Health and Science

Eiffel Tower reopens to tourists; Disney delays reopening for California parks

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 700 points in its worst day since June 11 as the coronavirus continues to surge in states around the country, mostly in the South and West.

Florida and California, two of the largest economies in the U.S, reported a record number of new cases. There's growing concern that the state governments in Tallahassee and Sacramento could be forced to implement stay-at-home orders and close nonessential businesses again if the outbreak isn't brought under control.

Disney said on Wednesday it is delaying the opening of its California-based theme parks beyond July 17 as state officials will not be issuing theme park reopening guidelines until after July 4.

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are imposing a 14-day quarantine on travelers from coronavirus hotspots like Florida to prevent another outbreak in the northeastern region. The three neighboring states were once the epicenter of the epidemic in the U.S., but have since managed to contain the virus. 

The coverage on this live blog has ended — but for up-to-the-minute coverage on the coronavirus, visit the live blog from CNBC's U.S. team. 

  • Global cases: More than 9.4 million
  • Global deaths: At least 482,128
  • U.S. cases: More than 2.38 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 121,969

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Gulf coronavirus cases reportedly surpass 400,000

11:00 a.m. London time: The number of coronavirus infections in the six Gulf Arab states has doubled in a month to over 400,000, according to a Reuters tally of cases. 

As of Wednesday evening, the tally in the energy producing region stood at 403,163 infections, with 2,346 deaths, Reuters said Thursday. It passed the 200,000 mark on May 27, the news agency added.

The tally comes as the region's two biggest economies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, fully lifted curfews this week that had been imposed back in March to combat the pandemic. — Holly Ellyatt

Eiffel Tower reopens to tourists, but there are rules attached

10:20 a.m. London time: Paris' most famous landmark and tourism hotspot, the Eiffel Tower, has reopened to tourists on Thursday after three months of closure due to the coronavirus — the longest time that the attraction has been closed since World War II.

There are strict safety and hygiene rules in place for visitors now, however, with visitors over the age of 11 required to wear facemasks and not allowed at the highest part of the tower.

Visitors also have to be prepared to use the stairs if they want to ascend the 324 meter tower as the elevators are out of action, the enclosed space deemed too risky. The Eiffel Tower team said that more normal lift and visitor operations might be able to resume later in the summer. — Holly Ellyatt

Picture of the Eiffel Tower taken on June 15, 2020 in Paris, as cultural sights begin to open to the public across France.

These are the nations seeing a spike in coronavirus cases

09:30 a.m. London time: As lockdown measures have been gradually lifted, some countries, including the U.S., Germany and India, are seeing spikes in new coronavirus infections.

These spikes in cases have led to growing fears of a "second wave" of the pandemic. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world now stands at over 9.4 million, according to Johns Hopkins University data, and over 480,000 people have died. CNBC has had a look at the situation in four key global economies. — Holly Ellyatt

Countries 'highly unlikely' to impose total lockdowns again even with a second wave

2:30 p.m. Singapore time — Countries are very unlikely to impose another full lockdown even though there's a resurgence of new coronavirus cases in some parts of the world, analysts told CNBC.

"This second wave of virus is a concern for investors ... but I think the key difference is that unlike last time in March, this time it's highly unlikely that we would see a shutdown of the global economy," said Suresh Tantia, senior investment strategist at Credit Suisse's APAC CIO office.

The U.S. saw its highest number of cases in a single day on Wednesday, and reported 45,557 new cases at the end of the day, according to NBC News' count. —Weizhen Tan

Disney delays reopening of California theme parks

10:45 a.m. Singapore time — Disney is delaying the opening of its California-based theme parks as state officials will not be issuing theme park reopening guidelines until after July 4, the company said.

The company had proposed phased opening of its two parks in Anaheim for July 17.

Disney said it would be able to announce a new reopening date only after the company gets a better sense of when guidelines will be released and what those guidelines will be.

Disney will still be opening its shopping center, Downtown Disney District, on July 9. —Sarah Whitten

Minnie Mouse during the new Magic Happens Parade on Main Street U.S.A. inside Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, Feb 27, 2020.
Jeff Gritchen | Orange County Register | Getty Images

Disney considers postponing release of "Mulan," report says

7:10 p.m. ET — Disney may push back the July 24 release of "Mulan," a source told the Wall Street Journal.

The film was slated to be the first blockbuster to hit theaters since they reopened after being closed due to the pandemic. The release of Christopher Nolan's "Tenet," which was set to hit theaters on July 17, was pushed back to July 31.

Cinemark plans to reopen all its U.S. theaters by July 17 and the Journal reported that AMC is targeting July 24 to have most of its theaters reopened. Regal is set to begin reopening theaters July 10. —Chris Eudaily 

Here's why these 8 states triggered quarantines for travelers to New York

6:45 p.m. ET — As coronavirus cases rise in several states across the country, officials in the New York tri-state region, which was once the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, announced they would impose a 14-day quarantine on several hot spots around the country.

States landed themselves on the list if they have an average of more than 10 positive tests per 100,000 residents over the past seven days or because an average of more than 10% of all tests have come back positive over the past seven days. States currently affected include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

Here's how the outbreak is evolving in each of those states. —William Feuer

Trump won't follow New Jersey quarantine order

5:45 p.m. ET — President Donald Trump will not follow New Jersey's 14-day quarantine order when he travels to his golf club in Bedminster this weekend, according to the White House.

Trump was in Arizona Tuesday, where coronavirus cases are spiking. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced they would impose a quarantine on travelers from eight states with high infection rates. Arizona is one of those states. "The president of the United States is not a civilian," said White House spokesman Judd Deere, when asked about Trump's compliance with the quarantine order given his travel Tuesday to Arizona, which has seen a rise in the rate of its Covid-19 cases.

"Anyone who is in close proximity to him, including staff, guests, and press are tested for COVID-19 and confirmed to be negative," Deere said in a statement. —Spencer Kimball, Dan Mangan

These retailers have the most stores in states where coronavirus cases are spiking

5:20 p.m. ET — Instinet analyzed a dozen states that as of last Friday had reported record highs in new Covid-19 cases: Florida, Texas, Utah, South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Arizona, California, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

It found the retailers with the greatest exposure to these 12 states to be the off-price chain Ross Stores, Costco and O'Reilly Auto Parts, CNBC's Lauren Thomas reported.

Another round of closures would hurt the so-called discretionary or apparel retailers more than stores deemed essential during the pandemic, such as Walmart and Target, according to Instinet analyst Michael Baker in a client note on Wednesday.

Companies may follow Apple's example of shutting down stores again in Covid-19 hotspots such as Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Arizona without a government mandate. —Lauren Thomas

Trump administration to cut federal funding to 13 testing sites

HHS's Caputo rails at reporters over coverage of testing center closures
HHS's Caputo rails at reporters over coverage of testing center closures

4:50 p.m. ET — The Trump administration is eliminating federal funding for 13 community-based Covid-19 testing sites by the end of June. The move comes as part of a previously announced plan designed to give financial support for testing through other means, CNBC's Dan Mangan reports.

Seven sites in Texas will have their funding cut, NBC News confirmed, and the other six locations are in Illinois, New Jersey, Colorado and Pennsylvania. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republic, criticized the decision and urged health officials to extend funding for the sites in his state.

The administration's testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir said on a call with reporters that the sites will remain open through state and local funding, and that there are hundreds of other testing locations supported with federal assistance.

However, the call grew tense when Michael Caputo, a top spokesman for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, erupted into a tirade and said reporters were getting "spun" by what he claimed was a misleading portrayal of the 13 testing sites getting their funding cut.

"Somebody has given you disinformation," Caputo said loudly during the call. "Do you understand? I'm old enough to remember it was considered dishonest to undermine public confidence in the public health system."

Caputo emphasized that federal funding was being cut for "less than one one-thousandth" of the country's testing facilities. His rant led to the abrupt termination of the press phone call. --Hannah Miller

Apple will re-close seven stores in Houston, Texas area

Curbside service at an Apple Store.

4:11 p.m. ET — Apple said on Wednesday that it will re-close seven stores in the Houston area as it sees a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Last week, Apple re-closed 11 stores in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Arizona. Apple is a leading retailer with locations in important shopping centers. It previously said it is monitoring conditions region by region and won't hesitate to re-close its retail operations if local conditions deteriorated. —Kif Leswing

Americans are facing extended unemployment

3:56 p.m. ET — Many Americans face a particularly risky period of joblessness, at a time when enhanced aid will soon expire and jobs are scarce.

A recent federal law offered 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to workers who've exhausted their state allotment, which is typically six months.  

Nearly 1.1 million Americans were collecting these expanded benefits as of May 30 -- more than twice the prior week's total. The figure is set to balloon in coming weeks.

Since many have been jobless for at least a half year, their odds of finding a job are lower relative to others, amid an employment crisis worse than any since the Great Depression. A $600 weekly supplement to jobless aid also expires after July 31. —Greg Iacurci

California reports more than 7,000 cases, biggest daily jump so far

3:30 p.m. ET — California reported an additional 7,149 Covid-19 cases since Tuesday, a 69% increase in two days, bringing the state's total to 190,222 cases, according to the state's health department.

While the daily case numbers are growing, Gov. Gavin Newsom said that the state performed a record number of tests in the last 24 hours. However, the percent of tests coming back positive has slightly increased in the last two weeks, sitting at 5.1% on a 14-day average, he said.

Hospitalizations from Covid-19 in California have also increased 29% in the last 14 days, totaling 4,095 as of Tuesday, Newsom said.

"We cannot continue to do what we have done over the last number of weeks. Many of us understandably developed a little cabin fever, some I would argue developed a little amnesia, others have frankly taken down their guard," Newsom said at press briefing. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

The pandemic still hasn't peaked in the Americas, WHO says

2:30 p.m. ET — Coronavirus outbreaks in the Americas, which include North, South and Central America, haven't reached their peaks yet, the World Health Organization warned.

Over a third of the new cases reported Tuesday were from five countries in the Americas, according to WHO data. The U.S. reported the most cases and is the worst-hit country in the world with more than 2.3 million cases and at least 121,279 deaths as of Wednesday.

The comment by the WHO came a day after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' leading infectious disease expert, expressed concern a "disturbing surge" in coronavirus infections as states continue to reopen.

One WHO official said that parts of the Americas had not "reached a low enough level of transmission "with which we can achieve a successful exit of successful and social distancing measures." —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

PGA Tour procures 1,000 smart bands to help detect coronavirus symptoms in golfers

The PGA Tour is giving WHOOP straps ot more than 1,000 employees, staff and players at upcoming events to help detect possible signs of COVID-19
Source: Whoop

1:45 p.m. ET — The sports world's foray into the wearables space as a way to detect Covid-19 continues as the PGA Tour announces they have procured Whoop bands for its players and caddies.

On the same day that Brooks Koepka withdrew from the Travelers Tournament after learning his caddie tested positive for coronavirus, the PGA Tour announced the partnership. Anecdotally, the device has been found to be an early detector of coronavirus symptoms as users have noticed changes in their data ahead of testing positive.

The device is currently worn by several golfers including Rory Mcilroy and Justin Thomas. Last week, PGA Tour player Nick Watney tested positive for Covid-19. The golfer said it was his Whoop wearable device that first alerted him that he may be sick and prompted him to get tested. Golfer Justin Thomas said that the data from Whoop may have possibly saved the Tour as his positive test led to Watney being quarantined rather than playing in this week's tournament. —Jessica Golden

Walt Disney World employees petition to delay reopening as coronavirus cases surge in Florida

The entrance to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World is seen on the first day of closure as theme parks in the Orlando area suspend operations for two weeks in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Paul Hennessy | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images

1:04 p.m. ET — More than 7,000 people have signed an online petition urging Disney and local government officials to reconsider the reopening of Disney World next month.

The petition comes as coronavirus cases in the state are rapidly rising. 

It is difficult to determine how many of the signees of the online petition are actually Walt Disney employees or if the petition is union-backed. There is no mention in the petition itself of any affiliation with an employee union.

"The safety and well being of our cast members and guests are at the forefront of our planning, and we are in active dialogue with our unions on the extensive health and safety protocols, following guidance from public health experts, which we plan to implement as we move toward our proposed, phased reopening," Disney said in a statement to CNBC. —Sarah Whitten

Florida shatters record for new cases in a day

12:15 p.m. ET — The Florida Department of Health reported 5,508 new coronavirus cases, surpassing the previous record single-day increase of 4,049 new cases reported on Saturday.

Florida is among a handful of states that includes Arizona and Texas that are experiencing expanding outbreaks of the virus.

As cases continue to rise by the thousands every day in Florida, the percent of total tests coming back positive has also risen. On Wednesday, the state reported that 15.91% of all tests came back positive, up from 10.82%. That increase indicates that the surge in new cases is not due solely to ramped up testing. —Will Feuer

NY, NJ and CT impose quarantine on travelers from hotspot states

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to quarantine travelers from hotspots
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to quarantine travelers from hotspots