COVID-19 live updates: More Americans died of COVID this year than all of 2020

(NEW YORK) — The United States has been facing a COVID-19 surge as the more contagious delta variant continues to spread.

More than 705,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while over 4.8 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 65.6% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the CDC.

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

Oct 06, 9:41 am
Nearly 200K rapid at-home antigen tests recalled

Ellume is recalling nearly 200,000 rapid at-home antigen tests out of concerns over an abnormally high rate of false positives.

Roughly 427,000 test kits, including thousands sent to retailers and some provided to the Department of Defense, were impacted. About 195,000 of these kits are still unused and subject to the recall, and about 202,000, have already been used. Of those, there were about 42,000 positive results, of which as many as a quarter, or perhaps fewer, of those positives could have been inaccurate, though it’s difficult to determine an exact ratio.

CEO Sean Parsons said in a statement, “I offer my sincere apologies — and the apologies of our entire company — for any stress or difficulties they may have experienced because of a false positive result,” Parsons said.

Ellume said it identified the root cause as an issue in variation with one of the kit’s components. The company said it has “implemented additional controls” and is “continuing to work on resolving the issue that led to this recall.”

Ellume is notifying affected customers and urging confirmatory tests.

Oct 06, 9:24 am
More Americans died of COVID this year than all of 2020

More Americans have died from COVID-19 this year than from the virus in all of 2020, according to newly updated data from Johns Hopkins University.

More than 353,000 COVID-19 deaths have been reported since Jan. 1, compared with 352,000 COVID-19 deaths in the first 10 months of the pandemic.

Over the last month, the U.S. has reported more than 47,000 deaths.

Oct 05, 8:06 pm
2,200 Kaiser Permanente employees on unpaid leave due to vaccine mandate

Over 2,000 Kaiser Permanente employees are on unpaid leave following the health care system’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate deadline, the company said Tuesday.

Kaiser Permanente’s 240,000 employees had until Sept. 30 to respond to the requirement. As of Monday, 2,200 people — about 1% of the company’s workforce — had been placed on unpaid leave for not complying, the company said.

That number has more than halved in the days since the deadline. On the morning of Oct. 1, roughly 5,000 employees were on unpaid leave.

Those on unpaid leave have until Dec. 1 to get the vaccine or secure a qualified medical or religious exemption, at which point they may return to work. If they do neither, they may be eligible for termination, Kaiser Permanente spokesperson Marc Brown told ABC News.

“We hope none of our employees will choose to leave their jobs rather than be vaccinated, but we won’t know with certainty until then,” Brown said. “We will continue to work with this group of employees to allay concerns and educate them about the vaccines, their benefits, and risks.”

Oct 05, 5:47 pm
FDA could authorize vaccine for young kids soon after Oct. 26 meeting, vaccine chief says

The Food and Drug Administration could issue an emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 soon after Oct. 26, when the agency’s advisory committee plans to discuss Pfizer’s data, the FDA’s vaccine chief said Tuesday.

Dr. Peter Marks couldn’t give an exact day, but said the FDA has “a track record of trying to move relatively swiftly” after these committee meetings and feels the weight of the world — and then some — to get this done.

“When we did the adult approval, we felt the weight of the world,” Marks told ABC News during the Q&A portion of a town hall hosted by the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project. “Here, we feel like the weight of the world, plus the weight of Mars on top of us, or some other planet as well.”

“This is clearly one of the most important issues to get done so we’re not going to be wasting any time,” he added.

Marks said he’s confident that the FDA will would have all necessary data from Pfizer in time for the meeting.

Last month, Pfizer said data shows its vaccine is safe and effective for children ages 5 to 11.

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