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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

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Mar 20, 2021 - Health

Fauci: U.K. variant may account for 30% of U.S. coronavirus infections

Anthony Fauci during a Senate hearing committee on March 18. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The coronavirus variant first discovered in the United Kingdom may account for up to 30% of new COVID infections across the U.S., NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said during a White House briefing on the virus Friday.

Why it matters: The variant, called B.1.1.7, has been detected throughout the U.S., and studies have suggested it appears to spread more easily than the original strain of the virus.

Jun 21, 2021 - Health

Vaccinations of seniors lag behind in 11 states

Senior citizen receives a Covid-19 vaccine as part of a collaborative effort from the West Virginia National Guard. Photo: Stephen Zenner/Getty Images

In 11 states, more than 20% of senior citizens remain unvaccinated, a rate much higher than the national average, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: People over 65 years old are particularly vulnerable to experiencing severe symptoms and death from COVID-19.