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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2:26 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

New Jersey reports at least 51 new coronavirus deaths

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

New Jersey reported 708 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to at least 161,545, Gov. Phil Murphy announced.

There were 51 new deaths reported, bringing the total to 11,770.

There have been 33,318 positive cases in long term care facilities across the state, and 5,158 lab confirmed Covid-19 deaths. 

The state is now No. 15 in the nation in new cases per day, but still rank No. 1 in patients in hospitals and No. 2 in deaths per day, Murphy said. 

The state has now seen 32 cases of the Covid-19 linked inflammatory syndrome in children, state health commissioner Judy Persichilli announced. The ages of the children range from 1 to 18, and they have either tested positive for Covid-19 or for the antibodies. Most of the cases have occurred in adolescents who have been previously health.

Persichilli also noted that black and Hispanic children accounted for a disproportionately high number of the total cases — 26% of the individuals are black, 37% Hispanic, 26% white and 7% Asian, Persichilli said. 

No deaths have been reported due to the disease at this time, she said. 

2:17 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Summer heat unlikely to stop the spread of coronavirus, NIH says

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins listens during a Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on new coronavirus tests on Capitol Hill in Washington, on May 7.
National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins listens during a Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on new coronavirus tests on Capitol Hill in Washington, on May 7. Andrew Harnik/Pool/Getty Images

Warmer weather is unlikely to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus, Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said in a blog post Tuesday.

“Climate only would become an important seasonal factor in controlling COVID-19 once a large proportion of people within a given community are immune or resistant to infection,” Collins wrote, citing experts in infectious disease transmission and climate modeling.

“We’ll obviously have to wait a few months to get the data. But for now, many researchers have their doubts that the COVID-19 pandemic will enter a needed summertime lull,” he added.

President Trump repeatedly speculated early in the pandemic that summer heat would lessen the spread and possibly kill the virus altogether.

Collins said some lab experiments have suggested that increased heat and humidity might “reduce the visibility of SARS-CoV-2,” possibly in a way similar to other coronaviruses, like the common cold, that spread more slowing during warmer weather. But he emphasized that Covid-19 is different.

He pointed to a series of computer simulations published in the journal Science by researchers at Princeton Environmental Institute that showed how the virus will likely spread this summer.

“This research team found that humans’ current lack of immunity to SARS-CoV-2—not the weather—will likely be a primary factor driving the continued, rapid spread of the novel coronavirus this summer and into the fall,” Collins wrote.

He said the earlier studies that hinted hot temperatures could slow the pandemic down focused on better known infectious diseases. Even if one assumed the coronavirus was as sensitive to climate as other seasonal viruses, hot weather would not be enough to slow down its initial and rapid spread through the population.

“Less clear is how seasonal variations in the weather might modulate the spread of a new virus that the vast majority of people and their immune systems have yet to encounter,” Collins wrote.

However, researchers have suggested that as more people develop immunity, Covid-19 might fall into seasonal patterns similar to outbreaks caused by other coronaviruses.

Collins said he’s hopeful that the NIH will have developed effective treatments and vaccine for the virus long before that.

He also suggested that one of the climate models showed that, along with warmer temperatures, if people continue social distancing and wearing masks this summer, those actions could help slow the spread of the deadly virus.

3:03 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

More than 1.8 million coronavirus cases reported in the US

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Workers collect information from local residents as they check them in at a drive-thru coronavirus testing location at Six Flags America May 29 in Bowie, Maryland.
Workers collect information from local residents as they check them in at a drive-thru coronavirus testing location at Six Flags America May 29 in Bowie, Maryland. Alex Wong/Getty Images

There are at least 1,820,523 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

At least 105,644 people have died in the US from coronavirus. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

So far on Tuesday, Johns Hopkins has reported at least 9,163 new cases and at least 479 deaths. 

2:06 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Pennsylvania reports 100 new deaths from coronavirus

Pennsylvania reported 100 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 5,667, according to a statement from the Department of Health.

There were also another 612 positive cases in the state for a new total of 72,894.

“As Pennsylvania continues to move forward in the process to reopen, we need to remember that the threat from Covid-19 has not gone away,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said.

She continued: “As counties move into the yellow and green phases, we must take personal responsibility to protect others. Wearing a mask, continuing to maintain social distancing, and washing your hands frequently are all steps we can take to help protect others, including our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our essential workers and our healthcare system.”

1:18 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

No additional coronavirus deaths reported in Spain 

From CNN’s Al Goodman and Ingrid Formanek in Spain

Dr. Fernando Simón, director of the Center for Health Emergencies in Spain, holds a press conference on the latest developments of the Covid-19 pandemic in Madrid, on March 11.
Dr. Fernando Simón, director of the Center for Health Emergencies in Spain, holds a press conference on the latest developments of the Covid-19 pandemic in Madrid, on March 11. Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

For the second consecutive day, there were no Covid-19 deaths reported by Spain’s Health Ministry, new data released Tuesday show. 

The total Covid-19 death toll has held steady at 27,127 since Sunday.

But, Dr. Fernando Simón, director of the Center for Health Emergencies, said “the data on the deceased are generating some problems” so the figure may have to be adjusted over the next day. Simón said one of the country’s 17 regional governments is having problems with reporting data to the central health authorities.

Speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus technical briefing, Simón stressed that while the death numbers are important, the priority right now for health authorities is to detect any new cases early, and to promptly track and isolate them.

There was an uptick of 137 new infections on Monday, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases to 239,932, as reported by the Spanish Health Ministry.

1:09 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Brazil could reach 1 million cases of Covid-19 in a few weeks, study projects

From journalist Rodrigo Pedroso and CNN's Shasta Darlington in São Paulo

A government health worker checks residents of Santa Maria riverside community amid concern over the spread of Covid-19, in the southwest of Marajo Island, in the state of Para, Brazil, on June 1.
A government health worker checks residents of Santa Maria riverside community amid concern over the spread of Covid-19, in the southwest of Marajo Island, in the state of Para, Brazil, on June 1. Tarso Sarraf/AFP/Getty Images

A Brazilian study by the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) projects that Brazil could reach 1 million cases of novel coronavirus and 50,000 deaths by June 20.

The study also predicts that the number of Covid-19 cases in Brazil will double in the next 18 days.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Brazil reports 526,447 cases of coronavirus and 29,937 virus related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The study projects the peak of the epidemic in Brazil will occur in the middle of June.

UFRGS is a reputable institution in Brazil, as it ranks fourth best in the country, according to 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Another study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, projects Covid-19 deaths in Brazil will exceed 125,000 by early August, and continue increasing afterwards.

The study comes as parts of Brazil are set to reopen. Rio de Janeiro began opening some nonessential businesses and activities Tuesday after an announcement from Mayor Marcelo Crivella Monday. Crivella said he expects the Brazilian city to “return to normal” in early August.

2:57 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Federal prison system does not test all inmates for Covid-19

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

Dr. Jeffrey D. Allen, medical director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, testifies at a hearing of the Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, on June 2.
Dr. Jeffrey D. Allen, medical director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, testifies at a hearing of the Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, on June 2. Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

The Federal Bureau of Prisons does not test every inmate for Covid-19, but it is their long term goal to do so.

Speaking to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Dr. Jeffery Allen, medical director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said, “We do not yet have the strategy in place to test all inmates.”

“We are not currently recommending that all inmates be tested unless those supplies are available,” he said.

Allen said they are working on “expanding our capabilities for testing,” but right now they only test inmates based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A priority system has been created and they are “testing symptomatic patients, testing exposed patients, testing new intakes — and then going beyond that — testing inmates going out to the community coming back, from the community, being released,” he said.

Allen said they are not currently testing any of their own staff, instead relying “heavily on relationships and community partnerships for the testing of staff.”

He said with the greater availability of testing supplies, “The Bureau is working diligently to expand its own testing strategies for asymptomatic populations — including all new inmates on arrival, test and test out strategies for quarantine, testing close contacts, and a number of other criteria.”

Michael Carvajal, director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said today across the US, they have about 1,400 inmates who are currently positive for Covid-19.

“We have 3,000 recovered. So, what I'm trying to say is that we have — at this point — more folks recovered, both staff and inmates. And I think that that shows that we are beginning to flatten the curve,” he said.

Carvajal added: “Prisons by design are not made for social distancing. They are on the opposite and made to contain people in one area.”

12:33 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Italy introduces mandatory temperature checks for rail passengers

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London 

A woman waits to board a train in Rome on May 5.
A woman waits to board a train in Rome on May 5. Marilla Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images

Italy has introduced mandatory temperature checks for rail passengers in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus, the country's Transport Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

"In all high speed ​​stations, dedicated entrances are introduced for passengers on high-speed trains and Intercity trains to measure body temperature before boarding. If a body temperature higher than 37.5° C is detected, access on board the train will not be allowed," the statement said.

Civil Protection Agency volunteers will also manage the flow of travelers inside the stations until June 15, the statement said.

Medium and long-distance trains will have a "simplified" on board food service, with meals and drinks delivered to the seat in sealed packaging by staff wearing masks and gloves.

The new regulations come ahead of Italy relaxing some travel restrictions starting on June 3, allowing interregional travel and foreign visitors from the European Union and UK, who will no longer have to go into quarantine. 

12:16 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020

New Zealand to ease coronavirus restrictions after 11 days with no reported cases

From CNN’s Philip Wang in Atlanta, Isaac Yee in Hong Kong and Amy Woodyatt in London

People enjoy socializing with a drink outside at the bars in Auckland's Wynard Quarter on May 21 in Auckland, New Zealand.
People enjoy socializing with a drink outside at the bars in Auckland's Wynard Quarter on May 21 in Auckland, New Zealand. Phil Walter/Getty Images

With only one active case of novel coronavirus nationwide and none reported over the past 11 days, New Zealand's government is poised to ease coronavirus restrictions as soon as next week.

“If and only if there are no further unexpected cases over the coming days, then we could be in a position to move to alert level one that week,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Tuesday.

The prime minister added that the last remaining restrictions on physical distancing and on mass gatherings would be removed, and that strict border controls would remain to prevent new infections from arriving overseas.

Arden said further details on alert level one will be given out this week.

Some background: New Zealand confirmed its first case of coronavirus on February 28.

By March 25, New Zealand had moved to the strictest level four lockdown, with people told not to leave home except for essential exercise, while maintaining social distancing. 

Foreign nationals were banned from entering the country, nonessential businesses were closed, events and gatherings were canceled, schools were closed to all children, public transportation was reserved for essential workers, and discretionary domestic air travel between regions was banned.

"Our strategy of going hard and early has paid off, and in some cases beyond expectation and what modeling and data had predicted," Arden said.