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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12:27 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Here's how LAX will test travelers for fevers

From CNN's Pete Muntean and Greg Wallace

A woman crosses the street at LAX airport on May 22, in Los Angeles.
A woman crosses the street at LAX airport on May 22, in Los Angeles. Apu Gomes/AFP/Getty Images

High-tech equipment will now screen passengers for fevers as they walk through the Los Angeles International Airport, the world's third-busiest airport. 

LAX officials announced Monday that thermal imaging scanners will be placed at two spots in the Thomas Bradley International Terminal. The scanners are part of a trial run which LAX officials say can rapidly identify passengers or workers with a fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

LAX is believed to be the first major airport in the US to install such a system. 

Feverish passengers "will be advised by a medical assistant that health authorities recommend that they not travel," but still allowed to proceed to the gate if they choose, according to information provided by the airport.

The move comes as the commercial aviation industry is in dire need for passengers to come back. Depressed air travel figures show a slight uptick in people screened by Transportation Security Administration officers across the country, but is still only about 20% of the more than 2 million passengers who were flying daily at this time last year. 

LAX officials said the goal of the pilot program is to see if the technology can be expanded, adding they will "provide key data and learnings" to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and TSA. CNN reported last month that the TSA was considering screening passengers for fevers, but thus far, there has been no movement on that proposal.


12:24 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Rising US coronavirus cases "not entirely explained through just increased testing," says WHO official

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

The rising number of Covid-19 cases in the United States — especially among young people in the southern region of the nation — cannot be explained by testing alone, a World Health Organization official said on Monday.

"What is clear is that the increase is not entirely explained through just increased testing. There’s some evidence of increase in hospitalizations. But this was always a possibility when restrictions are lifted," Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's health emergencies program, said during a briefing in Geneva.

"I’ve seen the reports that some of this is amongst younger people. That may reflect the fact that younger people are more mobile and are getting out and taking advantage of the reduction in the restrictions of movement," Ryan said. "This is something that WHO has spoken about many times — many countries have experienced clusters of disease or upticks in the aftermath of reducing stay at home orders or allowing population mobility to happen."

Ryan added that continuing to follow guidelines to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus is key to help reduce this rise in cases.

"Maintaining vigilance around physical distance; personal hygiene; the wearing of masks according to the national guidelines and where appropriate; the increase of surveillance of the clusters that are investigated, testing, tracking, isolating cases, quarantining contacts -- this is what needs to continue," Ryan said.

"The issue is not the rising numbers per se. The issue is what is to be done to bring those numbers back and what combination of measures can be used in order to do that, in terms of targeted public health measures, increasing surveillance, increasing cluster investigation and ensuring that we identify cases and contacts as quickly as possible," he said.
12:24 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

UK unveils plans to ease shielding guidance for those most vulnerable to coronavirus 

From CNN's David Wilkinson and Nada Bashir in London 

Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on May 11 after attending a coronavirus briefing.
Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on May 11 after attending a coronavirus briefing. Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

The UK government has unveiled its plans to ease its guidance on shielding for those considered to be “clinically extremely vulnerable” to coronavirus in England. 

In a statement on Monday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that those currently advised to shield at home will be able to gather in groups of up to six outdoors and form a “support bubble” with another household starting July 6.

“I want to thank all those who have been shielding for so many weeks for their commitment to the shielding program. I know this has been incredibly tough,” Hancock said. 

“Now, with infection rates continuing to fall in our communities, our medical experts have advised that we can now ease some of these measures, while keeping people safe,” he added. 

According to the plan set out by the government, those considered to be clinically vulnerable will no longer be advised to shield starting August 1. 

UK Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jenny Harries cautioned that while the current infection rate has allowed for a gradual relaxation of the shielding guidance, government advice will be adjusted accordingly should the infection rate begin to rise. 

“The prevalence of the virus in the community is now lower and chances of getting infected are reduced, so we believe it is the right time to relax some of the advice so people can start to regain a degree of normality once more in their daily lives,” Harries said.

“We will continue to monitor the evidence closely and adjust the advice accordingly if there are any changes in the rates of infection that could impact on this group,” she added. 

12:01 p.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Several Iraqi MPs and 28 parliamentary staffers have Covid-19, says speaker

From CNN's Nada Altaher

The speaker of Iraq's parliament says the legislative body cannot meet regularly because some of its lawmakers, as well as several staff, have contracted coronavirus.

Mohammed al-Halbousi said at least six Iraqi MPs had tested positive for Covid-19, but that the number could be as high as 20.

He said at least 28 parliamentary staff members have also tested positive, including some of the guards who provide security for Iraqi lawmakers.

Al-Halbousi made the comments during an interview Sunday on a Dijla TV show called "Nafas Ameeq," which translates as "Deep Breath."

"This is why you cannot hold sessions," the interviewer asked in response to the speaker's comments.

"It’s hard," al-Halbousi said.

Iraq has reported 30,868 coronavirus cases and 1,100 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University.


11:59 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Demand for steroid used to treat Covid-19 patients is surging, says World Health Organization

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

A box of Dexamethasone tablets is seen in a pharmacy on June 16 in Cardiff, United Kingdom.
A box of Dexamethasone tablets is seen in a pharmacy on June 16 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Worldwide demand for the steroid drug dexamethasone has surged since a UK-based study last week found that it could help reduce the risk of death among hospitalized Covid-19 patients requiring ventilation or oxygen, according to the World Health Organization.

"Demand has already surged, following the trial results showing dexamethasone's clear benefit," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a news briefing in Geneva today.

When the preliminary study results were announced last week, WHO said that it welcomed the clinical trial results. The findings are still being compiled and have not published in a peer-reviewed journal.

"Although the data is still preliminary, the recent finding that the steroid dexamethasone has life-saving potential for critically ill Covid-19 patients gave us a much-needed reason to celebrate," Tedros said.

"The next challenge is to increase production and rapidly and equitably distribute dexamethasone worldwide, focusing on where it is needed most," Tedros added. "Fortunately, this is an inexpensive medicine and there are many dexamethasone manufacturers worldwide, who we are confident can accelerate production."

Remember: Tedros said that while the drug was shown to have benefit for the sickest Covid-19 patients, no benefit was found among those with mild disease.

"WHO emphasizes that dexamethasone should only be used for patients with severe or critical Covid-19 , under close clinical supervision," Tedros said. "There is no evidence this drug works for patients with mild disease or as a preventive measure, and it could cause harm."

11:42 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Brazil reports more than 7,200 deaths in one week

From CNN's Kay Guerrero

The Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 21.
The Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 21. Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images

According to data from the Brazilian Ministry of Health, in a one-week period from June 15 to June 21, the country reported 7,285 deaths from coronavirus, an average of more than 1,000 each day. 

The weekly surge increased Brazil’s death toll from coronavirus to more than 50,000.  

In that same week, Brazil reported at least 217,414 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the country's total number of cases to more than 1,080,000.

Brazil is the second country in the world behind the US with the highest number of cases and deaths according to Johns Hopkins University

11:39 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

New Jersey casinos and indoor dining can resume next month, governor says

New Jersey casinos can reopen at 25% capacity on July 2, Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Monday morning.

Indoor dining “limited at first to 25% capacity” can also resume, he posted, adding that additional guidance relating to health and safety will be released “within the next several days.”

Some context: Murphy temporarily shuttered casinos, dine-in restaurants, entertainment businesses, amusement parks and gyms on March 17 to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

Read his tweet:

11:18 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

Carnival Cruise line extends cruise cancellations through September

From CNN’s Alison Kosik and Paul R. La Monica

Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Ecstasy cruise ship is docked at the Port of Jacksonville amid the Coronavirus outbreak on March 27 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Ecstasy cruise ship is docked at the Port of Jacksonville amid the Coronavirus outbreak on March 27 in Jacksonville, Florida. Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Carnival Cruise Line says it is cancelling all cruises through September 30. 

Carnival said in a statement, “we have watched with great interest as commerce, travel and personal activities have begun to start back up, and once we do resume service, we will take all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we bring our ships to in order to maintain public confidence in our business. “

Carnival’s decision comes as the cruise industry voluntarily extended the suspension of US cruise operations until September 15 because of coronavirus concerns, according to Cruise Lines International Association, the leading trade organization for the global cruise industry.

Carnival says for guests who were already booked on excursions departing September 30, 2020 or prior, they can choose between a full refund or incentive credits for a future trip. 

This announcement comes as Carnival posted a $4.4 billion loss — which works out to $3.30 per share — for the second quarter.

Analysts were forecasting a loss of $1.76 a share. Revenue plummeted 85% to $700 million, missing estimates of about $738 million.

11:16 a.m. ET, June 22, 2020

This Maine college will have some — but not all — students back on campus in the fall

From CNN's Carolyn Sung

The Bowdoin College campus is nearly empty during spring break, Wednesday, March 11 in Brunswick, Maine.
The Bowdoin College campus is nearly empty during spring break, Wednesday, March 11 in Brunswick, Maine. Robert F. Bukaty/AP

Bowdoin College in Maine announced that only a fraction of its students will return for on-campus and in-person learning for the fall 2020 semester.

The small liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine, will allow freshman, transfer students, a small number of senior honors students and resident life staff to return to campus, according to a plan laid out Monday by Bowdoin's president Clayton Rose. All sophomores, juniors, and other seniors will remain off campus for the fall semester and will take their courses online.

"I very much wish we could have everyone on campus in the fall, and I know you do as well," Rose said. "The nature of the virus requires us to limit the density of people on campus. While we have taken considerable time to understand the scientific data on the virus, there is still a great deal of uncertainty, requiring us to be both humble and thoughtful about what we do and do not know."

Bowdoin said nearly all classes — including those on campus — will be taught online. The college plans to start classes on Sept. 2, with all students leaving campus before the Thanksgiving holiday and finishing the fall term remotely.

Everyone on campus will be tested for Covid-19 at least two times a week and will be required to participate in a contact-tracing program. All students who return to campus will live in a single bedroom, Rose said.

According to the plan, Bowdoin will not participate in any fall or winter varsity sports for the fall semester, since not all students will be on campus.