(NEW YORK) — The United States has been facing a COVID-19 surge as the more contagious delta variant continues to spread.
More than 714,000 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.
-Some states with colder climates begin to see an uptick in infections
-Nets’ Kyrie Irving, who isn’t vaccinated, won’t play until he can be a full participant
-Pediatric infection rates trending down
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern.
Oct 12, 1:59 pm
American Airlines continues with vaccine mandate despite governor’s executive order
Texas-based American Airlines is sticking to its plan to require vaccines for employees under the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate, despite a new executive order from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott banning mandates.
American said in a statement, “We are reviewing the executive order issued by Gov. Abbott, but we believe the federal vaccine mandate supersedes any conflicting state laws, and this does not change anything for American.”
On Monday, Abbott issued an executive order banning vaccine mandates “by any entity” in the state. Abbott said, “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced.”
ABC News’ Sam Sweeney
Oct 12, 12:58 pm
Some states with colder climates begin to see an uptick in infections
While infection rates are plummeting in the South, causing national metrics to fall, some states in colder climates are beginning to see an uptick in cases, despite some impressive vaccination rates.
Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNN on Monday,” “You’re starting to see an uptick in cases in the colder parts of the country and as people are driven indoors without masks on.”
These states have seen case rates jump by 20% or more in the last month, according to federal data: Colorado (22%), Idaho (21.6%), New Hampshire (54%), Vermont (42.6%), Montana (82.6%), Michigan (90.9%) and Minnesota (75.9%).
Alaska currently has the country’s highest infection rate, followed by Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and Idaho, according to federal data. California currently has the nation’s lowest infection rate.
Death rates remain high with about 1,400 deaths reported each day, according to federal data. But daily COVID-19 related hospital admissions down nationally by 13.4% in the last week.
ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos
Oct 12, 11:14 am
Nets’ Kyrie Irving, who isn’t vaccinated, won’t play until he can be a full participant
Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving, who has refused to get vaccinated, won’t “play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement Tuesday.
Barclays Center, home to the Nets, requires proof of vaccination for entry.
“We respect his individual right to choose,” Marks said, but “the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability.”
“It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice,” Marks said.
Oct 12, 11:07 am
Federal judge sides with NY health care workers who object to vaccine mandate on religious grounds
A federal judge in Utica, New York, sided Tuesday with 17 health care workers who object to the state vaccine mandate for health workers on religious grounds, granting their request for an injunction.
Unlike other judges who have heard similar cases about vaccine mandates, Judge David Hurd concluded “the public interest lies with enforcing the guarantees enshrined in the Constitution and federal anti-discrimination law” and not the wider public health.
The plaintiffs said they hold the sincere religious belief that they “cannot consent to be inoculated … with vaccines that were tested, developed or produced with fetal cell line[s] derived from procured abortions.” According to plaintiffs, the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available violate these sincere religious beliefs “because they all employ fetal cell lines derived from procured abortion in testing, development or production.”
ABC News’ Aaron Katersky
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.