The United States is facing a COVID-19 surge this summer as the more contagious delta variant spreads.
More than 612,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and over 4.1 million people have died worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Just 57.9% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC on Tuesday, citing new science on the transmissibility of the delta variant, changed its mask guidance to now recommend everyone in areas with substantial or high levels of transmission — vaccinated or not — wear a face covering in public, indoor settings.
There were over 110,000 new COVID-19 cases in Florida in the past week — the highest weekly increase since the start of the year — according to the latest state data.
The Florida Department of Health reported Friday there were 110,477 new cases from July 23 to July 29. The state’s positivity rate is now 18.1%.
Just one month ago, the state was reporting 15,998 new cases in one week, from June 25 to July 1.
-ABC News’ Joshua Hoyos
Overnight, the U.S. recorded its highest daily case total since Feb. 12, reporting over 86,000 new cases.
The daily case average in the U.S. has surged to more than 66,600 cases per day, up by nearly 64.1% in the last week, and up nearly 481% since mid-June.
Louisiana now has the country’s highest case rate with nearly 540 new cases per 100,000 residents. The state’s case average has skyrocketed in the last month, up by nearly 1,000%, and is now nearing its highest case level since the onset of the pandemic.
-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos
The Food and Drug Administration is now permitting preventative use of the monoclonal antibody cocktail from Regeneron for certain people who have been exposed to COVID-19.
Until now, monoclonal antibodies had only been for patients who were already infected with COVID-19 and at high risk of getting very sick, to help prevent more severe illness.
This is the first preventative therapy for unvaccinated and immunocompromised people in high-risk settings, aimed at proactively warding off infection before a positive test.
This expanded use will be for people who meet several criteria: those who suspect they have been exposed to COVID-19, or are at high risk of an exposure; at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 due to health complications; or at high risk of getting sick due to not being fully vaccinated, or because of an inadequate response to the vaccine due to an immunocompromising condition.
With this preventative use, there will also be a new repeat dosing available for some people — for those with “ongoing exposure” to COVID-19 for more than four weeks and who may not mount a strong immune response to the vaccine. These patients can get a slightly smaller monthly dose of the cocktail for “the duration of ongoing exposure” to help keep them protected from the virus.
This is the only COVID-19 antibody therapy available in the U.S. for both treatment and post-exposure prophylaxis. It has shown to hold up against the variants of concern, including delta. A Regeneron spokesperson told ABC News the company is continuing discussion with the FDA to evaluate even broader prevention use in immunocompromised people for “pre-exposure” situations.
-ABC News’ Sasha Pezenik
Data shows that the delta variant leaves vaccinated and unvaccinated people with similarly high viral loads, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement Friday.
“High viral loads suggest an increased risk of transmission and raised concern that, unlike with other variants, vaccinated people infected with Delta can transmit the virus,” Walensky said.
“This finding is concerning and was a pivotal discovery leading to CDC’s updated mask recommendation” this week, Walensky said.
-ABC News’ Sony Salzman