COVID-19 live updates: Arkansas sees highest hospitalization increase since start of pandemic
(NEW YORK) — The United States is facing a COVID-19 surge this summer as the more contagious delta variant spreads.
More than 613,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and over 4.2 million people have died worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Just 58.1% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC last week, citing new science on the transmissibility of the delta variant, changed its mask guidance to now recommend everyone in areas with substantial or high levels of transmission — vaccinated or not — wear a face covering in public, indoor settings.
Here’s how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:
Aug 03, 5:18 pm
Biden calls out governors of Florida, Texas
President Joe Biden is calling out Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for rejecting mask mandates in their states.
“I believe the results of their decisions are not good for their constituents,” Biden said of the governors at a Tuesday news conference.
Biden said Florida and Texas are accounting for one-third of the new COVID-19 cases in the country.
“We need leadership from everyone. If some governors aren’t willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, then they should allow businesses and universities who want to do the right thing to be able to do it,” Biden said. “I say to these governors, ‘Please help. But if you aren’t going to help, at least get out of the way.'”
Aug 03, 4:08 pm
Nearly 72,000 kids tested positive in US last week
Nearly 72,000 children in the U.S. tested positive for COVID-19 last week, a massive jump from the approximately 39,000 cases among kids one week earlier, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
Children represented 19% of all COVID-19 cases for the week ending July 29.
Severe illness due to COVID-19 remains “uncommon” among children, the two organizations wrote in the report. According to the nearly two dozen states that reported pediatric hospitalizations, 0.1% to 1.9% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization.
However, the two organizations warned that there is an urgent need to collect more data on long-term impacts of the pandemic on children, “including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects.”
-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos
Aug 03, 2:05 pm
US sees highest number of hospitalizations since February
According to federal data, nearly 56,000 patients are now hospitalized with COVID-19 across the U.S., marking the highest number of patients receiving care since February.
Ninety-one percent of Americans are now living in high (a seven-day new case rate ≥100) or substantial (a seven-day new case rate between 50-99.99) community transmission in the last week.
Seven states — Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina — have high or substantial community transmission in every county.
Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, and Alabama currently have the nation’s highest case rates, followed by Mississippi, Texas, and Oklahoma.
-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos
Aug 03, 1:00 pm
Texas sees demand for vaccinations skyrocket
In Texas, the demand for vaccines is skyrocketing. The number of daily doses has jumped from about 44,000 (just after the 4th of July) to 73,000 as of Monday, said Chris Van Duesen, spokespesron for the state’s Department of State Health Services.
Aug 03, 11:25 am
Data ‘tipping’ to show delta more serious for kids than past variants
National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins told CNN Tuesday the data is “tipping” toward showing how the delta variant is more serious for children than past variants.
Collins listed studies from Singapore, Scotland and Canada that “certainly tilts the balance in that direction” but made clear that more data is needed.
Collins also added that part of the reason the U.S. is seeing more children in hospitals is because they’re part of the unvaccinated population and he doesn’t want to “overstate the confidence.”
-ABC News’ Cheyenne Haslett
Aug 03, 10:23 am
NYC to require proof of vaccination to eat inside
New York City will soon require vaccinations for workers and customers for indoor dining, indoor fitness facilities and indoor entertainment facilities, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.
This mandate will be enforced as of Sept. 13.
Aug 03, 8:55 am
US ships more than 100 million vaccine doses abroad
The Biden administration has hit a vaccine-sharing milestone, shipping more than 110 doses to over 60 countries around the world, mostly through COVAX, the World Health Organization’s vaccine-sharing initiative. The U.S. has shared more doses than every other country combined, according to United Nations data.
Starting at the end of August, the U.S. will begin shipping another batch of 500 million doses of Pfizer to 100 low-income countries across the globe. Two-hundred million of those 500 million doses are expected to be shipped in 2021.
Aug 03, 8:24 am
Arkansas sees highest increase in hospitalizations since start of pandemic
Another 81 COVID-19 patients were admitted to Arkansas hospitals on Monday, the highest increase in hospitalizations since the beginning of the pandemic, Gov. Asa Hutchinson tweeted.
The state now has 1,220 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, including 250 on ventilators.
“We continue to see nearly all hospitalizations among the unvaccinated,” the governor wrote. “Hospitals are full & the only remedy is for more Arkansans to be vaccinated.”
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