Texas and Florida pause reopening more business as cases surge
Texas continues to set new daily records for cases and hospitalizations, and the state is now pausing its reopening efforts to "corral the spread," according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. The U.S. reported more new coronavirus cases on Wednesday than on any single day before, according to a tally by NBC News, as the virus spreads to new communities and sparks outbreaks mostly across the American South and West.
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- Global cases: More than 9.6 million
- Global deaths: At least 489,372
- U.S. cases: More than 2.42 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 124,415
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
10:10 a.m. London time — The president of the European Central Bank believes the worst of the economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis may be over, while urging authorities to remain vigilant against a possible uptick in Covid-19 infections.
Speaking during an online event on Friday, Christine Lagarde said: "We probably have passed the lowest point and I say that with some trepidation because of course there could be a second wave."
"We need to be extremely attentive to those that are most vulnerable," she added. — Sam Meredith
2:13 p.m. Singapore time — Cooped up at home during the pandemic, consumers have been munching on snacks.
That trend is boosting the sales of comfort food like instant coffee, biscuits and chocolates. Reports and data globally show that more people are turning to snacks as a form of comfort food.
But economic uncertainty due to the fallout from the pandemic is likely to spur a rise in price conscious consumers who are trading down for cheaper products — like instant coffee used in Dalgona coffee, said Fitch Solutions in a report. — Huileng Tan
11:28 a.m. Singapore time — For the second time, Warner Bros. is forced to postponed the release of Christopher Nolan's "Tenet" due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The spy drama starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson is now set to debut on Aug. 12, a Wednesday. It was originally scheduled for release on July 17, before the debut was postponed to July 31.
Warner Bros. has also delayed the 10th anniversary release of Nolan's "Inception" from July 17 to July 31.
Many movie theaters across the U.S. remain shut as cases of Covid-19 have continued to climb. On Wednesday, 12 U.S. states reported record spikes in daily new coronavirus cases. —Sara Whitten
5:22 p.m. ET — The Federal Reserve is suspending share buybacks and capping dividend payments for the big banks at their current levels through the third quarter of the year.
The decision comes after an annual stress test of 34 banks found the coronavirus pandemic could push some institutions dangerously close to minimum capital levels.
The Fed studied how major banks would fare in a quick V-shaped recovery, a more drawn out U-shaped recession and recovery, and a W-shaped double dip recession.
Several banks "would approach minimum capital levels" under the harsher U- and W-shaped scenarios, the Fed found. The central bank didn't disclose which banks would have the most problems. —Spencer Kimball, Hugh Son
4:41 p.m. ET — When asked about Florida's reopening, Gov. Ron DeSantis said that the state doesn't have plans for continuing its step-by-step plan. He added that the state "never anticipated" to continue moving forward at this point.
"We are where we are. I didn't say we were going to go on to the next phase," DeSantis said at a news briefing. His comments come shortly after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he would pause reopening plans for his state as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to climb.
Florida is averaging about 3,756 daily new cases as of Wednesday, which is about a 71% increase since one week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. DeSantis has allowed retailers, restaurants, gyms and personal care services to reopen at reduced capacity. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
4:28 p.m. ET — The U.S. added more than 34,400 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data, after health officials in California, Florida and Texas all reported record-high single-day spikes.
As of Wednesday, the nation's seven-day average of daily new Covid-19 cases was 31,172. This number has increased more than 34% compared with a week ago, according to the analysis.
Twelve states hit record highs in daily new cases, which include Arizona, Arkansas, California and Florida. Coronavirus hospitalizations are also rising in 16 states, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project. —Jasmine Kim
4:20 p.m. ET Life Time Fitness CEO Bahram Akradi told CNBC that the gym industry could see a "small degradation" as more people opt for at-home workouts, although members seem even "more determined" to return to the clubs and join their communities as states begin to reopen.
"It's like music, you can listen to any song for free on some app or something, but people still pay a large amount of money to go to a live entertainment," Akradi said.
While not every state has since lifted restrictions on gyms, which health professionals warn could present a high risk for Covid-19 transmission, many have allowed fitness businesses to return at reduced capacity. He said the company will work with the government every way they can in states where coronavirus cases are surging. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
4:15 p.m. ET — Delta Air Lines is resuming service to China after a nearly five-month break because of the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the first U.S. passenger airline to do so.
United is also planning to restart China service but hasn't yet set a date.
Delta's first flight back will depart Seattle Thursday night and arrive in Shanghai after a stop in Seoul.
Airlines have drastically reduced their international service because of the coronavirus pandemic and are eager to resume those routes, which generally bring in higher fares than domestic service. Concerns over the coronavirus and travel restrictions have complicated those plans.
The Trump administration earlier this month threatened to bar Chinese passenger carriers from flying to the U.S. raising pressure on Beijing to allow U.S. carriers to resume service, a plan it later scrapped. Delta said it would change the twice weekly flights to Shanghai to one a week from each Seattle and Detroit in July. —Leslie Josephs
4:06 p.m. ET — As the coronavirus continues to infect more and more young people across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering tapping social media platform TikTok to stress the importance of practicing public health precautions to young Americans.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield acknowledged Thursday that he is "concerned" about public health messaging reaching young people.
"We may need to get out the message that young people are not somehow naturally immune to this virus, although they may be at lower risk of severe infection," CDC Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases Jay Butler said. "The tools that can be used include social media. We're exploring TikTok."
Some public health specialists have criticized the CDC for not taking a more public-facing role during the pandemic. Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, wrote in an op-ed in April that "the CDC has been inexplicably absent, and Americans are suffering and dying for it." —Will Feuer
3:48 p.m. ET — One of the nation's largest labor unions says government officials and companies must require and enforce mask-wearing in public, especially as coronavirus cases rise in Florida, Texas and other states.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents thousands of people employed by grocery stores, meatpacking plants and nursing homes, said workers face more risk as new Covid-19 hot spots emerge.
The union called on employers to pay essential workers at least $15 an hour and reinstate "hazard pay" in all states where cases are rising. On a phone call with reporters, union members encouraged Americans to do their part, too.
"If wearing a mask can save one life, why shouldn't one do it?" said Linda Robinson, a nursing home employee in Winter Haven, Florida. "Think of the elderly Americans who sacrificed so much for us. Is it really so much to ask that we wear a mask to protect the greatest generation that gave us so much?" —Melissa Repko
3:34 p.m. ET — Milwaukee Bucks and Avenue Capital co-founder Marc Lasry said on CNBC's "Halftime Report" that the NBA will move forward with its plan to restart games despite an uptick of Covid-19 cases in Florida.
"We'll see what happens over the course of the next two weeks," Lasry said. He added that for "players that don't want to go, I fully respect that" but also said, "every single one of our guys (Bucks players) is going to be down there."
Around the country, coronavirus cases continue to spike in states that were among the first to reopen. Florida, Texas and California have all recently reported a record number of new coronavirus cases. Disney workers have petitioned the company and local government officials to reconsider the reopening of Disney World, where the NBA's season is set to resume, next month. —Jabari Young
3:14 p.m. ET — Apple said 14 stores in Florida will re-close due to Covid-19 conditions, as the state sees a sharp rise in cases. In total, Apple has re-closed 32 stores across five states in the past week.
Only two Apple stores will remain open in Florida. Apple was one of the first companies to shut its stores in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. When it started to re-open stores in the U.S. with increased safety measures such as mandatory masking, it noted that it would not hesitate to re-close stores if pandemic conditions deteriorated. —Kif Leswing
3:08 p.m. ET — New Jersey is counting an additional 1,854 deaths as likely stemming from the coronavirus, Gov. Phil Murphy said. This is the first time these deaths, which occurred over the length of the pandemic, have been counted among the Covid-19 toll on the state.
A team at the Communicable Disease Service reviewed thousands of death certificates to determine New Jersey residents whose deaths could "with great reliability" be due to the virus. Murphy said the "currently known loss" from Covid-19 in New Jersey is 14,872, which includes the 1,854 probable deaths and 13,018 confirmed deaths in the state.
"In one day, we are significantly adding to the already weighty toll this pandemic has had on our state, and on so many families," Murphy said via Twitter. "We report this out of nothing else than a solemn sense of duty."
The state will report the "probable" death toll separately from the Covid-19 death toll on the state dashboard, Murphy said. —Alex Harring
2:47 p.m. ET — Vice President Mike Pence said he will travel to Texas and Arizona next week to discuss coronavirus response efforts with leaders there, while acknowledging that more states are reporting rises in Covid-19 cases.
Pence told reporters in Lordstown, Ohio, that while "we have rising cases and outbreaks in several southern states, I want to assure you: Our task force and our entire administration is working continuously with leaders in those states to respond."
Pence will travel to Texas on Sunday to speak at a Dallas megachurch, a local NBC News affiliate reported. On Tuesday, Pence will head to Tucson, Arizona, to deliver remarks before meeting Gov. Doug Ducey in Yuma to discuss Covid-19 efforts, according to AZCentral.
In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal last week, Pence asserted that the "panic" over the so-called second wave of the deadly virus is "overblown." The piece, which slammed the media for "fear-mongering," declared that the U.S. is "winning the fight against the invisible enemy." But as of Sunday, the seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. had increased more than 24% from a week before, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.
Texas in particular has seen a massive spike in coronavirus hospitalizations, rising more than 84% since Memorial Day. The number of people hospitalized in Arizona jumped 29% compared with the prior week. —Kevin Breuninger
California Gov. Newsome declares budget emergency to provide more money for state's Covid-19 response
2:32 p.m. ET — California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a budget emergency proclamation, making more resources available for the state's response to the coronavirus crisis.
The proclamation targets funding for personal protective and medical equipment in case of potential hospital surges and opens up funding for necessary services to vulnerable populations.
The proclamation will allow the California legislature to pass bills for the state to take from its rainy day fund. The coronavirus pandemic has already caused a $54.3 billion budget deficit in California. —Suzanne Blake
2:10 p.m. ET — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there is no "evidence-based data" to support quarantines for travelers, like those imposed by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The comment by CDC Director Robert Redfield came a day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that travelers arriving in the tri-state region from Florida, Texas and other states with spiking Covid-19 infection rates will be subject to a 14-day quarantine.
According to the CDC's website, quarantines can help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.
Other leaders outside the tri-state region have imposed quarantines or travel restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order in March requiring people coming to Florida from the New York City region to self-quarantine for 14 days. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
1:15 p.m. ET — Airlines are warning travelers that if they refuse to wear a face mask on board they won't be able to fly, and in some cases are banning offenders outright.
U.S. carriers started mandating masks for travelers last month to try to protect passengers and crews from Covid-19.
"We take the requirement to wear a mask very seriously," Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said in a staff note. "Customers who choose not to comply with this or any other safety requirement risk losing their future flight privileges with Delta. So far, there have thankfully only been a handful of cases, but we have already banned some passengers from future travel on Delta for refusing to wear masks on board."
Last week, American Airlines said one traveler who refused to wear a mask on board and was booted from the flight would be banned until masks were no longer required.
The Department of Transportation says travelers should wear face masks on board according to Centers for Disease Control guidance but has stopped short of mandating them, leaving airlines to implement and enforce their policies. —Leslie Josephs
12:34 p.m. ET — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Thursday that the state will pause any further phases to open as it continues to report record increases in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Businesses that were permitted to open under the previous phases can continue to operate at the designated occupancy, according to a statement. Many businesses in Texas were granted permission to reopen in May, such as restaurants, gyms, retailers, professional sports, bars and other venues, and it wasn't immediately made clear which businesses wouldn't be allowed to be reopen moving forward or when the order would be lifted.
Texas is one of the states experiencing a recent surge in Covid-19 cases, reporting more than 5,500 additional cases on Wednesday, according to the state's health department.
"The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses. This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business," Abbott said in the release. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
12:05 p.m. ET — Almost $1.4 billion in stimulus checks have been sent to deceased Americans, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.
That includes about 1.1 million payments out of approximately 160 million sent. The $1,200 stimulus checks were authorized by Congress with the CARES Act.
The IRS has made it clear that those who receive stimulus checks on behalf of the deceased need to return the money.
The GAO report calls for taking further action to address the situation, including sending new letters with instructions on how to return the funds and more data sharing among government agencies to prevent future errors. —Lorie Konish
11:26 a.m. — New York City could begin its next phase of reopening as early as July 6, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday.
The next phase would allow the city's restaurants to open their indoor dining spaces and reopen additional personal care businesses, like nail salons, spas, massage parlors and tattoo and piercing facilities with reduced capacity, according to New York state's reopening guidelines.
Phase three reopening would allow various recreational areas throughout the city, including basketball, tennis and volleyball courts to operate, de Blasio said.
New York City began its phase two reopening on Monday, which allowed for in-store shopping at retail stores, visits to hair salons and barbershops and outdoor restaurant dining with modifications. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
11:09 a.m. – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo accused conservative states that are seeing a rise in Covid-19 cases of playing politics early in the United States' outbreak.
"You played politics with this virus and you lost," he told CNN. "You told the people of this state, you told the people of this country, the White House, 'don't worry about it. Go about your business. This is all Democratic hyperbole.'"
The statement by Cuomo came after the U.S. reported more new coronavirus cases on Wednesday than on any single day before, according to a tally by NBC News.
On Wednesday, Cuomo announced that travelers arriving in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from Florida, Texas and other states with spiking Covid-19 infection rates will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. —Berkeley Lovelace
10:29 a.m. — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered all licensed hospitals in counties that include major cities such as San Antonio, Dallas, Houston and Austin to postpone elective procedures in order to protect hospital capacity for Covid-19 patients.
The order applies to all "surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary to diagnose or correct a serious medical condition of, or to preserve the life of, a patient who without timely performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death...," according to an executive order signed by the governor.
Texas is one of several states mostly across the American South and West experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases. There are currently 4,389 Covid-19 patients hospitalized statewide in Texas, up from 2,793 a week ago, according to the state's health department.Some hospitals in the Houston area, in particular, are nearing capacity.
For example, Texas Children's Hospital in Houston said earlier this week it will begin to admit adult patients to alleviate burdened hospitals in the area. —Will Feuer
10:13 a.m. ET — Eager to streamline the drug development process during the pandemic, researchers, pharmaceutical companies and a handful of start-ups have started virtual clinical trials, also known as remote or decentralized trials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration helped clear the path to virtual trials in March by issuing guidelines for these types of clinical studies.
Whereas traditional clinical trials require participants to make frequent in-person visits to a clinic or hospital, virtual trials can allow researchers to recruit patients, gain consent, administer treatment, monitor safety and collect data without the subjects ever leaving home.
According to research firm GlobalData, more than 1,100 clinical trials across the U.S. and Europe had been disrupted as of May 20.The new approach brings attention to the time and expense of the traditional model. The average cost of bringing a new drug to market has been estimated to be as high as $2.6 billion, with two-thirds of the cost going to clinical trials — about 90% of which end in failure. —Lori Ioannou
10:01 a.m. ET — Spectators will be able to attend the 146th Kentucky Derby, with safety provisions for Covid-19 in place, Churchill Downs Racetrack announced after consultation with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and state public health officials.
The race is set to be held Sept. 5 and will take place with reduced venue capacity. Guests will be encouraged to socially distance, wash their hands frequently and wear a face covering at all times unless in their reserved seat, according to a press release.
"The impact of the Kentucky Derby extends well beyond the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs," the racetrack's president, Kevin Flanery, said in the release. "It is an incredibly important time for the City of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky both culturally, economically and with respect to our time-honored traditions. Both employees and guests are asked to take an active role in following all guidelines. We must all do our part to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience." —Suzanne Blake
9:48 a.m. ET — Pro Football Hall of Fame officials are expected to announce the postponement of the Aug. 6 Hall of Fame Game due to Covid-19, a source told CNBC.
The contest was set to feature the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers in the opening preseason game for the 2020 season. Hall of Fame officials are also expected to postpone the Hall's enshrinement ceremony until next year.
The National Football League will have a conference call on Thursday to discuss planning around the opening of training camps next month, as the league continues to monitor the pandemic. The league is also in talks with the National Football Players Association and health specialists on ways to lower risk of exposure to the coronavirus. —Jabari Young
9:32 a.m. ET — Macy's announced it is cutting 3,900 corporate jobs — or 3% of its total workforce — to reduce costs as it struggles with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The department store chain said it expects to save about $365 million through the layoffs in fiscal 2020. It said it will save roughly $630 million on an annualized basis.
"We know that we will be a smaller company for the foreseeable future, and our cost base will continue to reflect that moving forward," CEO Jeff Gennette said in a statement. Macy's is set to report its final first-quarter earnings on July 1, having already released preliminary figures. —Lauren Thomas
9:20 a.m. ET — Target customers can soon buy fresh and frozen groceries online and pick them up the same day at a nearby store.
The national retailer already has same-day services that allow customers to pick up online purchases like paper towels and canned goods in stores or through curbside pickup. Now, it's adding hundreds of items like milk, bread and frozen vegetables to the offering.
It will have an expanded assortment at over 400 stores by the end of the month and more than 1,500 stores by the holidays. That's roughly 80% of its 1,871 stores nationwide.
Target already planned to add the items, but that's taken on new urgency as more Americans — and more of its customers — look for safer ways to shop during the pandemic.
In the retailer's fiscal first quarter, use of its same-day services, including its home grocery delivery service Shipt, grew by 278%. —Melissa Repko
8:51 a.m. ET — The Labor Department's jobless report came in worst than expected as 1.48 million Americans filed for state unemployment benefits during the week ended June 20, marking the 14th straight week that filings remained above 1 million.
Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected first-time applications to total 1.35 million.
Though the weekly number did disappoint, the total number of those receiving benefits continued to fall. Total recipients of unemployment benefits, or continuing claims, fell by 767,000 to 19.52 million. —Thomas Franck, Jeff Cox
8:44 a.m. ET — Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille, said that its fiscal fourth quarter revenue fell 43% as the pandemic weighed on sales.
The company's same-store sales fell 47.7% across all of its brands in the quarter ended May 31.
But Darden expects business to pick up during its fiscal first quarter as dining rooms reopen. The company is projecting that its total sales will be about 70% of year-ago totals.
Shares of the company were up about 2% in premarket trading. —Amelia Lucas
8:39 a.m. ET — CEC Entertainment, the parent company of Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after pandemic-induced closures upended its business.
In the quarter ended March 29, which is typically its busiest time of the year, same-store sales fell 21.9%.
The company, which is owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, will continue reopening locations throughout the bankruptcy process. Nearly half of its company-owned locations have reopened as of Wednesday.
CEC Entertainment said that it expects to use the bankruptcy process to continue talking with its financial stakeholders and landlords to restructure its balance sheet. —Amelia Lucas
8:35 a.m. ET — Consumers nearly doubled their spending on fast-food breakfast items ordered through third-party delivery services between the weeks of March 16 and April 13, Edison Trends found.
Delivery services have provided an alternative for at-home breakfast amid the coronavirus pandemic, even as fast-food chains see overall decreases in segment sales.
Edison Trends found consumers have spent more on McDonald's for breakfast than any other fast-food chain. Starbucks and Dunkin' have also seen upticks in breakfast sales since the pandemic began. Read more about order-in breakfast from CNBC's Amelia Lucas. —Alex Harring
8:27 a.m. ET — The global art market will be tested for the first time amid the Covid-19 pandemic on Monday as Sotheby's auctions off more than $300 million worth of art, including a single work for $60 million, CNBC's Robert Frank reports.
Bidders will not be able to see the artwork in person, given visitor rules at Sotheby's New York headquarters, but they will participate in a virtual live auction with telephone and online bidding and an auctioneer in London.
"We've been incredibly impressed over the last three months, despite all of the contextual backdrop, just how resilient the market has been," said Sotheby's CEO Charles Stewart. "I would say that in many ways, we're seeing actually increased engagement from our collectors."
Since March, Sotheby's has successfully held more than 100 online sales, compared with 40 sales in the same period in 2019. New features to Sotheby's mobile app include an augmented reality tool so users can virtually place a painting on their wall. —Suzanne Blake
7:35 a.m. ET — LabCorp announced a new test that can be used to assess the capacity of antibodies in patients' plasma to combat the coronavirus.
The plasma from recovered patients is being explored as a potential treatment for the disease. Information from the new test could be used in the development of Covid-19 vaccines, the diagnostics manufacturer said. LabCorp said the antibody test will be available to bio-pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, blood banks and other plasma-screening facilities.
"By leveraging our drug development and diagnostic capabilities, we are working tirelessly to find solutions to prevent and treat Covid-19," Paul Kirchgraber, head of LabCorp's drug development business, said in a statement Thursday. "The launch of this neutralizing antibody assay is the latest effort in our company's commitment to accelerate the evaluation of vaccine candidates so that a successful candidate may reach patients sooner." —Holly Ellyatt
7:12 a.m. ET — The World Health Organization said it is getting all the political and financial support it needs. The comments came at a news conference in Geneva, where France and Germany expressed support for the United Nations agency and Germany announced more than €250 million ($280 million) in new funding for the agency.
Germany also said it would donate medical equipment to the WHO for distribution to countries with shortages, Germany's minister of health Jens Spahn said, though the new funding and donations are still contingent on parliamentary approval.
"Including this medical equipment, the German Ministry of Health will be providing more than 500 million, more than half a billion euros, to WHO this year," Spahn said. "This is the highest amount ever we have contributed to the WHO in one year."
The announcement comes nearly a month after U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S., the WHO's biggest funder, would cut ties with the WHO out of discontent with its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
"We're getting today all the support we need, political and financial, as has been said," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. —Will Feuer
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