Cases jump in 23 states; 30K more deaths may occur in June, CDC estimates — 8 COVID-19 updates

The U.S. has reported 1,942,363 COVID-19 cases and 110,514 deaths as of 9 a.m. CDT June 8. Worldwide, 7,038,942 cases and 403,267 deaths have been reported, while 3,155,088 people have recovered.

Eight updates:

1. People participating in mass protests against police brutality should "highly consider" getting tested for COVID-19, CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, told a House panel June 4, according to The Washington Post. Dr. Redfield said the protest could be a "seeding event" for a rise in cases and noted testing is the best way for protesters to protect their loved ones. Some states and cities have implemented free COVID-19 testing amid the protests to try to limit the virus's spread, according to a separate Post report. Speaking more broadly, Dr. Redfield said the agency is concerned that recommendations to wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from others are not resonating with the general public as states continue to loosen restrictions. 

2. In the U.S., 23 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, experienced an increase in rolling seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases compared with the week prior, according to data compiled by The Washington Post. New cases appear to be ebbing in some parts of the country, but the virus is continuing to spread in parts of the South, Midwest and West. 

3. After reviewing 20 individual national forecasts, the CDC estimates that there will be between 118,000 and 143,000 cumulative COVID-19 deaths by June 27 in the U.S. Some states will experience an increase in cumulative deaths at around the same rate as they have in recent weeks, while other states will likely experience only a small number of additional deaths from the new coronavirus.

4. New York City, which was once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, has started taking its first steps toward reopening, according to The New York Times. About 100 days since the first case of the virus was reported in the city, more than 205,000 of its residents have been infected, and nearly 22,000 have died. On June 8, approximately 400,000 people may return to work as the city begins phase 1 of its reopening plan. 

5. The World Health Organization on June 5 released a new guidance on the use of masks during the pandemic. The guidance recommends countries with widespread COVID-19 transmission encourage people to wear masks in public when physical distancing is not possible. WHO also recommends the use of medical masks in all clinical settings, even if known COVID-19 patients are not present. 

6. A new U.K.-based study shows that malaria drug hydroxychloroquine did not benefit hospitalized COVID-19 patients, STAT News reports. The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, included 1,542 COVID-19 patients who received hydroxychloroquine and 3,132 COVID-19 patients who received usual care treatments. There was no significant difference in the death rate at 28 days. There was also no evidence of benefits with regard to duration of hospital stays or other outcomes.

7. Two new studies, published in the journal Nature, show that nationwide lockdowns played a key role in reducing infections and ultimately saved lives, The Washington Post reports. The first study shows that shutdowns helped prevent 285 million new infections in China and about 60 million in the U.S., while the second study shows shutdowns across Europe cut infection rates by 82 percent and saved 3.1 million lives.

8. New Zealand is lifting nearly all coronavirus-related restrictions June 8, as the country currently has no active cases of the virus and has not reported a single positive case in 17 days, CNN reports. It has been 40 days since the last case of community transmission and there have been no hospitalized COVID-19 patients for the last 12 days. However, the country will keep its borders closed to international travelers and is still encouraging social distancing. 

More articles on public health:
For many black men, fear of wearing a mask outweighs COVID-19 risks
US slow to address racial health disparities involving COVID-19, Washington Post finds 
2 major COVID-19 studies retracted; HHS to track race, ethnicity data — 4 updates

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