Previous coronavirus daily briefing updates, June 10-13
Current daily briefings on the coronavirus can be found here. Scroll below to read previous listed in eastern time.
June 13, 7:55 p.m.
Here are the latest global COVID-19 numbers, provided by Johns Hopkins University researchers:
Confirmed cases: 7,751,747
Confirmed fatalities: 429,062
Confirmed recoveries: 3,679,745
June 13, 7:10 p.m.
The CDC has released a list of tips for people venturing outside as state stay-at-home orders expire and businesses continue reopening. “I think it’s a huge step in the right direction,” Julia Marcus, a Harvard Medical School infectious disease researcher, told The Associated Press. “These guidelines are really directed toward ordinary Americans trying to make decisions about risk every day.” The guidelines come as a handful of states such as Arizona, Texas and South Carolina see record spikes of cases amid reopening. While the CDC doesn’t address things such as precautions before going to church, guidance on dating or if it’s safe for kids to visit grandparents, here are a few tips the guidelines include:
Continue to wear a face covering while going out
Use drive-thru banking services, ATMs or mobile banking apps for routine transactions to avoid face-to-face assistance
If going out to eat, check the restaurant’s website or social media for their COVID-19 safety guidelines. Sit outside whenever possible.
Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks for gatherings or cook-outs. Keep a list of guests who attend for potential future contact tracing.
At the gym, don’t share items that can’t be cleaned, sanitized or disinfected between uses, like resistance bands and weightlifting belts
June 13, 5:40 p.m.
Canada will mandate temperature screenings for air passengers. Anyone screened that has a fever will now not be authorized to fly. The screening will be a phased process, where those entering the country will be screened by the end of June and those leaving will be screened by the end of July. A person with a fever will be asked to reschedule their flight after 14 days, according to Reuters. “Temperature checks will not be detecting people with COVID-19,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday. “It’s an extra layer of safety to encourage people who might feel sick to stay home and not put others at risk.”
June 13, 4:10 p.m.
A study published on Friday could explain why people stocked on toilet paper during the beginning of the pandemic. The research conducted by German scientific journal Plos One assessed the influence of people’s personality traits and their likelihood of hoarding toilet paper. Researchers asked 966 volunteers from 22 different countries to fill out a psychological questionnaire, along with their demographic information and a detailed explanation of their consumption of toilet paper. What researchers found was that people who tended to hoard toilet paper were the ones who were more frightened by the pandemic.
Additionally, the participants who scored high in emotionality and those who were organized were also more likely to stock up on toilet paper. These results didn’t come as shock for health professionals, NBC News said. “This study tells us what we may have thought intuitively,” said Gould, a clinical psychologist and an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
June 13, 2:45 p.m.
LGBTQ Pride Month celebrations across the nation were canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic, but some cities have found different ways to celebrate safely. The third annual Pride Parade at Aurora, Illinois, was one of the events that was canceled, but organizers salvaged the celebration with a Pride Drive. Rather than people gathering in the streets, attenders can instead drive a route in their cars and visit 36 decorated locations throughout the city. The locations are unmarked on the map provided, so “every corner could be a new surprise,” event organizer Gwyn Ciesla told WBBM NewsRadio. “As a member of the LGBTQ community myself, with someone who has friends and loved ones who are as well, I just think it’s something that needs to happen, and it wasn’t taking place in Aurora before the 2018 parade and I think it’s important to keep it going,” Ciesla said. New York City’s Pride celebrations are taking a different approach, creating a “socially distanced televised” event on Sunday, June 28. The Reclaim Pride Coalition still plans to hold a physical march on June 28, according to Spectrum News.
June 13, 1:13 p.m.
Olympic gold-medal gymnasts Simone Biles and Laurie Hernandez told CNN how kids can stay active inside during coronavirus pandemic. “Just try to stay positive. I know that right now, everything feels like it’s just kind of upside-down, so finding things that make you feel good and make you happy, whether that’s working out or trying to learn how to cook or watching your favorite TV shows, music, connecting with your friends … just try to do things that make you happy, because right now, it feels a little scary,” Hernandez said, according to CNN. Simone Biles told CNN she had to do workouts on Zoom before her gym recently reopened.
June 13, 12:02 p.m.
Imagine if, just to pay a visit to a shopping mall, you first were required to be doused in disinfectant. As unpleasant as that might sound, it's a standard operating procedure in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, where COVID-19 cases have topped 36,000 and more than 2,000 have died from the illness. The WHO has cautioned that mass disinfection strategies to fight the coronavirus are likely ineffective and, worse still, hazardous to people's health. Indonesia has been particularly fond of mass disinfection, according to Reuters, with drones dropping clouds of disinfectant from the skies and workers spraying down the streets and sidewalks in cities. This week, The Associated Press reported, some of the strict measures that have been in place for the last two months were lifted in Jakarta, home to 11 million -- even though cases continued to rise and the country's testing capabilities are lagging. If nothing else some of the mass disinfection methods are visually arresting -- like the image below of a woman being doused in a chamber before being allowed to go shopping -- but also are being derided by health experts as "a ridiculous image seen in many countries."
A woman reacts as she is sprayed with disinfectant inside a disinfection chamber as a precaution against the new coronavirus outbreak before entering a shopping mall in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
June 13, 11 a.m.
Spain's daily coronavirus death toll has been on hold at 27,136, sparking uncertainty about the current state of the pandemic. The health ministry changed its method of collecting data on confirmed cases and fatalities on May 25. The health ministry's emergency coordinator Fernando Simon acknowledged the "astonishment" and "confusion" generated by the figures. Simon said the new system was set up to facilitate the rapid detection and isolation of any new outbreak and that the regions must provide a detailed breakdown of cases, rather than lumping all figures together, according to Yahoo. But last week he acknowledged that the overall number of deaths had remained "frozen" as a result of discrepancies in the figures, which he put down to delays in submitting data in certain regional areas. "(The) biggest danger is communicating this idea that the epidemic is over because the virus is still present in our country although at much lower levels," warned Salvador Macip, an expert in health sciences at Catalonia's Open University.
June 13, 9:55 a.m.
The longest-hospitalized COVID-19 patient received a $1.1 million, 181-page hospital bill. Michael Flor was so close to death during his 62-day hospitalization in Seattle a nurse held a phone to his ear while his wife and kids said their final goodbyes. After the 70-year-old recovered he was nicknamed “the miracle child” but Flor said his heart almost failed a second time when he got the health care bill, the Seattle Times said. “I opened it and said ‘holy [bleep]!’“ Flor says. The total tab for his bout with the coronavirus was $1,122,501.04, to be exact, however since Flor has insurance including Medicare, he won’t have to pay the vast majority of it. According to the Seattle Times, Flor was unconscious for much of his stay, but once near the beginning his wife Elisa Del Rosario remembers him waking up and saying: “You gotta get me out of here, we can’t afford this.”
June 13, 8:41 a.m.
Inspired by the classic 1989 baseball film starring Kevin Costner, Field of Dreams, Major League Baseball is building a field close to the famous movie site in eastern Iowa. The first game at the new field, where the New York Yankees are scheduled to play against the Chicago White Sox, is scheduled for Aug. 13. However, it is unclear if the teams will show up at the game given the current situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the owner of the Field of Dreams and locals in the community of Dyersville, this game could offer something to look forward to for sports fans, especially with the lack of sports the past few months. “For both baseball and the general public, what a match made in heaven that would be for this year,” said Keith Rahe, a tourism official and former farmer near the Field of Dreams site. “Just to have something to feel good about – how do you measure that?” The game, which was announced nearly a year ago, could be postponed as MLB is still looking to restart its season since suspending operations in March.
June 13, 7:24 a.m.
Here are the latest updated totals from around the world, according to data compiled by researchers from Johns Hopkins University:
Total confirmed cases: 7,669,872
Total deaths: 426,185
Total recovered: 3,640,188
June 12, 9:49 p.m.
Back in March, health experts debated whether or not wearing a mask was efficient in slowing the spread of COVID-19. In fact, some U.S. health officials advised against the use of masks. Dr. Fauci has since stated that, although they are not always 100% effective, masks can help prevent infection. “They are certainly better than not wearing a mask,” Fauci said this week in an interview with The Street. So, why were people asked to not wear masks at the beginning of the pandemic? According to Fauci, this was due to economic reasons rather than medical ones. “The N95 masks and the surgical masks were in very short supply,” Fauci said. “And we wanted to make sure that the health workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected.” Meanwhile, the findings from another recent study showed how effective masks are at curbing the spread, and the researchers behind the study said mask-wearing could be crucial to reducing the impact of a second wave of the pandemic.
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci listens as President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
June 12, 8:30 p.m.
California residents have been fighting back against mask-wearing rules. Health officials in the state have strongly recommended strict safety measures being used as a way to keep new case counts low, according to KTLA News. Despite the concerns from the officials, the fight against masks has become so intense the health officer in Orange County, California, resigned after receiving a death threat and attacks for weeks. Her replacement, after pressure from her supervisors, rescinded the rules on masks. Orange County now “strong recommends” face coverings in public and although they are not mandatory, the county’s top health official said they can prevent more deaths from COVID-19.
June 12, 7:15 p.m.
The U.S. Department of Transportation will distribute 100 million masks for passengers at airports and transit locations to use. These masks were described by the department as “cloth facial coverings” and are intended to be supplied to those who do not bring their own masks. Passengers who have their own masks are required to wear their own. Transport Secretary Elaine L. Chao said that their goal is to protect everyone’s health now that the country’s economy is reopening, and more people are taking public transportation. “This Administration is committed to protecting our people and reopening the economy; distributing these facial coverings will help boost public confidence as we begin to resume our normal lives,” Chao said in a statement.
June 12, 6:02 p.m.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a statement regarding antibody tests for COVID-19. The CDC said that an antibody test can be used as a way to determine if someone has had COVID-19 before, however depending on the timing of the test, if someone is currently infected with the virus the test will not show that they have the antibodies. If a person believes they may currently be infected, the CDC recommends they seek a viral test, not an antibody test. The CDC is still researching if people who have recovered from COVID-19 can get infected again, and advises people to continue to take preventive measures whether or not they have tested positive or negative on a viral or an antibody test.
June 12, 4:52 p.m.
Gov. Gavin Newson announced that productions in Los Angeles County could resume on June 12. However, Hollywood is not ready to return just yet. Despite the green light, people who work in the industry fear the consequences that could be created by returning too soon. In a statement released by county officials, they said that the healthcare system was still their number one priority. “If at any time, the county’s rate of infection and other key metrics demonstrate a rapid acceleration of new cases that threatens to overwhelm the healthcare system, the Department of Public Health and the Board of Supervisors may need to limit future reopenings or closed reopened sectors,” the county said. After three months of closure, Newson also announced the reopening of gyms, museums and hotels in the state in an effort to help the struggling economy. “It will be a long journey, but with continued collaboration, we will once again see the backbone of Los Angeles at work,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell.
June 12, 3:54 p.m.
Turkey surpasses 1,000 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours, the highest daily total since restrictions were relaxed two weeks ago. With 1,195 cases reported, the total number of cases in the country is now 175,218. On June 1, the government allowed for the reopening of restaurants, beaches, gyms, parks and museums, and this week, it eased state-at-home orders for children and senior citizens. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca blamed “the false optimism” created by the reopening of businesses for the rapid increase in cases.
June 12, 3:18 p.m.
South Carolina eases restrictions despite an increase in COVID-19 cases. Gov. Henry McMaster announced that stores will no longer have to restrict the number of people allowed inside and bowling alleys could reopen. “We cannot keep businesses closed forever,” McMaster said. “Even in this situation, when we are still faced with a deadly virus, we must accelerate our economy.” On Thursday, a record 687 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the state. Although fewer tests are being conducted, the rate of positivity for the virus has increased to over 12%, The AP reported.
June 12, 1:48 p.m.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego seen earlier this year wearing a face mask. (Reuters)
A second peak of coronavirus cases in Arizona has prompted the state to tell hospitals to activate emergency plans. During Arizona's first peak, 78% of hospital beds were in use. As of Monday, 76% of hospital beds are in use, according to CNN. One of the emergency plans for Arizona hospitals has been to "be judicious in elective surgeries to ensure bed capacity," Arizona's Director of Health Services Dr. Cara Christ told CNN. Cities such as Phoenix initiated a phased reopening process before cases started to spike again, raising concerns over whether lockdowns should be implemented again. "For our economy to really recover, people both have to feel safe and be safe," Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego told CNN Tonight in an interview.
The number of beds available remain the top concern when treating the pandemic and Gallego was worried that inconsistent messaging from different government officials could lead to more infections. "These mixed signals ... people aren't sure what to do, companies aren't ready to invest," Gallego said. "I think some people thought, 'Oh the flu goes away in the summer, so will the virus, [so] we don't need to worry.'"
In fact, summer heat has been in full force in the Phoenix area for weeks. Apart from a few days, temperatures in the Valley of the Sun have been above average going back to late May. There's been much speculation about the possibility of warm weather slowing the spread of COVID-19, but scientists have cautioned that even the highest summer temperatures won't stop the coronavirus in its tracks. And temperatures will be very high in Phoenix over the upcoming week. According to the AccuWeather forecast, the city will see triple-digit heat that's only a bit above average at least through next Thursday.
AccuWeather 7-day forecast for Phoenix June 12-June 18.
June 12, 12:38 p.m.
As the coronavirus keeps spreading in Houston, officials in the area are “getting close” to re-imposing stay-at-home orders. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner made this announcement on Thursday after the state recorded the highest increase in cases in a single day. Additionally, they announced that they are prepared to address the pandemic by reopening a COVID-19 hospital that had been established but never used at a football stadium. “We may be approaching the precipice of a disaster,” Hidalgo said. “It’s out of hand right now. The good news is it’s not severe out of hand.” Despite the predictions of a second wave of infections, authorities in Texas have opted against the to re-enforcement of lockdowns and restrictions in the area. However, this decision is being questioned by Hidalgo, who believes that the state has re-opened too soon.
June 12, 11:35 a.m.
A French artist has designed a dozen social distancing hats that serve a purpose that goes beyond protection against COVID-19. Dominique Pouzol, who resides in Paris, says that the questions of whether society will change after this pandemic is over, is an important one to consider. “The hats are supposed to protect us from COVID, and it would be good also if they protected us from intolerance, from all problems of violence etc.,” Pouzol said. As shown in a video shared by AFP news agency on Twitter, the hats are designed in colorful patterns and have wings meant to separate the wearer from other people.
June 12, 11:06 a.m.
A new case of COVID-19 in Missouri has been linked to a Memorial Day weekend party at the Lake of the Ozarks. On Thursday, Johnson County's Department of Health announced the case to the county board of commissioners, saying that the person who contracted the virus had visited the same Missouri bar as another resident who had also tested positive for the virus. “We all need to continue to be aware that COVID-19 is in our community and we need to be doing the proper precautionary measures – wearing masks and staying as physically distanced as much as possible,” said Elizabeth Holzschuh, the county’s epidemiologist. People who spent time in the same locations as these residents have been asked to monitor for possible coronavirus symptoms and to stay home.
June 12, 10:30 a.m.
Number of air travelers in the U.S. plunges to a low not seen since 1974 due to the pandemic. It's not surprising the airline industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, but how deep an effect it's had is just becoming clear -- and it is historic. According to Reuters, the U.S. Transportation Department this week announced that 3 million passengers flew on planes operated by U.S. air carriers in the month of April, the lowest number of air passengers counted since 1974 -- the first year officials began keeping such records. Compared to April 2019, that's a drop of more than 73 million passengers. The numbers of flights and passengers are beginning to trend upward, but airlines are bracing for another steep revenue hit in the second quarter too.
June 12, 10:04 a.m.
A new scientific discovery could help predict the future of the coronavirus pandemic. A team of scientists from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has identified genomic features of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, that differentiate it from other coronaviruses. This discovery could help predict the severity that the coronavirus could have in humans and detect animal coronaviruses that could potentially infect humans. “In this work, we set out to identify genomic features unique to those coronaviruses that cause severe disease in humans,” said Dr. Eugene Koonin, an NIH distinguished investigator and lead author of the study. “We were able to identify several features that are not found in less virulent coronaviruses and that could be relevant for pathogenicity in humans.” Through experiments, the researchers identified two protein features, unique to SARS-CoV-2, that are associated with the high fatality rate of this coronavirus.
June 12, 9:38 a.m.
Ukraine's first lady tests positive for COVID-19. Olena Zelenska announced on Instagram Friday that she has contracted the new coronavirus, the Kyiv Post reported. Zelenska expressed some uncertainty about how she became infected, telling followers that she's been following social distancing guidelines and regularly wearing a mask and gloves -- something she urged Ukranians to continue doing even though stay-at-home orders have been eased. As for her own health, Zelenska said, “I feel good, but I am in outpatient treatment, isolated from other family members to not endanger them.”
June 12, 9:29 a.m.
Brazil passed the 800,000-case threshold on Thursday and now sits at a cumulative total of 802,828, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The country is behind only the United States in total confirmed cases worldwide. Brazil's government has seen a critical response from citizens with how it has handled the crisis. According to NPR, volunteers recently dug over 100 graves at the famed Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro as a reminder of the 40,000-plus deaths that have been reported in the country so far. NPR reported that an organization called Rio de Paz held the grave digging event. In a Facebook post, the organization said the graves were a protest of a "succession of mistakes made by the Federal Government in conducting this humanitarian crisis."
Activists in costume dig symbolic graves on Copacabana beach as a protest, organized by the NGO Rio de Paz, against the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, June 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
June 12, 6:49 a.m.
Here are the latest updated totals from around the world, according to data compiled by researchers from Johns Hopkins University:
Total confirmed cases: 7,531,872
Total deaths: 421,801
Total recovered: 3,552,550
June 11, 10 p.m.
South Korea sits on the edge of a resurgence of coronavirus infections in Seoul, South Korea, weeks after the country began reopening. The nation’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 45 new cases on Thursday, which has been consistent since late May, according to ABC News. But health authorities have been struggling to keep up with tracing transmissions. “Considering the quick transmission of COVID-19, there’s limits to what we can do with contact tracing alone to slow the spread,” Yoon Taeho, a senior Health Ministry official, said during a briefing on Thursday. Despite health authorities warning that action must be taken now to stop an impending second wave, government officials have yet to reimpose regulations once more. South Korea has confirmed 11,947 cases and 276 COVID-19-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
June 11, 9:17 p.m.
Over one million more people in the U.S. have applied for unemployment benefits. despite businesses reopening as lockdown orders come to an end. Last week, 1.5 million workers in the U.S. applied for benefits, keeping the pace for layoffs historically high, despite the number of applications declining. The number of people receiving aid also dropped slightly, meaning some workers who were laid off were able to get back to work. The numbers are “consistent with a labor market that has begun what will be a slow and difficult healing process,” Nancy Vanden Houten, an economist at Oxford Economics, said, according to The Associated Press “Still, initial jobless claims remain at levels that at the start of the year might have seemed unthinkable.”
June 11, 8:30 p.m.
Beijing’s first new confirmed coronavirus case in almost two months has sparked concerns of a second wave in China. A 52-year-old man who local authorities identified as Mr. Tang from the Xicheng District of Beijing tested positive for COVID-19 after going to a clinic on Wednesday with a fever, according to CBS News. Tang had not left the city or been in contact with anyone who had traveled overseas for at least two weeks, and the community where Tang lives has since been closed off. He has since been transferred to a hospital and his two family members who he was in close contact with have been put under medical observation. Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention director Gao Fu warned in a recent report of a second wave of COVID-19 since most of the Chinese public did not have the disease and don’t have immunity as the pandemic continues in other hotspots around the world.
June 11, 6:59 p.m.
At least 21 states as of Monday have had a spike in confirmed cases over the past week. The rolling seven-day average of new cases per capita as of Monday was higher than the average seven days earlier, an Associated Press analysis of data compiled by The COVID-19 Tracking Project found. Concerns of a continued rise have come from the reopening of states to the large racial justice protests across the country to rallies President Donald Trump will be holding and attracting large crowds in four states — Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma and Texas. All of these states have had notable rises in coronavirus cases, according to the Associated Press analysis. According to the AP, there is no single reason for the surges. Factors have included more testing revealing more cases, local outbreaks in turn pushing statewide numbers higher and experts also believe lifting stay-at-home orders have also played a role.
Photo by: STRF/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 6/9/20 Passengers are seen on the New York Ferry on the East River during the Coronavirus Pandemic in New York City.
June 11, 5:36 p.m.
Arizona is “close to a tipping point,” according to U.S. Senator for Arizona Kyrsten Sinema. Sinema said the ICU units in the state's hospitals are filling up. Cases of COVID-19 are at an all-time high in Maricopa County, she says. “Over the past four days, we have received reports of the highest number of cases we have ever seen,” Director of the Maricopa County Health Department Marcy Flanagan said, which is averaging around 500 per day. “Every Arizonan must do his or her part, with best practices proven to work: when in public, wear a face covering and stay 6 feet from others,” she said.
June 11, 4:21 p.m.
Children may not need to worry about dying from COVID-19 any more than they worry about getting struck by lightning. Chairman of the Winton Centre for Risk at Cambridge University, David Spiegelhalter, said the risk for children dying from the virus is so low it may be better for them to continue on with life as normal if a vaccine is not produced. For children aged five to 15, the chances of dying from the virus is one in 3.5 million. For children under the age of five, the chances are one in 1.7 million, which is still less than the rate in which people are struck by lightning, Cheshire Live reported. "If, years in future, we don’t have a vaccine then we might have to think about how to protect those age groups most at risk while younger people can continue with their lives,” Spiegelhalter said. "I don’t think that will ever involve encouraging people to get infected."
June 11, 3:53 p.m.
Millions of Americans are gathering like they were before the pandemic. Cellphone data collected between March 1 and June 2 shows that on a national level, people are still electing to stay at home to avoid contact with others, but there are pockets across the country where activity has returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to an analysis by NBC News. More than 10 million Americans were tracked in these areas where they were coming into close contact with others more frequently. The information, provided by the analytics and marketing company Cuebiq, does not account for social distancing behaviors, but it could be an indication of where health officials could see spikes in COVID-19 in the coming weeks.
June 11, 2:45 p.m.
A British study finds that widespread mask-wearing could minimize the spread of COVID-19 to manageable levels when combined with lockdowns. Britain’s Cambridge and Greenwich Universities lead the research that suggests using lockdowns alone won't stop the spread of the coronavirus. The study said that even something as simple as homemade masks can dramatically reduce transmission rates if enough people begin wearing them in public. Richard Stutt, who co-led the study at Cambridge, told Reuters that combining the widespread use of masks and social distancing along with some lockdown measures would be an acceptable way of managing the pandemic in order to lead to re-opening the economy. New research in recent weeks has prompted the World Health Organization to recommend everyone to wear fabric masks in public.
June 11, 2:13 p.m.
The deforestation of the Amazon rainforest has soared amid the coronavirus lockdowns. Illegal roads have started to go deeper into the Amazon forest while fires have started to burn in the deforestation process and making space for cattle raising and coco fields. Environmentalists have said drug mafias and illegal loggers have taken advantage of the coronavirus lockdown to chop down trees and burn the forest to develop the land. Environmentalists have feared that the rate of deforestation in four months of 2020 could reach the amount of all of 2019 combined. These fires come before the height of the Amazon fire season, which is projected to peak in July and August.
June 11, 1:26 p.m.
Delta Air Lines is taking yet another step to help ensure the safety of passengers and employees. Starting next week, the airline will begin to test employees for active COVID-19 and COVID-19 antibodies, Reuters said. It is unclear how often employees will be tested, but Delta chief executive Ed Bastian said that these tests “will be essential as we protect your health and begin the return to normal operations.” The testing program is set to commence in Minneapolis before being expanded to other travel hubs, including New York City and Atlanta. This is the latest in a long line of safety measures implemented by Delta, including mask requirements, capacity restrictions on flights and blocking off middle seats.
June 11, 12:49 p.m.
U.S. fruit and vegetable farms as well as packing plants are experiencing outbreaks of the coronavirus, causing worry from U.S. officials. Lately, a rising number of sick workers in the industry has caused increase labor shortages while thousands of meat plant employees have already contracted the virus, according to Reuters. In a statement release by the Trump administration last month, there is consideration to extend an executive order to keep meat plants operating to also cover fruit and vegetable producers. One of the biggest worries came from Yakima County, Washington, which saw more than 600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among agricultural workers, 62% of which worked in the apple industry, which is known to resemble the elbow-to-elbow conditions in the workplace.
June 11, 12:04 p.m.
With the swing of a club, the PGA Tour resumed on Thursday morning, the first event of the tour since play was stopped 91 days ago. Golfers returned to a new normal at Colonial County Club in Forth Worth, Texas, for the Charles Schwab Challenge, which will run through Sunday. Every player, caddie and personnel on site were tested for COVID-19, with all 487 tests being negative, according to The Associated Press. Even with everyone at the course testing negative, social distancing is being enforced and new guidelines have been put in place with the health and safety of everyone in mind. Fans are also not allowed to attend the event, but many are expected to tune in from home. “If we all want to get back and play the game that we love and not just for us but for the fans and everybody at home, we're just going to have to get over the fact that it's going to be different and be a little weird,” professional golfer Justin Thomas said.
June 11, 11:27 a.m.
Students in Rhode Island will be disappointed to learn that they will not have any more snow days. State Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green announced that starting this fall, students will return to remote learning in the case of snow, flooding, or other extreme weather, CBS Boston said. “The snow days the way we did them before are gone,” Infante-Green said. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Rhode Island's remote learning plan has been one of the most successful in the country, according to Gov. Gina Raimondo. For this reason, the state plans on taking advantage of this tool as much as they can. Rhode Island schools will return to face-to-face instruction starting Aug. 31, and according to Raimondo, they will look a little different. The desks will be farther apart, and everyone will be asked to wear masks. Additionally, students who are sick will be asked to stay home. “We pride ourselves on a perfect attendance culture, and that’s going to have to change,” Raimondo said.
June 11, 10:58 a.m.
The annual music festival Coachella has been canceled, according to California Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser. The festival, which normally takes place in April, was initially moved back to October due to the coronavirus pandemic with hopes to still hold it this year. However, according to a cancellation order released on Wednesday, the 2020 festival has officially been canceled. Its country music sibling, Stagecoach, has also been canceled. The order warned of a possible spike in COVID-19 cases this fall, and noted that having this festival would attract “hundreds of thousands of attendees from many countries,” which would just make the situation worse. Billboard reported that Coachella’s promoter, Goldenvoice, is looking to reschedule the festival for next year. However, it is still unclear if it will take place in the spring or in the fall of 2021.
June 11, 10:20 a.m.
The organizers of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have simplified the games in order to ensure the safety of the athletes and spectators amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The games were set to start in July but have been rescheduled to 2021. On Wednesday, the president of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee, Mori Yoshiro, shared the three new principles that will be adopted in an effort to simplify the games and make them safer for everyone involved.
The committee will put priority on providing a safe environment for the athletes, the spectators and the volunteers, and they will try to minimize the costs of the games.
The games will be streamlined so that they are safe and sustainable.
The organizers will ask international sports bodies and national Olympic committees to reduce the number of participants for each sport.
June 11, 9:44 a.m.
The 2020 Iowa State Fair has been canceled for the first time since World War II due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the fair’s 165-year history, it has only been canceled five times, and was still held during the 1918 flu pandemic, Axios said. “We are heartbroken we can’t be together this August. We tirelessly analyzed all the unique traditions at the Iowa State Fair and believe it will be safer given the current COVID-19 situation,” organizers said on the Iowa State Fair website. This is the largest event of the year across Iowa and has drawn in more than 1 million people each of the past two years. Having to cancel the massive event will take an economic toll on the local economy. “We estimate it's over $100 million worth of economic impact in the eleven days the Fair is held,“ organizers said. People that have already purchased tickets can get a refund or keep them to be used for the Iowa State Fair in 2021, which is set to be held on Aug. 21-22.
An Iowa State Fair marquee stands next to an empty grand concourse on the fairgrounds, Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. This summer's Iowa State Fair was cancelled Wednesday due to concerns about the coronavirus, marking the first time since World War II that the annual gathering won't be held in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
June 11, 9:18 a.m.
A Chicago woman in her 20s received a double lung transplant after COVID-19 left her with severe lung damage. Prior to receiving the transplant, the patient was on a ventilator and a heart-lung machine for almost two months, and on Friday, she finally underwent the 10-hour procedure at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, The Associated Press said. Although the procedure was challenging due to the extensive damage that the virus had left in her lungs, doctors are hopeful that she will get better. “We are anticipating that she will have a full recovery,” said Dr. Rade Tomic, medical director of the hospital’s lung transplant program.
June 11, 6:49 a.m.
🚨 On Wednesday night, the United States surpassed the 2 million case mark. No other country in the world has over 800,000 and only three countries have topped 300,000 cases. According to an analysis from Reuters, new cases in the U.S. are rising slightly after five weeks of declines, which could partially be due to an increase in testing and also the result of all 50 states gradually reopening.
Here are the latest updated totals from around the world, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University:
Total confirmed cases: 7,394,801
Total deaths: 417,022
Total recovered: 3,476,083
June 10, 9:56 p.m.
Ford expects to return to pre-COVID production rates by having its U.S. vehicle assembly plants working by early July. The company hopes to build at the rates they did prior to the two-month long pandemic shut down, a Ford executive said on Wednesday, according to Reuters. Ford was allowed to resume production in the United States on May 18. “By July 6, we will expect to have all of our U.S. plants operating at pre-COVID patterns,” Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley said on a webcast at a Deutsche Bank auto conference. Farley reported that in the first three weeks after restarting manufacturing, Ford built about 96% of its planned volume. "We're really pleased with our start," Farley said.Ford’s retail sales in May rose 44% from April, and one of its large pickup trucks saw retail sales rise 5.3% from last year, Farley said, according to Reuters.
June 10, 9 p.m.
On Thursday, luxury retailers on Fifth Avenue in New York City will partly reopen for curbside and in-store pickup. The reopening comes after the stores were forced to shut down for three months as part of New York’s stay-at-home order. Stores that are part of the Fifth Avenue Association district, which include Armani, Bergdorf Goodman and Dior, will begin taking down the wooden boards that cover their windows.Cartier, Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Saks Fifth Avenue are among the companies leading the district's reopening efforts this week. Some businesses were allowed to get back to a modified business schedule on Monday, after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifted coronavirus-related restrictions, according to NBC News.
June 10, 8:08 p.m.
Mumbai's COVID-19 cases have surpassed the total recorded in the original epicenter for the disease, Wuhan. Mumbai has reported 51,000 cases of the new coronavirus, which eclipsed the outbreak in Wuhan, China, where the virus first emerged, according to BBC News. A surge of infections brought confirmed cases to 266,598 in India after restrictions were loosened. Experts told BBC News that there was no other option but to lift the lockdown, which created economic hardship in the country. Millions lost their jobs and livelihoods and businesses have shut down. Experts are now concerned that hospitals in major cities are being overwhelmed, even though states were supposed to use the lockdown period to ramp up health facilities. BBC News reported that there are allegations that many patients with Covid-like symptoms are being turned away from medical centers.
June 10, 7:20 p.m.
Passengers flying with United Airlines will now have to answer health questions during check-in. This is the latest effort by the airline to address health concerns about flying to ease travelers’ worries about flying during the pandemic. Travelers will be presented with a checklist to confirm that they have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 21 days and that they haven’t had symptoms over the last two weeks such as a temperature of more than 100.4 degrees F, a cough, chills, muscle aches or a sore throat. Customers will also be asked to confirm that they haven’t been denied boarding by another airline because of the results of a medical screening, according to CNBC News. United, which says it’s the first major U.S. airline to establish a health self-assessment for check-in, asks travelers to confirm that they will wear a mask on board. “Customers that are not able to confirm these requirements and choose not to travel will be able to reschedule their flight,” United said in a news release. Major U.S. airlines, including United, require travelers to wear masks on board but have said they won’t force travelers to do so.
June 10, 6:14 p.m.
Starbucks Corp announced it would permanently close around 400 stores across the Americas over the next 18 months and halve its plans for new store openings to around 300 this fiscal year. The news came on Wednesday as the company said it expects current-quarter operating income to drop by up to $2.2 billion, and a sales decline for the rest of the year.Starbucks had been forced to close its doors during the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns, though it continued to serve customers through drive-thru and pick-up options. Despite since reopening nearly all of its stores as restrictions eased, the company’s shares fell more than 4%, according to Reuters, and it's forecast to face a more than $3 billion fall in revenue.
June 10, 5:27 p.m.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that starting Saturday, adults living alone or single parent adults could form “support bubbles” with another household in England, according to The Associated Press. Members of the same bubble could meet indoors and outdoors without adhering to the 6-foot social distancing rules, which would allow grandparents to hug their grandkids again and reunite couples who don’t live together without breaking the law. Meanwhile, Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London whose modeling helped to inform Britain’s coronavirus strategy said the nation’s death toll could have been halved if lockdowns had began a week earlier. The U.K. has seen more than 291,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 41,000 fatalities as of Wednesday, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.
June 10, 4:31 p.m.
Johnson & Johnson announced Wednesday that its early-stage human trial for a potential coronavirus vaccine will start more than a month earlier than originally planned. The company announced the trials are expected to take place during the second half of July rather than the original projection of September, according to CNBC. Development for a COVID-19 vaccine began back in January, J&J said, using the same technologies previously deployed for its experimental Ebola vaccine. The process involves combining genetic material from the virus with a modified adenovirus that is known to cause common colds in humans, according to CNBC. The early-stage trial will test 1,045 healthy adults from ages 18 to 55 years old and adults over 65-years-old in both the U.S. and Belgium. Should the vaccine be safe and effective, J&J said back in April it could produce 600 to 900 million doses by April 2021.
June 10, 3:42 p.m.
The spread of COVID-19 has slowed dramatically across Denmark even in the wake of lockdown restrictions being lifted. The number of new cases per day has been steadily declining since early April, allowing theaters, cinemas, museums and zoos to open ahead of schedule, the Daily Mail said. On Tuesday, Denmark reported just 14 new cases of COVID-19, the lowest since March 9 at the onset of the pandemic. “There is no sign yet of noticeable changes in the extent of contagion despite the gradual opening of society in April and early May,” the Danish health authority said. The numbers are promising, but Denmark is still being cautious to avoid a resurgence of the coronavirus. Health authorities in Denmark are planning to increase contact tracing and people visiting the country will need to quarantine themselves for at least a week.
June 10, 3:17 p.m.
As Oregon becomes the first state to reinstate in-person jury trials amid reopening, a dilemma has emerged surrounding face coverings, according to the New York Times. Dylan Potter, a public defender in Portland, Oregon, has had several concerns on the matter from if a face covering would make his client look like a bandit in the courtroom to not being able to clearly see the facial expressions that would tip him off to bias while choosing a jury. There was also the concern that groups harder hit by the virus, such as older people, African-Americans and Latinos, might be more hesitant to show up. “There’s an inherent conflict between the rights of someone on trial and our social distancing policies,” Potter told the New York Times.
The virus has not only been causing a health dilemma, but also a dilemma of potentially delaying due process. Oregon’s courts resumed jury trials due to a statutory deadline of 180 days after arrest, though this only applies to defendants in custody. Carl Macpherson, director of the Metropolitan Public Defender, told the New York Times the defendants most affected were in jail only because they couldn’t afford to post bail. This was a problem that could have been solved by releasing the defendants until a later court date, according to Macpherson. “Jurors are not essential workers,” Macpherson told the New York Times. “Being a juror is already a difficult position to put someone in from our community — and to ask a juror to do that during a pandemic is unfair.”
June 10, 2:51 p.m.
Team of Polish scientists designed a remote-control ventilator to allow doctors to help critically-ill patients breathe from a distance. The invention, dubbed Respisave, allows medical personnel to avoid constant contact with an infected patient, Lucas Sarpak, the medical advisor of the project, told Reuters. Healthcare personnel across the globe have been helping patients to fight the battle against COVID-19 with their own health also on the line. Due to their close contact and possible exposure to the virus, doctors earlier in the outbreak quarantined themselves from their families. In March, a photo of Arkansas resident Dr. Jared Burks, showing him watching his 1-year-old son crawl for the first time, separated by a glass door, went viral. “Thanks to the telemetry feature, we are able to control the patient from any place in the hospital. And in an emergency situation, the ventilator can be adjusted so that the patient is ventilated properly,” Sarpak told Reuters. The scientists who made the machine told Reuters the invention would be much less expensive than a typical ventilator, but didn’t specify the estimated cost. The technology is still in the testing phase, but the team hoped it would be available in Poland within the next few months, expanding into the global market down the road.
June 10, 2:30 p.m.
Fauci says coronavirus has become his "worst nightmare," urges caution in wake of protests and says WHO remarks on asymptomatic spread were "not correct." Anthony Fauci appeared on Good Morning America Wednesday for a wide-ranging interview. The longtime infectious disease doctor, who is a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said that even though many protesters in recent weeks wore masks, that may not have been enough to curb the spread of COVID-19. Several members of the Washington, D.C. National Guard have tested positive in the wake of protests. "Masks can help," Fauci told Robin Roberts, "but, it's masks plus physical separation" that experts recommend as a best practice. He continued to urge caution even as big cities, like New York, have begun phased reopenings. Fauci also touched on comments from a top doctor at the WHO on the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 being very rare. "They walked that back because there's no evidence to indicate that's the case," he said, adding that the statement from the WHO was "not correct." Watch the full interview below.
June 10, 2 p.m.
A new study suggests that nearly two-thirds of Britain’s coronavirus cases came from Spain and France, bringing into question the government’s decision to not halt international travel into the country early on during the pandemic, according to The Telegraph. Britain is a hotspot in Europe for the pandemic with 290,581 confirmed cases and over 40,000 virus-related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Britain ranks fourth in confirmed cases worldwide, falling behind the U.S., Brazil and Russia. The research compared the genetic fingerprint of 16,506 viral infections in the United Kingdom to 11,889 abroad, finding 34% were introduced from Spain, 29% from France.
June 10, 1:30 p.m.
Movie theaters nationwide are preparing to to reopen after being closed for nearly three months. AMC Theaters said Tuesday it expects to have 97 to 98% of its theaters reopened worldwide by mid-July, according to NBC Today. However, capacity may be limited from 25% t0 50%. AMC Entertainment’s chief executive, Adam Aron, told investors Tuesday that a lot is still “fluid.” AMC Theaters’ competitors have also made plans for reopening, including Cinemark, aiming to begin reopening during late June and be fully reopened by July 10. Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas and is the second largest theater company behind AMC Theaters, is also aiming for a July reopening.
AMC Theaters has already opened 10 theaters in Europe, according to NBC Today, of which three theaters in Norway sold 83% of available tickets, according to Aron. “After a period of time where billions of people have endured confinement and limited social interaction, we believe that there will be a significant pent-up demand to get back out in the world,” Aron said. “Having said that, we’re under no illusions. That waters will be choppy. There may be unforeseen tosses and turns to be navigated through. And full recovery may take quite a while.”
June 10, 1:05 p.m.
Miami-Dade’s beaches are reopening Wednesday after the county’s mayor announced he was ending the curfew associated with peaceful protests that remained largely free of the isolated damage seen on the first night of demonstrations on May 30, according to the Miami Herald. On Monday afternoon, Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s office issued the statement that the curfew would lift that afternoon with beaches to reopen Wednesday after previously being delayed by curfews. This announcement has brought the end to two sweeping restrictions that had remained from Gimenez’s emergency orders: one from the beginning of the coronavirus shutdown and the other from the first night of the demonstrations in Miami sparked by George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
June 10, 12:28 p.m.
Another professional sports league is set to resume action. Starting next month, Major League Soccer will return to play with a 26-team tournament that will run from July 8 to Aug. 11 at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. As was the case with nearly every other sports league in America, the MLS suspended play in mid-March as a result of the pandemic.
Like the NBA's late July return, which will also take place at Walt Disney World, the league chose to have the teams play in one centralized location. "The opportunity to have all 26 clubs in a controlled environment enables us to help protect the health of our players, coaches and staff as we return to play," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.
June 10, 12 p.m.
Nearly half of Americans are wary of catching coronavirus at work, a new poll shows. States across the nation are reopening at various paces and, with that, Americans are returning to the workplace after spending in some cases months working from home. A new poll from Gallup shows that 46% of those surveyed are concerned about contracting COVID-19 at the workplace. But more than half of Americans don't see a reason to worry. Of those surveyed, 29% indicated they are not too concerned and 25% were not at all concerned. The poll also asked respondents about whether employers have implemented some steps to avoid the spread of COVID-19 at work, and nearly two-thirds responded that employers have stepped up cleaning efforts and hand-washing requirements. And more than 50% indicated that employers are providing masks, gloves and face shields, and enforcing social distancing of at least 6 feet.
Meanwhile, a separate Gallup poll took a broader look at how Americans are viewing the coronavirus pandemic and the outlook ahead. Some 54% in U.S. expect disruption caused by the pandemic to last at least through the end of the year. The same poll showed that 42% of those surveyed believe the coronavirus situation is getting better while 36% think it's getting worse.
Travis Strobel, an auto glass technician at Binswanger Glass, cuts half-inch thick plexiglass into legs for plexiglass shields for Kansas election polling places, Tuesday, June 9, 2020, in Topeka, Kan. The Kansas secretary of state's office is buying more than 2,000 shields ahead of the state's Aug. 4, 2020, primary election. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
June 10, 11:30 a.m.
Only 1% of people who took a COVID-19 test in New York City this week tested positive, the lowest number of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic hit the city in March. “Look at that, 1% only! An extraordinary day for New York City,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his press briefing Tuesday. The city moved into the first phase for reopening on Monday, which allowed construction to resume and curbside retail to take place, just 101 days after New York had its first confirmed coronavirus case, according to the New York Post. “If you had told me 100 days ago that we would be reopening, I would say, that would be the best scenario,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a press conference at New York Medical College in the town of Valhalla.
As the coronavirus pandemic keeps affecting the worldwide economy, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development gave a warning about the negative effects that could be caused by a premature withdrawal of lifelines to businesses and vulnerable people. The OECD made this claim based on the 6% decrease in the world’s economy this year, Bloomberg reported. According to the organization, withdrawing support from those in need could only extend the social and economic effects caused by the pandemic, as people need support now more than ever. “It’s really important we don’t repeat the mistake of the financial crisis and we do support this transition until growth and employment growth regains momentum,” said OECD Chief Economist Laurence Boone.
June 10, 10:15 a.m.
Texas has reported two consecutive days of record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations. As of Tuesday afternoon, 2,056 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals across the state. The day before, 1,935 COVID-19 had occupied the state’s hospitals, breaking the previous record of 1,888 patients from May 5, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The state was among one of the first to ease its statewide stay-at-home regulations on April 30, and some businesses reopening May 1. Despite this surge in hospitalizations, Texas continues to reopen businesses and resume previously shuttered activities, according to CNBC. A CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University found that coronavirus cases have been slowly growing since Memorial Day.
June 10, 9:55 a.m.
Genetic-testing giant 23andMe Inc. found a correlation between blood type and the likelihood of contracting COVID-19. In April, the company launched a study to determine whether a person’s DNA could play a role in the disease and scientists found that people with type O blood are less susceptible to coming down with the virus. According to the study that analyzed the results from more than 750,000 participants, people with type O blood are between 9% and 18% less likely to test positive for the virus, as compared to other individuals. Although this evidence is compelling, according to the lead researcher of the 23andMe study, Adam Auton, no conclusions can be made at this point. “It’s early days; even with these sample sizes, it might not be enough to find genetic associations,” Auton said. “We’re not the only group looking at this, and ultimately the scientific community may need to pool their resources to really address questions surrounding links between genetics and COVID-19.”
June 10, 9:08 a.m.
The ban on non-essential travel between U.S. and Canada will be extended to late July, Reuters reported. The border closure went into effect in March at the height of the pandemic and the restrictions have been extended multiple times since then. Trade between the two countries has continued despite the border closure, Reuters said. Over 110,000 fatalities related to COVID-19 have been reported in the U.S., while Canada has seen nearly 8,000 deaths.
June 10, 6:37 a.m.
Here are the latest updated totals from around the world, according to data compiled by researchers from Johns Hopkins University:
Total confirmed cases: 7,256,412
Total deaths: 411,677
Total recovered: 3,387,270
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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