The number of weekly deaths from COVID-19 fell to the lowest levels in nearly 14 months. According to data tallied by Reuters, there were 4,165 total deaths in the week ending on May 16. That is the lowest number since March 2020, when there were 2,293 deaths.
Four states, Texas, Arizona, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, all reported at least one day with zero deaths during the past week.
Other numbers are also trending downward as the number of vaccinated people continues to increase. The number of new cases fell to 233,000, a weekly decrease of 20%, and the lowest number since last June. Just four states, Alabama, Mississippi, Vermont, Nevada, and Washington, D.C., saw cases rise over the past week. Alabama reported a 280% increase in new cases, but that was because the data included a backlog of coronavirus test results.
Meanwhile, the nationwide average of hospitalizations fell by 12% and has fallen for four consecutive weeks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 37% of Americans are fully vaccinated, and 47.5% have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
"We all want to be on the other side of the pandemic," Dr. Wesley Long, a pathologist at Houston Methodist, told the Houston Chronicle. "And it's OK to feel excitement about changes in mask mandates or about decreasing case numbers and mortality."
"But it's important to remember how we got here," Long continued. "A lot of the benefits we're seeing now are largely driven by vaccines and compliance" with safety measures such as masking and social distancing.
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