June 30 coronavirus news

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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

Pool
Pool

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.

2:59 p.m. ET, June 30, 2020

These US states require people wear masks in public

From CNN's Allen Kim, Scottie Andrew and James Froio

A growing number of US states have mandated the use of masks and face coverings while in public.

With many states starting to lift coronavirus restrictions, more people are venturing out in public, but the number of cases is still rising in nearly half of them.

That's where masks come in. A recent study found that the use of masks and face coverings has been the most effective way to reduce person-to-person spread of coronavirus.

Here are the states that require the use of masks or face coverings in public settings:

  • California (as of June 18)
  • Connecticut (as of April 20)
  • Delaware (as of April 28)
  • District of Columbia (as of May 16)
  • Hawaii (as of April 20)
  • Illinois (as of May 1)
  • Kansas (as of July 3)
  • Kentucky (as of May 11)
  • Maine (as of May 1)
  • Maryland (as of April 18)
  • Massachusetts (as of May 6)
  • Michigan (as of June 18)
  • Nevada (as of June 24)
  • New Jersey (as of April 8)
  • New Mexico (as of May 16)
  • New York (as of April 17)
  • Oregon (as of July 1)
  • Pennsylvania (as of April 19)
  • Rhode Island (as of May 8)

Read more about the individual state mandates here.

2:35 p.m. ET, June 30, 2020

California records more than 6,300 new coronavirus cases in a day

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Motorists line up at a coronavirus testing site at Dodger Stadium Monday, June 29, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Motorists line up at a coronavirus testing site at Dodger Stadium Monday, June 29, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

More than 6,300 coronavirus cases were reported in California in the last day.

The total number of new cases in California is now at least 222,917 and nearly 6,000 people have died from the virus in the state. People between the ages of 18 and 49 represent a majority of the cases.

Hospitalizations and intensive care rates are also at an all-time high in California.

With more than 4.1 million tests having been performed, the state’s positivity rate stands at 5.6%.