Palm Beach County mayor says beaches will be closed for July 4 weekend
From CNN's Raja Razek
Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner announced on CNN Sunday that he will issue an order to close all Palm Beach County beaches for the holiday weekend.
"In consultation with our county administrator, we will be issuing an order tomorrow, tomorrow morning, that will close the Palm Beach County beaches throughout the entirety of the county for the holiday weekend. It is an unfortunate result, but public health remains the focus of the elected leaders of Palm Beach County," Kerner said. "Unfortunately, this 4th of July will not be spent at the beach."
White House coronavirus response coordinator says masks may only provide partial protection from Covid-19
From CNN's Wes Bruer
White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said Sunday there is “scientific evidence that masks both keep you from infecting others but may also partially protect you from getting infected.”
Officials have mentioned this possibility before, but it has not been a point of emphasis for the administration’s health experts in their public comments.
Birx travelled to Dallas with Vice President Mike Pence to talk with state officials about why they believe they have seen a major spike in Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks.
Birx said she was there to encourage younger people to wear masks, “and if they’re interacting with their parents and grandparents, they should wear a mask then too because we know now how many of them are asymptomatic.”
Birx thanked Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for his decision to close bars and appealed to every Texan to wear a mask, though there is no statewide requirement for their use in public.
The US Food and Drug Administration’s guidance on personal protective equipment says that while masks may be effective in blocking splashes and large-particle droplets, a face mask, by design, does not filter or block very small particles in the air that may be transmitted by coughs or sneezes.
Surgical masks also do not provide complete protection from germs and other contaminants because of the loose fit between the surface of the mask and your face.
Birx is expected to travel this week to several other states experiencing spikes, including Florida and Arizona.
8:09 p.m. ET, June 28, 2020
Peru among top 10 countries with most confirmed coronavirus cases
Peru reported 3,430 new cases Sunday, taking the country's tally to 279,419. That's higher than the total numbers reported by Spain and Italy. The country also reported 181 new deaths, for a total of 9,317.
7:09 p.m. ET, June 28, 2020
There are at least 2,539,544 coronavirus cases in US
From CNN’s Melissa Alonso
There are at least 2,539,544 coronavirus cases in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally. At least 125,747 people have died from coronavirus nationwide.
On Sunday Johns Hopkins reported 29,393 new cases and 208 deaths. The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.
"All the mayors of the coastal beaches are working collaboratively" to close the beaches because they "anticipate large crowds, perhaps even coming from other counties," Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said at the presser Sunday.
Beachgoers could be heard yelling "freedom," "socialism," "this is America," and "don't shoot!"
"Obviously this decision is not unanimous, right, you can hear it. All right. OK. Not everyone's gonna be happy about that decision and we always understand that sometimes decisions have to be made so that we can protect the majority of people. So we just ask that you understand and try to respect what we're trying to do for the general public," Trantalis said.
Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper spoke briefly, at times yelling over the hecklers. "We would like them to understand that we are doing this to protect the public," she said.
"All we're trying to do here today is just to assure everybody we're doing this for the right reasons," said Lauderdale-by-the-Seas Mayor Christopher Vincent.
Vincent said the officials want to avoid "the influx of about 10 times as many people" next weekend.
Broward beaches will be closed from July 3-5, the mayors said.
7:19 p.m. ET, June 28, 2020
Pennsylvania governor applauds Allegheny County for shutting down on-premises alcohol sales due to Covid-19 concerns
From CNN's Laura Ly
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf commended officials in Allegheny County on Sunday for shutting down on-premises alcohol sales at bars and restaurants due to “significant Covid-19 case increases over the past few days” in the area, according to a press release from Wolf’s office.
The majority of the new Covid-19 cases in Allegheny County are among people aged 19-49, with an average age of 27, Wolf’s office said.
“I commend Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Health Department Director Dr. Debra Brogan for the decision to shut down bars and restaurants for on-premises alcohol sales in Allegheny County effective June 30. This was the right move to work to stop the recent spike of COVID-19 cases in its tracks and to remind all residents and businesses that the best defense we have in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping Pennsylvanians safe is to continue to follow the mask-wearing requirement, practice social distancing and follow safety guidelines even and especially during the green phase of reopening,” Wolf said.
Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, is the state’s second most populous county after Philadelphia County. Allegheny County entered the state’s “green” phase of reopening on June 5.
The county has 2,239 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 143 probable cases and 183 deaths as of Sunday, according to state data.
6:05 p.m. ET, June 28, 2020
Global coronavirus deaths surpass half a million, Johns Hopkins University's tally says
As of Sunday evening, JHU reported 500,108 global deaths, with the United States holding the highest death toll.
The US has witnessed 125,747 deaths from Covid-19, according to JHU, accounting for more than a quarter of the global total.
6:08 p.m. ET, June 28, 2020
Drive-through and walk-up testing are still available throughout Florida despite long wait times
From CNN's Hollie Silverman
Drive-through and walk-up sites for coronavirus and antibody testing are still available at multiple sites throughout Florida, according to Mike Jachles, spokesman for the State Division of Emergency Management Covid test sites.
During a Sunday press conference, Jachles said that wait times have been "considerably less" this weekend than what was seen last week.
The testing site at the Hard Rock parking lot in Miami Gardens has surpassed 43,000 tests since the site opened at the end of March, Jachles said. It remains open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.
There have been upticks in tests over the past week at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Jachles said.
Jachles encouraged those that are both symptomatic and asymptomatic to get tested for the virus.
You could just show up. Anyone that's 18 or over regardless of whether you're sick or not," Jachles said. "In fact, we really want the people that don't have the symptoms to get tested, that's the important thing, because of the asymptomatic characteristics of the Covid-19 virus."
About 1.8 million people have been tested statewide, according to Jachles.
Antibody testing is also available at some sites, with results being given sometimes as soon as 20 minutes, Jachles said. Those tests are through blood draw.
Jachles said that people planning on getting a test through a drive-through site should be prepared to wait by having air conditioning in their car and a full tank of gas.
If people can't endure long waits, or if they are highly symptomatic, they should contact their health care provider or schedule an appointment at one of the sites that is taking appointments for testing, Jachles said.
Jachles said there is no timetable for ending testing at these sites.
"The word from the Division of Emergency Management is we're committed to continuing this testing for as long as it's needed. We have the division of emergency management, before the National Guard, dozens of nurses on site, committed, that have been here for many days working long days and will continue to conduct the testing, as long as it's needed," Jachels said.
6:20 p.m. ET, June 28, 2020
Israeli health minister warns second wave of Covid-19 infections has begun
From CNN's Oren Liebermann and Amir Tal
Israel's health minister warned a second wave of Covid-19 infections has begun, as new cases of the coronavirus soar in a country that appeared to have it well under control just a few weeks ago.
The number of new infections in Israel has reached more than 500 daily, just a few weeks after the government started reopening the country. In mid-May there were approximately 20 new infections a day, with the number sometimes down in single figures.
Edelstein targeted his anger at anyone not taking Covid-19 seriously.
"I hear people saying: why are you creating panic? A few elderly people will die, so what? To any person who thinks like this, I say, ‘Imagine your grandfather or grandmother among those elderly,'" Edelstein said.