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.
6:26 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020
Brazil nears 1.5 million coronavirus cases
From CNN's Rodrigo Pedroso and Taylor Barnes
Brazil���s health ministry reported 48,105 new cases of novel coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the country’s total to at least 1,496,858.
The number of new cases reported Thursday is the second highest reported by Brazil during the pandemic.
The highest number Brazil reported in a 24-hour period occurred on June 19 when the ministry reported 54,771 new cases, a spike the government said at the time was due in part to “instability” in how a few populous states exported their data.
The ministry also reported 1,252 new Covid-19 fatalities on Thursday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 61,884.
6:25 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020
Alabama extends public health emergency until September 9
From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch and Giovanna Van Leeuwen
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has extended the state’s public health emergency for another 90 days – making it set to expire on September 9.
This is the second 60-day extension of the state of emergency, which was declared on March 13, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“At this time, it is impossible to predict how long the COVID-19 pandemic will require the existence of a state of emergency,” Ivey said her in her proclamation. “Nevertheless, I understand and appreciate the substantial reliance that many people, businesses and government entities have to come to place on measures adopted by the various emergency proclamations I have issued as part of the state’s COVID-19 response.”
The order states that all subsequent orders or regulations remain in effect for the duration of the public health emergency unless rescinded or extended by a proclamation.
The state reported at least 40,111 cases of coronavirus and at least 985 deaths.
Note: These numbers were released by the Alabama Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.
6:22 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020
The pandemic could leave 41 million people unemployed in Latin American and the Caribbean
From CNN's Tatiana Arias
Latin America and the Caribbean could see a historic record number of unemployment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the International Labor Organization (ILO) warned in a new report published Wednesday.
“The unemployment rate could rise between 4 and 5 percentage points, bringing the number of unemployed in the region to a historical record of 41 million people. If the crisis worsens, the employment situation could worsen, amplifying social inequalities,” the report says.
Before the pandemic hit Latin America and the Caribbean, the unemployment rate in the region was 8.1%, or about 26 million people at the end of 2019, according to ILO.
ILO’s latest report analyzes data from the World Bank, which estimates a 7.2% drop in the region’s economic growth – leading to an 12.3% unemployment rate. The ILO also analyzed the latest numbers from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which estimate an economic contraction of 9.4%, resulting in a 13% unemployment rate.
“In absolute numbers, these rates imply an increase in the number of people who are looking for a job and do not get it; from 26 million before the pandemic to 41 million in 2020,” ILO specialists explained during a virtual news conference on Wednesday.
ILO’s report says the majority of the workers in various economic sectors are now at a high risk of unemployment due to the pandemic. About 40% of people with a high risk of unemployment work in high risk economic sectors such as hospitality, food service, small businesses and manual labor, another 17% are in the medium to high risk sectors, and only 20% of the labor force is engaged in low risk economic activities such as those in government, education and health jobs.
6:20 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020
CDC forecast projects nearly 148,000 US coronavirus deaths by July 25
From CNN's Arman Azad
An ensemble forecast published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now projects nearly 148,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by July 25.
This week’s national forecast relies on 24 individual forecasts from outside institutions and researchers. The new projections, published Thursday, forecast 147,865 deaths by July 25, with a possible range of about 139,000 to 161,000 deaths.
“The state-level ensemble forecasts suggest that the number of new deaths over the next four weeks in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming will likely exceed the number reported over the last four weeks,” the CDC says on its forecasting website.
“For other states, the number of new deaths is expected to be similar to the number seen in the previous four weeks or to decrease slightly," the forecast adds.
Unlike some individual models, the CDC’s ensemble forecast only offers projections for the next month. The previous ensemble forecast, published last Wednesday, projected about 139,000 coronavirus deaths by July 18.
According to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases in the United States, at least 128,574 people have died in the US from coronavirus so far.