June 16 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan and Steve George, CNN

Updated 0611 GMT (1411 HKT) June 17, 2020
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1:57 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

New Jersey reports 51 more coronavirus deaths

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

New Jersey reported 51 new deaths on Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced in his daily presser.

The statewide death total in New Jersey is now 12,727. Nearly half of those deaths — 6,020 – have been in long-term care facilities. 

New Jersey reported 470 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 167,426 cases, Murphy said. 

The governor said there are also positive indicators in the state as well. New cases continue to trend down, the governor said. New Jersey is currently ranked 32nd in the US in new Covid-19 cases reported per day. 

1:24 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Philadelphia hasn't seen a spike in Covid-19 cases due to protests, health department says

From CNN’s Alec Snyder

Philadelphia has not seen a spike in coronavirus cases since protests began in the city, the Department of Public Health said in a statement today.

The health department reported there was an increase in the number of people getting tested recently.

Here's a statement from a health department spokesperson:

"The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has not seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases due to recent protests thus far. We have, however, seen an increase in the number of people getting tested, which the Health Department encourages for everyone who may have been exposed to COVID, including at a protest, to get tested. (Health Commissioner) Dr. (Thomas) Farley reported that fewer than 6% of the tests completed recently came back as positive, which is the lowest we’ve seen."


1:24 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Steroid can save 1 in 8 patients for $50, Oxford University study says

From CNN's Schams Elwazer, Jacqueline Howard and Mia Alberti

Yves Herman/Reuters
Yves Herman/Reuters

The steroid dexamethasone can save one life for every eight patients treated for Covid-19, with the whole treatment only costing around $50 dollars, one of the leaders of the Oxford University study said Tuesday at the UK government briefing. 

“The drug itself is very widely available. It’s on almost every pharmacy shelf in every hospital, it’s available throughout the world and it’s extremely cheap,” according to Peter Hornby, professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health at the University of Oxford.

“If we treat eight patients in intensive care with this drug, we’ll save one life. And the total cost of treating all eight patients is only about 40 [British] pounds – so this is really really remarkable and we’re extremely pleased with this result,” Hornby said, standing alongside British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Hornby said that when administered to ventilated Covid-19 patients over ten days, it reduces the risk of death by about 35%.

Describing dexamethasone as an “old drug – some people would say it’s a boring drug,” Hornby said the drug had different effects on different groups.

“In ventilated patients with Covid-19 the drug dexamethasone – so 10 days of treatment with that which is tablet or injection – it reduces risk of death by about 35%. In patients on the ward who require oxygen and have Covid, it reduces the risk of death by about 20%. That covers about 75% of patients in the hospital who would receive a mortality benefit from using this drug,” Hornby said standing alongside Johnson. 

Read more about the study and steroid dexamethasone:

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.