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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8:53 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Clash of messages has left the country where it is today, former CDC head says

From CNN’s Andrea Kane

The US is in a worse place today than it was on Memorial Day because of the mixed messages the public has been receiving about the measures needed to control the spread of the coronavirus, former acting director of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Richard Besser said Monday.

“When you look at where we were Memorial Day [with] so many states moving in the right direction, with the numbers of cases going down, part of the country was really trying to use public health guidance as the road map to opening up the economy. And then, in other parts of the country, the message being ‘Get back to work, go out, enjoy your social life, there's nothing to worry about with this Covid pandemic,’” Besser told CNN’s Jim Acosta on The Situation Room.

“And when you see that clash of messages between some political leaders and every public health leader taking this so incredibly seriously, when you see that clash of messages, this is the outcome.”

Coronavirus infection cases are rising in 31 states and reopening measures are being paused or rolled back in 17 states. 

“This has not been taken as seriously as it should be by all of the residents,” Besser said.

It’s not too late to change the trajectory, Besser said. “It’s not inevitable that this is going to continue on the trajectory it's on. But it is inevitable if we don't make significant changes,” he said.

Such changes should include slowing down reopening efforts, wearing masks, keeping six feet apart and good hand hygiene. “When I wear a mask, it's helping to protect you; when you wear a mask it's because you care about me. If we can get that spirit going there, we can see the same decline in the United States that Europe is seeing, that so many Asian countries are seeing,” he said.

“It's a small thing to do to try and protect the lives of those people who are really at risk: the elderly, those with medical conditions, those who must go back to work,” said Besser. “It's a small thing to do and it's the American way. The more we can try and take the politics out of this and make it as a national effort and national unity, the better we're going to be and the more we'll get this under control.”


9:00 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Florida governor says he "hasn't given any thought" to mask requirement for GOP convention

From CNN’s Natasha Chen and Tina Brunside

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Wilfredo Lee/AP

Helen Ferré, the communications director for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, told CNN the governor "has not given any thought" to requiring masks at Republican National Convention in Jacksonville.

“Governor DeSantis is focused on state business and has not given any thought to that,” Ferré responded when asked whether the governor has the authority to, or the interest in, potentially overriding Jacksonville’s mask mandate for RNC attendees.

The city of Jacksonville said Monday that it would adopt a face mask requirement for public and indoor locations and where social distancing is not possible, less than two months before President Trump is set to accept the Republican nomination in the Florida city.  

The new mandate, which goes into effect at 5 p.m. ET on Monday, raised the possibility that attendees could be required to wear face masks at the GOP convention. It comes just weeks after Republicans announced that the President would make his speech in the city.

Hear more:

7:56 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Los Angeles beaches to close for holiday weekend

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Los Angeles area beaches will be closed for the holiday weekend due to the startling rise in coronavirus rates in the county.

The temporary closure will be from July 3-6.

“We cannot risk having crowds at the beach this holiday weekend,” Supervisor Janice Hahn tweeted, citing Monday’s cases.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will be patrolling the beaches over the weekend and enforcing the closure, which also includes piers, beach bike paths, and beach access points.

Violators could face a $1,000 fine.

7:18 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Nearly half of Covid-19 deaths recorded in long-term care facilities, according to new numbers

From CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman

In this April 17 file photo, first responders load a patient into an ambulance from a nursing home where multiple people have contracted Covid-19 in Chelsea, Massachusetts.
In this April 17 file photo, first responders load a patient into an ambulance from a nursing home where multiple people have contracted Covid-19 in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Long-term care facilities and similar institutions account for just 14% of cases of coronavirus, but 45% of deaths, according to the latest count from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

KFF’s survey of institutions finds more than 52,000 deaths have occurred in nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, adult care centers, intermediate care facilities, or other long-term care facilities in 40 states, plus Washington, DC.

More than 10,000 facilities in 43 states plus Washington, DC, have confirmed cases of Covid-19.

The KFF survey gleans different information from different states, but finds nearly 254,000 cases of coronavirus in 42 states plus Washington, DC, linked to nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. That’s 14% of the total cases in those states.

The definition of a long-term care facility differs by state, but the “data reflect a combination of nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, adult care centers, intermediate care facilities, and/or other long-term care facilities.”

There is limitation in the data. “Given the considerable variation in how states are reporting data, data cannot be compared between states,” KFF said on its website.

Four states — Alaska, Hawaii, Montana and South Dakota — are not reporting on positive cases or deaths in long-term care facilities. 

7:27 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Arizona closes bars, gyms, movie theaters and water parks for at least 30 days

From CNN’s Kim Berryman

The workout facilities at the Legacy Foundation Chris-Town YMCA in Phoenix are seen closed on May 13, in Phoenix.
The workout facilities at the Legacy Foundation Chris-Town YMCA in Phoenix are seen closed on May 13, in Phoenix. David Wallace/The Republic/USA Today

Gov. Doug Ducey announced an executive order beginning at 11 p.m. ET today that closes bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks and tubing for at least 30 days.

Ducey said the eventual reopening of affected facilities will require businesses to follow public health regulations and post them for the public to see. Restaurants will be allowed to remain open with physical distancing guidelines in place. 

The governor is also limiting indoor and outdoor mass gatherings. Events of more than 50 people are now prohibited. Groups of more than 10 people will be prohibited from gathering at outdoor pools, including those at apartment complexes and private facilities.  

The number of cases in the state is now nearing 75,000. The largest increase is from those between the ages of 20 and 44 who now make up 22% of hospitalizations in Arizona. 

Ducey painted a bleak picture saying, “our expectation is that next week, our numbers will be worse. It will take several weeks for the mitigations we are putting in place to take effect.”


7:10 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

San Diego County closes all bars, wineries and breweries to reduce coronavirus spread

From CNN's Alexandra Meeks 

All bars, wineries and breweries in San Diego County are ordered to temporarily close beginning July 1, county health officials announced Monday. 

This comes as several California counties are dialing back plans to reopen some businesses after observing a decrease in compliance with social distancing guidelines and an increase in hospitalizations. 

"We will take action to close bars wineries and breweries that do not serve food beginning midnight Wednesday morning," Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten said Monday. "Now more than ever, it is vital that we all take precaution to guide our personal, as well as our collective health."

Bars represent 27% of all of San Diego County's active community setting outbreaks, Wooten added. San Diego currently has 65 active outbreaks, the county's data shows.

"Bars are purely social settings where different people and groups often mix," San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said. "The reality is, alcohol consumption impairs judgment which may lead to less compliance with physical distancing guidelines. Loud settings require loud conversations, which spreads droplets more efficiently and effectively and then people who do not know each other often congregate in bars, making it difficult to engage in thorough contact tracing about who may have been exposed."

Over the weekend, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered bars to close in seven of the state's counties but San Diego was not on that list. 

"San Diego County was not included in the action taken by the state but we believe it is appropriate," Fletcher said. "We believe it is wise for us to take this action now given the increases we've seen in cases and percentage of positive cases and outbreaks."

7:12 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Nevada governor pauses state's reopening 

From CNN's Dave Alsup

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. Samuel Metz/AP

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak paused the state's reopening, saying it will remain in phase two during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Sisolak’s office issued a statement Monday saying the governor “will sign an emergency directive extending the length of Phase 2 through the end of July, due to the trends in COVID-19 infection rates, the time needed for expanded contact tracing to identify trends, and to see the impacts of the Governor’s new face covering directive.”  

The statement from his office said if statewide trends do not improve or get worse, Sisolak "will not hesitate to take any action necessary to protect the public and prevent exceeding our hospital capacity, including reinstituting previous restrictions."

7:01 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Houston, Texas reporting a 10% increase in Covid-19 positivity rate, mayor says

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

Houston's Covid-19 positivity rate has gone up 10% since April and May, Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a briefing today.

Turner said in April and May the positivity rate was 3%, and it is now 13%. 

“We are experiencing a surge currently in the city of Houston. We cannot lose focus that our goal is to bring the number down to blunt the progression of this virus,” he said.

Turner and public health officials said that doctors are seeing more cases among young people in their 20s, 30s and 40s. 

Dr. David Pearse with the Houston Health Department said that 15% of the patients in intensive care units right now are in their 20s and 30s. 

The city reported at least 1,317 new cases Sunday and Monday, Turner said. 

The city is averaging about 700 new cases a day, he said. 

6:46 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

More than 500 inmates test positive for coronavirus in Fresno County jail outbreak

From CNN's Jon Passantino

More than 500 inmates at the Fresno County Jail have tested positive for Covid-19 in a coronavirus outbreak at the Central California facility, sheriff’s officials said Monday.

After testing nearly 1,200 inmates for Covid-19, 507 were positive and 472 were negative, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said. An additional 186 inmates were still awaiting results.

The number of infections reported Monday was a significant increase from Thursday, when the sheriff’s office reported a total of 108 inmates had tested positive.

Earlier this month, the approximately 1,200 inmates at the North Jail Annex were quarantined after 13 inmates who had transferred from the Fresno County jail to the Wasco State Prison tested positive for the coronavirus.

At the time, the sheriff’s office called the cases “the largest spike in cases we have seen associated with our jail."

"There will be no inmate movement within the North Jail until further notice," it added. 

The sheriff’s office said Monday that the 14-day quarantine period, which began on June 19, is now more than halfway over and there is still no movement within the North Jail.

“This only occurs if someone there tests positive,” it said. We then move them to another area where they quarantine with other positive inmates.”