June 24 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Zamira Rahim and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, June 25, 2020
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3:16 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

New report details how schools can be reopened safely

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Teachers confer with each other in an empty classroom at Freedom Preparatory Academy on May 18, in Provo, Utah. The school was closed on March 16, along with all other schools in Utah by order of the Utah Governor.
Teachers confer with each other in an empty classroom at Freedom Preparatory Academy on May 18, in Provo, Utah. The school was closed on March 16, along with all other schools in Utah by order of the Utah Governor. George Frey/Getty Images/FILE

Strategies such as increasing air ventilation, installing touchless technology, and modifying schedules to stagger arrival and departure times could help schools reopen more safely as the coronavirus pandemic continues, according to a new report published Wednesday.

Schools can also limit sharing of equipment in physical education classes and limit personal contact with strategies like taking parent-teacher conferences online, environmental safety expert Joseph Allen and colleagues at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health said in their report.

These should be put in place alongside known measures such as hand washing, mask use, widespread testing for the virus, and encouraging people to stay home when they are sick.

“No one control strategy alone can limit the transmission of disease,” the report reads. “Schools should approach reopening with a layered defense strategy, where many small interventions and strategies are combined, simultaneously.”

Allen said it’s better to send kids back to school than to keep them sequestered at home. He said online learning was missing many, if not most, students.

“Schools will eventually need to reopen,” the report says. “Keeping schools closed comes with massive, long-term individual and societal costs. Many children cannot effectively learn, grow, engage, socialize, be active, eat healthy food, or get supports until schools reopen.”   

3:11 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

NBA player Malcolm Brogdon announces positive Covid-19 test

From CNN's Jacob Lev

Andy Lyons/Getty Images/FILE
Andy Lyons/Getty Images/FILE

Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon said he has tested positive for Covid-19. 

Brogdon, who leads the team in assists per game (7.1) this season, said he is "feeling well" and plans to join his teammates in Orlando, Florida, when the NBA season resumes.

"I recently tested positive for the Covid virus and am currently in quarantine. I'm doing well, feeling well and progressing well. I plan to join my teammates in Orlando for the resumption of the NBA season and playoffs," Brogdon said in a statement posted on the Pacers website.

The NBA season is expected to resume on July 30 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. 

3:06 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

As cases keep rising in California, governor appeals to emotions to slow spread of virus

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg


Urging Californians to consider others by wearing a face covering and keeping up with physical distancing, Gov. Gavin Newsom appealed to people’s emotions in order to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“I don’t care what your background is, everybody needs to be loved and everybody loves,” the governor said.

Acknowledging that younger people tend to feel safer returning to normal, Newsom warned, “be careful about Mom and Dad, and careful about your mother-in-law, your father-in-law, your grandparents.”

Newsom pleaded with the public to think of others when it comes to wearing masks, keeping a safe distance, and increase hand washing.

Loosely quoting scripture, Newsom implored residents to “Love thy neighbors, like yourself, please.”

3:55 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

Florida senator: "We're not where we need to be" on coronavirus

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Samuel Corum/Getty Images/FILE
Samuel Corum/Getty Images/FILE

Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida told reporters, “we’re not where we need to be” on coronavirus.

"It seems like the doctors have done a really good job at trying to figure out how to keep people alive and recover but you know we’re not where we need to be," Scott said.

Data released by the Florida Department of Health shows that today the state marked the highest number of new and confirmed cases of the virus in a single day since the start of the pandemic. 

“I hope everybody takes it seriously, because we haven’t beaten this, we don’t have a vaccine yet,” Scott said. He encouraged people to continue to social distance and wear masks. 

Asked about whether beaches should close in his state, Scott responded that it is up to the people to “make decisions on their own.” He added that Floridians are “tired of people telling them what to do, but that “I think people will make good decisions with good information.”

CORRECTION: The photo in this post has been changed to an image of Sen. Rick Scott.

2:40 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

California coronavirus positivity rate climbs past 5%

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on June 19.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on June 19. Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The positivity rate for coronavirus in California has climbed to 5.1%, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a press conference. The rate was 4.8% on Monday and 4.6% last week. 

This rate hike comes despite increased testing. Yesterday alone, about 94,000 people were tested in California, Newsom said.

Noting that about 8% of all hospital beds and 30% of ICU beds statewide are being used for Covid-19 patients, Newsom said he is confident that the state remains able to meet the needs of patients.

In total, California has recorded at least 183,073 cases and at least 5580 deaths as a result of the virus, according to California Department of Public Health data.

3:05 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

Despite uptick in cases, Florida county is not revisiting reopening plans for Disney World

From CNN's Cristina Alesci and Frank Palotta

The entrance to Walt Disney World in Orlando is seen empty on May 15.
The entrance to Walt Disney World in Orlando is seen empty on May 15. Charlotte Kesl/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Florida county where Disney World is located says it doesn't plan to revisit the park's reopening plan, despite pushback from some Disney employees.

"Orange County continues to monitor the health data for the county with the rise in cases," Kelly Finkelstein, senior public information officer for Orange County government, told CNN. "At this time there are no plans to revisit the reopening plans. That decision rests with Disney officials and the governor."

More than 7,000 people are petitioning both Disney and government officials to delay reopening Disney World next month as coronavirus cases surge in Florida.

The Disney theme park plans to begin a phased reopening on July 11 for its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks and July 15 for EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. Florida reported an additional 3,286 cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the state total to 103,503.

Hear more:

2:20 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

California coronavirus cases soar with more than 7,000 reported in one day

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

A woman walks out of a store in Santa Monica, California, on June 23.
A woman walks out of a store in Santa Monica, California, on June 23. Jae C. Hong/AP

More than 7,000 people were confirmed to have coronavirus in California on Wednesday, according to data from California Department of Public Health.

These 7,149 new cases obliterate the previous single day high of just over 5,000, a record set only the day before.

Hospitalization and ICU rates due to the virus are also at an all-time high in the state.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to address the spike in a news conference starting shortly.

California is among at least 26 US states that have recorded higher rates of new cases compared to last week.

7:25 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

Spring break trip leads to 64 coronavirus cases, University of Texas team reports

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Tourist service posts remain closed in the Marina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on June 2.
Tourist service posts remain closed in the Marina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on June 2. Alfredo Martinez/Getty Images

 A spring break trip to a Mexican beach resort last March led to 64 cases of coronavirus, but proper contact tracing, quarantine and isolation got the outbreak under control, a team at The University of Texas at Austin reported Wednesday. 

No one got seriously ill and no one died, but the incident illustrates how young people – especially college students – can quickly spread the virus among themselves and carry it into the community, the research team said.

Sixty vacationers caught the virus. They in turn infected one household contacts and three people in the community, the UT team reported in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly bulletin.

The students traveled to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico from March 14-19. A week later, back in Austin, three showed up at the health center with coronavirus symptoms and tested positive. “Contact tracing interviews revealed that Cabo San Lucas travelers used a variety of commercial, charter, and private flights to return to the United States,” wrote the researchers, part of a joint effort between the university and Austin Public Health.

“Additional travelers were identified through contact tracing interviews and review of flight manifests gathered with assistance from Austin Public Health,” they added.

Then the contact tracing team swung into action. “UTHA trained medical students, public health students, and clinical and research staff members to trace contacts. UTHA contact tracers communicated with travelers and contacts by telephone, first texting an initial message about the potential exposure and then attempting to call each traveler and contact up to three times,” they wrote.

“During the telephone call, contact tracers advised asymptomatic travelers and contacts to self-quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the last potential exposure date. Symptomatic travelers and contacts were offered a SARS-CoV-2 test and asked to self-isolate until either a negative test result was obtained or, following CDC recommendations at the time, until 7 days after symptom onset, including 3 days with no fever and no worsening of symptoms.”

It was complicated, because many of the people involved had shared rooms, traveled together, and then returned home to shared apartments. And about a fifth of those who ended up testing positive had no symptoms.

“Asymptomatic persons or those with mild symptoms likely play an important role in sustaining SARS-CoV-2 transmission during outbreaks, especially in younger populations, such as the one described here,” the research team wrote.

The symptoms people did have were various. “Similar proportions of fever, cough, sore throat, and headache occurred among persons with positive test results and those with negative results,” the team wrote. It’s possible some of the students had other respiratory infections, including flu. The researchers also suspect some claimed they had symptoms when they did not, so they could get tested. 

Universities, colleges and other schools need to take into account this pattern of shared living and rapid virus spread as they consider reopening, the researchers said.

1:47 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

New Jersey still continuing with restart despite uptick in Covid-19 hospitalizations, governor says

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

A customer gets her hair cut in East Windsor, New Jersey, on June 22.
A customer gets her hair cut in East Windsor, New Jersey, on June 22. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said that while there is an increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations the state feels comfortable continuing with its restart. 

“Tracking our overall trends for the past two weeks, even with the overall increase in new hospitalizations, the overall numbers remain in a place where we feel comfortable continuing with stage 2 of our restart," he said.

The governor added “we have to continue with our social distancing folks. We have to wear the face coverings. There are no excuses to let up even one bit.”

“It is not yet defeated” he said of the virus.

Earlier today, Murphy announced a travel advisory alongside the governors of New York and Connecticut. It will require people traveling from states that have a high infection rate to quarantine for 14 days.

Here is the state's latest data from the governor:

  • Patients in hospitals increased to 1,196 – the highest total since last Thursday. 
  • But the number of patients requiring ICU treatment did decrease to 275. 
  • The daily positivity rate is “up a bit” to 2.83% percent. 
  • Rate of transmission was 0.86% still under 1, but “ticking up a little bit.”
  • Eight counties, currently have a transmission rate greater than 1.
  • Ten counties have seen their reproduction rate at this point in time increase 50% over the past week.
  • The state recorded 317 positive cases bringing the total 169,892.
  • The state recorded an additional 48 deaths bringing the total to 12,995.

Note: These numbers were released by the State of New Jersey’s public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project