National Numbers, March 14

In the past week (March 6 through 12), the U.S. reported about 382,000 new cases, according to the CDC. This amounts to:

  • An average of 55,000 new cases each day
  • 117 total new cases for every 100,000 Americans
  • 1 in 858 Americans getting diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past week
Nationwide COVID-19 metrics as of March 12, sourcing data from the CDC and HHS. Posted on Twitter by Conor Kelly.

Last week, America also saw:

  • 34,200 new COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals (10 for every 100,000 people)
  • 10,300 new COVID-19 deaths (3.1 for every 100,000 people)
  • An average of 2.5 million vaccinations per day (per Bloomberg)

Note: Since the COVID Tracking Project ceased data collection last Sunday, March 7, I am now using CDC data for these updates. I’m primarily relying on the agency’s COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review reports.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has fully dropped—not just in the arms of millions of Americans, but also on state vaccine dashboards. When I updated the CDD’s vaccination data annotations yesterday, I noticed that several states had switched from labeling their shots as “first dose” and “second dose” to labeling them as “first dose” and “completed series,” or something similar. Since the J&J vaccine is only one dose, a single shot from this manufacturer could launch you right into that “completed series” category.

However you label them, the U.S. is now vaccinating about 2.5 million people per day. One in four adults has received at least their first shot. And we crossed the 100-million dose mark on Friday, far earlier than President Biden’s 100-day goal. Meanwhile, cases, deaths, and hospitalizations continue to decline.

These numbers have inspired some guarded optimism, at least on the part of the federal government. On Thursday, Biden announced that he’s directing all states, tribes, and territories to make all adults eligible for vaccination by May 1. Alaska became the first state to reach that milestone this week.

Of course, there’s a big difference between making people eligible and actually getting shots in arms. But vaccine hesitancy is reportedly dropping, as Americans see their family members and friends safely get inoculated. One new poll from NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist shows that 73% of Black people and 70% of white people said they’re either planning to get vaccinated or have received a shot already.

Variants also continue to be a concern (see Sarah’s section later in this issue). But it’s hard to argue with the fact that millions of our family members, friends, and neighbors are now protected from COVID-19, with more people getting vaccinated every day.

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