June 23 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes, Veronica Rocha and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:05 a.m. ET, June 24, 2020
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3:43 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Masks now mandatory in Florida's Palm Beach County

From CNN's Tina Burnside

People wear protective face masks as they walk along Worth Ave. as shops began to reopen during the new coronavirus pandemic, Monday, May 11, in Palm Beach, Florida.
People wear protective face masks as they walk along Worth Ave. as shops began to reopen during the new coronavirus pandemic, Monday, May 11, in Palm Beach, Florida. Lynne Sladky/AP/FILE

It is now mandatory for Florida's Palm Beach County residents to wear face masks in public.

The Palm Beach County Commission approved a motion on Tuesday to require all residents to wear face masks in public places when social distancing is not possible. 

Several counties across the state including Hillsborough, Orange and Miami-Dade counties approved similar mandates in the last few days requiring the use of facial coverings while in public. 

On Tuesday, Florida reported nearly 3,300 new cases of coronavirus. 

2:33 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

British health leaders urge UK government to prepare for second wave of Covid-19

From CNN's Maggie Fox and Lauren Kent

Leaders of the UK’s medical, nursing, and public health professions are urging the British government to set up a cross-party review to prepare for a second coronavirus wave, according to The British Medical Journal (BMJ) on Tuesday. 

The letter calls for an urgent review, to be completed by October, which evaluates the UK's national preparedness to deal with coronavirus ahead of winter. 

“As stakeholders and leaders of the UK’s medical, nursing and public health professions, we urge you to establish such a review,” the health leaders wrote. “We think there’s a strong case for an immediate assessment of national preparedness, with the first results available no later than August, and that all its work should be completed by the end of October.”

The health leaders wrote that a review should look to the future rather than attribute blame for past mistakes and should "focus on those areas of weakness where action is needed urgently to prevent further loss of life and restore the economy as fully and as quickly as possible."  

“We believe that such a review is crucial and needs to happen soon if the public is to have confidence that the virus can be contained,” said the letter. 

The letter has been signed by the president of the Royal College of Physicians of London, Andrew Goddard; the president of the Royal College of Nursing, Anne Marie Rafferty; the Chair of the Council of the British Medical Association, Chaand Nagpaul; Editor in Chief of The Lancet medical journal, Richard Horton; and Editor in Chief of The BMJ, Fiona Godlee.

The letter added, “We don’t underestimate the complexities of establishing this in the required timeframe. We stand by ready to help in whatever way we can.”

3:44 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Trump is in Arizona today. Here are the latest coronavirus figures in the state.

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

Alex Brandon/AP
Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump is visiting Arizona today, despite ongoing concerns about an uptick in coronavirus cases in the state.

He will be participating in a border security roundtable in Yuma and head to a section of the border wall. Later in the day, he will be participating in an indoor rally in Phoenix.

Arizona is seeing a rise in new reported cases compared to the previous week, according to John Hopkins University data. Arizona is reporting 3,591 new cases of Covid-19 as well as 42 deaths from the disease over the last 24 hours, state data shows.

Today’s numbers are a new record high for both new daily cases and deaths since the state started posting data publicly in mid-March.

Arizona is also reporting that it conducted 15,940 new tests for the infection in the last 24 hours.

The state has been battling a surge in Covid-19 cases and had nine days in the last two weeks where there were more than 1,500 new cases being reported by Arizona’s Department of Health Services.

The state has also been reporting that more than 80% of its available intensive care hospital beds have been in use since last week.

Last Wednesday, Gov. Doug Ducey announced that the state would allow local communities to require masks in public if they choose, but would not issue a statewide order.

“We knew that when we lifted the stay-at-home order, we would have an increase in cases,” Ducey said yesterday afternoon. “The objective has always been that we could slow the virus.”

2:16 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic could lead to up to 500,000 fewer US births according to one study

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard


The coronavirus pandemic is more likely to lead to a baby bust in the United States rather than a baby boom, possibly leaving the nation with about half a million fewer births than otherwise would be expected, experts at the Brookings Institution and nonprofit March of Dimes predict.

Researchers at Brookings in Washington, DC examined data from previous economic studies on fertility in the United States during the recession of 2007-2009 and the 1918 influenza pandemic. After analyzing that data, along with other factors such as job losses during the coronavirus pandemic, the researchers predicted in a report published last week that the United States could see a drop of around 300,000 to 500,000 births due to Covid-19.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, chief medical and health officer at March of Dimes in New York, told CNN on Monday that he and his colleagues have come to a similar conclusion.

"When we started to do the math, we looked at the 1918 pandemic -- as did Brookings -- and we saw that there was about a 10% drop in fertility about nine to 10 months after peak mortality," Gupta said, "A drop in 10% or 15% or 20% in the next few years could really spell trouble."

"The economic and demographic implications that stem from a severe drop in pregnancies could have a tremendous impact on the next generation, which is why this is an important and very serious issue."

According to the Brookings Institution, data from the recession suggests that the US birth rate dropped from about 69 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 in 2007 to 63 births per 1,000 women in 2012 -- marking a decline of about 9% or roughly 400,000 fewer births.

The Brookings team also found that in 1918, each spike in deaths due to the flu pandemic led an otherwise steady birth rate to fall roughly 21 births per 1,000 -- representing a 12.5% decline.

They also noted that the uncertainty and anxiety associated with the coronavirus pandemic, job losses and to some extent physical distancing, could play a role in a further decline of births. This is something that Gupta, a specialist in internal medicine and preventive medicine, said he has seen among his own patients.

"As I see my patients, I see more and more demands on family planning and contraceptives and other things, coupled with the economic forces and people losing their jobs," Gupta said, adding that the lives of many of his patients changed drastically, as they not only had to work from home but their home lives became hectic with their children having to stay home too.

This new research has some limitations, including that the findings are based on comparisons with two previous events and might not reflect the real nuances of the current coronavirus pandemic. "Some of these estimates are also dependent on what happens next," Gupta said. 

"For example, the fear factor could be addressed with a robust plan and call to action that prevents a second wave of Covid infections this fall. On the other hand, if you do get several waves like we saw in 1918, the situation could be even worse," Gupta said. "This pandemic and our response to it and the trust of the public in its government could have a consequential, long-term impact."

See full report from the Brookings Institution here.

3:44 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

New Jersey reports increase in Covid-19 cases in people under 30

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

New Jersey has seen an increase in the percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 between the ages of 18 and 29, state Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said Tuesday.

In April that age group represented 12% of the state’s cases. This month they represent 22% of the cases.

Persichilli noted that while some of the increase can be attributed to increased testing, the trend was still concerning, and especially in light of the videos of large gatherings over the weekend along the Jersey Shore and at a bar in northern New Jersey. 

3:44 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

10 Oklahoma City firefighters test positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Kay Jones

The Oklahoma City Fire Department reported Tuesday that 10 firefighters tested positive for Covid-19 and 55 have been placed into quarantine.

In total, 13 firefighters have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the department. Oklahoma City employs nearly 1,000 firefighters.

The department said that seven of the nearly 650 firefighters who have been tested have had a positive antibody test. 

3:44 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

California has another record high with more than 5,000 new daily coronavirus cases

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Medical staff from myCovidMD provide free COVID-19 virus antibody testing at the Faith Central Bible Church in Inglewood, California on June 19.
Medical staff from myCovidMD provide free COVID-19 virus antibody testing at the Faith Central Bible Church in Inglewood, California on June 19. Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

California is breaking records again, this time setting yet another daily high for confirmed coronavirus cases with at least 5,019 recorded Monday. This is the fourth daily case record in the state over the past week, according to data provided by California Department of Public Health.

Hospitalizations are also at their highest to date for confirmed cases, with more than 3,700 people currently receiving in-patient treatment. Those in intensive care — nearly 1,200 patients — are just below the all-time high for California which was recorded in April.

More than 3.4 million people have been tested for Covid-19 in California to date, and about 4.9% of those have tested positive for the virus.

More than 183,000 people in California have contracted coronavirus and more than 5,500 have died as a result, the data shows.

3:44 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

Amusement and water parks to reopen in New Jersey on July 2

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Rides sit idle at the Casino Pier amusement park in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, on April 22.
Rides sit idle at the Casino Pier amusement park in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, on April 22. Angus Mordant/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Amusement parks and water parks can open at 50% capacity in New Jersey on July 2, Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Tuesday, including the rides on boardwalks along the Jersey Shore.

Face coverings will be required for all staffs and attendees at the parks where practical.

Playgrounds will also be allowed to reopen on July 2. State officials will provide their timeline for the return of indoor recreation tomorrow, the governor said. 

Murphy warned that if businesses do not take proper precautions and the numbers continue to tick up, he will respond accordingly — though he did not announce any specific actions. 

“Don’t be the knucklehead who ruins it for everyone else,” Murphy said. 

The numbers: New Jersey reported 382 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday. The statewide total is now 169,734.

The state reported 57 new deaths on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 12,914. Nearly half of those reported deaths — 6,248 — continue to be in long-term care facilities. 

1:24 p.m. ET, June 23, 2020

England's Chief Medical Officer says he expects a "significant" coronavirus presence into 2021

From CNN's Simon Cullen

England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, speaks during a press conference at 10 Downing Street in London on June 23.
England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, speaks during a press conference at 10 Downing Street in London on June 23. UK Pool

England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, says he expects a “significant” amount or coronavirus to be circulating until at least 2021.

“I would be surprised and delighted if we weren't in this current situation through the winter and into next spring,” he said Tuesday in a press conference in Downing Street.

“(But) I expect there to be a significant amount of coronavirus circulating at least into that time and I think it is going to be quite optimistic that for science to come fully to the rescue over that kind of timeframe.”

The UK Government today announced that in England, the two-meter social distancing rule is being reduced to one meter. However Professor Whitty says people should still maintain two meters where possible.

“A lot of the changes are about emphasizing things that we can do and it is really critical that individuals and firms take these really seriously,” he said, referring to mitigation strategies like avoiding sitting face-to-face.

“Because if we don't take them seriously then chains of transmission between households will be re-established.”