Kentucky Derby to Have Fans: Top Stories, Sports and Business News — August 12

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From the Kentucky Derby saying it will welcome up to 23,000 fans to an update on the race towards a coronavirus vaccine, here are the top stories in sports and business news on Wednesday, August 12.

Big 12 Will Try to Play

Despite other Power 5 conferences opting out of football this fall, the Big 12 is attempting to play its schedule.

The decision made by the Big 12 board of directors means that three of the nation's Power 5 conferences intend to play football this year, while the Big 10 and Pac 12 conferences have chosen to opt out of fall football due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Big 12 conference is home to college football powerhouses Oklahoma and Texas.

 Earlier today, the Big 12 released its college football schedule. Conference play will start on Saturday, September 26.

Read more: The Big 12 Keeps Hope of a Fall Football Season Alive—For Now

Daily Coronavirus Update

There are over 20.4 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 744,000 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins, the U.S. has surpassed 5.1 million cases with over 164,000 deaths. According to the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 55,594 new cases reported Tuesday. 739,083 new tests were reported. And 1,326 deaths were reported yesterday.

Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Report won an award of up to $1.5 billion from the U.S. government for 100 million doses of its as-yet-unapproved mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The contract includes incentive payments for timely delivery of the vaccine. The mRNA-1273 vaccine entered Phase 3 trials on July 27.

Under the agreement, the government will have an option to acquire 400 million additional doses. The deal follows an early development grant this year for $955 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) at the Department of Health and Human Services.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement that “we are assembling a broad portfolio of vaccines to increase the odds that we will have at least one safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year."

In-Person Attendees Expected at Kentucky Derby

The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for September 5.

Earlier today, Churchill Downs released a statement saying that this year's event will be limited to fewer than 23,000 fans and limited to guests with reserved seats.

Face coverings will be required throughout the entire venue, and guests will take a medical questionnaire and be screened by a contactless thermometer before entering the venue.

The race was originally scheduled for May 5 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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