June 27 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Brett McKeehan, Tara John, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 0434 GMT (1234 HKT) June 28, 2020
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4:08 p.m. ET, June 27, 2020

Until a vaccine is found, Mitch McConnell calls masks "really important"

From CNN's Adrienne Winston and Sam Fossum


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stressed that people should continue to social distance and wear masks in public until there is a vaccine for Covid-19. 

"Until we find a vaccine, these are really important," McConnell said Friday while holding up a blue mask, according to CNN affiliate WKYT. "This is not as complicated as a ventilator, and this is a way to indicate that you want to protect others."

Some context: The comments from McConnell, as well as other leading congressional Republicans, are in contrast to President Trump's refusal to wear a mask in public and his urge to move on from the pandemic even as cases surge.

McConnell made the comments while visiting a hospital in Morehead, Kentucky, to talk about the money provided to rural health care systems from the CARES Act, the massive coronavirus stimulus package that was enacted two months ago. 

"I see various events on television in which people are clearly not wearing masks, not taking it seriously and not doing others a favor," McConnell also said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. "We need to get past that in order to protect not only ourselves but our friends and colleagues and others until we get to a vaccine."

In contrast to other nation's dealing with the pandemic, mask wearing in the US has taken on a political dimension –– in part because of Trump. 

1:01 p.m. ET, June 27, 2020

Global health professor worries US schools could be shut down until May or June of next year

An empty school cafeteria in Manhattan on March 19.
An empty school cafeteria in Manhattan on March 19. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said he thinks schools in the US won't operate normally until May or June of 2021.

"I think people have pretty unrealistic expectations of how the fall and winter are going to go," he told CNN on Saturday.

"I'm hearing a lot of parents say, 'let's scrap the fall and we'll maybe start in the spring,'" Jha added. "January and February aren't going to be better. They're going to be the deep winter months and March will be pretty tough. I don't expect a widespread vaccine will be available, and widespread and readily available, by January or February."

Jha said he is concerned that if schools do open in the fall and send students back into classrooms, they will not be able to stay open.

This is a possible scenario for communities that have a high number of cases, he said, adding that he is worried schools across the country will be shut down for most of the fall, winter and spring.

"The single biggest determinant of whether a kid will be able to go to school or not is not the plan of the school, not how much deep cleaning they're doing, temperature checks. It is about how much virus there is in the community," Jha said.

"If we don't get our act together and get the virus under control we're going to have a whole year of online education for all of our children. It is going to have a lot of effects on kids and parents," he added.

1:00 p.m. ET, June 27, 2020

Bar owner speaks out against Florida order prohibiting on-premise alcohol consumption

Seamas Hunt, second from the right, and Gary Humphrey, in green, both own Paddy O’Leary’s.
Seamas Hunt, second from the right, and Gary Humphrey, in green, both own Paddy O’Leary’s. CNN

Seamas Hunt is closing down his Florida bar once again due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hunt, who is co-owner of Paddy O’Leary’s Irish Pub on Pensacola Beach, said the news of people getting sick inspired him to "be proactive."

He also feels like the order from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation suspending on-premise alcohol consumption has unfairly targeted bars, Hunt told CNN today.

"Seeing the (infection) numbers go up is not a shocker," Hunt said. "To actually shut us down and target standalone bars just made no sense."

Paddy O’Leary’s Irish Pub will now offer to-go drinks only.

Some context: At least 64 counties in Florida were in phase two of reopening, which allowed restaurants, bars, and other vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, with the exception of nightclubs, to operate bars.

Florida health officials have reported 9,585 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, according to the Florida Department of Health (DOH).

12:26 p.m. ET, June 27, 2020

New York governor launches investigation into potential Covid-19 exposure at graduation

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has launched a health department investigation into the potential exposure of Covid-19 at a high school graduation in Westchester County after an individual who recently went to Florida attended and subsequently began exhibiting symptoms.

That individual, and four more who attended the ceremony and had contact with the person, have tested positive for the virus, a news release from the governor's office said.

Horace Greeley High School held a drive-in graduation ceremony on June 20 at Chappaqua Train Station in Westchester County, according to the news release.

All individuals who tested positive are currently self-isolating, the governor said. 

In addition to the graduation, the student who tested positive for Covid-19 also attended a non-school related field night event with other junior and senior students.

The health department is asking everyone who attended those events to get tested and to extend their quarantine period until July 5.

The governor has now asked the State Department of Health to investigate and trace the exposure at the high school graduation and the field night, the release said.

CNN has reached out to the school for comment.

Some context: This news comes after New York, New Jersey and Connecticut issued a travel advisory Wednesday that requires people arriving from states with high coronavirus rates – including Florida – to quarantine for 14 days.

Subsequently, Cuomo issued a fresh executive order on Saturday that makes state employees who voluntarily travel to high-risk states after June 25 ineligible for Covid-19 paid sick leave.

12:41 p.m. ET, June 27, 2020

PGA Tour to enforce stricter Covid-19 testing protocols

From CNN's Wayne Sterling

The PGA Tour announced Saturday that it is updating its Covid-19 testing protocols.

"Effective immediately with the Rocket Mortgage Classic (July 2-5 in Detroit), players and caddies, along with all other individuals 'inside the bubble,' will not be allowed on property until first being cleared with a negative in-market test," the PGA statement said. "Previously, players and caddies could be on site to practice as they awaited their arrival testing results, but without access to any indoor facilities."

Also on Saturday, the PGA Tour said that Jason Day requested a Covid-19 test before the third round of the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut. His test results came back negative prior to his 9:15 a.m tee time.

Some background: Yesterday, Denny McCarthy withdrew from the tournament after testing positive for coronavirus. The PGA Tour said Saturday that all follow-up tests done as a result of potential contact with McCarthy were negative.

12:37 p.m. ET, June 27, 2020

"Shaming does not work" when trying to get people to wear masks, US surgeon general says

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said he was disappointed some public health officials have resorted to shaming in an effort to get the public to wear masks and contain the spread of coronavirus. 

In an interview with Business Insider published Friday, Adams said, "I've been a little bit surprised — and to a degree disappointed — in how many of my colleagues across the country have resorted to just out-and-out shaming."

"Shaming does not work," Adams said in the interview. "What we need to do is engage people and help them understand the return on investment to them or to their communities or to the people that they love in a tangible way. And that's how you get people to cooperate." 

Adams said it was important to explain why everyone should wear a mask, including young people, even when they are not as likely to get seriously ill from the virus as older populations. 

"Your decision not to wear a face covering and not to social distance isn't just about you getting sick," Adams told Business Insider. "You are on average guaranteed to infect at least one other person, and that person might die."

Adams said that while historically Americans don't like the government telling them what to do and may view face covering as an imposition, he thinks the public might be receptive to the message that masks actually give the public freedom. 

"If more people wear face coverings, we have less transmission of disease, and that means more places will be able to open and to stay open," Adams said.

11:23 a.m. ET, June 27, 2020

Florida sets new daily record with 9,585 Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Florida health officials have reported 9,585 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, according to the Florida Department of Health (DOH).

Saturday's data is the highest single day reporting of coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, surpassing Friday's 8,942 reported cases.

Florida now has 132,545 Covid-19 cases in the state, according to DOH's daily report.

To note: These figures were released by the Florida'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.

11:56 a.m. ET, June 27, 2020

Northern Ireland discharges final ICU coronavirus patients

From CNN’s Zahid Mahmood

There are currently no coronavirus patients left in Northern Ireland’s intensive care units, the Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday.

There are currently 21 coronavirus patients still in hospital, the DOH said.

According to the latest data, Northern Ireland has recorded only one new case of coronavirus since Friday, while a total of approximately 1,460 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital after contracting the virus.

A total of at least 549 patients had died from the virus since the pandemic struck, according to the DOH.

11:53 a.m. ET, June 27, 2020

Peru extends state of emergency until July 31

From CNN’s Tatiana Arias

The empty main square in Cuzco, Peru, is seen on June 24, where only a symbolic version of an ancient Inca ritual took place as part of the traditional Sun Festival. The festival normally brings together over 80,000 people every year, but this year it took place without audience due to restrictions amid the pandemic.
The empty main square in Cuzco, Peru, is seen on June 24, where only a symbolic version of an ancient Inca ritual took place as part of the traditional Sun Festival. The festival normally brings together over 80,000 people every year, but this year it took place without audience due to restrictions amid the pandemic. Jose Carlos Angulo/AFP via Getty Images

The government of Peru extended the country’s state of emergency on Friday until July 31. 

Seven of Peru’s 24 regions will remain under more strict quarantine measures compared to the rest of the country which will have its social isolation guidelines relaxed, a statement from Andina, Peru’s state news agency, said on Friday.

Mandatory social isolation guidelines will continue to be required for those under 14-years-old and over 65-years-old in the regions of Arequipa, Ica, Junin, Huanuco, San Martín, Madre de Dios and Ancash.

People in those seven regions can only travel to obtain services and goods deemed as essential and for authorized economic activities.

The latest numbers: According to Peru’s ministry of Health, the majority of Covid-19 cases in the country have been reported in the capital city of Lima, which has at least 153,068 cases.

The country currently reports a total of approximately 272,364 cases and at least 8,939 virus-related deaths as of Friday evening.