June 17 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Luke McGee and Peter Wilkinson, CNN

Updated 0407 GMT (1207 HKT) June 18, 2020
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1:28 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

More than 1 million requests have been made to attend Trump's rally, Oklahoma governor says

From CNN’s Kay Jones, Ryan Nobles and Kristen Holmes 

US President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, June 16.
US President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, June 16. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a news conference today that more than 1 million requests have been made to attend President Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa on Saturday.

Stitt will be at the White House on Thursday to meet with the President prior to the rally, he told reporters.

“I haven’t decided if I’m going to wear a mask,” Stitt said when responding to a question regarding wearing a mask while at the White House.

He went on to say that he won’t wear one when he introduces the President at the rally.

Stitt acknowledged that Covid-19 is in Oklahoma and they would have to learn how best to live with that.

Some context: A judge on Tuesday denied an emergency motion to stop  Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa on Saturday. The decision came after local lawyers asked the court to block the event unless organizers agreed to take steps to adhere to the administration's own social distancing recommendations to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Saturday's rally is still scheduled to take place at BOK Center, but the campaign is exploring an additional venue designed to work as an overflow location to help accommodate the overwhelming response of supporters hoping to see the President speak.

During an interview on Fox News, Vice President Mike Pence suggested that the additional venue could be outdoors.

Oklahoma is among at least 21 states that are seeing upward trends in newly reported cases from one week to the next.

1:26 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Michigan governor announces schools will resume in-person instruction this fall

From CNN’s Mirna Alsharif

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks in Lansing, Michigan on Friday, June 5.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks in Lansing, Michigan on Friday, June 5. Michigan Office of the Governor/Pool/AP

Schools across Michigan will be allowed to resume in-person instruction this fall with strict safety measures in place, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced in a news conference Wednesday.

Whitmer said the "Return to Learn" advisory council has been hard at work coming up with a safe plan to reopen schools. 

The governor will release an executive order and the "Michigan Return to School Roadmap" on June 30 to outline details on what will be required and recommended for schools to reopen.

The roadmap will set minimum health and safety requirements, Whitmer said, adding school districts may choose to enact more aggressive ones.

1:24 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

WHO official says agency will stop hydroxychloroquine arm of Covid-19 Solidarity Trial

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

A bottle and pills of Hydroxychloroquine sit on a counter at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on Wednesday, May 20.
A bottle and pills of Hydroxychloroquine sit on a counter at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on Wednesday, May 20. George Frey/AFP/Getty Images

The hydroxychloroquine arm of the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Solidarity Trial will end based on a recommendation from the agency’s Data Safety and Monitoring Committee, according to a WHO official.

Dr. Ana Maria Henao-Restrepo, a medical officer at WHO's Department of Immunization Vaccines and Biologicals, said during a media briefing in Geneva on Wednesday that the decision was made based on preliminary information from a separate hydroxychloroquine study in the United Kingdom that showed no benefit of the antimalarial against Covid-19, and early data from the Solidarity Trial itself. 

"Today, just five minutes ago, we finalized a call with all the investigators in the trial," Henao-Restrepo said during Wednesday's briefing. 

"A decision was made to stop the randomization with the hydroxychloroquine trial on the basis of two pieces of information. The first, the data that was published by the UK trial and second, the data that was available to us from the Solidarity Trial," Henao-Restrepo said, later clarifying in the briefing that "they have concluded that the hydroxychloroquine arm will be stopped from the Solidarity Trial."

In May, WHO temporarily paused the hydroxychloroquine arms of its Solidarity Trial due to concerns surrounding the safety of hydroxychloroquine and in order to review its own data. Then earlier this month, after that review, WHO announced that it would resume studying hydroxychloroquine as a potential Covid-19 treatment in the Solidarity Trial.

Yet in the days following, a separate trial in the United Kingdom, called the Recovery Trial, announced plans to stop using hydroxychloroquine in its study due to "no evidence of benefit," according to the researchers. That spurred WHO to conduct another review of the hydroxychloroquine arm in its Solidarity Trial, which led to this most recent decision to drop hydroxychloroquine from the trial.

This latest announcement from WHO comes just days after the US Food and Drug Administration on Monday revoked its emergency use authorization for the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for the treatment of Covid-19. 

1:08 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

DC will enter phase 2 of reopening Monday if current trends continue, mayor says

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Patrons sit outside of Mr. Henrys, a bar and restaurant in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on Friday, May 29.
Patrons sit outside of Mr. Henrys, a bar and restaurant in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on Friday, May 29. Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced today that the District will enter into phase two of reopening on Monday if the current trends in Covid-19 metrics continue.

“We are trending in the right direction,” Bowser told reporters at a press conference this morning.

The mayor said she expects to be able to announce this Friday whether or not the District will be ready to enter phase two Monday.

In phase two of reopening:

  • Gatherings of more than 50 people are still banned, nonessential retail can open at 50% capacity, and restaurants can have indoor dining at 50% capacity.
  • Houses of worship are encouraged to hold virtual services, but are permitted to have up to 100 people, or 50% capacity. DC recommends that churches do not have choirs or singing.
  • Personal services, including nail care, tattooing and waxing will be permitted under phase 2 with certain restrictions in place. 

Officials said three out of the four key metrics used to decide if DC is ready to move into phase 2 have been met, barring a spike in community spread cases of coronavirus over the coming days.

The fourth metric is that the contact tracing force has a 90% success rate contacting positive cases within one day —that is yet to be met.

Director of DC Public Health LaQuandra Nesbitt explained that the government has a new digital system and has increased the number of contact tracers, which Bowser said “gives us confidence in saying that we are hitting, going to hit, where we need to be.”

As of today, Washington, DC, has at least 9,847 positive community spread cases of the coronavirus, and 523 people have died from the virus.

When asked if the District should wait to enter phase two until the effects of protests are clear on the spread of the coronavirus, Bowser said “we always have the ability to turn up or turn down our reopening.”

“This virus is not gone, it is still here,” Bowser added.

1:01 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Oklahoma sees 3% jump in Covid-19 cases since Tuesday

From CNN's Shawn Nottingham

The Oklahoma Department of Health has reported an additional 259 cases of Covid-19 since Tuesday.

The state now has at least 8,904 confirmed positive cases of coronavirus according to data from the state’s Department of Health. The jump represents a 3% increase since Tuesday.

12:45 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Panama extends suspension of international flights for 30 more days due to Covid-19

From CNN's Elizabeth González and Tatiana Arias

A Copa airlines plane taxis on a runway as others sit on the tarmac at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, Panama, on March 22.
A Copa airlines plane taxis on a runway as others sit on the tarmac at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, Panama, on March 22. Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

Panama will extend the suspension of all international flights for 30 more days due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a statement from the country's civil aviation authority published Tuesday.

"Humanitarian and necessary flights for the transport of medicines, vaccines or other essential health-supplies are exempted from these restrictions," the statement said.

The extension of the travel ban on international flights is scheduled to start on June 22 at midnight.

Currently, Panama reports 21,962 cases of coronavirus and 457 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

12:40 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

New York governor says Friday will be his last daily coronavirus briefing

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference in Albany, New York, on June 17.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference in Albany, New York, on June 17. State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today that Friday will be his last daily coronavirus briefing.

The governor said that his office would still hold briefings on Covid-19 when it's necessary moving forward.

12:25 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Texas governor and local officials clash over enforcing mask requirements

From CNN's Melissa Alonso and Ashley Killough  

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference at city hall in Dallas on June 2.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference at city hall in Dallas on June 2. LM Otero/AP

Local Texas officials want Gov. Greg Abbott to require face masks but the governor's office says they have not imposed penalties already available to them, a spokesperson for Abbott tells CNN. 

Nine Texas mayors, including the top officials in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, have urged the state's governor to require face masks to stop Covid-19 from spreading in their cities.  

"None of these local officials have lifted a finger to impose penalties and enforcement mechanisms currently available to them. The one time a county judge did, a business owner wound up in jail," said John Wittman, a spokesperson for Abbott regarding the recent calls by mayors and county judges for the governor to allow them to enforce the use of masks. 

Wittman seemed to refer to Shelley Luther, a Texas salon owner, who was sent to jail for seven days for violating the state's stay-at-home order. 

"No one could be jailed for not wearing a mask under my or the City of Dallas' orders," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said earlier this week. "I’m simply asking the governor to lead on the masking requirement the medical experts say is the single most important thing we can do right now."  

"All of us have a collective responsibility to educate the public that wearing a mask is the best thing to do. Putting people in jail, however, is the wrong approach for this thing and that's exactly what I believe the Dallas County judge wants to do," Abbott said in during a briefing Tuesday.  

Local officials "have the ability to impose fines, not for face masks, but for other strategies" like certain gatherings, Abbott said.  

Texas currently has 93,044 Covid-19 cases and 2,044 coronavirus-related deaths, according to John Hopkins University. It is among the at least 21 states that are seeing upward trends in newly reported cases from one week to the next.

12:42 p.m. ET, June 17, 2020

New York City expected to allow outdoor dining next week

People walk through a central shopping district as stores prepare for gradual reopenings in the coming weeks on June 16 in New York.
People walk through a central shopping district as stores prepare for gradual reopenings in the coming weeks on June 16 in New York. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York City is on tack to begin phase two of reopening on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference.

The city is meeting its thresholds for reopening, and will have been in phase one for 14 days by Monday, Cuomo said at a news conference

"We don't change the rules for New York City," Cuomo said of the metric thresholds.

Here's what phase two means: Phase two allows for a wider range of businesses to continue to reopen under Covid-19 guidelines, including retail businesses and offices, according to the state's reopening website.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that once the city enters phase two, restaurants will be able to open for outdoor seating, and convert parking spaces into seating areas.

Malls, gyms, movie theaters and casinos will remain closed in phase two.