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Expand chart
Data: JHU; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. is averaging fewer than 50,000 new coronavirus cases per day for the first time in over five months.

Why it matters: The downward trend comes after reaching a high in January and amid the U.S. vaccination campaign, but health officials warn people to remain vigilant about social distancing and masking.

By the numbers: The U.S. seven-day average peaked at nearly 250,000 cases per day in January but has steadily declined since to the current average of 49,908 cases per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

  • U.S. hospitalizations have dropped to 42,262, according to the New York Times, declining 33% over the past two weeks.
  • Deaths in the country decreased 20% in the past two weeks, dropping to about 1,650 deaths per day.

For the record: The last time the U.S. was down to 50,000 new cases per day was in mid-October.

  • The U.S. has confirmed a total of 29,099,393 cases since the pandemic started, per Johns Hopkins University.

What they're saying: "All this is good news," said Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a briefing Wednesday.

  • But she emphasized that "our actions this week represent a first step, not our final destination."
  • Walensky said the U.S. is at a "critical point in this pandemic and on the cusp of having enough vaccines to protect every adult" in the country.
  • "We ask for your patience in practicing prudent prevention measures for just a while longer," she added.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Biden adviser warns "there will be consequences" for Russia if Navalny dies

The Biden administration warned the Russian government "that there will be consequences" if jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday.

The big picture: Sullivan also defended President Biden for not mentioning Navalny in a Thursday speech about Russia or in a Tuesday call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying the White House aims to deal with the issue "privately and through diplomatic channels."

3 killed, 2 wounded overnight in Kenosha bar shooting

Three people died and two were hospitalized with serious injuries after a gunman entered bar in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, the police department said in a statement on Sunday. Police responded to the shooting at around 12:42 a.m. and the suspect has not been found.

The big picture: The midnight shooting is the latest in a string of deadly mass shootings to hit the U.S. since March, fueling a debate in Washington about how to regulate the weapons.

Prosecutor on leave for failing to "fully present the facts" after shooting of 13-year-old boy

People march through Larimer Square as they protest the deaths of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo on April 17 in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Cook County prosecutor James Murphy was placed on administrative leave Friday after he implied in court that 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who was shot and killed by a police officer in March, was armed when he was shot, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times report.

Why it matters: Videos of the shooting show that Toledo dropped what appears to be a weapon and put his hands in the air a moment before before he was fatally shot. A lawyer for the Toledo family said Thursday that if the teen "had a gun, he tossed it."