COVID News: US reports more than 40 million coronavirus infections

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The United States crossed another tragic milestone in the coronavirus pandemic.

The nation now reporting more than 40 million COVID infections.

The death toll could cross 650,000 by the end of the day.

At this point, there are more than 1,100 deaths each day, the highest number of deaths in six months.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration plans to begin booster vaccinations starting on September 20.

Here are more of today's COVID-19 headlines:



NBA All-Star Cedric Ceballos hospitalized in ICU with COVID-19
Former Lakers player and NBA All-Star Cedric Ceballos announced Tuesday that he has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week.

"On my 10th day in ICU, COVID-19 is officially kicking my but, I am asking ALL family, friends , prayer warriors healers for your prayers and well wish for my recovery," Ceballos said on Twitter.

Restaurants have reopened their doors, but the workers haven't come back
When COVID-19 reached the U.S. and government restrictions set in -- closing indoor dining in much of the country -- millions of restaurant workers found themselves without jobs. But now, as restaurants are reopening and people are once again going out to eat, owners are facing a different challenge: Their workers haven't returned.

Doctor takes to social media to urge COVID vaccinations
As COVID cases continue to surge across the U.S. due to the Delta variant, an Iowa doctor took to social media to urge vaccinations.

He started off by saying, "I feel like I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't say something."

Lance VanGundy is the ER medical director and an ER physician at Unitypoint Health in Marshalltown, Iowa. He goes on to warn about misinformation being spread about the virus and vaccines.

Nipah virus kills boy, 12, in Indian state already on high alert for COVID-19
The southern Indian state of Kerala is quickly ramping up efforts to stop a potential outbreak of the deadly Nipah virus, even as the state continues to battle the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country.

Kerala is on high alert after a 12-year-old boy died of the rare virus on Sunday, spurring health officials to start contact-tracing and isolating hundreds of people who came into contact with the boy, who died at a hospital in the coastal city of Kozhikode.

NY strengthens workplace protections against COVID
NY Governor Kathy Hochul announced Monday that the commissioner of health has designated COVID-19 a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health under New York State's HERO Act. As a result, all employers will now be required to adopt workplace safety plans in response to the pandemic. Employers can adopt a model safety plan as crafted by the New York State Department of Labor, or develop their own safety plan in compliance with HERO Act standards. "While we continue to increase our vaccination numbers, the fight against the Delta variant is not over, and we have to do everything we can to protect our workers," Hochul said. "This designation will ensure protections are in place to keep our workers safe and support our efforts to combat the virus and promote health and safety."

Booster shots for public may start later than 1st planned
Vaccine booster shots for the general public may begin later than initially planned. That's because while a booster shot for the Pfizer vaccine has gotten approval, the FDA is still reviewing data on a booster for the Moderna shots. One concern is how strong the dose should be. The goal was to begin booster shots in less than 3 weeks on September 20.

Already vaccinated against COVID? Experts say you're protected

Health experts are reinforcing the point that full vaccination remains highly effective against severe illness and death caused by COVID-19 as federal regulators consider the possibility of authorizing a third dose in the upcoming weeks. "What's the goal of this vaccine? The stated goal by (CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky) and others is to prevent serious infection, and all the data today, published by the CDC, presented by the CDC, is it's done exactly that," Dr. Paul Offit, a top vaccine expert and US Food and Drug Administration adviser said Friday. "There's been no evidence of clear erosion of protection against serious disease," he said. The conversation around vaccines has fluctuated because health experts are learning new information about the coronavirus and its variants. But amid the debate, experts are consistent in noting the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.

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