The global tally for COVID-19 rose to a total of 268.7 million as of Friday morning and the death toll climbed to more than 5.29 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world with a total COVID-19 case count of 49.7 million and death toll of 794,648. The daily average case count slipped to 119,788 on Thursday from 121,311 on Wednesday, the first decline this month, but the case count was still up 30% from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times tracker. The daily average death toll slipped rose to 1,281 from 1,275 on Wednesday, and was up 18% from two weeks ago, while hospitalizations increased from to a two-month high of 62,971 from 61,936 on Wednesday, and has grown 21% from two weeks ago. The number of fully vaccinated in the U.S. rose to 200.7 million, or 60.5% of the population, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while the number of people receiving booster shots rose to 49.9 million, or 24.9% of the population.
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