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

Coronavirus infections in the U.S. are beginning to decline, after a summer of sharp increases, and some of the hardest-hit states are improving significantly.

Yes, but: We're at the stage of this most recent outbreak in which deaths begin to spike. They're closing in on 150,000 and still rising.

Between the lines: Each week, Axios maps the change in new infections compared to the week before, using a seven-day average to minimize distortions.

By the numbers: This week, the U.S. overall saw a 2.8% drop in new infections — within the range we classify as "holding steady."

  • An average of 64,448 people were officially diagnosed with COVID-19 infections every day last week.

Two of the worst hotspots in the country, Arizona and Texas, experienced more significant declines in their caseloads: 16% and 21%, respectively.

  • Arizona has been getting better for a few weeks now, and though Texas still has a long way to go to make up for the spikes it saw in June and early July, it may be beginning to turn things around.
  • But California and Florida — the other major summer hotspots — have shown little improvement after weeks of deterioration.

What's next: With deaths still on the rise, cases holding steady at close to 65,000 per day and testing unable to keep up with demand, the U.S. is still in a bad place, and still lacks a coherent strategy to contain the virus.

  • But, for now at least, the virus' spread is holding steady overall, rather than continuing to accelerate.

Go deeper

Nov 7, 2020 - Health

Defense Department sends medical teams to El Paso as COVID-19 cases surge

An attendant talks to a person waiting in their car at a coronavirus testing site at Ascarate Park in El Paso. Photo:Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)

The Department of Defense has deployed three U.S Air force Medical Specialty Teams to El Paso to help officials cope with a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday.

Why it matters: El Paso currently has 23,702 active COVID-19 cases, including 1,300 new cases reported on Friday, per the city's health department. At least 1,049 coronavirus patients have been hospitalized, including 311 who are in the ICU.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
13 mins ago - Technology

Israel's new PM Naftali Bennett made his name as a millionaire tech founder

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

Naftali Bennett yesterday became prime minister of Israel, succeeding Benjamin Netanyahu, after his power-sharing government survived a vote of confidence.

Why it matters: Bennett becomes Israel's first new prime minister since 2009, and he takes office as Netanyahu stands trial for corruption.

59 mins ago - World

Biden at NATO summit: Collective defense is a "sacred obligation"

President Joe Biden is greeted by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO summit. Photo: Patrick Semansky/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden reaffirmed the United States' commitment to NATO during a sit-down with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the president's first meeting of NATO's 2021 summit in Brussels.

Why it matters: Biden has used his first international trip as president to reassure allies of his administration's commitment to multilateralism and to NATO's Article 5, which stipulates that the entire alliance will respond to an attack on any member nation.