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Covid Toll in U.S. Remains Enormous, but Cases Are Falling
By admin February 4, 2021

COVID-19 vaccine vial

COVID-19 vaccine vial (WordPress)

The daily COVID toll in the U.S. remains enormous but cases are falling.  Per the New York Times:

“The past few weeks in the United States have been the deadliest of the coronavirus pandemic, and residents in a majority of counties remain at an extremely high risk of contracting the virus. At the same time, transmission seems to be slowing throughout the country, with the number of new average cases 40 percent lower on Jan. 29 than at the U.S. peak three weeks earlier.

Other indicators reinforce the current downward trend in cases. Hospitalizations are down significantly from record highs in early January. The number of tests per day has also decreased, which can obscure the virus’s true toll, but the positivity rate of those tests has also gone down, indicating the slowed spread is real. Still, the average reported daily death rate over the past seven days remains above 3,000, compared with less than 1,000 per day in September and October.

Note: Tests are shown as seven-day averages. Positive test rates are calculated using cumulative figures from the past seven days and exclude peaks from before the time period shown. The positivity rate was higher in the spring, when testing capacity was extremely limited.·Source: The Covid Tracking Project.

The country’s peaks were extremely high: Nearly 1 percent of the U.S. population tested positive for the virus in the two weeks leading up to Jan. 8 alone. That high starting point means even after the large drop, Covid-19 hospitalizations remain at levels seen in early December, when I.C.U.s were already nearing capacity in much of the country. They are currently almost twice as high as previous peaks in the spring and summer.

Experts say the decrease could mark a turning point in the outbreak after months of ever-higher caseloads. But new, more contagious variants threaten to upend progress and could even send case rates to a new high if they take hold, especially if the national vaccine rollout faces hurdles.

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