(NEW YORK) — The United States has been facing a COVID-19 surge as the more contagious delta variant continues to spread.

More than 713,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while over 4.8 million people have died from the disease worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Just 66% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the CDC.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Oct 11, 6:41 pm

Abbott issues executive order banning vaccine mandates in Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that he issued an executive order that bans vaccine mandates “by any entity” in Texas.

The executive order prohibits entities from issuing a mandate to anyone who “objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19.”

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a statement.

The governor also announced that the issue over vaccine mandates will be addressed in a special session of the state legislature.

As of Monday evening, 72.4% of Texas residents over 12 have received one vaccine dose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Texas’s seven-day average for new daily COVID-19 cases is 7,447 as of Oct. 8, according to the CDC.

Oct 11, 3:33 pm

WHO advisory group recommends boosters for immunocompromised people

The World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization is recommending boosters for moderately and severely immunocompromised people. The group is also recommending a third dose of China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines for people 60 and older.

The WHO’s Director-General had previously called for a moratorium on boosters, citing inequities in access to vaccines. High-income countries have administered 35 times more vaccine doses than low-income countries. Countries in the WHO Africa Region have only fully vaccinated 3% of their populations.

-ABC News’ Christine Theodorou

Oct 11, 3:09 pm

Philadelphia Marathon requiring in-person participants to be fully vaccinated

All in-person runners must be fully vaccinated two weeks ahead of next month’s Philadelphia Marathon, officials announced. Runners with only a negative test won’t qualify.

Oct 11, 12:41 pm

Daily death average nearly 8 times higher than in mid-July

Although daily deaths have declined by about 17% in the last four weeks, the U.S. is still reporting an average of 1,465 new deaths each day, according to federal data. Over the last four days alone, the U.S. reported another 7,500 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

The death average is nearly eight times higher than in mid-July when the national average had dropped to a near pandemic low of 192 daily deaths, according to federal data.

But hospitalization admissions have dropped by about 11.4% in the last week, according to federal data.

There are currently about 65,000 COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals, down from 104,000 patients in late August.

In the Mountain Region — Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming — hospital admissions are steadily trending up, federal data show. In the Northeast, hospital admissions are no longer trending down.

-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos

Oct 11, 12:13 pm
Boston Marathon returns with COVID protocols in place

The Boston Marathon returned with 18,000 runners on Monday following a two-year hiatus.

The field size was reduced by 36% this year while another 28,000 runners participated in the race virtually.

Runners were required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Although masks were not mandated for the 26.2-mile course, face coverings were enforced on participant transportation, as well as for volunteers who interacted with participants.

According to the Boston Marathon Association, 95% of all Boston Marathon volunteers were vaccinated and 100% of Boston Marathon medical volunteers were vaccinated.

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