The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 passed the 900,000-mark Friday. President Joe Biden said in a statement that the tally was a “tragic milestone.”
Biden said the victims were “beloved mothers and fathers, grandparents, children, brothers and sisters, neighbors, and friends.”
He urged Americans to be vaccinated. “We now have more tools than ever before to save lives and fight this virus — with vaccines remaining our most important tool.”
Austria’s compulsory vaccine program went into effect Saturday for everyone 18 and older. People not vaccinated face a heavy fine. Exemptions are limited to pregnant women, people who have contracted the virus in the past 180 days and people with medical conditions.
A mask mandate remains in place for seven Virginia school districts with an enrollment of over 350,000 students, following a judge’s ruling on Friday that blocked the mask- optional mandate signed by Governor Glenn Youngkin.
A spokesman for the governor said Youngkin will appeal the decision.
The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported early Saturday that it has recorded over 391 million global COVID infections and almost 6 million deaths. The center said over 10 billion vaccines have been administered.