More than 6.4 million people worldwide – including more than 1.8 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies.
Live updates for Wednesday, June 3, continue below:
Update 11:45 p.m. EDT June 3: A Tennessee judge on Wednesday said the state’s guidance about who can vote by mail due to the coronavirus is “very ambiguous,” and she cited “weighty proof” that other states have expanded to let all voters cast absentee ballots this year — something Tennessee officials say is not feasible.
In a hearing via video conference due to the pandemic, Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle cast doubts on some of the state’s key arguments against two lawsuits that seek a by-mail voting option for all voters this year to curb the virus’ spread at the polls. Lyle also cautioned that whatever she orders needs to be “a practical, workable solution, or it will throw the election into chaos.” She raised particular concerns about costs for local governments.
The judge plans to rule Thursday on whether to issue a temporary injunction to allow all voters to request absentee ballots in the Aug. 6 primary. A similar federal lawsuit is also pending.
Update 10:50 p.m. EDT June 3: The coronavirus toll in Mexico soared to a new daily high Wednesday, with the health department reporting 1,092 test-confirmed deaths — more than double the previous one-day record and in line with numbers in the United States and Brazil.
The announcement was an embarrassment for officials, who have consistently predicted that cases in Mexico were about to start leveling off. The country began a gradual re-opening of industrial and business activity Monday.
Officials rushed to say that many of the new confirmed deaths had occurred days or even weeks ago and were being announced now because of delays in processing tests or other reasons.
Update 7:30 p.m. EDT June 3: The Wisconsin man whose criminal case was featured in Netlfix’s “Making a Murderer” documentary has contracted COVID-19 in prison, his attorney said Wednesday.
Kathleen Zellner tweeted that Steven Avery has the disease but is expected to fully recover. She said in an email to The Associated Press that Avery, 57, is suffering only mild symptoms and is expected to recover.
Avery is serving a life sentence for the 2005 killing of photographer Teresa Halbach. State Department of Corrections spokeswoman Anna Neal said she couldn’t share any health information on any individuals in the department’s care.
Offender records show Avery is incarcerated at Waupun Correctional Institution. The DOC announced Friday that 184 inmates there have tested positive for COVID-19.
Update 2:30 p.m. EDT June 3: Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida announced Wednesday that the second phase of reopening businesses shuttered statewide due to the coronavirus pandemic will begin Friday, according to WFTV.
DeSantis said 64 of Florida’s 67 counties will move into the new phase. The counties not moving into the phase are Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County and Broward County, according to WFTV.
The second phase of reopening in Florida will allow bars, nightclubs, bowling alleys and movie theaters to reopen at 50% capacity, WFTV reported.
Update 1:50 p.m. EDT June 3: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Wednesday that 652 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 162,068.
On social media, the governor encouraged people to continue social distancing.
“We cannot lose sight of what’s important -- remaining vigilant and keeping up with our social distancing,” Murphy said. “We’re still at or near the top of the list in terms of patients in our hospitals and the number of residents we are losing to (COVID-19).”
Officials also reported 112 more deaths associated with the coronavirus pandemic. As of Tuesday, 11,880 people have died statewide of COVID-19.
Update 1:20 p.m. EDT June 3: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Wednesday that he plans to sign an executive order to allow for in-person, outdoor dining at restaurants and bars statewide beginning June 15.
The governor said businesses will still need to allow for social distancing measures to continue at the businesses.
Update 1:05 p.m. EDT June 3: The last two patients released from field hospital Boston Hope Medical Center departed the makeshift facility for recovering coronavirus patients to applause and celebration Tuesday, WFXT reported.
Joseph Murphy, 68, pumped his fists in victory as staff wheeled him outside following a 36-day stay, according to WFXT. Family members watched by FaceTime as staff members sang along to Murphy’s favorite songs from Frank Sinatra and Neil Diamond with tears in their eyes, the news station reported.
The very last patient to leave, Oger Julien, 78, of Malden, waved his arms, thankful for his health and his medical team.
Update 1 p.m. EDT June 3: Officials in the United Kingdom reported 1,871 new coronavirus infections Wednesday, raising the country’s total number of infections to 279,856.
Officials said that as of 5 p.m. local time Tuesday, the most recent date for which data was available, 39,728 people had died nationwide of COVID-19.
Update 12:05 p.m. EDT June 3: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Wednesday that 49 more people have died of COVID-19 in the state, the lowest daily death toll reported from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.
The number fell below the 58 new fatal cases reported one day earlier and below the 54 deaths reported on Monday.
Update 11:40 a.m. EDT June 3: Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced Wednesday that some elementary and secondary schools in the state will be allowed to resume in-person classes and activities July 1.
Officials said schools in parts of the state that are under the yellow or green phases of reopening will be allowed to resume on-campus activities. Post-secondary institutions and adult basic education programs will be allowed to resume in-person classes as soon as Friday.
“We need to direct our energy to focus on how to resume instruction in the 2020-21 school year," state Education Secretary Pedro Rivera said Wednesday in a statement. "We fully expect students to return to classrooms in some capacity and are confident that schools will use this guidance to build a framework that best meets the unique needs of their students and communities.”
Update 11:15 a.m. EDT June 3: Health officials in Washington D.C. said Wednesday that 130 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, raising the total number of cases in the area to 9,016.
Officials also announced that three more people between the ages of 67 and 91 had died of COVID-19 in Washington D.C., bringing the total number of deaths in the District to 473.
Update 10:40 a.m. EDT June 3: University of Southern California President Carol Folt said Tuesday that officials expect to resume classes on campus for the fall semester beginning in August.
“While we still have many details to work out, we are planning for an in-person fall semester for students beginning on August 17, 2020, a week earlier than scheduled,” Folt said in a letter posted on the school’s website.
"All classes, including final exams, will end by Thanksgiving. By ending the semester before Thanksgiving, we are aiming to minimize the spread of the virus, particularly as the flu season commences."
To accommodate for the changes in the school schedule, Folt said the regular fall break has been cancelled for the 2020-2021 school year.
“Please understand that these plans remain contingent on several factors, including the continued spread of COVID-19, and the health orders from state and local authorities,” Folt said. “So, things could change, but we are excited to move forward and to have you back.”
Update 10 a.m. EDT June 3: Stocks pushed higher in early trading Wednesday on Wall Street as the stock market’s rally carried into a fourth day.
The S&P 500 added 0.7% to gains made in earlier days on optimism that lifting lockdowns around the world will allow the economy to recover from its current hole. Treasury yields also rose in a sign of improved confidence after a report suggested U.S. job losses weren’t as horrific last month as economists expected.
“The theme of reopening optimism has its stronghold on markets going into the midweek,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist for IG.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 191 points, or 0.7%, at 25,933, as of 9:37 a.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.3%.
Update 9:55 a.m. EDT June 3: Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina said Tuesday that officials in the state have been committed to ensuring that people are safe during the Republican National Convention, planned for August, and lamented that party officials wouldn’t agree to “make changes to keep people safe.”
“We have been committed to a safe (Republican National Committee) convention in North Carolina and it’s unfortunate they never agreed to scale down and make changes to keep people safe,” he said Tuesday in a tweet. “Protecting public health and safety during this pandemic is a priority.”
Cooper’s comments came after President Donald Trump announced that he’s seeking another state to host this year’s convention, saying that North Carolina officials couldn’t guarantee that the event could be held in Charlotte as planned without restrictions due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
City officials later said in a statement obtained by WSOC-TV that they had yet to receive notification from the RNC about plans to move the convention. City officials said the RNC is under contract to hold the convention in Charlotte and that the city attorney would be in contact with the RNC’s attorneys, WSOC-TV reported.
Update 9:15 a.m. EDT June 3: Officials with Eli Lilly and Company announced Monday that the first human trials of the pharmaceutical company’s COVID-19 antibody therapy drug have begun.
“Lilly scientists delivered the first doses of our potential COVID-19 antibody treatment, flown to hospitals in several U.S. cities to start the world’s first human study of this kind of therapy to fight COVID infections,” company officials said on Twitter.
Officials said the of its experimental drug were administered to patients in Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles.
Update 7:58 a.m. EDT June 3: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 380,764 early Tuesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 6,404,872 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 16 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,159.
The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows:
• The United States has reported 1,831,821 cases, resulting in 106,181 deaths.
• Brazil has recorded 555,383 cases, resulting in 31,199 deaths.
• Russia has confirmed 431,715 cases, resulting in 5,208 deaths.
• The United Kingdom has reported 279,393 cases, resulting in 39,452 deaths.
• Spain has confirmed 239,932 cases, resulting in 27,127 deaths.
• Italy has reported 233,515 cases, resulting in 33,530 deaths.
• India has reported 208,479 cases, resulting in 5,834 deaths.
• France has confirmed 188,450 cases, resulting in 28,943 deaths.
• Germany has reported 184,097 cases, resulting in 8,576 deaths.
• Peru has reported 170,039 cases, resulting in 4,634 deaths.
Update 7:42 a.m. EDT June 3: South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety announced Wednesday it has approved imports of the antivirus drug remdesivir to address the nation’s novel coronavirus infections.
In its announcement the ministry pointed to success with the drug in shortening the treatment period for severe COVID-19 patients in the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom throughout the pandemic.
The ministry, alongside its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will now negotiate to import the drug via Gilead Science Korea.
Update 7:26 a.m. EDT June 3: A government review has concluded people from the United Kingdom’s ethnic minority communities are as much as 50% more likely to die from contracting the novel coronavirus than their white peers.
Public Health England’s study found that people of Bangladeshi heritage who tested positive for the virus were around twice as likely to die as their white British peers, CNN reported.
Other minority communities such as people of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani and Caribbean descent also had a 10% to 50% higher risk of death from COVID-19. Meanwhile, the rate of infection per 100,000 patients was more than double for women in black ethnic groups than for white women and nearly triple for men in those same groups, the network reported.
Update 7:18 a.m. EDT June 3: The University of Southern California will resume in-person classes when the fall semester begins in August, president Carol L. Folt confirmed Tuesday.
According to Folt’s message to students, classes will start one week earlier than originally planned and conclude by Thanksgiving. Folt also said the majority of in-person classes will also be offered online, giving faculty and students the option of not returning to campus.
In addition, masks and physical distancing will be mandatory at all times, while dorms and dining halls “will be modified to reduce density and contact,” Folt wrote.
Update 7:04 a.m. EDT June 3: Oklahoma State linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga said in a Tuesday tweet that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus after attending a protest.
“After attending a protest in Tulsa AND being well protective of myself, I have tested positive for COVID-19,” Ogbongbemiga tweeted. “Please, if you are going to protest, take care of yourself and stay safe.”
Update 6:57 a.m. EDT June 3: Today is the day tourism returns to Italy, at least partially.
As the country reopens to European visitors only, Italian tourism officials can only wait and see how much wanderlust remains among the traveling public following the extended novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to The Washington Post, Italy hosted 63 million overseas visitors last year, but the country’s minister for culture and tourism, Dario Franceschini, has said that he does not expect the industry to recover fully until 2023.
Major attractions such as the Colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa have already reopened for domestic tourists, the Post reported.
Update 6:38 a.m. EDT June 3: With 8,909 new novel coronavirus cases confirmed during the past 24 hours, India became the seventh nation worldwide to surpass 200,000 total infections.
According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, India has confirmed a total of 208,404 cases, resulting in 5,833 deaths.
The other six nations topping the 200,000 mark to date include:
• United States: 1,831,821
• Brazil: 555,383
• Russia: 431,715
• United Kingdom: 279,392
• Spain: 239,932
• Italy: 233,515
Update12:50 a.m. EDT June 3: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States continued to climb past 1.8 million early Wednesday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,831,821 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 106,181 deaths.
The hardest-hit states remain New York with 373,040 cases and 29,968 deaths and New Jersey with 161,545 cases and 11,771 deaths. Massachusetts, with 101,163 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 7,085, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 122,848. Only 15 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 5,000 cases each.
Six other states have now confirmed at least 54,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:
• California: 117,215 cases, resulting in 4,305 deaths
• Pennsylvania: 77,225 cases, resulting in 5,667 deaths
• Texas: 67,310 cases, resulting in 1,716 deaths
• Michigan: 57,731 cases, resulting in 5,553 deaths
• Florida: 57,447 cases, resulting in 2,530 deaths
• Maryland: 54,175 cases, resulting in 2,597 deaths
Meanwhile, Georgia, Virginia, Connecticut and Louisiana each has confirmed at least 40,000 cases; Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina each has confirmed at least 30,000 cases; Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee, Washington, Arizona and Iowa each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases; Alabama and Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 18,000 cases, followed by Mississippi with 16,041 and Rhode Island with 15,112; Nebraska and Missouri each has confirmed at least 14,000 cases, followed by South Carolina with 12,415; Utah and Kentucky each has confirmed at least 10,000 cases; Kansas and Delaware each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; the District of Columbia, Nevada and New Mexico each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases; Arkansas, Oklahoma and South Dakota each has confirmed at least 5,000 cases
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