June 5 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Brett McKeehan, Laura Smith-Spark and Peter Wilkinson, CNN

Updated 1:41 p.m. ET, June 8, 2020
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4:21 p.m. ET, June 5, 2020

Minnesota will reopen gyms and indoor dining next week

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced the reopening of indoor dining, gyms and entertainment venues beginning Wednesday as part of the state's phase three of reopening.

Occupancy will be limited based on risk, with an overall occupancy maximum of 250 people, the statement said.

“Thank you, Minnesotans, for the sacrifices you’ve made to slow the spread of Covid-19,” Gov. Walz said in a statement. “Thanks to your dedication, we are now in a position to carefully turn the dial toward reopening society. As we move forward, it is more important than ever that we each do our part as we trust and rely on each other to keep our state safe.”

 Here are the guidelines for phase three:

  • Restaurants can begin offering indoor dining while maintaining social distancing, requiring reservations and seating no more than 50% occupancy.
  • Indoor social gatherings can take place with 10 people or fewer.
  • Outdoor social gatherings can take place with 25 people or fewer.
  • Gyms, personal fitness and yoga studios and martial arts may open at 25% capacity
  • Indoor entertainment venues, such as theaters and concert halls, can open at 25% capacity.
  • Recreational indoor entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys, arcades, and museums may open at 25% capacity.
  • Personal services, such as salons, tattoo parlors, and barbershops, may increase occupancy rates to 50% while requiring reservations.
  • Outdoor entertainment venues, such as sporting events, concerts and theaters may open at 25% capacity.
  • Places of worship can increase occupancy rates to 50%.

Fears protests could cause surge in Covid-19 cases: This reopening announcement comes as the the state deals with ongoing protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

State officials have expressed fear that coronavirus could spread rapidly during these demonstrations, with Gov. Walz saying on May 30 that he is "deeply concerned about a super-spreader type of incident" and that a spike in Covid-19 cases is "inevitable."

4:14 p.m. ET, June 5, 2020

Key coronavirus number rises in northwest England

From CNN's Milena Veselinovic

Friends row a boat at Hollow Ponds in East London on May 31 in London, England, after the UK Government eased some coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Friends row a boat at Hollow Ponds in East London on May 31 in London, England, after the UK Government eased some coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

The R number — which represents the number of people an infected individual passes the virus to — has risen to above one in the northwest of England, according to joint research by University of Cambridge Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit and Public Health England.

That R number stands at one in the southwest of England, but the number of new infections occurring in the region on a daily basis is "relatively low" according to the study

There is "some evidence" that the R number has risen in all regions, scientists found, "probably due to increasing mobility and mixing between households and in public and workplace settings."

Dr. Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director of Public Health England said in a statement:  “Our estimates show that the regional R numbers have increased although they remain below 1 for most of England – this is to be expected as we gradually move out of lockdown. It is vital that everyone continues with social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene and must remain at home and order a test if they have symptoms.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously stressed the importance of keeping the R rate under one, in order to control the virus. In an address to the nation on May 10 when he partially eased coronavirus restrictions Johnson said: "We must make sure that any measures we take do not force the reproduction rate of the disease – the R – back up over one, so that we have the kind of exponential growth we were facing a few weeks ago."

4:20 p.m. ET, June 5, 2020

Washington, DC, will need to meet these metrics to enter phase 2 of reopening

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Head bartender Sean Hughes cleans a table at the King Street Oyster Bar restaurant on Saturday, May 30, in Washington, D.C. as the city prepares to reopen.
Head bartender Sean Hughes cleans a table at the King Street Oyster Bar restaurant on Saturday, May 30, in Washington, D.C. as the city prepares to reopen. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP

Washington, DC, officials outlined in a news conference today the metrics needed for the nation's capital to enter into phase two of reopening and noted that the earliest date to enter this phase would be June 19.

The key metrics which public health officials would need include:

  • 14 days of sustained community spread decline starting today
  • Hospital capacity less than 80% for 14 days
  • Testing positivity rate of 15% or less for 7 days
  • More than 90% success in contacting tracing for the person who tested positive within one day, more than 90% success in contacting close contacts of the positive test within two days

Under phase two, more businesses can begin to reopen with certain restrictions, including museums and indoor restaurants, according to the city's reopening plans.

Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of the Washington, DC, Health Department, also outlined key metrics that could trigger intervention, which would not necessarily prevent the District from entering in Phase two, but would need addressing by the city government.

As of June 4, DC had 9,199 people test positive for the coronavirus and 479 people have died from the virus.

With regards to the protests that have taken place in the city, Mayor Muriel Bowser noted that “we don’t know what the impact of these demonstrations will be on our Covid experience in DC, we hope that we won’t see a spike, and we have to measure everything that happens within our control and not within our control.” 

Bowser said whether or not there is a spike of cases as a result of protests, DC will still need to “accommodate anyone who gets sick.”

Bowser also announced that in June, all DC government employees must complete contact trace training so they are able to participate in the DC Contact Tracing force, if needed.

2:09 p.m. ET, June 5, 2020

WHO will continue its hydroxychloroquine study "for now," after UK ends its study

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

A pharmacy tech holds a pill of Hydroxychloroquine at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20.
A pharmacy tech holds a pill of Hydroxychloroquine at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20. George Frey/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Friday that its hydroxychloroquine study trials will continue "for now," despite UK researchers' earlier announcement to end their own study as it concluded "no evidence of benefit."

"They are two distinct trials, with their own protocols, their own oversight committees and therefore we will continue for now and our committee will consider the data as it becomes available."

The announcement came after the WHO confirmed it had received notice from the organizers of the Recovery trial on Friday — a large UK-based trial investigating potential coronavirus treatments — about the organizers' decision to end the hydroxychloroquine arm of the Recovery trial.

"They informed us about the preliminary results, which they have gone to the press with. We await to see the final data analysis and the publication that’s going to come out of it and certainly our committee will be considering these results as we go on," Swaminathan said.

Last week, WHO temporarily paused the hydroxychloroquine arms of its Solidarity Trial due to concerns surrounding the drug's safety and in order to review its own data. Then on Wednesday, after that review, WHO announced that it decided to resume studying hydroxychloroquine as a potential Covid-19 treatment in the trial.

 "As Solidarity and Recovery are two of the larger trials, and moreover they have very, very similar study designs, we have been in touch," Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist, said during a media briefing in Geneva on Friday.

1:42 p.m. ET, June 5, 2020

Covid-19 shined a "bright light" on US health care disparities, Fauci says

From CNN's Health Gisela Crespo

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on April 29.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on April 29. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Covid-19 is shining a "bright light" on the US disparities in the health and health care among people of color, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday.

Black communities need the resources to have "the best possible chance with identification, isolation, and contact tracing to prevent the spread" of coronavirus, Fauci said in an interview on CNBC's Halftime Report

Fauci also called for a "long-term commitment to address these disparities of health that have been with us well before we had the challenge of coronavirus."

 "We have an immediate and a long-term goal and responsibility" he said.

"When you look at the social determinants of health, and you look at the background, particularly minorities and people of color, they have two things that are making them suffer more," Fauci told CNBC's Meg Tirrell on the impact of Covid-19 in these groups.

Fauci said black Americans are "often put in a position from a socioeconomic geographic employment standpoint, where their ability to protect themselves from the coronavirus infection may not be the same as someone who has the capability of standing in front of a computing and teleworking." 

Plus, there’s the high prevalence of underlying health conditions that put black Americans at a higher risk of a serious disease, he added.

12:50 p.m. ET, June 5, 2020

UK health secretary asks people not to attend anti-racism protests due to coronavirus threat

From CNN's Milena Veselinovic

Protesters hold signs during a Black Lives Matter demonstration on June 4 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Protesters hold signs during a Black Lives Matter demonstration on June 4 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was "appalled" by the death of George Floyd in the US, but asked the public not to attend the planned anti-racism protests this weekend because "coronavirus remains a real threat."

"I want to say something to you as Health Secretary. Like so many I am appalled by the death of George Floyd an I understand why people are deeply upset, but we are still facing a health crisis, and coronavirus remains a real threat, and the reason that is vital that people stick to the rules this weekend is to protect themselves and their family from this horrific disease," Matt Hancock said on Friday.

"So please for the safety of your loved ones do not attend large gatherings, including demonstrations of more than six people," Hancock said during the Downing Street coronavirus briefing.

According to current coronavirus restrictions in the UK, up to six people are allowed to meet outdoors if they stay two meters — or about six feet — apart.

12:27 p.m. ET, June 5, 2020

UK ends hydroxychloroquine study trials because there's "no evidence of benefit," researchers say

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

Pills of Hydroxychloroquine sit on a tray at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20.
Pills of Hydroxychloroquine sit on a tray at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20. George Frey/AFP/Getty Images

Researchers in the UK have put an abrupt stop to another Covid-19 trial involving the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine.

The Recovery Trial, a large UK-based trial investigating potential coronavirus treatments, has stopped including hydroxychloroquine in its study due to there being "no evidence of benefit," researchers announced on Friday. Other arms in the trial, which has enrolled more than 11,000 patients from 175 hospitals across the UK, will continue.

"We reviewed the data and concluded that there is no evidence of a beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalized with Covid and decided to stop enrolling patients to the hydroxychloroquine arm, with immediate effect, and that has been actioned this morning," Martin Landray, deputy chief investigator of the trial and a professor at the University of Oxford, said during a media briefing on Friday.

As part of the trial,1,542 Covid patients were randomly selected to receive hydroxychloroquine as a treatment compared with 3,132 patients who received the usual standard care. 

About the study: The data showed that after about 28 days, 25.7% of the patients who received hydroxychloroquine had died compared with 23.5% of patients who received usual care alone.

"That is not statistically significant, but as you can see from the numbers, that result shows that there's really no evidence of a benefit," Landray said.

 "I think we can say that this data convincingly rule out any meaningful mortality benefit," Landray said. "Our conclusion is that this treatment does not reduce the risk of dying from Covid among hospital patients. That clearly has a significant importance for the way that patients are treated not only in the UK, but all around the world."

Some background: Last week, the World Health Organization temporarily paused the hydroxychloroquine arms of its Solidarity Trial due to concerns surrounding the drug's safety and in order to review its own data. Then on Wednesday, after that review, WHO announced that it decided to resume studying hydroxychloroquine as a potential Covid-19 treatment in the trial.

Peter Horby, chief investigator for the Recovery Trial and a professor at the University of Oxford, said on Friday that his colleagues and he have notified WHO about the data found in their trial and the decision to end this arm of the study.

"We've been on the telephone this morning with the World Health Organization," Horby said during Friday's presser. "They will be convening their committee to reconsider their decision based on the events of today."
12:19 p.m. ET, June 5, 2020

WHO shifts guidance on masks and urges governments to encourage people to wear them

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

A commuter walks on the platform of a tube station in London on June 5.
A commuter walks on the platform of a tube station in London on June 5. Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization (WHO) is now calling for nations to encourage the general public to wear fabric masks in areas where there continues to be intense spread of the novel coronavirus. All health workers and caregivers are also encouraged to wear masks during their shifts.

"WHO advises that governments should encourage the general public to wear masks where there is widespread transmission and physical distancing is difficult, such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a media briefing in Geneva on Friday.

Here's what the WHO's new recommendations say:

  • "In areas with community transmission, we advise that people aged 60 years or over, or those with underlying conditions, should wear a medical mask in situations where physical distancing is not possible," Tedros said.
  • "In areas with widespread transmission, WHO advises medical masks for all people working in clinical areas of a health facility, not only workers dealing with patients with Covid-19," WHO's Director-General added.
  • WHO recommends that where there is widespread transmission, limited capacity to contain Covid-19 outbreaks and physical distancing of at least a meter can not be achieved, then governments should encourage their public to wear a fabric mask, Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's technical lead for coronavirus response and head of the emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, told CNN. 

The new guidance recommends for these fabric masks — which can be homemade — to be at least three layers: an inner layer of an absorbent material such as cotton; a middle layer that acts like a filter or barrier, such as non-woven material polypropylene; and an outer layer of a non-absorbent material, such as polyester or polyester blend.

Van Kerkhove also said to avoid materials that may be silk, stretchy or porous.

Remember: These updated recommendations announced on Friday, are a shift from what WHO previously advised on masks, which was to not wear them if you are not sick or not caring for someone who is sick, in an effort to keep masks available for health workers.

Tedros added that the new guidance was updated based on evolving evidence. 

12:25 p.m. ET, June 5, 2020

Number of coronavirus-related deaths in New York at lowest number in weeks, Gov. Cuomo says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a coronavirus briefing in Albany, New York, on June 5.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a coronavirus briefing in Albany, New York, on June 5. State of New York

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in New York was 42 yesterday, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo — the lowest number since the pandemic began. 

Just eight weeks ago, daily deaths were at 800 in the state, he said.

The state is also at its lowest rate of hospitalizations to date, Cuomo added.

Cuomo commended the people of the state for quickly changing their behavior to fight the pandemic.

“We know we can change, and we know we can change dramatically. People are focused, we have a plan and that's when social reform happens,” he said. 

The coronavirus pandemic “will go down in history as one of the great transformational moments of society,” he added. 

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