Newly reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. remained under 60,000 for the fifth consecutive day, as the percentage of people vaccinated continues to rise.
The U.S. reported 55,125 new cases for Wednesday, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University Wednesday’s figure was up from Tuesday’s total of 50,856, but was below levels seen for most of last week. Not all states report data on new cases daily.
The seven-day moving average, which helps smooth out states’ irregular reporting schedules, was 52,679 as of Wednesday, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data, while the 14-day average was 57,821. When the seven-day average is lower than the 14-day average, as it has been since April 17, it signals cases are falling.
While infections nationally have been broadly declining, some states are battling fresh surges. Oregon is placing a large portion of the state under new restrictions starting Friday, pulling back on recent reopenings as Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations climb once more.
U.S. hospitalizations continue to hover above 40,000, with the latest data posted by the Department of Health and Human Services showing 43,049 Covid-19 patients in hospitals across the country. Some 959 Covid-19 fatalities were recorded Wednesday, as the total death toll surpassed 574,700, according to the latest Johns Hopkins data.
While public-health officials warn the pandemic is far from over, the country is nearing a benchmark of having 40% of adults fully vaccinated. Many public-health experts say that is a threshold where vaccinations gain an upper hand over the coronavirus, based on the experience of further-along nations such as Israel.
The U.S. administered an average of 2.7 million doses a day over the past week, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC figures show 37.8% of adults have now been fully vaccinated.
“When you get to somewhere between 40 and 50%, I believe you’re going to start seeing real change, the start of a precipitous drop in cases,” said Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious-disease expert. “When you do, that’s when people are going to be able to start doing things that they’ve been craving,” Dr. Fauci said about returning to more normal patterns of life.
Vaccination levels vary by state. In Maine, 46.5% of adults have been fully vaccinated and 65% of people over 18 have received at least one dose, according to CDC data. In Alabama, 28.7% of adults are fully vaccinated and 40.9% have received at least one shot.