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

The pace of new coronavirus cases slowed over the past week, but things are still getting worse in most of the country.

The big picture: After weeks of explosive growth, the number of new infections in the U.S. is still climbing — but not quite as fast as it has been.

By the numbers: The number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. shot up by over 20% per week for the past month.

  • This week, it rose by a comparatively modest 7%.
  • That doesn't mean we're getting better. The U.S. may be leveling off, but it’s leveling off at a very high rate of infection. The country is averaging roughly 66,000 new cases per day.

Several of the worst hotspots experienced slower growth this week than they have throughout July.

  • New confirmed infections rose by 3% last week in Texas, and by 9% in California. Florida’s caseload did not change. Arizona saw its second consecutive week of improvement.
  • Arizona was one of only five states to experience a significant decline in new infections over the past week, while 24 states, along with Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, saw increases of at least 10%.

Between the lines: Axios uses a rolling seven-day average to minimize the effects of any abnormalities in how and when new cases are reported.

The bottom line: 66,000 new cases per day is a recipe for overworked hospitals, strained supply lines, prolonged school closures and, of course, thousands of preventable deaths.

Go deeper

Oct 30, 2020 - World

Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of COVID-19 cases

Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Photo: THIERRY ROGE/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Belgium is enforcing a strict lockdown starting Sunday amid rising coronavirus infections, hospital admissions and a surge of deaths, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Friday.

Why it matters: De Croo said the government saw no choice but to lock down "to ensure that our health care system does not collapse." Scientists and health officials said deaths have doubled every six days, per the Guardian.

Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021

Axios Today host Niala Boodhoo (left) and The Conference Board chief economist Dana Peterson. Photo: Axios

The economy will not return to the "pre-pandemic level of activity" until the fourth quarter of 2021, the chief economist at the Conference Board, Dana Peterson, said in an Axios virtual event on Friday, foreseeing "many more quarters of weakness."

Why it matters: Peterson said the economy's recovery will depend on governments reopening businesses and "allowing mobility both internally and externally," as well as on the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

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