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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

Daily COVID-19 tests in the U.S. have declined by more than a quarter since mid-January.

Why it matters: Even with cases and deaths falling dramatically in recent weeks, the pandemic is far from finished, and less demand for testing could put us a step behind the spread.

By the numbers: A little over 1.5 million Americans received a COVID-19 test on March 4, according to data from the soon-to-close COVID-19 Tracking Project.

  • That represents a 26% decline from the peak of 2 million a day, and the average number of daily tests has fallen by more than 33% compared to January.
  • In states like Michigan, testing rates have fallen by half, while disruptions caused by severe winter storms depressed numbers in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Be smart: The rise of vaccinations and a decline in new cases from the post-holiday peak have likely led many Americans to forego testing, but case numbers are still plateauing at more than 60,000 a day, even as some states have begun to end restrictions.

  • That's a dangerous combination that could permit the coronavirus to continue spreading silently, especially in under-vaccinated populations.
  • And it's not helped by continual delays in authorizing the kind of cheap, rapid, at-home tests that could allow for easy and continuous surveillance.

What they're saying: "With the vaccine, we're not really going to be looking for the positive cases as much as verifying constantly that those who were vaccinated or were negative before are still negative," says Tony Lemmo, CEO of the diagnostics equipment company BioDot.

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Mar 5, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado approaches 6,000 COVID-19 deaths

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Anomalous Arkansas case data from Feb. 28 was not included in the calculated change; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Colorado is approaching 6,000 deaths related to COVID-19 — an unfathomable benchmark that comes one year after officials confirmed the first cases in the state.

The big picture: About one out of every 1,000 Coloradans alive at the beginning of the pandemic fell victim to it, as The Colorado Sun wrote.

What we know about the victims of the Indianapolis mass shooting

Officials load a body into a vehicle at the site of the mass shooting in Indianapolis. Photo:

Eight people who were killed along with several others who were injured in a Thursday evening shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis have been identified by local law enforcement.

The big picture: The Sikh Coalition said at least four of the eight victims were members of the Indianapolis Sikh community.

Pompeo, wife misused State Dept. resources, federal watchdog finds

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The State Department's independent watchdog found that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal ethics rules when he and his wife asked department employees to perform personal tasks on more than 100 occasions, including picking up their dog and making private dinner reservations.

Why it matters: The report comes as Pompeo pours money into a new political group amid speculation about a possible 2024 presidential run.

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