COVID-19 live updates: Positivity rate climbs to 25% at Children’s Hospital New Orleans

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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 622,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and over 4.3 million people have died worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Just 59.3% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Latest headlines:
– More than 121,000 new cases among kids last week
– US daily case average up by 930% since June
– Doctor talks treating kids with RSV, COVID-19

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

Aug 16, 2:16 pm
More than 121,000 new cases among kids last week

More than 121,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported among kids last week, another “substantial” increase from weeks prior, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association said in a report.

Last week, children represented 18% of all reported cases. Children represented 15% of cases the week prior.

Pediatric COVID-19-related hospital admissions have now equaled the most seen at any point of the pandemic.

Severe illness due to COVID-19 remains “uncommon” among children, the two organizations wrote in the report. In states which reported virus-related deaths by age, 0.00%-0.03% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death.

However, AAP and CHA warned that there is an urgent need to collect more data on long-term impacts on kids “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 16, 1:40 pm
US daily case average up by 930% since June

Over the weekend, the daily case average in the U.S. rose to 120,000 — skyrocketing 930% since mid-June, federal data showed.

Every state in the country is now reporting high or substantial community transmission, according to federal data.

The country’s daily death average has increased to nearly 550 per day, a 155% jump in the last month.

The rate of hospital admissions among people under 49 years old is now at its highest point of the pandemic, according to federal data.

ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos

Aug 16, 1:10 pm
Los Angeles students back in school with strict regulations

Before Los Angeles students could enter their classrooms on the first day of school Monday, many waited in lines so staff could ensure they completed their daily pass health screening.

Los Angeles Unified School District students and staff had to be tested for COVID-19 by the first day of school, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week. As the year gets underway, students will wear masks and undergo weekly testing regardless of vaccination status, ABC Los Angeles station KABC reported.

All school district employees are required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15.

Aug 16, 12:48 pm
Pfizer/BioNTech submit early booster shot data to FDA

Pfizer/BioNTech have submitted early booster shot data to the Food and Drug Administration.

Phase 1 data found that people given a third shot eight to nine months after their primary doses had a boosted immune response and higher neutralizing antibody levels against the delta variant.

Pfizer/BioNTech plan to continue to study booster shots and submit additional data to the FDA.

It’s not clear when or if the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might recommend booster doses for all. Only severely immunocompromised people are currently eligible.

ABC News’ Sony Salzman

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