July 3 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Melissa Macaya, Amy Woodyatt and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 6:11 PM ET, Mon February 1, 2021
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5:30 a.m. ET, July 3, 2020

Puerto Rico will require Covid-19 test results from visitors

From CNN's Mallika Kallingal

Puerto Rico will have some stringent new rules for people traveling to the island amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced said she will sign an executive order that, among other things, will require visitors to provide a negative Covid-19 test result produced within 72 hours of arrival.

"I want Puerto Ricans living in the US mainland to safely come to our island and visit their family members without fear of spreading this virus or infecting a love one," Vázquez said in a statement. "I want tourists and everyone visiting Puerto Rico to feel safe."

Under the executive order, visitors would also need to wear face coverings and observe proper social distancing measures at three airports.

If a visitor is unable to bring a negative test result, they will be required to go through the screening process and further tests at the airport and follow quarantine procedures.

The governor said the order will go into effect on July 15.

Read more here:

8:54 a.m. ET, July 3, 2020

The US, Brazil and other countries lifted lockdowns early. These charts shows how deadly that was

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová

Patience in lifting coronavirus restrictions is paying off all over the world, but lifting lockdowns too early can have deadly consequences.

Three of the four countries with the world's highest death tolls and case counts -- the United States, Brazil and India -- either never properly shut down or started reopening before their case counts began to drop.

Meanwhile, many countries that sustained restrictions until cases started going down have now gotten their outbreaks under control.

Read the full story here:

5:00 a.m. ET, July 3, 2020

New version of coronavirus spreads faster -- but doesn't make people sicker, study confirms

From CNN's Maggie Fox

A global study has found strong evidence that a mutated new form of the coronavirus has spread from Europe to the US.

The mutation makes the virus more likely to infect people, but does not seem to make them any sicker than earlier variations, an international team of researchers reported Thursday.

"It is now the dominant form infecting people," said Erica Ollmann Saphire of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology and the Coronavirus Immunotherapy Consortium, who worked on the study. "This is now the virus."

The team's experiments show the mutated version is more infectious than other variations.

"We do know that the new virus is fitter. It doesn't look at first glance as if it is worse," Saphire said.

The researchers call the new mutation G614, and it has almost completely replaced the first version -- called D614 -- to spread in Europe and the US.

Read more here:

4:51 a.m. ET, July 3, 2020

A death row inmate died of coronavirus. Nearly half the cases in California jails are in the same facility

From CNN's Nicole Chavez

Richard Stitely had spent nearly 30 years on death row when the pandemic hit California's San Quentin State Prison.

Last week, the 71-year-old was found dead in his cell, marking the first known fatality linked to coronavirus inside the California prison with the largest outbreak of Covid-19 in the state.

More than a third of incarcerated people in San Quentin have tested positive for the virus and nearly half of coronavirus cases throughout the state's prison system are there, according to a tally from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

As of Thursday, there were at least 1,345 active cases in the facility and 2,783 cases in the state, the CDCR said. The jail houses about 3,400 detainees and is at 112% of its capacity.

Authorities are still trying to determine the cause and manner of Stitely's death, as well as another death row inmate who died on Wednesday. Joseph Safarino Cordova, 75, was found unresponsive in his cell and had no signs of trauma, according to the CDCR. It's still unclear whether Cordova tested positive for the virus.

Read more here:

4:51 a.m. ET, July 3, 2020

Rocketing Covid-19 infections in US expose Trump's claim that the pandemic is "handled"

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

This is what President Donald Trump's "handled" pandemic looks like.

The United States, the world leader in Covid-19 infections and deaths, is reeling from an out-of-control resurgence of the virus that is racking up 50,000-plus new infections each day now.

Texas, Florida and Arizona -- Republican-run states that most aggressively embraced Trump's impatient demands to get the economy open again -- are heading into what one expert warned is a viral threat that is approaching "apocalyptic" levels.

All over the country, including in rule-resistant Texas, authorities are imposing mask mandates that Trump will still not endorse and are slowing or reversing economic opening plans as a Covid-19 summer becomes reality. It now seems certain that a predicted fall spike of the virus will simply become an extension of relentless months of sickness and death.

Even Vice President Mike Pence, who rarely pauses his praise of Trump's "leadership," is beginning to see reality -- ditching his previously misleading claims that the US has "slowed the spread" as he instead vows to "flatten the curve."

Meanwhile, 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, who as co-chair of Black Voices for Trump was one of the surrogates at the President's recent rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is now in hospital with the coronavirus.

In what are becoming daily examples of a dereliction of duty, Trump massively misrepresented the state of the pandemic.

"The crisis is being handled. ... Some areas that were very hard-hit are now doing very well. Some were doing very well, and we thought they may be gone and they flare up, and we're putting out the fires," he told reporters on Wednesday.

Read the full analysis here:

4:27 a.m. ET, July 3, 2020

Kim Jong Un calls North Korea's handling of the coronavirus "a shining success"

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, on Thursday, June 2.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, on Thursday, June 2. Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/AP

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called the country's handling of the coronavirus "a shining success," according to a report from the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

According to KCNA, Kim said the country had "thoroughly prevented the inroad of the malignant virus and maintained stable anti-epidemic situation despite the worldwide health crisis, which is a shining success achieved by the far-sighted leadership of the Party Central Committee."

However Kim urged people not to get complacent and "maintain maximum alert," the KCNA report added.

North Korea has not publicly reported any coronavirus infections, but it borders two of the most heavily affected countries in the region -- China and South Korea.

8:54 a.m. ET, July 3, 2020

The US could have almost 148,000 coronavirus deaths by July 25, according to new forecast

From CNN's Arman Azad

Members of the medical staff treat a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on July 2, Houston, Texas.
Members of the medical staff treat a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on July 2, Houston, Texas. Go Nakamura/Getty Images

The US could see nearly 148,000 people die from coronavirus by July 25, warned an updated forecast by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The US has reported 128,743 Covid-related deaths so far. 

The forecast relies on 24 individual predictions from outside institutions and researchers. The new projections, published Thursday, forecast 147,865 deaths by July 25 -- but added the number could range from 139,000 to 161,000.

“The state-level ensemble forecasts suggest that the number of new deaths over the next four weeks in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming will likely exceed the number reported over the last four weeks,” the CDC says on its forecasting website.

“For other states, the number of new deaths is expected to be similar to the number seen in the previous four weeks or to decrease slightly.”

8:55 a.m. ET, July 3, 2020

Brazil approaches 1.5 million coronavirus cases

From CNN's Rodrigo Pedroso in São Paulo and Taylor Barnes in Atlanta

Health professionals administer COVID-19 tests to an elderly indigenous Guarani man in Marica, Brazil, on July 2.
Health professionals administer COVID-19 tests to an elderly indigenous Guarani man in Marica, Brazil, on July 2. Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil’s health ministry reported 48,105 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, taking the country’s total to 1,496,858.

Thursday's figures represent the second-highest daily jump in new cases since the pandemic began. The highest was recorded on June 19, when 54,771 new cases were recorded within 24 hours.

The ministry also reported 1,252 related deaths on Thursday, bringing the nationwide toll to 61,884.

3:38 a.m. ET, July 3, 2020

The pandemic could leave 41 million people unemployed in Latin American and the Caribbean

From CNN's Tatiana Arias in Atlanta

A passer-by walks past a closed restaurant with the sign that reads 'everything will be alright' on July 02, in Bogota, Colombia.
A passer-by walks past a closed restaurant with the sign that reads 'everything will be alright' on July 02, in Bogota, Colombia. Guillermo Legaria/Getty Images

Up to 41 million people could be left unemployed by the coronavirus pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean, the International Labor Organization (ILO) warned in a new report Wednesday.

“The unemployment rate could rise between 4 and 5 percentage points, bringing the number of unemployed in the region to a historical record of 41 million people. If the crisis worsens, the employment situation could worsen, amplifying social inequalities,” the report said.

Before the pandemic hit, the unemployment rate in Latin America and the Caribbean was 8.1% -- about 26 million people by the end of 2019, according to ILO.

The report analyzed data from the World Bank, which estimates a 7.2% drop in the region’s economic growth – leading to an 12.3% unemployment rate.

The ILO also analyzed the latest numbers from the International Monetary Fund, which estimated an economic contraction of 9.4%, resulting in a 13% unemployment rate.

What the rates mean: “In absolute numbers, these rates imply an increase in the number of people who are looking for a job and do not get it; from 26 million before the pandemic to 41 million in 2020,” ILO specialists explained at a press conference on Wednesday.

Where unemployment will hit hard: Various economic sectors are seeing high rates of unemployment. About 40% of workers are in high-risk sectors of hospitality, food service, small businesses and manual labor.

Another 17% are in the medium-to-high risk sectors, and only 20% of the labor force is engaged in low-risk economic activities such as those in government, education and health jobs.  

"About 60% of those employed in Latin America and the Caribbean are exposed to significant losses of employment, hours worked and income,” according to the report.