The Texas Supreme Court on Thursday denied an attempt to block three restraining orders against Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates – including one that allowed all Texas school districts to require masks indoors.
The court referred Attorney General Ken Paxton’s appeal to the 3rd Texas Court of Appeals in Austin for a hearing. Abbott reiterated its ban on mask mandates by every government agency, despite federal agencies having mandated masks in their facilities.
The governor has announced that he will sue any facility that does not abide by the emergency ordinance. The threats haven’t stopped at least 11 counties in the state from granting mask mandates.
In another part of the nation, the California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the Orange County Board of Education’s petition to end Governor Gavin Newsom’s masking mandate in classrooms. The petition calling on the Supreme Court to end the end of the pandemic was filed on Aug. 10.
“More than eighteen months after the start of the pandemic, Californians are living in a seemingly eternal state of emergency, in which many ballpark stadiums are returning, but masking obligations and millions of families are waiting to see if and how their children will be educated this school year,” reads the petition who obtained the Orange County Register.
The court orders come as the coronavirus rises across the country. The delta variant accounts for around 90% of new infections in children. Thousands of children and staff are quarantined in school districts after being exposed to COVID-19, just as school is starting across the country.
While hospitalization rates of COVID-19 in children are lower than adults, they have risen in recent weeks, reaching 0.41 per 100,000 children ages 0-17, compared to 0.31 per 100,000, the previous high by mid-January, according to an Aug. 13 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
School mask, vaccination regulations:Which states do they have? Do you work?
Also on the news:
►Reg. Kate Brown said Oregon is expanding its COVID-19 vaccine requirement to include all teachers, educators, auxiliaries and volunteers in K-12 schools. Click here for an overview of school vaccination and mask requirements.
►Three fully vaccinated U.S. Senators tested positive for the coronavirus and joined Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as members of the Senate with breakthrough infections.
►The Archdiocese of Philadelphia rejected religious exemptions for vaccination and became the last district of the Catholic Church to do so. It joins at least five other dioceses who have given priests similar guidance.
► The Biden government will not reintroduce the expanded $ 300 weekly unemployment benefit due to expire on September 6th. Instead, she is calling on states to continue the additional payments to use their share of the COVID-19 rescue fund.
► Much of Japan launched its government “state of emergency” on Friday to contain COVID-19 infections, as well as a less stringent “quasi-emergency”, although concerns about its effectiveness remained.
📈 Today’s numbers: In the United States, there have been more than 37.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 625,100 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global totals: More than 209.9 million cases and 4.4 million deaths. According to the CDC, more than 169.5 million Americans – 51.1% of the population – have been fully vaccinated.
📘 What we read: No, a vaccine doesn’t make you a superman. Breakthrough COVID-19 cases are increasing amid the Delta variant. Read more here.
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“You were very sick”: Viral photo of people on the floor of the clinic in Florida shows a troubled scene
Louie Lopez showed up early that afternoon at the downtown Jacksonville Main Library conference center for a therapy session with Regeneron. His family doctor recommended it after Lopez tested positive for COVID-19 and had moderate to severe symptoms.
While he waited in line for his turn, two more people lined up behind Lopez. Both, he says, immediately sat down on the floor. They eventually laid down “sick and moaning”. Lopez, 59, told the Florida Times-Union, which is part of the USA TODAY Network, that the woman pictured in yellow dragged on the floor as the line slowly moved forward.
Lopez took a picture and sent it to his wife.
Therapy treatment is for people in the early stages of COVID-19 and the makeshift clinic where Lopez took the photo is not intended to serve as a full-fledged hospital. But amid rising COVID infections and growing concern, some people with advanced stages of COVID have chosen to go to makeshift clinics rather than hospitals due to potentially long waiting times.
Read the full story.
– Katherine Lewin, Florida Times-Union
U.S. deaths nearly double in two weeks, increasing in 42 states
Despite the huge spike in coronavirus cases across the country, some analysts believed the death toll – a lagging indicator – would not rise nearly as quickly because of vaccines’ protection from serious illnesses.
The increase, while less dramatic, was no less worrying – and it’s increasing.
The death toll is rising in 42 states, the worst since December, with 625,000 deaths reported in the US on Thursday. In the week that ended Wednesday, the US reported 5,742 deaths, almost double the total from two weeks earlier. The 10,991 Americans who died of COVID-19 in the first 18 days of August are already more than any death toll in June or July.
The nearly 2.2 million U.S. cases in those first 18 days make this the fifth worst month of the pandemic, beating the highest monthly totals of the spring and summer waves of 2020, with case numbers rising in 44 states.
And while infections have increased 47% in the past two weeks, deaths have more than doubled to 97%, according to the New York Times database. At the current pace, 34 Americans die from COVID-19 every hour.
The number of new daily cases has topped 150,000 nationwide, still about half the total since the most terrifying time of the pandemic in January, and the current weekly average of about 800 deaths per day remains a quarter of the deaths at that point.
But as the delta variant continues to spread wildly, the trends are going in the wrong direction.
– Mike Stucka
One in five intensive care units in the country had reached or exceeded 95% capacity
The Alabama Hospital Association said Wednesday that the state has run out of intensive care beds as the recent surge weighs on hospital systems across the country.
There are negative 29 beds available, the organization said, which means at least 29 people are waiting for a bed in the intensive care unit – 1,557 of which are full in the state, NPR reported.
As of Aug. 12, at least one in five intensive care units in the country had occupied or exceeded 95% of beds, according to data from the New York Times.
In another state, most hospitals in all major metropolitan areas in Tennessee currently have all intensive care beds full, according to the Tennessee Hospital Association. Authorities in Washington state say more people will be hospitalized with COVID-19 than ever before during the pandemic.
Contributor: Associated Press