Editor’s note: This story will be updated regularly as new statistics are released.
As vaccines continue to be slowly distributed across the nation, the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States may finally be starting to decline from the record highs of the first half of January.
The New York Times reports the daily average of new COVID-19 cases this past week was 188,110, a 21 percent decrease from what it was 2 weeks ago.
That includes the 190,630 new cases reported on January 21.
Overall, the United States has more than 24 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
Hospitalizations have decreased to slightly less than 122,000, about 6,000 less than a week ago.
An incoming Biden administration official has predicted the death toll could reach 500,000 by mid-February.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicts the United States will top 560,000 deaths by May 1 if current conditions continue.
The New York Times daily tracking graph shows 13 states where “new cases are higher and staying high.” That is down from 49 states last week.
There are 36 states listed as places where “cases are higher but going down.”
One state, Hawaii, is listed as being “lower and staying low.”
A weekly tracking graph by Reuters that was updated on Jan. 19 reports that there were 1.5 million new COVID-19 cases this past week, a decrease of 12 percent from the previous week.
However, the news agency reports there were 23,000 COVID-19 deaths last week, the third straight weekly record.
On Jan. 15, the United States set a record with 2.2 million COVID-19 tests performed.
The rate of positive test results nationwide was 11 percent this past week, down from 13 percent the prior week. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers a level above 5 percent to be “concerning.”
Iowa had the highest rate at 46 percent. It was followed by Idaho at 40 percent and Pennsylvania at 35 percent.
Reuters reports there were 8 states where new COVID-19 cases rose this past week.
That’s compared to the 40 states reported last week.
In terms of percentage, Wyoming showed the largest increase among states for newly confirmed cases. The state recorded 2,531 new positive tests, a hike of 29 percent.
Virginia was second with an increase of slightly more than 15 percent with 40,449 new cases.
Maine was third with a hike of 15 percent to 4,261 new cases.
Washington was fourth with 18,344 new cases, a jump of 13 percent.
Connecticut was fifth with 17,428 new cases, a hike of nearly 10 percent.
In terms of sheer numbers, California remains on top with 277,058 new cases, a decrease of 10 percent from the previous week.
Texas is second with 153,843 new positive tests, a dip of 1 percent from the previous week.
New York is third with its more than 106,980 new cases, a drop of 2 percent.
Florida is fourth with 94,269 new cases, a decrease of 15 percent.
The hospitalization rate dropped this past week for the first time since October.
California remains the highest among states with hospitalizations. According to data last updated Jan. 20, the state had 20,062 people in the hospital for COVID-19. That’s about 1,300 less than reported last week.
Texas is second among states with 13,928 people hospitalized, about the same as last week.
New York is third with 9,273 people in the hospital, about 500 more than last week.
Florida is fourth with 7,448 people hospitalized with COVID-19, a slight rise from last week.
Georgia is now in fifth place with 5,552 hospitalizations, a slight decrease from a week ago.
There are 19 states above the 2,000 mark.
The New York Times lists 17 states where deaths have risen in the past 2 weeks, down from 34 last week.
The Reuters graph lists 23 states where deaths have increased from the previous week, down from 32 last week.
Oregon had the highest percentage increase among states at 85 percent with 195 deaths.
Alabama was second with a 70 percent increase for a total of 786 deaths.
Georgia was third with 838 deaths, a nearly 70 percent hike.
Virginia was fourth among states with an increase of 33 percent with 346 deaths.
In terms of sheer numbers, California recorded the most deaths with 3,527, an increase of 6 percent from the previous record week.
Texas was second with 2,151 deaths this past week, an increase of 6 percent.
Pennsylvania followed with 1,530 deaths, an increase of 5 percent.
New York was fourth with 1,367 deaths, a jump of nearly 13 percent.
Florida was fifth with 1,254 deaths, a hike of 32 percent.
Additional fact checking on this story was done by Jennifer Chesak.