Coronavirus task force members discussed possibility of virus spreading at protests, source says
From CNN's Jim Acosta
The topic of the protests spanning across the US came up at today's coronavirus task force meeting, a source familiar with the discussion said.
Members of the task force discussed the "increasing" risk that the virus is spreading among protesters at the demonstrations across the US.
"It came up briefly in the context of increasing the risk of spreading infection," the source said.
4:02 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020
Top GOP senator: Next coronavirus recovery package will likely wait until July
From CNN's Manu Raju
Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of Senate GOP leadership, said the Senate is not likely to move ahead with another recovery package in June and will likely wait until July to act to see what the economy needs.
"My personal belief is we will do something before the August break — that's about the right the timing," he said.
As Blunt detailed the June schedule today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn't mention plans to take up another recovery package this month.
4:01 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020
Farm workers at extra risk for Covid-19, CDC says in new guidance
From CNN's Naomi Thomas
While the fresh produce does not transmit the new coronavirus, the people who are picking and processing this food could be at higher risk of infection, according to guidelines published Tuesday by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Farm workers often have to be in prolonged, close contact both in fields and indoors, the CDC noted. They often share tools and transport, the CDC noted, and can live in close quarters. “Farmworkers may have limited control over their environment in some employer furnished housing,” the CDC noted.
Agricultural workers also often have poor access to clean water throughout the day. Migrant workers who move from region to region could also carry the virus and the possibility that migrant workers moving from farm to farm could be spreading the virus to other communities, the CDC said.
Employers should clean and disinfect shared equipment, vehicles and housing, the CDC said. They should provide areas for safe isolation and care of sick workers and consider workplace health checks. They should provide soap and water and protective equipment including gloves, face masks and shields. Adequate ventilation is also important, the CDC said.
Employers should not penalize workers for taking sick days, think about staggering work shifts and reduce crew sizes.
The CDC also offered guidelines on how to make shared housing and transportation safer, including providing supplies for cleaning shared surfaces and objects and increasing the number of vehicles or frequency of trips when transporting workers.
The CDC has been posting new targeted pandemic guidance for various groups almost daily on its website.
3:24 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020
Here's where coronavirus restrictions stand across Latin America
From CNN’s Mia Alberti, Chandler Thornton, Matt Rivers, Patrick Oppmann and Amanda Watts
On Tuesday, WHO director for the Americas, Dr. Carissa Etienne, warned about epidemiological curves in the region sharply rising, and urged governments to "not open too fast," or "risk a resurgence of Covid-19 that could erase the advantage gained over the past few months."
Here's a look at some countries that are standing firm on restrictions:
Argentina: Continues on mandatory lockdown until June 7.
Chile: The country's main cities remain under quarantine. Chile never declared a full quarantine.
Cuba, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua have not and are not announcing any easing of restrictions yet.
And here are how some countries are easing restrictions:
Bolivia: Some districts across the country started a "dynamic quarantine" on Monday, allowing citizens to go out near their homes during specific times for weekdays and weekends. Religious services are also allowed with a maximum 30% capacity. Industries such as agriculture, mining, lumber, and construction can now resume their activities and domestic flights will resume on June 3.
Brazil: Parts of Brazil have begun reopening nonessential businesses and activities, such as churches, car shops, furniture and decoration stores. In the state of São Paulo, shopping malls, commerce, offices and real estate reopened on Monday. However, quarantine in the city of São Paulo — which is inside the state — has been extended until June 15.
In the state of Rio de Janeiro, some restrictions were lifted on Tuesday, allowing individuals to exercise on the city's promenade and to swim in the ocean. Salvador, Recife, Fortaleza and Manaus have also lifted some of the restrictions.
Colombia: A gradual reopening started on Monday for hairdressers, shopping malls, museums, libraries and real estate. Outdoor exercise is also allowed for people over 70 and children over 6 three times a week, 30 minutes per day. Those between 18 and 69 years-old can exercise outdoors for two hours every day.
Costa Rica: The country entered phase 2 of reopening procedures on Monday, allowing national parks, museums and restaurants to operate with up to 50% capacity. Hotels can also reopen up to 50% capacity.
Dominican Republic: "Covidianidad" (COVID-19 life), a reopening measure will start on Wednesday. Churches will be allowed to host services on Sundays, small companies can resume work and big companies can resume activities with 50% of the staff. Businesses will be allowed to open in shopping malls and private passenger transport will also be allowed.
Ecuador: Airports in Quito and Guayaquil are resuming local and international flights at only 30% of the regular flight frequency. The government has reduced the stay-at-home number of hours ordered, while the use of masks is mandatory. Restaurants can reopen in most cities with 30% maximum capacity. The strict quarantine in Quito will be relaxed starting Wednesday.
Guatemala: The country begins phase one of its reopening by allowing people to be outside for a period of 13 hours a day.
Honduras: Companies enter phase zero of preparation for reopening on June 8.
Mexico: On Monday, some industries in parts of Mexico, such as mining, construction, auto parts, and tourism were allowed to reopen as part of the country's "new normal" reopening measures.
Panama: On Monday, the country entered phase two of the "new normality." Public construction and mining can resume, and places of worship, sporting and social areas, can reopen with a maximum 25% occupancy.
Paraguay: The country remains in phase two until June 11. Civil construction and corporate offices have resumed activities. Cultural and sporting events have resumed without audiences and some shops have also reopened.
Peru: The country enters phase two of reopening measures, allowing hairdressers, clothing, shoe and book stores to reopen. Specialty health services, dentists, fertility clinics, veterinaries, food delivery, IT companies, electrical services, carpentry, laundry, and repair services, are also ok to reopen.
Uruguay: The country continues to be praised by its virus prevention strategy and low number of cases; as it began easing restrictions in early May. On Monday, at least 403 schools resumed their activities, in addition to special-ed schools and universities, except in capital city of Montevideo.
Venezuela: The government announced a "flexibilization" of the restriction measures for five days, followed by a new 10-day quarantine. Municipalities bordering Colombia and Brazil, as well as Maracaibo, San Francisco and Zulia, are not included. During this five-day reopening, banks, doctors’ offices, dentists, the construction sector, blacksmithing and hairdressers, among other businesses, can resume operations during specified times of the day.
2:40 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020
Active coronavirus cases in Italy drop below 40,000
From CNN's Livia Borghese in Rome
The number of active coronavirus cases in Italy has dropped to 39,893, a decrease of 1,474 since Monday, the country's Civil Protection Agency said on Tuesday.
There have been 318 more patients diagnosed with Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases, including deaths and recoveries, to 233,515.
At least 55 people have died with the virus, raising the total number of fatalities to 33,530.
There are 408 people with coronavirus currently in intensive care, 16 fewer than on Monday.
The number of people who recovered from coronavirus is now 160,092, an increase of 1,737 people since Monday.
2:26 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020
New Jersey reports at least 51 new coronavirus deaths
From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield
New Jersey reported 708 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to at least 161,545, Gov. Phil Murphy announced.
There were 51 new deaths reported, bringing the total to 11,770.
There have been 33,318 positive cases in long term care facilities across the state, and 5,158 lab confirmed Covid-19 deaths.
The state is now No. 15 in the nation in new cases per day, but still rank No. 1 in patients in hospitals and No. 2 in deaths per day, Murphy said.
The state has now seen 32 cases of the Covid-19 linked inflammatory syndrome in children, state health commissioner Judy Persichilli announced. The ages of the children range from 1 to 18, and they have either tested positive for Covid-19 or for the antibodies. Most of the cases have occurred in adolescents who have been previously health.
Persichilli also noted that black and Hispanic children accounted for a disproportionately high number of the total cases — 26% of the individuals are black, 37% Hispanic, 26% white and 7% Asian, Persichilli said.
No deaths have been reported due to the disease at this time, she said.
2:17 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020
Summer heat unlikely to stop the spread of coronavirus, NIH says
From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman
Warmer weather is unlikely to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus, Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said in a blog post Tuesday.
“Climate only would become an important seasonal factor in controlling COVID-19 once a large proportion of people within a given community are immune or resistant to infection,” Collins wrote, citing experts in infectious disease transmission and climate modeling.
“We’ll obviously have to wait a few months to get the data. But for now, many researchers have their doubts that the COVID-19 pandemic will enter a needed summertime lull,” he added.
President Trump repeatedly speculated early in the pandemic that summer heat would lessen the spread and possibly kill the virus altogether.
Collins said some lab experiments have suggested that increased heat and humidity might “reduce the visibility of SARS-CoV-2,” possibly in a way similar to other coronaviruses, like the common cold, that spread more slowing during warmer weather. But he emphasized that Covid-19 is different.
He pointed to a series of computer simulations published in the journal Science by researchers at Princeton Environmental Institute that showed how the virus will likely spread this summer.
“This research team found that humans’ current lack of immunity to SARS-CoV-2—not the weather—will likely be a primary factor driving the continued, rapid spread of the novel coronavirus this summer and into the fall,” Collins wrote.
He said the earlier studies that hinted hot temperatures could slow the pandemic down focused on better known infectious diseases. Even if one assumed the coronavirus was as sensitive to climate as other seasonal viruses, hot weather would not be enough to slow down its initial and rapid spread through the population.
“Less clear is how seasonal variations in the weather might modulate the spread of a new virus that the vast majority of people and their immune systems have yet to encounter,” Collins wrote.
However, researchers have suggested that as more people develop immunity, Covid-19 might fall into seasonal patterns similar to outbreaks caused by other coronaviruses.
Collins said he’s hopeful that the NIH will have developed effective treatments and vaccine for the virus long before that.
He also suggested that one of the climate models showed that, along with warmer temperatures, if people continue social distancing and wearing masks this summer, those actions could help slow the spread of the deadly virus.
3:03 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020
More than 1.8 million coronavirus cases reported in the US
At least 105,644 people have died in the US from coronavirus.
The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.
So far on Tuesday, Johns Hopkins has reported at least 9,163 new cases and at least 479 deaths.
2:06 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020
Pennsylvania reports 100 new deaths from coronavirus
Pennsylvania reported 100 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 5,667, according to a statement from the Department of Health.
There were also another 612 positive cases in the state for a new total of 72,894.
“As Pennsylvania continues to move forward in the process to reopen, we need to remember that the threat from Covid-19 has not gone away,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said.
She continued: “As counties move into the yellow and green phases, we must take personal responsibility to protect others. Wearing a mask, continuing to maintain social distancing, and washing your hands frequently are all steps we can take to help protect others, including our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, our essential workers and our healthcare system.”