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Coronavirus update: The most deaths since March, another study backs vaccine efficacy

Pandemic causes labor shortage at Kroger

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

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 41,223,899 (40,956,556)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 662,262 (659,985)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 225,389,505 (224,792,464)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 4,642,054 (4,633,281)‌

Daily death toll highest since March

One measure of how quickly the U.S. has fallen off its pandemic recovery track is the daily death toll. Back in June, before the spread of the Delta variant, it was a little more than 250. This week it is more than 1,600 — the highest since March — according to The New York Times.

Since records have been kept, there have been more than 41 million COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and nearly 678,000 people have died. At the current rate of deaths, it’s estimated the death toll could exceed 700,000 next month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 179 million Americans are fully vaccinated, which is nearly 54% of the total population. Of those Americans over age 12 and eligible to receive the vaccine, 63% are fully vaccinated.

Another study finds fewer deaths among vaccinated people

British researchers have released the results of their study of COVID-19 deaths in England between January and July. This study by the UK Office For National Statistics found that 51,281 people died of the virus — but only 640 were fully vaccinated.

It follows three studies released by the CDC last week showing that the unvaccinated were 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the fully vaccinated.

“The risk of death involving COVID-19 was consistently lower for people who had received two vaccinations compared to one or no vaccination, as shown by the weekly age-standardized mortality rates (ASMRs) for deaths involving COVID-19,” the authors wrote.

Kroger CEO says pandemic hiring is a challenge

Kroger, along with every other supermarket chain, is having to contend with inflationary pressures in the wake of the pandemic, but company CEO Rodney McMullen says that isn’t its biggest challenge. Hiring employees is.

Kroger is the nation’s largest supermarket chain, with 2,700 stores operating under different brand names. Right now, McMullen says the company needs to hire 20,000 people.

“We’re aggressively hiring anywhere we can,” McMullen told CNBC. “One of the biggest constraints we have right now is finding talented people.”

Around the nation

  • Mississippi: COVID-19 is surging through the state’s public schools. State health officials say more than 18,000 Mississippi students have tested positive for the virus since school began in August. More than 3,600 teachers and staff have also tested positive.
  • Ohio: Several hospital groups across the state have joined forces to ask their communities to wear masks in public and get vaccinated, warning the medical centers are in danger of being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases. "We are concerned with what the coming weeks will bring," the group said in a statement. "We want to continue to provide the care our patients need, and when and where they need it."
  • Missouri: Cases of the virus are surging once again, and the new outbreak is hitting the southeast portion of the state hardest. In a Facebook post, the Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston reported the number of COVID-19 patients has significantly increased over the summer and that all of its ICU beds are full.
  • Connecticut: Gov. Ned Lamont’s latest COVID-19 update shows hospitalizations have declined by 37, with 327 state residents still in hospitals for treatment of the virus. Of those, Lamont says more than 72% are not fully vaccinated.
  • Iowa: An analysis of public health data shows children age 17 and younger make up the majority of new COVID-19 cases in the state. The report also says the percentage has steadily increased in recent weeks. Children under age 12 are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine.

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