Coronavirus Morning News Briefing – Amazon employee sues over home office expenses, cruise industry wants CDC rule changes


Ann Harada (Christmas Eve) and Jordan Gelber (Brian), original cast members of “Avenue Q”

Hello. This is the report by Jonathan Spira. Now here is the pandemic news from around the world on the 794th day of the pandemic.

Companies and most employees have always viewed the elimination of commuting and automobile fuel costs and wear and tear as a trade-off for the ability to work from home. Costs for personal outfits are also falling, as are dry cleaning expenses.

It was not enough for an Amazon employee.

David Williams argues in his lawsuit that the company is flouting a state law requiring reimbursement for business-related expenses.

Williams is suing the company for the extra cost of internet service and electricity he uses because he works from home. California law requires companies to pay all business expenses incurred by an employee.

Amazon tried to have the lawsuit dismissed, saying it was not responsible for the shift to working from home given state requirements. California law requiring reimbursement of business expenses, however, provides no such exception.

Of course, if Williams and others are called back to the office, the return to paying gas and tolls — especially given rising fuel costs — will likely make his claim for reimbursement miniscule.

In other news we cover today, Honolulu, Miami and San Juan are the latest Covid hotspots, the cruise industry wants changes in CDC policy and China has reported a dramatic rise in cases.

Here’s a look at what’s happened over the past 24 hours.


Three major metropolitan areas and tourist destinations, namely Honolulu, Miami-Dade and San Juan, have become virus hotspots. All three have high positivity rates with the average daily number of new cases per 100,000 members of the population approaching 100.

Puerto Rico has currently averaged 104 new cases per 100,000 people, while the figure for Miami-Dade is 93 and Honolulu County is 85.

Honolulu County Mayor Rick Blangiardi called on residents and visitors to take precautions such as masking.

“Coronavirus is not going away,” he said in a statement earlier in the week. “I encourage everyone to continue to exercise personal responsibility and wear your masks around other people, get tested if you feel unwell, and make sure you get your booster.”

The cruise industry is asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to review rules under which cruise ships now voluntarily operate in partnership with the federal agency, namely the rule requiring pre-boarding coronavirus testing for those who travel by cruise ship.

“As the CDC monitors the improving health landscape and works with airlines to support a smooth transition with the lifting of the pre-arrival testing requirement, we believe that a review of the pre-arrival testing requirements Embarkation for cruise passengers is also in order,” the Cruise said. Line Industry Association said in a statement after the CDC ended the pre-departure testing requirement for air travelers bound for the United States.

The group represents most major cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line.


Although the numbers appear low, China reported a dramatic rise in cases as the national tally for Sunday rose to 196 from 138 on Saturday, the National Health Commission said.

What officials called the Beijing bar’s “fierce” cluster of cases has spread to all but two districts in the capital and which, along with a cluster of cases in an Inner Mongolia border prefecture, have become the new epicentres of the current wave.


The Vineyard Theatre, the off-Broadway theater company perhaps best known for its production of the Tony Award-winning musical ‘Avenue Q’, has announced that performances of the play ‘Lessons in Survival: 1971’ would not take place until June 12 due to a Covid outbreak within the company.


The global supply chain crisis and Shanghai shutdowns have cut the number of new car production units in China by nearly 18 percent, the China Automobile Manufacturers Association said. The auto industry built 400,000 fewer cars there than in the same period in 2019, before the start of the pandemic, when 2.24 million cars were made.


Now here are the daily stats for Sunday, June 12.

As of Sunday morning, the world recorded 540.3 million cases of Covid-19, an increase of 0.4 million new cases over the previous 24 hours and 6.33 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks these information. Additionally, 515.6 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 2.5 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Sunday is 18,447,837, a decrease of 2.5 million. Of this figure, 99.8%, or 18,411,655, are considered mild and 0.2%, or 36,184, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged in the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 35,173 new coronavirus infections for the previous day on Sunday, compared with 135,999 on Saturday, 117,665 on Friday, 175,140 on Thursday, 142,800 on Wednesday, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. The 7-day incidence rate continues to remain above 100,000 and is now 109,244. fewer tests performed.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 108,520, down 1%, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources. The average number of daily deaths over the same period is 332, a decrease of 11% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 29,615, an increase of 11%.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic, the United States on Sunday recorded 87.3 million cases, a figure higher than any other country, and a death toll of 1.04 million. India has the second highest number of officially registered cases in the world, more than 43.2 million, and a reported death toll of 524,761.

New data from Russia’s state statistical service Rosstat showed in late April that the number of Covid- or Covid-related deaths since the pandemic began there in April 2020 is now over 803,000, giving the country the second highest pandemic-related death in the world. toll-free, after the United States. Rosstat reported that 35,584 people died from coronavirus or related causes in March, compared to 43,543 in February.

Meanwhile, Brazil has now recorded the third highest death toll from the virus, 668,134, and has more than 31.4 million cases.

France continues to occupy the fourth position in the total number of cases with 29.8 million cases, and Germany is in the fifth position with 26.8 million. The UK, with 22.4 million cases, is now number six and is the only other country in the world with a total number of cases above 20 million.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Sunday, 258.9 million people in the United States – or 78% – had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 66.8%, or 221.7 million people, have received two doses of the vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been distributed in the United States is now 590.8 million. Breaking it down further, 89.4% of the population over 18 – or 230.8 million people – have received at least one first vaccination and 76.7% of the same group – or 198.1 million people – are fully vaccinated. In addition, 50.5% of this population, or 99.9 million people, have already received a third dose, or booster dose, of vaccine.

More than 66.3% of the world’s population received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Sunday, according to Our World in Data, an online science publication that tracks such information. So far, 11.93 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide and 5.88 million doses are now being administered every day.

Meanwhile, only 17.8% of people in low-income countries have received a dose, while in countries like Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the UK and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Only a few of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% vaccination mark. Many countries, however, are below 20%, and in countries like Haiti, Senegal and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits or even lower.

Additionally, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.

Paul Riegler contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)


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