(NEW YORK) — The United States is facing a COVID-19 surge this summer as the more contagious delta variant spreads.
More than 633,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while over 4.4 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 60.5% 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 Friday. All times Eastern:
Aug 27, 4:27 am
Houston sees 5-fold increase in COVID-19 vaccinations
COVID-19 vaccinations in Houston increased more than five-fold on Thursday as the city launched a new incentive program.
The Houston Health Department is now providing up to $150 in gift cards to get vaccinated against COVID-19. A total of 740 vaccine doses were administered at the health department’s eligible sites on Thursday, the first day of the program, marking a 51% increase over Wednesday’s total of 121 doses.
Of the total shots administered Thursday, 658 were first doses and 82 were second dose, according to a press release from the health department.
Aug 26, 10:29 pm
SCOTUS suspends eviction moratorium
The U.S. Supreme Court suspended the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s nationwide eviction moratorium in an unsigned, 6-3 opinion Thursday night
“It is indisputable that the public has a strong interest in combating the spread of the COVID–19 Delta variant. But our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends,” the court wrote. “It is up to Congress, not the CDC, to decide whether the public interest merits further action here.”
“If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it,” it continued. “The application to vacate stay presented to THE CHIEF JUSTICE and by him referred to the Court is granted.”
Liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan dissented.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki lamented the Supreme Court’s ruling, saying the CDC moratorium “saved lives by preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
“As a result of this ruling, families will face the painful impact of evictions, and communities across the country will face greater risk of exposure to COVID-19,” Psaki said in a statement, before reiterating President Joe Biden’s call for states, localities, landlords and local courts to do what they can to prevent evictions.
The Biden administration has repeatedly called on Congress to act in regard to the eviction moratorium, but Republicans have opposed the proposals.
The CDC had issued a 60-day extension to the moratorium the first week in August after the previous one expired July 31.
Aug 26, 6:37 pm
Every state now reporting high community transmission
Every state in the country is now reporting high community transmission of COVID-19, according to newly updated federal data.
In mid-June, no states were reporting high transmission, and just six states were reporting substantial transmission. Now, 10 weeks later, all 50 states are in that category, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The development comes as the delta variant has also rapidly spread. In June, the highly contagious variant accounted for just 26.4% of all new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.; today, it accounts for nearly 99%, according to the CDC.
Aug 26, 4:07 pm
US reporting more than 800 deaths per day, marking highest average in 5 months
The U.S. is continuing to experience its steepest increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations since the winter of 2020, with more than 101,000 patients now in hospitals, according to federal data. This marks the highest number of patients in seven months.
Eight weeks ago, there were under 12,000 patients receiving care.
The country’s daily death average has increased to more than 800 deaths per day. This is a 317% jump in the last seven weeks and marks the highest average since mid-March 2021.
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