June 29 coronavirus news

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Julia Hollingsworth, Amy Woodyatt and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, June 30, 2020
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2:10 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Antiviral drug combo doesn't help coronavirus patients, UK study shows

From CNN's Maggie Fox

A combination of two HIV drugs did not help hospitalized patients better recover from coronavirus infections, UK researchers reported Monday. 

The combination of lopinavir and ritonavir is being tested by several groups, but preliminary results from a large, ongoing UK study called the Recovery trial found the antiviral drugs did not help patients hospitalized for treatment for Covid-19.

How the study worked: The Recovery trial team had randomly assigned about 1,600 patients to get the combination, and compared them to 3,400 patients who got the usual care alone.

“There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality,” the team wrote on the Recovery website. About 22% of patients who got the two drugs died, compared to 21% of those who did not.

“There was also no evidence of beneficial effects on the risk of progression to mechanical ventilation or length of hospital stay,” the team added.

“Today, the trial Steering Committee concluded that there is no beneficial effect of lopinavir-ritonavir in patients hospitalized with Covid-19 and closed randomization to that treatment arm," they said.

What the study found: The results held among different subgroups of patients.

“These data convincingly rule out any meaningful mortality benefit of lopinavir-ritonavir in the hospitalized Covid-19 patients we studied,” the team concluded. “We were unable to study a large number of patients on invasive mechanical ventilation because of difficulty administering the drug to patients on ventilators. As such, we cannot make conclusions about the effectiveness in mechanically ventilated patients. Full results will be made available as soon as possible. “

The same study has found that hydroxychloroquine did not help coronavirus patients and found that the steroid dexamethasone did help. 

1:53 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Jacksonville is not closing its beaches for Fourth of July

From CNN's Tina Burnside

People walk down the beach in Jacksonville Beach, Florida on April 19.
People walk down the beach in Jacksonville Beach, Florida on April 19. Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Jacksonville, Florida, will not be closing its beaches for the Fourth of July holiday, Nikki Kimbleton, the city's spokesperson, announced on Monday. 

Kimbleton said the city will still hold their annual Fourth of July fireworks display this year. The city will offer six different locations for people to watch the fireworks so that social distancing guidelines will remain in place. 

What happened today: The city announced earlier today that it will adopt a mandatory face mask requirement for public and indoor locations.

1:45 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

What it's like inside a Houston hospital battling Covid-19 

CNN’s Miguel Marquez was granted rare access into a hospital in Houston that has been treating Covid-19 patients. 

Texas is among at least 10 states that are seeing a 50% or more rise in coronavirus cases compared to the previous week. Cases in Texas have jumped from about 2,000 a day to 5,000 a day.

If the current Texas trajectory continues, officials fear Houston could be the hardest-hit city in the US with numbers rivaling those in Brazil.

Here’s what the CNN team saw: 

1:36 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Pelosi extends House's remote voting into August due to coronavirus

From CNN's Sam Fossum

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks at her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on June 26.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks at her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on June 26. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

In a letter circulated Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she has extended remote voting for the House chamber through Aug. 18 due to the pandemic.

The House of Representatives passed a rules change back in May to allow lawmakers to vote remotely. The change allowed the chamber to operate remotely for the first time in its more than 200-year history.

1:07 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Classroom contact could lead to transmission of Covid-19, CDC research suggests

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Classroom interaction between a teacher and students could lead to Covid-19 transmission, according to a small study by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers published Monday in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The report details a case where a teacher infected with Covid-19 may have infected students after returning to the classroom while still experiencing symptoms. The teacher first had symptoms, including a headache, sore throat and fatigue, while traveling in Europe in late February. The teacher returned to school while still experiencing symptoms and taught 16 classes of 30 or less students. After the teacher’s Covid-19 test came back positive on March 1, all students were told to quarantine at home. Once the quarantine was over, 21 students from the teacher’s classes took part in the research. The students had a median age of 17.

Ten of the teacher’s classes were described as “interactive” classes, in which the teacher walked around and spoke directly with students. Out of five students who had been in “interactive” classes, two had antibody test results that suggested they had been infected. One of those students experienced symptoms for nine days, include muscle aches, runny nose and cough and the other student had no symptoms. Two other students from the five in the “interactive” classes had no serological evidence that suggested they had been infected in the past, but they had reported mild symptoms – one had fever and headache that lasted one day, and another had a runny nose that lasted one day.

Of the 16 students who participated in the non-interactive classes – where the teacher sat mostly in one location and had limited close interaction with students — seven reported symptoms, including sore throat, headache, runny nose and muscle pain. But antibody tests found no evidence of a previous Covid-19 infection. 

“Widespread school closures have mostly eliminated the risk for classroom transmission,” the report says. “However, these results suggest that classroom interaction between an infected teacher and students might result in virus transmission.” 

The authors note there are limitations to the research, including a low number of participants and the possibility that students may have been exposed to Covid-19 somewhere other than the classroom. Also, blood samples may have been collected too soon for students to have developed antibodies to the coronavirus.

1:04 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

WHO is sending a team to China to research "how the virus started"

From CNN's Amanda Watts

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks at a news conference on Thursday.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks at a news conference on Thursday. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization is sending a team to China to better understand how coronavirus started, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a briefing on Monday.

“Knowing the source of the virus is very, very important,” Tedros said. “We can find the virus better when we know everything about the virus, including how it started.” 

“We will be sending a team next week to China to prepare for that,” he said.  

Tedros said he hopes the visit will lead to “understanding how the virus started and what we can do for the future to prepare.” 

12:54 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Jacksonville issues face covering mandate for indoor and outdoor locations

From CNN's Tina Burnside

Jacksonville, Florida, announced on Monday it will be adopting a mandatory face mask requirement for public and indoor locations, according to a tweet from the city. 

The order is expected to go into effect at 5 p.m. ET today. 

The city joins other parts of the state including Palm Beach County which approved a motion last week to require all residents to wear face masks in public places when social distancing is not possible. Hillsborough, Orange and Miami-Dade counties also approved similar mandates.

Florida is among at least 10 states that are seeing a 50% or more increase in Covid-19 cases compared to the previous week.

Read the tweet:

12:50 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Canada's Trudeau: "Things are continuing to move in the right direction" 

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos


As the neighboring United States continues to see an increase in Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, Canadian Prime Minister Justice Trudeau said Monday that his country is "continuing to move in the right direction."  

"After a very challenging spring, things are continuing to move in the right direction," Trudeau said during his daily briefing. "Nationally, the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths is declining over time and that's because Canadians are doing their part. You took this seriously. You followed public health instructions and made sacrifices so we could get this virus under control." 

Trudeau said his government is continuing to watch the US and will put "the safety of Canadians at the very top of our priority list."  

He said safety is the reason he decided to extend the border measures with the US until July 21. 

"What the situation we are seeing in the United States and elsewhere highlights for us is that even as our economy is recovering, we need to make sure we are continuing to remain vigilant individually and collectively," Trudeau said. "We need to continue to be careful even as we reopen so we don't lose all the significant progress we made through some very difficult sacrifices by Canadians over the past couple of months."  

Trudeau said his government will continue working with the US to determine what measures will need to be in place come August.  

While Trudeau said his government will continue providing updates on Covid-19 statistics, he announced he will be reducing the number of coronavirus-related briefings to a few times a week.  

12:43 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Florida Keys to close beaches for holiday weekend

From CNN’s Kevin Conlon and Natasha Chen

A sign indicates a closed beach in Key West, Florida, in March.
A sign indicates a closed beach in Key West, Florida, in March. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Monroe County, along with all municipalities in the Florida Keys, will be closing beaches beginning at 5 p.m. on July 2, through the morning of Tuesday, July 7, according to Monroe County Public Information Officer Kristen Livengood.

The city of Key West said in a statement that its beach closure is being done “to avoid large crowds gathering during this Covid-19 pandemic. The closure dovetails with that of Monroe County’s beaches to help send a clear message of safety.”

In that statement, Key West city officials added that “masks are required inside establishments, though they can be removed – once you’re seated – to eat in a complying restaurant.

Masks are also required outdoors when you are unable to remain six feet from others, such as walking down a crowded sidewalk. In addition, you are required to carry a mask when you leave your house, in case you find yourself in a situation in which social distancing is impossible.

These measures rely on the personal responsibility of each of us. These directives are put in place to ensure the continued health and safety of our community and our economy.”

The Florida Keys joins other parts of the state, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, that will close beaches Fourth of July weekend as officials keep a cautious eye on the rapidly rising number of new coronavirus cases in Florida.