A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 700,000 people worldwide.
More than 18.5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19, a disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data collected by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Actual numbers are thought to be much higher due to a lack of tests, many undeclared cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying their outbreaks.
Since the first cases were discovered in China in December, the United States has become the most affected country with more than 4.7 million diagnosed cases and at least 1
This is how the news develops today. All times eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.
10:32 a.m.: Chicago public schools will begin with distance learning, officials say
All students and teachers from Chicago public schools will begin the new school year at home next month due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Wednesday.
Chicago Public Schools Executive Director Janice Jackson told a news conference that distance learning will take place at least in the first quarter of the school year, which will last until November 6.
“So far,” Jackson said, “we will assess the situation and decide how to move forward.”
Jackson noted that students will be engaged throughout the normal school day – from their time with teachers, independent learning and learning in small groups.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the decision to start remotely “makes sense for the CPS area and size and diversity.”
The move follows in the footsteps of nationwide protests by teachers and activists demanding adequate classroom safety measures as schools debate again amid the coronavirus pandemic.
9:44 a.m .: Modern on-the-go enrollment of 30,000 people in Phase 3 trial
The US biotechnology company Moderna announced on Wednesday that it is on track to recruit enough volunteers for the third phase of clinical trials for its potential COVID-19 vaccine.
The phased study of Modern’s vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, began on July 23 and is being conducted in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health as well as the Biomedical Authority for Advanced Research and Development.
The trial will eventually include 30,000 volunteers, and Moderna said she expects to complete enrollment by September. This is the last stage before the vaccine applicant is potentially authorized for use by the Food and Drug Administration.
Each volunteer will receive either a dose from the vaccine candidate or a placebo. The researchers will monitor whether the drug protects the group from infection.
8:30 a.m. Fourth graders will be quarantined after North Carolina tests positive
A fourth-grader at a private school in North Carolina tested positive for COVID-19, according to a report by the Durham ABC station WTVD.
Thales Academy said it was notified Monday that one of its students on the Wake Forest campus tested positive after being exposed by a family member. The school then sent a letter home to the parents explaining what had happened and how it planned to move forward, WTVD reported.
The last time the infected student was on campus was Friday. The student was asymptomatic all the time at school, passing a temperature check and a checklist to check for entry symptoms, according to WTVD.
Students who are potentially exposed have been contacted and will be quarantined for 14 days along with faculty, WTVD reported.
Thales Academy welcomed students back to its North Carolina towns for the new school year in July. Vice President Mike Pence visited the school campus in Apex last week.
7:50 a.m .: Bolivia cancels the rest of the school year
Schools in Bolivia will remain closed until the end of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bolivia’s interim president, Janine Annes, announced the decision earlier this week.
“Today we decide to close the school year,” Annes wrote in Spanish on Twitter. “It’s very difficult, but we do it to take care of the health of Bolivians, especially our children. Health is the most important thing, especially at this time.”
Last week, the nation’s highest electorate in South America postponed the presidential election from September 8th to October 18th due to the pandemic, with the vote delayed for the third time.
More than 83,000 people in Bolivia have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and at least 3,320 of them have died, according to a number led by Johns Hopkins University.
6:39 a.m. Democratic and Republican governors unite to complete test
A bilateral group of at least seven governors has teamed up with the Rockefeller Foundation to try to expand the use of rapid antigen tests to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, has struck a deal with the New York-based private foundation in the “first interstate test compact between governors during the COVID-19 pandemic,” a press release said. The governors of Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia signed the agreement.
Authorities are now in talks with US manufacturers of FDA-approved rapid-action tests, which give results in 15-20 minutes, for the purchase of 500,000 per staff, for a total of 3 million tests.
“With severe shortages and delays in testing, and the federal administration is trying to cut funding for testing, states are coming together to acquire millions of faster tests to help save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19,” he said. Hogan in a statement Tuesday night. “I want to thank my fellow governors for signing this revolutionary bilateral agreement, which we have just finalized after weeks of discussions with the Rockefeller Foundation. We will work to involve additional countries, cities and local governments in the struggle as this initiative moves forward. ”
5:14 a.m .: The global death toll is 700,000
More than 700,000 people worldwide have died from the new coronavirus – another dark moment in the pandemic.
As of early Wednesday morning, the total number of COVID-19 deaths was 700,741, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
What to know about coronavirus:
3:37 a.m .: The number of cases in the United States reaches over 50,000
More than 57,000 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the United States on Tuesday, according to a number led by Johns Hopkins University.
The last daily number of cases is about 10,000 more than the increase from the previous day, but still lower than the country’s record set on July 16, when more than 77,000 new cases were identified during the 24-hour reporting period.
A total of 4,771,519 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, and at least 156,830 have died, according to John Hopkins. The cases involve people from all 50 US states, Washington, DC and other US territories, as well as repatriated citizens.
By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting home warrants and other restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. The daily increase in cases in the country at the time was about 20,000 for a few weeks before firing back and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July.
In recent weeks, there has been an increase in infections in many states, with some, including Arizona, California and Florida, reporting daily records.
However, new data suggest that the national jump in cases may be offset, according to an internal note from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, received by ABC News on Tuesday night. Only seven states and territories are on an upward trajectory of new cases, while 10 states are on a plateau and 39 states are descending according to the report.
Across the country over the last week there has been a decrease of 9.2% in the cases of the previous seven-day period. There is also a 7% increase in new deaths compared to the previous week, but that figure is lower than the 20-30% increase in the week over a week that the country observed late, according to the report.
Josh Margolin, Emily Shapiro and Sonny Salzman contributed to this report.