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July 5 coronavirus news

What you need to know

  • About 3,000 people were suddenly put under a hard lockdown in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday night after a spike in cases led to fears of a second wave.
  • US coronavirus cases are increasing in at least 37 states. Florida yesterday reported more than 11,000 new cases in a single day — a record for the state.
  • Brazil, second only to the US in Covid-19 cases and deaths, has surpassed 1.5 million coronavirus cases.
  • Coronavirus deaths in Mexico have now risen above 30,000, making it the fifth-worst affected country in the world in terms of fatalities.
Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has ended for the evening.
7:55 p.m. ET, July 5, 2020

Coronavirus can float in air, and experts say WHO and CDC should tell people that

Coronavirus can float in air droplets and is likely transmitting that way, a group of experts plans to say in a commentary Monday.

They are publishing an open letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health agencies, asking them to be more forthright in explaining how the virus can transmit in the air.

It’s not a secret, but agencies seem to be afraid to talk about the airborne nature of the virus, said Donald Milton, a professor of environmental health at the University of Maryland who studies how viruses are transmitted.

The airborne transmission word seems to be loaded,” Milton, one of two main authors of the letter, told CNN on Sunday. “I guess we are hoping that WHO will come around and be more willing to acknowledge the important roles of aerosols, whether they want to call it airborne transmission or not.”

Milton studies the airborne transmission of viruses. The other main author, Lidia Morawska, is a professor of environmental engineering and an expert in aerosol science at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Milton said they and a group of other, similar experts have been discussing the potential airborne transmission of coronavirus since February.

The letter, signed by 239 scientists from around the world, is scheduled to be published Monday in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

7:13 p.m. ET, July 5, 2020

Two bar owners and one restaurant manager arrested in New York for Covid-19-related violations

Two bar owners and one restaurant manager in New York have been arrested for violating Covid-19-related orders, according to a press release from the town of East Hampton.

All three were arrested Saturday night on misdemeanor charges related to alleged violations of the New York State Liquor Authority Alcoholic Beverage Control laws, during inspections related to Covid-19 safety regulation compliance, the town said.

Multiple misdemeanor charges were levied against Richard Gibbs, the owner of Rick’s Crabby Cowboy Cafe, Vincenzo Lentini, owner of Ruschmeyer’s, and Jeffrey Capri, the manager of Nick’s on the Beach, regarding posting of signage and proper approved storage of alcohol,” according to East Hampton officials.

“Numerous additional alleged violations at the three establishments, including some related to COVID-19 health and safety regulations” were also documented by police and will be referred to the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA), which may revoke liquor licenses if regulations are not followed, the town said.

Videos and photos taken of crowds at several Montauk establishments will be referred by police to the SLA, for potential further charges under the governor’s executive order, the release said.

“While the vast majority of businesses are operating safely, and are respectful of the potential threat from Covid-19, we cannot allow some to operate in ways that threaten the public health as well as the continued ability for other businesses to remain open,” said East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc. 

7:08 p.m. ET, July 5, 2020

Brazil tops 1.6 million coronavirus cases, nears 65,000 deaths

Brazil's health ministry recorded 26,051 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the country's total confirmed cases to 1,603,055.

Brazil also reported 602 new deaths from the virus. The death toll is now at 64,867.

The country's new numbers come as its largest city, Sao Paulo, prepares to reopen bars, restaurants, beauty salons, barbershops and aesthetic clinics on Monday, and after Rio de Janeiro opened its bars and restaurants over the weekend.

Street shops and shopping malls in Sao Paulo will also be open for six hours starting Monday, after having operated four hours a day since they reopened on June 11.

6:25 p.m. ET, July 5, 2020

MLS team delays departure to 'MLS is Back' tournament after two positive Covid-19 tests

Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids announced they have delayed their departure to Orlando for the "MLS is Back" Tournament after two positive Covid-19 tests. In a statement released on Sunday, the team said it will now travel to Orlando on Tuesday.

"The Colorado Rapids have delayed their departure to Orlando, Florida, after the club was notified earlier today of two presumptive positive COVID-19 results in its traveling party. Pending final lab results, and after consultation with Major League Soccer’s Chief Medical Officer and club medical staff, the Rapids have opted to delay their departure until Tuesday, July 7, out of an abundance of caution. Further travel details will be provided when available," the Rapids statement read.

The "MLS is Back" Tournament is scheduled to kick-off on July 8 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. 

5:29 p.m. ET, July 5, 2020

Man seen in famous 9/11 photo has died of Covid-19, family says

In this Sept. 11, 2001, file photo, people run from the collapse of one of the twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York. Stephen Cooper, far left, fleeing smoke and debris as the south tower crumbled just a block away on Sept. 11, has died from coronavirus, his family said, according to The Palm Beach Post. Associated Press

The man seen in a famous photo of New Yorkers fleeing from the collapse of the World Trade Center’s south tower has passed away due to Covid-19, his family told CNN.

Stephen Cooper was delivering political papers in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, when a police officer told him and others to run, Janet Rashes, his partner of 33 years, told CNN. Cooper is seen on the far left of the photo, wearing glasses and a black shirt, as he and others run from billowing smoke and debris seen behind them.

He never realized he was photographed until a couple weeks later,” Rashes said. “He was looking in a newspaper or magazine, and he saw his picture shown.”

Cooper, 78, died in Florida on March 28, said Rashes.

“He was very, very proud,” Rashes said. “He would keep a picture in his wallet and show people he just met.”

Suzanne Plunkett, the then-Associated Press photographer who captured the famous image, told CNN that she’s stayed in touch with some of the individuals in the photo, but never got to meet Cooper.

“He sounded like a really gregarious, warm-hearted man,” she said in an email to CNN. “I’ve been in contact with some of those people in the shot, and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. I’d always wondered about the ones I’d never connected with, so it was an honor for me to hear that Mr. Cooper was proud of his appearance in the photo.”

The morning of September 11, Plunkett said she received an emergency page from by her AP editors. After turning on the TV to see smoke billowing from the south tower, she raced downtown to Fulton Street and Broadway, where she managed to snap 13 frames before being ordered by an NYPD officer to run and seek cover, she said.

After uploading a few of the photos to her editors in a nearby shop, Plunkett said the photo went on to be published around the world, including in Time magazine.

“I would’ve loved to talk to Mr. Cooper about that day. It would’ve been cathartic for me to talk with him and to reflect on what happened to us both in the years that followed,” Plunkett said.   

Cooper is survived by Rashes, and their daughter, Jessica. 

4:49 p.m. ET, July 5, 2020

Crowds flock to Michigan's Diamond Lake despite Covid-19 concerns

A group of people is seen in the waters of Diamond Lake in southern Michigan over the July 4 weekend. @diamond_lake_sandbar on Instagram
Instagram video captured people gathering at southern Michigan's Diamond Lake appearing to be in close proximity, without masks.

The Instagram page is run by the residents in the area and is meant to inform other residents about gatherings at Diamond Lake, which is only accessible by private home lake entry or one public boating drop off point.

One resident who runs the Instagram page told CNN the party was run by residents for residents in a public area of the lake. The Cass County community has thrown a Fourth of July party on the public sand bar for 30 years, he said. The resident asked to remain anonymous for safety concerns.

We’re not the only lake that had a Fourth of July party I can guarantee you that. People like their freedom, that’s all it comes down to especially on a day like the Fourth of July,” the man said.

Donations paid for the entertainment, trash removal and security guards, the resident said. 

“There’s one public access point to the lake with 57 parking spots, once they’re full that’s it. The majority of people in the video live here and they’re residents or this is their summer home,” the resident added.

A group of people is seen in the waters of Diamond Lake in southern Michigan over the July 4 weekend. @diamond_lake_sandbar on Instagram

We can’t control what people do. We made announcements saying we’re trying not to have everybody right packed in tight. We wanted to have more distance between people and you know that’s just young people wanting to enjoy their freedom,” he said.
Wearing masks is required in public places statewide in Michigan. Any individual leaving their residence must wear a face covering.

CNN has reached out to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office, local and state health department officials.

4:42 p.m. ET, July 5, 2020

People flock to Wisconsin water park July 4 weekend

Patrons gather at Noah's Ark Water Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, over the July 4 weekend. WISC-TV

People in Wisconsin flocked to Noah’s Ark Water Park over the Fourth of July weekend. The venue touts itself as the nation’s largest water park.

Noah's Ark Waterpark told CNN in a statement it has implemented a series of measures to protect park attendees and employees.

Mark Whitfield, the park's general manager, said the park required employees and guests to pass a temperature check health screening prior to entering the park.

"The health and safety of our Guests and Team Members is always our top priority at Noah’s Ark Waterpark," Whitfield told CNN.

Additionally all guests are required to wear masks to enter, while inside any buildings, and when in line for food, retail shops or non-water common areas.

The attractions where social distancing cannot be limited are closed. The park limited capacity at each attraction, including the pools.

Whitfield said in his statement that the park stopped selling tickets for July 4 on July 3 because the park reached its "predetermined capacity."

"We have also added dozens of hand sanitizing stations around the park, increased regular cleaning of attractions and high-traffic areas, and added educational signage and staff training to reinforce the importance of following all these safety measures while visiting. Nothing is more important than keeping our guests and staff safe," Whitfield said.
2:59 p.m. ET, July 5, 2020

Remdesivir being surged to Covid-19 hot spots, FDA commissioner says

Commissioner of US Food and Drug Administration Dr. Stephen M. Hahn testifies at a hearing on Capitol Hill on June 23 in Washington, DC. Kevin Dietsch/AFP/Getty Images

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen M. Hahn said on Sunday that the US government intends to “surge remdesivir to the areas that most need it.” 

Hahn told CNN that the country’s remdesivir supply has not run out and is being distributed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

When asked whether hospitals in current hot spots such as Texas or Florida can expect shipments of remdesivir, Hahn said “you should probably know the Vice President and I and others were in Florida, and this issue came up and we are receiving that feedback and then shipping remdesivir so it's available for people who need it.”

Last week: HHS announced that it had shipped the final allocation of the antiviral drug, prompting concerns there would not be enough to help states experiencing sharp rises in infections.

The government said at the time they were continuing to work with Gilead Sciences, Inc. "to determine how the company's anticipated inventory of 2 million doses of remdesivir by year’s end will be allocated and when.”

2:55 p.m. ET, July 5, 2020

121 University of Washington students test positive for Covid-19

University of Washington campus in Seattle, Washington. Shutterstock

There are 121 students at the University of Washington in Seattle who have tested positive for Covid-19, according to an updated joint press release from the University of Washington and Public Health Seattle & King County.

Of these students, 112 are residents of fraternity houses in the Greek Row section north of the campus, the release said. 

Students who tested positive but are not residents of those houses are close contacts of the residents, according to the release.

On July 3, the Interfraternity Council, a student-led governing board for UW fraternities, reported that at least 117 residents living in 15 fraternity houses self-reported positive tests, the release said.  

A pop up testing site was set up last week near Greek Row and has conducted nearly 1,300 tests as of this weekend, the release said.