July 2 coronavirus news

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10:12 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

US will have capacity to perform 40 to 50 million tests per month by fall, health expert estimates

From CNN Amanda Watts 

Brett Giroir, US assistant secretary for health, speaks during the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on June 30.
Brett Giroir, US assistant secretary for health, speaks during the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on June 30. Al Drago/AFP/Getty Images

Admiral Dr. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health for the US Department of Health and Human Services, told lawmakers Thursday that to date, the US has performed more than 35 million Covid-19 tests and is now averaging "over 550,000 tests per day."

Speaking to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis about the national stockpile, Giroir said he estimates the nation will have the capacity to perform 40 to 50 million tests per month by the fall. 

Giroir did not specify which type of test he is referring to – those that check for current infection or those that check for past infection. It is also important to note many individuals have received multiple tests.

“With emerging new techniques like pooling of samples, combined with investments and point of care technologies, that number could easily be 80 million available per month if they are needed,” Giroir said. 

10:04 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

Trump touts economy as the US reports a record number of new coronavirus cases

From CNN's Jason Hoffman 

President Donald Trump speaks to the press from the White House in Washington, DC, on July 2.
President Donald Trump speaks to the press from the White House in Washington, DC, on July 2. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump spoke from the White House briefing room this morning to tout a better-than-expected jobs report.

The appearance came a day after the US set a record number of new coronavirus cases in a single day, with more than 50,000 cases reported. It took a little more than two months for the US to record its first 50,000 coronavirus cases.

The President said June’s job numbers, with almost 5 million jobs added, shattered all expectations. 

“This is the largest monthly job gain in the history of our country,” he said. 

Remember: The numbers today won't necessarily show any cracks in the recovery that may have emerged in recent days as the Covid-19 outlook deteriorates.

President Trump did not take questions after his comments.

9:38 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

Stocks rally following better-than-expected jobs report

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks climbed higher at Thursday’s opening bell, boosted by a better-than-expected jobs report.

The US economy added 4.8 million jobs in June, bringing the unemployment rate down to 11.1%.

Here's how the market opened:

  • The Dow opened 1.4%, or 365 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 kicked off 1.2% higher.
  • The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.1%. The index finished at an all-time high Wednesday and is on track to hit a fresh record Thursday.

Remember: It’s the last trading day of the week, since markets will be closed for the Independence Day holiday on Friday.

9:32 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

These 5 states reported record-high totals of new cases yesterday

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg, Ralph Ellis, Amanda Watts and Steve Almasy

The United States reported 50,203 new coronavirus cases were reported Wednesday — a record for one day, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile, at least five states — Arizona, California, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas — had record-high totals of new case reports on Wednesday.

California, the most populous state, reported more than 9,000 new cases. That figure included 5,898 cases reported to the state in the past 24 hours and 3,842 previously unreported cases from a five-day period, Ali Bay, a spokesperson for the state's joint information center, said.

Here is a look at the progression of new cases in California:

Arizona reported 4,878 new cases of Covid-19 Wednesday, as well as 88 deaths from the disease over the last 24 hours, state data shows. The numbers are a new record high for both new daily cases and deaths since the state started posting data publicly in mid-March.

Here is a look at the progression of new cases in Arizona:

Meanwhile, many states are pausing their reopenings or rolling back some restrictions.

More than 28 million Californians live in counties where restaurant dining rooms, bars and other indoor facilities are being told to stay shut or close as the number of Covid-19 cases continue to worry state officials.

The closures affect 19 counties representing 72% of the state's population, and include restaurants, museums, zoos, movie theaters, family entertainment, and card rooms, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

9:20 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

How to safely celebrate Fourth of July, according to an expert

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Erin Bromage, CNN contributor and biology professor at UMass Dartmouth, gave tips on how to keep your Independence Day gatherings as safe as possible this holiday weekend.

Here's his advice:

  • At a barbecue: Limit the number of guests at your barbecue and keep it outside — and if it rains, send people home. “We can't forget the physical distancing. We still need to have that six feet when we're outside,” he says. 
  • At the beach: Go to the beach if you can properly space out from other people. If it’s jam-packed, turn around. 
  • At the pool: You still need to social distance when in the pool. Sorry — that means no playing Marco Polo. 
  • At the fireworks show: When watching fireworks, don’t congregate too closely to others. “If you can actually spread out and create distance between your family and other families, then you can do this safely,” he said.

Bromage said that overall, people need to be vigilant, or cases will inevitably rise once again. 

“I get a little bit afraid there's not a lot of moderation in the US public right now. It's sort of [either] people locking themselves away or going out and having parties like they did six months ago. We need moderation. … Be aware that there's still a threat out there, and if we let our guard down even for just one night, we go into the situation that we're seeing in Texas, that we’re seeing in Arizona,” he said.

Bottom line? “Keep your distance, keep it outside, wash your hands often, wear a mask when you can't distance,” he said. 

Watch more:

10:15 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

People in West Hollywood may get a $300 citation if they don't wear masks

From CNN's Stella Chan

People in West Hollywood who do not wear a face cover in public will now face a citation of $300.

 “The Covid-19 infection rate is moving up in California. The governor has recently issued an Order for everyone to wear a face cover/mask while in public. West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station has been educating people about face covers/masks since the first Order,” according to a community bulletin from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s station captain Edward Ramirez.

 “Our last option was to conduct enforcement by issuing an Administrative Citation, but the risk to Community health is too great,” said the bulletin.

West Hollywood is a city in Los Angeles county and patrolled by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

The county has been reporting record highs of new Covid-19 cases. Yesterday, for the fourth straight day, more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases were reported in the county.

WATCH:

8:50 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

Scotland will lock down some areas to contain regional coronavirus outbreak

From CNN's Eleanor Pickston and Nada Bashir

Scotland will implement a series of “local lockdowns” over the weekend in areas which have recorded an increase in new coronavirus cases, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Thursday. 

The decision comes as Scotland prepares to lift the five-mile travel limit on citizens, as of Friday.

 “The advice and guidance to people in the areas of Annan, Gretna, Dumfries, Lockerbie, Langholm and Canonbie is to continue to follow the five-mile travel restriction over the weekend, until the testing and contact tracing process has been completed and we are able to assess if the outbreak has indeed been contained,” Sturgeon said.

“We are very hopeful that this outbreak will be contained, and I should stress that there is no evidence at this stage to suggest otherwise,” she added. 

Speaking during a news conference on Thursday, Sturgeon confirmed that 10 positive cases have so far been recorded in Annan and Gretna, and a “significant” number of contacts are being traced, she added. 

Additionally, mobile testing units have been deployed to three separate workplaces with connections to positive cases in order to test staff members. 

“Until contact tracing and testing has been completed…we must act on a precautionary basis,” Sturgeon said. 

As of Thursday, Scotland has recorded a further five positive cases since Wednesday, bringing the total to 18,264. 

Over the last 24 hours, one coronavirus patient has died in Scotland. The total death toll for confirmed coronavirus patients now stands at 2,487.

8:43 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

Texas health care worker: If you want to see August 1, stay home on July 4

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Doctors and nurses at San Antonio’s Methodist Hospital are overwhelmed by the sharp increase in coronavirus patients — and are bracing for even more cases after the Fourth of July weekend. 

“We are having an explosion of Covid. We aren't overrun yet, but it's overwhelming,” Covid ICU nurse manager Adam Sahyouni said to CNN’s Miguel Marquez. “...I would say that if you want to see August 1st, then maybe you should stay indoors and isolate on July 4th,” he added.

Pulmonary disease physician Dr. Jeffrey Dellavolpe said he’s lost track of how many patients with Covid-19 in their 20s are coming in. 

“The last few weeks has just been overwhelming, is how I would describe it. There's been more and more patients than we really know what to do with. The patients are getting younger, and they're more sick,” he said.  

Dellavlope said that he got 10 calls in one day of people who could be on a procedure to oxygenate blood and keep patients off ventilators, and he only had three beds available.

They're so sick if they don't get put on, they don't get that support, they're probably going to die. I had three beds. And making that decision, being able to figure out who really is going to benefit, it is a level of decision making that I don't think a lot of us are prepared for,” he said. 

ER physician Dr. Jennifer Gemmill said patients are being held in the emergency department for hours or even days, due to the lack of available beds. 

“I don't think that there was one specific incidence that really led to this spike. I think people after March and April were extremely frustrated with being inside, and as soon as those restrictions lifted, they wanted to get out. Some protected themselves, some didn't. And now we're just seeing the result of that,” Gemmill said.  

Watch more:

9:02 a.m. ET, July 2, 2020

The US economy created 4.8 million jobs in June

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

As the country continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic and some states see growing cases, the unemployment rate fell to 11.1% as the US economy added 4.8 million jobs in June.

Still, 1.4 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment insurance last week.

The data was far better than economists predicted. The unemployment rate also fell more than expected.

It was the second-consecutive month of growth after more than 20 million jobs were wiped out in April during the coronavirus lockdown. The reopening of the economy is easing the burden on America's stressed labor market.

But the US economy remains in a deep recession, and a full job market recovery is far from certain. America is dealing with a severe joblessness crisis and millions of people are relying on government aid to make ends meet.

The Department of Labor reported Thursday that 1.4 million workers -- more than expected -- filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week. Continued claims, which count people filing at least two weeks in a row, stood at 19.3 million, slightly more than the revised number of the prior week.