- The coronavirus infection rate in the US is down by nearly 45% over the last two weeks.
- Former COVID-19 hotspots like California and Texas have seen their infection rates drop by more than 50% in recent weeks.
- Only five states haven’t seen a huge drop-off in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, a list that includes New York and Vermont.
In a scenario that played out exactly as health experts predicted, the coronavirus infection rate started to surge in January in the wake of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. At the peak, on January 8, the United States saw more than 300,000 coronavirus infections in a 24-hour period. Around that same time, the 7-day average of COVID-19 infections was close to 260,000 per day.
The good news, though, is that the coronavirus infection rate in the US has been declining steadily over the past six weeks. Over the last two weeks alone, the coronavirus infection rate has dropped by nearly 45%. During that same time frame, the coronavirus death rate has gone down by 32%.
There are, however, five states where the coronavirus infection rate hasn’t been dropping drastically. According to The New York Times, the infection rates in New York, Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming, and South Dakota remains worryingly high.
To be clear, the infection rate in these states has gone down considerably since early January, but the drop-off in new infections hasn’t been as sharp as it’s been elsewhere.
Take New York, for example. The state is currently seeing about 7,400 new COVID cases a day, a rate similar to what the state was experiencing in early December. As a point of contrast, the infection rate in most other states is about on par with early to mid-October levels.
Alaska, meanwhile, has seen its COVID-19 infection rate jump by 8% over the last two weeks. That said, the population in Alaska is so small that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in the state is still quite low.
Of the five states listed above, Vermont faces the biggest uphill battle. As it stands now, the coronavirus infection rate in Vermont is about where it was in early January when it was surging. Similar to Alaska, though, Vermont has a relatively small population which is to say that the cumulative number of infections — just 134 yesterday — remains low.
All that said, there’s finally a reason to believe that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us. States with massive populations — like California and Texas — have seen their coronavirus infection rate drop by 50% and 67% over the last two weeks.
Coupled together with an ever-improving vaccine rollout, many people are now hopeful that life might return to normal sometime in May.
To this point, Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins recently penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal and said the following:
There is reason to think the country is racing toward an extremely low level of infection. As more people have been infected, most of whom have mild or no symptoms, there are fewer Americans left to be infected. At the current trajectory, I expect Covid will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life.
Makary rests his theory on the fact that the total number of coronavirus infections in the US — when one takes into account asymptomatic infections — is four to five times higher than the official tally of 28.1 million.