Washington state pauses reopening process for at least 2 weeks
From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson
Washington state officials are pausing all applications for counties to move into the next phase starting today, said John Wiesman, secretary for the state's Department of Health.
All counties will stay in their current phase for at least the next two weeks, he said.
More from Washington state: Gov. Jay Inslee said in the next couple of days, he will sign a proclamation regarding face masks. Businesses will not be able to legally serve customers goods or services unless the patrons are wearing a face covering, he said.
The proclamation will go into effect on July 7.
7:39 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020
Pennsylvania asks people traveling from states with high infection rates to quarantine for two weeks
From CNN's Lauren del Valle
As the Pennsylvania Department of Health continues to move counties into the "green phase" of reopening, state officials announced a travel advisory asking people to quarantine for 14 days when they return from travel to 15 states experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Governors from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut similarly announced a travel advisory from these states in late June.
Pennsylvania is only recommending a quarantine to its residents while its three neighbor states issued a mandate.
The 15 states include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
7:14 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020
66 people test positive in Covid-19 cluster linked to fraternity houses in Washington state
From CNN's Jennifer Henderson and Hollie Silverman
Sixty-six people linked to fraternity houses north of the University of Washington's Seattle campus have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement from Seattle and King County Public Health.
At least 62 fraternity house residents have tested positive as of Thursday, the statement said. Four others, who are close contacts of the residents but do not live in the houses, have also tested positive.
The Interfraternity Council, which is a student-led governing board for fraternities at the university, have reported that at least 105 residents living in 15 fraternity houses have self-reported that they have tested positive, the statement said. The university is still collecting and verifying the cases reported by that council.
7:18 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020
Self-isolation measures lifted "for lower risk countries," UK Department of Transport says
From CNN's Chandler Thornto
Self-isolation measures have been lifted for people traveling to England from "lower risk countries," such as Germany, France, Spain and Italy, according to UK's Department of Transport.
"Passengers returning or visiting from certain destinations which pose a reduced risk to the public health of UK citizens, including Spain and Italy, will no longer need to self-isolate when arriving in England," Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced Friday.
The new measures will go into effect July 10 and a list of countries exempt from self-isolation upon arrival to England will be published Friday, the Transport Department said.
"A risk assessment has been conducted by the Joint Biosecurity Centre, in close consultation with Public Health England and the Chief Medical Officer. The assessment draws on a range of factors including the prevalence of coronavirus, the numbers of new cases and potential trajectory of the disease in that destination," the department's statement read.
Those traveling from countries on the exemption list will not be required to self-isolate, "unless they have been in or transited through non-exempt countries in the preceding 14 days."
"The entire nation has worked tirelessly to get to this stage, therefore safety must remain our watch word and we will not hesitate to move quickly to protect ourselves if infection rates rise in countries we are reconnecting with,” Shapps said in the statement.
6:58 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020
Miami-Dade County to issue curfew to control spread of Covid-19
From CNN's Jamiel Lynch
The mayor of Miami-Dade County in Florida is issuing a countywide curfew to control the spread of Covid-19, according to a statement.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez will sign the order tonight, which will take effect on Friday until further notice, the statement said. The curfew will go from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. daily.
“This is one of various actions I’m pursuing to tamp down this spike of COVID-19 and protect our residents,” he said.
Essential workers, first responders, hospital workers, food delivery services and media will be exempted from the curfew.
The mayor also announced he is signing an order to roll back the reopening of entertainment facilities, such as movie theaters, arcades and casinos. It also includes places like concert venues, bowling alleys and adult entertainment.
Additionally, people in restaurants will have to keep face covers on while at the table. They are only able to remove their masks to eat and drink.
"If you are waiting for your meal at a restaurant table, keep your mask on while having a conversation with those around you," Gimenez said in the statement.
7:07 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020
Businesses in Washington state cannot legally serve customers unless patron wears a mask, governor says
From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee announced the next step forward for the state in the form of a new “Mask Up – Open Up” campaign during a news conference today.
Inslee said in the next couple of days, he will be signing a proclamation that says businesses will not be able to legally serve customers goods or services unless the patrons are wearing a face covering.
The proclamation will go into effect July 7.
He said the measure will be issued because of the “extremely troubling spike in the number of cases that we are experiencing across the state of Washington.”
7:32 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020
Chicago orders travelers from states with high coronavirus rates to quarantine for two weeks
From CNN's Raja Razek
Chicago issued a new order directing people entering the city from states experiencing a surge in new Covid-19 cases to quarantine for a 14-day period, Department of Health Commissioner Allison Arwady said.
The 14-day period begins from the time of the last contact within the "identified state."
The states included in the order are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.
The order goes into effect Monday at 12:01 a.m., according to a statement from the health department. Violators could face fines, the statement said.
6:37 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020
Pastor shuts down Alabama church after several people test positive for Covid-19
From CNN's Jamiel Lynch
A Mobile, Alabama, pastor has shut down his church again and is going back to online services after several staff and members have tested positive for Covid-19 since reopening.
Rev. Derek Allen, pastor of First Baptist Church of Tillman’s Corner, wrote a blog warning other pastors to prioritize their flock ahead of any political message around Covid-19.
Allen tells CNN that the church was following all guidelines set by the state.
“We shut down the church before the state even asked us,” Allen said. “We had already put plans into place on how we would continue on.”
He said that during the order from Gov. Kay Ivey, the church, which has around 1,500 members, remained shuttered and went to online services. When the governor’s office issued guidelines that allowed the churches to reopen, they were ready.
Allen said the church practiced social distancing and cut occupancy down to 130 people per service. They even had to add up to five services a day just to accommodate everyone. Allen also said church members wore masks and the church was cleaned regularly.
In his blog, Allen warned other pastors that it happened very fast.
“One week from the time I received the first phone call reporting symptoms, we were aware of more than a dozen people showing symptoms. What was even more shocking was that we could track four generations of transmission from the original person. We are two weeks in, and the numbers are growing at a faster rate now than they were last week,” he wrote in his blog.
Allen also said isolation and social distancing work. “I’m convinced that one of the reasons the virus hasn’t spread faster and farther is that we have been following procedures designed to isolate sick people and keep everyone else socially distanced. At the same time, we had gotten comfortable, and on a few occasions, we were a little lax in those policies. We can trace almost all of the infections back to one of those times,” he wrote.
7:18 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020
The US is "not going in the right direction," Fauci says
From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas
The US coronavirus pandemic is not headed in a positive direction, but it’s possible to balance the yearning to reopen with precautions that can help slow the spread of coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with JAMA on Thursday.
“I think it’s pretty obvious that we are not going in the right direction,” he said.
On Wednesday, more than 50,000new infections were reported in the US and at least 23 US states had paused or rolled back reopening plans.
Fauci said it’s not a case of either supporting reopening or supporting public health measures. “There's this feeling of an all or none phenomenon, where you're either on lockdown or you're just going to say…the devil may care and just let it all go,” he said.
“The best way, as a vehicle to opening the country in a safe way, is to prudently use public health measures,” Fauci said. “It’s not public health against opening.”
The guidance is especially relevant as the nation enters a holiday weekend amid new evidence that suggests the virus has mutated to become more infectious.
“It does look like a particular mutation may make the virus more transmissible,” Fauci said. Research released Thursday suggests that the mutation does not, however, make people sicker.
Fauci said pool testing, a strategy that tests multiple samples at once, can be a helpful surveillance tool. It’s especially useful when there are not many cases of the virus in a community.
“If you have a situation where you have very low penetrance, but you want to make sure it's low, it's so much better to do pool testing than it is to try and do individual testing in the community,” he said. “It saves resources. It saves time. It saves equipment, and it saves money.”
Fauci said that pool testing, along with intermittent screening, could come in handy when colleges reopen in the fall.
For grade schools, he recommended making decisions based on the viral activity within particular regions. “Within the realm of some prudent evaluation of the safety to the children and the impact on the community, we should try as best as possible to get the kids back to school,” he said.