Unvaccinated people 11 times more likely to die in COVID-19 delta surge

The unvaccinated were six times more likely to get the virus in August.

The United States has been facing a COVID-19 surge as the more contagious delta variant continues to spread.

More than 722,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while over 4.8 million people have died from the disease worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Just 66.5% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the CDC.


Nets' Kyrie Irving, who isn't vaccinated, won't play until he can be a full participant

Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving, who has refused to get vaccinated, won't "play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant," General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement Tuesday.

Barclays Center, home to the Nets, requires proof of vaccination for entry.

"We respect his individual right to choose," Marks said, but "the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability."

"It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice," Marks said.

Federal judge sides with NY health care workers who object to vaccine mandate on religious grounds

A federal judge in Utica, New York, sided Tuesday with 17 health care workers who object to the state vaccine mandate for health workers on religious grounds, granting their request for an injunction.

Unlike other judges who have heard similar cases about vaccine mandates, Judge David Hurd concluded “the public interest lies with enforcing the guarantees enshrined in the Constitution and federal anti-discrimination law” and not the wider public health.

The plaintiffs said they hold the sincere religious belief that they “cannot consent to be inoculated ... with vaccines that were tested, developed or produced with fetal cell[ ] line[s] derived from procured abortions.” According to plaintiffs, the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available violate these sincere religious beliefs “because they all employ fetal cell lines derived from procured abortion in testing, development or production.”

-ABC News' Aaron Katersky

Maine medical center suspends pediatric, heart attack, trauma admissions

Central Maine Medical Center updated its website Monday to say it would be suspending pediatric, heart attack and trauma admissions. Patients who arrive at the Lewiston medical center will be evaluated, stabilized and transferred to another hospital if needed, the statement said.

While the announcement didn't cite a reason for the suspended admissions, ABC affiliate WMTW said Central Maine Healthcare is enduring a staffing shortage.

Maine and New Hampshire have been struggling with COVID-19 numbers recently even though their populations are highly vaccinated, according to federal data.

Hospital admissions are no longer trending down in HHS Region 1, which includes Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island, federal data show.

-ABC News' Alexandra Faul

Pediatric infection rates trending down

More than 6 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Although the weekly case rate remains exceptionally high, the U.S. is reporting about 95,000 fewer child cases now compared to one month ago, according to a weekly report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

Even with the decline, last week children still accounted for 24.8% of the week's cases, the report found.

The South is no longer reporting the highest number pediatric cases and has now been surpassed by the Midwest.

Severe illness due to COVID-19 remains "uncommon" among children, the two organizations wrote in the report. However, AAP and CHA warned that there is an urgent need to collect more data on the long-term consequences of the pandemic on children, "including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects."

About 43.3% of adolescents ages 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated, according to federal data.

-ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos