July 6 coronavirus news

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6:36 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Oldest GOP senator says he won't attend RNC due to Covid-19 concerns

From CNN's Clare Foran

Anna Moneymake/Pool/Getty Images/FILE
Anna Moneymake/Pool/Getty Images/FILE

The Senate's oldest Republican, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, told local reporters on Monday that he won't attend the 2020 Republican National Convention because of coronavirus concerns. Grassley is 86 years old.

"I'm not going to go. And I'm not going to go because of the virus situation," Grassley said during a call with reporters, according to The Des Moines Register. The senator's office confirmed to CNN that the comments reported by the newspaper are accurate.

Grassley is also the Senate's longest-serving Republican and serves in the role of president pro tempore, which places him third in the line of presidential succession, after the vice president and House speaker.

President Trump is set to accept the 2020 Republican presidential nomination in Jacksonville, Florida, at a venue that holds 15,000 people. The President, who wants a full-scale convention, decided to change the location from Charlotte, North Carolina, after a dispute with the state's Democratic governor about social distancing guidelines put in place to limit the spread of coronavirus.

But health experts — and Republican officials — have expressed alarm over a recent spike of coronavirus cases in Florida.

The state set a record for most new coronavirus cases in the US in a single day on Saturday, with 11,458, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and on Sunday the state surpassed 200,000 Covid-19 cases.

Keep reading.

5:59 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Houston mayor sends letter to "strongly encourage" GOP to cancel July state convention  

From CNN's Raja Razek

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner Pool

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a news conference on Monday he is sending a letter to the executive director of the Republican Party of Texas to "strongly encourage" the GOP to cancel its in-person convention on July 16. 

"I believe canceling the in-person convention is the responsible action to take while we are in a critical moment in our battle against the COVID-19 pandemic," Turner said. "The virus continues to spread in our community, and we must protect the employees, the people who are in our city, visiting our city, as best as possible." 

"In this city, all other conferences and conventions have canceled or been rescheduled to next year with the exception of one ... and that is the state Republican convention," he added. 

Turner said hosting the convention in Houston at this time is a "bad idea." 

"I am going to call on the sponsors of this particular convention to join in with us in asking the state Republican Executive Committee to cancel their plans to have an in-person convention in the city of Houston at this time, and I would strongly, strongly recommend that it be a virtual event," he said.

Houston Health Department Dr. David E. Persse also called on the Republican party in Texas to reconsider their position.  

"Today, we have over 500 people in intensive care units in Harris County. And there is another over 1,300, I believe today, people admitted to local hospitals that are sick enough to be admitted to hospitals," Persse said. "Another large event like this, which known as a 'super spreader' event, is probably not the most responsible thing to do."

"I think the wise, prudent thing to do would be for the Republican Party in Texas to reconsider their position, keeping in mind their members and the people who will be supporting that event," Persse added. 

6:24 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Atlanta mayor says she tested positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Pierre Meilhan

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tweeted Monday that she has tested positive for Covid-19.

“I have had NO symptoms and have tested positive,” the mayor said.

Bottoms later said in an interview she has taken two tests for the virus this month. 

During an interview with MSNBC, the mayor also added she will self-quarantine at home for the next two weeks.

Read her tweet:

5:55 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Air New Zealand limits capacity on inbound flights at government's request amid pandemic

From CNN's Samantha Beech and Chandler Thornton

Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images/FILE
Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images/FILE

Air New Zealand is limiting capacity on international flights traveling inbound after a request from the government so the country can provide enough quarantine facilities for passengers, according to a statement from the airline.

"Air New Zealand has put a hold on new bookings on international services into New Zealand following a request from the New Zealand Government," the statement read.

"The move is to help ensure the country is able to provide quarantine accommodation for inbound passengers for the required 14-day period," it added.

The "temporary" hold on booking services goes into effect Tuesday local time and will last three weeks, the airline said, adding that some passengers may be moved to another flight to align arrivals with capacity available at isolation spaces. 

“We accept this is a necessary short-term measure given the limited capacity in quarantine facilities and we’re keen to do what we can to help New Zealand’s continued success in its fight against COVID-19,” Air New Zealand Chief Commercial and Customer Officer Cam Wallace said in the statement.

The statement added that domestic services and services outbound from New Zealand will not be impacted.

This comes after Australian airline Qantas announced last week that all scheduled international flights, except for flights between Australia and New Zealand, would be suspended until at least the end of October 2020, due to government restrictions and all scheduled flights between Australia and New Zealand are suspended until at least mid-August 2020.

5:38 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Military deploying medical personnel to San Antonio as coronavirus cases spike

From CNN's Ryan Browne and Barbara Starr

The US military announced Monday it is sending approximately 50 medical and support personnel to the San Antonio area after a spike in Covid-19 cases in Texas.

The personnel, from the 627th Hospital Center in Carson, Colorado, will "provide medical assistance by embedding in medical care facilities in the San Antonio, Texas area. The medical personnel include emergency room and critical care nurses, respiratory specialists and support personnel," the Northern Command said in a statement.

Earlier this year, the military dispatched hundreds of medical personnel to embed in hospitals primarily in the New York City area, as well as elsewhere.

5:52 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Brazil's coronavirus death toll tops 65,000

From Rodrigo Pedroso in São Paulo

A man checks his mobilephone at a bar in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Monday, July 6, as the city's bars, restaurants, and beauty salons reopened.
A man checks his mobilephone at a bar in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Monday, July 6, as the city's bars, restaurants, and beauty salons reopened. Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

More than 65,000 people have died from coronavirus in Brazil, according to figures released by the country’s health ministry on Monday.

Brazil has reported 620 new fatalities from the virus since yesterday, bringing the death toll to 65,487.

The country's health ministry recorded 20,229 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,623,284.

Brazil's new numbers come as Rio de Janeiro opened its bars and restaurants over the weekend. In Rio state, 31 people have died of coronavirus since Sunday, bringing the total state death toll to 10,698. The state recorded an additional 587 cases on Monday, according to state health secretary data. The total confirmed number of cases in Rio de Janeiro state is now 121,879.

Brazil continues to follow the US in leading the world’s highest numbers of infections and deaths from coronavirus. 


5:34 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

São Paulo governor says he wants to avoid what "we saw in Rio de Janeiro and London"

From Rodrigo Pedroso in São Paulo

The governor of Brazil's state of São Paulo, João Doria, said on Monday he wants to avoid "the images we saw in Rio de Janeiro and London" after bars and restaurants in the state's capital city reopened Monday, and therefore strict rules will be in place. 

“We don't want to see in São Paulo city the images we saw in Rio de Janeiro and London,” Doria said at a news conference, adding that bars and restaurants will have to close by 5 p.m. in order “to avoid crowds.”

Bars, restaurants, and beauty salons reopened with restrictions on Monday in São Paulo, after having been closed since March 24. Dining establishments will now have seating areas after being restricted to delivery and takeout services. 

A decree published by Sao Paulo City Hall establishes that bars and restaurants can operate for six hours a day and with a maximum occupancy of 40% capacity. Establishments, such as shopping malls, that had already been permitted to open in an earlier phase of the reopening plan were allowed to extend operating hours as of Monday.

Last Friday, the Sao Paulo state government also authorized the reopening of theaters, cinemas, cultural events, and gyms in additional regions. 

The state of São Paulo, Brazil’s most populous, leads the country in coronavirus infections and deaths. The state registered 10,540 new cases and 56 deaths from novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, according to the state health secretary. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the state of São Paulo has recorded 323,070 cases of Covid-19 and 16,134 deaths related to the virus.

5:20 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Connecticut is pausing moving to phase 3 of reopening, governor says

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Gov. Ned Lamont
Gov. Ned Lamont CT-N

While the Covid-19 numbers in Connecticut continue to trend in the right direction, Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday the state is pausing on moving forward with phase three of their reopening plan, which means keeping bars closed and restaurants at 50% capacity. 

Lamont also announced in his daily coronavirus update that the state would be pausing on increasing the capacity of outdoor gatherings beyond 100 people.

Asked at what point the state would consider reopening bars, Lamont said, "Let's wait and see. We’ll be looking around the rest of the country, we’ll be looking at our neighboring states to see if we reach a point where we think we could do it safely."

“Look, I like a beer at the bar as much as the next person. I know how frustrating this can be, but right now, with this pandemic flaring up in a majority of other states, this is not the time to take a risk,” the governor added.
5:09 p.m. ET, July 6, 2020

Texas reports more than 5,300 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Raja Razek

People wait in line at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing center at the Ellis Davis Field House on July 2 in Dallas.
People wait in line at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing center at the Ellis Davis Field House on July 2 in Dallas. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Texas recorded 5,318 new Covid-19 cases today, bringing the total to 200,557.

At least 2,655 people have died from the virus in the state. 

Texas reported 8,258 cases on July 4 — the state's highest daily number of new Covid-19 cases on record.

One thing to note: These numbers were released by the Texas Health and Human Services, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.