COVID-19 live updates: Nearly 72,000 kids tested positive in US last week

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(NEW YORK) — The United States is facing a COVID-19 surge this summer as the more contagious delta variant spreads.

More than 614,000 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 58.2% 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 Wednesday. All times Eastern:

Aug 04, 10:01 am
WHO chief: No booster shots until at least end of September

The World Health Organization is calling for a moratorium on booster shots until more people from low-income countries have received a vaccine.

Low-income countries have only been able to administer 1.5 shots for every 100 people due to lack of supply, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said Wednesday.

A moratorium on boosters until at least the end of September will “enable at least 10% of the population of every country to be vaccinated,” he said.

Aug 04, 9:20 am
Alabama hospital sees deadliest day of pandemic

Four COVID-19 patients at Regional Medical Center in Anniston, Alabama — all unvaccinated — died within 24 hours, marking the hospital’s deadliest day of the pandemic, The Anniston Star reported.

As delta surges, patients are now getting sicker faster, a doctor at the hospital told the newspaper.

Only 28% of residents in Calhoun County are fully vaccinated, according to The Anniston Star.

Aug 04, 8:24 am
Obama to ‘significantly scale back’ 60th birthday party

Former President Barack Obama has decided to “significantly scale back” his 60th birthday party on Martha’s Vineyard due to the spread of the delta variant, according to a spokesperson. Hundreds of guests were expected to attend.

“This outdoor event was planned months ago in accordance with all public health guidelines and with covid safeguards in place. Due to the new spread of the delta variant over the past week, the President and Mrs. Obama have decided to significantly scale back the event to include only family and close friends,” spokesperson Hannah Hankins said in a statement.

Obama’s office did not give a new estimate of how many guests will attend.

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