The seven-day rolling average of daily COVID-19 deaths fell below 1,000 for the first time in nearly five months on Wednesday, a DailyMail.com analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows.
It comes after Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr Rochelle Walensky said Monday she was ‘scared’ and had ‘a feeling of impending doom’ as she watched the trends in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
After weeks of steady declines, those trends leveled off. By Monday, the CDC’s figures showed new average daily coronavirus cases had risen by 10 percent compared to the previous week, and deaths were hovering around 1,000 a day.
Although the average of deaths fell on Wednesday, the U.S. recorded another 1,076 fatalities on Wednesday – an increase over the prior five days.
The contradictions in U.S. Covid numbers reflect a larger tension in the American battle against the virus: Vaccinations accelerating and the weather is warming, prompting states to relax restrictions, but herd immunity is still months away and more infectious variants are taking hold, fueling the spread of coronavirus.
If the U.S. is in a race between vaccines and variants, the data suggest it’s neck-and-neck.
The seven-day rolling average of daily COVID-19 deaths fell below 1,000 for the first time in nearly five months on Wednesday
The seven-day rolling average of new cases is down to about 64,500, but more than 67,000 new infections were recorded Wednesday
CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky warned that she had a feeling of ‘impending doom’ when looking at the trends in Covid cases and deaths, but average fatalities have fallen
The U.S. saw more than 67,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, up from 61,240 the previous day.
That’s somewhat more new infections than the seven-day rolling average of 64,514 cases a day, but down 23 percent from the number of new positive tests reported on the prior Wednesday.
Fatalities have been declining quickly in the U.S. over the past three months, but the CDC now predicts that ‘deaths will remain stable or have an uncertain trend over the next 4 weeks.’
Its latest models, published Wednesday, predict that 3,100 to 10,200 Americans will die during the week ending in April 24.
By then, the total death toll could rise as high as 585,000 the latest model warns.
In the past week, the U.S, saw 6,722 new deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
CDC predicts that eight states or territories will continue to see declining death rates, but says that the future trends in fatalities are uncertain in the vast majority of states.
CDC’s latest models, published Wednesday, predict that 3,100 to 10,200 Americans will die during the week ending in April 24
To-date, more than 552,000 Americans have died of COVID-19.
More than 30 million people have been infected by coronavirus and tested positive, though the real number of cases is likely much higher.
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed total U.S. deaths last year beyond 3.3 million, the nation’s highest annual death toll, according to a Wednesday CDC report.
Coronavirus caused approximately 375,000 deaths, and was the third leading cause of death in 2020, after heart disease and cancer.
COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now top 550,000 since the start of the pandemic.
The disease displaced suicide as one of the top 10 causes of death, according to the report.
The data should serve again as a catalyst for each of us to continue to do our part to drive down cases and reduce the spread of COVID-19 and get people vaccinated as quickly as possible,’ CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday.
The U.S. death toll increases most years, but last year’s death rate was up nearly 16% compared to the previous year. That’s the largest one-year leap since 1918, when U.S. soldier deaths in World War I and the flu pandemic pushed deaths up 46% compared with 1917.
Death rates last year overall were highest among Black people and American Indian and Alaska Native people. The COVID-19 death rate was highest among Hispanic people.
‘Sadly, based on the current state of the pandemic, these impacts have remained in 2021 where we continue to see that communities of color account for an outsize portions of these deaths,’ Walensky said.
Preliminary data in December suggested 2020 would be an especially deadly year and the CDC’s new report showed it was even worse than anticipated. The new numbers are still considered preliminary and are based on an analysis of death certificates.
With tens of millions of Americans already infected and the vaccination campaign accelerating, the worst should be behind the U.S., despite the appalling toll 2020 took.
All three vaccines authorized in the U.S. are virtually 100 percent effective against severe disease and death from COVID-19.
And good news keeps rolling in about the protection they provide.
On Thursday, Pfizer published data showing its two-dose vaccine is 91 percent effective against symptomatic infection and offers at least six months of protection.
The shot also was 100 percent effective in a small study of 800 people in South Africa, where a variant scientists feared would dodge vaccine immunity is now dominant.
Separate tests added evidence that the shot works against the Brazilian variant as well.
And Pfizer reported its trial participants were protected for at least six months – twice as long as it was able to say of its vaccine at the time of FDA authorization in December.
Nearly 30 percent of Americans have had one or more dose of COVID-19 vaccines, and 16.4 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.
With 2.8 million shots being given a day, according to Bloomberg data, all but one U.S. state (Wyoming) have opened vaccine access or announced plans to expand that access to all adults, ahead of President Biden’s May 1 deadline.
Many of those states have stepped to a new level of reopening in tandem with their vaccine expansions.
Eight states – North Dakota, Wyoming, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Iowa, Montana and Arkansas – have dropped virtually all of their restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus.
But at least Iowa, Wyoming and North Dakota are still in the midst of rising new Covid cases over the past two weeks, according to DataUSA.io.
North Dakota, in fact, has seen the second steepest rise in new infections in the country over the past 14 days.
It joins New York, New Jersey and Michigan with an increase of more than 40 percent in new infections.
Michigan tops the charts, with cases increasing by nearly 70 percent over the past two weeks.
North Dakota has dropped virtually all restrictions, including masking requirements, while Michigan, New Jersey and New York have raised indoor dining capacity caps to 50 percent (up from 25 percent).
Public health experts are calling these moves toward reopening ‘premature,’ and if more states make similar changes, new Covid cases will likely rise, followed by hospitalizations and deaths.
Vaccinations could head that trend off – but Bloomberg’s calculator estimates that the U.S. is still at least four months from herd immunity.