Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

COVID-19 killed more Americans in the first week of February than all of June 2020

The U.S. recorded fewer than 100,000 COVID-19 cases on Sunday and Monday, the first time the country has dipped below that number since Nov. 2. The numbers vary by which organization is counting and when they post the data — Johns Hopkins University counted just under 90,000 new cases Monday, The New York Times reported 92,603, and the COVID Tracking Project listed 78,000 new cases — but all counts are marked improvements after a post-Thanksgiving surge.

The number of Americans hospitalized with the coronavirus has also fallen, hitting its fifth day below 90,000 on Monday, The Wall Street Journal reports, and the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units fell to the lowest level since Nov. 20. The seven-day average of new cases has fallen 36 percent across the U.S., and "most of the nation is seeing rapid improvement," the Times reports. But "deaths remain extremely high." The Times counted "at least 1,547 new coronavirus deaths" Monday while Johns Hopkins, as of early Tuesday, listed 1,596 deaths. More than 465,000 Americans have died from the disease.

The fatality numbers are falling, but "January's disastrous spike in cases led to a surge in deaths," USA Today reports. "The country has been averaging about 3,000 reported deaths per day for a month, and in the week ending Sunday, the U.S. reported 22,121 deaths. That first week of deaths in February is greater than the number of deaths reported in all of June 2020."

On a more positive note, 9.8 percent of Americans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, and 2.9 percent are fully vaccinated, The Washington Post reports. An average of 1.46 million shots are being administered each day, and the number topped 2 million on Saturday. Ten states have vaccinated more than 10 percent of their populations, the Journal reports, led by Alaska (15 percent), West Virginia (12.2 percent), and New Mexico (12 percent).