COVID-19 live updates: 72% of counties reporting high community transmission

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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 617,000 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 58.7% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:

Aug 10, 8:29 am
Pediatrician warns parents and governors: Don’t ‘underestimate’ the virus

Dr. Richard Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former acting director of the CDC, said parents should not get to choose if their kids wear masks in school.

“Allowing it to be an issue of personal choice is fine if it only affected your child, but it doesn’t. It affects everyone around your child as well,” Besser told “Good Morning America” Tuesday.

“There’s a lot we don’t know about this virus,” Besser said. “I urge parents, I urge schools, I urge governors, not to underestimate what we’re dealing with.”

Aug 09, 7:27 pm
No ICU beds available at top Mississippi hospitals: Official

Mississippi’s top health official warned Monday that the state’s top-level hospitals have no ICU beds left, and things are going to get worse.

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs cited the latest stats on the growing number of COVID-19 cases, stating there were 6,912 new cases and 28 deaths recorded.

“Keep in mind – this will translate into around 500 new hospitalization in coming days, and we have ZERO ICU beds at Level 1-3 hospitals, and we have

Aug 09, 7:06 pm
Abbott seeks out of state health care personnel to help Texas

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced several measures Monday to curb the state’s growing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Health care personnel from other states will be coming to Texas to assist the Texas Department of State Health Services with their recent wave of cases, Abbott said.

The governor sent a letter to the Texas Hospital Association urging them to suspend elective surgeries.

He also announced the health department will open more antibody fusion centers and vaccine sites for residents.

Aug 09, 5:38 pm
Arkansas hospitalizations reach record high, 8 ICU beds left

Arkansas saw its highest number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to state health data.

The number of hospitalizations rose by 103, its biggest one-day increase, to 1,376, which is five hospitalizations higher than the previous record set in January, the state health data showed.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson tweeted that only eight ICU beds remained in the entire state. He encouraged more people to get a vaccine.

As of Monday, 49.3% of eligible residents in Arkansas have received one vaccine shot, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Aug 09, 4:43 pm
Washington governor issues vaccine mandate for state employees

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday that he has ordered that all state employees must be vaccinated or face termination.

Inslee cited increased hospitalizations and cases throughout the state, which have mostly affected the unvaccinated, as the factor for his executive order.

“We do so to protect our vulnerable communities, to prevent further calamity to our state and to be further on the path to recovery,” he said at a news conference.

The deadline for the vaccine mandate is Oct. 18. Inslee’s executive order does provide medical and religious exemptions.

As of Aug. 2, 69.6% of Washingtonians 12 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the state’s health department.

“We need more people to roll up their sleeves,” Inslee said.

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