Coronavirus Updates: Cases up 230% in the last month

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The daily case average of COVID in the United States has reached 137,000. That's up 230% in the last month.

"It's 'The Neverending Story.' And their biggest question is, 'When's this going to stop?'" said Dr. Joseph Varon, United Memorial Medical Center, Houston.

Dr. Varon says that 33 out of 35 hospitals in metropolitan Houston are no longer accepting new patients.

"The projections are this will end sometime around March of next year but that doesn't take into account human stupidity," Dr. Varon said.

Doctors say the overwhelming majority of new patients are among unvaccinated people.

Data shows only 46% of 18 to 24-year-olds are fully vaccinated.

Here are more of today's headlines:



Mom shares daughter's final message before dying of COVID
A Texas mother is sharing her daughter's final message before dying after a weekslong battle with COVID-19 complications.

Paige Ruiz was due to deliver Celeste on July 30, 2021. She tested positive for COVID-19 on July 24, just days before her due date and days before the CDC and a national OBGYN group strongly recommended vaccination for pregnant women.

Ruiz was able to recover enough to be alert and meet her newborn daughter via video call. However, she soon developed COVID-19 complications. She passed away on Aug. 15. She was never able to hold baby Celeste.

New Jersey vaccine mandate for school personnel
Gov. Phil Murphy announced that all New Jersey school personnel, from pre-K through 12th grade, will be required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 or undergo regular testing -- up to one or two times a week.


Pentagon to mandate COVID-19 vaccine for military service members
The Pentagon says it will require service members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine now that the Pfizer vaccine has received full approval.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is making good on his vow earlier this month to require the shots once the Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine.

Pfizer vaccine approved by FDA
The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, a milestone that may help lift public confidence in the shots as the nation battles the most contagious coronavirus mutant yet.

The vaccine, which will now be marketed as Comirnaty, made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech now carries the strongest endorsement from the Food and Drug Administration, which has never before had so much evidence to judge a shot's safety.

NYC vaccine requirement for teachers, school employees
Mayor Bill de Blasio says public school employees will have to have received at least one dose by September 27th. The new vaccination policy will not allow weekly testing as an option.

Why you shouldn't rush to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot before it's your turn
In the next month, millions of Americans will get ready to roll up their sleeves for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But when it comes to booster shots, it's not as simple as "more is more" -- it's also a matter of when.

For severely immunocompromised people, a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is available now. Come mid-September, that option is expected to be open for everyone who got Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, at least eight months after their second dose.

Health experts caution not to jump the gun -- or the line -- on when you might actually need a booster shot.

Large events canceled due to delta variant, wallop states' economies
A festival in New Orleans. Concerts in Nashville, Tennessee. A comic book convention in Atlanta. As the delta variant surges across the country, states with low COVID vaccination rates are reeling from a loss in tourism dollars due to large-event cancellations and postponements.

Of the 11 states with vaccination rates under 50%, Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia have cancelled staple events, costing an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars for local and state economies, according to officials.

What to know about delta and other COVID-19 variants of concern
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed the COVID-19 delta variant as one of its "variants of concern" (VOCs) on June 15. According to the CDC, VOCs can be more contagious, more dangerous, less susceptible to available treatments or harder to detect. The current VOCs all have mutations in the virus's spike protein, which acts as a key to break into cells to infect them. And that's a potential concern because the spike protein from the original version of the virus is what scientists used to design all three authorized vaccines. It's also what monoclonal antibody treatments latch on to so the virus can't get into your cells, effectively "neutralizing" the threat. So far none of these mutations have changed the virus enough to undercut the vaccines. The uncontrolled spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, means the virus is mutating quickly. That's why many new variants are being discovered in places with the highest infection rates and large numbers of unvaccinated individuals, like the United States, the United Kingdom, India and Brazil.

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