June 23 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes, Veronica Rocha and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:05 a.m. ET, June 24, 2020
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7:23 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Washington state will require people to wear masks starting Friday

From CNN’s Andy Rose

As the concern over coronavirus rises again in Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a new statewide rule to require people to wear masks starting Friday.

“Any facial covering that will cover the nose and mouth will do in this case,” Inslee said at a news conference Tuesday.

The requirement applies in any indoor public space, and also outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained.

“When you wear it, it means you care about people,” Inslee said.

The new rule is in response to a major spike in cases in Yakima County, which has strained local hospitals trying to serve Covid-19 patients.

"There are no rooms available for this treatment in Yakima County," Inslee said, adding it is forcing new coronavirus patients to be moved to hospitals in other parts of the state.

6:24 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

EU considering recommendation to block American visitors due to Covid-19

From CNN's Kylie Atwood and Vivian Salama

As European Union nations continue to ease coronavirus restrictions, the EU is considering recommending that member states block American visitors from visiting their countries due to the surge of coronavirus cases in the US, according to two EU diplomats.

"The criteria will be focused on circulation of the virus," said one EU diplomat, adding that Brussels is looking to keep out travelers from countries "where the virus is circulating most actively."

No final decisions have been made and it is ultimately up to individual members to decide who can enter each country.

The New York Times was first to report on the possibility. The EU diplomats had not seen the draft lists of acceptable travelers the Times reported on, but they said they are aware that discussions are ongoing.

Sources told CNN the criteria of countries on being considered for the EU's travel ban list is being based on a maximum per capita infection rate of 50 people infected per 100,000 residents.

Among the options being discussed is travel restrictions based on US geographic regions, rather than a sweeping ban on the entire country, since some regions have higher infection rates than others, these people said.

Keep reading.


5:40 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Peru reports more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Claudia Rebaza

Health workers disinfect the main Plaza of Puno, Peru on June 18.
Health workers disinfect the main Plaza of Puno, Peru on June 18. Carlos Mamani/AFP/Getty Images

Peru’s health ministry reported 3,363 new cases of coronavirus Tuesday, bringing the country’s total count up to 260,810. 

The ministry also reported 181 new fatalities from the virus, raising Peru’s death toll to 8,404. 

Tuesday marks 100 days since Peruvian authorities declared a state of emergency in the country in order to fight the pandemic.

5:11 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Illinois schools to resume in-person learning this upcoming academic year 

From CNN's Raja Razek

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker Pool

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced in a statement on Tuesday "guidelines that will allow K-12 schools, community colleges, and higher education institutions to safely resume in person instruction for the upcoming academic year."

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency will provide public K-12 districts with 2.5 million cloth face masks, according to the statement. 

"When students return to campus this fall, they can expect new prevention measures from colleges and universities including social distancing, physical spacing, hand sanitizing stations, face covering requirements, and regular monitoring of students for symptoms of COVID-19," the statement said. "Each school district will determine how to implement the guidance based on its unique student enrollment, school facilities, staffing, transportation, and technological capacity."

Additionally, Pritzker announced in a news conference that every region in Illinois is on track to begin phase four on Friday. 

About the numbers: Illinois has a total of 137,825 Covid-19 cases and 6,707 deaths.

5:01 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

California farms and ranches will incur up to $8.6 billion in pandemic-related losses this year

From CNN's Alexandra Meeks

Pandemic-related losses to California farms, ranches and agricultural businesses will range between $5.9 billion and $8.6 billion this year, the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) said in a statement Tuesday.

"Analysts have looked specifically at 15 different agricultural sectors, using data on production, exports and prices through early May, plus interviews and surveys of people and businesses," a CFBF spokesperson said. "The study showed the greatest dollar-loss impact to dairy, $1.4 billion to $2.3 billion; grapes, $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion; and flowers and nurseries, $660 million to $740 million."

The CFBF, which represents family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 34,000 members statewide, said California's agricultural sector has already suffered over $2 billion in losses this year from large shifts in retail demand and rising production costs. 

“California farmers, ranchers and their employees have continued the essential work needed to keep American families fed, but that work has come with sacrifice,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “The impact is being felt in rural communities throughout the state that rely on agriculture for their residents’ livelihoods."

Farms, ranches and agricultural businesses have also incurred higher operating costs for measures intended to increase employee health and safety, and in the more complex logistics required to move crops and commodities to market during the pandemic. Many California farmers will never be able to recoup these operational costs, the CFBF said. 

While many California farmers say their live-crop businesses may not survive the pandemic, shelf items like rice, processed tomato products and canned fruit have seen an increase in demand, according to data from the study. But in aggregate, “the losses far outweigh the isolated benefits,” the CFBF said.

4:53 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Sanofi aims for September to begin human trials of a Covid-19 vaccine

 From CNN’s John Bonifield

The drug maker Sanofi does not expect to begin human trials for one of its Covid-19 vaccine candidates until September at the earliest, the company announced Tuesday.

The Phase 1/2 study will test a vaccine approach that Sanofi has used previously to produce an influenza vaccine. Development of the vaccine has been expedited with more than $30 million in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Sanofi said it hopes to have full approval of the vaccine by the first half of 2021 and aims to produce 1 billion doses. The vaccine may require one or more booster doses, according to a presentation made to investors.

Sanofi is also developing a second Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The company expects a human trial for that vaccine approach to start by the end of the year, with a goal of getting approval as early as the second half of 2021. The company says it expects to be able to supply 90-360 million doses of that vaccine annually.

Thirteen Covid-19 vaccine candidates are currently in human clinical trials, according to the World Health Organization.

4:52 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Coronavirus pandemic could be making "childcare deserts" worse, lawmakers warn

From CNN’s Jacqueline Howard

Parents have lost access to childcare services because of pandemic shutdowns and childcare providers have had to confront new costs and protocols to keep children and workers safe from the virus, experts told a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Tuesday. 

These challenges could worsen "childcare deserts" -- areas where there is not enough licensed childcare providers to serve a community, Rasheed Malik, a senior analyst for early childhood policy at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, told lawmakers during Tuesday’s hearing.

"The signs we’re seeing from the industry are worrying," Malik said.

"One-third of the childcare workforce lost their jobs in April and those jobs may not come back without a public investment. Revenues have been decimated due to lower enrollment while operating costs associated with reopening have increased dramatically," Malik said. "Without new federal funds to support the physical infrastructure of childcare facilities, we should expect diminished childcare supply, which could inhibit our economic recovery."

Malik, his colleagues at the center and a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota have launched an online tool that features interactive maps showing where childcare deserts exist in neighborhoods across the United States. “Our team could identify the location and capacity of more than 235,000 child care providers, including both home-based childcare and childcare centers," Malik said.

"We found that approximately 51% of families with a young child live in a childcare desert," Malik said. That was before the pandemic.

"Childcare deserts primarily impact low- and middle-income families. Predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods are very likely to be childcare deserts and many but not all predominantly Black neighborhoods lack sufficient childcare," Malik said. "Also rural areas have very little licensed childcare and tend to rely more on home-based providers, whose numbers have been in decline over the past decade.

4:44 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Tucson postpones July 4 fireworks due to spike in coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

Tucson, Arizona, will postpone its annual Fourth of July fireworks show this year, according to a statement released Tuesday.

City leaders pointed to “the risk of increased community spread of Covid-19” as well as “the extreme fire danger in the region” as the reason for the cancellation.

“With the recent large spike in Covid cases and the current administrative order to postpone re-opening our City facilities to August 3, postponing the event at this time is the right decision to ensure that we stay on track slowing the spread and for our planned re-opening,” City Manager Michael Ortega said in the statement.

“It is our intent to hold the event sometime in the future,” Ortega added.

The numbers: Arizona is reporting 3,591 new cases of Covid-19 and 42 deaths over the last 24 hours, according to state data.

3:43 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Texas governor to residents: "The safest place for you is at your home"

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas


As Texas sees its highest numbers of positive tests and hospitalizations, Gov. Greg Abbott advised residents of the state to stay at home. 

“The safest place for you is at your home,” Abbott told CNN affiliate KBTX News 3 today.

“Because the spread is so rapid right now, there’s never a reason for you to leave your home, unless you do need to go out,” Abbott added.

New restrictions could be put into place if the virus spread continues at its current rate, Abbott said, but the state is already encouraging and reinforcing the ideas of mask wearing, hand sanitization and social distancing. 

There is increased enforcement in areas, such as bars, that are seeing overcrowding, he said. He added that his first obligation is that people in the state understand the magnitude of Covid-19.