Sep 10, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus infections fell by nearly 13% last week

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New coronavirus infections fell by almost 13% over the past week — a significant improvement.

Why it matters: Things are moving in the right direction again after a brief plateau, and getting the virus under control now will give the U.S. a much better shot at a safe autumn.

By the numbers: The U.S. is now averaging about 37,000 new cases every day. That’s a lot, and we’re not even halfway back to the lower totals we were recording before cases surged this summer. But the U.S. has been recording steady progress since August.

Yes, but: A handful of isolated events, including the Sturgis motorcycle rally and some particularly bad college re-openings, caused that progress to flatline last week.

  • It’s good that we’re back on track, but the pause was a reminder of just how easy it is for the virus to come roaring back when public health measures lapse.

Where it stands: The number of new infections fell last week in 18 states, including the big summer hotspots as well as some of the states that saw the biggest spikes last week.

  • The U.S. averaged roughly 710,000 coronavirus tests per day over the past week, a drop of about 3% from the week before.
  • The fact that the decline in cases was bigger than the decline in tests makes it more likely that cases are actually going down, not just that we're not finding as many.

Details: Each week, Axios tracks the change in new infections in each state, compared to the week before. We use a seven-day average to minimize the effects of one-off quirks in states’ reporting.

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