COVID-19 live updates: Biden’s six-pronged strategy to fight pandemic

Ergin Yalcin/iStock

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

More than 651,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while over 4.5 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 62.4% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

Sep 09, 7:33 pm
LA school district to mandate vaccine for students

The Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education unanimously voted Thursday to require the COVID-19 vaccine for all eligible students.

All students ages 12 and up will be required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10, 2022, unless they have a “medical or other exemption,” said the district, which is the second-largest in the nation with over 600,000 students.

All teachers and staff are already required to be vaccinated by Oct. 15.

“Today’s decision furthers our longstanding commitment to ensure the safety of our students, families, and staff,” Board President Kelly Gonez said in a statement. “The vaccine is the single best way to protect students and schools from COVID-19.”

Sep 09, 6:13 pm
DHS increases fines for not wearing masks on airplanes, public transportation

The Department of Homeland Security announced it is doubling monetary penalties for those caught in violation of the federal mask mandate aboard various transportation methods, including in airports, on planes and passenger trains.

The new fines, which take effect Friday, will be $500 to $1,000 for first-time offenders and $1,000 to $3,000 for second-time offenders.

“We appreciate the majority of travelers each day who voluntarily follow the requirement, but find this action necessary to maximize the protections for those who use and work within the transportation system, and to contain COVID-19,” Transportation Security Administration chief David Pekoske said in a statement. “By doubling the range of penalties, we seek to reinforce the importance of voluntary adherence.”

The doubled fines are part of President Joe Biden’s six-point plan to fight COVID announced Thursday. He also announced the mask mandate on public transportation would be extended until Jan. 18, 2022.

There have been 3,057 “mask-related incidents” on planes since the beginning of the year, as of Sept. 7, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

“I’m announcing that the Transportation Safety Administration, the TSA, will double the fines on travelers that refuse to mask,” Biden said during a speech Thursday. “If you break the rules, be prepared to pay. And by the way, show some respect. The anger you see on television toward flight attendants and others doing their jobs is wrong. It’s ugly.”

Sep 09, 4:39 pm
Texas breaks its daily death toll record

Texas has broken its daily death toll record with 408 new fatalities, according to state data.

The previous record was 387 daily deaths in January.

Texas currently has 321 children in the hospital with COVID-19.

-ABC News’ Gina Sunseri

Sep 09, 3:30 pm
Biden’s plan requires businesses with 100+ employees to require vaccine or weekly testing

In President Joe Biden’s Thursday address he’ll announce that all businesses with 100 or more employees must require vaccinations or weekly testing. Businesses that don’t comply could be fined, according to a senior administration official.

“The new vaccination requirements in the president’s plan cover about 100 million workers — that’s two-thirds of all workers in the United States,” a senior administration official said on a briefing call with reporters Thursday afternoon.

Biden’s also looking to make testing more accessible and affordable. Walmart, Amazon and Kroger will sell at-home rapid tests at-cost for the next three months, meaning the price will drop about 35%.

The mask mandate for interstate travel and on federal property will stay in place through Jan. 18 2022, and the fine for violations will be doubled, the official said.

Biden will address the public at 5 p.m. ET.

-ABC News’ Sarah Kolinovsky

Sep 09, 2:43 pm
6 states request ventilators from federal stockpile

In the last week, the federal government, according to a federal planning document, has received requests for 975 ventilators from six states: Georgia (500), South Carolina (160), New Mexico (115), Oregon (100), Oklahoma (50) and Alaska (four). Navajo Nation also requested 46 ventilators.

The U.S. military has deployed 23-person medical teams to hospitals in Alabama, Louisiana, Idaho and Mississippi, and will be sending a fifth team to Arkansas this weekend.

-ABC News’ Brian Hartman

Sep 09, 2:34 pm
US hospitalizations more than 4 times higher than last year

The number of COVID-19 patients currently in U.S. hospitals stands at almost 102,000 — more than four times higher than the number of patients one year ago (about 25,000), according to federal data.

More than 2,355 children are currently in U.S. hospitals with COVID-19, according to federal data.

Some hard-hit areas show signs of stabilization. Florida, for example, now has about 13,000 hospitalized patients, a drop from more than 17,000 patients earlier this summer.

But Kentucky and Idaho are both now seeing record hospitalization levels.

-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos

Sep 09, 2:22 pm
US hospitalizations more than 4 times higher than last year

The number of COVID-19 patients currently in U.S. hospitals stands at almost 102,000 — more than four times higher than the number of patients one year ago (about 25,000), according to federal data.

More than 2,355 children are currently in U.S. hospitals with COVID-19, according to federal data.

Some hard-hit areas show signs of stabilization. Florida, for example, now has about 13,000 hospitalized patients, a drop from more than 17,000 patients earlier this summer.

But Kentucky and Idaho are both now seeing record hospitalization levels.

-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos

Sep 09, 1:21 pm
Baby dies of COVID in Oregon

A baby under the age of 1 died of COVID-19 on Monday after being diagnosed on Aug. 20, said officials in Douglas County, Oregon.

A total of 3,373 people have died in Oregon from COVID-19, according to state data.

Sep 09, 11:23 am
No plans for vaccine mandate in NYC schools, mayor says

New York City has no plans for a vaccine mandate in schools, with the city instead focusing on getting students physically back into classrooms Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

But New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration is refusing to rule out mandatory vaccination of eligible teens, Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin said.

Just 50% of New York state children between the ages of 12 and 17 are fully vaccinated, compared to 73% of adults, according to the governor’s office.

This comes as the Los Angeles Board of Education gears up for a Thursday afternoon meeting where they’re expected to enact a vaccine mandate for students.

-ABC News’ Aaron Katersky

Sep 09, 9:27 am
Biden’s 6-pronged strategy to fight COVID

At 5 p.m. ET Thursday, President Joe Biden will unveil his six-pronged strategy to stop the spread of the delta variant and boost vaccinations.

A source familiar with the president’s plans told ABC News that Biden will announce an executive order that will “require all federal executive branch workers to be vaccinated,” as well as a second executive order that will direct that standard to be applied to employees of contractors working with the federal government.

A White House official said Biden’s plan will be centered around:

Vaccinating the Unvaccinated
Furthering Protection for the Vaccinated
Keeping Schools Safely Open 
Increasing Testing and Requiring Masking
Protecting Our Economic Recovery
Improving Care for Those with COVID-19

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told MSNBC Thursday, “He wants to lay out the steps we’re taking to build on what we did over the summer: more requirements for federal workers, for private sector employees as well. More testing to ensure we know who has COVID and who might spread it. Making sure small businesses survive. That’s what you’ll hear the president talk about today.”

Sep 09, 9:01 am
UK approves AstraZeneca, Pfizer boosters as ‘safe and effective’

The United Kingdom’s medicines regulator has declared both the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine as “safe and effective” booster doses.

Dr. June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said in a statement, “It will now be for the JVCI [Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation] to advise on whether booster jabs will be given and if so, which vaccines should be used.”

Sep 09, 8:37 am
Biden’s 6-pronged strategy to fight COVID

At 5 p.m. ET Thursday, President Joe Biden will unveil his six-pronged strategy to stop the spread of the delta variant and boost vaccinations..

A White House official said Biden’s plan will be centered around:

  • Vaccinating the Unvaccinated
  • Furthering Protection for the Vaccinated
  • Keeping Schools Safely Open
  • Increasing Testing and Requiring Masking
  • Protecting Our Economic Recovery
  • Improving Care for Those with COVID-19

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told MSNBC Thursday, “He wants to lay out the steps we’re taking to build on what we did over the summer: more requirements for federal workers, for private sector employees as well. More testing to ensure we know who has COVID and who might spread it. Making sure small businesses survive. That’s what you’ll hear the president talk about today.”

Sep 09, 12:20 am
LA schools to vote on vaccine mandate for students

The Los Angeles Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Thursday where they’re expected to enact a vaccine mandate for students.

In a meeting with members, the board will propose a resolution that would require all local students at LAUSD school facilities who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to become vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination in order to return to the classroom.

The school district — the second largest in the country, with almost 600,000 students — has recently welcomed some students back to in-person classes by following strict COVID-19 safety measures, such as constant testing, masking, sanitizing, screening and social distancing.

Schools in the area have also required all staff to be fully vaccinated.

Still, the board said in a statement Wednesday, “COVID-19 remains a material threat to the health and safety of all students within the LAUSD community, and is a further threat to continuous in-person instruction,” which is why they are hoping to mandate vaccination among students.

If the resolution is passes, all LA students who are 12 years of age or older, and are part of in-person extracurricular programs, must receive their first vaccine dose by no later than Oct. 3, and their second dose by no later than Oct. 31. Those 12 and older not participating in in-person programs must be vaccinated by November, and “all other students must receive their first vaccine dose by no later than 30 days after their 12th birthday, and their second dose by no later than 8 weeks after their 12th birthday,” the board’s statement reads.

Sep 08, 6:45 pm
Kentucky reaches record number of hospitalizations

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced new grim COVID-19 data and said the state has reached a record high positivity rate of 14.1%, and a hospitalization rate of 2,424.

There are 674 residents in ICUs, Beshear said.

In the last 24 hours, 4,468 newly coronavirus cases and 30 new deaths, including that of a young teen, were reported, according to the governor.

“No matter what age you are, this thing is deadly and it’s out there. You need to get vaccinated and you need to wear your mask,” he wrote on Twitter.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.