U.S. coronavirus cases continue to climb and are now averaging more than 140,000 cases and over 900 deaths per day. Nearly 99% of U.S. infections are from the Delta coronavirus variant.
In Pennsylvania, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has become the latest Catholic Church body to reject religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. In Texas, the state Supreme Court on Thursday sided with school districts that are defying Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates. The ruling will allow Houston-area schools and several South Texas school districts to continue to require face coverings.
Meanwhile, three fully vaccinated U.S. senators have tested positive for coronavirus. Maine independent Senator Angus King, Colorado Democrat John Hickenlooper and Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker all reported mild symptoms of COVID-19. Governor Abbott is also COVID-positive.