Previous coronavirus daily briefing updates, June 22-24
Current daily briefings on the coronavirus can be found here. Scroll below to read previous listed in eastern time.
June 24, 9:58 p.m.
The White House is planning to end federal support for 13 community-based testing sites, according to a report from NBC News. Geoff Bennett, a White House reporter for NBC News, said the federal funding for sites in Illinois, New Jersey, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Texas will end by June 30. The news comes as Texas is dealing with a significant increase in daily confirmed cases of COVID-19. CNBC reports that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is pushing back against the decision and a Cruz spokesperson told NBC News that the senator has “has urged and will continue to urge [health officials] to extend the community testing sites in Texas.” A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services told Bennett that the government is looking to broaden "its community testing support to a more sustainable model."
Adm. Brett Giroir, who is currently in charge of the federal government's testing response, told NBC News that the government is not ending funding or support for COVID-19 testing sites. “On the contrary, we have expanded from the original 41 sites to over 600 in 48 states and the District of Columbia in the federal bundled payment program to pharmacies, and enabled over 1,400 additional pharmacy sites through regulatory flexibility empowering pharmacists and facilitating billing and reimbursement,” Giroir said. The 13 sites in question, which were apart of the original testing program, are being transitioned into the new testing sites, Giroir explained.
June 24, 8:49 p.m.
CVS Health Corp is now selling a diagnostic testing program to all U.S.companies. As U.S. employers and companies try to maintain a healthy work environment amid COVID-19, CVS has lent a helping hand to facilitate this process. In addition to onsite and pharmacy testing, CVS will also offer temperature and symptom checks, along with season flu vaccines and immunizations. As the virus continues to spread, companies need to test their employees on a regular basis in the upcoming months, and this new service, called Return Ready, can help companies keep their employees healthy. “The general perception is that there is not going to be a sustained lull over the course of the summer, and in fact it looks like it is building somewhat, and that is changing people’s views,” Troy Brennan, CVS’s chief medical officer, told Reuters.
June 24, 7:37 p.m.
COVID-19 cases surge to record levels in India. The country reported 15,968 new cases on Wednesday, a record for a 24-hour period since the pandemic erupted. India now counts more than 456,000 total cases -- fourth-most in the world -- and more than 14,476 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. The country had implemented what's been described as the world's biggest lockdown as a population of 1.3 billion was asked to stay at home for more than a month. Complicating things further, the northeastern part of the country was hit by Cyclone Amphan in May, and heat waves have gripped other areas there.
June 24, 6:24 p.m.
COVID-19 patients in the ICU at a Chilean hospital won’t have to die alone. One of the worst things about the virus, which has killed more half a million worldwide, is that most of the patients die alone, without their loved ones by their side. However, patients at the University of Chile’s clinical hospital won’t have to suffer alone, as families are allowed to be with them for a final farewell. Visitors are screened for the virus and are also required to wear the same protective equipment used by medics before they’re allowed in the sealed glass rooms where COVID-19 patients are being treated. “We have always been a unit that advocates strongly not only for our patients but also for their families and we have continued to push for their presence at patients’ bedsides,” Carlos Romero, head of the hospital’s ICU, told Reuters.
June 24, 5:02 p.m.
As the coronavirus continues spreading, health officials are stressing the use of face masks as an important preventative measure. However, some people argue against wearing them based on myths that have been created surrounded the use of masks. To encourage more people to wear masks, the Oregon Health Authority compiled a list of three myths that have been debunked by scientists.
Cloth masks don’t increase the risk of infection. A summer is approaching, AccuWeather recommends bringing extra cloth masks in a plastic bag to keep them clean and dry. Additionally, the CDC says that in order to keep them sanitized they should be washed daily and allowed time to dry before reuse.
Wearing a face covering does not put you at risk for inhaling too much carbon dioxide. According to the WHO, carbon dioxide does not build up in cloth or surgical masks.
Wearing a face covering does not cause the virus to “reactivate.” Once you have a viral infection, wearing a mask won’t make it worse. In fact, wearing a face mask can help you from spreading the virus to other people.
June 24, 3:58 p.m.
As some states set single-day case records this week, health experts warned Wednesday that parts of the U.S. could be on the verge of becoming overwhelmed by a resurgence of Covid-19 cases. The U.S. recorded a one-day total of 34,700 new COVID-19 cases, just short of the nation’s late-April peak of 36,400, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University, The Associated Press reported. “People got complacent,” said Dr. Marc Boom, CEO of the Houston Methodist hospital system. “And it’s coming back and biting us, quite frankly.” The United States has the highest death toll in the world at more than 120,000 fatalities and rising. The stock market dipped Wednesday as investors’ hopes for a relatively quick economic turnaround were dimmed.
June 24, 2:34 p.m.
Tourist resorts in the Maldives will reopen in mid-July, the country’s president said on Tuesday. The announcement comes after a months-long shutdown of the country, due to the coronavirus pandemic. “The country will reopen its borders for international travel, and the government will allow resorts to welcome visitors from July,” said President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Tourism, which is a major part of the island nation's economy, is essential for the recovery of the country following the shutdown. To encourage tourists to visit, foreign travelers will not be required to undergo virus tests or carry virus free certificates to enter the archipelago, AFP reported. However, visitors who show symptoms of the virus such as high fevers will be tested at the airport. Additionally, restrictions will also be eased for schools and restaurants, as well as religious centers.
June 24, 2:17 p.m.
Disney World workers ask authorities and the government to reconsider the park’s reopening next month, as coronavirus cases surge in Florida. More than 7,000 people have petitioned to delay the July 11 reopening. “This virus is not gone, unfortunately it’s only become worse in this state,” the petition posted on MoveOn.org says, according to CNN. “While theme parks are a great way to relax and enjoy free time, it is a non-essential business; it is not fair to the people who work there to risk their lives, especially if they are at risk or have family members who are at risk. People are more important than making profit.” Although a Disney spokesperson told CNN Business that the “Safety and wellbeing of our cast members and guests are at the forefront of our planning,” workers are worried that reopening now can further spread the virus, which has already infected a total number of 103,503 people in Florida.
June 24, 1:49 p.m.
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are ordering out-of-state visitors to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The governors of the three states made a joint announcement on Wednesday about the new arrangement that applies to visitors coming from nine states that are considered coronavirus hotspots at the moment. "This travel advisory is effective midnight tonight," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Twitter. The specific criteria used to determine which states will be subject to quarantine orders will be if a state either has a positive test rate higher than 10 residents per 100,000, or a state that has a seven-day rolling average of 10 percent or higher, according to The New York Times. Cuomo said the three states will be continuously re-evaluating which states meet the criteria and updating on whether states are added to the quarantine list or removed from it. Cuomo added that police would be stopping cars with out-of-state license plates and hotel workers will be asking travelers about whether they've quarantined, Fox 5 in New York reported. Violators could face fines or judicial orders. "This is a smart thing to do," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said of the decision. The quarantine orders will apply to visitors from the following states:
June 24, 1:24 p.m.
The 2020 New York City Marathon has been canceled, event organizers said Wednesday. The New York Road Runners, along with the New York City mayor's office announced the world's largest marathon would not take place on Nov.1 due to health and safety concerns as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. "While the marathon is an iconic and beloved event in our city, I applaud New York Road Runners for putting the health and safety of both spectators and runners first,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "We look forward to hosting the 50th running of the marathon in November of 2021." The only other time the marathon has been postponed was in 2012, when Superstorm Sandy ravaged the region only days prior to the scheduled race, according to The New York Times. The decision came almost one month after officials in Boston decided to cancel the Boston Marathon for the first time in its 124-year history, after initially rescheduling it from April to September. And in Germany, officials with the Berlin Marathon said Wednesday that the race, which was scheduled for Sept. 26-27, has been canceled, Reuters reported.
June 24, 12:45 p.m.
Slovakia President Zuzana Caputova has entered quarantine and canceled a scheduled meeting with Austria's president, Alexander Van der Bellen, after a member of her office reportedly met with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. According to The Associated Press, Caputova's office said she will stay home through Friday. Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows Slovakia has one of the lowest case totals in the world, with just over 1,600. Twenty-eight deaths from the disease have been reported in the country.
June 24, 12:21 p.m.
Blues musicians in Italy have found a creative way to perform for an audience, but maintain a safe distance. According to Reuters, over this past weekend, musicians in the lakeside town of Castiglione Del Lago, located in central Italy, loaded up some fishing boats with their instruments and played music out on the lake. The musicians used battery-powered amplifiers to ensure their tunes being played by guitars and harmonicas could be heard by folks on shore. “It was absolutely beautiful, a fantastic show,” Alice Orlandi, a tourist from Tuscany, told Reuters. “We needed this after being cooped up at home for so long and we feared there would be no more concerts,” she said. Watch a video of the performance below.
June 24, 11:54 a.m.
Macy’s annual 4th of July Fireworks show will still happen this year, but with a small twist. Normally, the show takes places in a single location and lasts roughly 25 minutes, but this year, the fireworks will blast off in ‘unannounced displays’ across New York City. On a press release, Macy’s added that the light shows will run between Monday, June 29 and Saturday, July 4. This is meant to reduce large crowds and encourage social distancing, MarketWatch reported. NYC, which was one of the original epicenters of the virus in the country, is now on the road to recovery as Phase Two of reopening started on Monday, allowing New Yorkers to dine outdoors at restaurants and visit barber shops and salons. “These past few months have been some of the most difficult in our city’s history, and New Yorkers are looking for a break,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “This 4th of July Celebration with Macy’s will give all New Yorkers a safe and exciting way to enjoy the holiday together, even when we’re apart.”
June 24, 11:06 a.m.
Wearing a face mask in public in Washington state is now mandatory, Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday. During Inslee's press availability Tuesday, he said facial coverings will be required both indoors and outdoors when people are not at home. This is particularly the case when people can't maintain the proper social distance of 6 feet from others. "Science is showing facial coverings can greatly reduce transmission rate. But they won’t save us on their own. We have to keep up our other efforts, especially physical distancing, if we want to beat this virus," the governor said on Twitter. Washington, where the first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was confirmed back in February, is currently experiencing an uptick in cases. In Yakima County, there are no more hospital beds to treat coronavirus patients, KOMO News reported.
June 24, 10:45 a.m.
New York City beaches are set to open on July 1. Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement late Tuesday night on Twitter. "The rumors are true: NYC beaches will open for swimming on July 1. Let's keep playing it safe: social distance & face coverings, even at the beach," he said. New York City has been especially hard hit by the pandemic, recording more than 213,000 cases and more than 22,000 fatalities. But the city began its Phase Two reopening on Monday as cases and hospitalizations have been on a significant downward trend. According to WNBC, some 14 miles of New York City beaches will be open for swimming come next week -- they had previously been open for sunbathing, but taking a dip in the water was prohibited. The decision to reopen the beaches comes just as New York City is experiencing its hottest weather of the season. The city hit the 90-degree mark on Monday for the first time since Oct. 2, 2019. And the weather will remain hot right through next week and heading into the Fourth of July weekend, according to the AccuWeather forecast.
The AccuWeather 7-day forecast for June 28-July 4 in New York City.
June 24, 10:28 a.m.
A hospital in California is only admitting patients who have contracted COVID-19 as infections continue to increase in San Joaquin County. With over 6,000 new cases reported on Monday, according to Reuters, California continues to face the consequences of the virus as the state begins to reopen. As people begin to socialize and go to restaurants in large groups of people, cases in the county have increased by 903 in the past two weeks. To help treat infected patients in the area, the hospital, Adventist Health Lodi Memorial, has begun to divert non-coronavirus patients to other facilities, in order to better accommodate those who have contracted the virus.
June 24, 10:10 a.m.
As European Union officials make plans to reopen their borders after months of coronavirus lockdowns, they are prepared to block Americans from visiting their member states. As reported by The New York Times, Americans are excluded from a draft list of acceptable travelers that the union created. Although this list is not expected to be out until July 1 at the latest, the Times reported that Brazilian and Russian visitors are also excluded. This ban is due to the failure of those countries to control the coronavirus pandemic. It is not the first time that a travel ban was imposed between the U.S. and the European Union. Back in March, when Europe was the epicenter of the pandemic, President Trump banned citizens from most European countries from entering the U.S.
June 24, 9:51 a.m.
Australia has reported its first death from COVID-19 in over a month. The news of the fatality, a man in his 80s, according to Reuters, comes amid fears of a second wave of infections for the country. The country's current hotspot is the state of Victoria, home to the city of Melbourne. Reuters reports that another 20 cases were reported overnight Wednesday, bringing the state total to almost 1,900. Victoria officials are reportedly seeking the assistance of the country's military to enforce 14-day quarantines for people returning from overseas trips. Over 240 cases have been identified as the result of community transmission, a dramatic increase from eight on Tuesday, according to the Reuters report. Authorities suspect the surge in cases is being triggered by family gatherings that have brought people with mild symptoms together, Reuters said.
June 24, 8:36 a.m.
Major League Baseball is finally set to return after months of tense economic negations triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. In order to contain spread of the virus, the MLB will impose a 100-plus page health and safety manual that could radically change the way baseball looks this summer when players reconvene for Spring Training on July 1. Opening Day will be on July 23 to kick off a 60-game regular season schedule.
Among the health and safety guidelines released by the league, players on opposing teams will be required to stay six feet apart before and after games, players and managers must stay six feet apart from umpires, a separate injured list will be created for players who contract the virus and players will be banned from high fives, fist bumps and hugs.
June 24, 8:20 a.m.
On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott encouraged people to stay at home to help slow the spread of COVID-19, but did not declare a new stay-at-home order. “First, we want to make sure that everyone reinforces the best safe practices of wearing a mask, hand sanitization, maintaining safe distance, but importantly, because the spread is so rampant right now, there’s never a reason for you to have to leave your home,” Abbott told Texas-based news station KBTX in an interview. The Texas Department of State Health Services reported nearly 5,500 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, more than 1,000 cases higher than the previous daily record of 4,430 cases set on Saturday. “People do need to be cautious, and wearing a mask is one of the best ways to make sure you do not get COVID-19,” Abbott added. “The safest place for people right now is inside their homes.” Texas has gained national attention as it has faced one of the biggest spikes in new cases across the county over the past two weeks. It was also one of the first states to lift stay-at-home orders on April 30.
Austin police officers on horseback pass signs hanging on a pub directed at Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in Austin, Texas, Monday, May 18, 2020. Texas continues to go through phases as the state reopens after closing many non-essential businesses to help battle the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
June 24, 6:49 a.m.
Here are the latest global COVID-19 numbers, provided by Johns Hopkins University researchers:
Total confirmed cases: 9,273,773
Total deaths: 477,807
Total recoveries: 4,645,628
June 23, 10 p.m.
New COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but that isn’t stopping visitors from heading to the beach to soak in some sun. Beachgoers have returned to the popular summer vacation spot in numbers with hotel reservations jumping 71% from April to mid-June, according to research by Coastal Carolina University. Although hotels, restaurants and bars are now open, the beach city is far different from what it was before the pandemic. “I’m not sure what normal is ever going to look like,” Myrtle Beach City Councilman Michael Chestnut said. Signs are posted around the beaches that promote social distancing and telling people to wear masks to help slow the spread of the virus, but not everyone is listening. “We understand that what we’re continuing to ask of everyone is not easy and that many are tired of hearing the same warnings and of taking the same daily precautions, but this virus does not take a day off,” South Carolina epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said.
As the number of visitors rises, so does the number of coronavirus cases. Between June 12 and June 22, the number of cases in Horry County doubled to more than 2,000, The Associated Press said. This has gained the attention of officials states away, including in West Virginia where several cases of COVID-19 have been traced back to visits to Myrtle Beach. “Please be careful. And please think real hard about getting tested when you get home,” Gov. Jim Justice said. “If you would opt to go to one of our state parks or do something in this great place in West Virginia, we’d rather you do that.”
A sign in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Thursday, June 18, 2020, asks people to maintain social distancing on the beach. People are flocking to South Carolina's beaches for vacation after being cooped up by COVID-19 for months. But the virus is taking no vacation as the state has rocketed into the top five in the country in cases divided by population. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
June 23, 8:55 p.m.
Finland announced the country will end a 14-day quarantine period for leisure travelers from some European countries starting July 13, as long as coronavirus infection rates do not rise. Until now, Finland has only allowed work-related travel from most countries. Countries that qualify for the easing of restrictions will be those where infections do not pass a maximum of eight cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a period of two weeks, Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo said, according to Reuters. As of Tuesday’s data, those countries would include Greece, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Lichtenstein, Croatia, Cyprus and Ireland, the government said. The infection rate has been 3.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past two weeks in Finland, according to Reuters, and Ohisalo said the government is continuing to to use caution to not put the positive developments at risk.
June 23, 7:43 p.m.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced he doesn’t have plans to shutdown the economy and most likely won’t make face masks mandatory. Monday night, Herbert tweeted that he appreciated the analysis that outlined the severity of the surge in COVID-19, but made clear he’s not considering going backwards with a plan he rolled out that gradually allowed gyms, businesses, salons and pools to reopen.“We will work to stem this tide, but I have no plans to shut down Utah’s economy,” the Republican governor tweeted. The state has averaged 471 cases per day over the last week following a steady increase in positive rates over the last month, state figures show, according to The Associated Press. On Tuesday, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson tweeted in favor of requiring face masks. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall tweeted that masks are estimated to be 75% to 82% effective at preventing the spread of COVID, The Associated Press reported. “Requiring they be worn in public statewide could help us turn the tide and save lives,” Wilson said. Herbert’s spokeswoman, Brooke Scheffler, said in a statement that he will continue to encourage the use of masks, but didn’t directly address a mandatory use of masks. “The governor continues to be a strong champion for regular wearing a face covering in public when physical distancing is not possible,” the statement said. “He wears a mask each day to all of his meetings and expects it of those who meet with him. We expect all Utahns to follow the common sense built into our current guidelines.”
June 23, 6:39 p.m.
Experts say the spike in coronavirus cases can be traced back to Memorial Day weekend when lockdown orders were eased. One of the nation's top public health experts warned the spike in cases in Florida, Arizona, Oregon and other Southern and Western states could lead to a lack of beds for patients. "In some smaller Southern towns, the per capita rates of infections could be as high as New York City was at its peak," Dr. Erik Toner of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security said, according to NBC News. Oregon reported a 234.4% jump in infections, Oklahoma jumped by 202%, Florida's number increased by 155%, and Arizona's confirmed coronavirus cases climbed by 142% in the last 14 days, according to an NBC News analysis.
June 23, 5:28 p.m.
The largest county in Tennessee may revert back to Phase 1 of reopening amid a new coronavirus spike. Shelby County Commissioner Tami Swayer announced that she planned to request to return to Phase 1 after the county recorded the largest single-day increase of COVID-19 over the weekend, according to ABC News. Sawyer told WATN in a statement that, "If we aren’t returning to Phase 1, what additional policy and protections will the county put in place immediately and how can the commission support the crisis we seem to be in the midst of as daily numbers are doubled and almost tripled. We have to act urgently and put PEOPLE, not businesses first." Shelby county recorded 385 new cases over the weekend bringing the overall total to for the state of Tennessee to over 35,000. Restrictions in the state started to ease in April. Currently, the county is in Phase 2 of reopening.
June 23, 4:30 p.m.
Novak Djokovic, one of the world's top tennis players, tests positive for the coronavirus. The longtime tennis great, whose 17 Grand Slam titles are third-best in men's tennis history, announced both he and his wife, Jelena Djokovic,are infected with COVID-19. Their positive tests came after several exhibition matches were held in Serbia. According to The Associated Press, players did not follow social distancing guidelines at the events. “I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection," Djokovic said in a statement. "I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine.” Other players who have tested positive are Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki. News of the players testing positive for COVID-19 has cast new concern over whether professional tennis will be able to stage a return this year.
June 23, 3:29 p.m.
Saudi Arabia has announced that the 2020 hajj will be open to a only very limited number of pilgrims. The annual event usually draws in millions of Muslims from around the world, but has now been limited in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The reduced pilgrimage could lead to a significant financial blow to Saudi Arabia, according to The New York Times. The reduced pilgrimage marks the first time in modern Saudi kingdom history that any restrictions have been placed on the event. The last time the pilgrimage has faced a significant limit in attendance was back in the mid-1800s due to a cholera outbreak.
June 23, 2:56 p.m.
The University of Michigan will no longer host the second 2020 presidential debate this fall. Instead, the debate will be held in Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 15. The change was announced by the Commission on Presidential Debates on Tuesday. Although the commission didn’t specify the reason for the change, NBC News reported that the reason might’ve been linked to concerns about a large number of people coming to the Ann Arbor campus amid the coronavirus pandemic. The commission added that the second debate will be formatted like a town hall meeting and give people from the Miami area a chance to ask questions to the candidates. The first presidential debate will take place on Sept. 29 at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and the third debate is schedule for Oct. 22 at Belmont University in Nashville.
June 23, 1:47 p.m.
Anthony Fauci says COVID-19 vaccine is a matter of "when, and not if." The infectious disease doctor who heads up the NIAID appeared on Capitol Hill Tuesday and testified before a House Committee on Energy and Commerce that he's "cautiously optimistic" that an effective vaccine against the coronavirus will be ready for the public by the end of the year or early in 2021. He said the medical community is taking "financial risks to be able to be ahead of the game so that when -- and I believe it will be when, and not if -- we get favorable candidates with good results, we will be able to make them available to the American public ... within a year from when we started." Fauci also testified that the U.S. will continue to ramp up testing, and not slow it down, as President Trump has suggested. Fauci added that the U.S. has "been badly hit" and that he's concerned about the recent spike in cases some states are experiencing. He said the country stands at a pivotal juncture. “The next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surges,” he told members of of the House. Fauci emphasized that the greatest hope for American life to return to normal is a vaccine that works. "It is generally vaccines that put the nail in the coffin."
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci wears a face mask as he waits to testify before a House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Trump administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)
In an interview published by Bloomberg News on Tuesday, Fauci also shot down the notion that summer heat might help to slow the spread of the illness -- something he'd previously said might be a possibility. "It doesn’t look like there’s any significant impact right now from the weather," he told Bloomberg News, noting the recent rise in cases in states like Florida, Texas and Arizona -- where the weather has been hot. Watch a portion of Fauci's testimony on Capitol Hill below.
June 23, 1:01 p.m.
Additional lockdown measures will be lifted across England next week. Starting July 4, pubs, restaurants hotels and hairdressers will be allowed to open in the country, the BBC reported. Additionally, U.K. prime minister, Boris Johnson, said people in England should remain 2 meters (about 6 feet) apart when possible, but a new "1 meter plus" rule would be introduced. However, the BBC said the leaders of Scotland and Wales would continue to enforce a social distance of 2 meters. "Our principle is to trust the British public to use their common sense in the full knowledge of the risks, remembering the more we open up, the more vigilant we need to be," Johnson said, according to the BBC.
June 23, 12:22 p.m.
As the coronavirus keeps spreading in Houston, Texas Children’s Hospital is now admitting adult patients to provide additional capacity and free up hospital beds across the city. The hospital will admit adults who have contracted the virus as well as adults who are free of the virus. Adults who have contracted COVID-19 will be treated in an expanded Special Isolation Unit at the Children’s Hospital West Campus. “Texas Children’s Hospital, our employees, medical staff and leadership team continue to carefully monitor the ongoing active transmission and increase number of COVID-19 cases in the greater Houston area and across the State. We are committed to doing our part to assist the city as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise,” said a statement released by the hospital, KHOU 11 reported.
Gov. Greg Abbott addressed the high rate of infection in Texas and discussed the guidelines that could help slow the spread of the virus. “I know some people feel that wearing a mask is inconvenient or is like an infringement of freedom, but I also know that wearing a mask will help us to keep Texas open,” Abbott said on Monday's news conference at the Texas Capitol in Austin. According to Abbott, it is up to Texans to keep businesses open, as they are the ones who have the responsibility to comply with the safety measures, which include maintaining social distancing, wearing masks and using hand sanitizer. Although many businesses across the state have reopened, several safety guidelines have to be followed. On Sunday, 10 bars in Texas had their liquor licenses revoked over their failure to comply with the state’s health restrictions. “Protecting the health and safety of Texans during this pandemic is our top priority,” Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “We warned businesses TABC will have no tolerance for breaking the rules, and now, some bars are paying the price. I hope other establishments will learn from these suspensions.”
June 23, 11:23 a.m.
The hum of electric scooters has noticeably increased in Rome recently as more people take to the streets to resume daily life in the Italian capital. According to AFP, there has been an invasion of electric scooters as people, including tourists, look to get out and enjoy the sights now the lockdown restrictions have eased. Thousands were spotted during a recent weekend when the weather was pleasant, AFP said. The scooters also offer a way to avoid crowded public transportation and ease congestion in the city. "Rome is full of cars and mopeds, so it's important to use this kind of means of transport for the environment," Vito, a tourist who was visiting Rome told AFP. The upcoming stretch of weather will continue to be ideal for scooter riding around Rome with temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s expected into the weekend, along with plenty of sunshine. Watch a video below which shows the scooter riders in action.
June 23, 11:02 a.m.
The largest cities in Miami-Dade County are now expected to require face masks be worn in public as cases of COVID-19 spike to record levels. According to The Miami Herald, Miami Mayor Frances Suarez announced Monday that anyone within city limits will be mandated to wear masks in public. The only exception will be for people doing exercise, the Herald said. Neighboring cities such as Hialeah, Miami Gardens and Aventura are expected to implement similar measures. The Herald found that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations across the county hit a new record on Monday with a total of 776 patients, up from 591 just two weeks ago. Cases have been spiking across the Florida with another 2,926 new cases confirmed on Monday, bringing the statewide total to over 100,000.
June 23, 10:33 a.m.
Steven Spielberg’s classic movies dominate the box office decades after their release date. Over the June 19-21 weekend, Spielberg’s 1993 film Jurassic Park topped the chart with an estimated $517,642 from 230 locations from across the country. The director’s 1975 thriller, Jaws, came in second with an estimated $516,366 from 187 locations. As most of the country’s 5,400 cinemas remain closed, more people are going to drive-in movie theaters, where these movies are playing, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Other classic titles currently being shown in select movie theaters include Back to the Future, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Footloose.
June 23, 10:14 a.m.
Are you washing your hands correctly? A new artificial intelligence monitor developed by Japan’s Fujitsu Ltd can help you know if you’ve done a good job. The AI camera, which can recognize complex hand movements and detect when people aren’t using soap, can help ensure a clean and safe workplace. The device can check whether people are following the Japanese health ministry's six-step hand washing procedure, which includes cleaning their palms, washing their thumbs and fingernails, in-between their fingers and around the wrists. Additionally, Reuters reported that the AI could be programmed to play any music, including Happy Birthday, which was the song that the WHO initially recommended for people to sing while washing their hands. Although the company is still deciding on the release date of the product, it's already in high demand. “Food industry officials and those involved in coronavirus-related business who have seen it are eager to use it,” Genta Suzuki, a senior researcher at the Fujitsu, told Reuters. Watch a video that shows the technology in action below.
June 23, 8:41 a.m.
The FDA warns consumers that 9 hand sanitizers may contain a potentially fatal ingredient. The federal agency is advising consumers not to use hand sanitizer products manufactured by Eskbiochem SA due to the potential presence of methanol, a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. Exposure to significant amounts of methanol can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death, according to CNN. On June 17, the FDA asked Eskbiochem SA to remove its hand sanitizer products from shelves but didn't immediately receive a response from the company. The agency recommends that consumers stop using these products immediately and dispose of them in "appropriate hazardous waste containers." Below is the list of the 9 products consumers should avoid, according to the FDA.
All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)
June 23, 8:23 a.m.
Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house reopened its doors for thousands this week -- thousands of plants, that is. The opera house's first concert in over three months due to the pandemic was held Monday in front of nearly 2,300 house plants, which lined the rows of seats which would normally be filled with people. According to Reuters, the purpose of putting plants in the venue was "to reflect on the absurdity of the human condition in the era of the coronavirus, which deprives people of their position as spectators." “Nature advanced to occupy the spaces we snatched from it,” executive producer Eugenio Ampudio said, according to Reuters. “Can we extend our empathy? Let’s begin with art and music, in a great theatre, by inviting nature in." Watch a video of the performance below.
June 23, 7:44 a.m.
The PGA Championship will go on as planned, but golf fans will not be on hand to watch the tournament. "In the interest of the health & well-being of all involved, the 2020 #PGAChamp will be played without spectators on site," the event's organizers said on Twitter. The tournament was originally scheduled to take place last month, but was moved to Aug. 6-9 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. The British Open was canceled and the PGA Championship will be the first of three majors held this year. According to USA Today, The U.S. Open, which is usually played in June, is set to take place in September, and The Masters, which is usually played in April, will take place just before Thanksgiving.
June 23, 6:44 a.m.
Here are the latest global COVID-19 numbers, provided by Johns Hopkins University researchers:
Total confirmed cases: 9,115,398
Total deaths: 472,521
Total recoveries: 4,543,847
June 22, 9:54 p.m.
The Orlando Pride have become the latest sports team in Florida to have players test positive for COVID-19. The soccer team had to withdraw from the upcoming NWSL Challenge Cup after the positive results, which may have originated from players visiting a bar in the area, The Athletic said. "Following the testing of players and staff, who were all asymptomatic, it was determined that it would be in the best interest of the health and safety of the players, the staff and the rest of the league that the Pride voluntarily withdraw," the team said in a statement. This comes just two days after two players and a coach from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tested positive for COVID-19. "The names of those impacted, as well as any additional information related to these incidents, will not be released due to privacy concerns," Tampa Bay said in a statement. Florida has seen a surge in new coronavirus cases since reopening with more than 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide.
June 22, 9:03 p.m.
People across North America planning to take a cruise may need to wait until autumn before heading out to sea. In April, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a No Sail Order that is in effect until July 24, but some cruise lines are waiting even longer before setting sail. Carnival Cruise Line announced that it will not resume voyages until at least Sept. 30. People that had a cruise booked prior to Sept. 30 will be eligible for a refund. “Please continue to take care of yourself and your loved ones,” Carnival Cruise Line said on Twitter. “Your health and safety are important to us whether you are on land or on one of our ships.”
June 22, 8:14 p.m.
COVID-19 transmission rates have sharply increased in Germany following multiple outbreaks at meat processing plants and religious communities. The four-day infection rate (R-value) has increased from 1.79 on Saturday to 2.88 on Sunday, according to Germany's public health agency. The R-value measures how many people an infected person may pass the virus to, meaning an R-value of 1.0 means one infected person passes the virus to one additional person, according to euronews. Over 1,000 employees have tested positive for the coronavirus at a meat processing plant in the German district of Guetersloh. That plant is temporarily closed and all employees and household members of the employees have been put under quarantine. Nearly 8,900 people have died from the virus in Germany with over 191,000 having tested positive so far.
June 22, 7:38 p.m.
Movie theaters in France opened on Monday after closing three months ago in mid-March. Theaters across the country are hoping crowds return since the coronavirus pandemic resulted in financial pain for the country's movie industry. But with fewer films being offered, the industry most likely won’t get back to pre-coronavirus sales. Casinos will also welcome gamblers on Monday while stadiums and racetracks will reopen on July 11, with a limit of 5,000 people, the government announced.
June 22, 6:55 p.m.
Gilead will start testing an inhaled version of remdesivir to reach more patients. Remdesivir is currently given as an IV infusion, which limits its use to the hospital setting.If remdesivir can be inhaled instead of infused with an IV, it could be used earlier by people with the coronavirus who are not in a hospital. "That could have significant implications in helping to stem the tide of the pandemic," Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day wrote in an open letter on Monday. The drug helps hospitalized COVID-19 patients recover quicker, according to a National Institutes of Health trial. The US Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization for remdesivir's use, based on those results, according to Business Insider. While it's not an approval, the authorization allows for more hospitalized patients to receive the drug.
June 22, 5:45 p.m.
The 2021 Golden Globes has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ceremony was originally scheduled to take place in January but has now been rescheduled for Feb. 28 with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler still slated to host, according to CNBC. The Golden Gloves is one of several other award shows that have been moved due to the pandemic. The Academy Awards, The Creative Arts Emmys, and the Tony Awards have all also been postponed. The 72nd Emmy Awards are still slated to take place on Sept. 20 but is still considering ways to hold the ceremony safely.
June 22, 4:58 p.m.
Two tennis players ranked top 40 in the world and five players at Serbia's largest soccer club have tested positive for the coronavirus after being involved in sporting events with packed fans and no social distancing. In recent weeks, Serbia and Croatia have lowered restrictions from the coronavirus, which led to the tennis events being held, but now there's an increase in positive cases. Novak Djokovic was set to be tested for the virus after his charity tennis event had positive cases. Three-time Grand Slam semifinalist, Grigor Dimitrov, tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday along with his opponent Borna Coric who played against Dimitrov on Saturday. In recent weeks, there has been an increase in virus cases among soccer players all over the world, most notably in Russia. The new outbreak causes concerns for sports starting up later this year as many summer sporting events, such as Wimbledon, have been canceled altogether.
June 22, 3:55 p.m.
Global cases of coronavirus topped 9 million on Monday. The United States leads the world with the highest number of infections, at about 2.2 million or 25% of all reported cases, while the virus is spreading fastest in Latin America, which now accounts for 23% of all cases, according to Reuters. Brazil has the second most cases behind the United States, and India is on track to overtake Russia as the third most affected country by cases, John Hopkins University data reports. The number of global infections continues to rise at a rate of around 1%-2% a day since the beginning of June, Reuters said.
June 22, 3:32 p.m.
A massive cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert that has bee tracking across the Atlantic Ocean reached the Caribbean early this week,and is expected to spread to parts of the U.S in the coming days. According to The Associated Press, due to the cloud's robust size, some are calling it a "Godzilla dust cloud." Pablo Méndez Lázaro, an environmental health specialist with the University of Puerto Rico, told the APthat this is the most significant dust cloud event in the past 50 years. The cloud has health experts concerned about the respiratory effects it could produce for those are already battling COVID-19. And they warn that because the dust concentration is so high, it can also have a detrimental effect on healthy people, the AP says.
A satellite image of the dust making its way across the Atlantic Ocean. (Image via NOAA)
June 22, 2:22 p.m.
Florida has seen a spike in new coronavirus cases since re-opening, and on Monday morning, state health officials reported more than 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide. To put this in comparison, Florida has nearly as many cases of COVID-19 as Canada, which has reported just over 103,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The areas in and around Florida’s largest cities have been hit the hardest with the coronavirus, including Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Miami. The average age of people that test positive in these areas is between 27 and 32, Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Twitter. However, there is some good news amid the growing number of cases. According to the Florida Heath Department, there are far fewer COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit and on ventilators than there were in April.
June 22, 1:28 p.m.
Sonovia, an Israeli company, says it has developed a fabric that has the ability to neutralize nearly 99% of the coronavirus. According to Reuters, after extensive lab testing was done, the company found that the fabric worked against more than 90% of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, even after being washed multiple times. This is because the fabric they are developing is coated in zinc oxide nano-particles, which have the ability to destroy bacteria, fungi and viruses. Liat Goldhammer, chief technology officer for Sonovia, said the fabric can be used in hospitals as personal protective equipment and clothing. Currently, the company is selling the product online to retailers and is conducting a pilot in Adler Plastic in Italy to use the fabric in vehicles and forms of public transportation.
June 22, 1:08 p.m.
Texas has seen a significant uptick in the number of coronavirus cases over the past week, and the threat for severe weather could delay the diagnosis for some people in the Houston area that are waiting to be tested for COVID-19. “All of our #COVID19 test sites are closed today due to severe weather,” the Harris County Public Health Department said on Twitter. “We plan on resuming operations tomorrow (Tuesday 6.23). If you had an appointment for today, please come back tomorrow with your code.” Harris County has over 11,000 active cases of COVID-19, the highest of any county in Texas, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Since the start of the pandemic, the county has reported 322 fatalities and 8,068 recoveries.
June 22, 12:26 p.m.
The pandemic has led to many adjustments in retail industries and everyday life -- and grocery stores are no exception. Self-serve salad bars and other prepared food options at grocery stores have become a concern surrounding the spread of germs, and many grocers have adapted with creative new ways to keep them sanitary and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Publix, for example, has reopened self-serve bars, but now have employees dishing the items out instead, CNBC reported. Wegmans moved some self-serve items, such as hummus and olives, to behind a counter for an employee to take orders. H-E-B now has coolers full of pre-made local restaurant meals. Randy Burt, managing director at AlixPartners, a global consulting firm, said it may be a while before salad bars return to normal, and they could even be gone permanently. “You’re going to need more than sneeze guards,” he said.
The closed Salad and Hot Bar self-service section of the 365 Whole Foods Market is empty in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles Tuesday, March 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
June 22, 12:01 p.m.
Delta Air Lines announced Monday that it is resuming service to China. The airline is the first to resume flights to the country since a temporary suspension was issued in February due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Delta says that it will restart service between Seattle and Shanghai on June 25 with service from Detroit to Shanghai starting in July. All of the airlines flights into Shanghai will travel through South Korea's Incheon International Airport in Seoul.
“We are excited to resume our services between the U.S. and China, as economic and social activities start to recover,” said Wong Hong, Delta's President - Greater China and Singapore said in a statement. “With a mission to connect the world, Delta is committed to getting our customers to their destinations safely and confidently, especially at this critical time. We are implementing unprecedented health and safety measures and practices, so customers are assured of ease and safety at all points of their journey.”
June 22, 11:44 a.m.
Different forms of wearable technology could play an important role in tracing and diagnosing COVID-19. One method that has been developed by researchers is an app called Covid Watch. The app is currently in testing but plans to be launched in time for colleges to be able to use for when students return on campus, according to UPI. The app works by notifying others who may have been exposed directly to the virus by using random numbers exchanged by local Bluetooth signals in order to keep privacy between users. About 56 percent of university students and staff would have to use the app in order for it to be effective to control community spread on campus, Joyce Schroeder, chair of the department of molecular and cellular biology at the University of Arizona said in a statement.
Another device being developed is called the Oura Ring. This ring is to be worn like a bracelet or watch but will check for COVID-19 symptoms such as body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate. Several countries have already launched contract tracing apps such as France, Germany, Italy, and South Korea.
June 22, 11:19 a.m.
After months of lockdown, New York City began Phase Two of its reopening. Starting Monday, people in New York are allowed to frequent barbershops and salons and eat outdoors at restaurants. And hundreds of thousands of office workers are allowed to begin returning to the workplace, which is expected to make for busier use of public transportation. At the same time, the weather will be quite warm. On Monday, NYC could see a high temperature of 90 F, which would be the city's first 90-degree day of the year. And the warm weather will continue throughout the week, according to the AccuWeather forecast, with temperatures 6 to 8 degrees above average for this time of year. As the summer heat brings more people outdoors, restaurants all over the city will take the safety precautions to ensure the safety of customers. “The menu comes up on your screen, and you can order that way – and also as a matter of payment, so you don’t have to touch anything,” Lolo Manso, the owner of Socarrat, told WABC. “I think restaurants are the heart and soul of New York City, so I am very happy that finally we see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Barber shops and salons will also follow the required guidelines to prevent the further spread of the virus, by opening to 50% capacity. Here's a look at the 7-day forecast for the Big Apple.
June 22, 10:53 a.m.
The coronavirus could’ve arrived in California earlier than previously thought, as several mysterious deaths could be related to the virus. The death of Jeremiah DeLap, who worked as a painter in Basalt, Colorado, but was originally from Orange County, California, is one of the cases being examined. DeLap’s death is one of nine cases from late December to March that the county has asked the California Department of Public Health to consider. The 39-year-old was visiting his parents when he died after drowning due to a buildup of fluid in his lungs, according to The Los Angeles Times.
DeLap’s mother, Maribeth Cortez, said that on Tuesday, Jan. 7 “he was having trouble breathing and I told him he should try and go to the urgent care. He told me he’d talk to me later and he went and [lay] down,” she told the Times. Jeremiah would be found dead hours later. Prior to his passing, he had been healthy. Four days after his death, China announced its first COVID-19-related death. “Everybody that knew him when they were talking to me after this all started would say, ‘Do you think he died from that?’” Cortez told Los Angeles Times. However, there is still uncertainty, as DeLap’s lungs are yet to be tested for the virus. Samples from his lungs have been preserved, along with other tissue from more than 40 deaths in the state. A decision from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control on whether to test the samples for the virus has not been made.
June 22, 10:21 a.m.
A few days after surpassing 1 million coronavirus infections, Brazil reports 50,000 COVID-19-related deaths. BBC News reported that Brazil became the second country to register more than 50,000 deaths, behind only the U.S. According to the World Health Organization, Brazil experienced the highest one-day increase in cases globally, and cases are predicted to increase as President Jair Bolsonaro argues against lockdowns. Brazil has been recording about 1,000 deaths a day and, on Sunday, 17,000 new infections were reported.
June 22, 10:07 a.m.
"This is more like a forest fire. I’m not sure this is going to slow down." Michael Osterholm, one of the country's top epidemiologist's appeared on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday and discussed a number of topics, including the effect of summer weather on the spread of COVID-19 and whether he thought the U.S. would see a second wave of infections, similar to what officials say is currently under way in South Korea. Osterholm, who has cautioned that experts like himself should be humble about the fact that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is so new, and that they may not have firm answers concerning how it spreads, delivered a bleak message saying that the crisis in the U.S. "is more like a forest fire."
"I don't think that this is going to slow down," Osterholm continued. "I think that wherever there is wood to burn, this fire is going to burn. And right now we have a lot of susceptible people. And so, I think right now I don't see this slowing down through the summer or end of the fall. I don't think we're going to see one, two and three waves." Osterholm also said he believes the new coronavirus does not behave like the flu virus, which nearly vanishes during the warm summer months. "I'm not sure that the influenza analogy applies anymore," he said. Another topic Osterholm was asked about is the fate of team sports and his response was similar to the analysis made by Anthony Fauci last week. "I think it is going to be very, very difficult at this point to protect players, protect their staff, coaches, to protect the public. I think it's not going to be easy to do," he said. Read the full transcript of the interview here and watch a clip from the interview below.
June 22, 9 a.m.
South Korean officials have acknowledged that the country is in the middle of its second wave of novel coronavirus infections, Reuters reported. Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the new wave of infections is being linked to a holiday weekend in May when a large cluster of new cases emerged from the Seoul area when a number of people visited recently reopened bars and nightclubs. “We originally predicted that the second wave would emerge in fall or winter,” Jeong said. “Our forecast turned out to be wrong. As long as people have close contact with others, we believe that infections will continue,” Jeong said, according to Reuters. South Korea has over 12,400 total cases of COVID-19 and nearly 300 deaths.
A health official wearing protective gear takes samples from a man during the COVID-19 testing at a makeshift clinic in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, June 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
June 22, 6:28 a.m.
Here are the latest global COVID-19 numbers, provided by Johns Hopkins University researchers:
Total confirmed cases: 8,969,827
Total deaths: 468,567
Total recoveries: 4,443,409
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
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.Report a Typo
Historic Fay makes landfall 24 hours after forming
Nearly 24 hours after becoming the earliest named "F" storm in the Atlantic Basin on record, Tropical Storm Fay made landfall just a few miles away from where Superstorm Sandy made landfall in 2012.
Thunderstorms target Northeast following Fay
Rounds of thunderstorms, including the threat for severe weather, will target the Northeast before heat strikes the region late week.
Supernatural forces protecting this city from hurricanes?
It's one of the biggest and most populated areas on Florida's Gulf Coast, but it hasn't been directly struck by a landfalling hurricane in nearly 100 years.
AccuWeather Summer Camp: Go out and see the International Space Station
Want to go out into your backyard and wave hi to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station? It’s easy to, as long as clouds cooperate, with these tips at AccuWeather Summer Camp.
Top places to visit with a view above the clouds
There's nothing like watching the sunrise over an ocean of clouds below. To get the view you’ll need to head to one of these places, and wake up very early.
Top 10 must-watch weather-related movies
Have you seen the best of the best weather-related movies of all-time? Find out with our top 10 list below.