Sep 16, 2021 - Health

COVID cases are falling, but deaths are rising

Data: N.Y. Times; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios
Data: N.Y. Times; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The pace of new coronavirus infections in the U.S. is beginning to slow — a potential sign that the states hit hardest by the Delta wave may be starting to turn things around.

Yes, but: Deaths are still rising, and it’s still too early to know whether schools might drive cases back up again.

By the numbers: On average, about 150,000 Americans are contracting COVID-19 infections every day. That number has fallen by 8% over the past two weeks.

  • The rate of new infections got worse over the past two weeks in 27 states and improved in 23.
  • Many of the states that experienced the biggest surges in cases and hospitalizations this summer are now beginning to see some improvement.

Deaths, however, are rising. The virus is now killing 1,888 Americans per day, on average — a 33% jump over the past two weeks.

Between the lines: When a new wave hits, cases go up first, followed a little while later by hospitalizations, and then deaths. Today’s rising death toll is the result of the increase in cases and severe illnesses that swept across the U.S. earlier this summer.

  • Vaccinated people can get infected, but are still protected almost entirely from severe illness and death. This summer’s crush of hospitalizations, and now the rising death toll, were preventable.
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