June 22 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Nectar Gan, Steve George, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:07 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020
99 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
6:29 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Los Angeles records another single-day high in Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Los Angeles has recorded another single-day high in confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Unlike in other previous highs, this record number is not attributable to a backlog in lab reports, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Monday.

Despite only holding about a quarter of the state’s residents, Los Angeles County is home to nearly half the coronavirus cases in California.

According to the county's health department, Los Angeles County recorded 2,571 new cases on Monday.

6:19 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Infectious disease expert worries Houston area could be the next Covid-19 hotspot

From CNN’s Andrea Kane

Infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Hotez is worried that Houston and Harris County could become the worst-affected spot for Covid-19 in North America. 

“If we continue on the same trajectory, my worry is Houston could become the worst affected city right now in North America,” Hotez told CNN Houston affiliate KPRC-2.

Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, has been sounding steady warnings about the pandemic. 

“Latest #COVID19 for Harris County, my observation if this trajectory persists: 1) Houston would become the worst affected city in the US, maybe rival what we’re seeing now in Brazil 2) The masks = good 1st step but simply won’t be enough 3) We would need to proceed to red alert,” Hotez tweeted on Saturday. 

Harris County is listed at Orange Level 2 on the county’s own Covid-19 threat level system, with “significant uncontrolled” spread of the virus. Red Level 1 means the virus is classified as “severe uncontrolled.”

Numbers for Harris County show a sharp increase in the seven-day rolling average of new Covid-19 cases and in hospitalizations.

The other counties that make up the Houston region did not see a similar spike.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo last week called the county the “epicenter” of the virus in Texas.

6:14 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

UK prime minister to ease restrictions on arts and culture sector

From CNN’s Luke McGee

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce a further easing of the nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, a government spokesperson told CNN, adding that changes to the government’s coronavirus guidelines will allow for the country to “gradually open up” starting July 4. 

“The government will move to help restore the UK’s arts and cultural sector, with venues including cinemas, museums and galleries able to reopen from the same date,” the spokesperson said in a statement on Monday. 

“Additional guidance will be published shortly on establishing safe ways to reopen for these sectors – which could include introducing one-way systems, spaced queuing, increased ventilation, and pre-booked tickets,” the spokesperson added. 

According to the statement, the prime minister is also expected to reveal the findings of a review into the two-meter social distancing rule.

While some restrictions introduced by the government will be relaxed, the spokesperson cautioned that Johnson will “make clear that the public must continue to follow social distancing guidelines” in order to keep the pandemic under control.  

“Any easing of restrictions could be reversed if the virus risks running out of control,” the spokesperson added.

6:10 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Kansas governor says Covid-19 spread is trending upward

From CNN's Raja Razek

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said Covid-19 spread is trending upward in the state. 

"The three metrics we use for reopening are disease spread, death, and hospitalization. Unfortunately for the first time in a while, our disease spread is trending upward," Kelly said in a news conference Monday.

She added: "Therefore, it is my recommendation, along with officials over at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, that communities in Kansas stay in phase three of Ad Astra reopening plan."

Kansas reported an increase of 406 Covid-19 cases since Friday, bringing the total of cases to 12,465, with 259 deaths in the state. 

5:50 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Texas governor says state may take "tougher actions" but is not rolling back reopening for now

From CNN’s Ashley Killough

Pool
Pool

Gov. Greg Abbott said the coronavirus is "spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas" and warned that "tougher actions" may be imposed if the numbers continue to spike, but he stressed that closing down the state again "will always be the last option." 

"Covid-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and it must be corralled," Abbott said at a news conference in Monday. 

The governor outlined three categories that are spiking in Texas — daily positive cases, hospitalizations, and the positivity rate. Texas saw its largest daily increase of cases over the weekend, with 4,430 reported on Saturday, and the positivity rate jumped to nearly 9% this weekend from 4.5% in late May. 

"If we were to experience another doubling of those numbers over the next month, that would mean that we are in an urgent situation where tougher actions will be required to make sure that we do contain the spread of Covid-19," he said. 

For now, Abbott did not outline any rollbacks of his phased approach to reopening the state. Instead, the state will monitor whether recently developed actions — like the cracking down by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission on businesses that don't enforce reopening restrictions — will have any effect.

Abbott also said the state is surging testing in hot spots and doing more to promote the wearing of masks, though still not making it a requirement. 

6:20 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Study suggests 80% of Covid-19 cases went undetected in March in the US

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

A new study suggests that as many as 8.7 million Americans came down with coronavirus in March but that 80% of them were never diagnosed.

A team of researchers looked at the number of people who went to doctors or clinics with influenza-like illnesses that were never diagnosed as coronavirus, influenza or any of the other viruses that usually circulate in winter.

There was a giant spike in these cases in March, the researchers reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

“The findings support a scenario where more than 8.7 million new SARS-CoV-2 infections appeared in the U.S. during March and estimate that more than 80% of these cases remained unidentified as the outbreak rapidly spread,” wrote Justin Silverman of Penn State University, and colleagues at Cornell University and elsewhere.

Only 100,000 cases were officially reported during that time period, and the US still reports only 2.3 million cases as of Monday. But there was a shortage of coronavirus testing kits at the time.

The team used data collected from each state by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for influenza-like illness. The CDC uses this data to track the annual seasonal flu epidemic.

“We found a clear, anomalous surge in influenza-like illness (ILI) outpatients during the COVID-19 epidemic that correlated with the progression of the epidemic in multiple states across the US,” Silverman and colleagues wrote.

“The surge of non-influenza ILI outpatients was much larger than the number of confirmed case in each state, providing evidence of large numbers of probable symptomatic COVID-19 cases that remained undetected.”

Hear more:

5:26 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Arkansas governor says state is expanding Covid-19 testing

From CNN’s Janine Mack

Office of Governor Asa Hutchinson
Office of Governor Asa Hutchinson

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said that Arkansas will not back off on testing during a news conference on Monday.

“We're expanding testing, but so are other states, expanding testing and the need for testing is continuing. And so, there's a pressure point there and I hope that that supply chain can, but it's been very steady, and it's been growing over the last couple of months and we just hope it will continue to do that with national leadership,” Hutchinson said.

The governor’s comment comes after President Trump suggested on Sunday that the country slow down testing.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday that Trump was speaking “in jest” when he said during his rally Saturday that he asked administration officials to slow down testing for Covid-19 in the US.

Hutchinson said that he was listening to the President and called the comment “flippant.”

5:21 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Houston hospitals have 177% increase in Covid-19 patients

From CNN's Raja Razek

Houston Health Department tweeted Monday that Harris County hospitals have seen a 177% increase in Covid-19 positive patients since May 31. 

The department urged residents to "act now."

"Wear a mask, social distance & wash hands," the department tweeted. 

Harris County has a total of 8,725 Covid-19 cases and 136 people have died from the virus.

5:06 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

103 Houston police officers are quarantined with Covid-19

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson

 Mark Feliz/AFP/Getty Images
Mark Feliz/AFP/Getty Images

At least 103 Houston police officers are currently quarantined with Covid-19, according to police spokesperson Officer Kese Smith. 

In total, 146 police officers have had Covid-19 since the pandemic began.