COVID cases across the country have doubled in just the last three weeks.
Officials in 28 states are now reporting at least a 10% jump in infections in recent days, fueled by the more contagious Delta variant.
In Mississippi, seven children are now in the ICU with COVID, two are on ventilators.
In Tennessee, the state's top vaccine official says she was fired for trying to spread information about the shot. The state is now reportedly stopping all adolescent vaccine outreach programs.
Here are more of today's headlines:
Vaccines highly effective against COVID hospitalizations, deaths in NYC, study finds
Mayor Bill de Blasio released some compelling numbers on why he says people may want to consider getting vaccinated if they haven't. Officials say the study illustrates how well vaccines work at preventing hospitalization and death. The research was compiled by epidemiologists at Yale University, supported by the Commonwealth Fund. Between January 1, 2021, and June 15, 2021, 98.4% of hospitalizations (36,628 out of 37,211) and 98.8% of deaths (8,069 out of 8,163) from COVID-19 infection were in those who were not fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated people accounted for 1.6% (583) hospitalizations and 1.2% (94) deaths. The epidemiologists estimated that New York City's vaccination campaign has prevented about 250,000 COVID-19 cases, 44,000 hospitalizations and 8,300 deaths from COVID-19 infection since the start of vaccination through July 1, 2021.
US overdose deaths hit record 93,000 in 2020 amid COVID pandemic
Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government reported Wednesday. That estimate far eclipses the high of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths reached the previous year and amounts to a 29% increase.
"This is a staggering loss of human life," said Brandon Marshall, a Brown University public health researcher who tracks overdose trends.
The nation was already struggling with its worst overdose epidemic but clearly "COVID has greatly exacerbated the crisis," he added.
Olivia Rodrigo visits White House to help get young people vaccinated against COVID-19
Pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo visited the White House on Wednesday to meet with President Joe Biden and his chief COVID-19 medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, to record videos to encourage young people to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
"I am beyond honored and humbled to be here today to help spread the message about the importance of youth vaccination," Rodrigo said from the White House press briefing room podium. "I'm in awe of the work President Biden and Dr. Fauci have done and was happy to help lend my support to this important initiative. It's important to have conversations with friends and family members encouraging all communities to get vaccinated, and actually get to a vaccination site, which you can do more easily than ever before, given how many sites we have and how easy it is to find them at vaccines.gov."
Youth vaccination rates continue to lag significantly behind the general American population.
Norwegian Cruise Lines sues state of Florida over vaccine passport ban
Norwegian Cruise Lines is suing Florida after the state banned vaccine passports, saying it cannot safely resume sailings without ensuring its passengers and crew are vaccinated against COVID-19. In a complaint filed Tuesday, the company called the move a "last resort."
"The State of Florida has indicated that it is otherwise preventing (Norwegian) from safely and soundly resuming passenger cruise operations from Miami, Florida,...in the way that this cruise line has determined will be best for all concerned -- with the benefit of documentation confirming that all of its passengers and crew have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19," the complaint said.
US consumer prices in June rose 0.9% from May, biggest jump in 13 years
Prices for U.S. consumers jumped in June by the most in 13 years, evidence that a swift rebound in spending has run up against widespread supply shortages that have escalated the costs of many goods and services. Tuesday's report from the Labor Department showed that consumer prices in June rose 0.9% from May and 5.4% over the past year - the sharpest 12-month inflation spike since August 2008. Excluding volatile oil and gas prices, so-called core inflation rose 4.5% in the past year, the largest increase since November 1991. The pickup in inflation, which has coincided with the economy's rapid recovery from the pandemic recession, will likely intensify a debate at the Federal Reserve and between the Biden administration and congressional Republicans about how persistent the accelerating price increases will prove to be.
Olympic athletes to put medals around their own necks at Tokyo ceremonies
Athletes at the Tokyo Olympics will put their medals around their own necks to protect against spreading the coronavirus. The "very significant change" to traditional medal ceremonies in the 339 events was revealed Wednesday by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
"The medals will not be given around the neck," Bach told international media on a conference call from Tokyo. "They will be presented to the athlete on a tray and then the athlete will take the medal him or herself."
4 more mass vaccinations sites shutting down in NY
Four more mass vaccination sites will cease operations as part of the ongoing downscaling and focus on localized vaccination efforts. The sites at Jones Beach, the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls, Plattsburgh International Airport, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute - Utica will cease their operations following vaccinations on Monday, July 19. Additionally, Governor Cuomo announced the mass vaccination site at the New York State Fairgrounds will relocate from the Expo Center to the Arts & Home Center, effective Wednesday, July 14.
"As our vaccination efforts continue across the state, we are continuing to target communities that have lower vaccination rates and using every tool at our disposal to make the vaccine accessible to every New Yorker," Cuomo said. "In line with this strategy, the downscaling of our mass vaccination sites is proceeding as planned and we are shifting resources to where they are most needed, so we can get more shots into people's arms and defeat this virus once and for all."
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.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE
New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus
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