Coronavirus live updates: U.S. still in first wave, researchers say; insurers won’t cover virus-related costs for businesses

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise in U.S. states that were among the first and most aggressive to reopen, leading some local officials to reconsider reopening plans. In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown announced a 7-day statewide pause on further reopening as health officials study the data and try to contain budding outbreaks.

In Arizona, however, Gov. Doug Ducey tried to reassure people that the rise in confirmed cases was expected and that the state’s hospitals have the capacity to handle a further surge

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 7.55 million
  • Global deaths: At least 422,544
  • U.S. cases: More than 2.02 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 114,066

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

CDC says Americans would feel uneasy about lifting restrictions right now

Barbers Roni Baba and Michael Nasimov cut hair with a protective face masks between plastic separations as phase two reopening continues during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Joseph Hair Salon in Port Washington, New York, June 11, 2020.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

1:43 p.m. ET — A new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a majority of Americans would not feel safe if social distancing measures meant to curb the spread of the virus were lifted right now. The survey results were based on 2,402 people in New York City, Los Angeles and broadly across the United States.

Most respondents in the three cohorts also supported stay-at-home orders and nonessential business closures, the CDC said. The health agency noted that responses differed “significantly” when looking at age, employment status, and essential worker status. For example, 43% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 said they would feel safe if restrictions were lifted, twice as high as people aged 65 and older. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr. 

Virus ‘on the upswing’ in many countries, WHO says

1:34 p.m. ET — As the virus declines in some countries in Europe and Asia, the pandemic continues to expand in many countries, World Health Organization officials said.

“We are concerned that we are still very much on the upswing of this pandemic in many countries, particularly in the global south,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, said. “We are concerned that some countries are having difficulties in exiting the so-called lockdowns as they’re seeing increase of cases again.”

He added that the Americas have been hit especially hard, accounting for four of the 10 countries where the virus is spreading most rapidly. As other countries exit lockdowns, he said, it’s important health officials are able to respond to the virus in more targeted ways to prevent a resurgence. —Will Feuer

Hospitalizations rise as states reopen

1:25 p.m. ET — As reopening plans progress, some states are seeing increased coronavirus hospitalizations over the past week, according to a CNBC analysis of data from the Covid Tracking Project. Eight states experienced an increase of more than 5% in the average number of currently hospitalized patients compared to the average a week earlier. Included in this list is Texas, which reported three straight days of record hospitalizations this week.

Like many metrics used to track the spread of the virus, hospitalization data has its limitations, and there is variation in the quality and consistency in reporting from states. For a handful of states, data on current hospitalizations was not available at all. But hospitalization data is less dependent on the availability of testing than other closely tracked measures, such as the number of confirmed cases, which is influenced by testing capacity and the severity of symptoms required in order to receive a test. 

Still, hospitalizations is a lagging indicator — it can take weeks for people to be exposed to the virus, get tested, and became sick enough to go to the hospital — meaning the coming weeks will provide more insight into whether U.S. hospitals will again see an uptick in coronavirus patients. —Nate Rattner

New York AG investigating Amazon warehouse conditions in retaliation probe

1:14 p.m. — The New York attorney general’s office is collecting information from Amazon warehouse workers as part of its probe into the company’s labor practices, according to people familiar with the matter. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James sent a letter to Amazon in April notifying the company it was looking into claims that it retaliated against workers who’ve spoken about its response to the coronavirus.

Amazon has fired at least six employees and written up four workers who were outspoken critics of the company’s labor practices or participated in protests. The company has previously disputed claims that it fired workers for speaking out, saying they were fired for violating internal policies.

The office began contacting workers in late March. So far, it has spoken to employees from facilities in Staten Island, Queens and Bethpage, and is adding more facilities to its roster as it receives complaints, the people said. 

The conversations have touched on Amazon’s safety practices during the coronavirus pandemic, including enforcement of social distancing rules, workers’ access to personal protective equipment and its documentation of positive coronavirus cases at facilities. By collecting this information, the office is looking to build a case of Amazon’s retaliatory practices against workers who spoke out about warehouse conditions, according to some of the people familiar with the matter. —Annie Palmer

Saudi Arabia deciding whether to cancel hajj, report says

12:26 p.m. ET — Saudi Arabia is considering canceling the hajj pilgrimage this year, according to a report from the Financial Times.

A sacred ritual for Muslims, the hajj involves traveling to the holy city of Mecca and draws around 2 million people to Saudi Arabia each year. With the hajj taking place from July 29 to Aug. 4, Saudi officials have faced pressure to cancel in order to keep the virus from spreading.

However, with the hajj expected to generate $12 billion for Saudi Arabia, canceling it could add pressure to the country’s economy, which has already been hit by a drop in oil demand amid the pandemic. —Hannah Miller

Uptick in air travel demand helps trim American Airlines’ cash burn 

12:05 p.m. ET — American Airlines says it reduced its cash burn to $40 million a day, down from an expected $50 million a day, thanks to an uptick in travel. The Fort Worth-based carrier aims to eliminate its cash burn to near zero by the end of the year.

Through June 8, American has been flying an average of 129,000 passengers a day and its flights are 62% full, though capacity is down 70% from a year ago. In May, the carrier said it flew 85,000 travelers a day with a load factor of 47% and capacity off 75% from May 2019.

Despite the increase in demand, the number of people passing through checkpoints at U.S. airports is down 81% from a year ago, according to the Transportation Security Administration. 

American also reiterated a forecast that it still sees revenue in the second quarter to down 90% from a year ago, when it posted sales of close to $12 billion.  —Leslie Josephs

U.S. insurers say they are not liable for virus-related small business costs

A normally busy Main Street is deserted as the small businesses that line the business district remain closed after the governor instituted a shelter-in-place order in an attempt to curtail the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 24, 2020 in Rockton, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

10:51 a.m. ET — U.S. property and casualty insurers have said they aren’t able nor required to compensate small businesses for the costs created by the coronavirus crisis, Reuters reported.

State and city lawmakers have proposed requiring insurers to pay for the lost income small businesses have faced as a result of the pandemic, according to Reuters. But the American Property Casualty Insurance Association estimated it could cost the industry $255 billion to $431 billion each month, a figure which the trade group warned could make insurers insolvent, the wire service reported.

Insurers have argued their service only covers physical property damage that prevents a business from operating, so requiring them to pay for coronavirus-related issues would be unconstitutional. Legal experts told Reuters there is precedent for insurers to cover physical loss without physical damage.

Approximately 40% of small firms have business interruption coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute. —Alex Harring

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Jackson Hole symposium transitions to virtual

10:45 a.m. ET — For the first time in nearly 40 years, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual symposium for central bankers and economists will not be held at mountain resort Jackson Hole, Wyoming, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported

The bank will instead host a virtual meeting on Aug. 27-28 with the theme: “Navigating the Decade Ahead: Implications for Monetary Policy,” according to Reuters. In April, the bank said it was “considering the implications” for the event upon hearing news the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park, the site for the annual event since 1982, would not open for the season because of Covid-19.

International central bankers, Federal Reserve officials, academics and private-sector economists will all take part in this year’s virtual event, which will be live-streamed to the public, Reuters said. —Suzanne Blake

The U.S. is still in its ‘first wave,’ researchers say

Guests play roulette at Excalibur Hotel & Casino after the Las Vegas Strip property opened for the first time since being closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on June 11, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller | Getty Images

10:30 a.m. ET — New coronavirus cases rising in several states isn’t the feared “second wave” – it’s still the first one, scientists and infectious disease specialists say.

While new cases are on the decline in once hot spots like New York state, cases are on the rise in places like Texas and Arizona with the U.S. still seeing roughly 20,000 new cases a day.

A handful of states like New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts have experienced “clear first-wave outbreaks,” said Nicholas Reich, a professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “However, many states have had more of a first-wave plateau, without a clear decline for many weeks.” —Berkeley Lovelace, Jr.

Los Angeles is ready to resume TV and film production

Man shooting image with professional broadcasting camera.


9:58 a.m. ET — Los Angeles County revealed its list of safety protocols for restarting film and television production late Thursday. The county’s strict rules include health checks, social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment on sets.

Scenes that require prolonged physical contact, like fight scenes or sex scenes, are being discouraged and actors are being instructed to remain “as silent as possible to avoid spreading droplets through talking.” Large gatherings of background actors for scenes are also being discouraged by the county.

Many of the restrictions, while needed for safety, could impede certain productions from restarting, as many scenes in established scripts may not be able to be filmed as written. —Sarah Whitten

Dow jumps more than 600 points as Wall Street rebounds from its biggest sell-off since March

9:37 a.m. ET — Stocks started the day higher and clawed back some of the sharp losses from Wall Street’s worst day since March, reports CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Eustance Huang. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 684 points higher, or 2.8%. The S&P 500 gained 2.6% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.4%. —Melodie Warner 

New cases by region 

Coronavirus mortgage bailouts fall for the second week

8:22 a.m. ET — Coronavirus-related mortgage relief programs saw the number of borrowers decrease for the second straight week, CNBC’s Diana Olick reports.

Borrowers fell by 77,000 from last week and are now down 112,000 since the peak week of May 22, with loans financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac showing the greatest decrease.

These programs allow borrowers to delay monthly payments for up to a year.

“With 4.6 million remaining in forbearance, there is still significant work ahead,” said Andy Walden, director of market research for Black Knight, which tracks the data. “With volumes seemingly cresting, the focus now shifts to helping those homeowners who remain in forbearance get back on track financially.”  —Suzanne Blake

British Airways to auction off art as pandemic weighs

British Airways’ announcement fell short for some frequent fliers who expressed their disappointment online.

Scott Barbour

7:18 a.m. ET — British Airways plans to auction off artwork to offset the financial damage from the coronavirus crisis.

The auction will reportedly include works from Damien Hirst, Peter Doig and Bridget Riley, with one piece valued at over £1 million ($1.26 million), The Evening Standard first reported.

The airline has faced immense financial pressure amid the crisis, with the outbreak forcing flights to be grounded and suppressing demand for travel. At least 10 artworks from the airline’s collection, which had previously been on display in its airport lounges, will be put up for sale. —Chloe Taylor

Oregon pauses reopening as cases rise

Empty streets in downtown Portland, Oregon, on April 22, 2020.

Moriah Ratner/Bloomberg via Getty Images

7:12 a.m. ET — Oregon is placing a 7-day pause on county applications to move deeper into reopening amid a spike in new cases, Gov. Kate Brown announced on Twitter late Thursday. 

The governor began to ease restrictions on some outdoor activities on May 5 and allowed some stores to reopen with modifications on May 15. On Thursday, Oregon reported 178 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the state’s total to 5,237. Two more people died due to Covid-19, bringing the state’s death toll to 171.

“This one-week pause will give public health experts time to assess what factors are driving the spread of the virus,” Brown said in a statement on Twitter. “I will use the data we see in the next week to determine whether to lift this pause or extend it.” —Will Feuer

Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: UK GDP posts steepest one-month fall in April, Twitter takes down China-linked accounts spreading disinformation

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