Average daily coronavirus cases and deaths in the U.S. are continuing to fall to record-low levels and health experts say vaccinations are to thank for the downward trends.
On Thursday, the U.S. reported 18,991 infections of COVID-19, a 36 percent drop from the 30,141 cases recorded two weeks ago, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of Johns Hopkins data.
Although the daily total is higher than the number recorded on Wednesday, the seven-day rolling average currently sits at 15,045, the lowest figure seen since March 29, 2020, when the seven-day average was 13,988.
In March, tests were scarce and only around 57,000 Americans were being tested every day compared with about a million people today. This mean the test positivity rate was 26 percent at the time compared to 1.5 percent today.
However, it should be noted that there were likely hundreds – even thousands – of infections that went undetected due to the scarcity of tests and the guidance at the time that only people with symptoms get tested.
Currently, there are an estimated 45 cases per million people in America, which is a 61 percent decline from the 117 cases per million reported three weeks ago, and a number not seen since March 28 of last year, according to Our World in Data.
COVID-19 deaths are also declining with 601 recorded on Thursday, which marks the sixth day in a row that daily fatalities have fallen below 1,000.
The seven-day rolling average currently stands at 447, which is also the first time the figure has fallen below 500 since April 1.
What’s more, between Thursday of last week and this week, a total of 105,318 cases were reported over seven days, and the U.S. could soon see a five-figure weekly total of infections.
Health experts say the improving numbers are because of COVID-19 vaccinations, with 63 percent of American adults receiving at least one dose and 52 percent fully vaccinated.
On Thursday, the U.S. recorded 18,991 coronavirus infections with a seven-day rolling average of 15,045, the lowest figure seen since March 29, 2020
There are currently an estimated 45 cases per million people in the U.S., which is a 61% decline from the 117 per million reported three weeks ago
A total of 601 deaths were also reported Thursday with a seven-day rolling average of 447, which is the first time the figure has fallen below 500 since April 1 of last year
Coronavirus cases are not just falling across the country, but also in former epicenters of the U.S., including New York and California.
In New York, the seven-day rolling average of cases sits at 473, which is a 64 percent decline from the 1,349 average cases recorded on May 21, the DailyMail.com analysis found.
What’s more, the average is the lowest in the Empire State since March 15 of last year.
Meanwhile, in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that new COVID-19 cases are down 95 percent since January, and the positivity rate is down 91 percent with just 0.81 percent of all tests coming back positive.
‘It’s stunning how much progress has been made,’ he told reporters at a press conference.
California also is seeing declines with an average of 933 cases per day, down from 1,246 reported two weeks ago, representing a drop of 25 percent.
The rolling average is slightly higher than the figure reported over the last couple of days, but in line with numbers not seen since late March of last year, the DailyMail.com analysis found.
New York recorded a seven-day rolling average of cases of 473 on Thursday, a 64% decline from the 1,349 average cases recorded on May 21
The seven-day rolling average of cases in California sits at 933 per day, a drop of 25% from 1,246 reported two weeks ago
And Los Angeles County, which was at one time recording a COVID-19 death every eight minutes, has seen shockingly low numbers.
Department of Public Health data show 228 cases were reported on Thursday with a test positivity rate of 0.4 percent, the lowest ever since the start of the pandemic.
‘Our metrics continue to improve, and we continue to see declines in cases, hospitalizations and deaths,’ county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said earlier this week.
‘Vaccinations are saving lives and I ask each of you to continue keeping yourself, your friends and your family members safe by getting vaccinated if you haven’t done so already. We end this pandemic with vaccinations.’
Dr Chris Beyrer, a professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told NBC News that the real test will come in the fall, when temperatures drop and more people congregate indoors.
However, he believes that any uptick in fall 2021 or winter 2022 is not going to mirror the surge seen last year, when daily cases hit a record high of 300,000.
He said this is because vaccines have not only been proven to prevent illness, but also in preventing severe disease in the small percentage of people who do get sick.
‘We’ve got to get as high of coverage with these terrific vaccines as we can, as that’s the key to whether or not we have another fall where we see outbreaks and infections,’ Beyrer told NBC News.
Health experts credit falling numbers to vaccinations with 50.9% of the U.S. population, including children 12 and older, have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 41.2% having completed their vaccine series
President Joe Biden’s goal is to inoculate 70% of U.S. adults with at least one vaccine dose by July 4, but average daily vaccinations have fallen from more than three million per day in April to fewer than 1.5 million per day in June
According to CDC data, 50.9 percent of the population, including children 12 and older, have been given at least one vaccine dose and 41.2 percent have completed their vaccine series.
President Joe Biden has set a goal of giving 70 percent of adults at least one shot by July 4.
However, this has proven difficult with the number of daily vaccinations falling, decreasing from an average of three million per day in April to fewer than 1.5 million per day currently.
As of Friday, just 12 U.S. states have administered at least one coronavirus vaccine dose to 70 percent of their adult populations.
Nine of the states – Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont – are in the Northeast with just three states, California, Hawaii and New Mexico, in the west.
To incentivize more residents to get vaccinated, some governors have announced lotteries with large cash prizes and private companies have announced giveaways including free groceries and vacations to the Bahamas.