Feb 4, 2021 - Health

Coronavirus cases are falling all across the country

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

New coronavirus infections slowed by nearly 16% over the past week, continuing a trend of rapid improvement.

The big picture: The U.S. still has a ton of coronavirus, and there’s still the potential for dark days ahead. But this is progress, and the improvement is significant. If this trend keeps going, the country will be in a far better and safer position as vaccines continue to roll out.

By the numbers: Nationwide, the U.S. is averaging about 139,000 new cases per day — a 16% improvement over last week, which was a 16% improvement over the week before.

  • The number of new hospitalizations was also down last week, by just over 26%.
  • And deaths fell by about 6%, to an average of 3,097 deaths per day.

Between the lines: 139,000 cases and 3,000 deaths per day is still a very bad pandemic, but at least the numbers are headed in the right direction.

  • The U.S. is back at about the same caseload we were experiencing shortly before Thanksgiving.
  • The number of new daily cases fell over the past week in 42 states, and held steady in the remaining eight states. No state got worse — another sign that this improvement could be sustainable.

Yes, but: Experts warn that a more contagious variant of the virus is quickly becoming the dominant strain within the U.S.

  • As it gains more ground, each infected person is more likely to infect others. And because the U.S. still has so many infected people, that could cause cases to spike again.
  • But the best protection against another surge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths is to get cases down and keep them there — and that’s what we’re doing.

Each week, Axios tracks the change in new infections in each state. We use a seven-day average to minimize the effects of day-to-day discrepancies in states’ reporting.


Want more stories like this? Sign up for Axios Vitals

Go deeper