June 16 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan and Steve George, CNN

Updated 0611 GMT (1411 HKT) June 17, 2020
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12:56 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Hilton will cut thousands of corporate roles globally

From CNN’s Alison Kosik

The Hilton Worldwide Holdings headquarters in McLean, Virginia.
The Hilton Worldwide Holdings headquarters in McLean, Virginia. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Hilton Worldwide Holdings announced it is cutting 2,100 corporate employees, as the hospitality company deals with “unprecedented challenges for the travel and tourism industry.”

The company also said it is extending previously announced furloughs, reduced hours and corporate pay cuts for up to an additional 90 days. 

“Never in Hilton’s 101-year history has our industry faced a global crisis that brings travel to a virtual standstill," Hilton’s President and CEO Christopher Nassetta said in a statement.

Nassetta said he’s devastated that in order to protect the business “we have been forced to take actions that directly impact our team members.” 

The hotel industry has taken a massive hit because of stay-at-home orders during the pandemic. 

Data from hospitality analytics company STR found that only 21.6% of hotel rooms in the US were occupied between March 29 and April 4. 

The data shows occupancy levels have improved since then, but that “year over year declines remain significant.”

12:53 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

More staff needed to support US-Mexico border, official says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

More trained staff are needed to detect Covid-19 and implement protocols at the US-Mexico border, said Dr. Ciro Ugarte, director of Health Emergencies at the Pan American Health Organization.

Speaking during a briefing on Tuesday, PAHO said it and other organizations have been training staff so that they are better able to put these protocols into place – but it’s not enough.

“We do have protocols for the management and prevention of cases, but this is highly difficult because of the lack of trained staff,” Ugarte said.

“We have seen a constant flow of people going back to Mexico, because of them wanting to go back, but also because we have had some cases of forced returns,” Ugarte said.

There has also been a call to increase surveillance at the border “to better respond from a medical point of view,” he said.

12:09 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Fauci calls on Americans to be responsible during the pandemic: “We are all in this together"

From CNN Health’s Amanda Watts

Dr. Anthony Fauci, left, 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, left, 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

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is calling on Americans to be responsible, as lockdown measures are lifted across the United States.

Speaking to NPR’s 1A program on Tuesday, Fauci said some people think, “'Oh, what the heck? I just want to go in a crowded place and go in a bar and go into a restaurant and not adhere to the recommendations — no big deal.’ Well, you know, in the big picture of things, it is a big deal because you're contributing to a risk of a very serious disease.” 

“And Covid-19 is a serious disease,” he added.

Fauci said there is often a feeling, especially in the younger generation, that coronavirus isn’t a serious disease.

“That really is unfortunate because, first of all, there are serious consequences. … You're part of a process that could then spread it to people who are vulnerable.”

 Fauci urged Americans need to think about “your responsibility to society in general.”

“Because we are all in this together,” he said. “This is a global pandemic.”

Fauci warned the US has to continue to protect ourselves, because the concept of herd immunity isn’t going to help us yet.

 “We are not anywhere close, by any means, to herd immunity,” he said.

“The bottom line is, you've got to protect yourself. You cannot depend on quote this herd immunity -- which is the reason why I and others keep emphasizing: Avoid crowds, wear masks, wash your hands, do the things that would protect you from getting exposed to the virus," Fauci said.

12:02 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

US-Canada border to remain closed until at least July 21, Trudeau says

From CNN’s Paula Newton in Ottawa

A view of the U.S.-Canada border crossing is seen on April 8 from Detroit.
A view of the U.S.-Canada border crossing is seen on April 8 from Detroit. Elaine Cromie/Getty Images)=

Canada announced Tuesday that by mutual agreement, the US-Canada border will remain closed to all but essential travel until at least July 21.

“This is an important decision that will keep people in both of our countries safe,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a news conference in Ottawa Tuesday.

 The border has been closed since March 21, and the closures have been extended three times.

Under the arrangement, essential workers — such as truck drivers, healthcare providers, and air crews — may still cross the border, but others are prohibited from discretionary travel, including most family visits.

12:00 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

New York reports lowest number of Covid-19 hospitalizations, governor says

While some other states have seen an upward trend in hospitalizations, New York state reported its lowest number of Covid-19 hospitalizations since the pandemic started in the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news conference today.

Total Covid-19 hospitalizations fell to 1,538 yesterday, the lowest since March 20, Cuomo tweeted.

He also said that the three-day rolling average of Covid-19 fatalities is also at a a new record low at 24. The state reported 25 deaths on June 15.

"The facts in New York are really, really good, and I am so proud of what the people in this state have done," Cuomo said.

Cuomo tweeted the figures:

12:01 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

New York hospitals can now allow visitors, governor says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference in Albany, New York, on June 16.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference in Albany, New York, on June 16. State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said hospitals across the state can now allow visitors as coronavirus numbers continue to improve.

"The numbers look very good," he said at a news conference. "We're going to allow hospitals to accept visitors at their discretion."

Cuomo said that if a hospital chooses to allow visitors, those guests must follow state guidelines, including wearing personal protective equipment and being subject to symptom checks. The visits may be time-limited.

Cuomo also added that group homes can allow visitors starting on Friday, if they follow similar guidelines.

11:51 a.m. ET, June 16, 2020

US Open will be held in New York City without fans, governor says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that the US Open tennis tournament will be held in Queens from August 31 to September 13.

He said the event will be held without fans, but it will be televised.

11:37 a.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Fauci doesn’t see global efforts to find vaccine as a “race of who gets there first” 

From CNN Health’s Amanda Watts)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, left, 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, left, 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

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he hopes many countries around the world are successful in finding a coronavirus vaccine.

“This is not a race of who gets there first,” he said.

Speaking to NPR’s 1A program on Tuesday, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, “I would love there to be more than one, two or three vaccines, including China getting a vaccine, and we get a vaccine, and some of the European countries get a vaccine.”

Fauci said that for a vaccine to be successful, it has to be available globally.

“The more companies that have successful vaccines, the better off we are. I don't see this as a race in which there is one winner,” Fauci said.

The United States’ efforts are “moving very quickly,” he said. “And I might emphasize, not at the experience of safety, nor compromising any of the scientific integrity of the study.”

Fauci said there is no guarantee that a vaccine is going to be effective.

“Certainly we would not have a vaccine given to anyone if it's not safe, and if it's not effective,” he said.

But Fauci is hoping “to get to the point where you can make a determination if it's effective likely, by the end of this calendar year and the beginning of 2020. So, the vaccine does show itself to be safe and effective, we may get doses that are available for people by the very end of this year, and the beginning of the first few months of 2021.”

11:26 a.m. ET, June 16, 2020

LPGA to resume season in July

From CNN's Wayne Sterling

The Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour announced Tuesday that the 2020 season will resume with back-to-back events in Ohio. 

A new tournament, the LPGA Drive On Championship, will take place from July 31 until August 2 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. It will feature a field of 144 players competing for a $1 million purse and will take place without sponsors, pro-ams or spectators. 

The next tournament will be the Marathon LPGA Classic, one of the longest running events on the LPGA Tour. It will be held at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio, August 6 through August 9, with spectators.