June 26 coronavirus news

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11:15 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

13 people test positive for Covid-19 after family party in California

From CNN's Jon Passantino

More than a dozen people who attended a large family party in Northern California later tested positive for the coronavirus, a private gathering that state officials say is just one of many contributing to the record surge in new Covid-19 infections.

The party, which took place earlier this month in Shasta County, near the Oregon border, resulted in 13 family members becoming infected with the virus.

In the days following the party, a man in his 20s tested positive on June 14, followed by 11 more people on June 19 and one more on June 21, according to the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency. Health officials had advised 20 people to self-quarantine after the party.

A majority of the 13 family members who tested positive for the virus were experiencing symptoms, the health agency said, and ranged in age from a teenage girl to a woman in her 60s.

The party is just one of several that has resulted in attendees later testing positive for the virus. At another recent gathering in the county, a graduation party, at least four of the 11 people who attended later tested positive for Covid-19, said Shasta County Health Officer Dr. Karen Ramstrom.

“If you’re getting together with others make sure you’re limiting the numbers, preferably your close social circles,” Ramstrom said at a briefing Wednesday. “This really can impact even those that we are close to and we love.”

The spread of the illness among family members and friends comes as California sees an increase in the percentage of people testing positive for the coronavirus, and a record number of patients being treated in hospitals and intensive care units. 

11:07 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Mexico's GDP fell almost 20% in April compared to same month in 2019 due to Covid-19

From CNN’s Tatiana Arias

Mexico’s GDP plummeted during April by 19.9% compared to the same month in 2019, according to data released by Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) on Friday.

The reduction of activity in the industrial and service sectors due to the Covid-19 pandemic highly impacted the country’s GDP in April when compared to 2019, says the report released by Mexico’s INEGI.  

The main economic sectors affected are:

  • Industry by 25.1%
  • Services by 14.4% 
  • Agriculture by 6.4%

Mexico reported 6,104 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the second-highest daily case rise reported in the country, bringing the total number of cases to at least 202,951.

Mexico’s Health Ministry also reported 736 new deaths, bringing the country’s death toll due to coronavirus to more than 25,000.

11:06 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

New York City is facing $9 billion revenue shortfall, mayor says

From CNN's Julian Cummings

New York City is facing a $9 billion dollar revenue shortfall and is asking the state legislature for $5 billion dollars in state loans — $3 billion for this year and $2 billion for the next, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news conference.

The mayor said that the city cut $2.7 billion dollars in April and then another $1 billion this month, but that is still not enough to make up for the shortfalls.

If the budget needs are not met, de Blasio reiterated that 22,000 city workers will face layoffs by October.

“We have not seen layoffs at that level since the 1970s,” de Blasio said. 

“If we can’t find the resources those layoffs have to be in by October 1,” de Blasio added.

The mayor said he hoped state funds could be avoided “if we got the federal stimulus funds we deserve.”

The city will not be raising property taxes to reduce revenue shortfalls, according to de Blasio.

11:04 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Florida reports nearly 9,000 more coronavirus cases, a new single-day high

From CNN's Tina Burnside

The Florida Department of Health is reporting at least 8,942 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the state total to 122,960, according to data released by the state on Friday. 

Friday's data is the highest single day reporting of coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

Yesterday, Florida reported 5,004 new cases of coronavirus.

11:01 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Texas lawmakers call for extension for federal coronavirus test site funding

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

Members of the Texas congressional delegation on both sides of the aisle are asking the Trump administration to reconsider its decision to halt direct funding to several coronavirus testing sites in the Lone Star State, where there has been a surge of Covid-19 cases.

Lawmakers from the state, including Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, say they do not understand why the federal assistance is being pulled as their state sees more and more coronavirus cases.

"Frankly, I didn't understand what they were thinking," Cornyn told CNN on Thursday.

In a joint letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor on Thursday, Cornyn and Cruz urged the administration "to grant an extension of the program for the testing sites in Texas," which they said are "critical to Texas' testing capacity."

A transition away from these federally funded sites began in April, but the latest debate over federal funding comes after President Trump on Saturday lamented the rise in coronavirus cases in the US, blaming increased testing.

The federally funded testing program was intended to jump-start initial capabilities in critical areas across the US, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

But given Food and Drug Administration approval for individuals to self-administer nasal swab tests at sites, the demand for personal protective equipment and trained health care providers will be reduced, a FEMA spokesperson said in a statement in April, when the administration began its transition away from the program.

A Health and Human Services spokesperson confirmed to CNN that the 13 Community-Based Testing Sites, seven of which are in Texas, would no longer receive direct funding.

What other Texan lawmakers are saying: Speaking to CNN's Jim Sciutto, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat from Texas, said that given the spike in Covid-19 cases, the state "clearly opened too fast and too soon."

Gonzalez noted that Texas reported nearly 6,000 cases yesterday and said his district in the Rio Grande Valley had a 700% increase just in the last 30 days.

Gonzalez decried reductions of federal funding for testing.

“That would be reprehensible to imagine that we would be cutting tests at a time when our pandemic is increasing in leaps and bounds,” Gonzalez said. "I hope that the President follows CDC recommendations, listens to Senator Cruz and Senator Cornyn and the rest of us, assuring that testing is robust, that it is widespread, that it is available. It is the only way we are going to get this under control."

WATCH:

10:57 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

NYC's indoor dining will resume at reduced capacity on July 6, mayor says

From CNN's Julian Cummings

As a part of phase three of reopening in New York City, personal care business and indoor dining at 50% capacity can begin on July 6, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

Personal care businesses include nail salons, massage parlors, spas, tanning, tattoo and piercing and waxing. 

As restaurants resume indoor dining at 50% capacity in phase three, NYC small business commissioner Jonnel Doris said the city will distribute 2.5 million face coverings and connect businesses to purchase items such as sneeze guards and personal protective equipment.

The city will also expand outdoor dining to take place on closed city streets starting July 4.

11:31 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Some states are slowing their reopening plans as coronavirus cases spike

A number of states are putting their reopening plans on hold as new coronavirus cases continue to rise.

At least 32 states are reporting increases in new cases, and the US is currently averaging more new coronavirus cases per day than at any point in the pandemic, according to a CNN analysis of numbers provided by Johns Hopkins University.

Here's a look at how some states are slowing down their plans to reopen:

  • Arizona: Gov. Doug Ducey announced yesterday the state’s reopening plans are now “on pause." He said Gov. Ducey said the state will not roll back business reopening plans, but will be requiring businesses to follow social distancing rules that are still in effect. 
  • Florida: Gov. Ron DeSantis indicated his state would not be moving to relax present restrictions.
  • New Mexico: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the state is putting further economic reopening plans on hold.
  • Texas: Yesterday, Gov. Greg Abbott paused any further phases to reopen as the state recorded nearly 6,000 Covid-19 cases. Today, Abbott announced plans to restrict certain businesses to curb the spread of the virus: Bars that get more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages must close today, among other measures.
10:29 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Houston's Harris County will increase coronavirus response level to most severe

From CNN’s Alexandra Field and Meredith Edwards

Harris County, Texas, Judge Lina Hidalgo will increase the county’s warning system to its highest level of “severe” today, a county official tells CNN. Houston, Texas' most populous city, is in this county.

This level threat system recommends residents to “Stay Home.” 

What this alert level means: Harris County defines the updated alert level as one that signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of Covid-19 in Harris County, meaning outbreaks are present and worsening and that testing and contact tracing capacity is strained or exceeded.

At this level, the county urges residents to take action to "minimize contacts with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store for food and medicine.“

Some background: The three most populous US states are setting records for new coronavirus cases daily — and an expert fears major Texas cities could see "apocalyptic" numbers if the trend continues.

In Texas, if the current case trajectory continues, Houston could be the hardest-hit city in the US with numbers rivaling those in Brazil.

10:46 a.m. ET, June 26, 2020

Texas governor limits certain businesses to contain the spread of Covid-19

Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images
Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order today that limits certain businesses and services as part of the state’s effort to "contain the spread of Covid-19."

Texas is among at least 11 states seeing a 50% increase or more in cases compared to the previous week.

Here is what the order includes:

  • All bars that get more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at 12:00 p.m. today.
  • These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. 
  • Restaurants can remain open for dine-in service, but their capacities can not exceed 50% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning on Monday.
  • Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
  • Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.

“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of Covid-19,” Abbott said in a statement. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars. The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health."