June 2 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Brett McKeehan and Emma Reynolds, CNN

Updated 9:45 a.m. ET, June 3, 2020
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1:37 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

FDA expands the kinds of companies that can make hand sanitizer, even if it means potential exposure to impurities

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

A restaurant employee with a hand sanitizer dispenser in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 29.
A restaurant employee with a hand sanitizer dispenser in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 29. Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

The US Food and Drug Administration will expand the kinds of companies that can make hand sanitizer while demand continues to outpace supply during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The agency issued temporary guidance Monday that will allow some ethanol producers to make hand sanitizers -- even if that means allowing in some small amounts of impurities, the agency said on its website.

In April, the FDA tightened restrictions on the use of ethanol in hand sanitizer.  

Why it's significant: Some small hospitals are having a hard time buying supplies and consumers can only buy hand sanitizer in small quantities -- if they can find it at all -- the FDA said. Since good hand hygiene is key to preventing the spread of Covid-19, the FDA said it is working with the ethanol industry to make sure that harmful impurities aren’t introduced into the hand sanitizer during manufacturing.

What's the concern: The process to make ethanol requires fermentation and distillation. Neither process should taint the final hand sanitizer product, but if it is made in the same plant as one that makes fuel or technical-grade ethanol, the hand sanitizer could become contaminated with gasoline or benzene. Exposure to either could potentially cause cancer.

The FDA said that in looking at the data, it believes some level of certain impurities can be tolerated for a relatively short period.

What the FDA says: During the pandemic, there needs to be a “proper level of flexibility” in the rules.

“As with everything we do, the FDA is committed to ensuring that we appropriately balance risk and benefit,” the agency wrote on its website.
12:42 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

US air travel is bouncing back ... sort of

From CNN's Gregory Wallace

Air travel is nowhere near pre-pandemic levels. But it began bouncing back in May. 

The number of people passing through airport security checkpoints in the United States nearly doubled over the course of the month.

The Transportation Security Administration says it screened nearly 949,000 passengers over the past weekend. By comparison, it scanned 476,000 people over the first weekend in May.

American Airlines said more people traveled this past weekend than over Memorial Day, the start of the summer travel season. 

Although the increases are significant, the pandemic has dealt an unprecedented blow to the industry. During the busiest day in May, only 14% of travelers flew compared to the equivalent day in 2019.

Read the full story:

12:00 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Social distancing and masks reduce risk of getting Covid-19, review finds

From CNN's Katie Hunt

Stay 6 feet apart. And, while you're at it, wear a face covering. 

The "most comprehensive study to date" found that physical distance and perhaps the use of a mask were the best ways to prevent coronavirus transmission.

The study, published in the Lancet medical journal Monday, found people should stay at least three feet apart -- and more if possible.

The review of various published studies, paid for by the World Health Organization, had three main findings:

  • Physical distancing: The chance of transmission at a distance of less than 1 meter (3.3 feet) was 12.8%, while that fell to 2.6% at a distance of more than 1 meter (3.3 feet). It added that distances of 2 meters (6.6 feet) could be more effective. It said that the certainty of the evidence was "moderate." 
  • Face masks: The chance of transmission without a face mask or respirator (like an N95 mask) was 17.4%, while that fell to 3.1% when a mask was worn. However, the certainty of the evidence was "low."
  • Eye protection: The chance of transmission without eye protection was put at 16%, compared to 5.5% with some form of eye protection like a face shield, visor, goggles or glasses. However, the certainty of the evidence was "low."

Read the full story:

11:36 p.m. ET, June 1, 2020

Of Tokyo's 13 new coronavirus cases, more than half are people in their 20s

From CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo

A television screen in a Tokyo hotel displays a news conference held by Gov. Yuriko Koike on Friday, May 29.
A television screen in a Tokyo hotel displays a news conference held by Gov. Yuriko Koike on Friday, May 29. Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Japan reported 37 new coronavirus cases and two deaths on Monday, its Health Ministry said.

The total number of recorded infections in the country has now reached 17,642, including 712 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. At least 907 people have died, with 13 from the cruise ship.

In the capital Tokyo, 13 fresh coronavirus cases were reported Monday, and no deaths. Gov. Yuriko Koike said more than half of the new cases in the city are people in their 20s, and many of the infections came from the night entertainment business.

Tokyo moved into step 2 of its recovery plan this week, which eases restrictions for shopping malls and sports facilities. Night clubs, bars and karaoke are still shut, however, and restaurants have been requested to close by 10 p.m.

The southern city of Kitakyushu, which has seen a sizable community spread over the past 10 days, recorded 16 new infections on Monday.

11:01 p.m. ET, June 1, 2020

China reports 5 new coronavirus cases and no deaths

From CNN's Vanesse Chan

Medical workers take coronavirus test swabs in Beijing on May 28.
Medical workers take coronavirus test swabs in Beijing on May 28. Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

China reported five new coronavirus cases and no additional deaths on Monday, according to the country's National Health Commission.

All of the new cases are imported, with two in Sichuan province, one in Shanghai, one in Guangdong, and one in Shaanxi.

Another 10 asymptomatic cases were also reported.

A total of 83,022 coronavirus cases have been reported in China. The official death toll stands at 4,634.

More than 78,300 patients have been discharged from hospital so far. Some 371 asymptomatic patients are also still under medical observation.

10:11 p.m. ET, June 1, 2020

It's just after 11:00 p.m. in Rio de Janeiro and 11:00 a.m. in Tokyo. Here's the latest on the pandemic

More than 6.2 million cases of Covid-19 have been reported worldwide and at least 375,000 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

If you're just joining us, here's the latest headlines:

Brazil's May surge: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country multiplied by five in the month of May, according to its health ministry. In the past 24 hours alone, Brazil recorded 12,247 new cases, with more than 526,000 total infections.

Yet Rio is easing restrictions: The city of Rio de Janeiro starts opening some nonessential businesses and activities Tuesday, Mayor Marcelo Crivella announced. Crivella said he expects the city to “return to normal” in early August.

In the US: Washington, DC, reported a spike in cases, pushing back the city’s timetable for moving to the second phase of reopening. Meanwhile, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner declared Monday a day of mourning for those who lost their lives to Covid-19. The US has recorded 1.8 million cases, including at least 105,000 deaths.

Fauci and Trump: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the country's Coronavirus Task Force, says he has not spoken to or met with Donald Trump in two weeks, and that his contact with the President has become much less frequent. 

Italy infections decrease: After more than a month of gradually easing lockdown measures, coronavirus infections continue to steadily decrease in Italy, according to data from the country's Civil Protection Service. On Wednesday, the world-famous Uffizi gallery in Florence will reopen.

Rapid increase in the Americas: The Americas, especially Latin America and the Caribbean, are seeing a rapid increase in new coronavirus cases, the World Health Organization said. “Five of the 10 countries worldwide reporting the highest new number of cases in the past 24 hours are in the Americas: Brazil, USA, Peru, Chile and Mexico,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program.

WHO urges US: The World Health Organization said it hopes President Trump will not follow through with his decision to terminate the relationship between the United States and the WHO.

10:44 p.m. ET, June 1, 2020

ICUs become a "delirium factory" for Covid-19 patients

From Liz Szabo from Kaiser Health News

Doctors are fighting not only to save lives from Covid-19, but also to protect patients' brains.

Although Covid-19 is best known for damaging the lungs, it also increases the risk of life-threatening brain injuries -- from mental confusion to hallucinations, seizures, coma, stroke and paralysis.

The virus may invade the brain, and it can starve the brain of oxygen by damaging the lungs. To fight the infection, the immune system sometimes overreacts, battering the brain and other organs it normally protects.

Yet the pandemic has severely limited the ability of doctors and nurses to prevent and treat neurological complications. The severity of the disease and the heightened risk of infection have forced medical teams to abandon many of the practices that help them protect patients from delirium, a common side effect of mechanical ventilators and intensive care.

And while Covid-19 increases the risk of strokes, the pandemic has made it harder to diagnose them.

Read the full story:

10:07 p.m. ET, June 1, 2020

A quarter of US nursing homes report at least one coronavirus infection, first official tally shows

From CNN's Tami Luhby

A cleaning crew prepares to enter the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington on March 12.
A cleaning crew prepares to enter the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington on March 12. John Moore/Getty Images

Nearly 26,000 nursing home residents have died from coronavirus in the United States, according to federal data released on Monday.

One quarter of nursing homes had at least one case, and one in five had at least one death, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The cases were more prevalent in poorly rated facilities, which typically have weaker infection controls and fewer staffers per resident.

The report marks the first nationwide government tally showing the impact of the pandemic on nursing homes, which have been hit especially hard by the outbreak. More than 60,000 residents have tested positive for the virus.

The data, however, is not a complete picture, said Seema Verma, the agency's administrator. It covers only about 80% of nursing homes, and it doesn't include assisted living facilities. Also, CMS did not issue the requirement that nursing homes provide this information to the federal government until May 1, though Verma said that most facilities likely reported cases and deaths before that date, as well.

Read the full story:

10:04 p.m. ET, June 1, 2020

Mexico becomes seventh country to reach 10,000 coronavirus deaths

From CNN's Matt Rivers and Natalie Gallón in Mexico City

Workers dig 300 graves at the El Palmar Phanteon for coronavirus victims in Acapulco, Mexico on May 22.
Workers dig 300 graves at the El Palmar Phanteon for coronavirus victims in Acapulco, Mexico on May 22. Francisco Robles/AFP/Getty Images

Mexico has surpassed 10,000 coronavirus-related deaths, according to the country's health authorities.

An additional 237 deaths on Monday took Mexico's toll to 10,167 since March 18, when the country’s first coronavirus fatality was recorded. Officials also reported another 2,771 cases, bringing the confirmed total to 93,435.

The country has recorded the second-most deaths in Latin America -- and the seventh-most worldwide.

It comes as Mexico entered a new Covid-19 phase Monday, reopening certain sectors of the economy such as mining, construction and tourism in certain areas under a plan deemed the “new normal.”