June 12 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George, Helen Regan and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

Updated 0322 GMT (1122 HKT) June 13, 2020
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1:50 p.m. ET, June 12, 2020

CDC's ensemble forecast now projects 130,000 US coronavirus deaths by July 4

From CNN Health’s Arman Azad

An ensemble forecast published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now projects more than 130,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by July 4.

The rate of new deaths is expected to grow in some states, a sign the pandemic may be worsening in some regions — even as the country begins to reopen.

This week’s national forecast relies on 17 individual forecasts from outside institutions and researchers. The new projections, published Friday, forecast about 130,560 deaths by July 4, with a possible range of 124,260 to 139,880 deaths.

The previous ensemble forecast, published last Thursday, forecast 127,230 US deaths by June 27.

“The state-level ensemble forecasts suggest that the number of new deaths over the next four weeks in Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, North Carolina, Utah, and Vermont will likely exceed the number reported over the last four weeks,” the CDC says on its forecasting website.

“For other states, the number of new deaths is expected to be similar or decrease slightly compared to the previous four weeks.” 

Also on Friday, CDC officials reiterated the importance of social distancing, wearing face coverings in public and frequent hand washing.

"We know the pandemic is not over," Dr. Jay Butler, CDC's deputy director for infectious diseases, said during a call with reporters.

Note on the forecast: Unlike some individual models, the CDC’s ensemble forecast only offers projections for the next month.

 

1:25 p.m. ET, June 12, 2020

WHO: "It's very hard to fight this kind of virus in a divided world"

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

“The world is divided,” World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a news conference in Geneva today.

Addressing the coronavirus pandemic, Tedros said, “This is a very dangerous virus. And it's very hard to fight this kind of virus in a divided world.”

“The different measures that countries have taken to control the virus have turned the lives of many citizens upside down,” Tedros said.

Tedros said the impact on global health has been large, but some social impacts are even more serious. “Millions have lost their jobs, and we know many have lost their livelihoods,” he said adding a very small virus is creating havoc.

“This should be a humbling moment,” Tedros said. “We need to really reflect and see humility as the main way to get out of this problem for any individual person or any nation.”

Some background: President Trump has stood firm in his threats to halt funding to the organization. Last month he told the agency he will permanently pull US funding if it does not "commit to major substantive improvements in the next 30 days."

1:28 p.m. ET, June 12, 2020

UK will review its policies on 14-day quarantine on June 29

From CNN's Lauren Kent in London

Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street via AP
Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street via AP

The UK will review its policies on the 14-day travel quarantine and potential "air bridges" on June 29, said British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps during a Downing Street news conference on Friday. 

"We will only open up air bridges where it is safe to do so and there will be more on that at the review period, which is the 29th of June," Shapps said, adding that the UK is taking "every precaution" to avoid a second wave of the virus.

He added that the government is talking to airlines and airports about the policies, but he declined to comment on which countries the UK will talk to about creating travel corridors.

Shapps also said the travel quarantine, which requires anyone coming into the country to self-isolate for 14-days or face fines, would remain a blanket policy until the review at the end of June.

"On the quarantine, I think most Brits understand that we’ve sacrificed a lot, we’ve stayed at home, we’ve been fighting this virus — getting the R number below one. What we don’t want to do is essentially be re-importing it, either by people coming here or by Brits going abroad and coming back," Shapps said. "So I think the idea of quarantine is the right thing to be doing and I note that it has broad public support."

Earlier on Friday, British Airways, Easyjet and Ryanair launched legal action against the UK government’s quarantine rules, saying the restrictions will have a devastating effect on British tourism and the aviation industry.

1:24 p.m. ET, June 12, 2020

CDC officials warn "we could see increases" in Covid-19 cases this summer as states reopen

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard and Michael Nedelman

People are seen drinking and eating at a restaurant in Milford, Pennsylvania, on May 6.
People are seen drinking and eating at a restaurant in Milford, Pennsylvania, on May 6. Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that the country could see more Covid-19 cases this summer as states reopen and are reminding the public that getting flu shots in the fall will be as important as ever.

"In the coming weeks, we could see increases in the number of cases of Covid-19 as states reopen and as there’s an increase in public gatherings as we move into the summer across the country. It’s too soon to tell if this will happen, but CDC is working closely with state health departments to monitor the disease activity, and to support responses to any increases," Dr. Jay Butler, CDC's deputy director for infectious diseases, said during a phone call with reporters on Friday.

He continued: "In addition, we must look ahead to the fall and winter. While what will happen is uncertain, we have to pull all our efforts towards gearing up for additional potential challenges that we see every fall and winter — and that is influenza," Butler said. "If anything, we must be overprepared for what we might face later this year. Getting the flu vaccine will be more important than ever, as flu and Covid-19 could be circulating together as we move into the fall in the winter months."

2:40 p.m. ET, June 12, 2020

New CDC coronavirus guidelines advise caution with travel

From CNN's Maggie Fox

People sit on the grass in circles drawn to promote social distancing at Alamo Square in San Francisco on June 11.
People sit on the grass in circles drawn to promote social distancing at Alamo Square in San Francisco on June 11. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Public transportation and travel can still be risky and people need to think twice before they leave home, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in new guidelines released Friday.

“Public transit can put you in close contact with others. When using public transportation, follow CDC’s guidance on how to protect yourself when using transportation,” the agency said in the new guidelines, aimed at providing advice for people to lead their lives day to day while the coronavirus continues. 

The public transportation guidelines, posted last month, remind people to wash their hands before and after using trains, buses, subways and other shared transport. “During travel, try to keep at least 6 feet (2 meters) from people who are not in your household — for example, when you are waiting at a bus station or selecting seats on a train,” they add. “Wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing is difficult.”

The new guidelines also remind people about existing advice on travel.

“COVID-19 cases and deaths have been reported in all 50 states, and the situation is constantly changing. Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick,” the CDC stresses.

2:36 p.m. ET, June 12, 2020

Read the CDC's new guidelines for living daily life during the pandemic

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Stay apart from others, wear a face covering, and try not to share objects – that’s the latest, updated advice from the US Centers for Disease control and Prevention for living daily life during the coronavirus pandemic.

The CDC released its latest versions of guidelines for people Friday with a reminder that the virus is still spreading.

“We know the pandemic is not over,”  Dr. Jay Butler, CDC’s deputy director of infectious diseases and Covid-19 response incident manager, told a media briefing. 

The guidelines use everyday language and straightforward advice:

  • “In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread,” they read. “So, think about: How many people will you interact with? Interacting with more people raises your risk,” they add.
  • “Being in a group with people who aren’t social distancing or wearing cloth face coverings increases your risk. Engaging with new people (e.g., those who don’t live with you) also raises your risk,” they add.
  • “Some people have the virus and don’t have any symptoms, and it is not yet known how often people without symptoms can transmit the virus to others.”
  • The CDC advises keeping six feet apart from others when possible. “The closer you are to other people who may be infected, the greater your risk of getting sick,” the CDC said.
  • The agency also advocates for face coverings, especially if it will be difficult to keep six feet apart from another person.

“It’s important that you and the people around you wear a cloth face covering when in public and particularly when it’s difficult to stay 6 feet away from others consistently,” the CDC said. “Choose outdoor activities and places where it’s easy to stay 6 feet apart, like parks and open-air facilities.”

Physical barriers such as plexiglass screens can also reduce the risk of spreading virus, the CDC said.

1:07 p.m. ET, June 12, 2020

Oregon governor pauses reopening statewide due to spikes in Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Hollie Silverman 

Pool
Pool

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday that the state is putting a seven-day pause on further county reopenings statewide due to a spike in new Covid-19 cases.

"This is essentially a statewide yellow light," Brown said during a news conference.

She said that the state was aware there could be a spike in cases as restrictions were lifted. "Unfortunately, we are now seeing that happen in several parts of the state in both rural and urban Oregon," Brown said.

The state has put all applications by counties to move into the next phase of reopening on hold for the next week as a result, she said.

Twenty nine counties are currently in phase two of the reopening process. Three counties are in phase one and have not yet applied for phase two while three other counties are in phase one and have applied for phase two. Those applications are being put on hold for one week.  

"The virus makes the timelines, we don't make the timelines," Brown said. 

The numbers: There were 178 new cases reported statewide Thursday, which is the highest total ever, Director of the Oregon Health Authority Pat Allen said during the news conference.

The number of newly reported cases increased by 75% in the week ending June 7, according to Allen.

There were 620 new cases of infection last week, an 18% increase from the prior week, Allen said. The percent of positive tests also rose from 1.9% to 3% in the 18,271 tests reported last week, Allen said.

The governor said the increases they are seeing are not concentrated in one area, but are all over the state.

12:45 p.m. ET, June 12, 2020

CDC officials emphasize importance of following Covid-19 guidelines: "The pandemic is not over"

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Signage asks people to socially distance outside a store inside the Mall of America before it opens on June 10 in Minneapolis.
Signage asks people to socially distance outside a store inside the Mall of America before it opens on June 10 in Minneapolis. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reiterating the importance of social distancing, wearing face coverings in public and washing hands frequently.

Their announcement to keep following guidelines comes at a time when President Trump plans to hold a rally and has not been wearing a face covering in public.

"We know the pandemic is not over," Dr. Jay Butler, CDC's deputy director for infectious diseases, said during a call with reporters on Friday.

"The good news is, nationally, we have been successful in flattening the curve, the number of new cases, each day has been relatively plateaued over a prolonged period of time," Butler said.

"But right now communities are experiencing different levels of transmission. And this is occurring as they gradually ease up on some of the community mitigation efforts, and gradually reopen," Butler said. "We continue to ask everyone to follow the guidance."

CDC officials plan to release more guidelines today.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield also said during the call that continuing to follow this guidance remains critical.

"CDC’s Covid-19 response is now in its sixth month and while we’re making real progress we still have a lot of work ahead as we reopen America," Redfield said. 

"It continues to be extremely important that we embrace the recommendations of social distancing, handwashing and wearing a face covering while we’re in public as some of the key defenses that we have against this progress," Redfield said. "It’s important that we remember that the situation is unprecedented and that the pandemic has not ended."
12:39 p.m. ET, June 12, 2020

Transportation Department will send 100 million masks to airports and other transit agencies

From CNN's Greg Wallace

The US Department of Transportation says it will make 100 million masks available, mostly at airports, but also at transit locations and Amtrak for passengers to use.

The agency describes them as “cloth facial coverings" and says they are intended to be supplemental to the masks travelers are required to bring on their own and are not guaranteed to be available.

“This Administration is committed to protecting our people and reopening the economy; distributing these facial coverings will help boost public confidence as we begin to resume our normal lives,” Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a statement.

Approximately 86.8 million coverings will be distributed to airports, and 9.6 million coverings will be distributed to 458 transit agencies and Amtrak for passenger use, the statement said.