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COVID-19 Updates: Buna ISD announces plan for next school year, White House again rejects national mask strategy

Here is a look at some of the latest coronavirus news and updates for Monday.

BEAUMONT, Texas — This article contains ongoing U.S. and international updates on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects. Here are some key updates for Monday, July 6, 2020. You can find more details by scrolling through the story which we are updating throughout the day. The newest items will be at the top.

Today's Headlines:

Latest updates:
Here are the latest updates from around Southeast Texas, Texas, Louisiana and some from the world (all times are local Central Daylight Time)

July 6, 3:30 p.m. — Buna ISD said parents will be able to decide whether they want their child to have on-campus or online instruction for a six-week period, Superintendent Donny Lee said in a statement. Buna ISD said the district plans to release their on-campus plan by early next week, but the plan could be subject to change based on state and county mandates. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released very few updates over the last week and a half about next school year, Lee said. 

July 6, 12:35 p.m. — The Lorrie Morgan concert on Sunday, June 28, at the Jefferson Theatre has been canceled. Refunds are available at their point of purchase.

July 6, 11:50 a.m. — A City of Orange employee, who does not work directly with the public, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a news release from the city.

The employee learned of the results over the holiday weekend and reported them to the city immediately.

The employee, whose job only required minimal contact with other employees, had been off a couple days prior to the holiday weekend due to previously scheduled time off the release said.

The city is cleaning the employees’ work area and monitoring all city employees, according to the release.

July 6, 10:30 a.m. — The Cinemark Beaumont 15 and XD movie theater in Beaumont will not be opening this Friday as previously scheduled according to the theater chain. The company's website currently does not list a reopening date.

July 6, 10:25 a.m. — Beginning today, the lobby doors at the City of Pinehurst offices will be locked during business hours due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases, according to a news release from the city.

Residents are encouraged to conduct their business with the city, such as paying water bills, fines and permit fees, by visiting the city's website at CityOfPinehurstTexas.com. There is also a drop-box available for payments outside the city offices. Residents can call 886-3873 for city business or 886-2221 for police business.

July 6, 8:50 a.m. — The White House is again rejecting calls for a national mask-wearing mandate.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says in an appearance on “Fox and Friends” Monday morning that the president sees the issue as a “state-to-state” matter.

He says that, “certainly a national mandate is not in order” and that “we’re allowing our local governors and our local mayors to weigh in on that.”

July 6, 6:30 a.m. — The number of high school seniors applying for U.S. federal college aid plunged in the weeks following the sudden closure of school buildings this spring — a time when students were cut off from school counselors, and families hit with financial setbacks were reconsidering plans for higher education.

In the first weeks of the pandemic, the number of new applications fell by nearly half compared to last year’s levels, fueled by a precipitous decline among students at low-income schools, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data. The numbers have risen as states and schools have launched campaigns urging students to apply for aid, but they remain down overall from last year.

RELATED: Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

MORE | Find more COVID-19 testing sites in Texas

July 6, 6 a.m. — Forty lobbyists with ties to President Donald Trump helped clients secure more than $10 billion in federal coronavirus aid, among them five former administration officials whose work potentially violates Trump's own ethics policy, according to a report.

The lobbyists identified Monday by the watchdog group Public Citizen either worked in the Trump executive branch, served on his campaign, were part of the committee that raised money for inaugural festivities or were part of his presidential transition. Many are donors to Trump’s campaigns, and some are prolific fundraisers for his reelection.

July 6, 5 a.m. — There will be nobody screaming in the face of 18-year-old Ellie Hiigel when she arrives Wednesday for training in advance of her first year at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and that has her mother a bit disappointed.

The school in Connecticut, like other service academies and military training centers, has made major changes because of the coronavirus pandemic. That means the eight weeks of boot camp for new cadets, known as "Swab Summer" will be much different from when Joanna Hiigel went through it herself in 1991 as a fourth-class swab, or even when Ellie's sister, Tana, went through it two years ago.

July 6, 4:30 a.m. — Major League Baseball is planning to release its 60-game schedule for each professional team on Monday, according to reports.

CBS Sports and USA Today's baseball columnist Bob Nightengale, citing sources, said the 2020 MLB schedule will be released 18 days before opening night.

Here’s the breakdown by county of coronavirus cases for the eight-county Southeast Texas region...

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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus 

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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