COVID-19 deaths have begun to decline in every section of the U.S., the latest sign of relief as cases continue to drop and the vaccination push accelerates.
The virus has been receding in the U.S. for about three weeks, but reported deaths -- the lagging indicator that’s the ultimate measure of Covid’s impact -- had remained near record levels.
Now, the seven-day average has shown signs of having peaked in all four U.S. Census Bureau regions, even the laggard South. The declines will buy states time as they attempt an unprecedented vaccination effort to get shots to most of the country’s 330 million people.
Deaths reflect infections that happened weeks and sometimes months ago, and it’s unclear how much of the shift is the result of the vaccination push, which has reached less than a tenth of Americans. But by first directing shots to the most vulnerable Americans, including those in nursing homes and people 65 and over, states hope resurgences will be less lethal.
In the past week, the U.S. has administered about 1.35 million doses of Covid vaccines a day, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker. There have been 31.8 million doses given in the country overall.
The U.S. reported 116,999 new cases Sunday, pulling the seven-day average down to 151,487, the lowest since Nov. 14, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
As of early Monday, there had been more than 441,000 reported deaths, Johns Hopkins data show.
According to Covid Tracking Project data:
The number of people currently hospitalized in the U.S. with Covid-19 fell to the lowest since Nov. 29.
Arizona has the most people hospitalized with the virus per capita.