Coronavirus hotspots keep improving
The coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. continues to slow, driven by significant progress in the South and Southwest, where cases skyrocketed earlier this summer.
Why it matters: All of the second-order controversies consuming the U.S. — like whether to open schools for in-person instruction — would be easier to resolve if we could get the virus under control and keep it there.
The big picture: The number of new infections in the U.S. fell by nearly 8% over the past week — the fourth straight week of nationwide improvement.
- Arizona and Florida, two of the biggest contributors to the explosion of new cases in June and July, recorded significant improvement this week. Cases were down 18% in Arizona and 25% in Florida.
- The other big summer hotspots, California and Texas, held steady, while the hard-hit South improved overall.
By the numbers: The U.S. averaged just under 49,000 new cases per day over the past week — still a lot of cases, and far too many to declare any sort of victory over the coronavirus, but an improvement from the 65,000 daily cases we were averaging in mid-July.
- Nationwide, testing held steady at roughly 722,000 tests per day.
Yes, but: New warning signs cropped up this week in Kentucky and a handful of Midwestern states.
- As we’ve already learned multiple times throughout this pandemic, once the virus gains a new foothold, it can become highly mobile very quickly.
Between the lines: Each week, Axios tracks the change in new coronavirus infections from the week before, using a seven-day average to minimize any day-to-day abnormalities in reporting.
- This map illustrates how each state has changed over a one-week period; it is not a static snapshot of the severity of each state’s outbreak.
- Maine looks bad on the map, but only because it jumped from 11 cases per day to 23.