Coronavirus Updates: U.S. COVID cases have increased 51% in the past week

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Monday, July 26, 2021
U.S. COVID cases have increased 51% in the past week
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New cases have increased 51% in the past week, which is more than three times the numbers from late June.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Health care leaders are sounding the alarm amid a spike in COVID cases across the U.S.

New cases have increased 51% in the past week, which is more than three times the numbers from late June.

The current number of infections among Americans stands at roughly 306,000 with the country recording more than 43,000 daily cases.

Approximately 66% of the eligible population 12 and over have received at least one vaccine dose.

Many however remain hesitant, but some doctors, 98% of whom nationwide are vaccinated, say they are starting to see attitudes shift.

"All of the patients who are hospitalized here upon recovery have changed their mind and would get vaccinated once they are discharged," University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Medical Center CEO Stephen Mette said.

Florida is seeing more than 10,000 new cases a day amid concerns that this weekend's Rolling Loud music festival in Miami could become a super spreader event.

Here are more of today's headlines:

Most unvaccinated unlikely to get shots, new poll finds

A new poll shows that most Americans who haven't been vaccinated against the coronavirus say they are unlikely to get the shots. About 16% say they probably will get the vaccine. Most also doubt they would work against the aggressive delta variant, despite evidence they do. Those findings underscore the challenges facing public health officials as soaring infections in some states threaten to overwhelm hospitals. The poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found 35% of adults who have not yet received a vaccine say they probably will not, and 45% say they definitely will not. That means "that there will be more preventable cases, more preventable hospitalizations and more preventable deaths," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University.

US purchase extra Pfizer doses for children, possible booster shots

The Biden administration purchased an additional 200 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine to prepare for potential additional vaccine needs in the US, an administration official familiar with the contract tells CNN. Despite the slowing demand for COVID-19 vaccines, the administration official said the additional shots would be needed for children under 12, pending approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, and the possibility of booster shots for vaccinated individuals.

Radio host changes tune on vaccinations after hospitalized with COVID

For months, conservative Nashville, Tennessee-based radio host Phil Valentine has repeatedly made posts on multiple social media platforms telling his fans that if they weren't at risk for Covid-19, they shouldn't get the vaccine. That message changed on July 23, when the Valentine family made a public statement on the Facebook page of his talk radio station's Facebook page.

Federal court lifts CDC rules for Florida-based cruise ships

Pandemic restrictions on Florida-based cruise ships are no longer in place under a ruling Friday by a federal appeals court, while the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seek to fight a Florida lawsuit challenging the regulations. A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had temporarily blocked a previous ruling last Saturday that sided with Florida officials, but the court reversed that decision on Friday, explaining that the CDC failed to demonstrate an entitlement to a stay pending appeal.

Some of US's largest school districts reinstating masks

Mask mandates are being reinstated in some states, largely because of the Delta variant. The CDC director is calling it one of the most infectious respiratory diseases scientists have ever seen. Some of the biggest school districts are now making masks mandatory this upcoming school year. Atlanta, Chicago, and Boston all announced students and staff will be required to wear face coverings regardless of vaccination status. One model predicts the current spike in cases won't peak until October. "We are yet at another pivotal moment in this pandemic," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director.

Mayor calls on private employers to consider mandating vaccines for workers

As COVID-19 cases are on the rise, Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling on private employers to consider mandating employees get vaccinated.

On Friday, de Blasio encouraged businesses "to move immediately to some form of mandate" for vaccinations.

Tokyo Olympics: At least 100 US athletes unvaccinated as Games begin

About 100 of the 613 U.S. athletes descending on Tokyo for the Olympics are unvaccinated, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee's medical chief said hours before Friday night's opening ceremony.

Medical director Jonathan Finnoff said 567 of the American athletes had filled out their health histories as they prepared for the trip, and estimated 83% had replied they were vaccinated.

Alabama gov. says 'start blaming the unvaccinated folks' for rise in COVID cases

Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday called out "the unvaccinated folks" for the rise in COVID-19 cases in her state, a remarkable plea at a time when many GOP leaders are refusing to urge people to get vaccinated even as COVID-19 cases surge in many parts of the country.

Domino's says its wait times have gone up

Restaurants are short-staffed as they reopen and consumers embrace dining out again. That means longer wait times for your food when dining out. And unfortunately, you may encounter the same issue when ordering pizza at home.

Domino's says its wait times have gone up in certain regions.

In-person weddings resume in New York City

Even with coronavirus cases on the rise, New York City continues to reopen and the city's marriage bureau is resuming in-person weddings Friday.

You can get your marriage license in person, too. But unlike before the pandemic, you have to have an appointment.

Sleepaway camp in New York says 31 campers under 12 tested positive for COVID

A co-ed sleepaway camp in New York said that 31 campers between 7 and 11 years old have tested positive for Covid-19 -- but none of their vaccinated 12-and-up campers did.

Camp Pontiac, located in Copake, NY, about a two-hour drive from New York City, said in a letter to parents the first positive test result was received on July 16. The virus then spread further.

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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