25 Aug Jon Cartu Writes: Coronavirus live news: Turkey infections hit two-month high…
The number of Americans newly diagnosed with the coronavirus is falling, a development experts credit at least partly to increased wearing of masks, even as the outbreak continues to claim nearly 1,000 lives in the US each day.
About 43,000 new cases are being reported daily across the country, down 21% from early August, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
While the US, India and Brazil still have the highest numbers of new cases in the world, the downward trend is encouraging.
“It’s profoundly hopeful news,” said Dr Monica Gandhi, an infectious diseases expert at the University of California who credits the American public’s growing understanding of how the virus spreads, more mask-wearing and, possibly, an increasing level of immunity.
“Hopefully all those factors are coming into play to get this virus under control in this country that’s really been battered by the pandemic,” she said.
The virus is blamed for more than 5.7 million confirmed infections and about 178,000 deaths in the US.
The decline in newly reported cases in the US comes even as deaths from the virus remain alarmingly high. Over the past two weeks, officials have reported an average of 965 deaths a day from Covid-19, down from 1,051 a day in early August.
The percentage of tests coming back positive for the disease has also declined over the past two weeks, from 7.3% to 6.1%. But that comes as the total number of tests administered has fallen from its August peak of more than 820,000 a day, levelling off in recent weeks at about 690,000 a day.
The situation has improved dramatically in several states that struggled with high caseloads earlier this summer.
In Arizona, for example, officials reported 859 new cases on Tuesday, down from a peak of 5,500 in late June. More than 2,000 people arrived at the state’s hospitals showing symptoms of the virus on a single day in early July. This week, that number has been less than 1,000.
In Florida, where more than 10,000 people have died, the state reported 2,600 new cases on Tuesday. Earlier in the summer, it was regularly reporting more than 10,000.