COVID-19 cases drop sharply across US

Businessman with "We're open again" sign
Businessman with "We're open again" sign

Nattakorn Maneerat / iStock

Across the country, rates of new COVID-19 cases are dropping to numbers not seen since last June.

Three days ago the 7-day average of cases reached 27,815, the first time that number had been below 30,000 since Jun 22, 2020, the Washington Post reports. The Post said infection rates are dropping evenly across the country, though some hot spots remain across the Deep South, the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest.

Several models, including the prominent forecast from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, predict fewer than 7,000 daily cases by mid-August and fewer than 120 deaths.

Yesterday the United States reported 12,853 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, and 190 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker.

Half of states have vaccinated half of adults

Much of the reduction can be attributed to the strong immunization campaign in this country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) COVID Data Tracker shows that 357,250,475 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered in the United States, and 286,890,900 have been administered, with 130,615,797 Americans fully vaccinated.

This means roughly half of states (25 and Washington D.C.) have fully vaccinated 50% of adult residents, according to a new CNN analysis. Now states including New Jersey and Michigan are planning on ending mask mandates and issuing new guidance on returning to in-person work.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all New York public school children will  return to in-person instruction in the fall. The decision pertains to roughly 1 million children.

"It's time for everyone to come back," said de Blasio, according to the Associated Press. "It's time for us all to be together. It's time to do things the way they were meant to be done. All the kids in the classroom together getting a great education from educators who care, staff members who care. "

Heart problems in young vaccine recipients

The CDC is investigating a few dozen cases of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, found in young adults and adolescent vaccine recipients.

The incidents were first reported on May 17 during a Vaccine Safety Technical (VaST) Work Group meeting. The cases are mild, often follow the second dose of mRNA vaccine, and are more often in males than females.

"Within CDC safety monitoring systems, rates of myocarditis reports in the window following COVID-19 vaccination have not differed from expected baseline rates. However, VaST members felt that information about reports of myocarditis should be communicated to providers," the CDC said.

Yesterday the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association issued a statement recommending vaccines despite these early reports.

"The few cases of myocarditis that have been reported after COVID-19 vaccination are being investigated. However, myocarditis is usually the result of a viral infection, and it is yet to be determined if these cases have any correlation to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, especially since the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the U.S. do not contain any live virus," the association said in a statement.

"We remain confident that the benefits of vaccination far exceed the very small, rare risks."

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