June 24 coronavirus news

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3:56 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

GOP senator from Florida: "Everyone should just wear a damn mask"

From CNN's Ali Zaslav

Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Susan Collins, arrive for the Senate Select Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing for Peter Michael Thomson, nominee to be inspector general of the Central Intelligence Agency, in Russell Building on Wednesday, June 24.
Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Susan Collins, arrive for the Senate Select Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing for Peter Michael Thomson, nominee to be inspector general of the Central Intelligence Agency, in Russell Building on Wednesday, June 24. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said today that "everyone should just wear a damn mask, like you guys are, like I am right now."

He made the comments as he left a GOP lunch where Vice President Mike Pence provided a coronavirus update. 

“I just hope everybody does the best they can to protect themselves,” the Florida Republican said. “And we know how. We've been told repeatedly how to do it — just do it."

Rubio said he also encouraged his Republican colleagues during lunch to wear a mask.  

“It's a respiratory virus that spreads from person to person and the more people you come in contact with in an unprotected setting the likelier you are to be infected by it,” he added.

Some context: Several states have seen spikes in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, including Rubio’s home state. Today marked Florida’s highest number of new and confirmed coronavirus cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic, according to the Florida Health Department. 

3:18 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

Trump suggests coronavirus pandemic currently raging in the US is over

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Polish President Andrzej Duda meets with U.S. President Donald in the Oval Office  on Wednesday, June 2.
Polish President Andrzej Duda meets with U.S. President Donald in the Oval Office on Wednesday, June 2. Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Both President Trump and his Polish counterpart suggested Wednesday the coronavirus pandemic currently raging in the United States was in the rearview as in-person diplomacy resumed in the Oval Office.

"This is the first after Covid, after the start of the plague, as I call it, and it’s an honor to have you here," Trump told his visitor, Polish President Andrzej Duda, as they began talks at the White House.

Duda, who faces a tight re-election in four days, said it was an honor to be Trump's first invitee after an extended period of pandemic-forced lockdown.

"It’s a privilege and honor to be here with you in the White House, the first president of state after the lockdown at the end of the coronavirus," he said.

Trump and Duda both hailed their close personal ties and the broader relationship between the United States and Poland.

"We’ve had many discussions and we worked very well with Poland. I don’t think we’ve ever been closer to Poland that we are right now," Trump said. "I think it’s a great honor and frankly Poland’s a country we have a tremendous relationship with. And I have a very good personal relationship with the president."

3:16 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

New report details how schools can be reopened safely

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Teachers confer with each other in an empty classroom at Freedom Preparatory Academy on May 18, in Provo, Utah. The school was closed on March 16, along with all other schools in Utah by order of the Utah Governor.
Teachers confer with each other in an empty classroom at Freedom Preparatory Academy on May 18, in Provo, Utah. The school was closed on March 16, along with all other schools in Utah by order of the Utah Governor. George Frey/Getty Images/FILE

Strategies such as increasing air ventilation, installing touchless technology, and modifying schedules to stagger arrival and departure times could help schools reopen more safely as the coronavirus pandemic continues, according to a new report published Wednesday.

Schools can also limit sharing of equipment in physical education classes and limit personal contact with strategies like taking parent-teacher conferences online, environmental safety expert Joseph Allen and colleagues at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health said in their report.

These should be put in place alongside known measures such as hand washing, mask use, widespread testing for the virus, and encouraging people to stay home when they are sick.

“No one control strategy alone can limit the transmission of disease,” the report reads. “Schools should approach reopening with a layered defense strategy, where many small interventions and strategies are combined, simultaneously.”

Allen said it’s better to send kids back to school than to keep them sequestered at home. He said online learning was missing many, if not most, students.

“Schools will eventually need to reopen,” the report says. “Keeping schools closed comes with massive, long-term individual and societal costs. Many children cannot effectively learn, grow, engage, socialize, be active, eat healthy food, or get supports until schools reopen.”   

3:11 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

NBA player Malcolm Brogdon announces positive Covid-19 test

From CNN's Jacob Lev

Andy Lyons/Getty Images/FILE
Andy Lyons/Getty Images/FILE

Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon said he has tested positive for Covid-19. 

Brogdon, who leads the team in assists per game (7.1) this season, said he is "feeling well" and plans to join his teammates in Orlando, Florida, when the NBA season resumes.

"I recently tested positive for the Covid virus and am currently in quarantine. I'm doing well, feeling well and progressing well. I plan to join my teammates in Orlando for the resumption of the NBA season and playoffs," Brogdon said in a statement posted on the Pacers website.

The NBA season is expected to resume on July 30 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. 

3:06 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

As cases keep rising in California, governor appeals to emotions to slow spread of virus

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Pool
Pool

Urging Californians to consider others by wearing a face covering and keeping up with physical distancing, Gov. Gavin Newsom appealed to people’s emotions in order to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“I don’t care what your background is, everybody needs to be loved and everybody loves,” the governor said.

Acknowledging that younger people tend to feel safer returning to normal, Newsom warned, “be careful about Mom and Dad, and careful about your mother-in-law, your father-in-law, your grandparents.”

Newsom pleaded with the public to think of others when it comes to wearing masks, keeping a safe distance, and increase hand washing.

Loosely quoting scripture, Newsom implored residents to “Love thy neighbors, like yourself, please.”

3:55 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

Florida senator: "We're not where we need to be" on coronavirus

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Samuel Corum/Getty Images/FILE
Samuel Corum/Getty Images/FILE

Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida told reporters, “we’re not where we need to be” on coronavirus.

"It seems like the doctors have done a really good job at trying to figure out how to keep people alive and recover but you know we’re not where we need to be," Scott said.

Data released by the Florida Department of Health shows that today the state marked the highest number of new and confirmed cases of the virus in a single day since the start of the pandemic. 

“I hope everybody takes it seriously, because we haven’t beaten this, we don’t have a vaccine yet,” Scott said. He encouraged people to continue to social distance and wear masks. 

Asked about whether beaches should close in his state, Scott responded that it is up to the people to “make decisions on their own.” He added that Floridians are “tired of people telling them what to do, but that “I think people will make good decisions with good information.”

CORRECTION: The photo in this post has been changed to an image of Sen. Rick Scott.

2:40 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

California coronavirus positivity rate climbs past 5%

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on June 19.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on June 19. Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The positivity rate for coronavirus in California has climbed to 5.1%, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a press conference. The rate was 4.8% on Monday and 4.6% last week. 

This rate hike comes despite increased testing. Yesterday alone, about 94,000 people were tested in California, Newsom said.

Noting that about 8% of all hospital beds and 30% of ICU beds statewide are being used for Covid-19 patients, Newsom said he is confident that the state remains able to meet the needs of patients.

In total, California has recorded at least 183,073 cases and at least 5580 deaths as a result of the virus, according to California Department of Public Health data.

3:05 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

Despite uptick in cases, Florida county is not revisiting reopening plans for Disney World

From CNN's Cristina Alesci and Frank Palotta

The entrance to Walt Disney World in Orlando is seen empty on May 15.
The entrance to Walt Disney World in Orlando is seen empty on May 15. Charlotte Kesl/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Florida county where Disney World is located says it doesn't plan to revisit the park's reopening plan, despite pushback from some Disney employees.

"Orange County continues to monitor the health data for the county with the rise in cases," Kelly Finkelstein, senior public information officer for Orange County government, told CNN. "At this time there are no plans to revisit the reopening plans. That decision rests with Disney officials and the governor."

More than 7,000 people are petitioning both Disney and government officials to delay reopening Disney World next month as coronavirus cases surge in Florida.

The Disney theme park plans to begin a phased reopening on July 11 for its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks and July 15 for EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. Florida reported an additional 3,286 cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the state total to 103,503.

Hear more:

2:20 p.m. ET, June 24, 2020

California coronavirus cases soar with more than 7,000 reported in one day

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

A woman walks out of a store in Santa Monica, California, on June 23.
A woman walks out of a store in Santa Monica, California, on June 23. Jae C. Hong/AP

More than 7,000 people were confirmed to have coronavirus in California on Wednesday, according to data from California Department of Public Health.

These 7,149 new cases obliterate the previous single day high of just over 5,000, a record set only the day before.

Hospitalization and ICU rates due to the virus are also at an all-time high in the state.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to address the spike in a news conference starting shortly.

California is among at least 26 US states that have recorded higher rates of new cases compared to last week.