- The coronavirus infection rate in the US dropped by 26% over the last 14 days. Some states, like California, have seen new infections drop by nearly 50%.
- Coronavirus outbreaks, however, remain an issue in a small handful of states like New York, New Jersey, and Vermont.
- Pfizer and Moderna last week promised to ship 140 million vaccine doses to the US this month as the COVID-19 vaccination effort continues to pick up steam.
Even as the coronavirus infection rate continues to drop, it’s important to remember that we’re not out of the woods just yet. As we’ve seen play out in several states over the past few months, a sense of complacency in response to a drop in COVID infections can quickly lead to another round of outbreaks.
So here’s the good news: coronavirus infections in the US have dropped by 26% over the past two weeks while the death rate has fallen by 21% during that same time frame. As it stands now, the US is seeing about as many new infections as it was seeing all the way back in mid-October. Suffice it to say, we’re on an encouraging track.
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The bad news is that some states are still experiencing worrisome outbreaks. According to recent COVID-19 data from The New York Times, there are currently 11 areas where new coronavirus cases are high and staying high, a list that includes New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Colorado, Washington D.C., South Dakota, Vermont, and Idaho.
While the cumulative number of COVID cases in these areas are trending downward, the methodology used by the NYT to designate a high infection rate is a “daily average of at least 15 new cases per 100,000 people” over the course of a week.
In New York, for example, the COVID infection rate has gone down by 12% over the last two weeks. That notwithstanding, the state is still reporting more than 7,800 new COVID infections per day, a rate that is about on par with what the state was reporting in early December. In contrast, many other states — like Illinois, for instance — have seen their infection rates go down to late-August and early September levels.
In light of the above, Dr. Fauci has stressed how important it is for people to still follow coronavirus safety guidelines. This means that everyone should still wear masks out in public, follow social distancing rules, and avoid indoor gatherings whenever possible. So even though gyms, restaurants, and bars are now open across the country, it’s probably a smart idea to avoid these places for the time being unless you’ve been vaccinated.
On a related note, it’s worth mentioning that the vaccination effort in the US is stronger than ever before. Over the weekend, the US administered a record-setting 4.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses over the course of two days. Additionally, Pfizer and Moderna last week pledged to ship 140 million vaccine doses to the US in March, a quantity that will significantly boost the country’s overall COVID-19 vaccine supply. This, coupled with the EUA recently given to Johnson & Johnson for their one-shot vaccine has some health experts optimistic that we might reach herd immunity before summer.
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