June 20 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Brett McKeehan and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 0447 GMT (1247 HKT) June 21, 2020
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6:55 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

More than 2.2 million Covid-19 cases in the US

From CNN's Alta Spells

At least 2,222,576 coronavirus cases have been recorded in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University. The disease has caused at least 119,131 deaths there.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

Donald Trump has claimed that coronavirus is "dying out" in the US, a claim countered both by the rising numbers shown by government's data and health experts.

"It's not going away, it's just sort of moved around the country, which was exactly what was expected. It's not dying away," Dr. Sanjay Gupta said on Wednesday, in an interview with Don Lemon.

The US president has also come under fire for organizing a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday. Health experts worry that the event could become a new hotspot for coronavirus infections.

"There are going to be tens of thousands of people in attendance. So, it is a great place to spread virus," Catherine Troisi, an infectious disease epidemiologist at The University of Texas Health Science Center, told CNN.

CNN is tracking coronavirus' spread across the US here.

7:35 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

France to ease coronavirus restrictions for summer

From CNN's Fanny Bobille

A couple has lunch under plexiglass in Paris on May 27.
A couple has lunch under plexiglass in Paris on May 27. Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images

Casinos and amusement arcades will be allowed to reopen on Monday in France, as part of a further easing of coronavirus restrictions, the country’s Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said.

The improvement of the sanitary situation indeed allows the lifting of certain interdictions,” a statement from Philippe’s office said.

Team sport practice will also be allowed to resume Monday, but contact sports remain banned.

“Its (contact sport) situation will be discussed before September,” the statement says.

July 11 marks the end of France's state of emergency. Up to 5,000 people will be allowed to fill stadiums from that date, though some restrictions will remain. The statement adds that “activities involving more than 1,500 people will have to be declared in order to guarantee the necessary precautions."

The 5,000-person limit will continue until September 1, but “the national epidemiological situation will be reassessed mid-July to see if an easing is possible for the second part of August," according to Philippe's office.

The proprietors of nightclubs and organizers of international sea cruises will have to wait until September to know whether they can resume their activities.

France has recorded 196,083 coronavirus cases and 29,620 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

5:05 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

US local officials hit roadblocks while trying to curb coronavirus spikes

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe

Gov. Gavin Newsom, wears a face mask during his visit to the Queen Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine restaurant on June 19 in Sacramento, California.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, wears a face mask during his visit to the Queen Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine restaurant on June 19 in Sacramento, California. Rich Pedroncelli/AP

As coronavirus cases spike in states across the country, some communities hoping to enact measures to mitigate the virus' spread are hitting major roadblocks.

In California, which on Friday broke another record for the number of cases in a single day, Gov. Gavin Newsom mandated that masks be worn inside public spaces and in situations where staying six feet apart from others is not possible. But at least five sheriff's departments in the state say they won't enforce the order since the offense is minor and the danger of an encounter during a pandemic is major.

The governor of Nebraska also pushed back against attempts to make masks mandatory.

Gov. Pete Ricketts said he will withhold federal coronavirus relief funds from counties that require people to wear face masks in government buildings, according to a state guidance document obtained by CNN on Friday.

Read more here.

4:21 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

India records its highest number of new cases for third consecutive day

From CNN's Swati Gupta

India has recorded its highest daily number of confirmed coronavirus cases for a third consecutive day.

In the 24 hours up to 8 a.m. local time on Saturday (10.30 p.m. ET Friday), 14,516 new infections and 375 deaths were reported across the country.

In total India has reported 395,048 coronavirus cases and 12,948 deaths, its Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said Saturday.

More than 86,000 cases have been added to India’s total in the past week.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 6,616,496 tests have been conducted in the country, with 189,869 tests conducted on June 19.

3:38 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

NASA's Perseverance rover will launch to Mars with a global tribute to health care workers

From CNN's Ashley Strickland


A mission 10 years in the making, NASA is one month out from launching the Perseverance rover to Mars. The rover, launching during a pandemic, will carry a tribute to healthcare workers around the world. 

The 3-by-5-inch aluminum plate, installed on the left side of the rover chassis, shows Earth supported by the ancient symbol of the serpent entwined around a rod to represent the global medical community. A line represents the rover's trajectory from Central Florida to Mars, according to NASA.

"We wanted to demonstrate our appreciation for those who have put their personal well-being on the line for the good of others," said Matt Wallace, Perseverance deputy project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, in a statement. 
"It is our hope that when future generations travel to Mars and happen upon our rover, they will be reminded that back on Earth in the year 2020 there were such people."

When Alexander Mather, a seventh-grade student in Virginia, entered his submission in a nationwide contest last year to name the rover, a pandemic wasn't on the horizon. But his winning entry for Perseverance has proven to be the perfect name for a rover launching during unprecedented times.

These last few months of preparing the rover for launch have happened during the constraints of safe operation during a pandemic. But the teams rose to the challenge, and the launch remains on schedule. 

"The team never wavered in its pursuit of the launch pad," said Michael Watkins, director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a statement. "It was through their dedication and the help of other NASA facilities that we have made it this far."

Read the full story here.

2:25 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Australia's Victoria state reimposes Covid-19 restrictions after worst daily spike in months

From CNN's Angus Watson in Sydney 

A woman wears a face mask while walking through Melbourne's business district on June 17.
A woman wears a face mask while walking through Melbourne's business district on June 17. William West/AFP/Getty Images

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Saturday that the state was at a "critical crossroads" after 25 positive Covid-19 cases were detected on Friday. 

The figure was up on the 13 new cases announced Friday and the 18 announced Thursday, as authorities try to suppress an outbreak linked to a family gathering. 

“Today, our case numbers have hit the highest they’ve been in more than two months. I know that’s not what people want to hear — but sadly that’s our reality,” Andrews said in a statement. “The numbers are being driven by families having big get-togethers."

He said homes would be limited to a maximum of five visitors from June 21, with outdoor gatherings reduced from a 20-person cap to 10. 

A plan to increase the maximum number of people allowed in restaurants, bars, museums, libraries and places of worship from 20 to 50 on Monday has been pushed back to July 12.

2:32 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Almost 120,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the US

A worker shows a coronavirus test swab in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 9.
A worker shows a coronavirus test swab in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 9. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

There are now at least 2,220,961 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, including 119,112 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

On Friday, Johns Hopkins reported 31,905 new US cases and 691 additional deaths. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

Check CNN’s mapor the latest US numbers,

2:19 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Expert says Trump’s rally is an "absolutely horrible idea"

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

Dr. Craig Spencer speaks with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Friday, June 19.
Dr. Craig Spencer speaks with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Friday, June 19. CNN

Dr. Craig Spencer told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that, from a public health standpoint, President Donald Trump’s planned political rally for Saturday is an “absolutely horrible idea.”

“This is not a necessary gathering. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, at a time at which we have an increasing number of cases on a daily basis,” said Spencer, the Director of Global Health at the Columbia University Medical Center.

The US has 4% of the global population and 25% of the world's Covid-19 deaths, he said. Spencer characterized the way the country has responded to the pandemic as “an abject failure.” 

“What we’re seeing is just another attempt to lull us into complacency. To make us think that a baseline of 20 or 25,000 cases per day is OK, and we can get back to some type of normal life, attending rallies, doing things we are doing before,” Spencer said. 

People can stop the spread of the coronavirus, he said. Avoiding crowds, wearing a mask, good hand hygiene and testing all help. But a rally like this will likely fuel the pandemic.

“The fact is you are going to have people from all over the country attending this rally,” Spencer said. “This virus cannot infect you if it cannot find you, it will find people in Tulsa tomorrow, it will follow them home.”   
2:14 a.m. ET, June 20, 2020

1,200 inmates at a California jail are in quarantine  

About 1,200 inmates inside Fresno County North Annex Jail in California have been placed into "precautionary quarantine" due to Covid-19, Fresno County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Friday.

On Wednesday, 25 inmates who had previously tested negative for Covid were transferred from Fresno County North Annex Jail to Wasco State Prison.

Those inmates were tested again -- and 13 tested positive for the coronavirus.

"In response to this news, the North Jail Annex was placed into precautionary quarantine and all inmates are now being closely monitored for symptoms of COVID-19," read the release. "There will be no inmate movement within the North Jail until further notice." 

Authorities are still working to identify possible causes for the spike and to see if other areas of the jail may be impacted.