Previous coronavirus daily briefing updates, June 25-27
Current daily briefings on the coronavirus can be found here. Scroll below to read previous reports from June 25 to June 27, listed in eastern time.
June 27, 9:30 p.m.
Less than 1% of coronavirus tests came back positive in New York on Friday. According to ABC 7, New York now holds the lowest rate of infection in the U.S., after previously being considered one of the country’s main epicenters for the virus. "While this is good news, New Yorkers cannot become complacent. We must continue to remain vigilant and smart in the fight against COVID-19. Wear a mask, socially distance -- be New York Tough," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
June 27, 8 p.m.
After breaking its own record for the number of new COVID-19 cases in one day on Friday with 8,942 cases, Florida has broken its record for highest single-day increase in cases yet again. Saturday’s case count reached 9,585 -- the highest number of cases in a single day yet. In just over one week Florida officials have confirmed 40,000 cases of the virus, which makes up about a third of all confirmed cases in the state throughout the entire pandemic, The Miami Herald reported.
June 27, 6:25 p.m.
In an attempt to avoid wearing face coverings in public, the U.S. Department of Justice said people have been creating fake mask exemption cards. The cards, which incorrectly cite the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Department of Justice, were created by an anti-mask group called the Freedom to Breathe Agency, Today reported. The ADA website calls the cards "fraudulent." One card reads "I am exempt from any ordinance requiring face mask usage in public. Wearing a face mask poses a mental and/or physical risk to me. Under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), I am not required to disclose my condition to you." Lenka Koloma, founder of the Freedom to Breathe Agency, told Today that the cards do not claim to be government issued, but cite the DOJ and ADA to "tell people the references under which they are protected."
"The Department of Justice has been made aware of postings or flyers on the internet regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act and the use of face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which include the Department of Justice’s seal," a statement from the department said. "These postings were not issued by the Department and are not endorsed by the Department. The Department urges the public not to rely on the information contained in these postings and to visit ADA.gov for ADA information issued by the Department.
June 27, 5 p.m.
Ever wish your mask could do more than just prevent the spread of COVID-19? Donut Robotics, a Japanese startup, has created a “smart mask” that connects to the internet and can send messages and translate Japanese into eight languages. The “c-mask” fits over a standard face mask and connects to smartphones and tablets via bluetooth, Reuters reported. An app allows the mask to send messages, make phone calls and amplify the user's voice so their voices can be heard more easily from behind a mask. “We worked hard for years to develop a robot and we have used that technology to create a product that responds to how the coronavirus has reshaped society,” Taisuke Ono, chief executive of Donut Robotics, said. The first masks will be shipped out to buyers in September and cost $40. So far, the smart masks are only selling in Japan, but the company has plans to expand to China, the U.S. and Europe. See how it works in the video below.
June 27, 3:25 p.m.
With people spending more time outdoors with the arrival of summer and the lifting of quarantine restrictions, one Texas teen doing his part to ensure people are safe when venturing out onto the water. Rohan Rumalla, a 17-year-old student at Carroll High School in Southlake, Texas, nearly drowned in his backyard swimming pool 10 years ago. Now, Rumalla is using that near-death experience to make a difference in the community. In May,he started a GoFundMe to raise money to buy life jackets that boaters and swimmers can use at Grapevine Lake.With a total raised of over $6,300, Rumalla is already past his initial goal of $5,000. Watch the video report below from AccuWeather's Bill Waddell to hear from Rumalla and learn more about the charitable initiative.
June 27, 1:38 p.m.
A White House economist tested positive for coronavirus. Tomas Philipson, who said this week is going to resign as acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, confirmed in an email to The Wall Street Journal that he experienced a “very mild case of one day of fever” and that the White House had a “very capable medical team that managed my case exceptionally well during the infection.” Philipson stated that his health is back to normal now, but did not clarify when he was diagnosed or whether he had returned to work prior to his announcement this week.
June 27, 12:00 p.m.
A new study suggests that the difference between COVID-19 causing minimal effects to a person instead of respiratory failure could be related to genes. The study was conducted by genome-wide association (GWAS) and published in The New England Journal of Medicine. It showed that gene variants in two regions of the genome are associated with severe COVID-19 and have a greater risk of death related to COVID-19, according to a blog post by NIH Director Francis Collins. One of the stretches of DNA said to be at risk determines blood type while the others have roles in the immune system. The study also found that people with blood type A have a 50 percent greater chance of needing oxygen support or a ventilator if they contract COVID-19. Meanwhile, people with blood type O have are 50 percent less likely to need oxygen support or ventilation to treat COVID-19. The team that conducted the study analyzed patient genome data of more than 8.5 million singe-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The findings were completed under very difficult clinical conditions in two months which warrants the need for further study to fully understand the implications of the results.
June 27, 10:54 a.m.
NBA ‘seeding games’ will be played July 30 - Aug. 14 to restart the 2019-2020 season. The NBA released its complete game schedule and national television schedules for the “seeding games.” The 22 teams participating in the season restart will play eight seeding games each at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. There will be a maximum of seven seeding games per day across three venues at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex during the season restart. Each team will be designated as the home team in four seeding games and the visiting team in four seeding games. The tip-off time for each team’s last seeding game will be determined at a later date in order to provide the most compelling matchups to a national audience, according to the NBA. As part of the restart, enhanced game telecasts will bring fans an immersive, interactive viewing experience. The team-by-team schedules for the seeding games are available here.
A sign marking the entrance to ESPN's Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World is seen Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla. The NBA has told the National Basketball Players Association that it will present a 22-team plan for restarting the season at Disney. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
June 27, 8:52 a.m.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced that Miami area beaches will be closed for the Independence Day holiday weekend. Tensions among policymakers rise as they respond to the pandemic differently. Gimenez said in a statement that the five-days suspension starting July 3 would be extended “if conditions do not improve.” The decision was announced hours after Gov. Ron DeSantis said he wasn’t going to reverse the state’s reopening seven weeks after it began, according to Bloomberg.
June 27, 7:34 a.m.
Here are the latest global COVID-19 numbers, provided by Johns Hopkins University researchers:
Total confirmed cases: 9,825,402
Total deaths: 494,841
Total recoveries: 4,965,103
June 26, 9:30 p.m.
Tennessee reported its highest count yet of COVID-19 cases on Friday, totaling to 1,410. The state also reported 67 hospitalizations, a number that hasn’t been so high in the state since early May, Tennessean reported. Ten deaths were also reported on Friday. Despite the spike in cases, officials say hospital capacity remains stable across the state. "We remind Tennesseans that COVID-19 is still very much present in our state, and we strongly encourage them to be vigilant in maintaining social distancing, frequent hand-washing and utilizing face coverings,” Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said.
June 26, 8:01 p.m.
France is offering tests to nearly 1.3 million people in the Paris region to root out hidden clusters of coronavirus infections, according to The Associated Press. French health minister Olivier Véran made the announcement of the expansion in testing on Thursday in an interview with the newspaper Le Monde. “The aim is to identify any sleeping clusters, that’s to say invisible concentrations of asymptomatic people,” Véran was quoted in the paper. He added that France is also taking steps to prepare for the possibility of a second wave.
June 26, 6:32 p.m.
Warner Bros. has delayed the release of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” for the second time due to the coronavirus pandemic. Originally scheduled to be released to theaters on July 17, that date was postponed to July 31 and now to Aug. 12. “Warner Bros. is committed to bringing ‘Tenet’ to audiences in theaters, on the big screen, when exhibitors are ready and public health officials say it’s time,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement. They add on that the film would be released mid-week and play longer in theaters than normal “to develop a very different yet successful release strategy.” The push for the new release date comes after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced movie theaters in the state were not a part of the Phase 4 reopening. With theaters closed in Los Angeles and New York City, the highly anticipated film will be deprived of two of the country’s biggest movie-going markets, according to Variety.
June 26, 4:58 p.m.
Despite guidelines put forth by the CDC, three sheriffs in North Carolina are refusing to enforce mask wearing in public. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued a statewide mask mandate on Wednesday as cases continue to climb. The executive order requires that everyone wear a face covering while in public when 6 feet of physical distance is not possible. However, sheriffs in Halifax County, Craven County, and Sampson County have already announced they will not enforce the order, CNN reported. "I certainly encourage people to be careful and take safety precautions, however your Sheriff's Office will not be taking enforcement actions to wit, issuing citations against people or businesses for not wearing masks. With each call, deputies will educate," Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp wrote on Facebook.
June 26, 3:24 p.m.
The National Basketball Association along with the National Basketball Players Association has announced that 16 players have tested positive for the coronavirus. This news comes after the first wave of mandatory testing of all players was conducted in preparation for the restart of the season, according to ESPN. The 16 players tested positive were part of a pool of 302, brining a rate of 5.2 percent of positive tests league wide. The league sates that any player who tests positive will be put in self-isolation until he satisfies public health protocols. While the players names are not disclosed, some have come out and publicly stated that they tested positive. Tests for staff and other members of travel teams have not been announced. Mandatory workouts begin July 1 with training camp running from July 9 to 29.
June 26, 1:48 p.m.
Title celebration brings concern of virus spread. Liverpool Football Club clinched its first Premier League title in 30 years on Thursday when Chelsea defeated Manchester City in London by a score of 2-1, thus making it mathematically impossible for any other team in England's top football division to catch the Reds. Thousands of euphoric Liverpool supporters poured into the streets near Anfield, the team's home stadium, to celebrate the end of the title drought, which lasted a bit longer thanks to the league's three-month hiatus due to the pandemic. But now, some of the fans are facing criticism for ignoring social distancing guidelines.
"The overwhelming majority of fans have recognized the fact that now is not the time to gather together to celebrate, and chose to mark the event safely,” Rob Carden, assistant chief constable of Merseyside Police told The Associated Press. “They are a credit to this city. Unfortunately, as we have seen throughout the lockdown period, not everyone adhered to the regulations in place. Although the vast majority of celebrations were good natured, a large number of people chose to gather outside the stadium.”
Liverpool supporters celebrate as they gather outside of Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, England, Thursday, June 25, 2020 after Liverpool clinched the English Premier League title. Liverpool took the title after Manchester City failed to beat Chelsea on Wednesday evening. (AP photo/Jon Super)
June 26, 1:16 p.m.
All bars ordered to close in Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Friday limiting certain businesses and services as the state looks to gain control over a surge in COVID-19 cases. The governor issued the order as a result of the positivity rate in Texas increased above 10%. The state is currently dealing with an influx of hospitalizations due to the virus. The state has over 134,000 cases and 2,200 fatalities. According to a press releases from the governor's office, the order includes the following:
All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at 12:00 PM today. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday, June 29, 2020.
Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.
"At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars," Abbott said. "The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance public health."
June 26, 12:30 p.m.
Total number of COVID-19 cases in U.S. likely 24 million, CDC chief says. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, a little north of 2.4 million Americans have tested positive for COVID-19 since the crisis erupted. Worldwide, more than 9.6 million have tested positive. But CDC Director Robert Redfield on Thursday told reporters during a conference call that the true number of infections in the U.S. could dwarf both of those figures. He said, "Our best estimate right now is that for every case that was reported, there actually are 10 other infections." That works out to about 6% of the U.S. population. "This virus causes so much asymptomatic infection," he added. Redfield also said that in the past, U.S. health officials didn't aggressively pursue diagnosing COVID-19 in younger individuals. Redfield also pointed out that the illness has been "targeting younger people" amid the current surge in cases, particularly in the Southeast. He said he believes that people under the age of 45 and under 30 may be contracting the illness, but because the symptoms are either non-existent or minimal, they don't get tested and don't show up in hospitals -- but could be spreading the illness to other more vulnerable people. "It’s clear that many individuals in this nation are still susceptible," he said. Listen to the full conference call here. Redfield's remarks about the estimate occur at about the 12:55 mark.
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testifies 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)
June 26, 12:12 p.m.
"Covid toe" was one of the of the early mysterious symptoms researchers were discovering as they learned more about COVID-19. However, new research published from JAMA Dermatology has discovered that COVID toes might be the result of a lifestyle change during lockdown, rather than a direct symptom of the disease, according to UPI. COVID toes have been described as "purplish-red lesions on the feet," according to the researchers. This symptom is said to be very similar to a condition called Chilblains, also known as perniosis, "a painful inflammation of the small blood vessels in the skin that occurs after repeated exposure to cold air," the researchers said, according to UPI. Biopsies were reportedly conducted on participants in two separate studies. According to UPI, the results found that they may have developed Chilblains, while separate antibody testing revealed they were negative for the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, UPI reported.
June 26, 12:01 p.m.
With more states starting to mandate the wearing of masks, California has ordered all residents to wear a face mask when out in public. The state has reported a significant rise in COVID-19 in recent days, causing the mandate to be put into effect last week. Since it went into effect, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading expert on infectious diseases, applauded efforts by California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a conversation with the Sacramento Press Club on Wednesday, according to ABC7. "Everybody should wear a mask when out public, It should not be a political issue. It is purely a public health issue," Fauci said. He went on to praise Newsom for being ahead of the curve and said of Newsom, "He's got a really good sense of what to do." Fauci took the time to remind folks that wearing a mask doesn't just protect yourself but also others who may be vulnerable to the virus and could save lives.
June 26, 11:15 a.m.
Thousands of people crowded a beach in the U.K. causing concerns and a declaration of an emergency incident. Bournemouth, U.K., had temperatures soar above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) for two straight days during the week, temperatures that are over 20 degrees above average for this time of year in the city. The stifling heat caused a situation that "appalled" local authorities with thousands crowding beaches and not adhering to social distancing practices as well as not wearing a mask, AFP reported. Bournemouth has since declared a major incident, meaning the council can now deploy additional resources, such as police, to help regulate crowds and ensure safety. Watch the video below to see just how packed the beaches were.
June 26, 11 a.m.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was spotted again practicing with his new teammates this week, in apparent defiance of league rules. The six-time Super Bowl winner worked out with teammates on Tuesday and Thursday, according to Yahoo Sports, even though NFL Players Association medical director Dr. Thom Mayer has said that "in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts." Florida has seen a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, with more than 114,000 cases statewide and more than 3,300 fatalities, according to the state's health department data. The weather has also been hot there -- temperatures have reached into the mid and upper 90s in recent days -- and so has some of the reaction to Brady's flouting the rules. Brady, however, has seemed unfazed by any criticism, posting on Instragram a photo of himself chugging from a sports drink bottle underneath the famous FDR quote: the "only thing we have to fear, is fear itself." A local news station in Tampa was able to capture some footage of the workout. Watch the video below.
June 26, 10:29 a.m.
As COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti is urging everyone to stay home. During a briefing on Wednesday, Garcetti expressed his concern for the spike in cases as he explained why everyone should stay home. “One, COVID-19 is still here. Two, COVID-19 is still dangerous. Three, we’re adding more testing to make sure that we can find COVID-19 where it lives. And, four, we must continue to take precautions to keep our city and our people safe,” Garcetti said, according to the L.A. Times. “That’s why wearing a face covering, that’s why practicing physical distancing, washing our hands, and yes, still as painful as it might feel, staying home whenever we can is our best defense.” Garcetti also added, that started on Thursday, the city will have more COVID-19 testing sites, from 7,700 to 13,700 tests per day in order to control the spread of the virus. So far, there have been 92,467 confirmed cases and 3,246 deaths in Los Angeles County.
June 26, 9:58 a.m.
As fears of a second wave of coronavirus infection grow in Australia, supermarkets have limited how much toilet paper customers can buy in order to limit panic buying, AFP reported. The current epicenter in the country is the city of Melbourne, located in the state of Victoria. Over 30 new cases were reported overnight Thursday, the 10th consecutive day of double digit increases in new cases, AFP reported. "Stop it, it's ridiculous," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, deriding the panic-buying, according to AFP. A major increase in testing is underway around Melbourne and the surrounding suburbs, and the Australia army is set to deploy about 200 troops to the area this weekend to help with the testing efforts, AFP said.
June 26, 9:37 a.m.
Fans of the San Francisco Giants may not be able to attend any of the baseball team's games this season, but the organization is doing its part to make sure some fans are there in spirit. The club announced Thursday that season ticket holders will be allowed to send in an image of themselves to be placed onto a cardboard cutout made of weatherproof material that the team will place in stands during games, ESPN reported. This is a similar practice to what soccer teams in Germany and Korean baseball teams have done in recent weeks. Non-season ticket holders will have the option to pay $99 to have their image displayed in the stands. The 60-game Major League Baseball campaign will get underway on July 23 or July 24.
June 26, 6:52 a.m.
Here are the latest global COVID-19 numbers, provided by Johns Hopkins University researchers:
Total confirmed cases: 9,619,573
Total deaths: 489,731
Total recoveries: 4,855,393
June 25, 10 p.m.
Coronavirus economic relief payments totaling to $1.4 billion were sent to dead people. The news was reported by a government watchdog on Thursday. More than 130 million economic impact payments were sent out throughout the U.S. to taxpayers, however, an estimated 1.1 million of those were sent to people who were already dead. According to The Associated Press, the error comes from a lag in death reports. The government has asked those living to return the money; however, they have not made it clear if they are required to, as it is unclear if the government has the legal authority to require they return it.
June 25, 9 p.m.
The U.S. just recorded its worse day of new infections since the start of the coronavirus infections. Wednesday, the U.S. recorded 36,880 new cases, according to The New York Times. Previously, April 24 had been marked as the grim milestone, but now, two months later, June 24 surpassed the old record of 36,739 cases. Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and South Carolina reported their highest single-day totals on the same day, but more than 20 states have been seeing a rise in case numbers. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization warned that if governments and communities in the Americas couldn’t stop the spread of the virus through surveillance, isolation of cases and quarantine of contacts, they may need to impose or reimpose lockdowns. “It is very difficult to take the sting out of this pandemic unless we are able to successfully isolate cases and quarantine contacts,” Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of The WHO health emergencies program, said. “In the absence of a capacity to do that, then the specter of further lockdowns cannot be excluded.”
June 25, 7:29 p.m.
Who hasn't heard of the coronavirus? According to United Nations workers, a lot more people than you’d think. Migrants arriving in Somalia have been telling workers that they are completely unaware of the ongoing pandemic surrounding them. In the week of June 20, about 51% of Somalians being tracked said they were unaware of the pandemic. Migrants are not the only ones who remain unaware, however. “I’ve heard of something that sounds like that name, but we don’t have it here,” Fatima Moalin, a resident of southern Somalia, told The Associated Press. ”Muslims don’t contract such a thing.”
Somali authorities have cited limited internet access, limited awareness campaigns and lack of connection with other nations as potential factors in why so many in rural Somali are unaware of the virus, as well. “It’s very clear to us that migrants are transiting areas with confirmed cases,” Celeste Sanchez Bean, a program manager with the U.N. agency based in Somalia’s capital said. “When you have migrants with such levels of unawareness, combined with this ... I don’t want to say dangerous, but the migrants are putting themselves at risk.”
June 25, 6 p.m.
A pregnant woman holds her belly as she waits in line for groceries with hundreds during a food pantry, sponsored by Healthy Waltham for those in need due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, at St. Mary's Church in Waltham, Mass., Thursday, May 7, 2020. In the past month more than 7,500 bags of food have been donated to the community. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Pregnant women may experience the coronavirus more severely. The CDC has stated repeatedly throughout the duration of the pandemic that the virus does not affect pregnant women differently than other people, despite their susceptibility to respiratory infections, however a new government analysis may point to something different. Women who are pregnant are more likely to be hospitalized, admitted to intensive care and put on a ventilator, The New York Times reported. However, the study in question did not specify if labor and delivery were included in hospitalizations, which could result in inflated results. “There’s quite clearly a different threshold for hospitalizing pregnant people and non-pregnant people,” Dr. Neel Shah, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard University, said. “The question is whether it also reflects something about their illness, and that’s something we don’t really know.”
June 25, 4:40 p.m.
Universal Orlando has laid off a number employees across various departments just weeks after its reopening on June 5. A spokesperson confirmed the layoffs, but it has remained unclear how many employees have been affected and across how many departments. “We have made the difficult decision to reduce our Parks & Resorts workforce across multiple locations and business units,” Universal Orlando spokesperson Tom Schroder said in a statement. “This decision was not made lightly, but was necessary to prepare us for the future.” The first quarter earnings for Comcast, parent company of NBC News, showed its theme park revenue had decrease 31.9% to $869 million, which they attributed to the pandemic.
June 25, 3:36 p.m.
With cases spiking in a slew of states across the nation, it's a good time to be aware of what COVID-19 symptoms to look out for. The CDC in late May made three new additions to its official list of coronavirus-related symptoms. The CDC now includes congestion or runny nose, diarrhea and vomiting on its list of potential COVID-19 symptoms. Here's a look at the complete list:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Symptoms typically appear between two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. According to the CDC website, these are not the only possible symptoms. Officials there will continue to update the list as more information becomes available.
June 25, 2:30 p.m.
“The fur is back on the field,” original portrayer of the Phillie Phanatic, Dave Raymond, declared. Mascots will be making their return to the stadiums with the kick off of the Major League Baseball season after a month of being benched due to the coronavirus. While they’ll be back on the field, however, the crowds will be watching them on the screen. Fans won’t be allowed in the ballparks for at least the beginning of the MLB season. However, it doesn’t seem like it will be a problem for the mascots. “Most of us are going to the park to forget our problems or be entertained,” Raymond told The Associated Press. “That’s what we can do to help, even if there aren’t any fans inside.”
June 25, 1:59 p.m.
A fax machine may be to blame for an extended wait time in coronavirus test results in Austin, Texas. Travis County Commissioner Brigid Shea expressed concern over the tests for COVID-19 being sent via fax machine instead of more modern methods, "I am stunned to hear that the way we are getting the results of the tests on infections is by fax. That's like a third world technology." The drop in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Austin is said to be partially because of the use of outdated technology for compiling the data, Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Health Authority for Austin Public Health, told CBS Austin. The state of Texas requires the use of digital reporting for test results but not all labs are making it a priority. Austin Public Health said it estimates that more than a thousand faxes are sent a day for coronavirus test results.
June 25, 1:47 p.m.
The coronavirus pandemic may lead to a "baby bust" instead of a baby boom in the United States, according to research done at Brookings in Washington, D.C. The study looked at previous economic studies on fertility, such as the last recession in 2007-2009 and the influenza pandemic in 1918, according to CNN. Based on the past data, researchers were able to conclude that the U.S. could see 300,000-500,000 fewer births due to the current pandemic. Chief medical and health officer at March of Dimes in New York, Dr. Rahul Gupta, told CNN that he found similar findings in his research. Gupta said he found about a 10% drop in fertility occurred "about nine to 10 months after peak mortality," during the 1918 pandemic.
June 25, 1:13 p.m.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he will pause all further plans for reopening the state. In addition to the reopening halt, elective surgeries in certain counties have also been ordered to stop to save bed space for patients with the coronavirus. The counties included in the elective surgery ban include Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties. All four of those counties have experienced a sharp increase in cases in recent days. Even though reopening has halted, nothing is being rolled back, meaning many venues such as bars, restaurants, malls, and other businesses will remain open, according to The Texas Tribune. The last two weeks have seen record high numbers of new hospitalization related to COVID-19 in Texas, with numbers tripling since Memorial Day.
June 25, 12:44 p.m.
Australia reported its biggest daily rise in COVID-19 cases in two months. This report comes just weeks after Australia began easing social distancing restrictions. Officials said 33 people in Victoria, country’s most populous state, tested positive for the coronavirus over a 24-hour period. The state now has 200 cases out of the new 270 cases in the country. Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said that authorities are working to control the virus. “We have ambulances and other vans that will literally be at the end of people’s streets,” Andrews told reporters in Melbourne, Reuters reported. Andrews then added that about 100,000 tests will be conducted over the next 10 days. Currently, Australia has recorded 104 deaths and 7,500 infections, and Andrews says that these numbers are expected to “go up in the coming days” as testing for the virus continues.
June 25, 11:55 a.m.
Horse race fans will be able to attend the 2020 Kentucky Derby “under strict guidelines,” officials said on Thursday. The annual horse race, which is usually the first leg of the Triple Crown, had been rescheduled from its May date due to the coronavirus pandemic, and is now scheduled to take place on Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs. The new plan to ensure the safety of the spectators and the organizers of the event was put into place with guidance from Kentucky’s “Healthy at Work” plan and the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. Some of the safety measures include reduced venue capacity to encourage social distancing, limited access throughout the facility and changes in venue operation to limit person-to-person interactions. In addition to flamboyant hats, spectators at the Derby will also be asked to wear masks while inside Churchill Downs. Those attending "will be consistently and frequently encouraged to wear a cloth or other protective mask that fully covers their mouth and nose at all times unless seated in their reserved seat or venue," according to the Churchill Downs safety measures.
June 25, 11:20 a.m.
Chuck E cheese is filing for bankruptcy protection, The Associated Press reported. The restaurant chain, popular among children, risks bankruptcy after being closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. CEC Entertainment Inc., the restaurant’s parent company, has reopened 266 of its 612 company-operated Chuck E cheese and Peter Piper Pizza restaurants. However, it is unclear whether parents will be willing to take their children, as many cities are still under strict restrictions. On Thursday, the parent company said that it will continue to reopen restaurants while it negotiates with debt and lease holders. “The Chapter 11 process will allow us to strengthen our financial structure as we recover from what has undoubtedly been the most challenging event in our company’s history,” CEO David McKillips said in a statement.
June 25, 11:01 a.m.
An early summer heat wave in Europe has heath experts concerned about a rising case of COVID-19 infections as people spend more time outdoors and ignore social distancing practices. Earlier this week, the European Meteorological Service warned of extreme temperatures throughout the continent, AFP said. Some of the highest temperatures have been felt across Spain this week including on Tuesday when temps neared 100 F (37 C) in Madrid. London and Paris both hit 90 F on Wednesday and are poised to do so again on Thursday. However, some relief from the heat in Europe is on the way thanks to the arrival of some showers and thunderstorms. On Thursday, World Health Organization regional director for Europe Dr. Hans Kluge said 30 countries in Europe have seen a resurgence in coronavirus cases since restrictions began to be eased, according to AFP.
While some parts of Europe will see heat relief in the coming days, the AccuWeather seven-day forecast shows heat will continue to grip Madrid into next week.
June 25, 10:44 a.m.
Rapid rise in coronavirus cases is hitting young adults across the U.S. In some states, including Florida, Texas and Arizona, young people have started going out again, often without wearing masks, The Associated Press reported. In Florida, young people ages 15 to 34 now make up 31% of COVID-19 cases, up from 25% in early June. Experts have voiced concern on this issue, as they believe this to be irresponsible behavior. “The virus hasn’t changed. We have changed out behaviors,” Ali Mokdad, professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, said. “Younger people are more likely to be out and taking a risk.” Authorities are worried about the effect this could have on the country’s senior population. “People between the ages 18 and 50 don’t live in some sort of a bubble,” Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said. “They are the children and grandchildren of the vulnerable people. They may be standing next to you at a wedding. They might be serving you a meal in a restaurant.” In the U.S., the virus has particularly affected the senior population, as eight out of 10 deaths in the country have been in people 65 and older. For months older adults were more likely to test positive for the virus. But now that the virus is affecting more young people, hospitals have seen a decrease in COVID-19 patients needing intensive care. “They are sick enough to be hospitalized, but they’re not quite as sick,” said Dr. Rob Phillips, chief physician executive of Houston Methodist Hospital. He then added that he still worries about the older population as young people “definitely interact with their parents and grandparents.”
Visitors to Six Flag Fiesta Texas pass through a thermal screening area as they enter the park as a precaution against COVID-19, Friday, June 19, 2020, in San Antonio. The park reopened Friday at fifty percent capacity. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
June 25, 10:22 a.m.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the world’s economy, the International Monetary Fund announced a new global output prediction for 2020. The IMF had previously predicted global output for 2020 to shrink by 3%, but as the pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, the IMF is now projecting global output to shrink by 4.9%. Additionally, an economic recovery in 2021 will also be weaker, with an expect global growth of 5.4% for the year, compared to the 5.8% that had been predicted in the April forecast. Even if lockdowns have been eased in many parts of the world, the IMF says consumption and investments are still being affected by the pandemic. “We are definitely not out of the woods. We have not escaped the Great Lockdown,” IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said in a news conference, Reuters reported. “Given this tremendous uncertainty, policymakers should remain vigilant.” Even advanced economies, like the U.S. and the euro zone, are expected to be hit by the recession. U.S. output is now expected to decrease by 8%, two percentage points worse than the IMF’s previous forecast.
June 25, 9:56 a.m.
Disney is pressing pause on the reopening of some of its theme parks. On Wednesday, the company announced that Disneyland would not reopen on July 17 as initially planned due to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in California. "The State of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4. Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials," Disney said. Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date." According to CNN, which cited the California Department of Health, the state reported a new single-day high in cases on Wednesday with 7,149. Disney World, the company's flagship resort in Florida, is still on track to open next month, but there is growing resistance. A petition posted on MoveOn.org that has nearly 10,000 signatures is calling on Disney to not open the theme park until it is safe. Florida, like California, is currently experiencing a record spike in COVID-19 cases.
June 25, 9:29 a.m.
The Eiffel Tower welcomed tourists on Thursday for the first time in more than three months. The Paris landmark had been closed to visitors since mid-March, when the coronavirus forced lockdowns in France. According to Reuters, this is the longest period that this monument has been out of action since World War II. Now that it is open again, visitors have to adhere to strict hygiene and safety measures, including the use of face coverings. Additionally, the use of the elevators is off-limits, and visitors are not allowed to go any higher than the second floor of the tower. As temperatures begin to cool down in Paris, using the stairs won’t be a problem for most visitors. On Friday, Paris will have a high temperature of 81 F and a low of 64, which is a major decrease from Thursday’s high temperature of 94 F. However, it is still unclear whether Americans will get to enjoy the landmark, as a potential EU travel ban could prevent U.S. citizens from entering. Watch a video below from Good Morning America which goes behind the scenes of the tower's reopening.
June 25, 6:38 a.m.
Here are the latest global COVID-19 numbers, provided by Johns Hopkins University researchers:
Total confirmed cases: 9,440,535
Total deaths: 482,923
Total recoveries: 4,754,755
On Wednesday, the United States reached a new daily record high with 38,672 new cases recorded, according to The Atlantic. The new daily record comes nearly two months after the previous high, which occurred on April 26.
Wednesday's peak marked the fourth day in the past week with over 30,000 new cases in the U.S.. Since the beginning of the outbreak, Brazil and Chile are the only other countries in the world to have recorded over 30,000 cases in a single day.Report a Typo