June 30 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, July 1, 2020
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4:10 p.m. ET, June 30, 2020

California governor will announce more Covid-19 restrictions tomorrow: "We're gonna have to be tougher"

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Gov. Gavin Newsom
Gov. Gavin Newsom Pool

California Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to announce more restrictions for Californians as coronavirus cases swell in the state. The governor has repeatedly promised that reopening the state comes with the ability to "toggle back" if necessary.

Today, Newsom said more announcements regarding restrictions and enforcement will come tomorrow. California is among at least 17 states that have paused or rolled back their reopening plans in response to a rise in new infections. On Sunday, the governor shut bars back down across seven counties and recommended their closure in several more.

Responding to a reporter's question about the beaches being closed in Los Angeles County for the Fourth of July weekend, the governor hinted that state beaches could be part of his announcement tomorrow.

As the holiday weekend looms, Newsom warned that family gatherings are of the greatest concern around the spread of coronavirus in the state.

Family gatherings where households mix with extended family, tend to be a place where people let their guard down, the governor said. “It’s not just bars, not just out in the streets with people protesting, and the like,” Newsom said.

Acknowledging that family gatherings are part of the holiday tradition, he insisted that directives will be more aggressive as they relate to face coverings and physical distancing.

“We bent the curve in the state of California once. We will bend the curve again. Mark my words. We will crush this pandemic. We will annihilate it. We will get past this, but we’re gonna have to be tougher,” Newsom said.

4:14 p.m. ET, June 30, 2020

North Carolina reports more than 900 coronavirus hospitalizations in the state

From CNN’s Janine Mack

Mandy Cohen, M.S., North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary
Mandy Cohen, M.S., North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary UNC-TV

North Carolina is reporting 64,670 positive cases of coronavirus and 1,343 deaths in the state since the pandemic began, Mandy Cohen, North Carolina Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) secretary, said during a news conference today.

NCDHHS said the number of new cases is down from Monday.

There are 908 people hospitalized and 910,033 have been completed, according to NCDHHS. 

Cohen said contact tracing is ramping up, but there are a lot of challenges with getting people to pick up the phone and to talk to NCDHHS.

“We have to work on that communication and that trust, and we're going to continue to do that,” Cohen said. 
4:59 p.m. ET, June 30, 2020

Florida governor: "We're not going back, closing things"

From CNN's Maria Cartaya

As Florida reports increasing coronavirus cases, Gov. Ron DeSantis today said the state has robust testing and "hospitals have a lot of capacity." 

Speaking at a news conference today, the governor said Florida is "well positioned to be able to handle what comes down the pike."

He also said Florida would not be "closing things" — days after the state suspended on-premise alcohol consumption in bars after Florida reported record coronavirus case counts.

“We’re not going back, closing things," DeSantis said today. "I don’t think that, that really is what’s driving it. I mean, people going to business is not what’s driving it. I think when you see the younger folks, I think a lot of it is just more social interactions and so that’s natural,” added DeSantis.  

Regarding the younger population, DeSantis emphasized that some people could have mild or no symptoms. “You have a responsibility not to come into close contact with folks who could be more vulnerable,” he added.

The latest numbers: The Florida Department of Health reported more than 6,093 additional coronavirus cases today, bringing the state total to more than152,000. The state recorded its highest daily total on Saturday with more than 9,500 new cases.

Watch Florida ICU doctor response to DeSantis' comments:

3:54 p.m. ET, June 30, 2020

Denver Nuggets close practice facility after 2 people test positive for Covid-19

From CNN's David Close

NBA team the Denver Nuggets have temporarily shut down their practice facility, the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, following two positive Covid-19 tests from members of the squad and staff.

A team spokesperson tells CNN that the Nuggets closed the facility as a precaution.

The Nuggets are set to leave for Orlando, Florida, next Tuesday ahead of the NBA’s restart to the season. 

First reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the facility closed on Saturday after the two positive tests were revealed among the 35-person contingent that plans to travel to Orlando. 

The team spokesperson would not comment on how many in total or whom within the Nuggets franchise have tested positive for coronavirus since the pandemic outbreak.


3:36 p.m. ET, June 30, 2020

McConnell says Senate will address potential new Covid-19 relief bill in July

From CNN's Ali Zaslav and Lauren Fox


Asked today about timing for another Covid-19 relief bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said senators will address a potential additional package when they return in July before the August recess.

He told reporters the next Covid-19 bill will focus on kids, jobs and health care.

McConnell, speaking at a news conference, reiterated that no stimulus bill will pass without liability protection, and not just for businesses, but for universities, doctors, nurses and schools as well.

He also pushed his pro-mask message, saying, “Put on a mask, it’s not complicated.”

4:34 p.m. ET, June 30, 2020

Covid-19 vaccine candidate has shown positive early data in phase 1 trial, maker says

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

US vaccine maker Inovio said on Tuesday that its coronavirus vaccine already has shown some positive early data in a Phase 1 trial. However, the company released few details, and the preliminary information was shared in a press release, not a peer-reviewed publication. 

The company said that 94% of people in the Phase 1 trial demonstrated overall immune responses by six weeks after receiving two doses of the vaccine INO-4800 and by eight weeks, the vaccine regimen was found to be safe and well-tolerated with no serious reactions.

There were 40 healthy adult volunteers, ages 18 to 50, in those preliminary analyses, the company noted. Since then, the Phase 1 trial has been expanded to include older adults in additional cohorts and there are plans to launch a Phase 2/3 trial this summer.

The vaccine is among those selected to be part of the US government's Operation Warp Speed, a national program aimed at delivering a Covid-19 vaccine to the nation by next year.

"We are very encouraged by the positive interim safety and preliminary cellular and humoral immune response results to date as well as the inclusion of INO-4800 in Operation Warp Speed," Dr. J. Joseph Kim, president and CEO of Inovio, said in the company's announcement. 

"We look forward to urgently advancing INO-4800, as it is the only nucleic-acid based vaccine that is stable at room temperature for more than a year and does not require to be frozen in transport or for years of storage, which are important factors when implementing mass immunizations to battle the current pandemic," Kim said in part.

More about the trial: The Phase 1 clinical trial of INO-4800 enrolled volunteers across two US locations who were assigned to either a 1.0 mg or 2.0 mg dose group— and in those groups, each participant received two doses of INO-4800 four weeks apart, the company said.

Some participants said they experienced redness where the vaccine was injected into their skin, but "there were no reported serious adverse events," Inovio's announcement said.

According to the World Health Organization, there are 17 coronavirus candidate vaccines in clinical evaluation globally.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen explains:


3:15 p.m. ET, June 30, 2020

More than 126,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

There are at least 2,612,259 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 126,512 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

On Tuesday, Johns Hopkins has reported 21,707 new cases and 372 reported deaths. 

3:15 p.m. ET, June 30, 2020

There's no proof back-to-college coronavirus tests prevent virus spread, CDC says

From CNN's Maggie Fox

There’s no evidence that testing people before they come back to campus would do anything to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said — and so it’s recommending against it. 

While colleges and universities can feed “rapid and pervasive spread” of the virus, there may be better ways to control it, the CDC said in updated guidance for institutions of higher learning.

“Testing of all students, faculty and staff for COVID-19 before allowing campus entry (entry testing) has not been systematically studied,” the CDC said in the new guidance posted Tuesday. 

The agency said it's not known if entry testing at colleges "provides any additional reduction in person-to-person transmission of the virus beyond what would be expected" with other preventive measures, such as social distancing and mask wearing.

"Therefore, CDC does not recommend entry testing of all returning students, faculty, and staff," the CDC said.

But, the CDC noted, some universities are going to do it, anyway. They should take into account that doing one test, once, is likely to miss cases. People can catch the virus later, or may have early stage infections that don’t show up on tests.

Plus, some campuses may be at lower risk. “Residential college communities that do not have frequent interaction with surrounding communities might have less potential exposure" than a campus with commuter students, the CDC noted.

But there are high-risk settings at most colleges or universities, including “Residence halls, laboratory facilities, and lecture rooms," the CDC said.

What can colleges do? Smart testing would include contact tracing approaches. “Expanded testing might include testing of all people who were in proximity of an individual confirmed to have COVID-19 (e.g., those who shared communal spaces or bathrooms), or testing all individuals within a shared setting (e.g., testing all residents on a floor or an entire residence hall),” the CDC said. 

“Testing in these situations can be helpful because in high density settings it can be particularly challenging to accurately identify everyone who had close contact with an individual confirmed to have COVID-19. For example, students who do not know each other could potentially be close contacts if they are both in a shared communal space.”

3:08 p.m. ET, June 30, 2020

Nearly 8 million people out of work in Brazil due to Covid-19

From CNN’s Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo

At least 7.8 million Brazilians lost work between March and May, according to new figures released by the country’s statistical agency on Tuesday.  

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, IGBE, released its report for the trimester, showing a record number of people lost work in the country, 5.8 million of which were in the informal sector.

“For the first time in the historical survey series, the level of occupation was below 50%,” according to a statement released by the institute, quoting their analyst Adriana Beringuy.

IGBE put the figure for people working in the formal and informal sectors at 49.5% at the end of May.

Since data collection started in 2012, “this had never happened” wrote Beringuy in the IGBE statement. “This means that less than half of the working age population is working," he added. Brazil’s legal working age is 14.

The total number of Brazilians in the work force stands at 85.9 million, an 8.3% contraction from the same period past year.

Some context: The unemployment rate in Latin America’s largest economy rose to 12.3% at the end of May, affecting 12.7 million people, the highest level since the same three-month period in 2018. 

Economists are pointing to a historic economic recession in Brazil due to Covid-19. The Brazilian Central Bank estimates a 6.4% drop in GDP for this year, while The Monetary International Fund is more pessimistic and predicts a 9.1% fall for 2020.