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Coronavirus update: 4 million dead worldwide, jobless claims rose last week

Germany will donate unused vaccine doses to other nations

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Photo (c) ismagilov - Getty Images
Coronavirus‌ ‌(COVID-19)‌ ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌ 

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 33,773,737 (33,752,627)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 606,249 (606,015)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 185,239,541 (184,803,266)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 4,004,646 (3,996,325)‌

Worldwide death toll passes 4 million mark

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may be on the decline in the U.S., but it continues to rage around the world. In the last few hours, the worldwide death toll from the virus passed the 4 million mark.

The COVID-19 Tracking Project at Johns Hopkins University showed that the death toll Thursday morning was 4,004,305. That’s out of more than 185,000,000 cases of the virus across the globe.

The U.S. continues to lead the world in total deaths from COVID-19, even though deaths have dropped sharply this year as millions of Americans got vaccinated. Other nations are beginning to catch up with the U.S. Brazil has reported 528,000 deaths and India has recorded 405,000 deaths.

Jobless benefits claims move higher again

The trend of lower unemployment claims came to an abrupt end last week. The Labor Department reports that initial claims for unemployment benefits rose to 373,000. 

Muddying the waters even more, the previous week’s benefits claims number was revised up by 7,000 from 364,000 to 371,000. The numbers are fairly surprising since many businesses report that they are having trouble finding new employees.

The report did show that the long-term trend is moving in the right direction. The number of people who continue to draw unemployment benefits is still going down, falling last week to its lowest level since the start of the pandemic.

Germany to donate the rest of its vaccine doses to other countries

With the virus raging in many parts of the world where COVID-19 vaccines are in short supply, the German government has announced that it plans to donate its remaining supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The shipments will begin next month.

The government said that at least 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would be given to the COVAX consortium, a group helping poor countries obtain enough vaccine doses to innoculate their populations. Many undeveloped nations have very low vaccination rates and are vulnerable to the highly contagious Delta variant.

According to Reuters, Germany has a surplus of the AstraZeneca vaccine because Germans have favored the vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech.

Around the nation

  • Vermont: State officials were quick to impose tough restrictions and were relentless during the vaccine rollout. As a result, the state is on the brink of becoming the first to achieve “herd immunity,” with a vaccination rate of 75%.

  • Missouri: While most states are seeing cases of the virus decline, they’re surging in Missouri. State health officials have reported more than 1,000 new cases in a single day for the first time in nearly five months.

  • New York: With COVID-19 restrictions now a thing of the past, New York City honored essential, frontline health workers with a traditional ticker-tape parade. The city’s doctors and nurses bore the brunt of the pandemic in the early days last year when cases threatened to overwhelm hospitals.

  • Kentucky: Although the state has reopened, the spike in Delta variant cases has health officials concerned and even talking about bringing back a mask mandate. “I should say that just in the last 24 hours we’ve had, it looks like we’ve seen, a few sicker unvaccinated patients come in. At some point we know we’re going to have an increase in numbers. Whether that’s in the next two weeks, or whether that’s in September I’m not really sure,” Dr. Mark Dougherty with Baptist Health Lexington told WDKY-TV.

  • Texas: Galveston County health officials say a COVID-19 outbreak stemming from a church summer camp has grown to about 160 cases. Authorities also say the infections include the highly contagious Delta variant. More than 450 people attended the camp in late June.

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