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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7:38 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Phoenix not enforcing its mandatory mask order as few Trump event attendees choose to comply

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin and Ryan Nobles

Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Phoenix Police Department and the mayor’s office say that they will not enforce the city’s mandatory mask order at President Trump's event today — despite reports of non-compliance among attendees.

The event, which is being held at The Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona, will feature the President speaking to members of a student group. CNN’s Ryan Nobles, who is at the event, reported that few attendees are wearing masks and that social distancing is not being practiced. He said there were no temperature checks at the entry points today.

In responses to these reports, Phoenix police told CNN that they will “continue to lead with education.”

“We will remind everyone at the event, including officers, the importance of the mayor and City Council’s order, as well as Maricopa County’s order, in helping stop the spread,” said police spokesperson Ann Justus.

Mayor Kate Gallego said in a statement released yesterday that officials had “contacted both the church and presidential campaign staff to alert them to the city's masking policy." But she noted that “the goal of this policy is not to hand out citations.”

“While I do not believe an event of this magnitude can be held safely, particularly as Arizona sees rising Covid cases, the President has decided to continue with this rally,” Gallego said in the statement.

She also noted that church “has indicated that they will be handing out masks to eventgoers and taking temperatures upon check-in.” 

Some background: Arizona has reported record high numbers of both new daily cases and deaths today and has seen a sharp rise on Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks.


7:14 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Brazil records nearly 40,000 new coronavirus cases

From Rodrigo Pedroso

Brazil’s health ministry reported 39,436 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the second-highest daily jump since the start of the pandemic.

The total number of confirmed infections in the country now stands at 1,145,906, the ministry said on Tuesday.

It also said that 1,374 deaths have been reported since yesterday, bringing the total number of those who have officially died from coronavirus in Brazil to 52,645. Tuesday’s death toll was similarly the second-highest daily count.

Brazil has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Latin America and second-highest in the world after the US. The country’s largest daily rise in cases was reported as 54,771 on June 19; its largest daily death toll was reported as 1,473 on June 4.

7:12 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

SEC commissioner says he is preparing to "play the season as scheduled" in the fall

Greg Sankey, the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), said that while he is expecting sports to resume in the fall, the data and the virus will guide what the season will look like.

"We're on a journey and my focus is preparing to play the season as scheduled, but the reality is the circumstances around the virus will guide us in that decision-making," he told CNN on Tuesday.

The SEC is a college athletic conference whose member schools are located in South Central and Southeastern part of the country.

Sankey said he has been talking to medical experts every day about how to keep athletes safe – especially as many schools have allowed students to return to campus for voluntary workouts.

Sankey said he expects student-athletes in the SEC to test positive for the virus, but "we want to be aggressive to stop the spread" and take precautions now that will allow for competition to resume, he said.

On fans in the stands: Sankey said while he is expecting college football to play as scheduled, he does not expect stadiums to allow fans at full capacity.

"We're seeing opportunities for fans to be at events" in a small numbers, he said. He also said there will likely be other safety measures, like masks.

"I would think the game itself would look much like we're accustomed to, but you're going to have fewer people around the sidelines. The presence of masks, I would expect to be some place around our competitions," Sankey said.

"That doesn't mean in but if we've got people measuring first downs, you're going to see that type of reality we're seeing in our lives every day," he added.


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.