By WILLIAM MANSELL, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 863,000 people worldwide.
Over 26 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 criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has varied from country-to-country. Still, 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.
Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.
The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than six million diagnosed cases and at least 185,747 deaths.
California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 715,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 637,000 cases and over 631,000 cases respectively.
Nearly 170 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, six of which are in crucial phase three trials.
Here’s how the news is developing Thursday. All times Eastern:
Sep 03, 6:55 am
Over 800 students positive at University of Georgia
The University of Georgia reported that more than 800 people on campus have tested positive for COVID-19. Data released Wednesday showed that 798 students, 19 staff members and four faculty members tested positive following the first week of classes.
“The rise in positive tests last week is concerning. It is critically important that all of our students continue to make every effort to prioritize their health and safety by taking the proper steps to avoid exposure to this virus,” UGA President Jere W. Morehead said in a statement Wednesday. “… And, for those of you heading out of town over the Labor Day weekend, be very careful and think about the health of everyone around you. All of us must take our responsibilities very seriously as we seek to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
One professor at UGA said while the number of confirmed diagnosed cases is concerning, he believes the true numbers could be much higher.
Dr. Mark Ebell, an epidemiology professor at UGA, told ABC affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta that he believes, based on test data, that another 2,000 asymptomatic students could be on campus right now.
He said those who tested positive are those “who had a cough, fever and knew they were sick and reported the diseases.”
The state of Georgia has more than 274,000 diagnosed cases of coronavirus, with at least 5,795 deaths.
Colleges and universities throughout the country are seeing a rise in cases and students come back to campus. At the University of Indiana, 30 Greek Houses, which have over 1,000 students, have been told to quarantine due to COVID-19.
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