June 19 coronavirus news

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Helen Regan and Steve George, CNN

Updated 0644 GMT (1444 HKT) June 20, 2020
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4:05 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Unions representing employees at California's Disneyland demand delay in reopening park

From CNN's Sarah Moon

David McNew/AFP/Getty Images/FILE
David McNew/AFP/Getty Images/FILE

Unions representing Disneyland employees are calling for a delay in reopening the Southern California theme park, which is scheduled to open on July 17 with approval from the state and local government.

In a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom dated Wednesday, the Coalition of Resort Labor Unions (CRLU) expressed their concerns over the reopening of the park.

The CRLU is a group of dozens of unions of the Disneyland resort, representing approximately 17,000 service workers. 

“Unfortunately, despite intensive talks with the company, we are not yet convinced that it is safe to reopen the parks on Disney’s rapid timetable,” the CRLU said. “There are numerous questions about safety which Disney has not yet answered, including any serious discussion of ‘testing.’”

Some context: In a post last week, Disneyland announced a phased plan to being reopening parts of the resort as early as July 9.

On Thursday, Disney Parks Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pamela Hymel shared updates on health and safety guidelines.

Parks will be reducing capacity, checking temperature for guests, increasing cleaning and disinfecting, making changes to accommodate physical distancing and requiring face coverings for guests two and older, Hymel said.

CRLU is still waiting for a response from Disney on safety proposals made by the coalition, according to the letter.

4:03 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Oklahoma reports 352 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Kay Jones

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said that the state has 352 new positive Covid-19 cases today, just one day ahead of President Trump’s rally in Tulsa.

The state has 9,706 total cases, up 3.8% since Thursday’s report, Stitt said during a news conference today. He also said that 211 people have been hospitalized with symptoms.

Speaking about Saturday’s rally in Tulsa, Stitt said there will be temperature checks for the attendees and he also expects most people to wear a mask.

3:56 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

If you don't wear a mask in public in California, you could face a misdemeanor and a fine

From CNN’s Jenn Selva

A shopper wears a protective mask at Westfield San Francisco Centre in San Francisco, on Thursday, June 18.
A shopper wears a protective mask at Westfield San Francisco Centre in San Francisco, on Thursday, June 18. Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Californians who don’t wear face masks in public settings can be fined after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order Thursday requiring residents wear the coverings when outside of home.

Newsom’s office today told CNN that the mask order is enforceable if necessary, as a misdemeanor carrying a potential financial penalty and other penalties. State agencies like the Division of Occupational Safety and Health could also take action over violations of the face mask order.

The governor’s order requires face coverings in "high risk" settings, including inside any indoor public space, taking public transportation, or seeking medical care.

“This is a statewide requirement and flows from the same legal authority as all of the other state orders,” California Department of Public Health spokesperson Ali Bay said. “Californians have done incredible work following those orders — saving lives in the process. We expect that will continue to be the case.”

3:41 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

The US is in process of notifying WHO that it is withdrawing, senior state official said

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

The US is “in process of notifying the WHO that we are withdrawing," Jim Richardson, the director of the Office of Foreign Assistance at the State Department, told reporters Friday.

“This is not a light switch moment, it's more like unscrewing a light bulb so it does take a little bit of time. But we are, the State Department, is working very hard to give the proper notice that we are withdrawing from WHO,” Richardson said.  

Some background: President Trump announced last month his decision to withdraw the US from the World Health Organization.

Richardson said the State Department and United States Agency for International Development have “alternative implementers” in the countries where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly encouraged the administration to continue funding WHO operations because there weren’t other options. Those countries are Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria and Turkey.

“We still have a hard time finding implementing partners for polio, for instance, and so we're still working through an interagency process to come to a resolution on that issue, and see how we want to proceed as the government in those unique cases,” Richardson said.

3:33 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

The best way to fight Covid-19 may be with a combination of drugs, expert says

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Dr. Rick Stevens, associate laboratory director for Computing, Environment and Life Sciences at the Argonne National Laboratory, told the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology on Friday that the best drug to fight coronavirus may end up being a combination of them.

“We think the best strategy is probably a multiple … therapeutic mix, that would go after multiple targets — maybe a target that would help in blocking viral entry, one that might block replication, and one that might block some host process that is a problem,” Stevens said.

“You would probably end up, at the end of the day, with a mixture of compounds in a future drug treatment,” he added.

Stevens said it’s important to remember “to develop the kind of drugs that we are imaging will take a long time.”

“It took many, many years before there were effective HIV therapies — over a decade. And while we're moving faster, and we have better tools, this is a very hard problem,” he added.


3:20 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Indoor dining can resume on June 26 in Chicago

From CNN's Hollie Silverman 


Indoor dining and drinking can resume June 26 in Chicago with 25% capacity, a press release from Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office said Friday.

Restaurants, bars, breweries and other businesses will be able to open indoor service under limited capacity and with safety restrictions in place, according to the release.

Businesses will need to operate indoor service at 25% capacity with a maximum capacity of 50 people per room or floor, the release said.

Patrons must be seated at tables that are six feet apart with 10 or fewer people per table, according to the release. 

2:57 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

West Virginia State Fair canceled due to coronavirus concerns

From CNN’s Alec Snyder

Gov. Justice's Office
Gov. Justice's Office

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday that West Virginia State Fair organizers opted to cancel this year's event due to concerns about spreading Covid-19.

Justice had signed off on the fair happening, but organizers still decided to cancel, partially due to recent spread of the virus at churches in the state, as well as the possibility of Myrtle Beach-goers bringing back the virus from South Carolina.

By the numbers: The state has not had a Covid-related death since June 12 and infection rate stands at 1.67%, the governor said.

Starting Monday, spectators will be allowed at outside events and youth sports teams will reconvene.

Justice was asked a question on whether this should or will be reconsidered in light of outbreaks at churches and places of congregation, to which Justice said that they're constantly rethinking everything and will make decisions accordingly.

2:37 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Navy decides to uphold firing of aircraft carrier captain who warned about coronavirus

From CNN's Zachary Cohen and Ryan Browne

Capt. Brett Crozier
Capt. Brett Crozier U.S. Navy via Getty Images/FILE

In a major reversal, the Navy has decided to fire the captain of the aircraft carrier who warned about the spread of the coronavirus pandemic aboard his ship, reversing the findings of a preliminary investigation that initially recommended the captain of the ship be reinstated, according to a US Navy official and a congressional aide familiar briefed on the investigation.   

While fired from the position as commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Capt. Brett Crozier is expected to remain in the Navy.

The details: The investigation found that he made other poor decisions in response to the outbreak, the sources said. 

Additionally, the Strike Group Commander Rear Admiral Stuart Baker will also be held accountable for poor decision making and his promotion is being put on hold, both sources said.

The Navy has not yet made public the findings of the report.

The ship's former commanding officer, Capt. Brett Crozier, was initially fired in April for what the acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who subsequently resigned, said was poor judgment for too widely disseminating a warning about the spread of virus aboard his vessel, a warning that eventually made its way into the press.

2:29 p.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Philadelphia Phillies close team facilities after 8 Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

The Philadelphia Phillies announced Friday that the team is closing its facilities in Clearwater, Florida, indefinitely following eight positive Covid-19 tests.

Five players and three staff members have tested positive for the virus, the team announced. The team did not provide the names of any individuals who tested positive for Covid-19.

Eight other staff members have returned negative test results and another 32 individuals, including 20 players and 12 staff members, are still awaiting test results.  

“The Phillies are committed to the health and welfare of our players, coaches and staff as our highest priority, and as a result of these confirmed tests, all facilities in Clearwater have been closed indefinitely to all players, coaches and staff and will remain closed until medical authorities are confident that the virus is under control and our facilities are disinfected," Phillies managing partner John Middleton said.