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

New coronavirus infections fell by roughly 16% over the past week in the U.S. — a big improvement after weeks of stasis.

The big picture: More than half of American adults have gotten at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and that seems to finally be putting a dent in the size of the country’s outbreak.

By the numbers: The U.S. averaged about 55,000 new cases per day over the past week, down from about 66,000 per day the week before.

  • The number of new infections declined in 26 states and only rose in four.
  • New York and Michigan saw the biggest improvements; new cases were down by about 30% in both states.

What’s next: The U.S. will never totally eliminate COVID-19, but high vaccination rates and low case rates will help the country get back to normal more quickly, and will also help limit the threat that new variants of the virus will pose in the years to come.

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

Apr 28, 2021 - Health

mRNA vaccines 94% effective in preventing hospitalization in adults 65 and older

A COVID-positive patient who suffered a stroke in December and was flown from Providence St. Mary Medical Center to another hospital. Photo: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were 94% effective in preventing hospitalization for COVID-19 among adults 65 years and older, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The research, which studied 417 hospitalized adults in 14 states between January and March, adds real-world evidence from the clinical trials that vaccination protects against severe illness and hospitalization.

Apr 28, 2021 - Health

NYT: Cuomo aides blocked officials from releasing COVID nursing home death toll

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Mike Segar/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Senior aides to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) engaged in a sustained campaign over several months to keep state health officials from releasing the full nursing home death toll caused by the coronavirus, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The FBI is investigating Cuomo's office following a probe by New York Attorney General Letitia James, also a Democrat, that found his administration undercounted deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%.