(NEW YORK) — The United States is facing a COVID-19 surge this summer as the more contagious delta variant spreads.
More than 618,000 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 58.8% 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 Thursday. All times Eastern:
Aug 12, 7:59 am
Fauci talks booster shots
The Food and Drug Administration is poised to authorize a third COVID shot for the immunocompromised on Thursday, sources told ABC News.
About 3% of the population would qualify, Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”
He said the boosters would be “for example, people who have transplantation and are on immunosuppressive drugs for that; people on therapy for cancer — cancer chemotherapy; people with advanced HIV disease; and people who are receiving immune suppressive therapy for a variety of diseases.”
When asked if the boosters would be available to everyone, Fauci said, “You have to follow people, which we’re doing in real-time, mainly a non-immune compromised, either an elderly person or a younger person … to determine if their level of protection goes below a critical level.”
He added, “If and when it does, and it’s likely that it will because no vaccine is gonna last forever, we’re gonna be ready and have a plan to give those individuals the additional dose they might need.”
Aug 12, 1:55 am
University of Mississippi Medical Center opening field hospital in garage
The University of Mississippi Medical Center, overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients due to the delta variant, is opening a field hospital in one of the center’s garages.
The unit will have 50 beds and will likely be available to take in patients by Friday, Gov. Tate Reeves wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
The news comes as Mississippi recorded 3,163 positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Aug 11, 11:33 pm
4 Georgia school districts pause in-person learning
Four school districts in Georgia recently paused in-person learning as positive cases of the coronavirus among staff and students swelled in the first days of school this month.
The districts — Macon, Taliaferro, Glascock and Talbot — account together for less than 1% of Georgia’s 1.7 million students, but the need to shut down in-person learning so early in the school year worries district officials.
“The difference now in this outbreak that we see than the outbreak that happened last school year is that this seems to be more centered on kids rather than adults, so that scares me to death,” Jack Catrett, the superintendent of schools in Talbot County, told Columbus ABC affiliate WTVM.
Talbot County, which had 11 students test positive on Friday, shut its doors to students for one week, with kids returning Monday. The other three districts have planned for two-week pauses to in-person learning.
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