More than 129,000 have died from coronavirus in the US
From CNN's Amanda Watts
There are at least 2,767,669 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 129,114 people have died in the country from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.
So far on Friday, Johns Hopkins reported 27,790 new cases and 374 deaths.
The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.
2:00 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020
Most of Louisiana's new cases come from community spread
From CNN's Hollie Silverman
The Louisiana Department of Health tweeted today that 98% of the state's new cases come from community spread.
Louisiana reported 1,756 new coronavirus cases on Friday.
According to the agency, 43% of the new cases are among people 29 years and younger, while 60% of the cases are 39 years or younger.
A vast majority of the new cases reported were from the past week, the agency said.
2:27 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020
Coronavirus is "a long way from gone," says England's chief medical officer
From CNN's Isabel Tejera and Milena Veselinovic in London
England is trying to walk a "narrow path" between health and economic dangers of coronavirus, England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on Friday.
"Go too far one side, and the virus comes back again. Go too far on the other side, and we get even further — and this is a medical point — increases in unemployment, depravation increasing, and all the social ills that go with that," Witty said.
"So either side of the path we’re on, there are risks. We’re going to have health problems, and we’re going to have economic problems for sure," he said.
Witty also said that the virus was "a long way from gone" and was not going to be gone "for a very, very long time."
Reopening pubs and restaurants in England is not a "risk-free" step, he said. Bars and restaurants are set to reopen tomorrow.
Whitty said everyone wants to support businesses, but at the same time it is important to be "really disciplined" in observing all the regulations that make it "less easy for the virus to come back again.”
1:38 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020
Texas cell phones get public safety alert to wear masks
From CNN's Ashley Killough
Shortly after noon CT — when the Texas mask order went into place — cell phones in the state received a public safety alert telling people to wear masks in public spaces, both indoors and outdoors, when it is not possible to maintain a six feet distance between people who are not part of their household.
“Punishable by a $250 fine,” the alert read. “This Independence Day, we are depending on you to help slow the spread of this deadly virus.”
About the order: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order Thursday mandating that residents in counties with 20 or more active Covid-19 cases — which is about 95% of Texans — to wear a face covering in public.
The state continues to see new record high levels of cases. On Wednesday, Texas recorded at least 8,076 new cases, the state’s record high of new cases per day since the pandemic began. Texas reported 7,915 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, bringing the total number of cases in the state to at least 175,977, with 2,525 deaths.
Read the alert:
1:16 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020
Prime minister warns UK "not out of the woods yet" as England gets ready to reopen bars
From CNN's Milena Veselinovic
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson cautioned that people should "enjoy summer safely" and still follow social distancing rules when England's bars and restaurants reopen tomorrow.
He said that the spike in the English city of Leicester, where some coronavirus restrictions have been reimposed, showed that "we are not out of the woods yet. The virus is still with us."
The prime minister warned that anyone flouting restrictions was "letting down" the businesses who have worked hard to prepare for reopening under coronavirus measures.
Johnson said there was "no doubt" that the lockdown saved "many hundreds of thousands" of lives, but had a "devastating impact" on the economy.
He said that next week the government will set out a timetable for the reopening of businesses like nail bars, indoor gyms and swimming pools, but warned that he "will not hesitate in putting on the breaks" and impose restrictions again if the virus gets out of control.
Johnson also said that "local lockdowns will be a feature of our lives for some time to come." He explained that if the virus continues to spread in an area, authorities will first target specific locations and close premises, restrict access, and trace contacts of anyone who tested positive for coronavirus.
If this is not successful in driving down the number of infections, the government will then apply a local lockdown, which could mean closing schools and businesses and asking people to stay at home, as is currently the case in Leicester.
The country's latest data: The virus R rate — the average number of people each infected person passes the virus onto — remains between 0.7 and 0.9 across the UK according to the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), Johnson said.
“We are now reporting regularly fewer than 1,000 new cases each day. The Office for National Statistics estimates that between the 14th of June and the 27th of June, 25,000 people in the community in England had the virus. One person in every 2,200," Johnson said.
1:05 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020
North Carolina reports highest single-day increase of new Covid-19 cases
From CNN's Hollie Silverman
North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,099 new cases of coronavirus Friday, the state's highest single-day increase in new cases, according to a tweet from the agency.
Hospitalizations are also at a record high in the state, the tweet said. A statement from the agency said that 951 people are currently hospitalized.
“We are seeing significant spread of the virus and it is very concerning," North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said in the statement. “Today we have the highest reported day of new cases and hospitalizations — and that should be a warning to us all as we go into this holiday weekend. We don’t get a holiday from Covid-19. We all need to wear a face covering, avoid crowds and wash our hands often.”
Here's a look at how the state's number of new cases have progressed, according to data from Johns Hopkins University:
1:39 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020
158 Covid-19 cases linked to one bar in Michigan, health official says
Two weeks ago, the number was just two cases, she told CNN’s Kate Bolduan.
Crowding, shouting, long lines and drinking came “together into just a perfect storm,” Vail said.
These types of bar outbreaks are then spilling into graduation parties and summer gatherings. Vail said that 70% of new coronavirus cases in her county have been people in their 20s.
“It’s really hard to contain when young people are reckless and don't think it’s going to affect them, much less those high-risk people around them,” Vail said. “And on top of that, we’ve politicized it, causing another large group of people to brush it off as nothing more than a hoax or just nothing more than the flu. Never in my political career would I imagined that we would politicize a virus. People need to listen to science and experts and realize these things are evidence-based and critical.”
12:57 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020
Trump's Mount Rushmore event is "beyond irresponsible," doctor says
From CNN's Adrienne Vogt
President Trump is set to hold a Fourth of July event at Mount Rushmore with 7,500 people and no social distancing in place tonight, which CNN medical analyst Dr. Celine Gounder calls “beyond irresponsible.”
“This is the behavior of a cult leader who is jumping off the cliff, except he’s jumping off into a safety net where he has protections around him … while he asks the followers to jump off a cliff into nothing,” said Gounder, an infectious diseases specialist. “People are really going to be harmed as a result of this,” she told CNN’s Kate Bolduan.
“This is gaslighting on an enormous scale, and it means until people eventually get sick or their family members get sick … they won't believe it, and by then it will be too late,” Gounder said.
12:33 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020
Venezuela will reimpose lockdown next week as Covid-19 cases spread
From Stefano Pozzebon in Bogota
Venezuela will reimpose total lockdown measures next week as Covid-19 cases spread in the country, Vice President Delcy Rodríguez announced.
The measure was announced as part of a plan the country is implementing to fight the pandemic.
The plan includes seven days of total lockdown, followed by seven days of relaxed lockdown. During that period, residents will be allowed to leave their homes and businesses will be allowed to partially reopen. That period will be followed by another seven days of total lockdown.
However, 12 of 23 states in Venezuela, including the capital Caracas, will not be part of the plan and will remain on total lockdown.
Speaking on the country’s state channel VTV, Rodríguez said the past week has seen a record in both, the number of new daily cases and new deaths.
“There is an outbreak in Venezuela that we need to contain,” Rodríguez said.
As of Friday morning, Venezuela reported a total of 6,273 Covid-19 cases, according to data released by the government of embattled President Nicolas Maduro. June 27 and June 30 were record days for new cases, with 351 and 302 new cases, respectively.
The death toll has reached 57, but critics argue the government does not have the capacity to register every single case, and that the number of victims by the pandemic is far higher.
Zulia, the most populous state in Venezuela, has been hardest hit by the pandemic.