The United States is facing a COVID-19 surge this summer as the more contagious delta variant spreads.
More than 628,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while over 4.4 million people have died from the disease worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Just 59.9% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
August 23, 2021
Over 880,000 Moderna vaccine doses donated by US arrive in Kenya
More than 880,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine donated by the United States arrived in Kenya on Monday morning.
Pumpkin patches and Halloween parties: Experts weigh in on COVID-19 risks at fall gatherings
Regardless of your vaccination status, autumn will bring gatherings for communities throughout the U.S. Here’s what you need to know stay safe.But COVID-19 cases are still spreading throughout the country. On Labor Day, daily coronavirus infections were more than four times what the U.S. saw on the holiday last year. Hospitalizations were also up over 150%, although most individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 this year are unvaccinated.
The 880,460 doses were given to the East African nation by the U.S. government via the global vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX, according to a press release from the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), which is leading vaccine procurement and delivery efforts on behalf of COVAX. It is the first of two shipments, totaling 1.76 million donate doses. © Brian Inganga/AP A UNICEF worker checks boxes of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine after their arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, on Aug. 23, 2021.
The donation marks the first time that Kenya has received the Moderna vaccine, widening the portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines available for the country's ongoing rollout of its national immunization campaign. All Kenyans over the age of 18 are now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Kenya aims to vaccinate 10 million of its 53 million people by the end of the year.
Astros right-hander Zack Greinke confirms he tested positive for COVID-19
Greinke has slowly been working his way back to the mound and will start Tuesday's game against the Texas Rangers.Greinke provided an update Saturday, saying he, his wife and two sons all tested positive for COVID-19, adding that all four are fully vaccinated, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.
So far, Kenya has reported more than 229,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including at least 4,497 deaths, according to the latest data from the Kenyan Ministry of Health.
August 22, 2021
US surgeon general defends plan for booster shots
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy defended the Biden administration's plans to for many Americans the week of Sept. 20, despite criticism from the World Health Organization and others that the U.S. should not offer booster shots to Americans while many countries lag in vaccine access.
"We have to protect American lives and we have to help vaccinate the world because that is the only way this pandemic ends," Murthy told ABC "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz.
Read the full story here.
ABC News' Julia Cherner
August 21, 2021
Jesse Jackson hospitalized with COVID
Civil rights pioneer Jesse Jackson Sr. and his wife have been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19.
Fact check: Indiana doctor spreads false information about COVID-19 vaccines
While no vaccine offers bulletproof protection, the coronavirus vaccines have proved to be effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19. Breakthrough infections are possible, but they make up a small portion of total coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Public health data shows the bulk of COVID-19 cases are among unvaccinated individuals. Fact check: 6 of the most persistent misconceptions about COVID-19 vaccines Social media platforms have removed versions of the video for violating rules against coronavirus misinformation. But as of Aug.
The 79-year-old and his wife, 77-year-old Jacqueline Jackson, are both being treated at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, according to a statement from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the nonprofit he founded in 1996. The statement said doctors were "monitoring the condition of both," but provided no further details.
Jackson was inoculated against the virus in January with the Pfizer vaccine. He also spent three weeks in a rehab center in February and March after gallbladder surgery.
The former Washington, D.C., shadow senator has been a prominent civil rights activist for 60 years, first joining forces with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s and working with King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference. © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE Civil Rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson addresses hundreds of fellow protesters on Capitol Hill to demand stronger voting rights, an end to the filibuster, immigration reform, a $15 minimum wage on Aug. 2, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Jackson also ran for president in 1984 and 1988.
The activist was arrested earlier this month as part of a group in Washington, D.C., protesting restrictive voting rights being implemented in many states, including Georgia and Texas. One week earlier, he'd been arrested as part of a large group during a sit-in at Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's office.
Alaska's largest hospital implements crisis standards of care; Florida makes death data public after secrecy: COVID-19 updates
Alaska’s largest hospital applies rations care, prioritizing resources to those patients who have the potential to benefit the most. COVID-19 updates.“While we are doing our utmost, we are no longer able to provide the standard of care to each and every patient who needs our help,” Dr. Kristen Solana Walkinshaw, chief of staff at Providence Alaska Medical Center, wrote in a letter addressed to Alaskans distributed Tuesday.
August 21, 2021
US sees 3rd straight day of 1M doses
The U.S. reported over 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered for the third straight day, according to a White House official.
There were more than 1.05 million doses administered Friday, including 526,000 newly vaccinated, White House COVID-19 data director Cyrus Shahpar said on Twitter.
Nationwide, 60% of people ages 12 and up are now fully vaccinated, he said.
August 20, 2021
Orlando residents asked to limit water usage with liquid oxygen in short supply
A Florida utility company asked Orlando residents to limit their water usage as liquid oxygen, which is used to treat COVID patients as well as help purify and clean water, is in short supply amid record COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Orlando Utilities Commission asked residents to limit watering their lawns "immediately" in a statement posted to Twitter Friday afternoon.
"A regional shortage of liquid oxygen linked to the surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations is impacting OUC's ability to treat drinking water," the company said.
The company said it needs to conserve up to half the water used daily until supplies return to normal while asking people to limit their non-critical water usage for at least two weeks.
"If OUC's liquid oxygen supplies continue to be depleted and water usage isn't reduced, water quality may be impacted," the company said in an update on its website.
US deaths in September outpacing previous months; U.N. General Assembly relying on vaccine honor system ahead of meeting: COVID-19 updates
The United States is on track to exceed the total number of COVID deaths in July and August combined within a matter of days. Live updates.Through Saturday, the country reported 32,526 deaths in September, compared to 27,612 in all of August. With deaths averaging nearly 2,000 per day, the U.S. is on track to exceed the total deaths of July and August combined within a matter of days, a USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University shows.
OUC provides water service to about 140,000 customers, according to Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV.
The Florida Hospital Association reported a record 16,973 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Thursday. More than half of adults in intensive care units have COVID-19, it said.
August 20, 2021
US sees highest daily case total in nearly 7 months
The U.S. reported the highest single-day COVID-19 case total in nearly seven months overnight, with just under 158,000 new cases, according to federal data.
The daily case average in the U.S. has surged to approximately 133,000 a day, up by nearly 14% in the last week and more than 1,040% in the last two months, an ABC News analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.
The South has the highest case rates in the country, led by Mississippi and followed by Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.MORE: Louisiana doctors struggle as COVID patients flood hospitals
The national case total now stands at nearly 37.3 million, which means one in approximately every eight Americans has tested positive for the virus.
The U.S. is also experiencing its steepest increases in COVID-19-related hospitalizations since the winter of 2020. More than 93,000 patients are now hospitalized across the country with COVID-19, according to federal data.
The country's average daily COVID-19 deaths stands at 640, an increase of 233% in the last six weeks and the highest in four months.
-ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos
August 20, 2021
University of Virginia disenrolls over 200 students who did not meet school's vaccination policy
The University of Virginia has cut 238 students from its rolls after they failed to comply with the university's vaccination policy, school officials confirmed to ABC news.
Pfizer announces 500M more vaccines to lower-income countries; California has lowest virus transmission in US: COVID-19 updates
Meanwhile, California's rate of transmission is an average of 94 cases per 100,000, which is considered "substantial" by the CDC. More COVID updates.It is the only state in the country reporting transmission levels considered "substantial" by the CDC, along with the territory Puerto Rico. All other states currently have "high" levels of transmission." High transmission consists of 100 or more cases per 100,000 people in the last week.
"We first announced this vaccination requirement on May 20 and the deadline for compliance was July 1," Brian Coy, a spokesman for the university, told ABC News in an email.
"Since then, students received multiple reminders about this policy and the need to either be vaccinated or request a medical or religious exemption. Students who remained out of compliance after the deadline received multiple communications in the form of emails, texts, phone calls, and in some cases phone calls to their parents. The University’s vaccination policy was also covered extensively on our digital platforms, our daily news product, the student newspaper, and local media all over Virginia."
The university has given the students until Aug. 25 to comply or they won't be allowed to come back school in the fall.
-ABC News' Will McDuffie
August 20, 2021
200 million people have received at least 1 COVID vaccine dose, White House says
Two hundred million Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the White House announced Friday. That figure includes more than 1 million doses administered in 24 hours on Thursday, 534,000 of which were first doses.
"Today we hit a milestone: 200M people w/ at least one dose!" Cyrus Shahpar, the White House's COVID-19 data director, wrote on Twitter. "On avg., over 33,000 people have gotten their first dose, every hour of every day since mid-Dec 2020. Keep it up!"
-ABC News' Joshua Hoyos
August 20, 2021
Boston indoor mask mandate goes into effect next week
Boston will require face masks in all indoor public settings beginning Aug. 27 at 8 a.m., Mayor Kim Janey announced in a Friday statement.
"We know that masks work best when everyone wears one," Janey said. "Requiring masks indoors is a proactive public health measure to limit transmission of the Delta variant, boost the public confidence in our businesses and venues, and protect the residents of our city who are too young for vaccination.”
FDA authorizes Pfizer booster for people 65 and over; Iowa sets new 2021 high for coronavirus hospitalizations: COVID-19 updates
Health care workers, teachers and grocery workers are among the high-risk workers eligible for a Pfizer booster. The latest COVID-19 updates:Individuals 18 and up who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 were also included in the authorization, which only covers those who are at least six months out from their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
-ABC News' William Gretsky
August 20, 2021Click here to read the rest of the blog.
Unvaccinated Black people 'biggest group' driving COVID spike: Texas Lt Gov
Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told Fox News Channel host Laura Ingraham that "African-Americans who have not been vaccinated" are the "the biggest group in most states" driving the spike in COVID-19 cases, during a Thursday interview.
Patrick doubled down on his comment, adding that "over 90% of them vote for Democrats and their major cities and major counties."
"It's up to the Democrats to get -- just as it's up to Republicans to try to get as many people vaccinated," he said. "In terms of criticizing the Republicans for this, we are encouraging people who want to take it to take it, but they are doing nothing for the African-American community that has significant high number of unvaccinated."
NAACP President Derrick Johnson pushed back in a statement: "Lt. Governor Dan Patrick lives in an alternate reality, where facts don’t matter," Johnson said.
"He’s delusional. Black Texans are not the driving force behind the surge of COVID cases in Texas. His statement is not only baseless, it’s racist. Falsely casting blame on the Black community is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and we expect better from an elected official.”
-ABC News' Brian Hartman