July 3 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Melissa Macaya, Amy Woodyatt and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 2311 GMT (0711 HKT) February 1, 2021
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8:11 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020

Tennessee governor gives mayors authority to issue mask requirements

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Mark Humphrey/AP/FILE
Mark Humphrey/AP/FILE

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order Friday giving mayors in 89 counties the authority to issue mask requirements.

Six counties with locally run health departments — Sullivan, Knox, Hamilton, Davidson, Madison and Shelby — will retain their existing authority to issue mask requirements as needed, the governor tweeted Friday.

The new executive order allows local governments to issue the mandates if a surge requires more preventative measures being taken to slow the spread of the virus. 

“While our densely populated urban areas continue to have the highest COVID-19 case rates, our local governments expressed a need for greater flexibility in addressing a rise in cases and that includes setting stronger expectations around masks,” Lee said in a statement. “This targeted approach ensures we protect both lives and livelihoods and safely keep our economy open in Tennessee. We encourage every Tennessean across the state to use a face covering or mask, make sure to socially distance and wash hands frequently.”

7:09 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020

Brazil passes 1.5 million coronavirus cases

From Marcia Reverdosa and Taylor Barnes


Brazil’s health ministry reported 42,223 new cases of novel coronavirus on Friday, bringing the nationwide total to 1,539,081.

The health ministry also reported 1,290 new Covid-19 fatalities, bringing the country’s death toll to 63,174.

Bars in Rio de Janeiro reopened yesterday: Local TV images showed large gatherings of people in front of bars and restaurants in the city, spilling into the street and blocking car traffic.

"Most people on the streets were not respecting social distancing measures and the mandatory use of masks," Flavio Sarahyba, one of the owners of the bar Boa Praça in the upscale Leblon neighborhood, told CNN.

Sarahyba said they had prepared the bar to follow all necessary sanitary measures, including distancing their tables, mandating the use of masks by customers and staff, and providing hand sanitizer. They even put fences on the outside of the bar and stopped serving outdoors to avoid crowds.

Social media images showed groups of revelers waving masks, bidding them “tchau,” or goodbye. Other social media videos showed people crowding into Rio's bars and celebrating what they said was “normal life coming back,” and "sending masks and coronavirus to hell.”

The relaxed Rio de Janeiro restrictions – which allowed bars and restaurants to operate at 50% of normal capacity as long as tables were a minimum of two meters apart and establishments closed by 11 p.m. local time – went into effect Thursday.

Municipal Guards forced several bars to close in the Leblon neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro on Thursday due to the crowds on the street, according to a statement from the Guards, reported in local media. 

On Friday, the Rio de Janeiro city government said in a statement that it will intensify inspection in areas with restaurants and bars and will fine those who are not following the rules. 

"If nothing changes, if the government doesn't act to repress, bars do not cooperate and follow the rules and people don't became conscientious, we may have to close again,'' Sarahyba added. 

6:55 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020

Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson tests positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Jill Martin

Terry Renna/AP
Terry Renna/AP

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss Sunday's race in Indianapolis, according to his team, Hendrick Motorsports.

Johnson tested positive Friday afternoon, a statement said.

In Johnson’s absence, Justin Allgaier will drive the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Hendrick Motorsports on Sunday at Indianapolis. 

“My first priority is the health and safety of my loved ones and my teammates,” Johnson said in the statement. “I’ve never missed a race in my Cup career, but I know it’s going to be very hard to watch from the sidelines when I’m supposed to be out there competing. Although this situation is extremely disappointing, I’m going to come back ready to win races and put ourselves in playoff contention.”
6:34 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020

French court launches inquiry into former prime minister's handling of Covid-19 crisis

From CNN's Alexander Durie and Fanny Bobille

Edouard Philippe
Edouard Philippe Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

A French court has launched a probe into the former prime minister and two ex-cabinet ministers' handling of the coronavirus crisis, the Paris prosecutor's office told CNN on Friday.

A judicial enquiry will examine how former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who resigned as part of the widely expected government reshuffle on Friday, and two former health ministers — Agnes Buzyn and her successor Olivier Véran— managed the Covid-19 outbreak in France. Buzyn stepped down in February.

The inquiry will begin at the Court of Justice of the Republic after the Petitions and Complaints committee upheld nine complaints against the ex-ministers. The committee is part of the CJR and examines the complaints to decide whether to pursue prosecution.

Complaints were filed by private individuals and doctors, the Paris prosecutor's office told CNN.

6:26 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020

This Arizona gym owner says he will not follow governor's closure order

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

Mountainside Fitness in Scottsdale has been cited for violating Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s Executive Order mandating the closure of gyms.
Mountainside Fitness in Scottsdale has been cited for violating Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s Executive Order mandating the closure of gyms. Aaron Cooper/CNN

Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten said he will not heed the Arizona governor’s order to close his gyms.

“We are going to stay open until we have our day in court, which is Monday morning,” Hatten said at a news conference Friday.

He said he objected to the lack of “fairness and transparency” in the new order. Hatten went on to say that the order is more about “making it look like we're doing something.”

Hatten, who has a hearing in his lawsuit against Gov. Doug Ducey Monday, said that he will respect the decision of the court.

“If we are allowed a stay, we will move forward until our full case is heard,” he said. “If the court does not allow us stay, we will comply and respect the court's decision."

LifeTime, the other gym that has been defying closure orders, has announced it will temporarily close.

“After connecting with the offices of the governor and the Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services this morning and, out of respect for the Governor, we are shutting down the indoor fitness portion of our clubs as of now through Monday evening,” a LifeTime spokesperson said in a statement.

6:08 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020

Czech Republic and Hungary open borders to US filmmakers despite EU travel ban

From CNN's James Frater in Brussels 

Michal Krumphanz/CTK via AP Images/FILE
Michal Krumphanz/CTK via AP Images/FILE

American cast and crew will be able to travel to the Czech Republic and Hungary to work on film and TV productions, despite European Union's ban on travelers from the US, heads of those countries' national film commissions indicated.

"Please let me assure you this (travel ban) is not valid for economic workers but tourism travelers only. Filmmakers of all nations are welcome in the Czech Republic," Pavlína Zipkova, the head of the Czech Film Commission, told Hollywood executives and studios in a letter seen by CNN.

Zipkova explained that filmmakers will be provided with two documents — a “Confirmation of Performance of Economic Activities in the Interest of the Czech Republic,” signed by Czech Culture Minister Lubomir Zaoralek, and a “Declaration Concerning Arrival of a Foreign Crew Member” by the director of the Czech Film Fund, Helena Bezdek Frankova.

In a similar move, Hungarian Film Commissioner Csaba Káel told CNN “special exemption can be granted for non-EU residents to enter Hungary without mandatory quarantine." 

Some background: The EU has published a list of 14 countries from outside the union whose citizens can enter from July 1 based on a set of health criteria, but the US was excluded from that list due to the rise in coronavirus infections in some parts of the country.

The criteria does allow for exemptions for “highly qualified” essential workers and can be expanded to include further categories of travelers. The final decision on who can enter a country rests with the member state.

In 2019 more than 80 films and television series were made in the Czech Republic, contributing $393 million to the country’s economy, according to the Czech Film Commission.

Filming is currently paused on Marvel’s and Disney+ The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Amazon’s Carnival Row, according to the commission.

Hungary's National Film Institute says the country is “the most popular filming destination in continental Europe” and that large scale productions spent more than $565 million there in 2019. 

With sound stages “booked up for the entire year,” Hungary's National Film Institute has released a series of Covid-19 guidelines for filmmakers to ensure the health and safety of cast and crew, which Káel hopes will “make it possible to restart production at full capacity.”

One of those productions is Denis Villeneuve’s big-budget sci-fi movie Dune, which was partly filmed in the country last year, with shooting scheduled to resume in August, according to Hungary's National Film Institute. 

6:11 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020

Myrtle Beach mayor says city is "doing all that we can" to stop spread of virus despite keeping beaches open

From CNN's Hollie Silverman 

Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune told CNN's Jim Acosta on The Situation Room Friday the city is "doing all that we can" to prevent the spread of coronavirus despite keeping beaches open to thousands of visitors for the holiday weekend.

Bethune said that the city enacted a mask ordinance Thursday to help stop the spread. 

"People spread this virus and we can't stop people from coming here but we all have personal responsibility in helping to prevent the spread of this virus," Bethune said.

The mayor said the city is working to get the message out that masks are needed.

She said the city has extra law enforcement that has come in from other areas to help with crowd control.

Bethune also said the beaches have been well maintained by beach patrol, firefighters, and lifeguards and there have been "very few issues" on the beaches.


5:44 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020

MLB and players association announce 31 players and 7 staff members test positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Jill Martin

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced today the first set of results from their Covid-19 testing.

Here's a breakdown of the results:

  • The total number of positive tests is 38, which is 1.2% of the 3,185 total samples collected and tested, according to the statement.
  • Thirty-one of these 38 positives are players and seven are staff members, the statement said.
  • Nineteen different clubs have had one or more individuals test positive during intake testing, according to the statement

The testing was conducted as part of the mandatory intake screening process under MLB’s Covid-19 Health Monitoring & Testing Plan, prior to the workouts and full baseball activities that started today.


5:22 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020

Here's the latest coronavirus update from Texas

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

Healthcare workers move a patient in the Covid-19 Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, on Thursday, July 2.
Healthcare workers move a patient in the Covid-19 Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, on Thursday, July 2. Mark Felix/AFP/Getty Images

Texas is reporting a third day of new Covid-19 cases topping 7,000, according to state health department data.

The state is reporting 7,555 new Covid-19 cases on Friday. Although this is lower than the previous two days, which included a record high for Texas, it continues the trend of sharp increases of cases in the state.

The state also reported 50 new deaths from Covid-19 Friday.

Here's what we know about the surge in coronavirus cases in Texas:

  • Rise in cases: Texas reported a record 8,076 new cases on Wednesday and 7,915 new cases yesterday, state data shows.
  • Hospitalization rates: Texas is expected to see nearly 2,000 new hospitalizations per day by mid-July, according to forecasts published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Mask mandate: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday mandated 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.
  • Major GOP event still happening: The Republican Party of Texas will hold their state convention in-person with an expected attendance in the thousands. The convention will be held indoors at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston from July 16-18. Committee meetings will begin on July 13.