19?

The goal of contact tracing is to alert people who may have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus, and prevent them from spreading it to others. Health experts say contact tracing is key to containing the virus and allowing places to reopen more safely.

RELATED: What is contact tracing, and how does it work with COVID-19?

Here’s the breakdown by county of coronavirus cases for the eight-county Southeast Texas region...

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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus 

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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