(Bloomberg) — Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert, told Congress he was seeing a “disturbing surge” in new cases. California, Texas and Arizona reported their biggest daily jumps, and Florida’s infection rate climbed above 10%.
As many as 31 states have R0 figures above 1, according to the Rt.live website, meaning that each person with the virus infects at least one other. The World Trade Organization said its worst-case scenario for cross-border commerce this year will likely be avoided, depending on whether there’s a second wave of outbreaks.
Novak Djokovic, the world’s leading men’s tennis player, tested positive for Covid-19 days after an exhibition tournament in the Balkans featuring him was cut short. England eased more restrictions as deaths continued to fall.
Global Tracker: Cases pass 9.1 million; deaths top 474,000Virus surges across U.S. throw reopenings into disarrayEU may opt to keep Americans out when borders openFauci says U.S. plans to step up testing as cases risePandemic exposes plight of Portugal’s African migrantsTracking the spread of the virus outbreak in the U.S.
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EU May Opt to Keep Americans Out (5:17 p.m. NY)
The European Union may decide to keep the door shut to Americans when the bloc eases controls on its external borders.
Diplomats from the 27-nation EU are scheduled to convene Wednesday to discuss the criteria for lifting a curb on non-essential travel to the bloc as of July 1. One of the criteria up for discussion is “reciprocity,” which would mean U.S. citizens wouldn’t be allowed into the bloc starting next month because Europeans are still barred for health reasons from traveling to their country.
Europe is trying to revive domestic economies as the summer tourist season gets underway while guarding against a second wave of infections. The restrictions were introduced in mid-March for 30 days and extended three times through June as Europe battled to contain the coronavirus.
Texas Reports More Than 5,000 New Cases (5 p.m. NY)
Texas reported a record 5,489 new cases, bringing the total to 120,370, according to the state health department. That represented a 4.8% increase, well above the 3.7% seven-day average. Hospitalizations, meanwhile, surged by more than 10% to 4,092. The 381 new admissions was the single biggest daily increase since the pandemic emerged.
Despite the surge, Governor Greg Abbott said during an interview with KTBX TV on Tuesday that he has no intention of reimposing an economic lockdown at this time, and that schools will reopen as planned in late summer.
South African Reports Record Deaths (4:20 p.m. NY)
The number of people who died after contracting the coronavirus in South Africa rose by a daily record of 111, bringing the total tally to 2,102, while new cases surpassed 4,000 for a fourth consecutive day, data released Monday by the Health Ministry shows. The country has confirmed 106,108 infections since the first one was detected on March 5, the most in Africa, with the number now doubling on average every 12 days.
U.S. Cases Rise 1.6% (4 p.m. NY)
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased by 35,695 from the same time Monday to 2.33 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 1.6% gain was higher than the average daily increase of 1.3% the past seven days. Deaths rose 0.7% to 120,913.
Florida reported 103,506 cases, up 3.3% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 3.8% in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 3,237, an increase of 2%,Arizona broke its daily case record, adding nearly 3,600, bringing the total to 58,179. The state also reported 42 deaths, raising the toll to 1,384.California reported 5,019 new confirmed cases, its biggest daily increase, for a total of 183,073. The number of deaths rose by 65 to 5,580.
Vegas Casinos Pay Gamblers to Wear Masks (3:45 p.m. NY)
Caesars Entertainment Corp. said it has been handing out $20 in gambling credit to guests wearing masks at five of its Las Vegas casinos. The players, who must be members of the company’s customer loyalty program, are chosen by casino staff wandering the floor. Some $7,500 was given to 375 players last weekend, the company said. Wynn Resorts Ltd. said it is also offering incentives to players wearing masks.
Nevada casinos reopened June 4 without a specific requirement that guests have facial coverings. Last week, the state’s Gaming Control Board began requiring masks for guests at table games, such as blackjack, if those tables don’t have plexiglass dividers to mitigate the spread of the virus. Casinos are also required to provide masks to guests on request.
Arizona Breaks Daily Case Record (3:30 p.m. NY)
Arizona, one of the Sun Belt states where infections are surging, broke its daily case record, adding nearly 3,600, according to tallies released Tuesday, bringing the total to 58,179. The state also reported 42 deaths, raising the toll to 1,384.
Palm Beach County Mandates Masks (2:30 p.m. NY)
Palm Beach County commissioners voted unanimously to institute a face mask requirement for the public in Florida’s third-most populous county.
The move is the latest in Florida, where local officials have been going out on their own to mandate masks as new cases surged in June and Governor Ron DeSantis refrained from instituting a statewide rule. Hillsborough County and several cities in Miami-Dade County have added mask rules in recent days, although the specifics vary by region.
Palm Beach is also the official residence of President Donald Trump, who has mostly declined to wear a mask in public.
Speaking from Orlando on Tuesday, DeSantis said he would continue to defer to local governments on mask rules, arguing that the nature the outbreak isn’t uniform across the large state.
Houston ICU Beds May Be Full in 11 Days (2 p.m. NY)
Intensive-care unit capacity in Harris County, Texas — home to Houston and the nation’s third-most populous county — will be exhausted in 11 days, based on the two-week average expansion rates. Surge beds will be full in 38 days, according to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s office.
There are 1,488 Covid-19 patients in ICU beds across the county, leaving 134 intensive-case beds available and another 326 surge beds in reserve. “Very concerning to say the least” in a county with almost 5 million residents, a Hidalgo spokesman said.
EU May Exclude U.S. as Borders Open: NYT (1:49 p.m. NY)
European Union officials could exclude the U.S. in its plans to reopen borders on July 1 because it has failed to control the outbreak there, the New York Times reported, according to draft lists it said it viewed.
European nations are currently discussing two potential lists of acceptable visitors based on how countries are handling the pandemic, the Times reported. A final decision on reopening the borders is expected early next week, before the bloc reopens on July 1.
N.J. Virus Transmission Creeping Up (1:47 p.m. NY)
New Jersey’s transmission rate is “beginning to creep up,” Governor Phil Murphy said Tuesday, just as the state begins to open after months on lockdown.
Murphy said intensive-care cases and ventilator use were also on the rise. The increases were for a single day, he said, but we “cannot have a one-day increase turn into a trend.”
California Has Record Jump in Cases (12:44 p.m. NY)
California reported 5,019 new confirmed cases, its biggest daily increase, for a total of 183,073. The number of deaths rose by 65 to 5,580. The rate of positive tests over the past 14 days — a key measure of community spread — inched up to 4.9% from 4.8%.
Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday said the jump in cases and hospitalizations is “sobering” and indicate the state is still in the first wave of the virus. He urged residents to take actions to mitigate the spread and reduce the likelihood of a return of stay-at-home orders.
“We don’t intend to do that, we don’t want to do that, but I want to make this clear: We are prepared to do that if we must,” Newsom said at a press briefing. “We have the capacity, individual and collective capacity, not to have to go in that direction by just being a little bit more thoughtful about how we go about our day-to-day lives.”
Italian Cases Are Lowest Since February (12:28 p.m. NY)
Italy registered 122 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday compared with 218 on Monday, based on figures released by the country’s civil protection agency. It was the fewest new infections since Feb. 26.
Fauci Says U.S. Plans to Step Up Testing (12:10 p.m. NY)
Four of the country’s top health officials were urged to take more of a leadership role in the national battle against Covid-19 on Tuesday, as virus rates climb in reopening states and President Donald Trump said he called for testing to be cut back.
Asked during a congressional hearing about the president’s call for a slowdown in testing, Anthony Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, and Robert Redfield, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director, both said they’ve not been asked to do that.
He said he was “cautiously optimistic” that a Covid-19 vaccine will be ready by year-end.
NYC Restaurants Reopening (12:05 p.m. NY)
In New York City, 4,136 restaurants have applied for and been immediately approved to operate outdoor dining on sidewalks and curbside parking spaces, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, as the city’s second phase of reopening entered its second day Tuesday.
De Blasio, who dined Monday night at Melba’s, a well-known restaurant in Harlem, said the owner told him it took only five minutes to complete the application online. The restaurant, which opened with help from restaurant architect and designer David Rockwell, features transparent dividers between its curbside wooden tables.
Between 150,000 and 300,000 people went back to work Monday, as the city allowed partial reopening of offices, restaurants, barber shops and stores, the mayor said.
Lockdown Back in German Town (12:00 p.m. NY)
North Rhine-Westphalia became the first state in Germany to restore a lockdown by imposing strict restrictions on daily life in a municipality that’s seen an outbreak of coronavirus at a large meat factory.
The measure, announced Tuesday by state premier Armin Laschet, will initially remain in force until the end of June. A total of 1,553 workers have so far tested positive at the plant near the city of Guetersloh that is operated by Toennies GmbH.
Florida Infection Rate Rises to 11% (10:50 a.m. NY)
Florida reported 103,506 Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, up 3.3% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 3.8% in the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 3,237, an increase of 2%, the most on a percentage basis since June 5.
Seen on a rolling seven-day basis, Florida’s new cases reached 23,397, the highest ever.
Cumulative hospitalizations of Florida residents rose by 199, or 1.5%, to 13,318. On a rolling seven day-basis, they reached 1,112, the highest level since May 25.
The new rate of people testing positive for the first time climbed to 10.9% for Monday, from 7.7% on Sunday.
Kennedy Center Cancels 2020 Events (10:34 a.m. NY)
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will cancel most previously announced performances and events through the end of the year, according to an emailed statement.
The prestigious theater in Washington said it expects to lose an estimated $45.7 million in ticket sales and other earned income during the 2020-2021 season.
Vodafone, MTN Can Share Client Data With Ghana (10:30 a.m. NY)
Vodafone and MTN’s Ghanaian units are allowed to share subscriber data with the government to help it track down the contacts of coronavirus cases, a high court in Accra ruled Tuesday.
It would go against citizens’ “overall wellbeing” for the court to stop telecommunications providers from sharing data with authorities amid a pandemic, Justice Stephen Oppong said in his decision.
Schoolchildren Don’t Spread Virus: French Study (9:11 a.m. NY)
School kids don’t appear to transmit the virus to peers or teachers, a French study found. Scientists at Institut Pasteur studied 1,340 people in Crepy-en-Valois, a town northeast of Paris that suffered an outbreak in February and March, including 510 students from six primary schools. They found three probable cases among kids that didn’t lead to more infections among other pupils or teachers. The study confirms that children appear to show fewer telltale symptoms than adults and be less contagious, providing a justification for reopening schools.
Africa’s First Covid Vaccine Trial to Include HIV Patients (8:34 a.m. NY)
South Africa will begin a coronavirus vaccine trial on Wednesday, the first such test on the continent, with its 2,000 volunteers planned to include some living with HIV. The trial will begin at three sites in the country’s most populated province, Gauteng, and include 50 volunteers who have HIV, said study leader Shabir Madhi, a professor of vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand, in a briefing with reporters.
The vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca Plc, is already undergoing human tests in the U.K. with separate studies slated to begin in Brazil and the U.S. Coronavirus cases in South Africa have surged to more than 100,000 with almost 2,000 deaths, while the country’s lockdown was eased on June 1.
England’s Pubs and Hotels to Open from July 4 (8:21 a.m. NY)
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave the green light for England’s tourism and hospitality industry to emerge from three months of lockdown. Hotels, pubs, restaurants and cinemas will reopen from July 4. Johnson also announced a halving of the minimum social distance between people to 1 meter, provided they also take mitigating actions like wearing a face covering.
“Our long national hibernation is beginning to come to an end,” Johnson said. “A new but cautious optimism is palpable.”
The possibility of getting a full vaccine is going to be “very difficult,” the prime minister said in the House of Commons. “In the meantime we will have to remain extremely vigilant and extremely cautious” to avoid future flare-ups, Johnson said.
Djokovic Tests Positive After Tournament Halted (8:13 a.m. NY)
Novak Djokovic, the world’s leading men’s tennis player, tested positive for Covid-19 days after an exhibition tournament in the Balkans featuring him was cut short. The Adria Tour ended abruptly Sunday after participants including Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and Borna Coric of Croatia tested positive.
“I’m extremely sorry for each individual case of infection,” Djokovic said in a statement. “I hope it won’t complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region.”
Local media criticized the event — and Djokovic himself — for embracing few virus restrictions and for holding parties in Belgrade alongside the tournament.
Egypt Eases Curfew Restrictions by Reopening of Cafes, Mosques (7:34 a.m. NY)
Egyptian restaurants, cafes, cinemas and sporting clubs will be allowed to reopen starting June 27, with capacity initially capped at 25%, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said in a televised press conference on Tuesday. Mosques and churches will also be allowed to reopen, but weekly mass prayers will remain suspended.
Serbia Imposes Mask Wearing (7:30 a.m. NY)
Serbia reinstated the mandatory wearing of masks amid a resurgence in cases, the nation’s special crisis committee said on Tuesday. Optional for several weeks, masks now must be worn in all indoor places and people without them won’t be allowed onto public transport.
Fauci Doesn’t See Covid-19 Summer Lull (6:50 a.m. NY)
The coronavirus isn’t taking a summer break judging from its persistent spread in the U.S. Sun Belt, according to America’s top infectious-disease doctor.
Covid-19 cases continue to mount in warmer states including Florida, Texas and Arizona, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview. “It doesn’t look like there’s any significant impact right now from the weather,” he said.
As many as 31 states have R0 figures above 1, according to the Rt.live website, meaning that each person with the virus infects at least one other. Morgan Stanley estimates R0 for the entire U.S. stands at 1.1 — a rate at which the epidemic would double every 52 days.
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