June 11 coronavirus news

By Melissa Mahtani, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 7:49 PM ET, Fri June 11, 2021
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7:14 p.m. ET, June 11, 2021

California revises health orders ahead of next week's reopening

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

With California set to fully reopen on June 15, the state will drop its stay-at-home order and is revising health directives as it begins to roll back most pandemic-related executive orders, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

A new health order will go into effect Tuesday, allowing for vaccinated individuals to go without a face covering in most situations. Masks will still be required on public transportation, and indoors in hospitals, and jails. The same goes for schools, child care centers and K-12 schools pending updated guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cal OSHA is in the process of reviewing face covering guidelines for workplaces and is expected to release a new draft later today.

California will stop limiting capacity and enforcing physical distancing at all venues, and the color-coded tier system for each county will be retired, according to a release from the governor’s office.

“California is turning the page on this pandemic, thanks to swift action by the state and the work of Californians who followed public health guidelines and got vaccinated to protect themselves and their communities,” Newsom said. “With nearly 40 million vaccines administered and among the lowest case rates in the nation, we are lifting the orders that impact Californians on a day-to-day basis while remaining vigilant to protect public health and safety as the pandemic persists.”

Public health measures will remain only for mega-events with 5,000 or more people indoors or 10,000 attendees outdoors, in which vaccine verification will be required or at least recommended, according to a revised health order which will be implemented at midnight on June 15.

Some executive orders will remain in place, including one that allows pharmacy technicians to administer vaccine doses. Some provisions will be slowly retired, with about 90% of the governor's pandemic-related executive orders to be lifted by September, Newsom’s office estimated.

Health officials plan to keep these new guidelines in place until at least October.

7:31 p.m. ET, June 11, 2021

US vaccination reports stay below 1 million

From CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas

A sign points to a vaccination site set up inside Union Station in an effort to target commuters on June 10, in Los Angeles, California. 
A sign points to a vaccination site set up inside Union Station in an effort to target commuters on June 10, in Los Angeles, California.  Mario Tama/Getty Images

Fewer than a million people were reported vaccinated Friday, bringing the US total vaccine doses administered to 306 million, according to data published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC reported 306,509,795 administered doses. That’s about 822,177 doses reported administered since Thursday, for a seven-day average of 1.05 million doses a day. About 82% of the 373,413,945 doses distributed have been given to people.

In the US, 64.1% of adults have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine and 53.6% are fully vaccinated. The Biden administration aims to vaccinate half of adults with at least one dose of vaccine by July 4.

More than 172 million people – 52% of the total US population – have now received one Covid-19 vaccine dose, and more than 142 million – nearly 43% of the total population – are fully vaccinated.

Note: Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not have been administered on the day reported.  

6:04 p.m. ET, June 11, 2021

Novavax says a version of its vaccine targeting the B.1.351 variant shows positive results in animal studies

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Biotechnology company Novavax said Friday that studies in mice, baboons, and humans suggest that a version of its coronavirus vaccine specifically developed to target the B.1.351 variant first identified in South Africa can elicit "strong" immune responses.

That may indicate it protects against both the B.1.351 and the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, the company said.

The studies compared data on the B.1.351-directed vaccine with data on Novavax's original coronavirus vaccine, the company noted, and the vaccines were tested on their own, in combination, and as primers or boosters. The findings published in a preprint paper on the medical server biorxiv.org and the company said the data have been submitted for peer review.

"These data suggest that not only could one booster dose of this variant-directed vaccine potentially provide a robust, protective immune boost after vaccination against the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, but also the potential to provide broad protection against various virus strains if used as a primary vaccine regimen," Dr. Gregory Glenn, president of research and development at Novavax, said in a statement.

"This broad immune coverage is vital to controlling the pandemic as variants of concern continue to emerge worldwide that could jeopardize the protection created through ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts," Glenn said.

In the rodent study, mice were immunized with either the B.1.351 or original vaccine alone, in combination, or in a prime-boost series. Novavax announced that whether immunized with any of those options, mice were protected when challenged with live strains of the B.1.1.7 or B.1.351 variants. 

In the baboon study, the animals that had been immunized with the original vaccine a year before were boosted with one or two doses of the B.1.351 vaccine. Seven days after a first boost, the baboons exhibited a strong immune response and the results suggest one dose of the B.1.351 vaccine "may be sufficient" for boosting after previous immunizations with vaccines that are based on the original virus strain, the company said.

In the human study, researchers analyzed serum samples collected from 30 people participating in Phase 2 clinical trials of Novavax's original vaccine. The serum samples demonstrated neutralizing capacity against the B.1.1.7 variant, but there was a "modest reduction in neutralizing capacity" against the B.1.351 strain, the company noted, adding that the finding supports the development and production of a B.1.351 vaccine.

3:32 p.m. ET, June 11, 2021

National park attendance figures surge as pandemic restrictions wane

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Tourists watch Old Faithful erupt in Yellowstone National Park on Thursday, April 29, in Wyoming.
Tourists watch Old Faithful erupt in Yellowstone National Park on Thursday, April 29, in Wyoming. Kayla Renie/Jackson Hole News & Guide/AP

After more than a year of intense travel restrictions, the attendance figures from America’s national parks suggests people are very anxious to get back out on the roads for their vacations. 

Last month, Yellowstone National Park saw the most visitors it had ever recorded for a month of May, with 658,513 visits. That’s an 11% increase over the previous May record, set in 2016. It is also more than four times the number of visitors Yellowstone had in May 2020, when the park was closed for the first half of the month due to Covid-19.

Grand Teton National Park, also in Wyoming, set a May record of its own. The park had 363,712 visitors last month, which is 30% above the last pre-pandemic May in 2019. Numbers are likely to go even higher further into the summer.

“Historically, July and August have been the busiest months of the year at the park,” Grand Teton said in a news release Friday.

CNN’s Danielle Sills contributed to this report.

3:28 p.m. ET, June 11, 2021

United Airlines planning to bring most employees back by the fall

From CNN's Greg Wallace 

Travelers walk past a United Airlines counter at Washington's Dulles International Airport in Virginia on March 2.
Travelers walk past a United Airlines counter at Washington's Dulles International Airport in Virginia on March 2. Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

United Airlines said Friday it expects to have most of its workforce back on the job by this fall, and the union representing its flight attendants says it understands the airline will not furlough any employees. 

The airline said it is “accelerating our business to meet a resurgence in customer demand,” including adding hundreds of flights this month. 

“When Payroll Support Program funding expires on Oct. 1, 2021, we plan to have welcomed the vast majority of our employees back to work,” United spokesperson Leigh Schramm told CNN. 

The Payroll Support Program was part of the federal stimulus plans and paid the airlines billions of dollars to keep on the job employees who would have been furloughed as the aviation sector slumped due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The surge in travel demand is showing across the industry. Representatives for ultra-low-cost carriers say their businesses are already back at between 95% and 100%, and the air carrier group Airlines for America says domestic departures and passengers are each down about 25%. (International travel is worse off.) The Transportation Security Administration last weekend recorded the busiest day in more than a year, when it screened nearly 2 million people. 

The Association of Flight Attendants, which represents employees at United and other airlines, called United’s announcement a victory for the massive federal investment in airlines.  

“We proposed the PSP to keep workers whole AND to keep our industry solvent and ready to fly. Simply put, PSP delivered,” Association of Flight Attendants President Sara Nelson said in a statement. 

 

1:24 p.m. ET, June 11, 2021

Masks no longer mandated on House floor

From CNN's Kristin Wilson

The Office of the Attending Physician, Brian Monahan, has sent new guidance that says masks are no longer needed on the House floor for those who are fully vaccinated. 

The decrease of community transmission and the increase in the rate of vaccine led to this announcement, a senior Democratic aide tells CNN, with the Capitol Hill complex now at 85% vaccination rate.

Here's the guidance from the Office of the Attending Physician:

"The guideline document reflects that fully vaccinated individuals may discontinue mask wear and 6-foot social distance separations in most situations consistent with the CDC revision regarding fully vaccinated individuals of May 13, 2021."

11:41 a.m. ET, June 11, 2021

Chicago is officially reopened, mayor says

From CNN's Carma Hassan

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks in Chicago on June 11.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks in Chicago on June 11. WLS

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was met with cheers when she announced the city is fully reopened.

The city moved into Phase 5 of its reopening plan, which allows businesses to operate without Covid-19 guidelines.

“Meaning capacity limits gone, mask mandates not mandatory, and social distancing requirements lifted,” Lightfoot said.

Masks remain required in some places, per federal guidelines, the mayor said, including on public transportation and in health care facilities, schools, shelters and correctional facilities. 

Those who are not vaccinated should still wear masks, the mayor said.

“This time last year, our city was in a very different place,” Lightfoot said. “And it's been 15 months since Covid first came to our city, wreaked havoc on nearly every aspect of our lives, and forced us to grapple with feelings of fear, loss, grief, unlike anything we'd ever experienced before in our lifetime.”

The mayor acknowledged how much people have endured, telling them “now it's time for you to get up, get out of the house this summer, and — fully and safely — and enjoy the events of the best city on the planet, our beloved city of Chicago.”

This morning, Lightfoot told CNN’s John Berman on New Day that the "economy is poised to come roaring back" with the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in the city.

Her announcement comes as the state moves into its final phase of the Restore Illinois plan. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state will eliminate all capacity limits and align mask requirements with those of the CDC’s guidelines today.

10:16 a.m. ET, June 11, 2021

Brazil approves Pfizer/BioNTech as first vaccine for minors over 12

From journalist Fernanda Wenzel 

A health worker holds a tray with vials of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in São Paulo, Brazil, on May 6.
A health worker holds a tray with vials of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in São Paulo, Brazil, on May 6. Andre Penner/AP

Brazil's first vaccine for minors over the age of 12 was approved by the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) on Thursday. 

Pfizer/BioNTech was authorized after the evaluation of studies developed outside Brazil, according to ANVISA, and was the only vaccine approved for use by people under 18 years old. 

Brazil has received 2.3 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine this week, which will be distributed to all states in the next few days. In total, the pharmaceutical company has delivered 5.9 million doses to Brazil, and the contract with the government predicts a total of 200 million doses by the end of the year. 

9:02 a.m. ET, June 11, 2021

Seattle has fully vaccinated 70% of residents 12 and older, mayor says

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson, Andy Rose and Melissa Alonso

A person receives the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in Seattle on January 24.
A person receives the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in Seattle on January 24. Grant Hindsley/AFP/Getty Images

Seattle, Washington, has fully vaccinated 70% of residents ages 12 and older, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Wednesday.

Seventy-eight percent of Seattle residents 12 years old and older have started the vaccination process but are not yet fully vaccinated. Seattle has administered more than 249,000 vaccines to more than 131,000 people, according to a news release.

Covid-19 rates and deaths in Seattle and King County are falling, the release stated. In King County, an estimated 95% of all new Covid-19 cases are in people who have not started vaccinations, it added.