June 23 coronavirus news

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5:30 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Germany imposes new lockdown around slaughterhouse outbreak

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has imposed a new lockdown in the area around a meat factory hit by a coronavirus outbreak.

The district where the Toennies meat processing plant is located -- and the scene of a Covid-19 cluster that has sickened some 1,553 workers -- will return to lockdown measures, the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westfalia announced Tuesday.

Armin Laschet said the restrictions in Guetersloh would be valid for a week until June 30 and would be similar to the lockdown measures introduced in March.

The outbreak in the meatpacking plant has been linked to a spike in Germany's overall coronavirus reproduction rate by the country’s public health body.

The cluster prompted the closure of daycare centers and schools in the region, and the army was deployed to aid testing efforts.

The lockdown measures will include no group contact, and all restaurants, pubs, bars, swimming pools and fitness studios will be closed.

Meanwhile, the district of Guetersloh is trying to improve communication with the workers at Toennies and has called for volunteer translators. Officials have said that the workers being tested are mostly from Romania, Bulgaria and Poland, and on Tuesday, the district announced it is looking for 150 translators until the end of September.

4:42 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

US is still in the first wave of the pandemic and experts raise concern for several states

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

With half of US states reporting a rise in new cases, one expert warns of "danger signs" in some parts of the country.

After weeks of many Americans failing to heed face mask and social distancing guidelines, health officials in some states are reporting an increase in younger populations testing positive -- saying those individuals are often asymptomatic but could be infecting others.

And public health measures meant to control infection aren't quite up to speed -- a problem the country has consistently faced in past months.

"As you reopen ... you expect to see more cases. But what we're hearing, in terms of the public health model -- of testing people, through contact tracing, and then isolation and quarantine -- it doesn't sound like it's working as well as it really needs to," said former acting director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Richard Besser.

Besser said Monday night he sees "some real danger signs for places like New York, New Jersey, Washington (DC)." New York City, Washington, DC, and the state of New Jersey have entered their second phase of reopening.

Read more:

4:05 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Covid-19 cases are rising among young people in the US South and West

From CNN's Christina Maxouris and Eric Levenson

The major thrust of new coronavirus cases in the United States is in the South and West, where officials say more young people are ignoring social distancing measures and testing positive.

Young people are more likely to have milder outcomes from coronavirus, but they can still infect others who are more at risk.

"With younger age of recent infections in at least some places such as Florida, expect a lower death rate in this wave ... until the 20-40 year olds who are infected today go on to infect others," Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Twitter.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told Axios that the recent high number of cases in young people is "not surprising." Like Frieden, he warned of what's to come.

"They get infected first, then they come home, and then they infect the older people. The older people get the complications, and then they go to the hospitals," Fauci said. "The death rate always lags several weeks behind the infection rate."

Read the full story:

3:15 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

India allows religious festival to go ahead in "limited" capacity as coronavirus cases surge

From CNN's Swati Gupta in New Delhi

Hundreds of devotees are expected to participate in one of India's most celebrated religious processions Tuesday, after the country's highest court ruled that the annual spectacle could go ahead in a limited capacity despite the high coronavirus risk.

The annual Rath Yatra festival, which takes place in the coastal city of Puri in the western state of Odisha, celebrates the Indian deity of Jagannath and lasts for more than a week.

The Supreme Court had previously ruled against the Hindu celebration, saying the risk of coronavirus infection was too high with more than a million people expected to attend.

However, the Odisha state government promised to conduct the festival in a "limited way," and asked the court for an injunction, leading to the Supreme Court overturning its own order on Monday.

Read the full story:

3:04 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

German meat processing plant now has at least 1,500 infections

The district of Gütersloh in Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia state now says that 1,553 workers at the giant Tönnies meat processing plant have contracted the coronavirus. 

Lockdown of the district is still under discussion. The prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia will hold a news conference at 10:30 a.m. local time (4:30 a.m. ET).

The outbreak has prompted the closure of daycare centers and schools in the region and the Robert Koch Institute, a public health body, linked a spike in Germany's overall coronavirus reproduction rate directly to the plant.

The plant is one of several meat processing factories now facing scrutiny after coronavirus outbreaks highlighted the poor working and living conditions faced by the industry's many foreign workers.

Read more about the outbreak at the plant:

2:47 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Trump's pandemic failing is now directly impacting his campaign

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

US President Donald Trump is now paying a direct, personal price for his pandemic denial -- the possible shelving of the thing he cares about most, the raucous rallies that defined his political rise and are crucial to his reelection hopes.

Trump spent the weekend seething about the disappointing crowd for his comeback event in Oklahoma on Saturday night, according to CNN reporting. His hopes of a full-time return to the campaign trail then took another blow with news that eight staffers and two Secret Service agents at the event are now positive for the coronavirus.

The test results cast Trump's risky decision to go ahead with an indoor rally that doctors fear turned into a super-spreader infectious event in an even worse light. They also show how the virus -- now marching through southern and western states despite Trump's insistence that the US has already "prevailed" in the fight -- is having a disastrous impact on the "Great American Comeback" narrative at the heart of his reelection bid.

Far from easing the political damage caused by the virus, Trump keeps exacerbating it. On Monday, he gave new life to a controversy caused by his remark on Saturday that he told his staff to slow testing for the virus to avoid discovering new cases, which in itself reflected his negligence in responding to a pandemic that has now killed more than 120,000 Americans.

Read the full analysis:

3:33 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

These 9 hand sanitizers may contain a potentially fatal ingredient, FDA warns

From CNN's Allen Kim

The US Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers not to use hand sanitizer products manufactured by Eskbiochem SA due to the potential presence of a toxic chemical.

The FDA has discovered methanol, a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through skin or ingested, in samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ hand sanitizers, both produced by the Mexican company.

Eskbiochem did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN.

The FDA recommends that consumers avoid the following brands of hand sanitizers produced by Eskbiochem:

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)

1:58 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

US is still "way behind the virus," former HHS secretary says

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

Kathleen Sebelius talks to CNN's Anderson Cooper.
Kathleen Sebelius talks to CNN's Anderson Cooper. CNN

Kathleen Sebelius, former secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, says that while the country is doing more testing for Covid-19, we are still “way behind the virus.”

“We are still reacting. We’re not ahead of it,” Sebelius told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday. “The only way to get ahead of the virus is to tamp way down the cases in any area, and then test like crazy when a case appears, contact trace, and make sure you quarantine. We can’t do that yet because we are still finding all kinds of people who have the virus.”

Documented cases continue to grow, as do hospitalizations and deaths in some parts of the country. “We are still not testing enough,” Sebelius said.

Sebelius was critical of US President Donald Trump, who told supporters at a rally Saturday that testing was “a double edged sword.”

"I said to my people, 'Slow the testing down, please,' " he said. Soon after Trump made the comment, White House officials asserted the President was joking.

“We are still not testing enough, but he’s a man who doesn’t want ‘his’ numbers -- whatever those are,” Sebelius said. “Those are patients, as far as I’m concerned -- people who have lost loved ones.”

1:34 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

India's coronavirus death toll surpasses 14,000 as cases continue to spike

From CNN's Manveena Suri and Vedika Sud in New Delhi

Firefighters wearing personal protective gear spray disinfectant in a closed market in Siliguri, India on June 22.
Firefighters wearing personal protective gear spray disinfectant in a closed market in Siliguri, India on June 22. Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images

India registered 312 new coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, raising the overall death toll to 14,011, the country's health ministry announced Tuesday morning local time. 

The country also added 14,933 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 440,215

India, with the fourth highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, has now recorded over 12,000 daily new cases for the sixth consecutive day.

More than 248,000 people have so far recovered from the virus in the country, according to the ministry. 

The Indian Council of Medical Research said over 7.1 million coronavirus tests have been conducted across the country since the pandemic began.