South Carolina reports 20.7% positivity rate from new coronavirus tests
From CNN's Hollie Silverman
South Carolina reported 1,558 new cases and 10 new confirmed deaths Friday, according to a statement from the state's Department of Health and Environmental Control.
According to the agency, the positivity rate in new cases was 20.7%.
There are currently 1,148 hospital beds occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for Covid-19, the statement said. The state is currently at a 72.68% hospital bed utilization rate, according to the agency.
South Carolina has a total of 41,413 confirmed cases, 119 probable cases, 787 confirmed deaths and six probable deaths, according to the statement.
4:15 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020
About 43% of California's total Covid-19 cases are located in Los Angeles County
From CNN's Cheri Mossburg
California's coronavirus cases continue to climb, with the state reporting a total of 248,235 confirmed cases, an increase of 5,688 since Thursday.
An additional 100 deaths are being reported, bringing the state’s total to 6,263.
About 43% of all of California’s cases are located in Los Angeles County.
The positivity rate stands at 6.4% over the past 14 days, and hospitalization rates are again at an all-time high with more than 5,500 patients admitted.
New measures taken: California's governor has announced significant rollbacks to the state's reopening. On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all indoor activities be halted in counties on the state’s coronavirus "watch list" for increased transmission of the virus.
Those closures affect 19 counties representing 72% of the state’s population, and include restaurants, museums, zoos, movie theaters, family entertainment, and card rooms.
Note: The numbers were released by the California 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
2:33 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020
Portugal's foreign ministry criticizes UK's new "travel corridor" list
From CNN's Isabela Tejera and Milena Veselinovic in London
Portugal's foreign ministry said it was "absurd" that the UK government did not include it in the list of nations allowed to skip the 14-day isolation period when arriving in England.
"It is absurd that a country, the United Kingdom, which has 28 times more deaths than Portugal, due to #COVID ー 19, imposes quarantine on passengers from Portugal," the ministry tweeted.
There have been 1,587 coronavirus deaths in Portugal across all settings, according the country's Ministry of Health. In the UK, 44,131 people have died with the virus as of July 2, according to Department of Health and Social Care data.
What happened earlier today: The UK government published a list of 59 states and 14 British Overseas Territories from which travelers will now be exempted from the formerly-established 14-day isolation period. The guidance set out at the moment applies to England.
2:31 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020
Air France to cut more than 7,500 jobs following months of declining air travel
From CNN's Chris Liakos
Air France says it will cut 7,580 jobs “following the Covid-19 crisis which has hit the group hard” and the lasting decline in air travel.
“For three months, Air France's activity and revenue fell by 95%, and at the height of the crisis, the airline was losing 15 million euros per day. Recovery looks set to be very slow due to the uncertainties regarding the health situation, the lifting of travel restrictions and changing commercial demand. In this way, even on the basis of ambitious recovery assumptions, Air France predicts that it will not see the same level of activity as in 2019 before 2024,” Air France said in a statement.
The group said it will cut 6,560 jobs at Air France (out of a current total of 41,000) by the end of 2022. At least 1,020 jobs will be cut over the next three years at HOP!, Air France’s subsidiary low cost domestic carrier, out of 2,420 current positions.
Air France said that the 7 billion euros ($7.9 billion) it received in government support will enable the group “to withstand the crisis in the short term and is accompanied by strong commitments to ensure its sustainability” but that it has to accelerate its transformation to regain its competitiveness.
Air France and HOP! are working together with the unions to implement plans that give priority to voluntary departures, early retirement arrangements and professional and geographical mobility, according to the press release shared with CNN.
The company said roughly 3,700 of the cuts can be achieved through normal departure of staff, mainly due to retirement.
This the second blow for the French aviation industry this week. Airbus said on Tuesday it will cut 15,000 jobs globally, including 5,000 in France.
2:14 p.m. ET, July 3, 2020
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.