- New COVID-19 cases fell to fewer than 50,000 per day over the past week.
- Experts are buoyed by those numbers but warn there are still dangers ahead.
- Vaccinations are beginning to help ease the pandemic, but experts say the public still needs to adhere to safety protocols.
Editor’s note: This story will be updated regularly as new statistics are released.
The number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States declined this past week with experts expressing some optimism along with concerns over falling vaccination numbers.
According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average number of new U.S. cases dipped to below 50,000 per day this past week.
Overall, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the last week fell 15 percent nationwide. It was the third straight week of decline. The 347,000 cases was the lowest weekly total since October.
The number of COVID-19 deaths dropped 3 percent. There were 4,819 deaths this past week, the fewest since July.
The average number of daily COVID-19 vaccinations nationwide declined by 12 percent after falling 14 percent the previous week.
Overall, the United States has confirmed more than 32 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
Hospitalizations now stand at 33,500, about 3,000 fewer than a week ago.
COVID-19-related deaths in the United States have now surpassed 578,000.
Experts say they’re encouraged by the declining weekly numbers, but they still see concerns ahead.
“50,000 new cases per day definitely is too high, but that number is dropping slowly as more persons [get the] vaccine,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, told Healthline. “I expect the downward trend to continue but would like to see the rate of decline accelerate.”
Other experts are also cautiously optimistic.
“I expect this trend to continue. However, I am concerned about new, more contagious variants. I am hoping that a booster is available soon and people continue to get vaccinated,” Dr. Jamila Taylor, director of healthcare reform and a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, told Healthline last week.
This past week, 17 states reported increases in COVID-19 cases compared with 12 states the prior week.
The CDC reported that Florida had the most new cases in the past 7 days with 33,605. That’s about 5,000 fewer than the previous week.
Michigan was second with 25,113 new cases this past week, about 11,000 fewer than the previous week.
Pennsylvania was third with 22,582 cases and Texas was fourth with 20,801.
There are also concerns in Oregon where the governor has moved 15 counties into an extreme risk category.
Restrictions such as bans on indoor restaurant dining have been placed on these areas, which include the cities of Portland, Salem, Eugene, and Bend.
This week, the governor denied a request from some Portland professional soccer teams to allow a limited number of fans to attend this weekend’s games.
However, Oregon’s COVID-19 case rate of 133 per 100,000 residents is not among the leaders in that category.
The CDC reports that Michigan still leads with 251 cases per 100,000 residents over the past 7 days. That’s about 100 fewer than the previous week.
Colorado was second with 200 cases per 100,000 residents, followed by Minnesota with 194 cases per 100,000 residents.
Texas’ total has declined to 71 cases per 100,000 residents while California has slid to 32 cases per 100,000 residents.
There were 26 states that reported an increase this past week in COVID-19 deaths, compared with 20 the previous week.
California recorded the most COVID-19 deaths over the past 7 days with 560, an increase of about 120 from the previous week.
Florida was second with 420 reported deaths, about 20 fewer than the previous week. It was followed by Texas with 337.
The CDC reports there have been 247 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered across the country.
More than 147 million people have received at least one dose. That’s more than half of the adult population in the country. More than 105 million people are fully vaccinated.
California has administered the most doses at more than 31 million. That’s followed by Texas with 19 million.
New York have administered more than 16 million doses while Florida has done more than 15 million.
None of those states, however, are in the top 5 in terms of doses administered per 100,000 people:
|Most vaccinations per 100,000 residents|
|1. Vermont: 94,499|
|2. Connecticut: 93,168|
|3. Massachusetts: 92,902|
|4. Maine: 89,372|
|5. Hawaii: 88,829|
|Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention|
Last month, the White House announced that people ages 16 and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations in all 50 states.
This week, Pfizer officials announced that their vaccine may be given emergency use authorization as early as next week for children 12 to 16 years old.
In addition, the White House announced today that it is shifting its vaccine distribution, sending more to states where vaccination rates are higher with the goal of having 70 percent of the country vaccinated by July 4.
Both Taylor and Schaffner are concerned about the hesitancy of many people in the United States to get vaccinated.
“The national COVID vaccination program is running into the hesitaters and decliners,” Schaffner said. “I am concerned because we need to see more first doses going into their arms if we are to reach a comfortable herd immunity.”
“Vaccines in refrigerators are awaiting volunteers with rolled up sleeves,” he added. “A vaccine in the refrigerator never prevents disease. It has to go into arms.”
“I do worry that vaccine hesitancy will continue,” Taylor said last week. “When the J&J vaccine was pulled off the shelves, it was really scary. A communications campaign should accompany efforts to redistribute so as to help ensure confidence among those that are still feeling cautious about getting vaccinated. As more Americans get vaccinated, I am hoping hesitancy dissipates and we reach herd immunity.”