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
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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.

4:55 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

South Africa passes 100,000 coronavirus cases 

From CNN's Brent Swails

A disinfection team disinfects the classroom at Ivory Park Secondary School in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, May 28, 2020, ahead of the June 1, 2020, re-opening of Grade 7 and 12 learners to school.
A disinfection team disinfects the classroom at Ivory Park Secondary School in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, May 28, 2020, ahead of the June 1, 2020, re-opening of Grade 7 and 12 learners to school. Themba Hadebe/AP/FILE

South Africa has at least 101,590 confirmed coronavirus cases after reporting 4,289 new cases in the last 24 hours. According to the country’s department of health, at least 1,991 people have died from the virus.

South Africa accounts for close to a third of all cases on the continent.

At a World Health Organization briefing on Monday, the organization’s head of health emergencies, Dr. Mike Ryan said the situation in Africa remains mixed, “We’ve seen increases of disease in some countries in excess of 50% in the last week and we’ve seen other countries with very, very stable numbers.”

Overall, Ryan said, the mortality rate on the continent remains lower than in other regions.

“What we haven’t seen yet are large increases in the number of deaths. So Africa, at this point, is still avoiding the large proportion of that, that have been associated with this disease in other continents,” he said.

4:42 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Yale is preparing for mostly remote classes for the fall semester

From CNN's Jamie Gangel

In this file photo, students walk near Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
In this file photo, students walk near Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Shutterstock

Yale College has asked faculty to plan their courses with a "residential/remote model" in mind, given the uncertainties of the fall semester due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The university will announce its plans for the fall by early July. But an email sent to students Monday, the undergraduate college of Yale University revealed the model being used to plan the semester assumes that even if students return to the campus in New Haven, Connecticut, classes will primarily be offered remotely.

"Courses will be built primarily for remote delivery so that all enrolled students may participate," Dean of Yale College Marvin M. Chun and psychology professor Richard M. Colgate said in the email. "Limited exceptions for additional in-person engagements, such as tutorial or discussion sessions, might also be possible as enhancements in other types of courses; details will be provided as the public health situation becomes clearer."

Yale previously announced it will follow a modified academic calendar for the fall semester. Yale College classes will begin August 31, and in-person instruction will conclude before the Thanksgiving break. "The last week of instruction, reading period, and final exam period will be online," according to the email, with the semester ending December 18.

4:33 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

More than 35% of Covid-19 cases in California have been recorded in past two weeks

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

A worker wearing personal protective equipment performs drive-up Covid-19 testing administered from a car at Mend Urgent Care testing site for the novel coronavirus at the Westfield Fashion Square on May 13, in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
A worker wearing personal protective equipment performs drive-up Covid-19 testing administered from a car at Mend Urgent Care testing site for the novel coronavirus at the Westfield Fashion Square on May 13, in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

More than 35% of the confirmed coronavirus cases in California have been recorded in just the past two weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a news conference Monday.

There have been three single-day highs recorded in the past week, and on Sunday, the highest rate of hospitalizations to date. Hospitalizations have climbed about 16% over the last 14 days.

Testing is increasing throughout the state with about 85,000 tests conducted each day, Newsom said. While that may be factor in the uptick in confirmed cases, the positivity rate is also climbing slightly and currently stands at about 4.8%.

"Stay at home more often, wear your mask more often," California Health Secretary Mark Ghaly said.
4:18 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

West Virginia reports its first coronavirus-related death since June 12

From CNN’s Alec Snyder

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said the state had its first coronavirus-related death since June 12 over this past weekend.

The 74-year-old woman's death brings the cumulative total in the state to 89.

Justice said during his news conference Monday that 100 new positive cases appeared over the weekend as well, adding he thought it was possibly due to traveling out of state, especially from Myrtle Beach, which is seeing a rise in cases.

Currently, there are 782 active cases in West Virginia, he said.

Justice said he disagreed with President Trump’s assessment — which said he believed Trump said “in jest” — that testing needs to slow down. He said he believes testing needs to increase and he said he thinks the President believes that as well.

4:16 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Members of Congress vow to keep Covid vaccines from being a "for-profit bonanza" for drug companies

From CNN's Dana Vigue, Elizabeth Cohen and John Bonifield

Democrats unveiled two pieces of legislation Monday they say will keep prices down for any taxpayer-funded treatments and vaccines for Covid-19. 

The federal government has granted billions to pharmaceutical companies for Covid-related research without assurances that the drugs and vaccines that result from that research will be affordable and accessible to the American public, according to Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). 

 "Today we are saying that a public health crisis should not be allowed to become a for-profit bonanza for the pharmaceutical industry,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) said. “Because taxpayers have contributed to this research and development, they should receive, in return, full transparency.” 

The bills have bipartisan support from co-sponsors Schakowsky and DeLauro as well as Reps. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Francis Rooney (R-FL) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR). 

The bills intend to establish protections against drug price gouging for Covid-19 treatments and vaccines and excessive pricing of drugs for any disease that causes a public health emergency.  

The bills would also initiate major steps toward transparency, including a database of the funding and tax benefits that pharmaceutical companies have received.  

“Every other major country in the world negotiates lower drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry for all its residents,” DeFazio said.  

“Today’s legislation provides what the Trump administration has been unwilling to do by executive order, and that is meaningful protection for taxpayer dollars and insurance of patient access,” Doggett said.

4:15 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

US stocks finish higher, suggesting market focused on reopening

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks turned things around and closed higher after starting the day in the red.

Shares of tech and consumer companies propelled the major indexes higher, with Nike, Apple and Microsoft ending as the day’s best performing Dow stocks.

While investors have been worried about the rising numbers of Covid-19 infections in parts of the country, Monday’s modest upswing suggests that the market is focused once again on the reopening of the economy — and clinging to hopes that it won’t shut down a second time.

Here's how the market closed today: 

  • The Dow ended 0.6%, or 154 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 closed up 0.6%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed 1.1% higher.
8:26 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Blood-thinner pill could reduce Covid-19 complications, study shows

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

A pill people usually taken to prevent blood clots helped reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other problems caused by blood clots in hospital patients, researchers reported Monday.

They gave the drug, sold under the brand name Xarelto, to 4,900 patients who had been treated and then sent home from the Feinstein Institutes at New York’s large Northwell Health hospital system. 

They gave placebos to 4,900 other discharged coronavirus patients. Each group was followed for about six weeks.

Patients given Xarelto, known generically as rivaroxaban, had a 28% reduced risk of a blood clot in the leg, known as a deep vein thrombosis, Northwell’s Alex Spyropoulos and colleagues reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. And their risk of other blood clots known as venous thromboembolisms, heart attacks, strokes or other types of heart death were 28% lower than patients who went home with dummy pills. 

The patients were on average about 68 years old, and there didn’t seem to be an increase in bleeding problems – a known side effect of the drug.

“We are encouraged by the study’s results to potentially reduce these life-threatening thromboembolic episodes by expanding the use of rivaroxaban for patients post-hospitalization,” Spyropolous said in a statement. “Through this research, Northwell Health has adapted its treatment policy for discharged COVID-19 patients, and others at risk, across the health system.” 

Increased blood clotting throughout the body is a known symptom of coronavirus infection, and doctors have been trying out various blood thinners in patients to see if they can help safely.