The U.S. has surpassed 700,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. The official death toll is by far the highest in the world, even though the U.S. has had widespread access to life-saving vaccines for months. In brighter news, the summer’s devastating surge fueled by the Delta variant is slowing down, though some Northern states are still reporting rising cases.
In California, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the first-in-the-nation COVID vaccine mandate for K-12 students. The mandate will take effect as early as next fall, and after regulators approve its use in all affected age groups.
Meanwhile, the New York City teacher vaccine mandate goes into effect today. The city said 93% of teachers have now received at least one dose. On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied an emergency appeal by a group of educators who were seeking to halt the vaccine mandate while their lawsuit against the order plays out in court.