National numbers, September 26

California dropped to “substantial” transmission this week, while other states remained in “high” transmission.

In the past week (September 18 through 24), the U.S. reported about 850,000 new cases, according to the CDC. This amounts to:

  • An average of 122,000 new cases each day
  • 259 total new cases for every 100,000 Americans
  • 17% fewer new cases than last week (September 11-17)

Last week, America also saw:

  • 67,000 new COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals (21 for every 100,000 people)
  • 11,000 new COVID-19 deaths (3.3 for every 100,000 people)
  • 99% of new cases are Delta-caused (as of September 18)
  • An average of 700,000 vaccinations per day (per Bloomberg)

Following the Labor Day reporting blips of the past two weeks, COVID-19 cases are now clearly trending down in the U.S. The daily new case average is close to what we saw in early August, at the start of the Delta surge.

The U.S. can’t let its guard down yet, though. Almost every state still reported over 100 new cases for every 100,000 people in the past week, putting the vast majority of the country into a high coronavirus transmission zone, per the CDC’s categories. The only state to drop below this “high transmission” threshold is California, which reported 86 new cases per 100,000 in the week ending September 23.

Alaska, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Montana are all far past that “high transmission” threshold, at over 600 new cases per 100,000 in the past week. Alaska appears to be the nation’s newest Delta hotspot. The state reported a record 1,735 COVID-19 cases on Friday, though some of those cases were part of a reporting backlog (meaning they occurred earlier).

Nationwide, hospitalizations are also continuing to come down. The country recorded fewer than 10,000 new patients a day last week, for the first time since early August. But the current numbers are still far higher than what we saw in June and early July.

Deaths—the slowest-moving pandemic metric—continue rising, with about 11,000 new deaths a day. It bears repeating: the vast majority of these deaths occur in unvaccinated Americans. The U.S. has now passed 675,000 deaths, meaning that COVID-19 has killed more Americans than the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic did over a century ago.

Despite the continued dangers of being unvaccinated, dose numbers are now also dropping in the U.S. After a couple of weeks approaching one million doses a day, we’re now back down at 700,000 doses a day, per Bloomberg’s dashboard. And the upcoming booster shot rollout is certain to confuse these data; already, 2.4 million Americans have received an additional dose, per the CDC.

Leave a Reply