July 6 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George, Tara John, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 11:10 a.m. ET, July 7, 2020
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3:06 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

West Virginia orders adults and kids 9 and older to wear masks when they can't social distance

From CNN’s Alec Snyder

Tourists visit the Harpers Ferry Historial Park in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, on July 3.
Tourists visit the Harpers Ferry Historial Park in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, on July 3. Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced an executive order Monday stating all adults abd children 9 years old and older are required to wear a face covering in places where social distancing is not possible.

The order goes into effect at midnight.

It will not be a criminal offense if someone doesn’t wear a face covering and penalties were not specified.

Masks are not required in homes, but are required for anyone going outside their homes if they cannot social distance.

They are also required for anyone going inside an office, building or contained space that is not able to or not enforcing social distancing. However, once employees or people in buildings finish going through the common areas — such as lobbies and break rooms — they may remove their masks if they are in socially distanced or in isolated workspaces, such as a personal office.

Masks must be worn if people decide to get up and head to common spaces regardless of social distancing protocols.

1:31 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Covid-19 antibodies can disappear after a few weeks, Spanish government study indicates

From CNN’s Al Goodman

Raquel Yotti, head of the Carlos III Health Institute, participates in a presentation at the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid on April 24.
Raquel Yotti, head of the Carlos III Health Institute, participates in a presentation at the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid on April 24. Óscar J.Barroso/Europa Press News/Getty Images

Just 5.2% of people in Spain have coronavirus antibodies  — far from a so-called herd immunity level, a government study found. In a potentially worrying development, the study also indicated that people’s immunity to coronavirus wanes after just a few weeks. 

The third and final phase of a large study across Spain found that 5% of participants had antibodies to coronavirus after the first phase, 5.2% after the second phase and again 5.2% after the third phase.

Spain’s study also found that 7% of participants who had antibodies in the first phase no longer showed them by the second phase, and that about 14% who had them in the first phase had lost them by the third phase, although this final figure requires more study, the Health Ministry said in a statement Monday.

This means that any perceived immunity “can be incomplete, transitory and then disappear,” Dr. Raquel Yotti, head of the Carlos III Health Institute, a key government agency leading the study, said in a news conference on Monday.

More on the study: Spain’s study from April to June involved more than 61,000 participants – which the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control told CNN appears to be the largest to date in Europe.

The study “reflects the difficulty of obtaining herd immunity in the short term,” the Health Ministry statement said. 

The medical journal The Lancet on Monday published the peer-reviewed first phase of Spain’s study, which was completed in early May. And in a commentary companion piece, two virologists in Geneva said that herd immunity is “unachievable.”

Spain’s study also found that 10% of health care workers had antibody prevalence and 7.7% of senior care facility workers had antibodies, higher than the national average, the Health Ministry statement said.

Remember: Herd immunity is achieved when enough of a population has become infected with a virus or bacteria – or vaccinated against it – to stop its circulation.

Yotti urged the population, including people who have had Covid-19, to remain cautious and wear masks, maintain social distancing and use hand hygiene. 

1:22 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Covid-19 rate of transmission in New Jersey exceeds 1% for the first time in over 2 months

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy listens to a question during a press conference in Trenton, New Jersey on June 2.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy listens to a question during a press conference in Trenton, New Jersey on June 2. Thomas P. Costello/USA Today Network/Sipa USA

The rate of transmission of Covid-19 in New Jersey exceeded 1% Monday for the first time in roughly 10 weeks, Gov. Phil Murphy announced in his daily briefing.

The transmission rate stands at 1.03%. 

“This means that for every new case of Covid in the state, that case is leading to at least one other new case," Murphy said. “This is an early warning sign that quite frankly we need to do more.”

Murphy said there were several outbreaks across the state over the weekend that were directly tied to travel to other hotspots in the country, including 13 new cases in Hoboken, 12 of which were directly tied to travel to known hotspots.

New Jersey reported an additional 216 new cases on Monday, bringing the statewide total to 173,611. The daily positivity rate was 2.14%.

The state reported 20 new deaths, bringing the total to 13,373. The state is also reporting a total of 1,856 probable Covid-19 fatalities.

Hospitalizations and ventilator use continued to trend down in the state.

One thing to note: The numbers above were released by the New Jersey governor’s office and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

1:36 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Spain's Covid-19 cases shoot up following outbreaks

From CNN's Laura Pérez Maestro

A health worker performs an oral smear on a resident of Ordizia, Spain on July 6.
A health worker performs an oral smear on a resident of Ordizia, Spain on July 6. Javi Colmenero/Europa Press/AP

The number of Covid-19 cases in Spain rose by over a thousand since Friday, reaching a total of at least 251,789. Spain's numbers hadn't reached the thousand mark since May 28.

Dr. Fernando Simón, Spain’s director of health emergencies, said at a news conference on Monday that the increase was "mainly due to a few outbreaks."

He added that "the outbreak in Lleida is worrying as it has affected a big number of people." Simon explained that 70% of those who tested positive were asymptomatic and that the high number of identified cases was "due to the random tests performed in the area."

The Spanish Health Ministry announced on Monday that it has performed more than 3.6 million PCR tests since the beginning of the pandemic, and over 2 million antibody tests.

"In total, 5,734,599 diagnostic tests have been carried out throughout Spain," the statement read.

1:16 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

More than 130,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

From CNN's Amanda Watts

There are at least 2,897,613 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 130,007 people have died from the virus in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

So far on Monday, Johns Hopkins has reported��8,978 new cases and 60 deaths. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

Here is a look at the distribution of confirmed cases per 100,000 residents across the country:

12:56 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

US prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine skyrocketed from February to March, study finds 

From CNN Health’s Marisa Peryer

A pharmacy tech pours out pills of hydroxychloroquine at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20.
A pharmacy tech pours out pills of hydroxychloroquine at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20. George Frey/AFP/Getty Images

Prescriptions for the anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine skyrocketed in the US from February to March — a time when the drugs, though unproven, were touted as treatments for the coronavirus.

Researchers found the estimated number of hydroxychloroquine prescriptions increased 86.2% from February to March, from 367,346 to 683,999, and dispensed chloroquine prescriptions increased 158.6%, rising from 2,346 to 6,066 prescriptions.

Combining hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin had also been touted as a possible treatment for coronavirus infection. The analysis shows that the estimated number of patients receiving both drugs rose by 1,004% between February and March, from 8,885 to 101,681. 

The data, published in a research letter Monday by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found prescription rates for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine were stable from October 2019 through February 2020. The analysis only examined data through March. 

The authors noted that the increased prescriptions might not all be attributed to Covid-19, as their data did not include for what purpose the drugs were prescribed. Still, they wrote that the sudden surge of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine prescriptions may have affected availability for patients prescribed the drugs for uses approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, including for treating rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and malaria. 

The FDA withdrew its emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for Covid-19 on June 15.  

More background: Some researchers thought chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine might be able to fight coronavirus based on initial laboratory analyses, and President Trump became a cheerleader of the treatment, calling it "very encouraging" and "very powerful" and a "game-changer."

But in recent studies of Covid-19 patients, the drugs have largely not stacked up. A randomized clinical trial — considered the gold-standard for determining drug efficacy — was halted by the National Institutes of Health after data showed hydroxychloroquine provided no benefit to Covid-19 patients. 

“While there was no harm, the study drug was very unlikely to be beneficial to hospitalized patients with Covid-19,” the NIH said in a June 20 news release. 
12:39 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Sacramento Kings shut down team practice facility after positive Covid-19 test result

From CNN's Wayne Sterling

The Sacramento Kings have closed down their team practice facility after a member of their traveling party tested positive for coronavirus, a team spokesperson tells CNN.

The team is scheduled to leave for Orlando, Florida, on July 8. 

The Kings' first scrimmage is scheduled for July 22 against the Miami Heat and first game in the league's resumption of the season is July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs.

12:49 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

CDC preparing to release new guidance on safe return to school

From CNN's Nick Valencia

A classroom sits empty in Norwell, Massachussetts on April 21.
A classroom sits empty in Norwell, Massachussetts on April 21. David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is planning to release new guidance on how K-12 students can physically return to the classroom this year, according to a senior CDC official with knowledge of the discussions.

The recommendation was presented internally to leaders at the CDC early last week and is “a priority this week,” according to the senior official. Over the weekend, senior officials at the agency presented CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield with details on the science behind why schools should reopen, the source said. The specifics of the guidance were not available.

“Schools should be the first to open and the last to close,” the official said. “Kids need to physically be in school."

The officials comments' echo that of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which put out new guidance last week that "…strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.”

CNN has reached out to the CDC and the White House coronavirus task force for comment. The exact timetable for the proposed new guidance is unclear.

12:31 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Princeton will welcome some undergraduate students back to campus this fall 

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Princeton University campus is seen on a sunny afternoon.
Princeton University campus is seen on a sunny afternoon. Jay Yuan/Shutterstock

Princeton University will welcome undergraduate students back to campus in the fall with a reduced capacity, the school announced on Monday.

First-year and juniors will be allowed to return to campus for the fall semester, while sophomores and seniors will be welcomed back in the spring semester.

Most academic instruction will remain online, however. Princeton will discount tuition for all students by 10% for the school year.

Here are some safety guidelines the school will implement:

  • Every person on campus, including visitors, will be required to wear a face covering when inside at all times, except for when they’re in their dormitory or apartment.
  • Everyone will also be required to be tested for Covid-19 before returning to campus and regularly throughout the semester.
  • Additionally, undergraduate students returning to campus must sign what the university is calling a “social contract” which outlines their commitment to following the health and safety protocols designed by the school.