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Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

For the first time since early August, the U.S. is averaging fewer than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases per day.

Why it matters: This U.S. has blown opportunities like this before, but the prospect of controlling the virus and being able to safely put pandemic life behind us is once again within reach.

By the numbers: Nationwide, the U.S. is averaging 91,000 new cases per day — a 19% drop over the past two weeks.

  • Deaths are also declining, but more slowly. Average daily deaths are down roughly 2% over the past two weeks.
  • Yes, but: The virus is still killing over 1,900 Americans per day, on average.

Details: Alaska has the biggest outbreak in the U.S., relative to its population, with 113 cases per 100,000 people.

  • The virus' strongest foothold is in the West and upper Midwest. Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, Idaho, Utah, Minnesota and Wisconsin are all among the 10 states with the most cases per capita.
  • Hawaii and Connecticut are the states with the lowest caseloads, each with an average of just 12 cases per 100,000 people. Another nine states and Washington, D.C., are averaging 20 cases or fewer per 100,000 people.
  • That list includes Alabama, Louisiana and Florida — a significant improvement for a trio of states that saw cases soar during the Delta wave.

What’s next: Areas with relatively high case rates and relatively low vaccination rates will remain at risk for localized outbreaks throughout the winter, and unvaccinated people are at risk of serious illness and death if they contract the virus.

  • Nationwide, however, the U.S. may finally be close to containing the virus, which would save lives and make interventions like mask mandates less necessary.

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5–11

Charles Muro, 13, is inoculated at Hartford Healthcare's mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11, pending authorization from the FDA of the first COVID-19 shot for that age group.

The big picture: The White House said it has secured enough vaccine supply to equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of school and community health clinics, and tens of thousands of pharmacies to administer the shots.

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

CDC director: U.S. may change definition of "fully vaccinated" as boosters roll out

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday the U.S. "may need to update" its definition for what it means to have full vaccination against COVID.

The big picture: The CDC and the FDA have officially approved boosters with every authorized vaccine in the U.S. for people who meet specific requirements. Walensky explained that since not everyone is eligible for a booster, the definition has not been changed "yet."

Oct 21, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado COVID cases pose continued concern

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state continue to climb, with case counts here outpacing all but two states nationwide.

By the numbers: Colorado stands out as one of only 10 states that saw infections increase during the past two weeks, a New York Times analysis shows.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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