July 2 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Brett McKeehan, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 8:02 PM ET, Thu July 2, 2020
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12:53 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020

Austin mayor considering 35-day stay-at-home order

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

As the number of coronavirus cases surges in Texas, Austin Mayor Steve Adler says he is weighing a 35-day stay-at-home order for the state capital. “We’re putting it on the table,” he told CNN’s Kate Bolduan. 

“We could easily be maxed out in our hospitals and our ICUs within two weeks, having to open up field hospitals in our city,” Adler said. 

The community doesn’t want to go back to a lockdown, he said, but a 35-day stay-at-home order would allow the city to stem the tide now, as well as prepare adequately for reopening again. 

Even if Texas Gov. Greg Abbott does not approve the order, Adler said the city would go ahead with protective measures. 

Texas residents are “hearing mixed messaging coming from Washington and the president, from our lieutenant governor,” Adler said. “My governor is encouraging everybody to wear masks, says it’s the most important thing to do, but won't let us enforce it…and that just sends a mixed message. So you have parties, you have gatherings, and you have people that just are not convinced that this is really serious at this point or that taking those steps effective.” 

“That mixed messaging is killing us,” he said. 

Watch the interview:

12:50 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020

9 NBA players test positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Homero De La Fuente

The National Basketball Association along with the players union released a joint statement announcing that nine players have tested positive for coronavirus in its latest round of testing.

“In tests conducted of 344 NBA players between June 24-29, an additional nine players have tested positive for the coronavirus. Twenty-five of 351 players have tested positive since testing began on June 23. In tests conducted of 884 team staff between June 23-29, 10 have tested positive for the coronavirus. Any player, coach or team staff member who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until they satisfy public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and have been cleared by a physician," the statement said.

The NBA season is scheduled to restart on July 30 at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida.

12:51 p.m. ET, July 2, 2020

Honduran president discharged from hospital after contracting Covid-19: "I don't wish this on anyone"

From CNN’s Claudia Rebaza in London

Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez delivers a speech whilst being discharged from hospital after contracting the coronavirus disease at the Military Hospital in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on July 2.
Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez delivers a speech whilst being discharged from hospital after contracting the coronavirus disease at the Military Hospital in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on July 2. Honduras' Presidency/Handout/Reuters

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández was discharged from hospital on Thursday morning, 16 days after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

Speaking in front of the cameras and clearly emotional, Hernández thanked his medical team and honored the victims of the pandemic in his country. 

“Many think this is a game and it is not until they see a relative who gets sick or when they get sick themselves that they understand the seriousness of this issue. I tell you, the truth is I don’t wish this on anyone,” he said.

Hernández's speech was broadcasted on Honduras National TV (TNH) and social media.

“I thought about what would happen if I could not be with my family anymore,” he said, adding that his wife, first lady Ana García de Hernández, is recovering from the virus at home.

The President asked the Honduran people to help him to fight the virus by taking individual responsibility. “Covid has come to change our lives” he added.

Hernández said hospitals in the country's major cities are collapsing due to the escalating demand of the pandemic.

He was admitted to a military hospital on June 16, becoming the first president in Latin America to test positive for the virus. His wife and two aides also tested positive for the novel coronavirus.   

Honduras reported 704 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday evening, bringing the total to at least 20,262. The death toll in the Central American country stands at 542.

11:52 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

Covid-19 spike in US due to increase in cases – not more testing, federal official says

From CNN Health’s Amanda Watts

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services Admiral Brett P. Giroir testifies at a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on "The Administration Response to Ongoing Shortages of PPE and Critical Medical Supplies" on Capitol Hill on July 2 in Washington, DC.
U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services Admiral Brett P. Giroir testifies at a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on "The Administration Response to Ongoing Shortages of PPE and Critical Medical Supplies" on Capitol Hill on July 2 in Washington, DC. Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images

The current spike in new coronavirus numbers is due to an increase in cases, not because of more testing, Admiral Dr. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health for the US Department of Health and Human Services said on Thursday. 

“There is no question that the more testing you get, the more you will uncover – but we do believe this is a real increase in cases, because the percent positivity’s are going up. So, this is real increases in cases,” Giroir told the House Select Committee on Coronavirus. 

Giroir the US we did flatten the curve earlier during the pandemic, but “we are not flattening the curve right now, the curve is still going up.” 

Across the US, some states are doing better than others, Giroir said, “four states are counting for about 50% of our new cases, and they're very concerning to all in public health.” 

Those states are California, Arizona, Texas and Florida – which all posted record new cases this week, according to Johns Hopkins data. 

Giroir, who has recently been critical of younger generations said, “we really do believe the current outbreak is primarily due to under 35s, with a lot of gatherings and not appropriate protection – like masks.” 

11:47 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

This Pennsylvania county just had another big jump in cases

From CNN’s Alec Snyder

Allegheny County in Pennsylvania identified 233 new cases of Covid-19 overnight into Thursday morning, the communications director for the county executive, Amie Downs, told CNN.

The previous high since the mid-June surge had been Wednesday’s count of 110 new cases.

There are four new hospitalizations but no change in deaths from the day before, Downs said. The median age in new cases is 29, the same as it was on Wednesday.

It is too early to know exactly where the cases originated from, but Downs said many are from community spread.

11:33 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

White House says it will host socially distant Fourth of July party

From CNN's Kate Bennett

The White House stands past the South Lawn in Washington, D.C., on May 22.
The White House stands past the South Lawn in Washington, D.C., on May 22. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The White House Fourth of July party will observe social distancing guidelines for guests, most of whom will be front line workers and their families, including law enforcement, doctors, nurses, and first responders, White House spokesman Judd Deere tells CNN. 

“To ensure the health and safety of those attending, social distancing will be observed and facial coverings and personal hand sanitizers will be provided,” Deere said. 

Another White House official confirmed to CNN that each guest will be handed a packet upon entry containing a mask, hand wipes, and sanitizer.

Additionally, the official says White House staff waiting on guests will be using multiple disposable masks and gloves, to be constantly tossed out and reapplied throughout the event.

The event will be held on the South Lawn, starting at 6:00 p.m. ET, a precursor to the flyover festivities and fireworks.

11:31 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

Florida reports more than 10,000 new cases — a new daily record

From CNN's Tina Burnside

People wait in line at a walk-up testing site for COVID-19 during the new coronavirus pandemic, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Miami Beach, Flao
People wait in line at a walk-up testing site for COVID-19 during the new coronavirus pandemic, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Miami Beach, Flao Lynne Sladky/AP

The Florida Department of Health is reporting 10,109 additional coronavirus cases, bringing the state total to 169,106, according to data released by the state.

Today's numbers mark a new record daily high of infections in the state of Florida since the start of the pandemic. The previous record was set on Saturday, when the start reported just more than 9,500 new cases.

WATCH:

11:07 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

New York City mayor says schools will open in September

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New York City Public Schools will open in September, Mayor Bill de Blasio said during today's Covid-19 presser. 

The mayor said schools will have a maximum number of students who can attend school in September based on space they can convert to learning areas that supports social distancing. 

In some cases where all students can’t attend class, they may have staggering schedules, the mayor said. 

Remember: Ultimately, the decision will be made by the governor on whether schools will open in the fall.

Schools are still in the process of putting together back to school plans, New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said during the press conference.

 

11:03 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

At least 22 additional New York City streets will be opened up for outdoor dining, mayor says

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a press conference in New York on July 2.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a press conference in New York on July 2. NYC Media

At least 22 additional streets will be opened to restaurants to use for outdoor seating, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

This will add about 2.62 additional miles for restaurants to have seating. 

This will take place across all five boroughs on Friday nights and weekends, those days were picked because they are busy days for going out, de Blasio said. 

“We are very excited,” de Blasio said.

More context: The decision was made yesterday to not allow indoor dining in New York City when the city moves to phase 3 of reopening next week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.