June 17 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Luke McGee and Peter Wilkinson, CNN

Updated 12:07 AM ET, Thu June 18, 2020
11 Posts
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4:32 a.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Beijing cancels nearly 70% of incoming and outbound commercial flights amid new outbreak

From CNN's Shawn Deng in Beijing and Mohammed Tawfeeq in Atlanta 

People wearing face masks walk at Beijing Daxing International Airport in Beijing.
People wearing face masks walk at Beijing Daxing International Airport in Beijing. Zhang Yun/China News Service/Getty Images

Beijing has canceled 1,255 inbound and outbound flights from two major airports in the city, following an increase in coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, according to the state-run China Daily newspaper.

The report said nearly 70% of the flights from Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing Daxing International Airport have been canceled.

On Tuesday, Beijing raised its alert level from Level 3 to Level 2 -- the highest alert being Level 1.

Authorities imposed a soft lockdown on the entire city after the Chinese capital reported more than 100 new locally transmitted coronavirus cases in the past five days.

The city reported 31 new confirmed coronavirus cases today, according to Beijing authorities.  

This bring the total cases in the past five days since the start of the cluster to 137.

1:43 a.m. ET, June 17, 2020

California inmates with 180 days or fewer remaining may be released due to Covid-19

From CNN's Sarah Moon

In this 2011 file photo, barbed wire marks the perimeter of a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facility in Tracy, California.
In this 2011 file photo, barbed wire marks the perimeter of a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facility in Tracy, California. Noah Berger/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Certain California inmates who have 180 days or fewer to serve on their sentences will be released to help protect staff and other prisoners from the spread of the coronavirus, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced Tuesday. 

Eligible inmates under CDCR’s new community supervision plan, which is scheduled to begin on July 1, include those who are not currently serving time for domestic violence, a violent or serious crime, or a person required to register as a sex offender, according to a news release from the department.

The inmate must also have housing plans identified before participating in the program and will remain under close supervision for the duration of their sentence, up to 180 days, the news release states.

After serving the remainder of their time at home, “they will remain on state parole supervision, transfer to county post-release community supervision, or discharge from their sentence, depending on their post-release requirements.” 

The news release also notes that inmates participating in the community supervision program can be remanded back to state prison for any reason to serve the remainder of their sentence.

CDCR has reduced the inmate population by more than 8,000 since mid-March through the suspension of county jail intake and expediting parole of approximately 3,500 inmates in April, according to the news release.

1:02 a.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Navajo Nation issues two 57-hour weekend lockdowns

From CNN’s Leslie Perrot and Joe Sutton 

Signs on the road leading to the East To'Hajiilee housing community warn non-residents to stay out due to the spread of the coronavirus in To’Hajiilee Indian Reservation, New Mexico on May 25, 2020.
Signs on the road leading to the East To'Hajiilee housing community warn non-residents to stay out due to the spread of the coronavirus in To’Hajiilee Indian Reservation, New Mexico on May 25, 2020. Sam Wasson/Getty Images

The Navajo Nation has announced another round of weekend lockdowns in an attempt to reduce coronavirus infections. 

 The first weekend lockdown is expected to:

  • Start on Friday, June 19
  • End on Monday, June 22

The second lockdown:

  • Starts on Friday, June 26
  • Ends on Monday, June 29  

"We have to keep doing what we're doing by wearing protective masks, complying with the weekend lockdowns, staying home, and maintaining a six-foot distance from others," said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez in a news release.  

"Now is not the time to back down. Let’s not back down! Wear your masks, practice social distancing, and wash your hands."

12:27 a.m. ET, June 17, 2020

Group of 16 friends test positive for coronavirus after trip to Florida bar

CNN
CNN

Erika Crisp was one of 16 friends who tested positive for coronavirus after one night out at a recently reopened Florida bar.

She told CNN's Chris Cuomo that she now regrets her decision to go out that night. “At the time it was more ‘out of sight, out mind,’ we hadn’t known anybody who had it personally, governor, mayor, everybody says it’s fine, we go out and it’s a friend’s birthday, it was a mistake,” Crisp said.

“I feel foolish, it’s too soon, clearly we got super-sick almost immediately, within days.”

Kat Layton echoed Crisp’s sentiments, and says she hopes her story will serve as a cautionary tale for others who might be itching for a return to a crowded bar.

“My experience is definitely of course, regretful. We feel foolish, standing there in front of those people, we knew we were pushing it,” Layton said, “We want to raise awareness and get ahead of it, we want to tell people it’s really not ready for what we thought it was ready for, it’s too soon.”

Dara Sweat told Cuomo she grew apprehensive as the text messages from her friends began to pile up.

“I was a little scared and nervous, and receiving the text messages that my friends were just ‘boom, positive, boom, positive, boom, positive, back to back to back, it was overwhelming," she said.

11:58 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

US reports more than 24,000 new cases

From CNN's Joe Sutton

At least 24,219 new coronavirus cases and 840 virus-related deaths were recorded in the United States on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

A total of at least 2,137,707 Covid-19 infections, including 116,962 related fatalities, have now been recorded in the US, according to JHU.

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

CNN’s interactive map is tracking US cases:

10:43 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Covid-19 spread follows major highways, researchers say

From CNN Health’s Jen Christnesen

The Covid-19 pandemic seems to be following highways as it spreads, researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania said on Tuesday.

The Policy Lab project team based at CHOP has been tracking cases across 384 US counties with active outbreaks.  

What their model is seeing is that, predictably, as places open back up, people aren’t staying home. As more people interact with others, the disease spreads. And cases seem to be moving south to north along major traffic corridors -- highways like I-95 on the East Coast and I-85 in the South, and I-5 and I-10 in the West -- the team said.

“We look at this data every week and noticed the trend along the highways. We don't look at traffic with this model, but we thought it was interesting,” Policy Lab spokesperson Lauren Walens said.

What seems to slow the spread of the disease is the same that it has been from the beginning: staying home, wearing a mask, washing hands. “Personal vigilance,” Walens said, is key. 

“It's impossible for us to know if everyone is wearing a mask or not,” Walens added. “There are all these variables. Temperature is one of them, but there's little difference between Atlanta and Jacksonville's weather, so weather can't explain the difference in the two cities. We think it’s in part mobility.”

The group’s next model update will be released on Wednesday. 

10:39 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

FDA pulls authorization of one of the first Covid-19 antibody tests it approved

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

The US Food and Drug Administration revoked its emergency use authorization for one of the first Covid-19 antibody tests granted such approval.

The FDA said it was concerned about the test’s accuracy.  

The test was created by Chembio Diagnostic System, Inc. At the time the FDA gave its approval, the agency said it did meet the “may be effective” standard needed for the emergency use authorization.

False results: The federal government continued to evaluate the test's performance and determined that it gave a higher than expected rate of false results.

The risk to public health from false test results make the revocation of this authorization appropriate, the FDA said on its website, adding that the test may not be distributed. 

"Since the beginning of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the FDA has balanced the urgent need for access to diagnostic and antibody tests with providing a level of oversight that helps to ensure accurate tests are being deployed," Dr. Jeff Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health said in a news release.
"By continuing to monitor authorized tests and emerging scientific evidence, we are able to make changes when appropriate – including taking action when a test's benefits no longer outweigh its risks. Through these efforts, we are able to help assure that FDA-authorized tests meet the needs of the American public."
10:30 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Florida governor says "we're not shutting down" as state sees highest spike in new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Lindsay Benson and Jason Morris 

On Monday, Florida saw almost 2,800 new coronavirus cases, according to the Florida Department of Health. 

That's the highest single-day increase in confirmed infections the state has seen since the pandemic began.

While cases continue to increase in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters in Tallahassee that they will not be "shutting down."

"No, we're not shutting down, you know, we're going to go forward. We're going to continue to protect the most vulnerable. You know, we're going to urge, continue to advise, particularly our elderly population to maintain social distancing, avoid crowds," DeSantis said.

CNN is tracking US coronavirus cases here:

10:27 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Beijing market cluster spreads to more than half of the city's districts

From Alex Lin in Hong Kong

The new outbreak of Covid-19 infections in Beijing has spread to nine of the city's 16 districts, according to state-run CCTV.  

School classes will be suspended for all students from kindergarten to middle school, while final year students of junior and high schools will return to online courses, according to the the channel.

Some background: The Chinese capital reported more than 100 new locally transmitted coronavirus cases in the past five days, following an outbreak at Xinfadi, the city's largest wholesale food market.

Authorities in Beijing have imposed a soft lockdown on the entire city and raised its alert level from Level 3 to Level 2 as it tries to curb the new outbreak.