(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 758,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
Just 68.5% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Nov 12, 7:06 am
Colorado approves COVID-19 booster for all adults
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order on Thursday declaring the entire state at high risk from COVID-19, thereby making all fully vaccinated adults eligible to receive a booster shot.
“We want to ensure that Coloradans have every tool they need to protect themselves from this deadly virus and to help reduce the stress on our hospitals and health care workers,” Polis said in a statement.
Every Coloradan aged 18 and up who is at least six months past the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, or two months past the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, can now receive a booster shot.
“I was relieved to get the booster two weeks ago,” Polis said, “and strongly encourage you to get it too.”
Nov 11, 2:26 pm
US COVID hospitalizations increase for 3rd consecutive day
Thursday marked the third consecutive day where COVID hospitalizations rose nationwide.
Fourteen states reported a 10% increase in hospital admissions over the last week. The states are Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Total hospitalizations are down nearly 55% since mid-August.
Nov 10, 9:21 pm
COVID-19 deaths expected to continue to fall in weeks to come
COVID-19 forecast models used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are currently predicting that weekly death totals will likely continue to fall in the weeks to come, though thousands of Americans are still expected to lose their lives.
The ensemble model expects just under 15,000 more virus-related deaths to occur in the U.S. over the next two weeks, with a total of around 781,500 deaths by Dec. 4.
The model estimates that 13 states and territories of the U.S. have a greater than 50% chance of having more deaths in the next two weeks compared to the past two weeks.
Nov 10, 9:15 pm
Federal judge strikes down Texas ban on school mask mandates
A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order prohibiting local mask mandates, including in schools, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Since the order was issued in late July, state Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed lawsuits against more than a dozen school districts for issuing mask mandates, according to the ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel. In August, advocacy group Disability Rights Texas filed the lawsuit against the state on behalf of several students with disabilities who faced an increased risk from COVID-19, alleging it denied them equal access to in-person learning.
“The evidence presented by Plaintiffs establishes that Plaintiffs are being denied the benefits of in-person learning on an equal basis as their peers without disabilities,” Yeakel wrote in his ruling.
Yeakel also said the executive order “interferes with local school districts’ ability to satisfy their obligations under the ADA” by placing all authority with the governor.
Yeakel enjoined the state from enforcing the mask mandate ban and ordered that the plaintiffs recover their court costs from the state.
Paxton has said the state is “protecting the rights and freedoms” of residents by banning mask mandates.
Nov 10, 6:43 pm
States sue over vaccine mandate for health care workers
Ten states are suing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services over the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate targeting health care workers.
About 17 million health care workers who are employed at places that get funding through CMS are required to get vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022. They do not have the option to test.
“The mandate is a blatant attempt to federalize public health issues involving vaccination that belong within the States’ police power,” stated the suit, which was filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is running for Senate.
The attorneys general of Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota and New Hampshire have joined the lawsuit, which is one of many filed against different parts of the Biden administration’s vaccine requirements but the first to target the health care worker mandate.
Twenty-six states are suing over the mandate that applies to businesses, while another handful are suing over the federal worker mandate. Last week, a federal court temporarily blocked the business vaccine rule.
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