With in-person classes now in session for millions of students across the country, concerns over a fall delta COVID surge are growing.
More than 243,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 last week, the second-highest case week ever.
One million children across the country have tested positive for COVID in the last month.
Here are more of today's COVID-19 headlines:
90% of Nassau County adults vaccinated
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced Tuesday that 90.1% of adult residents 18 and up have now received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, the highest adult vaccination rate of all 62 counties in New York State, according to the New York State Department of Health. In comparison, 79.1% of adults in New York State have received at least one vaccine dose, and 75.7% of adults in the United States have received at least one vaccine dose. Nassau County has the second highest adult vaccination rate among the 40 most populous counties in the United States.
"Nassau County is a national model for vaccination," Curran said. "I want to commend and thank our residents for stepping up to this historic challenge and doing the right thing. The vaccine is saving lives every day and Nassau is committed to keeping up our momentum."
Judge halts part of NY COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers
A federal judge in New York has issued a temporary restraining order that stops the state from enforcing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate if a health care worker claims a religious exemption. The decision is a win - at least temporarily - for a group of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who challenged a state regulation mandating the COVID-19 vaccination of health care workers with no exemption for religious beliefs that compel the refusal of such vaccination. The lawsuit accused former Gov. Andrew Cuomo of running a "nearly 18-month-long medical dictatorship" and is laden with grievances about pandemic policies both in New York and outside the state.
De Blasio announces Emergency Rikers Relief Plan
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled details Tuesday of an emergency plan to address ongoing issues at Rikers Island that have been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. The plan includes the hiring of contractors to repair broken doors, do cleaning work, etc.; the use of NYPD officers to staff courtrooms, freeing up DOC officers to return to Rikers; stepping up efforts to account for DOC staff members who are absent without leave; speeding up intake processes to reduce overcrowding; and expanding medical evaluation capacity by reopening two clinics previously closed.
'Hamilton,' 'Lion King' among big musicals raising curtain Tuesday
After 18 months in the dark due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the biggest and most popular Broadway musicals are welcoming back audiences Tuesday as the Great White Way springs back to life. Hamilton, Wicked, The Lion King, and Chicago will once again raise the curtain, this time for crowds that are fully vaccinated and wearing masks. Previews will also begin for Lackawanna Blues, with opening night scheduled for September 28.
"When you think of New York City...it's the capital of arts and culture," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "People love Broadway. When Broadway is up and running, it says so much about New York City. And tonight, a lot of Broadway is coming back...You can feel the life of the city coming back."
Fauci supports mandatory vaccine for air travel
The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said he would support mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for air travel. "I would support that," Dr. Fauci told The Skimm podcast on Friday. "If you want to get on a plane and travel with other people ... you should be vaccinated." He did not specify in the podcast interview whether the vaccine mandate he supports would just be for travelers over the age of 12 or all travelers.
COVID cases in kids reach alarming new heights, with a 240% increase since July, data shows
Pediatric COVID cases are reaching alarming heights as experts are torn over whether or not a booster shot is necessary. COVID-19 infections have risen "exponentially" among children in the US since July, according to data published Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The group reported 243,373 new cases among kids over the past week. While this is a decline from last week, when 251,781 cases were reported, it's about a 240% increase since early July, when kids accounted for 71,726 cases.
NYC schools report 83 COVID cases as teachers protest vaccine mandate
Since the first day of school Monday, there have been 83 reported school coronavirus cases according to the city. Thirty-three cases have been reported among students and 50 among teachers.
"Our buildings are safe," Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter said. "The acknowledgment of cases is an acknowledgment of the added layers of safety and protection."
Russia's Vladimir Putin is in self-isolation due to COVID cases in his inner circle
Russian President Vladimir Putin entered self-isolation after people in his inner circle became infected with the coronavirus, the Kremlin said Tuesday, adding that the leader himself tested negative for COVID-19. Putin, who is fully vaccinated with Russia's Sputnik V, held several public engagements indoors Monday and even said that he may have to quarantine soon. An aide at the time sought to suggest he was speaking generally and insisted Tuesday that no one's heath was endangered. During a daily conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Putin is "absolutely healthy" but had come in contact with someone who contracted the virus. Asked if Putin tested negative for the virus, Peskov said "definitely, yes."
New report says vaccinated people don't need COVID booster shots, per FDA and WHO officials
The COVID-19 booster shot controversy continues as the White House battles mixed messaging with the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization. A review published in a top medical journal "The Lancet" argues there isn't strong enough data to warrant booster shots are needed for the general population already vaccinated, citing the vaccine's efficacy is still high enough to prevent severe disease and death. The report has 18 co-authors, including two high-ranking FDA officials who resigned over the controversy.
Massachusetts taps National Guard to help school districts amid bus driver shortage
As school districts across the U.S. are facing bus driver shortages, one state is tapping the National Guard to help. Starting Tuesday, Sept. 14, nearly 100 members of the Massachusetts National Guard will begin training sessions to serve as school bus drivers and assist communities impacted by school bus driver shortages. While the reasons for the shortage are varied, Curt Macysyn executive director for the National School Transportation Association, which represents private school bus contractors, told ABC News in August that health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic have played a role.
Alabama man dies after turned away from 43 hospitals packed with COVID patients, family says
An Alabama man died after he was turned away from 43 hospitals packed with COVID patients. Across the U.S., the Delta variant is not slowing down. ICU beds in seven states are running out, leaving little room for other emergencies. Ray DeMonia's family said it took calls to 43 hospitals across three states to get the 73-year-old a cardiac ICU bed. He later died in a facility in Mississippi, 200 miles from his Alabama home. His relatives wrote in his obituary "please get vaccinated...to free up resources for non-COVID related emergencies." It comes as COVID cases in children continue to rise, now making up one in four new infections.
Legacy of high school coach who died of COVID lives on through foundation for student athletes
Neighbors, first responders, health care workers, teachers and coaches are the strong, quiet heroes that make up every corner of the country, and one Indiana man's pep talks, booming voice and bear hugs will be greatly missed by his community but long remembered thanks to a new chapter of his legacy. The student athletes, staff and families of North Central High School lost their beloved coach Paul Loggan, a towering figure in Indianapolis for more than 30 years, to COVID-19. When his students learned about Loggan's diagnosis, they did what their coach had done so many times for them -- delivered pep talks.
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