WebMD News Brief

U.S. COVID-19 Cases Fell 34% in Last 2 Weeks

Jan. 28, 2021 -- New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have fallen 34% during the past 2 weeks, according to the latest database tally from The New York Times.

The U.S. reported more than 155,000 new cases on Wednesday, and the weekly average was about 163,000 cases per day. At the peak 3 weeks ago, more than 300,000 new cases were reported each day.

Cases continue to decline in 45 states, the newspaper reported. California is reporting about 25,000 new cases per day, which is down from the peak of 44,000. South Carolina has reported a slight decline, though Florence, Greenville, and Spartanburg remain in the top 10 nationally for metro areas with high cases per capita.

Hospitalizations are also beginning to decline, according to the COVID Tracking Project. At the peak in early January, more than 130,000 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized across the country. On Wednesday, 107,000 patients were hospitalized, and the 7-day average was about 112,000.

COVID-19 deaths, which tend to lag behind new cases and hospitalizations, are still near peak levels, with more than 3,000 per day, the COVID Tracking Project reported. On Wednesday, more than 4,000 deaths were reported. During the past 2 weeks, 13 states have reported an increasing number of deaths, particularly in the South, according to the Times.

Although numbers are decreasing, 44 states remain at the highest COVID-19 risk level, according to NPR, with more than 25 new cases per 100,000 people per day. This represents “unchecked community spread,” the network reported. The current highest-risk states include Arizona, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, and Georgia, which all have more than 60 new cases per 100,000 people per day.

As the numbers drop in some states, officials have begun to roll back some restrictions. On Friday, North Dakota will drop its statewide risk level to the lowest level and allow bars and restaurants to increase their occupancy, according to The Wall Street Journal. On Feb. 1, Michigan will allow indoor dining again but at reduced capacity. New York City may allow indoor dining again soon at 25% capacity.

Overall, the U.S. has reported more than 25.5 million COVID-19 cases and 429,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, more than 100 million cases have been reported, as well as 2.1 million deaths.

WebMD Health News Brief


The New York Times: “Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count.”

COVID Tracking Project: “The Data.”

NPR: “How Severe Is Your State’s Coronavirus Outbreak?”

The Wall Street Journal: “Coronavirus Live Updates.”

Johns Hopkins University: “COVID-19 Dashboard.”

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