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(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 4.9 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 743,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Just 67.4% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Oct 29, 10:18 am
Montana, Idaho leading nation in death rates

In recent weeks, cases have been creeping up in Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont and Washington, according to federal data.

The nation’s daily death average has dropped by about 36.3% in the last month, but it remains persistently high, around 1,150 new deaths reported each day.

Montana currently has the country’s highest death rate, followed by Idaho and West Virginia, according to federal data.

Oct 28, 12:44 pm
Florida files lawsuit against Biden administration over vaccine mandate for federal contractors

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, arguing that the vaccine mandate for federal contractors is “unconstitutional.”

“Florida companies, public and private, receive millions of dollars in federal contracts annually and will be negatively impacted by the unlawful requirements,” a statement from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said.

DeSantis said in a statement, “The federal government is exceeding their power and it is important for us to take a stand because in Florida we believe these are choices based on individual circumstances.”

Oct 28, 11:37 am
Global cases, deaths on the rise for 1st time in 2 months

The global number of COVID-19 cases and deaths are now increasing for the first time in two months, largely driven by an ongoing rise in Europe that outweighs declines in other regions, W.H.O. Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday.

The highest case increases in the last two weeks were in the Czech Republic (up by 234%), Hungary (up by 200%) and Poland (up by 183%), according to the W.H.O.

The director-general attributed ongoing infections “in large part” to inequitable access to tests and vaccines.

“Eighty-times more tests, and 30 times more vaccines, have been administered in high-income countries than low-income countries,” Tedros said. “If the 6.8 billion vaccine doses administered globally so far had been distributed equitably, we would have reached our 40% target in every country by now.”

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