Yesterday, the United States reported 96,003 cases of COVID-19, according to the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic. That makes Sunday the first single day with fewer than 100,000 cases since November 2, three long months ago.
The count could possibly exceed that threshold again today or later this week, because yesterday’s count is missing numbers from several states, and case numbers typically spike at the beginning or in the middle of the week as the weekend numbers come in.
For weeks, though, the case count has been headed in the right direction, and quickly. On January 11, the seven-day average peaked at 248,725 new daily cases; it’s now at 117,108, less than half. Hospitalizations are also down. After hovering around 130,000 in mid-January, they’re at just over 80,000, about where they were in mid-November. These trends are finally starting to be reflected in the death toll. The seven-day average fell below 3,000 for the first time since January 19.
Still, the country remains at a higher level of hospitalizations than in either the spring or summer surge, neither of which exceeded 60,000 hospitalizations. It’s also likely that the U.S. case count would be more than 100,000 if the U.S. was doing more testing. The seven-day testing average is about where it was in mid-November as well; after peaking at more than 2 million on January 18, it’s now at 1.6 million.