National numbers, June 13

After several weeks of sharp declines, new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. now appear to be in a plateau. There are a few factors likely influencing this shift: the aftermath of a reporting lag over Memorial Day weekend, the slow pace of vaccinations, and the rise of the Delta variant.

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National numbers, June 6

Cases continued to fall this week, with a seven-day average now under 20,000 new cases a day. This is basically the lowest number we’ve seen in the U.S. since spring 2020—though it’s important to note that the U.S. was doing minimal testing at that time, so the true case numbers in March 2020 were likely much higher than what was reported.

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National numbers, May 30

Cases, deaths, and hospitalizations all continue to drop nationwide. The U.S. reported about 3,000 COVID-19 deaths last week, in total—at the peak of the winter surge, we saw more than 3,000 deaths a day.

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National numbers, May 23

I’m starting to feel like a broken record in these updates—but in a good way. U.S. cases continue falling, with our seven-day average now at a level not seen since May 2020. Trends in COVID-19 deaths usually echo trends in cases with about a month’s delay. After several weeks of falling cases, the U.S. is now seeing fewer than 500 new COVID-19 deaths a day. This week, 24 states averaged fewer than one new death a day for every 100,000 residents.

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National numbers, May 16

COVID-19 case numbers continue to drop this week: the current U.S. average is about 35,000 new cases a day, a 50% drop from where we were a month ago. (We saw 70,000 new daily cases in the week ending April 16.) Daily cases have not been this low since early September, between the summer and fall/winter surges.

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National numbers, May 9

The rate of new cases continues to drop: this is the first time we’ve seen an average under 50,000 daily cases since early October, 2020. Nationally, fewer than one in one thousand Americans was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week. Still, even after a couple of weeks of declines, case rates in Michigan and other Northeastern and Midwestern states remain at a concerning level: over 100 new cases per 100,000 people.

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National numbers, May 2

New cases are down for the second week in a row—good news after the 70,000-plus peak of mid-April. Still, 50,000-plus cases in a day is no good place to plateau, new hospital admissions remain over 5,000 a day, and vaccinations are slowing: the U.S. is now averaging about 2.6 million shots a day, down from 3.4 million a couple of weeks ago.

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National numbers, April 25

After several weeks of rising cases, the federal numbers dropped this week by about 10%. Michigan’s case rates fell below 500 new cases per 100,000 people and its positivity rate is trending downward, leading public health experts to hope that this state’s worrying outbreak may have peaked. As always, though, we can’t get too excited about a single-week trend—and 60,000 new cases each day is still a concerning level at which to plateau.

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National numbers, April 18

I am really worried about Michigan. The state comprises a full 11% of new U.S. cases in the past week—and Michigan only makes up 3% of the national population. Nationally, cases continue to rise, driven by B.1.1.7 and other coronavirus variants

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National numbers, April 11

This is the fourth week in a row of case increases in the U.S. While this week’s jump is lower (we went from 57,000 new daily cases two weeks ago, to 63,000 last week, to 64,000 this week), the level where we’ve landed is still reason for concern. Our case numbers now are comparable to last July, when the summer surge was threatening hospital systems in the South and West.

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