COVID-19 Updates: US could see 4,000 deaths per day by October

NEW YORK (WABC) — Some experts say the U.S. is on track to see 4,000 deaths per day by October, fears that are prompting new vaccine mandates across the country.

It comes as cases climb in 49 states and the highly contagious Delta variant threatens to overwhelm hospitals.

According to the CDC, every county in Arkansas and Louisiana has high levels of community transmission. In Florida, it’s all but one county.

A hospital near Miami is taking “dire steps” to accommodate the number of new unvaccinated patients, including converting a hospital auditorium for more bed space and allowing only vaccinated visitors.

Here are more of today’s headlines:

Molloy College to mandate COVID vaccinations for Fall semester
Molloy College released a statement on Tuesday saying the school will require all students to be vaccinated against COVID by August 25. The school says that as of July 27, 76% of the college’s employees have uploaded proof of vaccination. However, only 32% of the student population have uploaded proof of vaccination.

DHS Chief working remotely after COVID exposure
Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas is working remotely this week due to a recent exposure to COVID-19.

“Secretary Mayorkas has a virtual schedule this week after coming into close contact with a DHS official who later tested positive for COVID-19,” a spokesperson said. “The Secretary is fully vaccinated, has no symptoms, and has tested negative twice. Official DHS contact tracing is underway. These recommendations have been informed by the Office of the DHS Chief Medical Officer and are taken in an overabundance of caution.”

New CDC guidance: Parts of NY, NJ have ‘substantial’ risk of COVID transmission
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced new recommendations that vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in areas where the coronavirus is surging, and parts of New York and New Jersey are among the high risk areas.

The agency also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status, citing new information about the ability of the Delta variant to spread among vaccinated people.

CDC reverses course on indoor masks in some parts of US
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course Tuesday on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging.

Citing new information about the ability of the delta variant to spread among vaccinated people, the CDC also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

5 unvaccinated NYPD officers hospitalized, ‘some quite serious’
With COVID positivity rates on the rise, officials in the Tri-State area have started issuing mandates for people to get vaccinated – or mask up and face weekly COVID testing. While new cases in New York City are nowhere near what was seen during the height of the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio is reflecting growing concern over the delta variant and taking aim at unvaccinated city workers. Tuesday morning, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said that five NYPD officers are hospitalized, “some quite serious condition, and all unvaccinated.”

NYC Homecoming Week concert lineup announced
Mayor Bill de Blasio and legendary music producer Clive Davis announced the star-studded lineup for the “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert” in Central Park. The largest of the five concerts culminate with the Central Park concert on Saturday, August 21, on the Great Lawn. Davis, 89, was asked to find eight megastars to perform a three-hour show, and he delivered much more than that.

Florida teen on ventilator after COVID diagnosis; had not yet received COVID-19 vaccine
A Florida family is desperate for a miracle after their loved one, 15-year-old Paulina Velasquez, is now in critical condition, fighting COVID-19.

“Just seeing her like that is really heartbreaking,” Tomas Velasquez told WPLG. “I just want to tell people: This virus is not a joke. It’s a real thing. Before this, my sister was 100% healthy, 15-year old girl, always wore her mask, never took it off in public, and this still managed to happen.”

NJ businesses facing hiring crisis
The New Jersey Business & Industry Association says companies are facing an unprecedented hiring crisis. The organization says businesses being reopened at 100% means nothing if they don’t have the staffing needed to run their operation. NJBIA says there are three key reasons employers are struggling to find workers. They say reasons include childcare limitations and the federal unemployment supplement. The organization says extra money makes it more attractive for some people to stay home.

Moderna expanding kids COVID-19 vaccine study to better assess safety
Moderna plans to expand the size of its COVID-19 vaccine study in younger children to better detect rare side effects, such as a type of heart inflammation recently flagged by U.S. health authorities. The company said it is in talks with the Food and Drug Administration to enroll more study participants under age 12. It had intended to test the vaccine in about 7,000 children, with some as young as 6 months. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said via email it hasn’t decided on how many kids might be added.

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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