The global tally of COVID cases held steady in the week through Sept. 18 compared with the previous week, while the number of fatalities fell 17%, the World Health Organization said in its weekly epidemiological update. Some 99% of cases sequenced were of the omicron variant, with BA.5 now accounting for 76.6% of cases, followed by BA.4 at 7.5%. The news comes as U.S. known cases of COVID are continuing to ease, although the true tally is likely higher given how many people are testing at home, where the data are not being collected. The daily average for new cases stood at 55,954 on Wednesday, according to a New York Times tracker, down 22% from two weeks ago. The daily average for hospitalizations was down 14% at 30,686, while the daily average for deaths is up 5% to 419. Globally, the confirmed case tally rose above 613.5 million on Thursday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins, while the death toll is above 6.53 million with the U.S. leading the world with 95.9 million cases and 1,055,196 deaths.
Shares of Paychex Inc. PAYX, +4.27% jumped 3.2% in premarket trading Wednesday, to bounce off the previous session’s 2 1/2-month closing low, after the human