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Expand chart
Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The pace of new coronavirus infections in the U.S. fell by nearly 20% over the past week — the fifth straight week of double-digit declines.

The big picture: America’s vaccination drive is working, and as it continues to expand, the country can safely get back to many of its pre-pandemic routines.

By the numbers: The U.S. averaged roughly 24,000 new cases per day over the past week, a 20% drop from week before. Cases have fallen every week since mid-April.

  • 38 states improved over the past week. Only four states saw their outbreaks grow.
  • This is happening because of the vaccines. Half of American adults are fully vaccinated, and roughly 62% of adults have gotten at least one shot, according to the CDC.

What’s next: The pandemic continues to rage overseas, and the Biden administration will face increasing pressure to export more vaccines now that the virus is so well contained in the U.S.

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.

Go deeper

Sep 2, 2021 - Health

Israeli coronavirus vaccine booster data gives the U.S. hope

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Preliminary Israeli data shows that coronavirus booster shots quickly spike a person's protection against both severe disease and infection, suggesting that the additional shots could help blunt the virus' spread in the U.S. — although it's very unclear how much.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has said that the main rationale for its booster push is to stay ahead of any waning of the vaccines' effectiveness against severe disease. But slowing the spread of the Delta variant would be a welcome bonus.

Sep 1, 2021 - Health

Texas school temporarily closes after two teachers die from COVID-19 in a week

American and Texas state flag. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A school in Texas closed for the rest of the week on Tuesday after two teachers died from COVID-19 within a week, the Waco Tribune-Herald reports.

State of play: The campus at Connally Junior High School won't open until after Labor Day for deep sanitation, after sixth-grade social studies teacher Natalia Chansler died on Aug. 28, having notified the school three days earlier that she tested positive for COVID-19.

Sep 2, 2021 - Health

Fauci: Mu COVID variant not an "immediate threat" to U.S.

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci said at a press briefing Thursday that the coronavirus variant Mu, which the World Health Organization is now tracking, does not pose an immediate threat to the U.S.

Driving the news: WHO added the Mu strain, first detected in Colombia in January, to its "Variants of Interest" list Monday, warning that early data suggest it may be more resistant to protection from prior infection or vaccination.