From the WebMD Archives

August 3, 2020 -- The number of daily coronavirus cases in the United States declined around 3% over a recent week, The Associated Press reported.

Based on a 7-day rolling average, the number of daily cases fell from 67,317 on July 22 to 65,266 on Wednesday, the AP said. The AP based its calculations on data provided by Johns Hopkins University.

That sounds like good news, but scientists are cautious. For one thing, it’s only one week of data and 2 weeks is usually needed to declare something a trend.

Also, four Sunbelt states grappling with major coronavirus outbreaks — Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas — are driving the decline in cases.

Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins public health researcher, explained that those states have pumped so many cases into the national tally that when they show a decline, it affects the numbers for the whole nation.

Cases counts actually are rising in around 30 states, including the Midwest, the AP noted.

Another statistic to worry about: The number of coronavirus-related deaths in the United States has not gone down.

The death count has climbed about 25% over the past week, from 843 to 1,057, the AP said. Florida reported 253 new deaths on Thursday -- the third straight day it’s set a record in that category.

The Johns Hopkins University case counter says the United States has reported 4.5 million confirmed cases and more than 152,000 deaths -- the most cases and deaths of any nation. Globally, there have been 17.3 million cases and more than 674,000 deaths.