June 4 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brett McKeehan, Laura Smith-Spark and Peter Wilkinson, CNN

Updated 7:57 a.m. ET, June 5, 2020
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10:20 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Brazil's coronavirus restrictions continue to loosen in some areas as death toll hits new peak

From journalist Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo  

A gravedigger working at the Nossa Senhora Aparecida cemetery where Covid-19 victims are buried in Manaus, Brazil, on June 2.
A gravedigger working at the Nossa Senhora Aparecida cemetery where Covid-19 victims are buried in Manaus, Brazil, on June 2. Michael Dantas/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil registered a record number of coronavirus-related deaths for the second day in a row on Wednesday.

The country's health ministry reported 1,349 new Covid-19 fatalities in the previous 24 hours, raising the total to 32,548.

The ministry also recorded 28,633 new confirmed cases Wednesday, for a total of 584,016.

Despite the rise in cases, parts of the country started loosening virus-related restrictions this week.

More deaths in Rio: The Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro also recorded a record number of coronavirus-related deaths in a day, according to the state health secretary. 

Authorities said Wednesday that 324 Covid-19 deaths had been identified in the past 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to 6,010 fatalities.

The state also recorded 2,508 new confirmed cases -- taking the total there to 59,240.

The city of 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.

9:58 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

US Senate passes Paycheck Protection Program reform bill

From CNN's Clare Foran, Lauren Fox and Phil Mattingly 

The US Capitol building in Washington, DC on May 30.
The US Capitol building in Washington, DC on May 30. Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Wednesday evening passed by voice vote a Paycheck Protection Program reform bill -- clearing it for President Donald Trump’s signature. 

Earlier in the afternoon, GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin objected to a prior effort to pass the bill via unanimous consent, blocking approval. But Johnson agreed to let the bill pass after getting a letter entered into the record clarifying the authorization period.  

The bill, which passed the House last week, gives business owners more flexibility and time to use loan money and still get it forgiven as part of the Paycheck Protection Program, set up to help struggling small businesses with emergency loans during the pandemic.

The legislation — titled the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act — was introduced by Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas and Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota. It is intended to make loans more accessible under the program by making its terms of use more flexible 

The legislation would give small businesses more time to use emergency loans under the program by extending the eight-week period in which they must use the money to qualify for loan forgiveness to 24 weeks.

The bill would also give small businesses more flexibility by changing the so-called 75/25 rule, which requires recipients of funds under the program to use three-quarters of the money for payroll costs and to limit other costs to no more than 25% in order to be eligible for loan forgiveness.

The new ratio would be at least 60% on payroll and no more than 40% on other costs.

9:23 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

UK business minister tested for coronavirus after looking visibly ill in Parliament 

From CNN's Milena Veselinovic

Business Secretary Alok Sharma wipes his face during a speech in the House of Commons, London. Sharma has been tested for coronavirus after becoming visibly unwell in the debating chamber.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma wipes his face during a speech in the House of Commons, London. Sharma has been tested for coronavirus after becoming visibly unwell in the debating chamber. House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images

UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma has been tested for coronavirus and is self-isolating, after looking visibly unwell while giving a statement at the UK Parliament on Wednesday. 

Sharma was seen sweating profusely and repeatedly wiping his face with a handkerchief and holding his forehead during his speech at the House of Commons.

“Secretary of State Alok Sharma began feeling unwell when in the chamber delivering the second reading of the Corporate Governance and Insolvency Bill. In line with guidance he has been tested for coronavirus and has returned home to self-isolate,” the press office for Sharma's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy told CNN.

Hundreds of MPs returned to UK Parliament to take part in a socially distanced voting procedure on Wednesday.

8:58 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Sao Paulo government says coronavirus cases could double by the end of this month

From CNN's Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo  

Health workers visit a squatters camp to conduct examinations in Sao Bernardo do Campo, greater Sao Paulo area, Brazil, on June 3.
Health workers visit a squatters camp to conduct examinations in Sao Bernardo do Campo, greater Sao Paulo area, Brazil, on June 3. Andre Penner/AP

Sao Paulo's government has projected that its coronavirus cases could double by the end of June. 

By the end of May, Sao Paulo state – which includes the city of Sao Paulo – had reported a total of 109,698 cases. The government now projects that by the end of June, the cases could reach between 190,000 to 265,000, the state’s Vice-Gov. Rodrigo Garcia said at a news conference Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the state reported a record 327 daily coronavirus-related deaths. 

Claiming the advance of the epidemic is "within the predicted dimension,” Garcia said, “this increase we've seen in the past few days is not surprising. In April, the epidemic grew 10 times. In May, 3.6 times. For June, we expect the number of cases to grow between 1.7 and 2.4 times.”

On Wednesday, Sao Paulo reported 5,188 new coronavirus cases -- taking the state's total to 123,483.

Last week, the mayor of Sao Paulo city announced a gradual reopening of certain sectors, despite the continued spike of infections and deaths.

8:49 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

US stocks closed higher after employment report suggests worst could be over for labor market

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks finished higher after rallying all day. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite logged their fourth straight day of gains. For the Dow, it was the third up day.

Market sentiment was boosted by a much better than expected ADP employment report, which shored up hopes that the worst might be over for America’s battered labor market.

Here's how the markets closed today:

  • The Dow finished up 2.1%, or 527 points.
  • The S&P 500 ended 1.4% higher.
  • The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.8%.
8:47 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

The Trump administration has picked 5 companies most likely to produce a coronavirus vaccine

From CNN's Jim Acosta

The Trump administration has selected five companies as the most likely to produce a Covid-19 vaccine, a White House coronavirus task force source tells CNN.

The same source added that the decision came from "Operation Warp Speed," which seeks to quickly ramp up production, organize distribution and determine who gets the first doses of a potential vaccine.  

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has previously suggested January as a potential date for a vaccine, but vaccines typically take years to produce.

The New York Times first reported that the administration had selected five companies most likely to produce a vaccine. 

8:34 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

World Health Organization "very concerned" about coronavirus in Haiti

From CNN's Mia Alberti, Chandler Thornton and Etant Dupain

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday it is "very concerned" about the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic in Haiti.

By the numbers: Haiti has reported at least 2,507 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and at least 48 deaths, according to the latest report by the Haitian Ministry of Health from June 1.

"We are very concerned about Haiti at the moment because of its unique circumstances, unique fragility and the fact that the disease is accelerating in a highly vulnerable population", WHO's Executive Director for Health Emergencies, Michael Ryan, said in a press conference.

"What has been common to many regions has been intense community transmission and it is clear that once community transmission has been established it's very difficult to root the virus out."

8:31 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Brazil will be first country outside UK to test vaccine developed by Oxford University 

From CNN’s Shasta Darlington, Mia Alberti and Rodrigo Pedroso

Two thousand Brazilians will participate in June tests of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University in partnership with AstraZeneca pharmaceutical, the Federal University of Sao Paulo (Unifesp) said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the Brazilian Ministry of Health approved the start of the study, in which 1,000 patients in São Paulo and 1,000 more in Rio de Janeiro will be vaccinated.

The country is the first site of these vaccination tests outside the United Kingdom.

The study will happen as Brazil is registering an increase in the number of cases and deaths. Tuesday's reported death toll of 1,262 was a record for a 24-hour period.

Brazil's biggest cities have still started relaxing social isolation rules imposed since mid-March.

“The most important thing is to carry out this stage of the study now when the epidemiological curve is still rising and the results may be more assertive", the lead investigator of the study in Brazil and Unifesp researcher, Lily Yin Weckx, said. 

The official registration of the vaccine is expected to be made later this year in the United Kingdom, Unifesp said in its statement.

Brazil has the second-highest number of cases after the United States. 

8:20 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020

Restaurants in 7 regions across New York can reopen outdoor seating tomorrow

From CNN's Sheena Jones

At least seven regions in New York are ready to enter phase two and reopen restaurants for outdoor seating from tomorrow, according to a news release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

Restaurants in Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the North County, the Southern Tier and Western New York can all reopen for outdoor seating, the release says.

Here are the guidelines restaurants must follow:

  • Outdoor tables must be six feet apart
  • All staff must wear face coverings
  • Customers must also wear face coverings when not seated

New York state reported its lowest daily coronavirus death toll in months, with 49 deaths reported yesterday. The state confirmed 1,045 additional cases of Covid-19 for a statewide total of 374,085.

"Covid-19 is still a real threat and we're still battling it. I know it's not on the front pages today, but it is still in people and in society," Cuomo said. "But thanks to the people of New York and the nurses, doctors and essential workers, today we have the lowest number of hospitalizations ever and we have the lowest death toll ever. We are continuously evaluating activities that can be safely reopened, and today we are adding outdoor seating at restaurants to phase two."