Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order Friday giving mayors in 89 counties the authority to issue mask requirements.
Six counties with locally run health departments — Sullivan, Knox, Hamilton, Davidson, Madison and Shelby — will retain their existing authority to issue mask requirements as needed, the governor tweeted Friday.
The new executive order allows local governments to issue the mandates if a surge requires more preventative measures being taken to slow the spread of the virus.
“While our densely populated urban areas continue to have the highest COVID-19 case rates, our local governments expressed a need for greater flexibility in addressing a rise in cases and that includes setting stronger expectations around masks,” Lee said in a statement. “This targeted approach ensures we protect both lives and livelihoods and safely keep our economy open in Tennessee. We encourage every Tennessean across the state to use a face covering or mask, make sure to socially distance and wash hands frequently.”
Brazil’s health ministry reported 42,223 new cases of novel coronavirus on Friday, bringing the nationwide total to 1,539,081.
The health ministry also reported 1,290 new Covid-19 fatalities, bringing the country’s death toll to 63,174.
Bars in Rio de Janeiro reopened yesterday: Local TV images showed large gatherings of people in front of bars and restaurants in the city, spilling into the street and blocking car traffic.
"Most people on the streets were not respecting social distancing measures and the mandatory use of masks," Flavio Sarahyba, one of the owners of the bar Boa Praça in the upscale Leblon neighborhood, told CNN.
Sarahyba said they had prepared the bar to follow all necessary sanitary measures, including distancing their tables, mandating the use of masks by customers and staff, and providing hand sanitizer. They even put fences on the outside of the bar and stopped serving outdoors to avoid crowds.
Social media images showed groups of revelers waving masks, bidding them “tchau,” or goodbye. Other social media videos showed people crowding into Rio's bars and celebrating what they said was “normal life coming back,” and "sending masks and coronavirus to hell.”
The relaxed Rio de Janeiro restrictions – which allowed bars and restaurants to operate at 50% of normal capacity as long as tables were a minimum of two meters apart and establishments closed by 11 p.m. local time – went into effect Thursday.
Municipal Guards forced several bars to close in the Leblon neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro on Thursday due to the crowds on the street, according to a statement from the Guards, reported in local media.
On Friday, the Rio de Janeiro city government said in a statement that it will intensify inspection in areas with restaurants and bars and will fine those who are not following the rules.
"If nothing changes, if the government doesn't act to repress, bars do not cooperate and follow the rules and people don't became conscientious, we may have to close again,'' Sarahyba added.
Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss Sunday's race in Indianapolis, according to his team, Hendrick Motorsports.
Johnson tested positive Friday afternoon, a statement said.
In Johnson’s absence, Justin Allgaier will drive the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Hendrick Motorsports on Sunday at Indianapolis.
“My first priority is the health and safety of my loved ones and my teammates,” Johnson said in the statement. “I’ve never missed a race in my Cup career, but I know it’s going to be very hard to watch from the sidelines when I’m supposed to be out there competing. Although this situation is extremely disappointing, I’m going to come back ready to win races and put ourselves in playoff contention.”
A French court has launched a probe into the former prime minister and two ex-cabinet ministers' handling of the coronavirus crisis, the Paris prosecutor's office told CNN on Friday.
A judicial enquiry will examine how former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who resigned as part of the widely expected government reshuffle on Friday, and two former health ministers — Agnes Buzyn and her successor Olivier Véran— managed the Covid-19 outbreak in France. Buzyn stepped down in February.
The inquiry will begin at the Court of Justice of the Republic after the Petitions and Complaints committee upheld nine complaints against the ex-ministers. The committee is part of the CJR and examines the complaints to decide whether to pursue prosecution.
Complaints were filed by private individuals and doctors, the Paris prosecutor's office told CNN.
Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten said he will not heed the Arizona governor’s order to close his gyms.
“We are going to stay open until we have our day in court, which is Monday morning,” Hatten said at a news conference Friday.
He said he objected to the lack of “fairness and transparency” in the new order. Hatten went on to say that the order is more about “making it look like we're doing something.”
Hatten, who has a hearing in his lawsuit against Gov. Doug Ducey Monday, said that he will respect the decision of the court.
“If we are allowed a stay, we will move forward until our full case is heard,” he said. “If the court does not allow us stay, we will comply and respect the court's decision."
LifeTime, the other gym that has been defying closure orders, has announced it will temporarily close.
“After connecting with the offices of the governor and the Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services this morning and, out of respect for the Governor, we are shutting down the indoor fitness portion of our clubs as of now through Monday evening,” a LifeTime spokesperson said in a statement.
American cast and crew will be able to travel to the Czech Republic and Hungary to work on film and TV productions, despite European Union's ban on travelers from the US, heads of those countries' national film commissions indicated.
"Please let me assure you this (travel ban) is not valid for economic workers but tourism travelers only. Filmmakers of all nations are welcome in the Czech Republic," Pavlína Zipkova, the head of the Czech Film Commission, told Hollywood executives and studios in a letter seen by CNN.
Zipkova explained that filmmakers will be provided with two documents — a “Confirmation of Performance of Economic Activities in the Interest of the Czech Republic,” signed by Czech Culture Minister Lubomir Zaoralek, and a “Declaration Concerning Arrival of a Foreign Crew Member” by the director of the Czech Film Fund, Helena Bezdek Frankova.
In a similar move, Hungarian Film Commissioner Csaba Káel told CNN “special exemption can be granted for non-EU residents to enter Hungary without mandatory quarantine."
Some background: The EU has published a list of 14 countries from outside the union whose citizens can enter from July 1 based on a set of health criteria, but the US was excluded from that list due to the rise in coronavirus infections in some parts of the country.
The criteria does allow for exemptions for “highly qualified” essential workers and can be expanded to include further categories of travelers. The final decision on who can enter a country rests with the member state.
In 2019 more than 80 films and television series were made in the Czech Republic, contributing $393 million to the country’s economy, according to the Czech Film Commission.
Filming is currently paused on Marvel’s and Disney+ The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Amazon’s Carnival Row, according to the commission.
Hungary's National Film Institute says the country is “the most popular filming destination in continental Europe” and that large scale productions spent more than $565 million there in 2019.
With sound stages “booked up for the entire year,” Hungary's National Film Institute has released a series of Covid-19 guidelines for filmmakers to ensure the health and safety of cast and crew, which Káel hopes will “make it possible to restart production at full capacity.”
One of those productions is Denis Villeneuve’s big-budget sci-fi movie Dune, which was partly filmed in the country last year, with shooting scheduled to resume in August, according to Hungary's National Film Institute.
Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune told CNN's Jim Acosta on The Situation Room Friday the city is "doing all that we can" to prevent the spread of coronavirus despite keeping beaches open to thousands of visitors for the holiday weekend.
Bethune said that the city enacted a mask ordinance Thursday to help stop the spread.
"People spread this virus and we can't stop people from coming here but we all have personal responsibility in helping to prevent the spread of this virus," Bethune said.
The mayor said the city is working to get the message out that masks are needed.
She said the city has extra law enforcement that has come in from other areas to help with crowd control.
Bethune also said the beaches have been well maintained by beach patrol, firefighters, and lifeguards and there have been "very few issues" on the beaches.
Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced today the first set of results from their Covid-19 testing.
Here's a breakdown of the results:
The testing was conducted as part of the mandatory intake screening process under MLB’s Covid-19 Health Monitoring & Testing Plan, prior to the workouts and full baseball activities that started today.
Texas is reporting a third day of new Covid-19 cases topping 7,000, according to state health department data.
The state is reporting 7,555 new Covid-19 cases on Friday. Although this is lower than the previous two days, which included a record high for Texas, it continues the trend of sharp increases of cases in the state.
The state also reported 50 new deaths from Covid-19 Friday.
Here's what we know about the surge in coronavirus cases in Texas: