National numbers, November 28

Community transmission levels by state, as of November 24. Florida is the only state with “moderate” transmission, while several other Southern states have “substantial” transmission. Chart via the CDC.

In the past week (November 18 through 24), the U.S. reported about 660,000 new cases, according to the CDC.* This amounts to:

  • An average of 94,000 new cases each day
  • 201 total new cases for every 100,000 Americans

Last week, America also saw:

  • 41,000 new COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals (12 for every 100,000 people)
  • 6,900 new COVID-19 deaths (2.1 for every 100,000 people)
  • 100% of new cases are Delta-caused (as of November 20)
  • An average of 1.8 million vaccinations per day (including booster shots; per Bloomberg)

*Note: This week, the CDC did not provide COVID-19 data updates for most metrics on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday due to the holiday, so my update is based on Wednesday’s data.

As is typically the case on holidays, Thanksgiving has made COVID-19 reporting a bit wonky. The CDC didn’t update its dashboard at all from Thursday through Saturday, and it is not updating vaccination data all weekend. At the same time, public health workers at many state and local agencies are taking a well-deserved long weekend off—leading to delayed reports of cases that will show up in the next couple of weeks. 

Still, cases seem to continue trending up at the national level. The U.S. is now reporting close to 100,000 new cases a day, and holiday travel is likely to push this number up further. Michigan, Minnesota, and New Hampshire are the country’s three biggest hotspots, per the latest Community Profile Report (released Wednesday), all with over 500 total new cases per 100,000 people in the past week.

Other Northern states—Wisconsin, Maine, Colorado, Vermont—are also reporting high case rates, while Southern states continue to see lower numbers. Florida actually has the lowest case rate in the country, at 49 new cases per 100,000 people in the past week. This state is likely benefitting from COVID-19’s seasonal nature, combined with a lot of built-up immunity from the region’s summer Delta surge.

Nationally, the number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. in 2021 has surpassed the total deaths from the virus in 2020. Even though vaccines have been widely available for most of this year. The 2020 number is likely a significant undercount, as many people who contracted the coronavirus in spring 2020 were unable to get tested—but still, this milestone is disheartening.

Vaccination numbers have increased dramatically in the U.S. in recent weeks with well over one million shots given a day, thanks to booster shot availability and new eligibility for children under age 12. About 38 million people have now received their third doses, according to the CDC. But whether this will be enough to blunt the coming winter surge remains to be seen.

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