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Expand chart
Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Coronavirus cases are holding steady across the U.S. as vaccinations increase and states continue to loosen their safety measures.

By the numbers: The U.S. averaged about 65,000 new cases per day over the past week, essentially unchanged from the week before.

  • Daily case counts increased in 13 states and declined in nine.
  • The biggest improvement was in Alabama, which saw a 33% drop in new cases. The biggest deterioration was in Nebraska, which saw a 52% jump. (Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts suggested the jump could be partly due to a data issue.)
  • Michigan, which has emerged as a hotspot in the latest phase of the pandemic, recorded an average of about 6,700 new cases per day over the past week, up 24% from the week before.
  • But things improved in New York, which has also emerged as a potential hotspot in the pandemic’s burgeoning fourth wave. Daily cases there were down by about 7% over the past week.

What we’re watching: The U.S. administered an average of 3 million vaccine doses per day over the past week, according to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker. Roughly 33% of American adults have gotten at least one shot, and 19% are fully vaccinated.

The bottom line: The vaccines will ultimately be our way out of this pandemic, if Americans keep getting vaccinated at this rate. The big question is how quick and how clean that ending will be.

  • Hovering around 65,000 cases per day, even with such rapid vaccinations, means that a significant fourth wave is still on the table.
  • It almost certainly wouldn’t be as deadly as previous surges, but it could give rise to more new variants and ultimately prolong COVID-19’s presence in our lives.

Go deeper

Apr 7, 2021 - Health

CDC director: U.K. COVID variant now dominant strain in U.S.

Photo: Susan Walsh/Pool via Getty Images

The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant that originated in the United Kingdom is now the most common strain in the U.S., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday at a White House briefing.

Why it matters: Studies have shown the B.1.1.7 variant is more contagious than the original strain and is associated with a higher risk of death.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Apr 7, 2021 - Health

Vaccine shopping can be surprisingly easy

Expand chart
Reproduced from KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor; Chart: Axios Visuals

Many coronavirus vaccination sites are making it easy for people to shop for the vaccine they want.

Why it matters: Public health officials have advised for months that the best vaccine to get is the one that's first available. But giving people a choice about which shot to get could help improve overall vaccination rates, especially among more hesitant Americans.

Updated Apr 7, 2021 - World

Brazil's daily COVID death toll tops 4,000 for first time

Cemetery workers carry a coffin during the burial of a COVID-19 victim at the Sao Joao municipal cemetery in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on March 26. Photo: Silvio Avila/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil confirmed more than 4,000 COVID-19 deaths in a 24-hour period for the first time on Tuesday, the health ministry announced.

Why it matters: A surge in cases and deaths, driven in part by relaxed mitigation measures and a more contagious local variant, has overwhelmed the country's health system.