Compare that to the end of May, when the variant was linked to just 3%. Some doctors now say they’re back in emergency mode. Unvaccinated Americans account for nearly all new COVID cases.
The variant is fueling cases everywhere except South Dakota and Wyoming. Arkansas, Florida, and Missouri are seeing the highest infection rates.
In Florida, where new COVID cases have nearly doubled in a week, a federal appeals court ruled that pandemic restrictions on Florida-based cruise ships will remain.
More than 65% of Americans ages 12 and over have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.
The FDA is accelerating the review process to fully approve the Pfizer vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci says it could come by the end of August. But, he says younger children may not get their shots until winter or the end of the year.
Here are more of today’s headlines:
4 mass vaccination centers in NY close Monday
New York State is closing four mass vaccination sites Monday, including the site at Jones Beach on Long Island. The site at the Javits Center in Manhattan is already closed.
European Union’s vaccination campaign catching up with the United States
The European Union’s vaccination campaign is catching up with the United States. European officials vaunted figures from Our World in Data showing that 55.6% of EU citizens have had at least one dose, compared to 55.4% in the U.S. It was the first time the EU figures outpaced those across the Atlantic.
Our World in Data says the U.S. still has a higher proportion of fully vaccinated people. The figures are 48% in the U.S. versus 42% in the EU. Britain and some other countries are moving faster than either. The EU took a more cautious approach to vaccines initially and got off to a slower start than the U.S.
First positive COVID tests for athletes in Olympic Village
Two South African soccer players have become the first athletes inside the Olympic Village to test positive for COVID-19, with the Tokyo Games opening on Friday. Organizers confirmed the positive tests on Sunday but didn’t identify the athletes other than to say they were non-Japanese. The South African Football Association later confirmed there were three COVID-19 cases in its delegation – two players and a video analyst.
Cases on rise in all 50 states for 1st time in 6 months
For the first time in 6 months, the number of COVID cases is rising in all 50 states. Health officials say most of the cases are happening with people who are not vaccinated. They say the vaccination rates are down about 85 percent since mid-April. In part of California, officials have re-instated a mask mandate.
Mayor de Blasio says masks will continue to be optional in New York City.
No plan for NYC to return to mask mandates, Mayor Bill de Blasio says
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that there are no plans to return to mandatory mask wearing like what was recently re-enacted in Los Angeles County, as the highly contagious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus spreads. De Blasio pointed to the hospitalization rate of .31 per 100,000 people.
“We do not have a plan to change course at this point, but we are going to watch the data constantly to see if any adjustments are needed,” he said. “(It’s) a very low rate, and it’s stayed low in the recent weeks.”
NY lawmaker against mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for colleges, universities
A Republican lawmaker is voicing her opposition to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations at New York colleges and universities. Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead) held a press conference Friday to speak out against the plan to require all students attending state colleges and universities this fall to take the vaccine as a requirement for enrollment.
“With what we now know about the virus and the necessity for vaccinating young people, students should not be forced to choose between getting the shots or attending college,” Giglio said. “The vaccines are still considered experimental, and we should not be forcing them on this extremely low-risk population.”
Woman goes viral after getting kicked off cruise ship over positive COVID test
A woman from the Bronx went viral for video she took while being booted from a cruise over a positive COVID-19 test. Laura Angelo says it was all a mistake, but cruise lines have strict measures in place to protect passengers.
New LA County health order requires face coverings indoors as COVID cases spike
Citing continued increases in transmission of COVID-19, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is re-implementing a mandate requiring residents to wear masks while indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. The county previously only recommended mask-wearing indoors. The new mandate will take effect at 11:59 p.m. Saturday night, officials announced Thursday.
NYC vaccination rates by zip code
There are about a dozen communities in the New York City area where three out of four people have not been vaccinated yet. 7 On Your Side Investigates created a map where the darkest colored zip codes have the most vaccinated New Yorkers and the lightest, the least.
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