June 28 coronavirus news

A healthcare worker takes a sample from a man at a COVID-19 testing site in Miami Beach, Florida on Wednesday, June 24, 2020.  Photo by Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images
Several regions across US experiencing pandemic peaks
02:06 - Source: CNN

What you need to know

  • More than 10 million people across the world have been infected with the coronavirus, and more than 500,000 have died.
  • The US reported more than 40,000 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, its biggest daily jump yet. Yet only two US states are reporting a decline in new coronavirus cases
  • The number of cases in Latin America has tripled in the past month, surpassing 2 million infections, the Pan American Health Organization said.
  • India reported 19,906 new coronavirus cases on Sunday – the country’s biggest one-day jump.

Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has moved here.

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Palm Beach County mayor says beaches will be closed for July 4 weekend

People gather at a beach in Delray Beach, Florida, on May 23.

Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner announced on CNN Sunday that he will issue an order to close all Palm Beach County beaches for the holiday weekend. 

“In consultation with our county administrator, we will be issuing an order tomorrow, tomorrow morning, that will close the Palm Beach County beaches throughout the entirety of the county for the holiday weekend. It is an unfortunate result, but public health remains the focus of the elected leaders of Palm Beach County,” Kerner said. “Unfortunately, this 4th of July will not be spent at the beach.”

Mayors in Miami and Fort Lauderdale have also announced beach closures for the holiday weekend.

White House coronavirus response coordinator says masks may only provide partial protection from Covid-19

Dr. Deborah Birx speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing in Washington, DC, on June 26.

White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said Sunday there is “scientific evidence that masks both keep you from infecting others but may also partially protect you from getting infected.” 

Officials have mentioned this possibility before, but it has not been a point of emphasis for the administration’s health experts in their public comments.

Birx travelled to Dallas with Vice President Mike Pence to talk with state officials about why they believe they have seen a major spike in Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks.

Birx said she was there to encourage younger people to wear masks, “and if they’re interacting with their parents and grandparents, they should wear a mask then too because we know now how many of them are asymptomatic.”

Birx thanked Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for his decision to close bars and appealed to every Texan to wear a mask, though there is no statewide requirement for their use in public. 

The US Food and Drug Administration’s guidance on personal protective equipment says that while masks may be effective in blocking splashes and large-particle droplets, a face mask, by design, does not filter or block very small particles in the air that may be transmitted by coughs or sneezes.

Surgical masks also do not provide complete protection from germs and other contaminants because of the loose fit between the surface of the mask and your face.

Birx is expected to travel this week to several other states experiencing spikes, including Florida and Arizona.

Peru among top 10 countries with most confirmed coronavirus cases

Peru has the sixth-highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases globally, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Peru reported 3,430 new cases Sunday, taking the country’s tally to 279,419. That’s higher than the total numbers reported by Spain and Italy. The country also reported 181 new deaths, for a total of 9,317. 

There are at least 2,539,544 coronavirus cases in US

There are at least 2,539,544 coronavirus cases in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally. At least 125,747 people have died from coronavirus nationwide. 

On Sunday Johns Hopkins reported 29,393 new cases and 208 deaths. The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

CNN is keeping track of coronavirus cases across the country with an interactive map.

Florida mayors heckled by beachgoers as they announce beach closures

Mayors from coastal cities in Broward County, Florida, held a press conference to address beach closures over the July 4 weekend, as some people who are against the measures heckled the officials. The plans to close the beaches come as the number of new coronavirus cases in the county rapidly rise.

“All the mayors of the coastal beaches are working collaboratively” to close the beaches because they “anticipate large crowds, perhaps even coming from other counties,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said at the presser Sunday.

Beachgoers could be heard yelling “freedom,” “socialism,” “this is America,” and “don’t shoot!”

“Obviously this decision is not unanimous, right, you can hear it. All right. OK. Not everyone’s gonna be happy about that decision and we always understand that sometimes decisions have to be made so that we can protect the majority of people. So we just ask that you understand and try to respect what we’re trying to do for the general public,” Trantalis said. 

Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper spoke briefly, at times yelling over the hecklers. “We would like them to understand that we are doing this to protect the public,” she said. 

“All we’re trying to do here today is just to assure everybody we’re doing this for the right reasons,” said Lauderdale-by-the-Seas Mayor Christopher Vincent. 

Vincent said the officials want to avoid “the influx of about 10 times as many people” next weekend. 

Broward beaches will be closed from July 3-5, the mayors said. 

Pennsylvania governor applauds Allegheny County for shutting down on-premises alcohol sales due to Covid-19 concerns

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf commended officials in Allegheny County on Sunday for shutting down on-premises alcohol sales at bars and restaurants due to “significant Covid-19 case increases over the past few days” in the area, according to a press release from Wolf’s office.

The majority of the new Covid-19 cases in Allegheny County are among people aged 19-49, with an average age of 27, Wolf’s office said.

“I commend Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Health Department Director Dr. Debra Brogan for the decision to shut down bars and restaurants for on-premises alcohol sales in Allegheny County effective June 30. This was the right move to work to stop the recent spike of COVID-19 cases in its tracks and to remind all residents and businesses that the best defense we have in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping Pennsylvanians safe is to continue to follow the mask-wearing requirement, practice social distancing and follow safety guidelines even and especially during the green phase of reopening,” Wolf said.

Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, is the state’s second most populous county after Philadelphia County. Allegheny County entered the state’s “green” phase of reopening on June 5. 

The county has 2,239 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 143 probable cases and 183 deaths as of Sunday, according to state data.

Global coronavirus deaths surpass half a million, Johns Hopkins University's tally says

An employee at La Recoleta Crematorium in Santiago, Chile, prepares to cremate the body of a coronavirus victim on Friday, June 26. More than 500,000 people worldwide have died from the novel coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

More than 500,000 people worldwide have died from the novel coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally.

As of Sunday evening, JHU reported 500,108 global deaths, with the United States holding the highest death toll.

The US has witnessed 125,747 deaths from Covid-19, according to JHU, accounting for more than a quarter of the global total.

Drive-through and walk-up testing are still available throughout Florida despite long wait times

A long line of cars wait to enter a drive-through coronavirus testing site near the Miami Beach Convention Center on Thursday, June 25.

Drive-through and walk-up sites for coronavirus and antibody testing are still available at multiple sites throughout Florida, according to Mike Jachles, spokesman for the State Division of Emergency Management Covid test sites. 

During a Sunday press conference, Jachles said that wait times have been “considerably less” this weekend than what was seen last week.

The testing site at the Hard Rock parking lot in Miami Gardens has surpassed 43,000 tests since the site opened at the end of March, Jachles said. It remains open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

There have been upticks in tests over the past week at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Jachles said.

Jachles encouraged those that are both symptomatic and asymptomatic to get tested for the virus.

About 1.8 million people have been tested statewide, according to Jachles.

Antibody testing is also available at some sites, with results being given sometimes as soon as 20 minutes, Jachles said. Those tests are through blood draw.

Jachles said that people planning on getting a test through a drive-through site should be prepared to wait by having air conditioning in their car and a full tank of gas.

If people can’t endure long waits, or if they are highly symptomatic, they should contact their health care provider or schedule an appointment at one of the sites that is taking appointments for testing, Jachles said. 

Jachles said there is no timetable for ending testing at these sites.

“The word from the Division of Emergency Management is we’re committed to continuing this testing for as long as it’s needed. We have the division of emergency management, before the National Guard, dozens of nurses on site, committed, that have been here for many days working long days and will continue to conduct the testing, as long as it’s needed,” Jachels said.

Israeli health minister warns second wave of Covid-19 infections has begun

Israel’s health minister warned a second wave of Covid-19 infections has begun, as new cases of the coronavirus soar in a country that appeared to have it well under control just a few weeks ago.

The number of new infections in Israel has reached more than 500 daily, just a few weeks after the government started reopening the country. In mid-May there were approximately 20 new infections a day, with the number sometimes down in single figures.

Edelstein targeted his anger at anyone not taking Covid-19 seriously.

“I hear people saying: why are you creating panic? A few elderly people will die, so what? To any person who thinks like this, I say, ‘Imagine your grandfather or grandmother among those elderly,’” Edelstein said.

Tennessee announces delay in reporting Covid-19 data due to technical difficulties with database

A medical professional administers a coronavirus test at a drive-thru testing site in Springfield, Tennessee, on April 18.

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) will not issue data on Covid-19 cases and tests on Sunday due to an unplanned shutdown of the state surveillance system, according to a statement issued this afternoon. 

The TDH uses the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System Base (NBS) to manage local, state and territorial health departments’ reportable disease data, and sends it to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a news release. This system houses data for all reportable diseases in the state, including Covid-19. 

Around 3 a.m. Sunday, the element of NBS that imports laboratory results encountered an unexplained shutdown, the health department said. The issue was corrected by TDH and state technology teams, and lab imports to NBS were restarted by noon, the health department said.

However, due to the backlog and unexpected shutdown, a limited number of Covid-19 results were imported into NBS in the past 24 hours. Since the data is incomplete, TDH made the decision to not release numbers today. 

TDH notes that the technical difficulties may also cause a delay in notifying those who have tested positive for Covid-19. 

Anti-Trump Republican group's new ad slams President over coronavirus deaths hitting 'Greatest Generation'

A group formed by anti-Trump Republicans will air a new ad Sunday that slams President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic for the deaths of World War II veterans and other senior citizens who belonged to the “Greatest Generation.” 

The advertisement, which will launch Sunday with a $100,000 digital buy in targeted markets, will be seen first in Florida, Arizona, Texas and South Carolina, states that are defined in large part by their military communities. The states have also experienced recent spikes in coronavirus cases.

John Orloff, one of the writers behind the iconic HBO drama about World War II, “Band of Brothers,” wrote the Lincoln Project spot.

Lincoln Project co-founder Reed Galen said Trump’s record on the pandemic deserves to be on the ballot in November.

“Americans should judge Trump on his inhumanity for accepting us as expendable,” Galen said.

Florida governor says GOP convention is a work in progress and “it will be fine” by August

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press briefing in Pensacola, Florida, on Sunday.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he “look(s) forward” to the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville in August. 

CNN’s Natasha Chen asked the governor if he has assured President Trump the convention would be allowed to take place without any mask requirements after DeSantis said residents should stay away from closed spaces, crowds and close contact, what he calls “the three C’s.” 

“It’s a work in progress, we’re going to try to get to yes … Obviously we’re in a dynamic situation,” DeSantis said. “It will be fine by the time. It’s a couple months away, and we look forward to seeing that.”

The convention is slated for August 24–27 in Charlotte, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida.

Texas Medical Center published incomplete data on ICU beds Saturday. Governor calls for accurate and timely data

The Texas Medical Center released a statement Sunday saying that an incomplete slide deck, or presentation page, was posted yesterday to their website. This means there was insufficient information on the number of ICU beds amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This statement comes amid concerns that the Texas Medical Center had stopped publishing updated data on Intensive Care Unit bed availability in the Houston area.

“Yesterday the TMC posted an incomplete slide deck in order to allow time to fully develop a number of new slides. The new slides as well as a number of updated slides that were absent yesterday will be released later today. Collectively they will provide a more comprehensive and accurate description of the current status,” TMC said in the statement.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told CNN Sunday that he noticed data was down for Friday and Saturday. 

“That information was provided for the last, well over the last month, I would get those numbers every morning. So I noticed that I didn’t get them Friday and Saturday,” Turner said. “I’ve had some conversations and I think we’re all on the same page. And that should be coming back as of tomorrow.” 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott spoke with hospital executives earlier in the week and told them that they need to provide accurate and timely data on Covid-19 as often as possible, an Abbott spokesperson told CNN.

California governor closes bars in seven counties

Citing the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered bars closed in seven counties including Los Angeles County.

The other counties: Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin and Tulare.

Vice President Mike Pence encourages young people to get tested and people to wear masks

Vice President Mike Pence arrives at Love Field in Dallas on Sunday, June 28.

Vice President Mike Pence has encouraged young Americans to get a coronavirus test if they have concerns.

During his briefing with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Pence discussed how they can “accelerate results of testing.” He said he would take the feedback to the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the administration’s private partners.

President Trump has repeatedly downplayed the need for increased testing. At his Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally last week he suggested that he had asked for testing to be slowed down.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator, told reporters that Texas health officials are seeing an increase in hospitalization rates among 20- to 40-year-olds, which she said indicated there is a large percentage in this age group who are positive but were asymptomatic.

Pence also encouraged Americans to wear masks, but again deferred to local ordinances for mask requirements.

“If your local officials in consultation with the state are directing you to wear a mask, we encourage everyone to wear a mask in the affected areas and where you can’t maintain social distancing, wearing a mask is just a good idea and it will, we know, from experience, will slow the spread of the coronavirus,” Pence said at a briefing at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas on Sunday.

Later in the briefing, Birx said, “I’m really appealing to every Texan to wear a mask.” Pence and Birx both stressed that younger Americans need to take steps to protect older Americans.

Pence wore a mask earlier Sunday while visiting a church but has not always worn masks in public events.

First NBA player to test positive for coronavirus still not fully recovered months after diagnosis

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert plays during the first half of an NBA game against the Phoenix Suns on October 28, 2019. 

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, the first NBA player to test positive for Covid-19, told the French sports publication L’Equipe that he still has not recovered from the virus. 

When speaking with the French sports publication, Gobert revealed that his senses haven’t fully recovered saying, “The taste has returned, but the smell is still not 100%. I can smell the smells, but not from afar. I spoke to specialists, who told me that it could take up to a year.” 

Some context: The 28-year-old faced backlash after he touched every microphone during a press conference while discussing the pandemic, just days before testing positive.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver made the decision to suspend the season on March 11 after the Frenchman’s positive diagnosis.

Gobert plans to join the Jazz in Orlando when the NBA season returns on July 30.

Florida governor attributes Covid-19 surge to socializing and a backlog in testing

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis looks on during a press conference on June 8 in Miami, Florida.

South Florida, especially the Miami–area, has reported the most new cases in the state and it’s mostly due to socializing, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a news briefing Sunday.

The uptick in positive cases has been driven “by a big increase” over the last three weeks in younger age groups, particularly those in the 18-to-44 age range, DeSantis said. Graduation parties and gatherings where people aren’t adhering to social distancing are responsible for several Covid-19 cases, DeSantis said. 

A backlog of testing has also accounted for the current spike, DeSantis said.  

Florida was in the 10% positivity range when testing ramped up in March and April, DeSantis said. 

In April, that rate dropped and was stable in May and June, at around 3%. Positivity rate is about 12% now, DeSantis says. 

Chile reports more than 4,000 new Covid-19 cases

Nurses transfer a patient at Barros Luco Hospital in Santiago, Chile, on June 24.

Chile reported 4,216 new cases of coronavirus and 162 new deaths Sunday as Health Minister Enrique Paris praised the effort made by people complying with lockdown procedures.

Chile’s chief epidemiologist Rafael Araos said the country is reporting large numbers “of coronavirus deaths and probably they will keep going up.”

“We think that the rate of increase, thanks to the measures that we have been adopting, will eventually slow down,” Araos said.

Chile has the third highest number of coronavirus cases in Latin America with a total of 271,982. There has also been at least 5,509 coronavirus-related deaths in the country.

Florida's Broward County to close beaches over July 4 weekend

Beachgoers in Hollywood, Florida, on June 25.

Cities in Broward County will follow Miami Dade County’s example and close its beaches ahead of July 4 weekend, the city of Fort Lauderdale said in a tweet. 

Beaches in Broward County will closed from July 3 through July 5, according to the tweet.

Several mayors from Broward’s coastal cities will hold a news conference today at 4:30 p.m ET to discuss the measure, according to the tweet.

Read the tweet: