June 25 coronavirus news

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4:52 p.m. ET, June 25, 2020

K-12 schools in Connecticut to plan for fall reopening for all students

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Miguel Cardona, the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Education
Miguel Cardona, the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Education Pool

K-12 schools in Connecticut should plan to reopen for all students in the fall, state officials announced on Thursday 

To do this, schools must work to maximize social distancing, including reconfiguring desks to maximize distance, frequent hand washing, and requiring face coverings for students and staff, Miguel Cardona, the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Education, said at a news conference. 

“We heard loud and clear that students wanted to get back to school,” Cardona said. 

The education department is emphasizing cohorting of students for K-8 and 9-12 grades wherever it’s feasible. The cohorting idea — students staying in their classroom unit as much as possible — was really important to the plan development, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The plans — which are based on the current public health indicators and could shift if needed — were built on a statewide basis for consistency across the towns and school districts, and the goal was to keep things as close to normal as possible, the governor said. 

Lamont described planning for reopening K-12 schools as “one of the most complicated pieces of the reopening.” 

4:24 p.m. ET, June 25, 2020

California is not shutting down its border due to Covid-19 spike, governor says

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

California’s borders will remain open to visitors, even if Covid-19 cases are surging in other areas like Arizona, Texas, and Florida.

“At this moment, we are not shutting down our border,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

Quarantining visitors is not necessary at this time, Newsom said, but he was clear that people will be responsible for following the rules while they are in California, specifically the statewide mandate to wear a face covering in public.

4:08 p.m. ET, June 25, 2020

California will roll back reopening if hospitals become strained, governor says

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Gov. Gavin Newsom
Gov. Gavin Newsom Pool

If Covid-19 patients begin to strain resources like hospitals and specifically beds in intensive care units, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he plans to pull back on their reopening ability.

Specifically, the framework would be roughly 40% of hospitalizations and just over 30% of ICU capacity, Newsom said.

Newsom mentioned Imperial County as an example, which recently exceeded their hospital capacity and as such were required to put a pause on reopening.

There are 10 other counties in the state being closely monitored for potential constraints on their resources.

4:02 p.m. ET, June 25, 2020

Hospitalizations in California climb 32% in two weeks during surge of new coronavirus infections

From CNN's Jon Passantino

The number of Californians hospitalized with the coronavirus and being treated in intensive care units has climbed by a double-digit percentage to record highs over the last two weeks as the state sees a surge of new infections.

Hospitals in California have seen a 32% increase in patients with the coronavirus over the last 14-day period, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference Thursday, reaching an all-time high since the start of the pandemic.

As of Wednesday, the latest day for which data is available, 4,240 patients were hospitalized with the coronavirus in California, an increase of 145 patients since Tuesday, or 3.5%.

The number of Californians being treated in intensive care units has also reached a record high, with 1,306 patients on Wednesday — a 19% increase over the last 14 days. Across the state, 34% of California's intensive care unit beds are occupied with Covid-19 patients.

The governor suggested the state could pause further reopening of its economy — and even “toggle back” — if health officials continue to see increases in infections and hospitalizations.

"To the extent we don't see progress being made, and we're not advancing the cause of public health and public safety, then we certainly reserve the right to put a pause in terms of advancing into the subsequent phase,” Newsom said. “And we have the capacity and ability to toggle back in terms of the stay-at-home order and the guidance that we put out.”

4:15 p.m. ET, June 25, 2020

Health expert on Texas' "dire" case spike: "I can't stress enough how concerned I am"

From CNN Health’s Shelby Lin Erdman

Dr. Peter Hotez
Dr. Peter Hotez CNN

Coronavirus cases are surging in Texas and hospital admissions are significantly increasing.

“It's pretty dire,” Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

“We've got an enormous amount of community transmission. If you look at the curve of the numbers going up, it's following what we call an exponential curve which is it looks initially flat, and then it accelerates very sharply, almost vertically. And that's where we're at right now,” Hotez added.

Hotez said that the state is not seeing increased deaths yet — but they will soon.

"Those deaths will start to mount up, I would say, in a couple of weeks," he said. 

Hotez said the projections for Covid-19 cases and deaths in Texas suggest as many as 4,000 cases a day by the Fourth of July weekend just over a week away.

“So, three or four times even this very high acceleration, a very high rate in Houston and similar things are happening now in Dallas, and all the metro areas, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio,” he said. “I can't stress enough how concerned I am.”

He said the coronavirus infection pattern of racial disparity seems to be at play in the latest surge in Texas cases.

“We’ve seen in Houston and some of the other Texas cities a disproportionate impact on people living in low income neighborhoods where it's harder to do the social distancing, where there's higher rates of underlying diabetes and hypertension,” he said. “I'm especially worried at what's happening to the African American, Hispanic, Latinx populations in Houston. We don't have the data yet, but I’m guessing they are disproportionately being affected like we saw in New Orleans.”

 

WATCH:

3:52 p.m. ET, June 25, 2020

NFL commissioner expects fans at stadiums this fall in "safest possible environment"

From CNN's David Close

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is working to ensure the "safest possible environment" for players, staffers and fans when the season resumes.

“We are both focused on ensuring the players, as well as coaches, and other essentials to the game will have the safest possible environment this season. Obviously that includes our fans, also," he said during an on-going NFL teleconference with the media

Goodell said the league is planning to open training camps on time to “get ready for games at our stadiums and to engage our fans both in stadiums as well as through our media partners.”  He added that the league has been discussing plans with the players union. 

3:48 p.m. ET, June 25, 2020

CDC director calls social distancing "most powerful tool" to curb spread of Covid-19

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Dr. Robert Redfield
Dr. Robert Redfield Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Getty Images/FILE

Social distancing is the best defense against spreading coronavirus, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. 

“This pandemic is not over,” Dr. Robert Redfield told reporters during a media telebriefing. “The most powerful tool that we have, the most powerful weapon, is social distancing.” 

The virus does not travel well over distances of longer than six or seven feet, Redfield said.

He added that people can "maintain six feet distancing, if we can wear face coverings when we are in public, particularly when we can’t maintain the distancing … and maintain vigilance in our hand hygiene … these are going to be really, really important defense mechanisms.”

3:42 p.m. ET, June 25, 2020

California governor praises Disney's decision to delay Disneyland reopening

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg and Frank Pallotta

David McNew/AFP/Getty Images
David McNew/AFP/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom publicly complimented Disney for their decision to hold off on reopening Disneyland next month as planned.

“This is an example of the data informing the decision making, and that is exactly what we need to be doing moving forward,” Newsom said.

While California has been providing guidelines on reopening various industries, the state has stopped short of giving an outline for reopening theme parks.

The resort, located in Anaheim, California, was set to welcome back guests on July 17 after being closed for months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Disney has not given a new reopening date for the Disneyland resort.

The company said that the State of California had indicated it would not issue theme park reopening guidelines "until sometime after July 4," according to a statement: "Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials."

Some context: Cases are spiking in California. The state reported 5,349 new confirmed cases today. While this number is down from the more than 7,000 cases reported Wednesday, it remains the second highest number of positive results collected in California in a single day.  

3:37 p.m. ET, June 25, 2020

England health official: If we ignore social distancing rules, cases will rise

From CNN's Milena Veselinovic in London

England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty is warning that coronavirus cases will rise if people ignore social distancing rules.

Officials in England have declared a "major incident" after thousands of people flocked to local beaches.

Despite advice to stay away from the area, it was overrun with cars and sunbathers, leading to gridlock, illegal parking and anti-social behavior. By Thursday morning, more than 40 tons of waste had been removed from the coastline.

“COVID-19 has gone down due to the efforts of everyone but is still in general circulation,” Whitty wrote on Twitter.

“If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again. Naturally people will want to enjoy the sun but we need to do so in a way that is safe for all.”