June 23 coronavirus news

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10:01 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

US has performed nearly 22 million tests for Covid-19, administration official says

From CNN Health’s Amanda Watts

Dr. Natalia Echeverri, prepares a swab to gather a sample from the nose of a homeless person to test for Covid-19 on April 17, in Miami, Florida.
Dr. Natalia Echeverri, prepares a swab to gather a sample from the nose of a homeless person to test for Covid-19 on April 17, in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The United States has performed nearly 22 million tests for Covid-19 since the pandemic began, says Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at the US Department of Health and Human Services.

In his opening statement, prepared for his testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee and posted online, Giroir says the US is "now at a rate of between 400,000 and 500,000 tests per day, and this number will continue to increase."

Keep in mind: Giroir doesn't specify which type of test he is referring to – those that check for current infection or those that check for past infection. It is also important to note many individuals have received multiple tests.

The US Food and Drug Administration continues to grant emergency use authorizations for Covid-19 tests in "record number," Giroir says. "The amount and expediency in which EUAs were issued for Covid-19 tests far exceed past viral outbreaks."

Giroir says in 2016, during the Zika outbreak, the FDA issued 20 test EUAs. In 2009, for H1N1, there were 17 test EUAs.

"As of June 12, 2020, FDA has issued more than 135 Covid-19 test EUAs,” Giroir said.

10:01 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

"There is no evidence of herd immunity for coronaviruses," expert says

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

As Covid-19 cases rise among young people in the United States, there has been debate around whether a natural herd immunity may emerge since the nation doesn't have a vaccine yet — but scientist and author William Haseltine said on Tuesday that the coronavirus can be complex.

"I call this virus the 'get it and then your body forgets it.' This is not a standard virus that you're going to get herd immunity. There is no evidence of herd immunity for coronaviruses. It does not exist," Haseltine told Alisyn Camerota during an appearance on CNN’s New Day.

He continued: "Every year, the same four coronaviruses come back to give us colds. ... If you have one of those coronaviruses, it can cause the exact same disease a year later," Haseltine said." We now know from studies that you can just watch immunity fade over a two-month period. It doesn't disappear, but it fades in that short of period. So, there isn't such a thing as herd immunity. It's a fantasy. It happens for some viruses. It doesn't look like it's going to happen for this one."

10:01 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

No state has transitioned from lockdown to an effective public health model, former CDC official says

 From CNN's Gisela Crespo

No state has effectively transitioned from lockdown "to a public health model of testing, tracking, isolating and quarantining" during the Covid-19 pandemic, said Dr. Richard Besser, former acting director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Speaking today on CNN’s New Day, Besser said to control the spread of the virus, states "need a public health system that's working. You need messaging lined up around that."

"In New York where they've hired thousands and thousands of contact tracers, we are hearing that there's problems – that people don't want to tell them who they had contact with," Besser explained. "I think part of that is that a lot of the social benefits in terms of income support, eviction protection, foreclosure protection, are going away – and so for somebody to go into quarantine – it could mean losing their job."

“We have to figure out how to make that transition in a successful way or every state that reopens, even those that have done a really good job at tamping this down, are going to see pretty dramatic rises and we're going to end up back to where we were,” Besser said.

WATCH:

10:16 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

World's top tennis player Novak Djokovic tests positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Martijn Edelman

Novak Djokovic returns the ball during an exhibition tournament in Zadar, Croatia, on Sunday, June 21.
Novak Djokovic returns the ball during an exhibition tournament in Zadar, Croatia, on Sunday, June 21. Zvonko Kucelin/AP

Novak Djokovic, the men's world number one tennis player has tested positive for coronavirus, he announced Tuesday in a statement on his website.

The Serbian tennis star had been taking part in the Adria Tour, a mini-tennis tournament he set up to raise funds for those in need while simultaneously allowing players to get back into shape ahead of the resumption of the tennis calendar. 

"I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days,” Djokovic said.

On Sunday, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who had been taking part in the tournament, announced that he had tested positive for the virus, forcing a canceation of the final scheduled later that day.

On Monday, Croatian Borna Coric announced he too tested positive after attending the tournament. 

Ready Djokovic's full statement here.

WATCH:

10:01 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Getting a flu shot is more important now than ever, CDC head says

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says getting a flu vaccine this year will be more important than ever. 

"If there is Covid-19 and flu activity at the same time, this could place a tremendous burden on the health care system related to bed occupancy, laboratory testing needs, personal protective equipment and health care worker safety," he will say in an opening statement, prepared for his testimony today in the House Energy and Commerce Committee and posted online, Redfield says,

"Getting a flu vaccine is more important now that [sic] ever. Getting a flu vaccine will help keep you and your loved ones out of a doctor’s offices and hospitals and help conserve scarce medical resources to care for Covid-19 patients," he said.

Redfield said the CDC is working with public health officials across the United States to increase the number of people who get the flu vaccine.

"Ongoing Covid-19 activity may affect where and how flu vaccines are given. CDC is working with manufacturers to maximize flu vaccine supply and with providers and health departments to develop contingency plans so that people can be vaccinated in a safe environment," Redfield says.

10:02 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

The CDC has developed a single test that will check for coronavirus and both strains of the flu

From CNN Health’s Amanda Watts

Dr. Robert Redfield attends a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on "COVID-19 Response" in Washington, DC, on June 4.
Dr. Robert Redfield attends a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on "COVID-19 Response" in Washington, DC, on June 4. Al Drago/Bloomberg/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is expected to testify this morning that the agency "has developed a new laboratory test that checks for three viruses at the same time, two types of influenza viruses (A and B) and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19."

What this means: In his opening statement, prepared for the House Energy and Commerce Committee and posted online, Redfield said, "testing for all three viruses simultaneously will allow public health laboratories to continue surveillance for influenza while testing for Covid-19. This will save public health laboratories both time and resources, including testing materials that are in short supply."

Redfield said the single test for all three viruses will also help find co-infections, "which is important for doctors to diagnose and treat people properly."

8:30 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

A food delivery service in Beijing will test all its workers for Covid-19

From CNN's Shanshan Wang in Beijing

A motorcycle for take-out delivery service Ele.me is seen parked in a residential district of Beijing, in May 2017.
A motorcycle for take-out delivery service Ele.me is seen parked in a residential district of Beijing, in May 2017. Zhang Peng/LightRocket/Getty Images

Chinese food delivery service Ele.me said on Tuesday that it is conducting nucleic acid tests for coronavirus on all its food delivery workers in Beijing.

Nucleic acid tests work by detecting the virus' genetic code,

The company also announced their newly registered delivery drivers have to receive a nucleic acid test before they can accept orders online, as part of a series of new precautionary measures posted on the company's Weibo page. This comes the same day Beijing’s Health Commission announced that one of Ele.me’s food delivery workers tested positive for Covid-19. 

About the company: Ele.me is owned by Chinese tech company Alibaba and operates across 2,000 cities in China employing more than 3 million delivery workers. Ele.me has not released any information about the size of its workforce in Beijing and how many drivers have been tested so far. 

10:02 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Miami's Jackson Health System reports 88% increase in Covid-19 patients

From CNN's Rosa Flores, Sara Weisfeldt and Gisela Crespo

Miami's Jackson Health System has seen an 88% increase in Covid-19 patients in the past 14 days, according to data posted by the hospital system on Twitter. On June 8, Jackson Health reported 104 Covid-19 patients. On Monday, they reported 196.

Jackson Health System is a nonprofit academic medical system. The State of Florida does not release the total number of daily Covid-19 cases in the state.

Here's some background: The major thrust of new coronavirus cases in the United States is in the South and West, where officials say more young people are ignoring social distancing measures and testing positive.

Young people are more likely to have milder outcomes from coronavirus, but they can still infect others who are more at risk.

"With younger age of recent infections in at least some places such as Florida, expect a lower death rate in this wave ... until the 20-40 year olds who are infected today go on to infect others," Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Twitter Sunday.

Dr. Andrew Pastewski, head ICU physician at Jackson South Medical Center in Miami, spoke Tuesday about the surge of patients he's seeing at his hospital during an interview on CNN’s “New Day.”

A week ago we had eight patients, none on a ventilator," Pastewski said. "We were feeling like we were handling this well. We had a nice Covid floor, 24 beds with the capability of four ICU ventilators in that unit, so we thought we could use that as our Covid floor going forward.
"And within 10 days, we're now at over 40-plus patients, four on ventilators. We've had to find a second Covid unit and are looking for a third Covid unit right now."

Pastewski told CNN he has two sets of patients in the ICU right now: older patients that may live in a nursing home, and younger patients in their 50s and 60s.

WATCH:

8:27 a.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Peru marks 100 days of state of emergency

From CNN’s Claudia Rebaza

Medical staff wait at a port to transfer COVID-19 patients brought from nearby communities in Iquitos, Peru, on June 18.
Medical staff wait at a port to transfer COVID-19 patients brought from nearby communities in Iquitos, Peru, on June 18. Cesar Von Bancels/AFP/Getty Images

Peru’s Health Ministry has reported the lowest daily increase since the beginning of May, with 2,511 new Covid-19 cases. The total number of cases has now topped 257,000.

The country's death toll is at least 8,223, with 174 new deaths, according to data released by the Ministry on Monday night.

Today marks 100 days since Peruvian authorities declared a state of emergency in the country in order to fight the pandemic.

In an interview with the country's Andina state news agency, Health Minister Victor Zamora said that Peru's capital Lima, which has 80% of the country’s coronavirus cases, currently shows the R level between 0.7% and 0.8% and showed optimism about the evolution of the pandemic.

“If we take in consideration the different regions in the country, the overall result is that we are going through a slow and progressive descent in the pandemic” Zamora told Andina.

Zamora acknowledged the lack of oxygen for patients is still a big challenge in the country and stated his government is buying plants to produce medical oxygen, among other emergency measures.

Gradual easing: Yesterday, shopping centers were allowed to open in Lima and other towns — with some exceptions — allowing the resumption of economic activities.

The state of emergency was initially declared on March 16 and continues until June 30. A national curfew between 9 p.m and 4 a.m local for all regions across the country was also announced on Monday, modifying previous timings per region.