(NEW YORK) — The United States is facing a COVID-19 surge this summer as the more contagious delta variant spreads.
More than 615,000 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 58.4% 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 Friday. All times Eastern:
Aug 06, 7:42 am
United to require all US employees be vaccinated by September
All U.S.-based United employees will be required to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by September and must upload their vaccination card to the company website, the airline announced Friday. The move is the strongest vaccination requirement a U.S. airline has taken so far.
“For those employees who are already vaccinated — and for those employees who get vaccinated and upload their records to Flying Together before September 20th — we’ll offer an additional day of pay,” Scott Kirby and Brett Hart, the CEO and president of United, wrote in a memo to employees.
Employees will have until five weeks after Sept. 20 or five weeks after the Food and Drug Administration fully authorizes a COVID-19 vaccine to upload their cards. All three vaccines in the U.S. are currently being used under emergency use authorization.
Aug 06, 4:31 am
Tokyo sees 4,515 new positive cases
There are 4,515 new positive coronavirus cases in Tokyo as of Friday, according to the city’s COVID-19 information website.
It’s a 152.7% increase since last Friday.
Of the new cases, 141 are severe and four have turned fatal.
Aug 06, 1:53 am
There are now 387 positive cases at the Tokyo Olympics
As of Friday, there are 387 positive COVID-19 cases at the Tokyo Olympics, according to the Tokyo 2020 coronavirus positive case list.
This is an increase of 29 positive cases since Thursday.
All of the cases are either Tokyo 2020 contractors, Games-concerned personnel or media.
“Of the 726 U.S. Olympic delegates in Japan on Aug. 5, no COVID tests were confirmed positive based on daily results,” the International Olympic Committee tweeted.
Aug 05, 8:53 pm
Hawaii issues vaccine rules for state, county employees
Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced Thursday that all state and county employees must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination by Aug. 16 — or be subject to weekly testing.
Those who don’t comply “could be subject to termination,” Ige said.
It is unclear how many state and county workers are already vaccinated.
The mandate comes as the number of cases and hospitalizations in the state are “trending up dramatically,” Ige said.
Maryland and Virginia announced similar measures earlier Thursday.
Aug 05, 4:12 pm
Delta ‘sweeping over Mississippi like a tsunami’: Official
Mississippi is facing “a phenomenal increase in daily reported cases of COVID, and this is entirely attributable to the delta variant, which is sweeping over Mississippi like a tsunami,” state health officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said Thursday.
Dobbs said 97% of new cases are among the unvaccinated, and that 89% of hospitalizations and 85% of deaths are unvaccinated.
Dobbs pleaded with the public to get vaccinated, stressing that the unvaccinated population is driving the current surge, but that vulnerable, vaccinated people are suffering the fallout.
“There is going to be some collateral damage, unfortunately, even folks who’ve done everything they can to protect themselves,” Dobbs said.
“The minority of folks who are vaccinated and hospitalized are overrepresented by the older and those with weaker immune system, so we’re seeing a pretty dramatic spillover effect from the transmission in the community to more vulnerable parts of our population,” he said.
Aug 05, 3:51 pm
New state employee vaccination rules issued in Virginia, Maryland
In Virginia, all 120,000 state employees must be vaccinated by Sept. 1, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday.
About 72% of employees are already vaccinated.
Anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated must get tested weekly, he said.
In Maryland, state employees at 48 state facilities must be vaccinated by Sept. 1, “or adhere to strict face covering requirements and submit to regular, ongoing COVID-19 testing,” Gov. Larry Hogan said.
The 48 facilities on the list include the Department of Health, Department of Juvenile Services, Department of Public Safety and Corrections and Department of Veterans Affairs.
Aug 05, 2:28 pm
Only 2 states not experiencing high or substantial community transmission
Nearly every state in the country is now experiencing case and hospitalization increases. Only two states — Vermont and Maine — are not reporting high or substantial community transmission, according to federal data.
The U.S. is now experiencing its steepest increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations since the winter. More than 61,000 patients are now hospitalized across the country with COVID-19, according to federal data. About one month ago, 12,000 patients were in U.S. hospitals.
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