The U.S. reported fewer than 100,000 new coronavirus cases for the second day in a row, as data showed that in several states, more than 10% of residents have received an initial dose of Covid-19 vaccines.
Newly reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. stood at 89,727 for Monday, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. The figure was slightly higher than the previous day’s revised total of 89,581 cases, according to Johns Hopkins. More than 27.1 million people in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, out of more than 106.6 million world-wide.
Hospitalizations in the U.S. due to Covid-19 continued to decline. As of Monday, there were 80,055 people hospitalized across the country due to the disease, the fifth consecutive day the total has been under 90,000, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The number of Covid-19 patients requiring treatment in intensive-care units also fell, with 16,174 people in ICUs, the lowest level since Nov. 20, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
The country reported 1,596 new fatalities from Covid-19, pushing the total to more than 465,000, according to the latest Johns Hopkins data.
Declining daily case numbers and hospitalizations come as vaccination efforts gather steam. So far, 13 states have vaccinated 10% or more of their residents with at least one shot, and a further 19 states are at or above 9%, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis or data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Alaska leads the country, with some 15% of residents vaccinated, with West Virginia following at 12.2% and New Mexico at 12%.
Meanwhile, World Health Organization officials expressed confidence that AstraZeneca PLC’s Covid-19 vaccine can prevent severe cases of the disease, as well as hospitalizations and deaths, despite questions about the protection it offers against a fast-spreading strain of the virus first detected in South Africa. The remarks followed a release of information over the weekend about a small clinical trial of the vaccine in South Africa, which prompted the government there to halt a planned rollout of the shot.
“Looking at the evidence on the AstraZeneca vaccine, across a number of trials, it is very clear that [the AstraZeneca vaccine] has efficacy against severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths,” said Katherine O’Brien, director of the WHO’s immunization program.