Total number of global coronavirus cases surpasses 29 million

As cases near 30 million, the pandemic has killed at least 924,000 worldwide.

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 924,000 people worldwide.

Over 29 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis -- through clinical means or a lab test -- has varied from country-to-country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.

The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 6.5 million diagnosed cases and at least 194,000 deaths.

California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 749,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 669,000 cases and over 654,000 cases, respectively.

Nearly 170 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least six of which are in crucial phase three trials.

Here's how the news developed on Monday. All times Eastern.

4:45 p.m.: Florida positivity rate for new cases drops

Florida health officials said the statewide positivity rate for new cases dropped to 3.91% on Sunday, the lowest rate since June 8.

Sunday was the 33rd straight day where the positivity rate came in below 10%.

"Today, data reported to the Agency for Health Care Administration shows that the number of COVID-19 positive patients that are currently hospitalized is down more than 70 percent since July," the Florida Department of Health said Monday.

2:14 p.m.: Judge rules PA shutdown orders were unconstitutional

A federal judge in Pennsylvania declared Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus restrictions unconstitutional in a 66-page opinion issued Monday.

The ruling stems from a case brought on by four Pennsylvania counties, challenging executive orders that closed non-life sustaining businesses.

"The court believes that defendants undertook their actions in a well-intentioned effort to protect Pennsylvanians from the virus," the order said. "However, good intentions toward a laudable end are not alone enough to uphold governmental action against a constitutional challenge."

The ruling is a win for a group of hair salons and movie theaters as well as Republican lawmaker Mike Kelly, who joined the lawsuit as an individual.

12:15 p.m.: Texas teachers lay out concerns amid new semester

The Texas State Teachers Association issued a statement Monday morning, outlining several COVID-19 related concerns members have reported since returning to classrooms.

“The biggest issue our members are raising involves inadequate accommodations for high-risk employees or those with high-risk dependents at home," the association said. "These teachers with underlying health conditions should be allowed to teach remotely from home, but in many cases, they are being required to teach from their classrooms or risk losing their jobs.”

Some members complained about inadequate HVAC systems, small classrooms that don’t allow for proper social distancing and violations of the governor’s mask policy.

“Other major concerns are inadequate staffing to carry out the new safety measures and inadequate, short-sighted sick leave policies that discourage anyone from staying home," the statement said. "Consider these problems together, and we can see that some districts are not committed to keeping potentially sick employees from coming to work, where they could infect other employees and students.”

11 a.m.: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade goes virtual

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will go on this year, but virtually.

"One of the most beloved events every year is the Thanksgiving Day Parade," the mayor told reporters Monday. "Macy's found a way to do fireworks on July 4 and they are going to do the same thing again with the Thanksgiving Day Parade. It will not be the same parade we are used to, it will be a different kind of event."

De Blasio said the organizers are working to reimagine the parade in this new environment.

"They are reinventing the event for this moment in history. You will be able to feel the spirit and the joy of that day, on television [and] online," he said. "Not a live parade, but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving Day."

De Blasio said Macy’s will release more details on the plan.

5:15 a.m.: Town Sports International files for bankruptcy

Town Sports International, home of New York Sports Club, Boston Sports Club and Washington Sports Club, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In a note to members, the company said, "Town Sports International is not going out of business. Restructuring is the best way to properly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the long-term goal to emerge as a thriving powerhouse in the fitness industry." The company said it plans to open clubs in phases.

"We are committed to making Town Sports International a success and rewarding the trust our members and employees have in us to deliver excellence focused on safety and service," according to a statement from the company. "We are deeply grateful for your continued loyalty and we are excited to continue supporting you along your fitness journey well into the future."

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