Posted: Jun 09, 2021
The seven-day average of new, daily coronavirus cases dropped to 13,277, the first time it has fallen below 15,000 since the first weeks of the pandemic in March of 2020, top U.S. health officials said Tuesday.
The daily average has dropped to one-third the average number of cases seen just three weeks ago. Five months ago the U.S. was seeing 15,000 cases every 90 minutes.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said barely more than 10,000 new cases were reported Monday. She noted that deaths and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 also have continued their precipitous decline.
Walensky credited the 300 million-plus vaccination shots already administered across the nation for the encouraging numbers.
"It gives me so much hope," she said. "Each week there are more and more data to demonstrate the impact vaccination has on preventing this disease and moving us out of this pandemic."
Still, experts say a summer surge could emerge in states lifting restrictions despite lagging in vaccination rates.
"Threats remain," warned Andy Slavitt, who on Wednesday leaves his post as White House senior adviser for COVID-19 response. "We must push harder so more Americans can return to normal life and the peace of mind that come with being vaccinated."
By John Bacon and Jorge L. Ortiz
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