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Coronavirus update: Vaccine could be months away, U.S. cases hit 6 million

Virus causes Auburn to cancel football practice

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) tally as compiled by Johns Hopkins University. (Previous numbers in parentheses.)

Total U.S. confirmed cases: 6,002,615 (5,965,339)

Total U.S. deaths: 183,203 (182,808)

Total global cases: 25,259,201 (25,051,178)

Total global deaths: 847,107 (843,641)

‘Fully-approved’ vaccine may be months away

While efforts are moving at “warp speed” to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus (COVID-19), Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), says it could be as late as next June before one is fully approved for general use.

“We're likely to see a stepwise progression of authorization of this vaccine for certain select populations that are at higher risk of either contracting it or having a bad outcome before we see a full approval for the general population," Gottlieb said on CBS Face the Nation. "I think, again, full approval for the general population, where people can go to CVS and get a shot — that's really a 2021 event, maybe the first quarter of 2021, probably more likely the first half."

At the same time, current FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said his agency would be open to greenlighting a vaccine for use in the U.S. before it completes Phase III clinical trials.

U.S. case total tops 6 million

The number of cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. hit 6 million today. The unofficial count is maintained by the COVID-19 Tracking Project at Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. reached the milestone as the recent spike in cases has begun to slow a bit -- a trend attributed to more Americans observing face mask requirements and maintaining social distancing. 

At the same time, the U.S. has vastly more cases of the virus than any other nation. Brazil is second with 3,862,311, followed by India, Russia, and Peru.

Auburn cancels football practice due to COVID-19

While college administrators are grappling with coronavirus outbreaks among the student body, college athletic coaches are doing the same thing by trying to keep athletes healthy and schedules on track. At Auburn, football practice was canceled on multiple days last week as 16 players tested positive.

"We're learning as we go here," said Head Coach Gus Malzahn. "Every day and every week is a challenge."

While some football conferences have suspended the 2020 season, the Southeastern Conference has decided to play. Auburn is scheduled to open the season on September 26 against Kentucky.

New app helps people track symptoms

A new app, developed in part by the University of Chicago, is helping users communicate about a wide range of coronavirus symptoms. The app is designed for people at high-risk from COVID-19, as well as those who just want to avoid becoming infected.

MyCovid Passport provides users with a framework to understand their own and each other’s health status in five areas: breathing, temperature, body symptoms, disease contact status, and mental health. Users can track symptoms according to best practices established by COVID-19 experts at the University of Chicago and keep up to date on the latest health information.

The app is a variation of one developed at the University of Chicago to help parents of premature babies to track their infants’ progress.

The color purple means you can’t open

Starting this week, California school districts will be watching closely to see what color their county has been assigned. Any color other than purple means schools can open, with some restrictions.

State officials say the color or tier the county is assigned is based on just two factors: the number of new positive cases per 100,000 population and the percentage of positive test results over the previous week.

Officials say the new system is greatly simplified and based on the same system to determine which businesses in the state can reopen.

Around the nation

  • Illinois: The father of an Illinois State University student is saying what a lot of parents are thinking -- if the school adopts online instruction because of the coronavirus, he wants a tuition discount. The man said his daughter is taking five classes this fall and said they've all been changed to virtual classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • New Jersey:Indoor dining will be allowed at restaurants in the state at the end of this week. In a tweet, Gov. Phil Murphy said restaurants will be allowed to operate at 25 percent of capacity starting Friday.

  • Oregon: State fairs are an end-of-the-summer tradition in many states, but they are threatened this year by the pandemic. Instead of canceling, the Oregon State Fair will be held virtually, with interviews and performances streamed online and on Facebook.

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