By Adam Martin
Newly reported Covid-19 cases in the U.S. fell to their lowest level in nearly four months over Presidents Day weekend, and daily reported deaths declined sharply from a recent spike.
There were more than 52,000 new cases reported for Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, down from 64,938 a day earlier and 89,727 a week earlier. The latest number was published early Tuesday Eastern time and may be updated later in the morning.
The number of newly reported cases each day tends to be lower at the beginning of the week, as fewer people are tested over the weekend, which included Monday’s holiday. Monday’s figure was the lowest since Oct. 18, 2020, and represents a drastic reduction from all-time highs of about 300,000 a day recorded in early January.
Deaths, a lagging indicator that also tends to be lower toward the beginning of the week, were at 985 for Monday, the lowest number since Nov. 29, according to Johns Hopkins data. The number of daily deaths had spiked recently as several states reported backlogs of data after auditing their records.
The nation’s seven-day moving average of newly reported cases, which smooths out irregularities in the data, was at 90,416 for Sunday, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data. The 14-day average was 103,822. When the seven-day average is lower than the 14-day average, as it has been since Jan. 15, it suggests cases are declining.
There were 65,455 people hospitalized in the U.S. on Monday, according to the Covid Tracking Project, the latest in more than a month of daily decreases.
Logistical challenges have hindered the U.S. pandemic response. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that some states haven’t used many of the millions of fast-acting tests distributed by the federal government, due to logistical hurdles and accuracy concerns. The first batches of BinaxNOW rapid Covid-19 tests, shipped to states in September, are approaching their six-month expiration dates.
In total, more than 27.6 million cases have been reported in the U.S., and more than 486,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data. World-wide, the case count is higher than 109 million, with more than 2.4 million dead.