Previous coronavirus daily briefing updates, July 4-5
Current daily briefings on the coronavirus can be found here. Scroll below to read previous reports from June 30 to July 3, listed in eastern time.
July 5, 8 p.m.
NFL players are growing more concerned over playing football amid the coronavirus pandemic. NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said in an open letter that the players have to fight for necessary COVID-19 protections, The Associated Press reported this week. Tretter continued, saying that players are not invincible and aren't immune to the virus and that health conditions that are widespread across the league including high BMI, asthma, and sleep apnea, "are all associated with a higher risk of developing severe symptoms and complications when infected with COVID-19." The NFL informed owners that training camp was expected to start on time as scheduled this month, however the Pro Football Hall of Fame game slated for Aug. 6 has already been canceled and an announcement on the cancellation of the first and fourth preseason week is expected soon.
July 5, 6:49 p.m.
Endurance athlete Corey Cappelloni has run several extreme races in his life, but his most recent run may be the most memorable of his life. Over a seven-day period, Cappelloni ran 218 miles from his home in Washington, D.C. to Scranton, Pennsylvania, to see his 98-year-old grandmother who was diagnosed with COVID-19. After his hard work, Cappelloni couldn’t visit his grandmother Ruth Andrews in person due to health concerns, but he was able to wave to her as she looked out from her fourth-floor window. Despite the distancing, it was a happy reunion with Cappelloni arriving just one day after Andres found out that she had beaten COVID-19, The Associated Press said. “Nana, you’re a strong person,” Cappelloni said in a phone conversation with Andres. “You’re going on 99, and you still have many more miles.”
Cappelloni’s run was more than just a trip to see his grandmother. Over the course of his “Run for Ruth,” he managed to raise more than $24,000 that will be used to provide older adults with smartphones and tablets so they can communicate with their families as they are in isolation.
July 5, 5:20 p.m.
The coronavirus has become the latest historical event to alter the fashion industry, according to Reuters. “This particular moment has become just so pivotal in our industry. And what we’re looking for now is really new solutions, but it’s to old problems,” Fashion Snoops trend forecaster Melissa Moylan told Reuters. Trend forecasters are predicting a shift toward functional fashion wear amid the coronavirus, and masks have gained the attention of fashion designers across the world. “In the future, masks will definitely become a normal product, combining fashion with tradition, featuring human health and protection,” Design Director at Shandong Sunbird Zhou Li told Reuters. But the possibilities for new design opportunities aren’t just limited to masks. “I think it does open up the door to other conversations in how we could protect ourselves with what we’re wearing,” Moylan said. “We’ve seen a lot of materials and different properties they could possess, antimicrobial, a coating that actually protects you clothes. Materials could actually enhance the way that you sleep, enhance the way that you perform.” As the global sales of luxury goods are predicted to see a drop by 35%, top fashion houses like Gucci and Armani are being forced to rethink how they will continue in the industry. Brands like Michael Kors and Gucci have gone seasonless. “We’ve known that the fashion industry is oversaturated with just this excess of product. With consumers actually staying home and being locked up for months, that’s signaling this new wave of conscious consumerism, which I think is really exciting, actually,” Moylan said. Other historical events to have had a powerful sway on the industry include the Great Depression, which inspired ready-to-wear or factory-made clothing, and political conflicts in the 1940s inspired functional wear.
July 5, 3:50 p.m.
Mango farmers in Pakistan have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the lockdowns on the country, mangos are unable to be exported or sold to other countries. This has caused massive profit losses to mango farmers all across the country this year, according to Al Jazeera. Locust infestations have also contributed to a difficult growing season. It is estimated that exports have been cut in half for mangos. Last year, Pakistan saw a $19 million dollar profit. In addition, Pakistan exports are predicted to drop about a third due to economic shock. The government has offered incentives to mango farmers to encourage more growth, but it may not be fast enough as mango season peaks in July.
July 5, 2:20 p.m.
A restaurant completely operated by robots has opened in Shunde, a city in the Guangdong province of China. The restaurant, opened by the subsidiary of Country Garden, Qianxi Robot Catering Group, eliminates human-to-human contact between any employees and customers, and may foreshadow the future of restaurants. The restaurant has 20 robots equipped to serve patrons, and the menu has some 200 items that are available within 20 seconds of ordering, according to Forbes. The restaurant can handle up to 600 diners at once. The group plans on expanding into more cities and mass producing more of the robots. While the idea of robot-controlled restaurants had originated before the coronavirus, health safety concerns had pushed the tech efforts forward.
July 5, 12:51 p.m.
Spain's northeastern Catalonia region has placed 200,000 people under new lockdown following a surge in cases of the new coronavirus. The orders were triggered as the summer holidays started in Spain and the country began re-admitting foreign visitors from 12 countries outside the European Union. Gatherings of more than 10 people and visits to retirement homes are banned, Regional health minister Alba Verges said, according to France24. "We have decided to confine the del Segria zone following data confirming a sharp rise in Covid-19 infections," Catalonia's regional president Quim Torra announced, adding that no one would be allowed to enter or leave the area.
July 5, 11:42 a.m.
Two Chicago White Sox players tested positive for coronavirus, Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Chicago White Sox announced on Sunday. Both players are asymptomatic and are in quarantine in Chicago while being monitored by Sox medical staff, according to Chicago Sun-Times. MLB games are scheduled to start on July 23 or 24. "Both individuals who tested positive are asymptomatic, have been isolated in Chicago, and currently are being monitored by White Sox medical staff. Contact tracing for both was conducted. Both individuals will receive follow-up testing in the coming days. They will return to activities once they have recorded consecutive negative tests and passed appropriate Covid-19 protocols," the White Sox said in a statement. "The health of our players and staff is our top priority, and the White Sox are adhering to all MLB health and safety protocols," the team added.
July 5, 10:28 a.m.
New York City will enter phase 3 without indoor dining on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. Nail salons, tattoo and massage parlors will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity. Businesses must disinfect workstations for each new customer, require customers and employees to wear face coverings. “New York City is a crowded, dense urban area and — until recently — was the global epicenter of the Covid-19 crisis," Cuomo said in a news release. "Out of an abundance of caution and after seeing other states' experiences with indoor dining, we will wait to reopen it as the city moves to phase three tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city is developing multiple plans for a safe return to school in the fall. The mayor says 75% of parents surveyed want to send their kids back to school in September.
Restaurants in New York City install dividers as an anti-Coronavirus measure. Photo by: John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2020
July 5, 7:38 a.m.
Here are the latest global COVID-19 numbers, provided by Johns Hopkins University researchers:
Total confirmed cases: 11,288,094
Total deaths: 531,244
Total recoveries: 6,075,489
July 4, 10 p.m.
A night at the movies may soon mean heading to the nearest Walmart. Starting in August, Walmart will be turning 160 of its parking lots across the country into contact-free drive-in movie theaters, 6ABC said. "Ahead of each screening, Walmart will make it easy for families to fill their picnic baskets by ordering their drive-in essentials online for curbside pickup on the way to their movie," Walmart said in a press release. It is still unclear which locations will be featuring movies, but it will provide an alternative for families wanting to go out to see a movie without stepping foot into a theater.
July 4, 9:18 p.m.
The coronavirus likely arrived in New York City earlier than previously thought. The first cases in New York City were confirmed on March 1, but evidence from a new study shows that the virus was circulating in the city as early as the first week of February. The study found that some New Yorkers had developed antibodies to the virus on the week ending on Feb. 23, which means that they could’ve been infected in early February. “It looks like there was at least low-level circulation,” Florian Kramer, an immunologist at Icahn School of medicine at Mount Sinai who led the study, told The New York Times. The study was published this week and has yet to be reviewed by other scientists. However, several experts said that the work is credible and well-executed. Additionally, the study confirms that by late April, roughly one in five new Yorkers had been exposed to the virus.
July 4, 8 p.m.
Actor Tom Hanks said Hollywood has no clue on when production will resume. Back in March, Hanks was the first star to contract COVID-19. He and his wife both recovered from the virus, "As the canaries in the coal mine for the COVID-19 experience, we are fine -- we had about 10 days of very uncomfortable symptoms, not life-threatening, I'm happy to say," said Hanks. Earlier this month, California gave the OK to resume filming, however most Hollywood productions have yet to restart, which Hanks said isn't expected to change anytime soon, according to AFP. "Nobody has any idea of when they will go back to work...There's physical concerns about 'how does everybody get to work and go into the same soundstage, and work in such close quarters?" said Hanks in a virtual press conference. Los Angeles County set a new daily number of cases record earlier this week, which prompted Mayor Eric Garcetti to announce a "hard pause" on reopening that included movie theaters. Some countries have resumed movies, including Iceland, South Korea and New Zealand.
July 4, 6:30 p.m.
The coronavirus death count for the U.S is likely higher than what has been reported. A study published on Wednesday reveals that errors within state-level reporting have caused a discrepancy, resulting in many deaths not being reported. The study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, showed that the overall tally of deaths in the U.S. from March through May were 122,300 more than average, however only 95,235 COVID-19 related deaths were reported in that timeframe. According to Reuters, the actual number of deaths could be closer to 103,649. “Determining the cause of death on a death certificate is not an exact science,” Daniel Weinberger, the study’s lead author from the Yale School of Public Health, said. “It is possible that someone who had COVID-19 and that triggered pneumonia might have pneumonia listed as the cause of death. Whereas another jurisdiction might have COVID as the cause.”
Street vendor Laticia Ortega wears a plastic shield over her mask during the coronavirus pandemic in the Vermont Square neighborhood of Los Angeles, Thursday, May 21, 2020. While most of California took another step forward to partly reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend, Los Angeles County didn't join the party because the number of coronavirus cases has grown at a pace that leaves it unable to meet even the new, relaxed state standards for allowing additional businesses and recreational activities. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
July 4, 4:56 p.m.
Tests that can show COVID-19 results in under an hour could be key for allowing sport fans to attend games before the end of 2020. “We want to see Americans have a chance to have some normal experiences of enjoying life,” National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said. “I do believe this should be possible.” The rapid testing is still being put together, but Collins said that when complete, they can be administered at sporting events to make sure everyone in attendance is safe, CNBC reported. One of the biggest sports in question is the NFL, which is currently in the offseason. "We are not invincible, and as recent reports have shown, we certainly aren't immune to this virus," NFLPA president JC Tretter said. "NFL players are humans -- some with immunocompromised family members or live-in elderly parents. Trust me: we want to play football. But as a union, our most important job is keep our players safe and alive."
July 4, 3:46 p.m.
People who recovered from COVID-19 were found to have potent antibodies in their blood that block infections. According to the National Institutes of Health, COVID-19 particles have spike proteins that latch onto healthy cells in a person's body and fuse to the cell membrane. Antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients have been used to treat current patients. Vaccines in the development process are aiming to allow the body to produce antibody cells that can bind to the spike proteins of the virus to prevent it from latching onto healthy cells. “We now know what an effective antibody looks like and we have found similar ones in more than one person,” Dr. Davide Robbiani from the Rockefeller University said. “This is important information for people who are designing and testing vaccines. If they see their vaccine can elicit these antibodies, they know they are on the right track.”
July 4, 2:26 p.m.
President Trump said we are "close to fighting our way out" of the pa ndemic. Trump wished Americans a happy Fourth of July and referenced the coronavirus pandemic in a video message on the White House’s official Twitter page. Trump said that four months ago before the US got “hit with this terrible plague," the country was “doing better than any country had ever done in history, not just us, any country,” according to CNN. “Now we are getting close to fighting our way out of [the pandemic],” Trump said.
July 4, 1:14 p.m.
Fireworks are in high demand in America as people try to ‘cure quarantine boredom.' Consumer firework sales, which include sparklers and firecrackers, have more than doubled, according to CNN. The demand came after the coronavirus led to mass cancellations of many events including the 4th of July shows. Compared to last year, the demand for consumer fireworks has gone up 115%. The sudden surge has lead to a fear of shortages as imports from China are significantly down with 35% fewer fireworks being imported this year compared to 2019.
July 4, 12 p.m.
Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson tests positive for COVID-19. The driver of the number 48 Chevrolet will miss Sunday's Brickyard 400 race, Hendrick Motorsports announced Friday evening. Justin Allgaier will drive the Number 48 Chevrolet on Sunday as his replacement. NASCAR announced Johnson must be symptom-free and have two negative COVID-19 test results, at least 24 hours apart to return. Additionally, NASCAR will require Johnson to be cleared by his physician before returning to racing.
“My first priority is the health and safety of my loved ones and my teammates,” Johnson said in a release. “I’ve never missed a race in my Cup career, but I know it’s going to be very hard to watch from the sidelines when I’m supposed to be out there competing. Although this situation is extremely disappointing, I’m going to come back ready to win races and put ourselves in playoff contention.” According to a Hendrick Motorsports statement, Johnson has not experienced symptoms of COVID-19. He was tested upon learning Friday morning that his wife, Chandra, tested positive after experiencing allergy-like symptoms. Johnson was in communication with Hendrick Motorsports before and after being tested for COVID-19. “Jimmie has handled this situation like the champion he is,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports.
July 4, 10:59 a.m.
While over 10 million cases of COVID-19 have plagued over 200 countries and territories throughout the world, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un insists that his country was able to stop the coronavirus before it made inroads in North Korea. In a statement delivered by state news agency KCNA, officials from the reclusive country shared that schools have reopened in the country but a ban on public gatherings and a national mandate on mask-wearing remain in place. According to the public health ministry, all 922 people checked for the virus tested negative.
July 4, 9:48 a.m.
Amid the pandemic and social distancing concerns, smaller groups and fewer parties may mean more eyes from home will be looking toward the skies to see the annual firework displays. However, not every area of the country will enjoy an equally great view of the spectacular pyrotechnics shows. Annual shows in some major cities, like Washington, D.C., are still on, but the weather in other cities, such as Denver and Santa Fe, New Mexico, has forced planned events to be canceled. Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has forced many other cities to shutter celebrations as well. For those cities still putting on events, click here to see how the weather and conditions may affect Fourth of July celebrations across the nation.
July 4, 8:43 a.m.
A restaurant completely operated by robots has opened in Shunde, a city in the Guangdong province of China. The restaurant, opened by the subsidiary of Country Garden, Qianxi Robot Catering Group, eliminates human-to-human contact between any employees and customers and may foreshadow the future of restaurants. The restaurant has 20 robots equipped to serve patrons, and the menu has some 200 items that are available within 20 seconds of ordering, according to Forbes. The restaurant can handle up to 600 diners at once. The group plans on expanding into more cities and mass-producing more of the robots. While the idea of robot-controlled restaurants had originated before the coronavirus, health safety concerns had pushed the tech efforts forward.
July 4, 7:32 a.m.
Here are the latest global COVID-19 numbers, provided by Johns Hopkins University researchers:
Total confirmed cases: 11,093,182
Total deaths: 525,491
Total recoveries: 5,890,052
Reporting by Lauren Fox, John Murphy, Brian Lada, Mark Puleo, Maria Antonieta Valery Gil, Kevin Byrne, Chaffin Mitchell, Adriana Navarro, John Roach, Dexter Henry, Bill Wadell, Jonathan Petramala, and Monica Danielle
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