By WILLIAM MANSELL and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — (NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 716,000 people worldwide.
More than 19.1 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.
The United States is the worst-affected country around the world, with more than 4.8 million diagnosed cases and at least 160,255 deaths.
Here’s how the news is developing Friday. All times Eastern:
3:30 p.m.: California surpasses 10,000 deaths
California, the state with the most coronavirus cases in the U.S., has now passed the grim milestone of 10,000 fatalities, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Over 538,000 people in the state have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and at least 10,011 people have died, according to state data.
In the last two weeks, the number of hospitalizations in California has dropped by 15%, the data showed.
3 p.m.: Fauci expects ‘tens of millions of doses’ of vaccine in early 2021
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday he expects “tens of millions of doses” of the COVID-19 vaccine in the early months of 2021.
“They’ve already guaranteed they’re gonna have hundreds of millions of doses in 2021.” Fauci said in a livestreamed conversation with incoming Brown School of Public Health dean Dr. Ashish K. Jha. “If you look at the first couple of months of 2021, we’re not gonna have 100 million doses, we’re gonna have tens of millions of doses, which means that we gotta prioritize.”
Health care employees, front-line workers and vulnerable, elderly people will likely be prioritized, Fauci said, noting that an independent committee from the National Academy of Medicine will help advise the CDC on distribution.
“We don’t know yet what the efficacy might be,” Fauci added. I believe we’ll get an effective vaccine, but we don’t know if it’s going to be 50% or 60%. Hopefully, I’d like to see 75% or more.”
“But the chances of it being 98% effective is not great, which means you must never abandon the public health approach,” he added.
1:20 p.m.: Surgeon General says this will be ‘most important flu season’ in his lifetime
Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams is warning that this fall and winter will be the most important flu season in his lifetime, explaining that it’s crucial to increase confidence in vaccines to prevent overwhelming ICUs with both COVID-19 and flu patients.
In an interview on Doctor Radio Reports on SiriusXM, Adams said slightly less than 50% of adults get their flu shot and that number is even lower among Blacks.
Adams said a potential COVID-19 vaccine must be more widely accepted.
“If we have that level of compliance for [a] COVID vaccine, then it doesn’t matter how effective or how safe this vaccine is — it’s still not going to help us stop this outbreak. And it still could actually worsen disparities,” Adams warned.
He said there’s “a real opportunity” for “health influences … to go and tell people: ‘vaccines are safe. They are effective. Here is how they work."”
“You need to both get a flu vaccine, and when it becomes available, you need to get a COVID vaccine,” Adams said. And I am hopeful. I’m hopeful that because of coronavirus, we may actually see vaccine uptake increase across the country, particularly for vaccinations like the flu vaccine.”
11:40 a.m.: All New York school districts can open, Cuomo says
In New York state, which was once the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, all school districts can open for the fall based on the infection rate, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on a conference call Friday.
“Every region is well below our COVID infection limit,” Cuomo tweeted. “If the infection rate spikes, the guidance will change accordingly.”
Each of the 749 school districts must have a reopening plan approved by the state’s Department of Health, the governor said. So far, 127 districts have not submitted plans to the department of health.
Each district should also post a remote learning plan and a plan for testing, he said.
11:20 a.m.: Florida has 4 counties with no ICU beds
Hard-hit Florida has 47 hospitals with no available intensive care unit beds, according to the state’s Agency for Healthcare Administration.
Four counties — Bay, Monroe, Nassau and Putnam — had no open ICU beds as of Friday morning, the agency said.
Thirty-one hospitals in the state had just one available ICU bed.
These numbers are expected to fluctuate throughout the day as hospitals and medical centers provide updates.
Florida has over 518,000 coronavirus cases, according to state Department of Health data. Florida has the second-highest number of cases in the country behind California.
9 a.m.: Entire high school football team quarantined in Alabama
The entire football team at Alabama’s Oneonta High School is under quarantine due to coronavirus cases, ABC Birmingham affiliate WBMA-TV reported.
Practice will resume on Aug. 18 and the team’s first game is set for Aug. 21, WBMA reported.
Oneonta High School’s school year has been delayed to start on Aug. 18 after an emergency school board meeting vote on Thursday, the school said.
Classes will have a hybrid in-person/remote learning schedule. Some students have registered for full-time remote learning, the high school said.
7:38 a.m.: CDC says up to 190,000 dead by end of August
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 death projections, saying the coronavirus death toll could reach 190,000 by the end of August. The government’s ensemble forecast predicts “deaths may decrease,” but another 15,000 to 30,000 more Americans may die from COVID-19 over the next 23 days.
This week’s national ensemble forecast predicts that weekly reports of new COVID-19 deaths may decrease over the next four weeks, with 4,500 to 10,600 new deaths reported during the week ending Aug. 29. Its forecast predicts that 175,000 to 190,000 total COVID-19 deaths will be reported by that date.
State-level forecasts, according to the CDC, predict that the number of reported new deaths per week may increase over the next four weeks in Hawaii and Puerto Rico and may decrease in Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico, the Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Texas, Vermont and the Virgin Islands.
The COVID Tracking Project reported that for the first time since early March, the number of people tested for COVID-19 is down. This week’s tests were 9.1% lower than last week’s national peak of 5.7 million tests.
New cases of COVID-19 were also down this week by 10.4% , according to the COVID Tracking Project.
5:20 a.m.: US weekly COVID-19 cases, deaths down
Another day, another grim milestone for the U.S. as the coronavirus pandemic continues across the globe. Overnight, the U.S. surpassed 160,000 deaths, bringing its total to at least 160,104 as of 4:30 a.m., according to Johns Hopkins. The U.S. crossed 150,000 deaths last week.
In good news, however, an internal Federal Emergency Management Agency memo obtained by ABC News shows that the U.S. is slightly coming down from its recent national surge. New cases and deaths in the last week have both decreased in week-over-week comparisons. At least 396,559 new cases were confirmed during the period of July 29 and Aug. 5, which is a 12.6% decrease from the previous seven-day period.
There were 7,348 deaths recorded in the same time frame, marking a 2.4% decrease in new deaths compared with the previous week.
The national test-positivity rate is also going down. In the last seven days, the rate was 7.5%, which is down from 8.6% from the previous week.
Only two states and territories, according to the FEMA memo, are in an upward trajectory of new cases, while eight are at a plateau and 46 states and territories are going down.
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