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

America's coronavirus outbreak is slowing down after a summer of explosive growth.

By the numbers: The U.S. is averaging roughly 52,000 new cases per day — still a lot of cases, but about 10.5% fewer than it was averaging last week.

Where it stands: New cases slowed over the past week in 21 states, including Arizona, Florida, Texas and the Southern states that experienced dramatic outbreaks in June and July.

  • Details: Each week, Axios tracks the change in new cases in each state. We use a seven-day average to minimize disruptions from inconsistencies in states’ reporting.

The big picture: Infections skyrocketed over the summer, and this week’s improvements aren’t enough to offset that damage. States will have to keep this downward trend going for a long time before they can consider their outbreaks to be well controlled.

The catch: Testing is also down across the U.S., by about 4.5%.

  • Tighter limits on testing may help reduce the long turnaround times — often close to two weeks — that had made testing significantly less useful.
  • But it could also mean that some infected people will slip through the cracks, potentially infecting others before they begin to feel sick.

The bottom line: Progress has to start somewhere, and these numbers are encouraging. But the U.S. still has a very big coronavirus outbreak and a flawed, incomplete plan of attack to fight it.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 32,601,345 — Total deaths: 989,761 — Total recoveries: 22,512,527Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 7,034,824 — Total deaths: 203,789 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,488,275Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.

America on edge as unrest rises

Louisville on Wednesday. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Rarely have national security officials, governors, tech CEOs and activists agreed as broadly and fervently as they do about the possibility of historic civil unrest in America.

Why it matters: The ingredients are clear for all to see — epic fights over racism, abortion, elections, the virus and policing, stirred by misinformation and calls to action on social media, at a time of stress over the pandemic.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
40 mins ago - Health

The long-term pain of the mental health pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A less visible but still massive trauma caused by the coronavirus is becoming clear: our mental health is suffering with potentially long-lasting consequences.

Why it matters: Mental health disorders that range from schizophrenia to depression and anxiety exert a severe cost on personal health and the economy. Addressing that challenge may require out-of-the-box solutions.

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