President Joe Biden is set to lay out his administration’s six-point plan for managing the U.S. COVID-19 crisis. Biden’s speech at 5 p.m. Thursday evening is expected to focus on ways businesses, schools and government agencies can enact stricter policies on COVID vaccination and testing. The official U.S. coronavirus death toll has topped 650,000. On average, more than 1,500 U.S. residents are dying of COVID-19 each day.
In California, the Los Angeles Board of Education is expected to pass a measure today that would make L.A. the first major U.S. city to mandate COVID vaccines for in-person students 12 and older.
In Florida, a judge has ruled for a second time in favor of parents who successfully challenged Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’s ban on local school districts ordering mask mandates. The ruling came as the American Academy of Pediatrics reported COVID-19 cases among U.S. children surpassed 250,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 2,400 children were hospitalized in the week leading up to last Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a pre-print study by Columbia University researchers published in Nature estimates over 100 million U.S. residents had a coronavirus infection at some point in 2020. That’s nearly a third of the population and about five times as many cases as the official toll of 20 million infections last year.