The Latest: German activists protest near virus-hit plant

BERLIN — Animal rights activists in Germany are attempting to block access to a slaughterhouse at the center of a large coronavirus cluster.

Police in the western city of Bielefeld confirmed that about 20 people were protesting at the entrance to the site early Saturday.

The group Together Against the Animal Industry said some of its members have dropped a banner from the slaughterhouse roof calling for the plant to be shut down.

The slaughterhouse, owned by the Tonnies Group, has been linked to more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases in the region, triggering a partial lockdown of two counties.

Animal rights activists and labor unions have criticized conditions for animals and workers at the plant, one of the country’s biggest.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— `Huge bummer’: July Fourth will test Americans’ discipline

— South Africa’s hospitals bracing for surge of virus patients

— UK scraps quarantine for some visitors as pubs set to reopen

— A special French court has ordered an investigation of three current or former government ministers over their handling of the coronavirus crisis. The investigation stems from complaints filed in the Court of Justice of the Republic targeting former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who resigned Friday, and the current and previous French health ministers.

— California restaurants are paying a heavy price during the coronavirus pandemic as indoor dining has been shut down for the second time across much of the state.

— Air France and regional subsidiary Hop have announced 7,500 job cuts after the virus pandemic grounded most flights and darkened prospects for future air travel

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Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s Victoria state recorded 108 new coronavirus cases Saturday, forcing authorities to lock down nine public housing towers and three more Melbourne suburbs.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said 3,000 people in the housing towers would go into “hard lockdown,” meaning “there will be no one allowed in … and no one allowed out.”

Residents in the Flemington and Kensington housing units will receive deliveries of food and medicine, along with alcohol support.

The suburbs of Kensington, Flemington and North Melbourne will join 36 others in being subject to stage 3 coronavirus restrictions. Residents can only leave their homes for food or essential supplies, medical care or care-giving, exercise or for work or education.

After a recent flareup, Victoria has 509 active cases of COVID-19 with 25 people hospitalized, including three in intensive care.

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JOHANNESBURG — South Africa has announced another record daily number of confirmed coronavirus cases with 9,064, as Africa’s most developed country shows signs of strain in coping with the pandemic.

Thirty percent of South Africa’s more than 177,000 cases are now in Gauteng province, which contains Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria.

More than 2,900 people in the country have died. The African continent overall has more than 433,000 confirmed virus cases.

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LOS ANGELES — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is warning local elected officials that they risk losing state funding if they don’t enforce health orders as the coronavirus pandemic worsens.

Newsom has rolled back or limited some businesses reopening in Los Angeles and 20 other counties, now including San Diego. Recently reopened bars, indoor restaurant dining and other indoor entertainment venues were ordered closed in those counties for at least three weeks.

About 200 state inspectors fanned out Friday to look for violators over the long Fourth of July weekend. The new enforcement strike teams issued seven citations in their first day of operation.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Authorities in California say two more death row inmates have died from apparent complications of the coronavirus in the midst of an outbreak that has infected 40% of inmates at San Quentin State Prison.

The corrections department says Scott Erskine and Manuel Machado Alvarez died Friday.

Erskine was on death row for the 1993 murder of two boys, 9 and 13, in San Diego. Alvarez was there for a 1987 series of crimes that included rape, robbery, carjacking and murder in Sacramento.

There have now been two dozen deaths from COVID-19 in California’s prison system.

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Tribal police for the Navajo Nation and the New Mexico National Guard plan to enforce a curfew to shut down the Navajo reservation during the Fourth of July weekend.

The sprawling reservation has been trying to contain a coronavirus outbreak. Tribal President Jonathan Nez says the curfew will run from 8 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. He says it is the first of three consecutive weekend lockdowns.

Nez warns that enforcement on the reservation that spans parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah will be strict.

The tribe reported 64 new confirmed coronavirus cases Friday and two more deaths.

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MIAMI — As coronavirus infections surge across Florida and hospital authorities nervously count their available intensive care beds, the state’s most populous county is closing down again, imposing a curfew and closing beaches over the Fourth of July weekend to contain the spread.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew begins Friday night and will be in place indefinitely. A new county order also closes casinos, strip clubs, movie theaters, the zoo and other entertainment venues a month after they were allowed to reopen.

Florida reported 341 new hospital admissions of COVID-19 patients on Friday, the biggest daily jump since the pandemic began, along with 9,488 new confirmed cases and 67 deaths.

The mayor’s order also tightens mask rules at restaurants, requiring customers to wear facial coverings at all times unless eating or drinking. Under the previous order, customers were allowed to remove masks when they sat down.

The mayor said Miami-Dade police will be checking businesses to enforce mask and capacity rules, and closing establishments in violation.

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HONOLULU — A U.S. judge will not stop Hawaii from enforcing a quarantine on arriving travelers. U.S. District Judge Jill Otake says in a ruling that the emergency mandate is reasonable during the public health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

A group of Hawaii, California and Nevada residents tried to stop the quarantine by filing a lawsuit alleging it is unfair and unnecessary.

Gov. David Ige has announced that starting Aug. 1, travelers will be able to bypass the quarantine if they test negative prior to arriving. The testing plan is similar to one in Alaska.

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LOS ANGELES — California is heading into the Fourth of July weekend under classic sunny summer skies and new health orders that temporarily put many popular beaches off-limits in an effort to prevent runaway coronavirus infections.

A few surfers were in the water at Los Angeles’ Venice Beach and a few dozen people strolled the boardwalk or shoreline early Friday, but the normal Independence Day throngs are missing.

With testing showing a rising COVID-19 positivity rate and increasing hospitalizations, Gov. Gavin Newsom has rolled back or limited some of the reopening of business sectors in counties encompassing nearly three-quarters of the state’s population.

The holiday beach closures began Friday from Los Angeles County northward through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. To the south in Orange County, hugely popular beaches such as Huntington and Newport were to close Saturday and Sunday, while San Diego did not plan any shutdowns. Many Northern California beaches were open but parking was closed at some to reduce the potential for crowding.

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GENEVA — The World Health Organization’s emergencies chief says “we need to put up a fight now” during a peak in the current wave of the coronavirus pandemic — rather than focusing on when a second wave might come.

Dr. Michael Ryan said the world will be much better at fighting a second wave, if people can learn the lessons of fighting the first wave.

WHO officials emphasized mask-wearing, social distancing, and hygiene by individuals, along with contact-tracing and tracking of cases by health authorities as key strategies to fight the virus. They say governments and individuals should contour their policies and behavior based on the outbreak’s status in their countries.

Ryan said the world was experiencing a “second peak in the first wave” — a situation in which the virus hasn’t been suppressed enough to quell transmission to end the first one.

Categories: National/World